Having taken several virtual yoga classes for the past 8 months, I’m recommending the best online yoga classes I’ve found while you are keeping yourself and everyone else safe by staying at home.
- Leigha Butler teaches some of the most interesting vinyasa flows and her videos date back several years. The audio and picture quality isn’t as high as that of some other creators, but I find myself going to her channel for more advanced flows that leave you feeling like you just went to a yoga studio. Her classes are similar to Nicole Wild’s in terms of flow thoughtfulness, but Leigha’s flows are more “flowy”. In addition, Leigha has uploaded more videos.
- Nicole Wild’s yoga flow sequences are some of the best full-length online yoga classes. They are good quality, free (she doesn’t put ads in the YouTube videos and if any show up, it’s because YouTube’s algorithms put them in,) and they are challenging for advanced yogis, interesting, and accessible for an at home practice (doesn’t require many props.) The people who leave YouTube video comments are constantly saying that this was the closest experience to an in studio practice. I have subscribed to her YouTube channel to get alerts of when she puts out new videos (which is a one to two times a month.) Her classes are less flowy but they have very interesting transitions.
- Boho Beautiful is a lifestyle and fitness channel that has 1.7M subscriptions. This channel is selling more of their lifestyle and isn’t purely yoga videos. The production quality is extremely good though (she dubs her voice over the videos after she makes them and weaves in yoga background music so you don’t even need to think about that, the setting is always in a beautiful location so you can virtually transport there yourself, and she has an extremely calming voice.) The channel does feature a super skinny and fit woman (which you may or may not like–some may say she is pushing an unattainably body image, some may find her body shape inspirational). While the yoga practice sequences she leads are strong, I don’t think the transitions are the most interesting and innovative, but I do still watch a lot of her free YouTube classes. Her classes are a good fit for you if you are looking for a 20-30 minute sequence.
- Breathe and Flow is an active YouTube channel maintained by a couple, Bre and Flo, who used to teach at YogaWorks in Palo Alto, CA. However, right now they have taken a break from teaching in Palo Alto and are traveling the world. They have started a paid platform on Patreon to support their work but they continue to regularly put out 30-60 minute yoga flows and tutorials on YouTube. One interesting thing about their channel is that they try to bust the stereotypes around yoga, and Flo actively tries to introduce yoga to more men, with “Yoga for Men” videos.
- If you want to work on your back bending or flexibility practice, Yograja tapes his classes and has a few flows where he is teaching directly to the camera audience. His studio is in Vietnam but he teaches in English (with some Vietnamese sprinkled into the classes.) The production quality of this channel is not as good but I have learned a lot of new stretching and back bending training exercises. His classes don’t have a feel of “relaxation”; they are more “training” classes. Also, his classes that are marked as “beginner/intermediate” would be considered “advanced” at many other Western studios and his “advanced” classes are actually very “advanced” and require many years (if not decades) of flexibility and strength training to follow along successfully.
- I got a free subscription to MyYogaWorks from my company so I tried it out. Although I tried practicing alongside ~10 instructors in various videos, I didn’t feel like any of them were that advanced in teaching and the flow felt choppy and disjointed. I wouldn’t pay for a MyYogaWorks subscription but if you get one for free, I would check out some of their level 3 classes (which are still quite introductory when compared to the free YouTube videos shown above.) As a separate subscription from MyYogaWorks, YogaWorks offers live classes via Zoom which cost the same as in-person classes. I believe the Zoom classes are the replacement for in person classes going forward since in October, YogaWorks filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in order to relieve the company of its studio and brick and mortar liabilities.