9 best yoga apps 2018 for better flexibility and toning up

Stretch, breathe, and work out in as little as five minutes – your yoga journey begins here

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Yoga is increasing in popularity every year. Not because it's the cool thing to do, but because it has real benefits. Its reputation as a great way to tone up those flabby bits is well deserved, but add the requisite level of commitment, change up your lifestyle to match, and you'll also find it makes an incredible impact on your general well-being.

It's more practical than something like running; all you need is a little space. And while you could certainly join a class and get direct coaching, many prefer to practice yoga in the privacy of their own home, as a break between the various elements of a hectic schedule. Do it yourself, and your yoga mat becomes an ever-present source of potential stress relief.

Leading yourself through yoga isn't necessarily the best idea. Even experts might find they're doing something wrong with their technique, or need nudging in the right direction towards new poses and transitions. Beginners need even more of a helping hand. And that's where apps come in.

Grab a good yoga app, and you'll get a pocket-sized instructor to lead you through your routines wherever you might be. Find the right app, and you might learn new yoga poses, find out the science behind your movements, and more. There's generally a fee, sometimes a big one, for the more capable apps, but there are ad-supported freebies out there too.

So, join us. Get more bendy, laser-focus your mind, and breathe like a master with our selection of the best yoga apps on the iPhone and Android app stores.

DDP Yoga Now! best yoga apps

1. DDP Yoga Now!

The power of positivity from one of the best talkers in the business

Specifications
Best for: Personal motivation
Available on: Android, iOS
In app purchases: Yes
Size: 143mb

An app which begins with a 6ft 5in former professional wrestler smashing down a concrete wall might not seem like the most yoga thing in the world, but wait: Diamond Dallas Page's somewhat macho take on yoga is one developed by someone who knows what it's like to have a battered body.

Page has coached a large number of physically disadvantaged people back to health, and his popular program has the potential to suit those who prefer a little more bravado and a whole lot more direct motivational verbiage in their workout.

Actually accessing the full DDP Yoga scheme through the app isn't cheap, but there's a seven-day trial on offer before you have to stump up the cash, and a number of videos available without signing up. Perhaps the bombastic side of yoga might not suit those looking for a tranquil stretch, but Page's live workouts are a reason to motivate yourself to move, and this is yoga built for strength and conditioning as well as flexibility for people of literally all abilities, from bedridden up.

Pocket Yoga best yoga apps

2. Pocket Yoga

Work on your poses wherever you may be

Specifications
Best for: Workouts in the wild
Available on: Android, iOS and Mac
In app purchases: Yes
Size: 131.3mb

This app downloads everything to your phone – there's no need for any network connection. So if you're in a tranquil spot in the woods, if you've been banished to a desert island, or if you've simply run out of mobile data, you'll still be able to go through one of the 27 included sessions.

Those sessions vary in difficulty and duration, meaning you'll be able to find one to suit your ability or your time available. There's also a dictionary included which walks you through every step of finding the correct posture and alignment for each move, to ensure you start your yoga journey right.

Whether you’re a just starting out or you're well-practiced in the ways of yoga, the tools are there to track your progress, stay motivated, and you can even unlock new virtual environments as you improve.

best yoga apps

3. Yoga Studio

Perfect for the pregnant, or the not pregnant

Specifications
Best for: Dedicated prenatal section
Available on: Android, iOS
In app purchases: Yes
Size: 182.7mb

While there's a prenatal yoga section that's one of this app's big selling points, you do not actually have to be pregnant to use it – there are 65 classes included which will suit just about anyone of any skill level.

Select a class which suits your time frame, or select based on your level of focus, or something you particularly want to work on. If you only have quarter of an hour and need to enhance your relaxation, or you want to work on balance for a full hour, you'll find something to suit.

That prenatal section, though, is where things really start to shine. It's designed both to help expectant mothers' bodies support the healthy growth of the baby, while also encouraging the little blighter to move further away from the ribcage to allow for easier breathing.

There is a little catch, though. Unless you stump up for a subscription you won't be able to get access to the full suite of poses, create custom classes, or tap into the wisdom of master yogi Rodney Lee.

best yoga apps

4. Daily Yoga

Fitness focused yoga for those who want to gracefully tone up

Specifications
Best for: Fitness
Available on: Android, iOS
In app purchases: Yes
Size: 74.4mb

Whether you're after a totally toned stomach or just a slightly better all-around look, yoga is a great way to burn off that excess fat. Daily Yoga naturally provides yoga, but it also throws in Pilates, Vinyasa, and HIIT for a truly intense workout for all abilities.

