When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.
When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.
If you practice yoga, you might be familiar with its benefits. From increased flexibility and muscle tone to better joint health, weight reduction, and injury prevention, yoga can be a highly important part of anyone’s weekly fitness routine.
But the benefits of yoga go beyond just the physical aspects. According to both the Mayo Clinic and Harvard Medical School, yoga is a great tool for reducing stress, relieving anxiety, and helping with depression.
Yoga can be practiced almost anywhere, too. As long as you have a reliable yoga mat and enough space to move around, you’re able to create your own unique yoga studio. After that, you’ll also want a quality yoga app that not only has a diverse selection of workouts to choose from but that can help you work on form and technique, as well.
As a yoga enthusiast for many years, I decided to test a variety of online yoga workout services and apps to find the best currently offered. While testing, I rated each based specifically on yoga variety, instructor quality, video quality, intensity, overall variety, and ease of use.
Each of the apps and classes featured in this guide was tested to see how well they compared across these four categories: Yoga variety, quality, intensity, and ease of use. Here’s how each of those categories specifically factored into which apps ultimately made this guide.
Yoga variety: This is an important feature of any online yoga class as you not only want the classes to stay fresh but variety also challenges you in different ways. Testing for this was fairly straightforward; do the classes offer a diverse range of flows or not? Though some of the categories are specific to, for instance, celebrity-led classes or those that are streamed live, they still have some amount of variation that kept me coming back to them.
Quality: Although quality as it relates to a yoga class may sound broad, it is an important distinction, especially for the classes that require a fee. This means judging the effectiveness of the classes, the streaming quality, and how well the flow is taught and explained.
Intensity: Perhaps this category is best meant for more advanced users but beginners can also benefit from how intense a class is to either pump up their routine or know which to stay away from. I judged the intensity of each class not just by how grueling or sweat-inducing it was but also how difficult the poses and flow were.
Ease of use: Streaming yoga at home is a far different experience from walking into a studio, where it’s much easier to just show up and unfurl a mat. The best online yoga classes help blur that line by offering an intuitive interface to navigate, a modest learning curve, and readily available classes for all skill levels.
Alo Moves offers everything from Astanga and Hatha to restorative, Vinyasa, and prenatal yoga classes, making it one of the most versatile and full-featured apps available.
Pros: Over 800 yoga classes that focus on training the mind and the body, offers prenatal classes, has other fitness videos like cardio and HIIT
Cons: Options can seem overwhelming
Price: $20 a month or $199 a year
Alo Moves offers over 800 yoga-specific classes that are all able to be accessed via a smartphone, computer, or tablet, and features easy-to-use filters so you can find exactly what you want. If you like to have variety and to not have to take the same class over and over again, you’ll love the number of options. There’s everything from Vinyasa courses to restorative sessions and Hatha.
I especially like that the service has a feature where you can filter the workouts by duration, so when I only had about 25 minutes to work on my practice, I was still able to choose from a plethora of workouts. Classes also have written descriptions, so you know what to expect before the video starts.
While yoga is the focus of the app, Alo Moves also offers different classes like cardio, HIIT, barre, and Pilates, so if you need a break from your weekly flows, you have the option to take other classes. They even offer prenatal yoga classes, too.
Sky Ting launches a new live workout nearly every day, and you’re able to access all previously recorded sessions along with an entire library of yoga workouts.
Pros: Different levels available, range of lengths, both live classes and class library, beautiful and calming class backdrop
Cons: You may not enjoy the voiceover format
Price: $20 per month
Brought to you by the New York yoga studio, Sky Ting, this service offers daily live classes as well as a slew of pre-recorded yoga workouts available for its members.
The backdrop Sky Ting TV uses for each class, which ranges from an array of plants to animal statues like flamingos or giraffes, is one of the service’s highlights. Each setting feels incredibly calming, which helps put me in the right headspace to practice yoga.
Each of the studio’s videos features its instructors demoing all the moves and moving through the flows, but unlike some videos where the person on screen also cues, these videos have a useful graphic that always shows the moves. Though this seems different, I liked that it kept the class moving — you never run into a situation where you’re stuck in a pose for an unplanned amount of time because the on-screen instructor goes on a tangent.
The videos range in length from two minutes to 64 minutes and feature skill levels of beginner, advanced, or all levels. Sky Ting TV also has skill-based classes that I enjoyed which include options like mobility, a backbend class, hip stretching, or a shoulder opening session.
While a subscription costs $20, Sky Ting is currently offering live one-hour Zoom classes at random for a suggested donation of $10.
