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Before trying FitStar Yoga, my only experiences with yoga was doing some stretches after football training to help with the usual aches and pains. When it was suggested by a team mate to give the app a try to aid with stretching and flexibility, I was sceptical to say the least. I had heard how yoga was good at increasing joint movement and flexibility but was unsure if an app would be able to help me achieve this.
Loading it up, it is designed incredibly well, with a strong focus on user experience. This doesn’t surprise me much as FitStar Yoga is made by the same team behind the popular FitStar personal training app. Tara Stiles of Strala Yoga is the instructional host and she leads you through the positions well. It was a bit tricky at first moving between stances while trying to keep an eye on the screen but as I moved through the routine, I started remembering what each position was called and noticed I didn’t have to refer back to my screen as much.
What I really like about FitStar Yoga is that the app learns what your level of flexibility and fitness is from your interactions. During each pose, you are able to tap the screen and tell the app if you are finding it too easy, too hard or just right. This is to ensure that as your progress with the different routines they become more personalised. As well as personalised sessions, FitStar Yoga also offers freestyle sessions. These are generic sessions that can be completed by anyone and tend to focus on specific themes such as core, balance, hips and before bed.
FitStar Yoga can initially be downloaded on the Apple App Store and on Google Play for free. What I found was that it becomes clear fairly quickly that you only truly get the benefit out of the app if you pay for the additional content. The premium version costs either £5.99 a month or £29.99 for a year. The free version affords you a 20 minute personalised session per week plus access to one freestyle session of your choice. Will I end up paying for the app? Unsure yet. I know my gym offers yoga classes as part of my membership so I think I will be more inclined to join a class to improve flexibility and to use the app on a weekly basis. But that is my point of view. The price tag seems perfectly fair and acceptable for what it offers you.
Here is how they describe themselves on the App Store:
Practice yoga anytime, anywhere with FitStar Yoga! We’ve teamed up with internationally recognized yoga expert Tara Stiles to provide the perfect experience made just for you. From beginners to expert yogis, you’re always just a tap away from a completely personalized yoga session. Whether you’re traveling, can’t make it to the studio or simply prefer the comfort of your own home, just grab a mat and begin.
For less than the cost of pair of yoga pants, get an entire year of Premium with access to exclusive, customized sessions for losing weight and gaining flexibility, a variety of new workouts added monthly, HD video, connect to some of the most popular devices and apps, and much more. FitStar Yoga’s dynamic sessions continually personalize the experience based on your feedback, goals, and capabilities — just like a personal yoga instructor! And FitStar constantly brings you new poses to keep things fun, fresh, and fit.
From the makers of FitStar Personal Trainer, the recipient of the App Store Editors’ Choice & Best of 2013 and 2014 App Awards, FitStar Yoga is made for beginners and experts alike to reduce stress and gain strength.
Additional FitStar Yoga Features:
• Dynamic HD video shows you the poses while Strala Yoga founder Tara Stiles provides guidance
• Choose duration and intensity of each session
• Custom audio tracks get you flowing, and streaming music support to keep you moving at your own beat
• AppleTV support puts your workouts on the big screen and the iPhone or iPad becomes a remote control for your workouts
• Track your progress and milestones with achievements, unlocking new poses and badges as you improve
• Connect your Fitbit, Jawbone UP, or MyFitnessPal account to automatically sync your weight and consolidate your fitness activity
• Integrated with Health app to track your calories burned and workouts, contributing to your overall Health dashboard
FitStar Yoga is probably the first app to truly bring yoga into the home since the Wii Fit Yoga came out. It’s a seamless app, with well-produced videos led by an expert instructor. The free offering is lacking if you want this to be your only source of yoga but the paid version more than allows this to be your personal yoga instructor. I’d suggest downloading it and giving it a try. As its free, you have nothing to lose.