You can work on technique and focus through the class plans, or drill down to more specific targets: weight control, body sculpting, strength and beyond. The instructions are lucid enough that you'll at least know how to do the most complex moves, even if your body doesn't cooperate.

The fitness focus continues in the extra features – you can track calories burned and overall workout times in order to move step-by-step towards your own personal goals. It's subscription based, so the basic app is a little barren, but as ever it's a question of personal motivation. If you're going to pay up, you're more likely to follow the plan.

best yoga apps

5. Universal Breathing Pranayama

An app dedicated to stress relief and meditation

Specifications
Best for: Stress relief and breathing
Available on: Android, iOS, Nook and Mac
In app purchases: Yes
Size: 90.6mb

You might think of yoga as a tool for improving flexibility, or something to get you toned. It is that. But it's more: this particular app focuses on the more meditative side of yoga, helping you to master the correct breathing techniques. This can lead to real health benefits: better sleep, greater stamina, lower blood pressure, and much more.

Follow its extensive courses, and you'll learn techniques which you can apply any time you're doing yoga (or even when you're sat at your desk). There's not much of a focus on poses, so you'll need another app for that, but this is a great way to improve your other skills.

best yoga apps

6. 5 Minute Yoga

For those always on the go

Specifications
Best for: Quick and easy workouts
Available on: Android, iOS
In app purchases: Yes
Size: 23.3mb

You'll probably find the pose videos here a little weird. We did. Rather than just showing a master doing their thing, or displaying a standard animation, they highlight the pose from within the human body, illustrating exactly what you're doing with your muscles as you pull them off.

Creating your own routines is a simple case of filling a timeline with poses from the app's extensive catalogue, whereby they're played back seamlessly as you work out – although you're only given audio guidance as you go, so you'll need to do a little revision beforehand.

Doing so is reasonably easy, since you can view each pose from multiple angles, which should help with accuracy.

best yoga apps

7. FitStar Yoga

Personalised tuition from a master of her craft

Specifications
Best for: Hitting goals
Available on: iOS
In app purchases: Yes
Size: 102.9mb

Strala Yoga founder Tara Stiles fronts this very personal app, which is perfect if you're focusing on specific fitness goals or you're trying to hit a target weight.

You can access personalised practice sessions, fed to you based on the data you enter; if you want something more, you can find it based on your specific goals and capabilities. If you're heading for a calorific target, if you're looking to improve your heart rate, this is an app which allows you to really track the benefits of the work you put in.

While some apps go for illustrations, Fitstar Yoga offers up HD videos of poses with in-depth information which helps you to get it just right. You're given control of just how long or intense you want those workouts to be, so you can dial it up as your strength and fitness improves. Subscribe, and you'll be offered new poses to practice, ensuring things never get stale.

best yoga apps

8. Simply Yoga

A more basic yoga app that doesn’t bypass beginners

Specifications
Best for: Beginners
Available on: Android, iOS
In app purchases: No
Size: 111.3mb

Dipping your toe into the waters of Yoga can be a little intimidating, but this is a solid first step. It features a host of timed workouts, with over 30 poses suitable for beginner yogis, and it's completely free so you can learn whether yoga is for you without shelling out on one of the sometimes pricey subscription apps we've covered here.

It might be free, but the quality is there nonetheless. The tutorials feature video and audio which ease you into the correct position, although you'll have to endure adverts here and there. There's also a full version available, which does away with the ads and includes level two techniques and custom routines.

best yoga apps

9. iYoga

Did you know that there's a science to yoga?

Specifications
Best for: Understanding yoga
Available on: iOS
In app purchases: Yes
Size: 511mb

You'll probably find the pose videos here a little weird. We did. Rather than just showing a master doing their thing, or displaying a standard animation, they highlight the pose from within the human body, illustrating exactly what you're doing with your muscles as you pull them off.

Creating your own routines is a simple case of filling a timeline with poses from the app's extensive catalogue, whereby they're played back seamlessly as you work out – although you're only given audio guidance as you go, so you'll need to do a little revision beforehand.

Doing so is reasonably easy, since you can view each pose from multiple angles, which should help with accuracy.