Online yoga—stay in shape from the comfort of your own home
Discover how to find the perfect class to keep your body and mind active.
5 min read
We know that it’s difficult to stay fit during the winter months. But with a new calendar year beginning, there’s never been a better time to get in shape. However, staying motivated—especially during the winter months—is another story. We know that exercise is an essential part of staying healthy, but sticking to an exercise routine can be difficult when it’s cold and gray outside.
Luckily, if you can’t bring yourself to brave the cold for the gym or a run, the internet offers a great selection of affordable online fitness classes. Gentle exercise like yoga increases your flexibility while decreasing your stress levels. The other great thing about yoga is that it’s for everyone—whether you’re a beginner or an expert, you can find the right online yoga class for you. Let’s find out how.
How to find the right online yoga classes for you
The range of online yoga courses available on the internet is wide and diverse. In fact, you can find nearly 10 million results by simply Googling “online yoga course.” There are loads of YouTube channels that offer free online yoga courses, as well as an increasing number of paid online yoga classes offered through studios or online sports platforms. With all these options to choose from, how do you find the right one for you?
First off, it’s important to define your expectations. Are you looking for a good workout? Do you want to meditate? Are you interested in mindfulness? Yoga has become something of an umbrella term for a wide variety of ancient and modern approaches to working out the body and mind. Understanding which approach is best for you will help you to select the best online yoga class.
Here are some of the most popular types of yoga:
- Hatha Yoga: A classic style of yoga, this mainly consists of a variety of poses (asanas) and breathing techniques (pranayama), repeated in series. The term “hatha” comes from Sanskrit and means "vigor" or "strength." This is a softer, less rigorous form of yoga.
- Kundalini/Tantra Yoga: This style is based on preparing the body for the awakening of the Kundalini—a non-tangible energy in the form of a snake knotted in three and a half coils residing at the base of the spine. By awakening the Kundalini, you can align your body with the universe. A Kundalini yoga class is very complex and is focused on the awareness of one's body and mind. In addition to pranayama and asanas, it includes meditation, chanting, bandhas (physical closures or contractions to channel energy), and mudras (hand or body gestures).
- Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga: A very challenging, dynamic style of yoga involving six poses done repetitively. The asanas are arranged in precise order depending on experience and must be performed at a fast pace. This type of yoga is very strenuous, but it strengthens and makes the body especially agile. It also calms the mind, helping to decrease stress and increase concentration.
- Bikram Yoga/Hot Yoga: The goal here is to turn up the temperature (literally) and to stretch your muscles and cleanse your body as much as possible. For this reason, Bikram and Hot Yoga are practiced at 40° Celcius. Classes last an average of 90 minutes and involve a sequence of 26 asanas that are repeated twice, along with two breathing exercises.
- Yin Yoga: Yin Yoga is a gentle and calm style of yoga, including slow movements and deep breaths. It’s inspired by the Taoist concept of “yin and yang,” or the balance between opposing and complementary forces in nature. Basically, the muscles in the body need a yang type of training—rhythmic and animated—while the connective tissue requires a yin practice with slower, deeper movements. This type of yoga renders the body more flexible, agile, and strong.
- Vinyasa Yoga flow: Here, asana and breathing go hand in hand—the goal is to perform the poses in coordination with the rhythm of your breath. Vinyasa yoga helps you build strength and agility, perfect your postures, and improve your breathing.
The list we've provided references the most popular styles of yoga, but there are many more variations to choose from. If the yoga platform offers yoga styles that you're not familiar with, we recommend asking for more information or attending a free class to see if it’s a good fit.
Once you've determined which type of yoga is right for you, all you need to do is sign up. If self-discipline is your thing, YouTube allows you to workout in a flexible way while saving the cost of a subscription. If you want a more powerful, ad-free experience that allows you to try more variations and classes, sites like Buddyfit or Down Dog let you take advantage of all the classes on their platform by paying a monthly or annual fee.
Practical matters—getting the right equipment and clothing for your online yoga class
Found the right course and preparing for your first class? First, you'll need to think about clothing. The main criteria when it comes to online yoga is comfort. Pants or leggings that allow you to comfortably exercise are preferable—meaning not too tight or too loose. T-shirts, tank tops, and sweatshirts are perfect choices if they don't affect your ability to move. Wearing socks or shoes is usually not recommended, as it prevents your feet from gripping the floor or mat, but you can solve this problem with non-slip socks.
We recommend that you prepare the following items for your online yoga class:
- A water bottle
- A towel
- A mat
- Yoga blocks (they aren’t mandatory, but they can help you with difficult positions)
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Ready to discover the pleasure and convenience of online yoga? Now, with an N26 premium account, you can take advantage of an exclusive discount on your workouts with Buddyfit. Sign up for a one-month free trial and get 20% off towards any additional fitness class. Find out more about this and other promotions in the Explore section of your N26 app.
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