Who’s Who and What’s What at 5 of the
Internet’s hottest studios
Whilst it’s true that London – like many of the world’s capital cities – has more yoga studios than ever before, it can still be difficult to get to class. With long days in the office, kids’ after-school rotas, socialising and the need for sleep/Netflix all vying for our time, the pace of modern life can get in the way. Even though the pace of ‘crazy’ is often the very thing making us hungry for yogic tranquillity in the first place. Attending even your favourite, chilled-out Yin can class feel like yet another task to cross off the to-do-list, and when it can cost as much as £16 per hour, the prospect of speed-navigating public transport to get there … it can often result in avoiding the mat altogether.
What if there was a way to save travel time, mould classes around your own schedule, save money, and attend whatever class you felt like, without leaving home? Say hello to online yoga. Over the past few years the internet has exploded with options enabling you to do all of these things. For a monthly fee that costs roughly the price of a single in-situ class, members gain access to thousands of hours of yoga. For anyone pressed for time, it’s a godsend. We look at five of the web’s top online studios to find out who’s who and what’s what in the world of online yoga.
Lowdown in brief: Yoga Girl – one of Instagram’s best-loved yoginis – brings to you her very own online studio that enables you to custom-create your own yoga experience: holistic, wellness based, user-friendly. Great for healing.
Price: 10 day free trial, then $14 per month.
Yoga styles available: Vinyasa Flow, Yin, Hatha, Gentle, Prenatal, Iyengar, Ashtanga, Postnatal, Primal Yoga, Pranayama, Restorative, Sup Yoga.
What else: Meditation, Life Coaching, Healing, Astrology, Recipes and Cooking Classes, Wellness Programmes, plus information on oneOeight’s variety of themed retreats across the Caribbean, Central America, Europe and North America.
Review: The brainchild of Instagram darling, Rachel Brathen (aka Yoga Girl), oneOeight is a streamlined and easy-to-use platform for exploring all dimensions of your yoga practice. It’s bright, breezy, built with Rachel’s sunny, healing outlook in mind, and encourages members to complement videos from its ‘MOVE’ section with meditations and informative talks, how-to’s, recipes and more from its ‘CALM’ and ‘NOURISH’ sections respectively. A variety of different teachers are available to choose from, each with friendly bios introducing you to their classes. They’re mainly American, mainly women, but bring diverse experiences to their yoga teaching, and the holistic wellness message trickles through all sampled content. Classes can be selected according to time/duration, level of difficulty, teacher, style, focus (e.g. anatomy, breath, subtle body), feeling, or what you want to heal (heartbreak, injury, loss). They’re mainly taught by a teacher and a demonstrator on a one-on-one basis, which creates an intimate, un-intimidating feel.
Best for: Holistic wellbeing.
Sample class: POWER HOUR with Rachel Brathen.
Lowdown in brief: A broad-ranging offering across many different traditions of yoga, with a generous month-long free trial: comprehensive, integrated, fitness and wellness combined.
Price: 30 day free trial, then $12 per month.
Yoga styles available: Acro, Ashtanga, Barre, Bhakti, Core, Forrest, Hatha, Iyengar, Jivamukti, Kundalini, Prenatal, Postnatal, Pranayama, Qigong, Restorative, Rocket, Sculpt, Vinyasa, Yin.
What else: Lectures, Nutrition/Recipes, Teaching Tips, Music, different languages offered (French, German, Greek, Russian, Spanish, Turkish), Yoga Challenges (7 day, 39 day).
Review: A less touchy-feely approach than oneOeight, Udaya gives the impression it means business. There’s an impressive range of different classes, taught by a very international mix of teachers, with the added benefit of classes in different languages in some cases, though not all the listed languages currently have huge choice available. The videos are recorded as studio classes, complete with live music, which makes for an atmospheric feel, at once more like an in-situ class thanks to the presence of other yogis, and yet also more like an event. It’s less intimate, and might appeal to yogis who know what they’re doing a little more, or are curious to experiment with a broader range of yoga styles.
Best for: value for money, variety of yoga.
Sample class: LIGHT AS A FEATHER BHAKTI with Andres Salceno
Lowdown in brief: Beginner-friendly, clean lines London-based online studio featuring many of London’s favourite yoga teachers, and filmed in some of your favourite city-centre studios.
