Best Yoga Apps

We live in a world where we are constantly on the go and attached to the world around us through our phones, watches, and computers. We have apps on our phones for everything from counting steps and making lists to shopping apps. We are continually looking for ways to do the things we love from anywhere. There are apps for all types of workouts, yoga included. While yoga is often supposed to be about connecting to the world around us and not necessarily to our technology, we might want to take a moment out of our day to step back and calm our minds with some yoga. What more convenient way to do that than with an app. I’ve compiled a list of apps based on reviews and what they can be used for.

  • One of the most popular apps is Pocket Yoga. It has 4 ½ stars on both the Apple and Google Play stores. This app has 27 different sessions and, a pose dictionary and includes explanations of correct postures. It does cost $2.99 but is worth the price for all that you get!
  • If you’ve got any Apple products and want some daily inspiration, try the Daily Yoga Quotes app. You get a new quote each day to help you to focus and work on mindfulness.
  • Breathing is a huge aspect of yoga and helps your body through more challenging poses. If you’d like to work on your breathing throughout the day, there is an app called Universal Breathing – Pranayama. It is available on both iPhone and Android and has four or more stars on each. Working on your breath will help you alleviate stress, headaches, and possibly boost your energy.
  • If you’re a beginner and own an iPhone, the 5 Minute Yoga app is free and is an excellent introduction to yoga. The workouts are fast, and there is a timer to keep you on track. It will start you on a path to developing more flexibility and strength in your body.
  • If you want some of your own music while doing yoga at home, or if you have trouble falling asleep, you can try the Relax Melodies app. It has 50 different sounds and 4 brainwave sounds. You can also mix and match sounds to create your own. The relaxing sounds may help your mind to relax. The best news about this app is that it’s free and available on all mobile platforms.

While it is essential to disconnect from technology, we can also try and use it to our advantage sometimes. We live in a plugged-in society, so it’s important to try and use those resources positively rather than negatively. All of these apps will help with your yoga practice, which can, in turn, help you remain positive and upbeat throughout the day, allowing you to influence someone else positively! Apps can be like another accessory like your high-waisted leggings or yoga blocks. I hope you give these a try and can get something positive out of them. What apps do you use for yoga and other exercises?

What Is Kundalini Yoga?

Kundalini Yoga is a spiritual school of yoga. It is ideal for those who are inclined to meditation and seek a higher state of consciousness. Kundalini is the name given to the energy that lies dormant at the base of the spine. Kundalini Yoga seeks to awaken this energy to release the latent power each of us encloses. Through Kundalini Yoga, we come in contact with our true self.

Origin Of Kundalini Yoga

Yogi Bhajan, the Kundalini Yoga guru, is a Sikh from India who lives and teaches in New Mexico. His goal in moving to the West was not to gain more disciples, but simply to spread the teachings of yoga. He succeeded. The number of centers that teach this special and deep type of yoga increases every day. You will see in the Sikh tradition, teachers often wear a turban. It is not necessary to follow this tradition to practice or teach Kundalini.

The Kriyas

Kundalini Yoga collects several series of specific practices. Although sequences in sessions may vary, if you have a particular goal in mind, the teacher can recommend a sequence that should be followed at home for a determined duration.

These series are called, and each kriya has different goals and benefits. For example, a kriya can aim to stimulate the immune system, while another can be used to awaken the heart chakra (Anahata). 

It is advisable to practice the exercises of each kriya in a certain order, during a certain period and over a number of days. Postures should be held for three minutes and with Bandhas (body locks) and a series of Pranayama (breathing techniques) exercises.

The Breath In Kundalini

These are the most common breathing techniques used in Kundalini:

  • Deep 

It is performed by first filling the abdomen, pushing the diaphragm out and down. Then, we fill the middle section of the diaphragm by opening the floating ribs. Finally, we fill the chest and clavicular section. 

Exhalation is performed starting from the chest, then the diaphragm and finally the abdomen. With practice, we realize the considerable improvement this breathing causes in our organism. It brings oxygen to all cells, helping us feel more energized and rejuvenated.

  • Fire Breathing

Called Agni-Prasanna in Sanskrit. It is continuous breathing. It is powerful and fast. Fire Breathing is about energetically pumping air through the nose. Breathing is fast approximately twice per second. Exhalation happens thanks to a strong contraction of the abdomen towards the spine. Inhalation also happens fast by expanding the abdomen. It is a very sophisticated pranayama technique, which can cause hyperventilation the first time you try it. If you feel dizzy, perform Deep Breathing to soothe your body.

Fire Breathing is not recommended for women during menstruation.

