One of my goals this year was to commit to a regular yoga and meditation practice. Actually this is my goal every year, and while I might do yoga a few times a month, I’m never consistent enough to really feel like I have an actual practice. I hoped signing up an online subscription service could change that. Following is my honest, uncompensated (sigh) review of YogaGlo.
Before first, here are some things I’m already loving and learning about yoga:
- Flexibility is the result, not the requirement:
Duh, right? But I hear people say all the time, “I’m not flexible enough to do yoga.” Correction: Yoga is a great way to improve. It’s not the price of admission. And it builds in increments so as your hands get closer to the floor, your toes slowly come within reach, you’ll know you’re making progress. The kind you want to keep building on.
- You’ll respect it as a workout.
Usually my requirements for a good workout are pretty primal. Loud music, pools of sweat, short time commitment. Challenging, but doable. I’m learning yoga isn’t just for stretching between “real workouts.” (Though it’s good for that, too.) It can also be as tough a workout as you make it. And sweat? No problem there. I’m not even talking about hot yoga either, where temps are cranked up to 105. I sweat buckets during a power yoga class and get a good glisten on in a Vinyasa or flow class. Those long, slow holds where you can’t rely on momentum to help you out? Killer. Chaturanga pushups are no joke. Holding a low lunge in Warrior 1 – torture, even for a lunge queen like me. And the way your shoulders ache in downward dog? Addictive after a while. No matter what your go-to workout is (mine is still spinning), yoga is the perfect complement.
- You’ll stress less.
The sooner you find a go-to way to deal with stress, the better. Yoga is a well-known stress reliever. What surprised me, though, was how I could practice yoga breathing even off the mat to calm down instantly. By focusing on your breath – not the riot of emotions surging though your brain, you’ll find yourself able to think more clearly and react less impulsively. It even helps me sleep better than Datelines.
So now that I’ve been doing YogaGlo for two months, here are the pros and cons of the service:
Pro: Lots of options
You know I love options when it comes to working out and YogaGlo offers plenty. There are more than 4,000 classes in their library and you can browse classes by skill level, style, class length, teacher, focus or body part. Styles offered include Vinyasa Flow, Meditation, Ashtanga, Kundalini, Iyengar, Hatha, Pre/Post Natal and partner. You can also save your favorite classes to build your own practice library. I can’t imagine ever getting bored with all the varieties offered and I’ve enjoyed experimenting with different styles or finding new teachers.
Pro: The price is right.
You can try out YogaGlo free for two weeks, then it’s $18 a month after that. If you take classes at a studio, you know that’s a very reasonable price. I also subscribe to streaming spin and TRX classes for $19 a month, so for less than the cost of most gyms, I get access to tons of at-home workouts. For those of us who like solo sweat sessions, price is a big advantage.
Pro: Awesome teachers
There are almost 40 YogaGlo teachers, many of whom even a yoga newbie like me has heard of, including Kathryn Budig, Elena Brower, Tiffany Cruikshank (my girl crush) and Jo Tastula. I’ve read that some styles don’t have a wide variety of teachers (like maybe only a few teachers teach Ashtanga), but I haven’t had a problem with that yet. I would happily just work out with Tiffany Cruikshank all year. Can someone arrange that?
I haven’t tried any of the programs, which are designed to help you set and meet wellness goals, like improving your flexibility, achieving calmness or building strength and stamina. I like the idea of these curated classes and the feeling of achievement you’ll get from completing a program. Maybe that’ll be my next challenge.
Big pro. Huge! The guided meditations were what really convinced me to sign up for YogaGlo because I felt like I was getting two things for the price of one. Honestly they’re worth it on their own. Again you can browse by length, teacher, focus and skill level, so it’s a great tool for beginners like me. I’ve been a consistent meditator for the first time ever!
Pro: Anytime, Anywhere
I love being able to workout when and where I want, including when I travel. You can bet I’ll be practicing in my hotel room during an upcoming work trip. There’s also a YogaGlo app, which I haven’t tried yet and you can download classes to be viewed offline with no Internet connection.
Pro: Music or no music
Another big pro in my opinion. You can choose whether you want music for your practice or add your own playlist. So it day spa jams aren’t your thing, add your own tunes.
Con: No personal attention
With no teacher in the room to correct your alignment or coax you out of your comfort zone, you do assume more risk for injury. You could also get a bit lazy. That’s probably not the right word, but I tend to err on the side of extreme caution with some poses. I’m certainly not trying headstands anytime soon.
Con: You miss the energy and community of a class
If you’ve taken studio classes, you know that the teacher sets a tone for the practice and it seems to vibrate through all the students, encouraging you to work harder or breathe deeper or feel calmer. You don’t get that with your solo practice. But then again, the only feet you smell are your own. I’m ok with that.
As you can see the cons aren’t inherent to YogaGlo, but to practicing yoga at home in general. I plan to roundup my practice by going to some studio sessions and by getting some private sessions with Melissa Scott of Melissa Scott Yoga to make sure I’m not ingraining any bad habits. Also I want to master crow pose this year, so I want some extra guidance.
Meanwhile though I love being able to Om alone and having a legit reason to wear yoga pant. (Or as I call them, pants) Like I need an excuse.
How about you? Yoga newbie or do you already go with the flow? What’s your favorite style? Tempted to try YogaGlo? Tell me what you think.