This is the first of a series of blog posts in which I write about apps and websites I use that (have) help(ed) me to lose weight.
The first one I wanted to write about is Daily Yoga, because I have been using it for half a year by now and am still incredibly happy with it. Please note that this post is not sponsored in any way, and really just my opinion about the app.
I have cut this review up in three parts, as I want to give you guys a general introduction on how the app works and give a bit more information about the free and premium version of the app.
How does it work?
Once you have downloaded the app you can either do separate sessions or enroll into a program.The sessions have approximately three difficulty levels: beginner, advanced and pro. Each section is subdivided into classes and you are free to take whichever of the classes you wish to take. So you don’t have to do the entire session and can just pick a class that you think will be fun. The app will show you how to do the poses through a video, whilst a voice will explain the pose to you. What I particularly like about the app is that it also tells you what your breathing pace should be and what speed you should do a particular exercise at.
Just like the sessions, the programs have different difficulty levels. The app offers a “10-day beginner tour” and a “12 day yoga foundations program”, which are fantastic if you are new to Yoga. Once you have completed these you can enroll into whichever program that appeals to you. There is, for example, a “super weight loss plan” and a “slim chance with Hatha” program, but there are also programs which triggers specific parts of your body such as the “5×5 abs toning plan”, or ones designed to make it easier for you to fall asleep such as “A week’s good night sleep”. Now some of the poses in these programs can be quite hard. With poses that are especially hard, the app will give you a suggestion on how to modify the pose if you are a beginner. If you are not so much looking for exercise, but for inner peace, there is also a program just for meditation.
After each session the app will show how many minutes of Yoga you did, how many energies you have earned (unfortunately what those stand for is still quite enigmatic) and the number of calories you have supposedly burned. You can actually keep track of this through statistics, which are accessible to both free and premium members.
Please note though, that the number of calories which the app says you burn with sessions and programs is highly inaccurate. As I have a fitness tracker with a heart beat monitor I can confidently say that you will burn far less calories than the app says you burn. The app often tells me I have burned 50 or 100 calories, whereas my fitbit informs me that I have burned no more than 25 to 50. The inaccuracy is probably caused by the fact that the app never asks you for your weight or height. As such, it is impossible to give even a remotely accurate estimate of how many calories you will burn. So my advise: do the exercises, but do not rely on the calorie counter in the app.
The only part of this app that slightly annoys me is the pop-up that you get when you start the app which asks you if you would like to go pro (i.e. upgrade to premium) at a discounted rate. You even get this when you are already a pro member. On the other hand, I am incredibly grateful that they do not spam you about the membership on your e-mail address like some other apps/companies tend to do.
Using the app for free
The app offers quite a few sessions and programs for free. The 10-day beginner tour, for example, is completely free. So you can really get a good feel whether or not Yoga is something for you and if you should invest into the premium program. If you are not a beginner, you will have to go premium, as all the advanced yoga sessions and programs are only available for pro (i.e. premium) members. If you are just starting out though, you can spend quite a few months doing Yoga with just the free sessions and programs.
Even if you are not a pro member you still have full access to the Daily Yoga community. Here fellow yoga lovers will post pictures and posts, ask and answer questions or just give each other support to stick with doing yoga. In the community section Daily Yoga often holds themed competitions which will give you the chance to win a month of pro access or Yoga related accessories.
Going premium (a.k.a. pro)
If you decide to go pro, or premium, you will have access to all sessions and programs. Moreover, you will also get access to a selection of music. All the sessions and programs are accompanied by relaxing music. If you go pro, you get a wider selection of music to chose from. I have not yet used this option, as I really like the default music which accompanies the sessions.
Currently these are the only advantages which premium offers, but they were tempting enough for me to get a subscription when they offered them with a heavy discount. BI eventually got one year of pro access for only 13 euro’s, because they were offering a discount of 80%.
My advise therefore is to wait to go pro until there is a sale. Right now, they actually have a sale going on on their website, where they give an 80% discount http://www.dailyyoga.com/#/premium. They have upped the price a little since last year, so a premium membership with the discount would now cost 26,99 dollars, which would be 25,50 euro’s or 22,11 pounds.
I really would highly recommend this app for people who are just starting out with Yoga and do not feel comfortable going to a class, do not have time to do so or simply cannot afford this. The best part is that you can actually try it out first, before committing to anything.
I cannot judge how well this app caters to more advanced yogis as I am still a beginner myself. Nevertheless, if you are a more advanced yogi, you can always just give the free version of the app a try and see if they like the flow of the app. If you don’t you can always just delete it (which takes less than 5 seconds).