  • Alternative 

It is done by first covering a nasal orifice and inhaling through the opposite nostril, and vice versa. It is a breath that regulates mental states. Breathing through the left hole brings calm, and doing it through the right nostril gives you energy. 

  • Interrupted 

This breathing technique is about breathing in intervals, filling your lungs, and holding the breath. Then, exhaling all the air in intervals.

  • Sitali (Cooling Breath)

To perform the Sitali breath, we need to roll the tongue. Note that not everyone can roll the tongue, so if genetics does not allow to create a “tunnel” with the tongue, you can use the lips to create the same shape. Inhale by passing the air through this channel and exhale through the nose. 

This technique is usually used to regulate blood pressure and lower the fever.

  • Whistle Breathing

This breath is done by forming a U-shape with the lips, so when exhaling through the mouth, a whistling occurs. We inhale through the nose.

  • Meditation And The Chakras

Meditation is one of the most important goals of Kundalini practice. It usually works with mudras (postures with hands) and mantras (chants). 

Mantras can be short root sounds, also known as Bija-mantras. Each Bija-mantra is related to a chakra. Mantras can also be lengthy chants with devotional melodies.

Choosing a Graphic Tee that Suits Your Yoga Practice

Finding a great graphic tee isn’t difficult, but do the shirts that you find on the end caps really match your yoga practice? Yogis could hunt forever to find the perfect graphic tees that are going to bring the right influence into their yoga practice. However, you don’t have to make this shopping process more difficult than necessary. You can purchase a great graphic tee that will perfectly complement your practice with just a few of these top tips.

Look for colors first.

The color of a shirt has the power to completely overwhelm your mind. It can heavily influence your prana energy and leave you with a more energized or grounded spirit if you choose wisely. Look for colors that give you the perfect embodiment of what you want from your yoga practice. Think about what your intention is for the practice before deciding on which colors might be the right fit for you.

For example, you might choose yellow if you’re working on cultivating joy. Red might be a great color if you need to harness more power or boldness in your daily life. Color has a major effect on your prana energy so be sure to take advantage of it by combining popular spring shades with your mantra.

Choose the right words.

You don’t want a yoga tee that says something that doesn’t feel very loving or in line with yogic philosophy. Make sure you take time to read the words that your shirt actually says instead of purchasing them just because you like the way they look. This can prevent you from having an outfit that doesn’t necessarily align with your principles or with your yoga practice. You might want a shirt that has just a single word on it that reminds you of your intention. Alternatively, it might be a phrase that you are coming to embody both on the mat and in your daily life.

Choose the words on your shirt very carefully. Apart from color, these can have the biggest impact on your outlook and how you view yourself during the yoga practice.

Purchase a shirt with the right cut.

Make sure that you can actually wear this graphic tee for your yoga practice. It might mean that you need looser fabric, a longer hemline, or a less revealing neckline. Don’t get so swept up in selecting the perfect pattern that you forget to choose a cut that you will actually be able to practice in. Look for graphic tees that come in a tunic length so they will be perfect for pairing with your favorite black yoga leggings.

Graphic tees have always been a trendy item to work into your wardrobe, but yogis have to be careful how these items can influence their overall yoga practice. Take these tips with you next time you go shopping to ensure that you purchase a yoga tee that will be ideal for any and all circumstances you might encounter.

Asanas for Kyphosis

“Hunchback”, also known as kyphosis, is a condition where the spine’s curvature within the lumbar and cervical regions are too round than usual. Commonly identified as a hump in the back, this condition can begin from the early stages of simple improper posture. It can also be caused by osteoporosis, fracture, improper spine development, arthritis and degeneration of the disc. Kyphosis and its advanced stage, hyperkyphosis, can dramatically affect overall mobility and one’s breathing comfort which can result in difficulty in living a normal life.


Yoga is popular for its effective and natural restorative benefits. Practicing it can help gently correct and regenerate the spine back to its normal curvature. The following yoga poses are focused on strengthening and lengthening the spine, as well as increasing its mobility. Try these postures to correct your spine’s exaggerated curvature and live life to the fullest.

Locust Pose (Salabhasana)

This pose improves the strength of the lower spine, calves, and leg muscles. It also opens the shoulders and chest region. Locust pose is very effective in preventing back pain and developing proper posture when practiced regularly.

To do the pose: Lie on your stomach and place your hands on your sides with your palms facing the floor. Extend your feet back together and point your toes. Upon inhalation, lift your chest and look forward. Engage your glutes and core by squeezing your thighs together and lower down as you exhale to release. Repeat this process for 3-5 sets.

Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

This is the easiest yet most effective yoga pose to help treat kyphosis. It decompresses the spine and opens the shoulders which aid in proper realignment of spine’s curvature. It also relaxes the back of legs and helps to improve the flexibility of the Achilles tendons.

To do the pose: Begin on a tabletop position, knees are placed hip-width apart and hands are shoulder-width apart on the ground. Make sure that your knees are directly parallel to the hips and hands are parallel to the shoulders. Curl your toes under and straighten your knees to create an inverted V position. After that, push away from the floor through the shoulders, sending them towards the hips. Keep your gaze at your navel and hold the pose for 3-5 breaths.

Corpse Pose (Shavasana)

It is a very relaxing way to pamper the muscles and allowing the spine to rest. It is often-times practiced at the end of every yoga session to give the body the time it needs to cool down. Resting in this pose also aids in countering hunchback by gently lengthening the spine and opening the chest and shoulder areas.

To do the pose: Lie on your back with your legs extended and the feet hip-width apart. Place your hands on your sides with your palms facing the sky. Allow your shoulders to drop back and stay in this pose as long as you desire.

Remember to consult your doctor before you start any physical practice. It is also highly recommended to do yoga under the guidance of a certified and experienced yoga teacher. Do not force your body into positions that feel painful and always have fun flowing.

Yoga for Depression

Most of us come to a point in our lives asking ourselves, “Why do I even exist?” or “What am I even doing with my life?” Moreover, we do not have any clue what the possible answers could be. We lose our way. We lose ourselves. We lose track of our purpose. This can be caused by certain factors that negatively affect our emotions in very significant ways such as the death of a loved one or rejection. Hormonal changes can also play a role especially to teenagers who often times suffer from an existential crisis. It could also be triggered by skyrocketing stress levels.

The brain is mainly affected when depression hits an individual. It is best to tackle heavy emotions before they manifest in a negative way and get out of hand. Opening up to a family, friends, or councilors can help release the heavyweight of negative emotions. Anti-depressants are given to patients to counter the condition. But once the effect has worn off, emotions go heavier than before. Another way to naturally and effectively fight depression is through Yoga.

Inhale Good Thoughts!
The brain can be stimulated with good thoughts and composure through awareness of breathing. Our mind and breathing are codependent. A change in one will directly affect the other. The mind is a complex paradox and intangible, but our breathing can be easily accessible.

Conscious breathing relaxes our fight or flight reflex. It allows the mind to ease out and the body will follow. Combining this with Yoga postures, which allows better blood circulation to the body and the brain, will surely kill those infesting thoughts and feelings. Here are some Yoga poses that can effectively boost your mood with positive energies!

Downward-Facing Dog/Adho Mukha Svanasana. This pose stretches the cervical spine and neck, releasing tensions both on your back and mind. It also stretches the back of the legs and develops core strength. Down-Dog is also very effective in boosting metabolism. This is the easiest form of inversion. Therefore, it sends freshly oxygenated blood to the brain.

How: Start with your hands and knees planted on the ground. Hands are shoulder-width apart, and knees are hip-width apart. Inhale as you lift your hips up by straightening your legs, forming an inverted V. Imagine that your hips are tied to a loop and being pulled up. Push through the shoulders while keeping your gaze at your toes or navel. Stay in this position for 3-5 breaths. Exhale as you bring your knees back to the ground to release.

Upward-Facing Dog/Urdhva Mukha Savansana. This pose is a very good chest opener. It stretches the whole front of the body, from head to toe. It decompresses tensed muscles and allows your back to relax.
How: Lie on your stomach and plant your hands beside your ribcage. Keep in mind that your toes should face against the floor. Slide your body forward and up by pushing against the floor and straightening your arms as you inhale. Remember to push your shoulders away from your ears and keep your gaze up or forward. Hold this position for 3-5 breaths and lay down on your stomach as you exhale to release.

Child Pose/ Balasana. This is the most calming and comforting pose in Yoga. It stretches the lower back, arms and quads.
How: Start by sitting on your heels and spreading your knees hip-width apart. Place your hands on the ground and inhale as you reach forward, allowing your torso to rest between your thighs. Rest your forehead on the ground and stay in this position as much as you desire.

Allow this simple practice to aid you in your healing process. There is no harm in trying these poses along with conscious and deep breathing. Yoga’s magnificent benefits are given to those who practice with good intentions and an open heart. Let composure wash your worries away. Create your own sacred space of healing and growth!

The General Do’s and Don’ts to Consider When Attending a Yoga Class

There are numerous benefits that all those who practice yoga stand to gain whenever they attend a class. Getting the most out of a yoga class should be the goal of every yogi. To achieve this, there are general regulations that one should consider. These are some general rules that one should learn along the way as you become a yogi. Everyone in the yoga class is expected to abide by them to ensure harmony in class.

