These days, it seems that the entire world can be controlled from our handheld devices. BlackBerry, iPod, iPhone, MP3 players, flat screen TVs, computers, laptops…the list is endless. We can do nearly anything with technology, so being able to get a yoga class from your device can’t be too far behind. Of course, by the time I’ve tapped into this technology, I’m already far behind. This new mobile yoga is taking the world by storm and the variety of video classes and audio podcasts out there are endless.
So, as I do for most of these posts, I began my research. I downloaded loads of videos and podcasts to my iPhone and iPod from various sources and set to evaluate if my mobile yoga experience would be anything close to my studio and DVD choices. I figured that since the podcasts and videos were all from online, and I had done plenty of online classes, the quality would be the same, right? Um, not so much.
Out of the five videos and the ten podcasts I downloaded, I would say that I would return one of the podcasts and most of the videos, which was a bit of a disappointment. One of the podcasts indicated that yoga was just a matter of stretching, kind of like touching your toes (um, that’s not what it’s really all about). Another was so complicated in the directed movements that the moves were impossible to complete and I ended up slumped in a pile on the living room carpet, feeling frustrated and as though I had just played an intense game of Twister with a team of gymnasts.
The videos fared slightly better, although it was tough to see on my tiny little screen, even though I have a dock to prop my device up for me. That led to me spending more time trying to crane my neck to see the screen than anything else. However, there were a lot of great videos to choose from, with many reputable yoga websites offering free downloads and videos, so I knew that there would be a higher standard of quality.
Through this venture, I learned that yoga is tricky to do by voice instruction alone, especially if the voice instruction isn’t detailed enough or if it is wildly over-articulated, so the podcasts might not be the best route. However, the podcasts can be excellent for meditation and relaxation, so in this way, they can be an excellent resource. The quality of the videos varies, as does anything downloaded from the Internet. My best advice is to do your research and download from reputable sites and sources in which you can ensure that there has been an element of quality control done on the product and that a qualified instructor is leading the class.
Like anything, at the end of the day, it all comes down to research. Make sure that you are getting the best possible product, whether you pay for your downloads or you find them for free. For me, I think that there are better options than downloads for my handheld device, but for those on the go or those who travel often, you can’t beat the portability of “yoga to go” on your own handheld.