The Best Yoga Classes Available Online
Yoga studios are something I truly, really miss. The humid 90-degree rooms are something I miss. The aroma of palo santo fog sticks is something I miss. I miss the way perspiration dripped over my brow, effectively blinding me. The coordinated breathing is something I miss. Even brushing elbows with my neighbor is something I miss.
But, because I'll be doing my acts from home for the near future, I decided to try out as many courses as I could physically take, all in the hopes of finding my zen from my living room. I practiced alongside several of my favorite New York City studios that are now offering online sessions, either through their platforms or via Instagram Live, along with some of the always-online courses that I'd been missing out on as an IRL yoga devotee read more on yoga classes online here.
While nothing beats flowing to Drake with strangers in a steamy, candlelit room, I found that the instructors are engaging, the flows are as intense as any real-life class, and the plant porn in the backdrop is just as inspirational. The best thing is that, because it's yoga, I only need a mat to flow from my living room.
Alo Moves, the sibling site of Alo, which sells stylish yoga wear, provides a surprising number of yoga sessions. The warmly lighted studio environment is instantly relaxing, and the simple UI organizes lessons by time and skill level. One of my favorite ways to start the day is with a 15-minute morning stretch, and when my hips are tight from all that Netflixing on the sofa, the Smarter Hips video gives me comfort in minutes. There's even a Yoga for Runners session, which I enjoy attending on days when I'm not running.
Y7 is a music-based studio with facilities in Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York, where I was a regular before the quarantine. If you're new to their fast-paced approach, there's a "Get Started" video that walks you through the courses, which are primarily the same as their in-person studios: Slow Burn maintains poses for longer while Vinyasa performs three flows three times each. This is the one that comes closest to the real-life experience. However, in Y7's online version, they've included a few shorter courses, such as a 15-minute Energy Shift session that helped me unclench after a difficult hour-long phone call with my health insurance company. In typical Y7 form, each session is accompanied by an R&B-heavy Spotify playlist that you can listen to while following the teachers' instructions. The music is crucial in making you feel as though you're in a studio — excluding the 90-degree room, of course.
Modo is arguably the most hippie-dippie place on this list since it is frequented by hard-core yogis and celebrities (and one of my favorite studios). However, there's something about walking into Modo West Village — the damp rooms, the fact that you're not allowed to chat before class, and the whole zen feeling — that you can't get from the videos. Nonetheless, Modo put up a commendable effort with their slick new online platform, which features live and taped lessons. From their traditional Modo 60 (my favorite in-studio class since it's slow and meaningful) to one-off sessions that aid with spine alignment, there's something for everyone. They also provide guided meditations and sound-bath workshops for those who want to sit and think for a while. It's the most expensive (for reasons I don't understand), but if your crow position is as weak as your pocketbook, @ModoYogaNYC is now providing two suggested-donation Instagram Live courses each day.
Pick-Me-Up, Water Salutations, and even Glandular Health are among the many on-demand and live lessons available on Sky Ting TV. The diversity of these flows made me enthused about attempting new things during quarantine when every day seemed to be the same. I even picked up a few new anatomical facts, such as knowing that the thymus gland aids the immune system. And their 30-minute Low Back Relief session is a lifesaver on days when I'm bent over my laptop. While I haven't attended a Sky Ting class in person, a fan reports that the online videos are pretty comparable to the studio experience in both atmosphere and emotions.
This Amazon Prime 30-day yoga challenge is meant for absolute novices — the first episode is merely the teacher coolly teaching fundamental postures. A friend suggested breathing as something her coworkers were fascinated with. Even as an experienced yoga student, I found the half-hour sessions to be excellent refreshers. Because she's wearing a microphone, the audio is crystal clear. Perhaps it's because it wasn't shot in someone's living room, or maybe it's because it was made before the epidemic, but this one has the tone and feel of an in-studio lesson. If only it could be extended beyond 30 days.