Five yoga apps if you\'re short on time or money

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COLUMBIA - We love yoga! (And if you’re not a yogi yet, I encourage you to give it a try.) There are so many wonderful benefits to practicing yoga. The American Osteopathic Association states that practicing yoga provides the following benefits:

* Increased flexibility

* Increased muscle strength and tone

* Improved respiration, energy and vitality

* Maintaining a balanced metabolism

* Weight reduction

* Cardio and circulatory health

* Improved athletic performance

* Protection from injury

* Mental clarity and calmness

* Increased body awareness

* Relief from chronic stress patterns

Unfortunately, there can be some drawbacks to taking yoga classes. Whether it be limited schedule, limited funds, or that yoga is just unavailable in your area. This week we’re going to discuss some apps that can help you jump this yoga hurdle.

Yoga Studio: For $4, you can experience 65 ready-made yoga classes (varying in length and level of difficult). This app is available for all types of devices. Check it out!

FitStar Yoga: If you have an Apple product, you can experience this iOS app. There are both free classes and paid classes. This is brought to you by the FitBit people – they kinda know what they are doing. 

Pocket Yoga: This app costs about $3 and is available for both Android and iOS. The description from their website says: “choose between different practices, different durations and different difficulty levels. Whatever your skill level and time availability there’s something for you. Pocket Yoga adjusts to your needs.” And it really does appear to! 

Universal Breathing — Pranayama: This is a free app for both Android and iOS devices. If you’ve never learned how to perform mindful breathing (a breathing technique used in yoga practice), this would be a great tutorial. You can change the exercise depending on your breathing level and preferred length of time. 

Kids Yogaverse: If you have kiddos, this might be something you want to check out. For $4, you can introduce your kids to the benefits of yoga in a format designed specifically for them. Kids Yogaverse: I AM LOVE is “Highly recommended” by the US Surgeon General as a healthy app choice. This award-winning app was the very FIRST iPad application developed to teach yoga to kids around the world. 

So now you have NO excuse! You can take your yoga class with you! However, I want to give you a slight “warning”… if you have never taken a yoga class before and are brand new to the practice, I HIGHLY recommend that you take a few classes with a live instructor before using an app or an at-home DVD or online class. It is very convenient, of course, to do your classes at home ... but the little person on the video or in your phone cannot tell you if you are performing a pose incorrectly. Having a live instructor make corrections to your form is incredibly helpful. Taking a few classes to learn the basic postures can help to keep you uninjured.

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