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Stretch Your Mind and Body With These iPhone Yoga Apps

Best Yoga Apps
For most yoga practitioners, the studio is something of an oasis -- a tranquil escape from the tumult of everyday life where minds are cleared, breathing is controlled, and, for a brief moment, the rest of the world comes to a standstill. The problem, of course, is finding the time (and money) to actually make it to the studio. Some may be disciplined enough to go through a full Hatha routine on their own; others may be able to afford a personal instructor. If you're like us, though, you're too lazy and cash-poor to do either. Fortunately, there's an easy and affordable alternative, sitting right there in your pocket: the iPhone.

It may not be as spacious or spartan as your favorite studio, but if your iPhone is equipped with the right apps, it can help you hone just about every facet of your yogic existence. Whether you're looking to perfect a specific pose, trying to squeeze in some downward dogs at the office, or simply struggling to relax, there's an app to realize your goals. So rev up that ujjayi breathing, let out a few oms and allow us to guide you through our list of ten notable yoga apps for the iPhone. Who says geeks can't bend? Namaste.

Authentic Yoga with Deepak Chopra

Authentic Yoga with Deepak Chopra
When he's not dishing out nuggets of wisdom or writing seminal self-help books, Deepak Chopra does yoga -- and he does it well. In this app, Chopra and his personal instructor, Tara Stiles, take users through the guru's very own routine, with a series of clear diagrams and videos guiding the way. Stubborn skeptics or New Age newbies may scoff, but after hearing Chopra's dulcet voiceover narration, they'll curl into child's pose like the rest of us.
Verdict: If it works for Deepak, it'll work for you.
Authentic Yoga with Deepak Chopra ($1.99)

Yoga in Bed

Yoga in Bed

We'd all love to greet the sunrise with a round of sun salutations, but by the time we crawl out of bed and shake off that morning haze, it's time to head out the door for work. With 'Yoga in Bed,' though, you can go through a quick, 20-pose routine without ever leaving the comfort of your dream chamber. Just give your eyes a good rub, break out this app, and open your chakras before sipping your coffee.
Exercise in bed? Yes, please.
Yoga in Bed ($6.99)

Hatha Yoga: Your Portable Yoga Studio

Hatha Yoga
Within the walls of this digital studio, you're your own master and student. Sure, world-renowned instructor Prahlada will be there to guide you through the app's designed classes, but you'll also be able to customize your curriculum according to your particular needs. Wanna squeeze in a quick, 10-minute routine before lunch? You can pick the poses yourself. Need to get a closer look at that lizard pose? The app's stop-motion visuals can show you every step to getting in and out of it. 'Hatha Yoga' may be at the high-end of the app price spectrum, but it's still cheaper than buying a month's worth of classes.
Verdict: Ideal for self-starters looking to take their routine by the horns.
Hatha Yoga: Your Portable Yoga Studio ($9.99)


Yoga Stretch
The Swiss Army knife of yoga apps, 'Yoga STRETCH' has just about everything a seasoned yogi could ask for. You can customize your own routines, glide through a pre-loaded, 60-minute course, or work on specific poses -- all of which are outlined in beautifully silhouetted relief. Users can also practice to one of six meditative background songs, or make their own pranayama-friendly playlists. It should be noted, though, that novices may find this app a bit demanding, and are probably better off with developer Neil Harris's more forgiving sister app, 'Yoga RELAX.'
Verdict: A comprehensive complement to any serious yogic regimen.
Yoga STRETCH ($0.99)

Yoga Teacher

Yoga Teacher
The simplest app on this list may also be the most valuable. Where other apps give you static, two-dimensional pose diagrams, 'Yoga Teacher' gives you the kind of 3-D, 360-degree perspective that can help fine-tune your practice. And, in this case, you get to assume the role of teacher by identifying the mistake in each position. Accumulate points with each correct diagnosis, expand your encyclopedic knowledge, and enjoy haughtily correcting your om-ies at next week's Jivamukti class.
Verdict: Usurping your guru's authority has never been easier.
Yoga Teacher ($0.99)