The Do’s

Time Management – It is true that yoga can be done anywhere and at any time. However, there is an old adage that all yoga students are encouraged to follow. This is ‘early to bed, early to rise makes a man wealthy and wise’. The goal of this adage is to help in time management for yoga within your busy schedule.

One of the best times to practice yoga is in the morning after waking up and getting refreshed. However, it is preferable to do yoga before taking a bath, 1 hour after consuming a drink, 3 hours after taking refreshments, and 5 hours after meals.

Taking Breaks – While the goal of being in a class is to follow the teacher’s instructions and keep up with others, take a break whenever you feel it’s necessary. It is not a crime to rest when the practice becomes strenuous. It is important to listen to your body and move at your own pace.

Aeration – If you are practicing yoga in a room alone or with friends, make sure the room is properly aerated. Keep the doors and windows open to allow fresh air to flow in.

Dressing – There are numerous guidelines out there about what is the proper way to dress to a yoga class. That notwithstanding, people are not there to judge you. If you feel like you need to have a few more layers of clothing due to the weather conditions, you should feel free to do so. You can also shed these layers whenever you feel the need to. As long as common rules of decency are observed, feel free to be yourself.

Location – Whether you hold your yoga practice indoors or outdoors, ensure that you use a flat surface; on cement, flat ground, or a mortar floor. Then spread your yoga mat, a carpet, blanket, or cloth on the floor and start your practice.

The Don’ts

Health Precautions for Women – It is advisable that women avoid doing yoga while menstruating or during pregnancy. There are however, specific poses that can help them feel relaxed without straining their bodies.

Avoid Interference – In the modern smart phone and electronic age that we live in, the temptation to wear earphones, headphones, or to take photos during yoga practice is high. However, doing so will cause distractions to others and keep you from concentrating. Avoid texting, answering calls, or doing anything with your electronic gadget that may distract others.

Talking in Class – There are no strict rules that no one should talk to one another in class. However, regular chatting during a class is disrespectful. Do it before the class begins or wait until the class is over.

General Hygiene – If you borrow or use any material from the studio, it would be wrong to leave them unkempt or disorganized after class. If you use a mat, towel, straps, or blocks, leave them in their proper storage places for the sake of those who will use them later.

These are simple regulations that help yogis run their practice properly and accommodate everyone.

Yoga to Elevate Your Mood

Everybody has some days that they just aren’t feeling their best. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming when you don’t know what to do to get yourself feeling normal and happy again. One of the best things you can do is create a sort of defense system for yourself against prolonged negative and disheartening feelings. Some people like to meditate, some like to hit the gym, but today we’re talking about how you can use yoga to elevate your mood.

Yoga is an incredible mood booster for multiple reasons and some of them may surprise you. It is a mixture of both meditation/mindfulness and exercise which are two of the most common methods of emotional and mental control. Mixing the two methods together can have an incredible affect and sometimes even an instant affect. So, let’s get started.

As you probably already know exercise makes you feel good. It makes you feel good for a few reasons but the main one is because it makes your brain release feel good chemicals such as endorphins. Yoga does this as well. If you partake in more rigorous styles such as a flow or ashtanga vinyasa or even a hot yoga class, you can easily get the benefits of exercise.

In addition to the exercise related benefits of yoga on your mood, there is also the benefits of meditation as well. There really is something incredible about letting go of your worries and repetitive thinking that will soothe your soul on a dramatic level. If you’re stuck in a low mood you really should try using yoga as a way of focusing on the present moment and just your breathing. Next time you are feeling low, try doing a sun salutation and listening carefully to your breath. It will slow down your rapid thinking and help you break out of your repetitive though processes. It’s so easy to get caught up with over thinking and negative thinking; focusing on just one thing really can solve that issue.

There are also specific poses that are great for lifting your mood. Generally speaking, most “heart openers” are a great option for elevating your emotions. It’s a simple and easy way to hack your brain into thinking you feel the way that your body is positioned. Body language is so important for that reason. Testosterone levels even lift when you stand confidently with your arms/legs up or open. Heart openers are considered any pose that creates an opening in your chest. Backbends of any kind are great but even laying in savasana (corpse pose) is incredible. Avoid poses that are closed such as child’s pose or forward fold.

If those reasons aren’t enough for you, there is always the benefit of just doing something that you love. Like shopping for for a pair of athletic leggings… if you need to. There are already so many things in life that are draining and are taking up your valuable time but don’t make you happy. Taking a break in your day to do something that you love really can be just what you need.