Starting a home practice for yoga can be a good way for beginners to deepen your yoga journey. Before investing in yoga class memberships, I was a self-taught yogi for a couple of years. Several reasons were holding me back from the studio
- I was
travellingvery frequently (and still am) due to the nature of my work
- My budget did not allow me to pay upwards of $120 / month for yoga classes
then Ihad anxiety doing yoga with a bunch of seasoned yogis and was afraid I would look silly
Benefits of starting ‘FREE’
- It makes sense to dabble into a new interest by leveraging free resources before putting more skin in the game.
- When I was a newbie yogi, I decided to first build up foundational knowledge in yoga basics through FREE resources before I paid for a yoga studio membership.
- Besides saving some moolah, I found that having gained some knowledge in yoga allowed me to better follow a class. I was also able to enjoy the session more than if I were unfamiliar with the taught yoga poses.
Prioritize safety during a home practice
A home practice inherently means that there is no teacher looking at whether you are doing a pose correctly or not. You would definitely need to build a strong body-awareness to understand whether a pose is working out for you, and if not, what (micro) adjustments are required to get into a pose safely
Please listen to your body and make sure you are able to differentiate between healthy aches (from stretching) versus unhealthy pain (eg. Joint pain). If you experience the latter, please stop and seek a certified teacher for advice.
Disclaimer: I am NOT sponsored by any of the resources mentioned below; these are listed based on personal experience. Please note that the below recommendations are meant for informational purposes only. They are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Read my disclosure policy here
My Favourite Free Resources
I have personally used ALL these resources to help me move from a complete yoga noob to a practitioner. These are non-exhaustive, and of course, there are many other paid resources available.
The ratings are my personal ratings based on my user experience, it may or may not reflect your own views.
Best Yoga Apps
1. Downdog App
The YogaMad Rating: 9 / 10
Been a loyal user of the Downdog app since its early days when things were more basic and this app has been upgraded regularly over the years and now boasts one of the smartest algorithms I have seen in a yoga app.
I LOVE THIS APP for helping to keep boredom away from yoga. Downdog app refreshes my practice by giving unique flows from over 30,000 configuration options that would meet my needs. Really, all I need to do is to let them know what Level of practice, the Type of yoga (full vs quick vs salutations), length, music, and other configurations to get my ‘flow of the day’.
Like the Gaiam Yoga Studio, Downdog app allows for a progressive learning journey as there are options to select classes from “Intro to Yoga” to “Beginner 1” all the way to “Advanced”.
Perhaps the only letdown of this app is the sole focus on yoga asana. As mentioned, I am a firm believer that yoga is a lifestyle, and while having a physical practice is great, a good app will also integrate elements of mental health and spirituality.
Now for those who want more customizations, there are pro options that you can pay for a subscription fee. However, I honestly think that the free version is pretty amazing on its own and would pay extra only if I had specific yoga asana goals to achieve.
2. Daily Yoga App
The YogaMad Rating: 7 / 10
The Daily Yoga app was touted to be one of the most popular yoga apps around. It is indeed a great beginner’s app and has an abundance of classes ranging from Essentials for Beginners to strength-based, cardio, or prop-based workouts.
Daily Yoga is also a great option for beginners who would like to explore a little mindfulness meditation. In addition to yoga asana classes, the Daily Yoga app also has meditation classes which I really enjoyed.
Nonetheless, I intend to STOP my subscription because I do not reach out to the Daily Yoga for my practice at all. The classes tend to be short (most of those I saw were below 20 min), which means that before I got into a meditative state, the class would have ended. It was also hard to plan a learning journey since courses are uploaded by different teachers and are meant to be taken independently rather than sequentially or progressively.
3. Simply Yoga Free App
The YogaMad Rating: 6/ 10
Simply Yoga app is a very basic app that is useful for the absolute beginner. The app provides 20, 40 and 60-minute workout videos that allow you to progress in your yoga journey effectively.
There are more than 20 poses provided in this free version with very clear descriptions for each pose for the beginner. If you have completed all series in this app and wish to progress to more intense workouts, there is a Pro version (paid) which you can subscribe to.
What is free: Up to 23 yoga poses sequenced into 20, 40, 60-minute sessions
What is not free: This app is free unless you wish to upgrade to the Pro version which houses more workouts, 30+ more poses, custom routines and is ad-free
4. Yoga Journal
The YogaMad Rating: 8 / 10
Yogis who have been practising for some time would at some point consult the leading publication which has one of the most comprehensive pose libraries and resources around.
What I love about Yoga Journal is the sheer amount of content beyond the pose libraries. Remember that yoga is not just about achieving certain pose goals, but is a lifestyle. Yoga Journal delves into topics such as Meditation and philosophy.
That said, yoga journal does not structure its pose libraries or videos in a way that encourages a longer learning development journey. These resources are great for the practitioner who knows exactly what to look for but may be a little overwhelming for a beginner who needs a more structured development plan.
The YogaMad Rating: 7 / 10
One of the most popular YouTube channel with 4.5 million subscribers (that’s right, that’s around the population of Singapore).
Adriene Mishley has a unique way of teaching that allows students to get over their fear of exploring poses in their own ways. Every BODY is different, and Adriene respects that by giving space and opportunities to “find what feels good”.
The videos are beginner friendly with many series including a 30-day challenge for home practices.
I did not really use Yoga with Adriene to build up my own practice, as I preferred longer flows. That said, whenever I needed a soothing practice, I would head for this channel in search of some inspiration.
6. Kino Yoga
The YogaMad Rating: 8 / 10
Ashtanga Yoga has always intrigued me and I have only started practising the primary series regularly late in 2018. Kino MacGregor is one of my inspirations, having made a name for herself as an Ashtangi and one of a limited few students to receive the Certification to teach from its founder Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in Mysore, India.
Videos from the Kino Yoga channel are short and to the point, mostly focusing on “how-tos” of Ashtanga series. I do think that Kino tends to speak too quickly, and more often than not, I watch her more than learn from her. Nonetheless, the Kino Yoga channel is a rich repository of pose guides that are very targeted for goal-oriented folks.
For beginners, there’s a whole load of videos in KinoYoga’s Beginner’s playlist, starting with this:
The YogaMad Rating: 10 / 10
My personal go-to channel for full practices. Heart Alchemy Yoga is founded by Michelle Goldstein, with a focus on power yoga, yoga workout, beginners yoga and more.
I probably practise Michelle’s power yoga classes 1-2 times a week. You may think that power yoga is only for the advanced, but Michelle is able to make all classes accessible to every level. If you are not a complete stranger of yoga poses, give one of the Power classes a try, you may be pleasantly surprised by them.
Otherwise my favourite flow yoga from Heart Alchemy yoga is found below
The YogaMad Rating: 7/10
Fightmaster Yoga is founded by Lesley Fightmaster, where she posts a new full-length yoga class every week. Lesley Fightmaster is an RYT E-500 certified yoga teacher.
For beginners, do try the 30-day beginners’ yoga challenge.
When this website first started, we focused a lot on sharing as many yoga and wellness materials as possible to make it easy for busy people to incorporate mind-body-soul wellness into their daily routines.
There was always a demand for yoga videos; So I’ve listened and started this channel to better serve The YogaMad community. Each video has a different theme, so find out which one you like and have a go at the class!
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To sum it all
In developing a home practice, these resources are just a first step. There is always a limit to ‘free’ resources.
Therefore I would also suggest you supplement your learning process with lessons from a studio or through a structured (online) course where you will be able to interact with a certified yoga teacher.
Hope this post has been helpful! As always, feel free to comment or send me a note if you would like to see more of such blog posts.