Not only does Yoga Download have variety, but it also lists the intensity of the classes upfront, as well as the props you need, so you know ahead of time.
Pros: Tons of class options, lots of variety in yoga type, classes list length, level, intensity, and props needed, library of yoga poses
Cons: Not made very clear that free membership only lasts 19 days
Price: 19 days free, then $12 per month
Yoga Download makes it easy to filter your class options by style, instructor, length, level, intensity, or focus to help you more easily select the class you want to take. Not only does each video list the length and level, but they also list the intensity to give you an understanding of what to expect, as well as props needed, if any.
I loved the amount of variety within the app, too. I don’t usually enjoy doing the same workout, especially when I’m following along with a service or app, and I like to have a lot of options for all the different yoga varieties. Some services, for instance, only have a couple of restorative yoga options but with Yoga Download, there are many to choose from which made each session feel fresh. The app has over 1,000 choices across a variety of specialties and I like that it recommends workouts based on the ones you’ve taken.
If you’re not familiar with certain poses, or you find that you struggled with a pose during class but didn’t want to pause the workout to fix it, check out the service’s yoga pose videos tab to work on whatever exercise you had issues with. This, along with its varying intensity levels, makes Yoga Download an enjoyable app.
Yoga on Gaia offers a collaboration of series created by world-renowned instructors, bringing high-quality yoga studio content right to your living room.
Pros: World-renowned instructor series, over 8,000 videos, ad-free (if you sign up for a full membership), meditation classes
Cons: No original series
Price: 7 days free, then $12 per month
Yoga on Gaia lets you pick individual practices or start in on a dedicated series that you can complete over several sessions — and has over 8,000 class options. Some of the series are from world-renowned instructors like Rodney Yee, Sally Kempton, Kathryn Budig, and others. The app gives you the option to even choose to see classes instructed by your favorites.
Even if you’re not familiar with the instructors, you can choose a class based on yoga type, philosophy, current lifestyle issue (i.e. managing stress or promoting mental health), or choose from the featured practices that the service offers each day. Classes are classified by level, length, type, and they even have a short description of what the class offers. This helped me have a better feel for which classes I wanted to try, without having to watch a couple of minutes of the video first.
Yoga on Gaia aims to be a go-to resource for overall consciousness, so it also offers meditation classes, documentaries, articles, and various additional resources.
Yoga with Adrienne‘s goal is to offer high-quality yoga practice and videos to as many people as possible and does so by making the service absolutely free.
Pros: Free, high-quality, open to all levels, situation-specific yoga
Cons: Format on YouTube doesn’t make it easy to scroll between videos or go back if you choose one you decide you don’t like, sometimes you have to watch ads before videos start
Who says you can’t get a good workout via YouTube? International yoga instructor, Adrianne Mishler, started her own channel to offer yoga to as many people as possible via her free YouTube videos.
I was introduced to Adrianne’s yoga practice from an in-person workout and have been doing her practice ever since. She breaks each session down for beginners and kept me from feeling discouraged when I was just starting out.
I also enjoyed that Adrianne creates certain flows specific to individuals or situations. For example, there’s a yoga for writers session that focuses on getting your creative juices flowing, and even yoga for tension relief or yoga for low back and hamstrings. One of my personal favorites was her yoga to slow your roll which focuses on helping you relax.
While her videos are for all levels, there is far more beginner/intermediate content than that for advanced users. Adrienne offers individual videos on her personal website, while the entirety of each of her series is accessible via her YouTube channel.
Nike Training Club – Nike Training Club is one of the best workout apps available and it’s completely free. Among other types of programming, it offers a four-week Yoga Flex & Flow program with regular asana flows, breath work, and meditation tips. Yoga with Adrienne beat this app out for best free yoga workout since the Youtube videos offer a much wider selection of content, but if you’re looking for an app-based program that’ll prompt you to move through a flow regularly throughout the week, NTC is worth checking out.
CorePower Yoga On Demand – The brick-and-mortar yoga franchise offers live and recorded classes via its app for everything from beginner-friendly courses to challenging asanas to sweaty flows. This is a great option for some, but it was edged out by our top pick, Alo Moves, which runs at the same $20/mo subscription price but offers more versatile classes.
Sign up for Insider Reviews’ weekly newsletter for more buying advice and great deals.
You can purchase logo and accolade licensing to this story here.
Disclosure: Written and researched by the Insider Reviews team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our partners. We may receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at email@example.com.
2 thoughts on “5 best online yoga classes of 2021 – Insider”
This is the right blog for anyone who wants to find out about this topic. You realize so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually would want…HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Great stuff, just great!
Saved as a favorite, I really like your blog!