It should be common knowledge by now that yoga is insanely good for you: it can help you improve your balance, flexilibity, and strength; it's a great way to de-stress; and studies have shown yoga can ease migraines, decrease food cravings, help you sleep better, and even improve your sex life. Jeez, is there anything yoga can't do?!
Even though yoga is super awesome for you, it hasn't always been super awesome for your wallet. Medicine Net says most yoga sessions cost 10-20 dollars per class, on average, which can add up pretty quickly, and US News found the average gym membership costs $55/month. Ugh. That's not exactly cheap, not to mention, a lot of us don't the time to block out a couple hours a week to attend a yoga class. Thankfully we live in the age of the Internet, and there are plenty of websites dedicated to providing online videos you can do in the comfort of your own home (where nobody can see how unflexible you are), on your own time, and your own budget. I've scoured the interwebs and found five awesome and affordable resources for yoga-enthusiasts at any level.
It should be worth noting that despite having spent a substantial amount of time at yoga classes, I still suck at it. I'm not flexibile or strong to begin with (I can't even touch my toes, yeah I KNOW), and I really have zero balance. It's a wonder I can even walk straight...most of the time. So, when seeking out online yoga resources, I looked for videos in particular that are accessible to people of all skill levels.
1. Yoga Studio
It's not technically a website, but I still felt the Yoga Studio app was well worth including. For $3.99, you get access to 65 pre-made classes — all for the price of one latte! You get to set your skill level, your class duration, and your desired focus (flexibility, balance, strength, relaxation, or a combination of the four), and the app will customize classes for you. They also offer short sequences called Pose Blocks that teach you the building blocks to more complex poses, and a Smart Link feature to link poses that help you make your class flow easily from one pose to the next. The only downside? It's only available for Apple devices. Sad face.
2. Do Yoga With Me
Do Yoga With Me has so many free resources it's kind of insane, with a diverse and experienced team of teachers behind it. You can watch videos for classes, poses, breathing techniques, and anatomy videos (to help you understand how yoga works in conjunction with your body so as to minimize injury), and you don't even have to sign up for an account to take advantage of all this stuff. You can filter videos by skill level, body position, body part, and more. Did I mention it's all free?!
3. Dirty Yoga Co.
If you like yoga, have the mouth of a sailor, and don't take yourself too seriously, Dirty Yoga might be for you. Dirty Yoga takes a no-frills, no-nonsense approach to online classes. It promises "All Practice. No Theory. No Sitting Around," and has various levels of workouts: Dirty (which is the beginner level); Xtra Dirty, designed to "boost your practice, focusing on strength, flexibility, stamina, and cardio;" Filthy, which is the most advanced level and provides a rigorous core workout; and Quickies, short ab workouts and stretches you can do if you have a few free minutes, or you can add them onto the end of one of your existing workouts. Sadly, the workouts aren't free, but you can buy subscriptions on a weekly or monthly basis, or a 28-day challenge, and the $20/month price is way less than what you'd pay at a studio.
4. Namaste Yoga with Dr. Melissa West
Namaste Yoga prides itself on providing "real yoga for real people." You can watch Dr. West's videos on a variety of media, including Stitcher, iTunes, and more. Moreover, her Youtube channel has tons of free videos, and new videos are released every week. If you want more in-depth classes, you can sign up for a subscription. Her videos have tons of positive reviews and are definitely worth checking out, especially if you're a beginner.
5. Yoga Today
One thing that makes Yoga Today's approach unique is that its videos are filmed outside in gorgeous Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to really give you an escape. But Yoga Today offers more than a pretty backdrop. You can purchase a subscription with unlimited classes for $15/month (which is only the price of two Netflix subscriptions, just saying). You can also take advantage of the free videos on Yoga Today's website, and you can stream videos to your tablet, laptop, phone, or TV. They've also got a blog that gives you a breakdown on the different styles of yoga, tips for choosing the right class for you, and more.