From YouTube to Apps, Yoga Gets Online Education Boost

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Yoga apps and online services are becoming increasingly popular as users have increased the amount of yoga videos viewed on YouTube by 50% in 2014 compared to year before – and have watched 5,500 years of videos tagged “yoga.”

The ability to participate alongside these videos has further increased their popularity, partially due to technological advances that allows users to project or cast their mobile devices onto larger TVs where it is easier to follow along.

The Sports and Fitness Industry Association reports that around 24 million people tried yoga at least once in 2013, with participation increasing by 6.5% each year.  Over 44% of those who report they do not currently participate in yoga say they would like to try it according to a survey conducted by the Yoga Journal.

Digital yoga allows new students to try yoga in the privacy of their own homes or for longtime followers access to a quick workout when they do not have time to get into the studio.

“The rate of growth of our subscription and app content is phenomenal,” says Cyd Crouse, chief operating officer of yoga-gear giant Gaiam Inc.

Gaiam retained the Yoga Studio app last year.  The app, which ranks among the top 20 iOS and Google Play apps, offers 65 classes and is available for download at the cost of $3.99.

Gaiam TV offers users access to over 7,000 pieces of health and wellness digital content, as well as around 1,500 yoga videos.  The monthly fee of $9.95 covers hundreds of classes taught by world-famous instructors such as Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman Yee, reports Rachel Bachman for The Wall Street Journal.

Other apps, such as Yoga.com Studio, Yoga Studio and Daily Yoga feature videos, while apps like Pocket Yoga, Yogify and All-In Yoga HD rely on pictures to better explain how to perform the poses.  Salute the Desk is available for those who sit while at work or at home and have little time to stretch or exercise.

YouTube is another resource for users, allowing videos to be viewed onto a larger screen using Apple TV or Google Chromecast.  Roku also has its own dedicated YouTube channel.  Kayla Matthews of The Huffington Post collected9 of the top yoga channels on YouTube, including sample videos and a short explanation of what makes each channel stand out from the rest.

Rachael Jefferson-Buchanan, a lecturer in Human Movement Studies (Health and Physical Education) and Creative Arts at CSU’s School of Education, said she is working with schools in New South Wales in an effort to incorporate yoga into classrooms.  She said the practice could help students remain focused and motivated during the school day.

“Simple yoga techniques sprinkled throughout the school day help children to refocus, calm down, rebalance their vital energies and become more mindful,” Ms Jefferson-Buchanan said.  “Yoga techniques in the classroom help support children in their journey towards becoming better learners and having better concentration. I believe the benefits of yoga techniques in the classroom, in my experience, are essentially holistic.”