Smart phones and tablets get a bad rap for keeping our minds (and fingers) busy when we could be connecting with the present moment. But they can also make it more convenient to live a mindful life, and, in some cases, make yoga and meditation practices more accessible to the masses. We love anything that makes it easier to practice, reminds us to and reconnect with our breath, and puts the support of the yoga community at our fingertips.
Here are a few of our favorite recently released mobile apps that help us come back to center—even when we're on the go.
Yoga Poses Around the World
This new iPad app by YogaTrail asks the yoga community around the world to upload pictures of themselves practicing a wide variety of poses. The app is also available through Facebook. It’s fun to scroll through and see the the diversity of people represented in the yoga community. It lets you search by pose or by part of the country. It’s a fun way to connect, be inspired, and inspire, too (if you decided to add your own photo to the mix). Check it out here.
There are tons of mobile apps that offer guided yoga videos, but a new app from EA Sports, best known for sports video games such as Madden Football, called Yogify, is the first mobile app from a major video game developer. Yogify features sequences led and demonstrated by Alex Mazerolle, a Vancouver yoga teacher. It also allows users to choose difficulty level, see one pose at a time, choose music, and share their progress via Facebook and Pinterest. Read more here.
Clothing company Lululemon recently released a free mobile app, Om Finder, which lets users find yoga classes close to them, invite friends, and share their class schedule via social media. It lets you narrow down classes by area, teacher, or style, and the sharing capabilities could be a fun way to coordinate with your yoga buddies. We'd love to see a bigger variety of class venues represented here--such as gyms and smaller independent studios that aren't using the MindBodyOnline software (who partnered with Lululemon to create the app). But it's still a handy tool especially if you're looking for a yoga class while you're traveling. Read more here.
GPS For the Soul
You probably don’t need your phone to tell you when you’re stressed out, but that’s exactly what this new app by Huffington Post claims to do. It reminds you to check in several times during the day. Here's how it works: When you put your index finger over your phone’s camera, the app will “gauge your emotional state” (by measuring your heart rate and heart rate variability) and tell you whether you’re stressed or calm. Then it suggests you make a guide to help bring you back to center--things like music, poetry, breathing exercises, and, yes, yoga. It also connects you with friends through social media and allows you to share your guide to take a look at what helps your friends relieve stress. Read more here.
Do you use any yoga applications?