Price: 14 day free trial, then £15.99 month-to-month, £13.99 per months for 3 months, or £10.99 for 12 months.
Yoga Styles available: Acro Yoga, Qigong, Deepen Your Yoga, Anusara-Inspired, Ashtanga, Forrest, Hatha, Jivamukti, Yin, Restorative, Yoga Nidra, Pregnancy/Postnatal, Vinyasa.
What else: Mindfulness, meditation, pilates.
Review: Movement for Modern Life is clean-cut, clear, and straightforward to use. Its roster of teachers includes many of London’s most popular, making it a great alternative to attending their classes in person! Friendly to beginners, MML has a whole section of themed videos suitable for those setting out on the initial steps of their yoga journey, meanwhile also offering more advanced practitioners some challenging options, including a 30 day handstand prep challenge, and classes designed to ‘Deepen Your Yoga’. There is also an emotional and practical core to the way content is organised, allowing members to choose where they want to move from and to, for example ‘Move from Anger’, ‘Move into Calm’, as well as classes for when you’re ‘Ready for Bed’. It doesn’t currently feature content beyond yoga and meditation practices (except Pilates), so if you’re looking for something with nutrition and holistic content thrown in, it might not be your top option, but it’s by far the closest thing you’ll find to an in-situ class with your favourite teachers if you’re a London yogi through and through!
Best for: Londoners.
Sample class: VINYASA FOR EMPOWERMENT with Leila Sadeghee
#4 Name: YogaGlo
Lowdown in Brief: Online branch of a popular LA studio of the same name, YogaGlo is all about positive transformation. 4,000 videos intelligently themed and curated so that you can explore a goal or interest holistically through varied practices.
Price: 15 day free trial, then $18 per month.
Yoga styles available: Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Pre/postnatal, Iyengar, Yin, Kundalini, Partner Yoga, Restorative.
What else: Philosophy, Classes for Women, Classes for Men, Addiction Recovery, Yoga for sports (climbing, cycling, running), optional music backing to classes.
Review: A huge range of classes to choose from, with an equally wide range of filters through which to select what you’re looking for, YogaGlo gets into the specifics, whatever it is within yoga that you love. You can choose to work your IT band, or strive for hormonal balance for menstruation, hone coordination you need as a rock climber, or deal with workplace stress through gentle movements and breath. You can also learn more about yoga philosophy through coverage on some of yoga’s traditional texts like the Bhagavad Gita. A roster of well-known international teachers fronts up the well-presented classes, all filmed in a minimalistic and distraction-free studio space. Themed collections also group videos across styles and types, ranging from Yoga for Parents, to Exploring the Mind/Body Connection through Chakras, so there’s a lot of scope to work in an integrated and intelligent way across the yoga media of your choice.
Best for: Yoga for specific needs.
Sample class: WELCOME YOURSELF HOME with Elena Brower
#5 Name: Gaia
Lowdown in brief: Huge hub for yoga and media on all things consciousness: films and documentaries, philosophy and psychology surrounding a vast library of yoga options.
Price: .99 cents for a trial month, then $9.95 per month, or $20 for 3 months, or $95.40 for a year.
Yoga styles available: Ashtanga, Beginner, Fusion, Hatha, Kids, Kundalini, Meditation, Power, Pre/postnatal, Restorative, Therapeutic, Vinyasa, Yin, Yoga Talks, Yoga at Work, Workshops, Tutorials.
What else: Philosophy Lectures, Films, Documentaries, Spiritual Growth, Alternative Health, Personal Development, Expanded Consciousness, Metaphysics, Paranormal, Anthropology, Fitness and Pilates.
Review: Gaia is a huge resource, containing over 300,000 minutes of content, and 7,000 videos, making it the largest of the online offerings. Yoga is just one arm of its mission to provide a hub for all things consciousness-related. There’s a great variety of classes and teachers, and the ability to choose according to theme, style, teacher, level and duration. There’s also a fitness dimension offering pilates classes and practices targeting a more physical approach, though this is dwarfed somewhat by Gaia’s focus on deepening and integrating practice with an expanded consciousness. Collections of classes are also listed for those who prefer a morning ritual, or those looking to incorporate yoga philosophy authentically into their lives.
Best for: those interested in the psycho-spiritual.
Sample class: YOGA NIDRA with Mara Branscombe