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The Lazy Way To Do YOGA

Updated: Oct 13, 2023

The best way to do yoga without even leaving your home.

I’m not getting any younger. Fact.

From my aching back when I wake up in the morning to the creaking of my knees every time I bend down to pick up some Lego I’ve trodden on! And lets not forget the constant yawning throughout the day, every day. It’s nothing a big old stretch and a coffee can’t sort out but I’m conscious it will only get worse. And these signs just remind me how important it is to get myself moving! And I don’t just mean the walk to the school gates in the morning, or to the tube and up the escalator (although of course that all helps), I mean properly get fit!

Pre kids, the younger me, was very fit… I ran outdoor fitness sessions for women on one of the hilliest parks in London, come rain, shine and even snow we were out training every week. £5k race? I’m in. Cycling holiday? Yep. Run to work? Sure. Even when I travelled for work I used to pack my skipping rope and trainers and find somewhere to do a quick workout.

Now? I wish I could dedicate more time to being fit but I’ve had to adapt to my new life with kids in tow. I can’t just get up at 7am and run to work and I can’t get to the gym most evenings when the boys are in bed. It’s taken me a while to find a new normal but luckily nowadays we have amazing technology we can use at the click of our fingers to motivate us and keep us active.

Image by Sylvain Dumond

In my post kids keeping fit regime I’ve found online/app based fitness to work really well for me. I can put the boys to bed, get a 30 minute workout in without leaving the house and then carry on with my evening as normal. Something I can Fit In, to Get Fit! I spend a lot of these 30 minute sessions upstairs on a mat in my bedroom doing yoga as there’s evidence that regular yoga practice is beneficial for people with high blood pressure, heart disease, aches and pains, depression and stress. Since having kids I think I’d qualify for the high blood pressure, aches and pains and stress part and I really do feel much more positive and energetic after a quick yoga session.

As a personal trainer, however, I’m quite picky about the apps I use. Are they tailored to the right level, are they as engaging as going to a class, will I stay motivated to use the app after an initial two week period, is it safe and am I guided through exercises correctly so I don’t injure myself?

50% of people who begin an exercise program will drop out within six months the majority of which in the first 2 weeks of a new exercise program - Dishman, 1991

So, as I’ve scoured the app store and web to find yoga workouts I will enjoy doing regularly and for a long time (that’s lots of free trials used up) and I wanted to share the apps I’ve enjoyed the most. There really are so many out there so I’m sure I’ve missed some, or I’ve checked them out and just felt they weren’t right for me, but here are my recommended apps. I hope it inspires you to try them out and get fit too!

Best for Pregnancy (and post natal)

Lets start at the beginning, my fitness regime changed soon after I got pregnant with my first son. I just didn’t feel comfortable doing my high intensity gym training sessions so I had to start doing more low impact exercise like walking and that’s when I properly started to practise yoga.

Briohny Smyth was seriously my exercise companion throughout my 3 trimesters – I think I had a girl crush on her and I felt like we were on the journey together :) I would recommend Beautiful Belly to everyone. It’s for all levels, keeps you flexible and is very calming, although I’m not sure I was ever quite as zen throughout my pregnancy as Briohny was! You have to download the Daily Burn app or subscribe through Amazon Prime and you get a free 30 day trial – you have no excuse.

I’m so inspired by these cool independent gyms popping up everywhere but I just haven't got the money for a membership and I definitely don't have the time to make the membership value for money anymore.

Frame is one of these gyms - London based, they are all about making fitness fun, and in addition to their 6 London gyms did you know they also have an online portal called Mumhood.

They have 4 programmes you can follow which include pregnancy and 3 post natal phases – perfect for those crazy post natal months when going to the gym with other people just isn’t going to happen. It’s not just yoga but it’s all about building strength and maintaining the right level of fitness. With Mumhood you can feel part of a community, guided through getting back into fitness in the comfort of your own home. And when you’re ready there are events and classes you can attend too – they’ve really nailed it! There are no free trials but you can sign up to one phase at a time and see how it goes.

Best for Instructor Led Yoga

I’m not going to pretend to be a Yogi – I’m not. But I really do enjoy the physical and mental benefits that yoga can bring and I want something really easy to use, affordable and gets me the results I’m looking for quickly. I tried many yoga apps but here are my preferred ones for guaranteed results and ease of use.

Briohny Smyth is back with Alomoves. This is by no means the cheapest app on the market but it is great - Real instructors doing real instructing. If you’re looking for a more personable approach and the feeling of being in a personal yoga session then this app is for you. And you can try it out for free for 14 days.

Glo is another instructor led app which makes you feel like you are taking a yoga class (as the videos are literally of classes being conducted in a studio). Again, it’s not the cheapest on the market but there is a lot of variety and the quality of teaching is high. I found that I preferred some instructors to others (I enjoy classes by Jo Tastula) so this may need a bit of time to explore but once you’ve found what you like there’s plenty on here to keep you going for months.

Recent research suggests that it might take 66 or more regular repetitions for habitual exercise to develop - Lally et al. - 2010

Best Value Yoga

There are a bunch of slightly cheaper more tech led yoga apps which I’ve found to be great. Here are the two I found to be the best for ease of use and results.

The Asana Rebel app focuses on using yoga moves to build strength so you’re unlikely to find a wide variety of different styles of yoga here but it was exactly what I was looking for. It’s low impact, very easy to follow and strength building and you WILL get results if that is what you’re looking for. There is no free trial but at £4.91 a month you will really get your moneys worth.

Daily yoga provides a lot of variety and is very easy to navigate and follow. You can do individual sessions or follow a programme of sessions with clear objectives which are great to keep you motivated. I also liked that it gives you alternative props you can use from objects around the house… a nice touch!

Both of these apps have “rewards” which I’m kind of sceptical of but if obtaining badges and the gamification side of staying fit motivates you then these apps are good for that too.

Best for All Round Fitness

I’ve gone slightly off piste here as these two are not technically yoga but I just couldn’t publish this article without mentioning these two online offerings.

Now who doesn’t know Sweaty Betty – high end athleisure brand. Well they have free, yes FREE, online fitness workouts where they’ve collaborated with various fitness experts to bring you high quality fun content. It’s not extensive but you get free access to workouts you would otherwise have to pay for and they’re so engaging. The one I loved was the Ballet Bootcamp X Sleek Technique Ballet, my legs were aching for a while afterwards!

Barrecore combines the fat burning format of interval training with static stretches derived from ballet. They currently have 13 studios across the UK but now you can access their workouts online with a free 2 week trial too. Believe me when I say your muscles will burn! If strengthening, toning, lengthening and general fitness is what you’re looking for then you will thrive doing Barrecore.

If you’re just getting back into fitness after having kids then I would definitely start with yoga and build up a varied fitness regime from there as you build fitness back into your everyday again. I hope you find the right app for you. Enjoy!

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