MINDBODY yoga 3.0

MindBody Yoga

Asking a die-hard yogi to spend more than a few hours away from the studio is like asking a shark to stop swimming. But with 'MINDBODY,' your next yoga fix is only a few taps away. Just enter any ZIP code and the app's GPS radar will automatically feed you a list of nearby studios, along with a class schedule for each one. We wouldn't recommend spending your entire vacation in a yoga studio, but at least you'll always have the chance to slip away.
Verdict: The best friend a nomadic yogi could ever have.
MINDBODY yoga 3.0 (Free)

Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness Meditation
Your dogs have been downed, and your crow has long since flown. Now, it's just you, your mat and your mind. Problem is, your thoughts are going all over the place, and they're cluttering that serene Savasana you so thoroughly deserve. With 'Mindfulness Meditation,' you can learn how to douse the flames of your superconscious mind, and finally clear your head of all worldly concerns. Granted, you'll still have to spend some time going through the app's guided practice sessions, and mastering your mind isn't exactly a walk in the park. But 'Mindfulness' was written by the same guy who wrote 'Meditation for Dummies,' so you shouldn't feel that intimidated.
Verdict: Emptiness never felt so fulfilling.
Mindfulness Meditation ($2.99)

Prenatal Yoga

A Prenatal Yoga
Pregnancy may curtail your hard-drinking, rollercoaster-riding ways, but it doesn't have to drastically affect your yoga habit. Here, you'll find a full slate of safe postures for each trimester, as well as guidance on how to ease back into the routine once you've popped the cork. Of course, you should still double-check with your doctor before rolling out your mat, but once you get the green light, this app can certainly help you find your pregnant prana.
Verdict: Pregnant glow + yogic glow = DOUBLE (RAIN)GLOW
Prenatal Yoga ($0.99)


Yoga Beauty
Let's be honest. The chanting, the incense, the inner peace -- it's well and good, but all you really want to take away from the yoga studio is a bodaciously bodhini body, right? Well, 'YogaBeauty' will tell you exactly how to get it. With its playful illustrations and easy-to-follow instructions, this female-friendly app has a remedy for just about every physical insecurity you could have -- from cellulite to varicose veins. Our inner feminist briefly wondered why there isn't an equivalent solution for men, but then we saw the cute little cartoon cat and read his cute little thoughts, and we plum forgot all about it.
Verdict: No one ever said yogis couldn't be vain.
YogaBeauty ($2.99)

Office Yoga

Office Yoga
Overbearing bosses, underachieving coworkers, middle-management minions -- all they do is bring negative energy into your life and make your office miserable. Sounds like you need some cubicle yoga, which is exactly what you'll find with 'Office Yoga.' Each of the app's 75 clearly diagrammed poses can be performed from the comfort of your own desk -- and, with names like 'E-mail Meditation' and 'Open Chest Stretch,' you won't even have to fumble your way through those messy Sanskrit pronunciations. Whether you're trying to correct your Neanderthal desk posture, or simply struggling to keep your cool around the water cooler, Office Yoga is there to give you a shot of Zen, right where you need it most.
Verdict: Might just make you think twice about putting arsenic in your boss's Frappuccino.
Office Yoga ($2.99)

Purists may bristle at the thought of using a smartphone to learn a practice as ancient as yoga -- and perhaps with good reason. After all, no single app can fully replace the student-teacher dynamic upon which yoga is founded. And there is something to be said for practicing in a group, rather than all by your lonesome. But the fact is, we've all got a lot of things to do on a daily basis, and, unfortunately, yoga usually ends up being the odd man out. With the right selection of apps, though, we can at least rest assured that whenever and wherever the next free moment arises, we can fill it with the light of yogic bliss.

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