You’re feeling stressed, you’re likely cooped up (and claustrophobic, if you’re like me), and you’re more than a bit worried. This is a great time to start a yoga practice! Head to the best yoga channels on YouTube, and let the sessions calm you down and stretch those tense muscles out.
As many of us are cooped up at home right now, dreading the virus and lamenting the derailment of our usual plans, it’s a good time to get grounded and focus on what can work in this situation. This is a pandemic and here to stay for a while – we might as well treat this more like a marathon than a sprint, take to slow, and channel our energies towards productive endeavors. The coronavirus pandemic is testing everyone’s patience, mood and bank balance. I’ve had family and friends who’ve experienced a couple of close encounters, so I’m more than a bit worried about how this whole thing will turn out.
But you know what? Worrying never solved any problems. I mean, sure, it’s a natural human response to uncertain times. But it shouldn’t overwhelm you to the point of helplessness. It was only after I emerged from an hours-long COVID-19 news binge on Reddit and local stations that I realized how much it has taken over my life.
Again, this is normal. Wanting to know details is normal. Panicking is also normal. But you know what’s important, as well? Taking action to mitigate the bad situation.
So, in addition to following the correct hygiene practices and social distancing, do take care of your health. This means eating nutritious meals, sleeping adequately, minimizing stress (sigh!), and getting enough exercise. It’s the last two points that this post will help you with: thanks to YouTube, you can do yoga at home, for free, and get the daily dose of stretches and meditation in.
Why yoga? Well, a regular yoga practice leads to less stress, anxiety relief, less chronic pain, better sleep, improved flexibility and increased strength, among many other benefits. It also can be done in your living room, on the floor, by following yoga YouTubers online. And it doesn’t matter whether you’re a beginner or an expert, there is something on this list below for everyone!
So, without further ado, here are the best yoga channels on YouTube for your beginner yoga sequence. Let’s get through these tough times with greater health, wellness and strength!
I’m starting with my personal favorite. When I has put on a lot of weight over a short period of time four years ago (due to a medical condition), and was feeling hopeless and completely defeated, it was Adriene Mishler I discovered. Boy was I lucky.
Her gentle personality and her practices for different levels as well as conditions really helped me crawl back into being a more “normal” version of me. Her sessions on yoga helping with anxiety, depression, and migraines were very useful to me as well. She also has specific practices for various professions: dancers, athletes, teachers. Give her a try – she’s built up a massive following on YouTube for being one of the best yoga YouTube channels for beginners. And you’ll love Benji!
The Bad Yogi is looking to “redefine yoga culture.” This is no-pressure yoga by yogi Erin Motz that brings together all the tranquility into our body. Her quirky yoga videos have a fun element, too!
She isn’t the free-loving hippy – and states she loves French wine (so do I) and is carnivorous. Together with her vlogs and Q&As, Erin is working to remove the stuffy terminology and scary unapproachable vibe that yoga sometimes gives off – which pushes away many curious people from trying it out. If that sounds like you, give Erin a try!
The Body Positive Yoga channel offers judgment-free yoga that is all about self-love, feminism and being who you are. Amber Karnes’ yoga channel is targeted at bigger bodies and beginners. Again, she does a lot in removing pre-conceived notions about both yoga and body shapes.
She dislikes having to “squish yourself into a pose” and is wonderful at coming up with alternative moves that will get you doing yoga!
They have hundreds of online video classes and programs on very specific requirements – from hamstring sequences to backbend flows and inversions. They have loads of literature on associated issues, such as improving your immunity (very relevant in these times) and ways to get a better night’s sleep.
Hundreds of thousands of students learn from them, and at their own pace. Check out their free online yoga challenge as well.
Esther Ekhart and her team are experts at the various technical styles of yoga: Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Restorative and Yin Yoga. They also have tons of meditation and reflection videos, all very soothing and calming for the monkey minds out there.
Ekhart Yoga is where you can learn some of the original styles of yoga, but obviously at your own home – and for free. Ekhart Yoga is Europe’s biggest online studio for yoga and has over 3,500 classes in different styles!
Looking for kickass guided yoga sessions? Kino MacGregor is your go-to coach! And she is not just great for beginners – yogis at any level can find something valuable in the sessions with this very experienced yogi. She’s an expert in Ashtanga Yoga and really knows her stuff.
I’ve always wanted to learn to do the handstand, and Kino’s video makes it seem so simple! Spoiler alert: It isn’t! But she holds your hand along the way and makes it a lot of fun!
Lesley Fightmaster is a great guide for yogis and wannabe yogis and emphasizes health and happiness above all. The motto of Fightmaster Yoga is “It’s not about the pose”.
Start with her yoga for beginners video, and work your way to whatever else catches your specific need: energy, weight loss, and more. Lesley has short 15-20 minute sessions for busy yogis and hour-long sessions for those who want to take their time with the practice. These options that can kill any excuse you make for not unrolling your mat!
Sarah Beth offers free 5-30 minute yoga videos for all sorts of conditions, to stretch, strengthen, tone and de-stress your body. She has beginner yoga, yoga for athletes, prenatal yoga, and more.
Sarah Beth also has an app for her yoga practice, with 45-90 minute yoga classes, daily yoga calendars and video downloads. No excuse to miss your daily practice!
Tara Stiles is the creator of Strala Yoga, a revolutionary new yoga style. What is Strala Yoga? It “combines the movement and healing wisdom of tai chi with the form vocabularies of yoga, tai chi, qigong, and Traditional Chinese and Japanese Medicine, to help people release stress, move easily through challenge, and live radiantly inspiring lives.” Whoa! Queue up for some lessons!
Tara is seen as a bit controversial, because she appears to ignore the spiritual and philosophical aspects of yoga. But that’s what I like best about her – and I suspect what many yogis like about her. Doing yoga purely as physical movement, without any higher motive. That’s also needed once in a while! An added bonus is her dance background that makes every movement seem so graceful.
Yoga Journal is a 35-year-old website and magazine that wants to be “your number one resource for yoga poses, sequences, meditation, and the lifestyle that surrounds it.” And they deliver.
Their videos are a bit of a mixed bag, though – and you have to wade through some randomness before hitting on a gem yoga practice. But that’s cool – you may actually find something interesting along the way.
Some More Free Yoga Channels on YouTube
Whether you’re looking for morning yoga for beginners or weight loss yoga – or something else entirely, I hope you found this list useful, and I hope one (or more) of these yoga channels will tickle your fancy and you commit to a daily yoga practice. If you’ve already tried them, let me know how it went! If you’re an experienced yogi, do you have any other suggestions for a free video practice at home?
Please take care of yourself and others, especially those who are vulnerable around you. The best way to equip yourself is to get stronger, both physically and mentally. We’re in this for the long haul, so let’s maintain a steady pace and not use up all our gas immediately.
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