Pros and Cons of Yoga Digital Downloads

Before I forget, Happy Halloween – especially to those of you with children young enough to enjoy dressing up and hunting down candy! (My only vice…okay, one of them!)

I wonder what Patanjali would have said if he could have foreseen the day when Yoga was freely available to over two billion people via the Internet.  Do you think he would be pleased?  Personally, I am split on the question. 

On the one hand, Patanjali may feel that a Yoga video cheapens the experience, removing a vital teacher-student link that is essential to optimum results.  On the other hand, one so enlightened may instead be overjoyed that so many may be reached by Yoga, if only for a taste before attempting a real class.  As the former argument would negate the need for this article, I am going to assume that Patanjali would be pleased, and advocate anyone to try the many low cost and free offerings of Yoga that are available.

Pros and Cons

Digital Yoga

Real Life Instructor

The Good

  • Access to any style of Yoga you can imagine
  • Inexpensive.  Many sites have free offerings, and YouTube has thousands of free yoga session videos.
  • Fits your timeline, twenty-four hours a day.
  • No need to travel, more time for practice!

The maybe not so good?

  • Possibility for injury is higher
  • Motivation may be lower than in class setting

The Good

  • Personal; energy-building through collective participation in a Yoga class
  • Posture is assessed and corrected, reducing risk of injury.
  • Motivation by classmates, instructor
  • Gets you ‘out of the house.’
  • Cost tends to breed a level of commitment all on its own…

The maybe not so good?

  • Cost can be prohibitive

I’m sure if we thought for awhile longer; there would be many points we could add to both sides of either list, but why?  Both digital Yoga and traditional classroom settings have their good and bad points, Yin and Yang, pyjamas and Yoga pants…Choosing digital Yoga as a place to start and then supplementing this with research and real-life classes would be a nice balance, but the more I write the more I am becoming convinced that as long as one heeds the warnings and advice given prior and during an instructional video, go for it!  Yoga is a force unto itself, and any Yoga is much better than no Yoga!

A List of my favourite Yoga digital download sites

Here are my top two Yoga download sites.  From what I have been able to find out, they are both reputable and offer a wide variety of instructional content in many disciplines.  They offer free twenty minute sessions, and of course there is always YouTube…As a rule of thumb, judge the authenticity of a Yoga video on YouTube by checking comments and viewer ratings.


(Excerpted from site)

Yoga Download was founded by people who love yoga and embody yoga as a way of life and who were becoming increasingly concerned about how difficult and expensive it was to get to a quality yoga class. We know how important a consistent yoga practice is to living a happy, healthy, balanced life, and we wanted to find a way to make the benefits of yoga more accessible and affordable for everyone.

Then one day on a sunny afternoon in the park, as Yoga Download founder Jamie Kent watched people working out with their mp3 players, she came up with an idea: why not combine the modern technology of portable media with the ancient practice of yoga to create quality classes that are not only affordable, but available to people anytime, anywhere? Thus the idea for Yoga Download was born.  Since then, Jamie and her team of yoga enthusiasts have been hard at work creating inexpensive, quality yoga classes that can easily be downloaded or played from Yoga Download’s online yoga website and performed by anyone, anytime, anywhere.

Why Yoga Download?

  • Practice in the comfort of your own home, in any room
  • Keep your printable pose guides forever, and use them to enhance your yoga practice
  • Practice at your own pace and on your own schedule
  • Lots of FREE 20 min. classes – stretch and get a great workout in a short amount of time
  • Choose from a wide variety of class lengths, levels, yoga styles, meditations and music
  • Create long, lean muscle tone
  • Lose weight
  • Become more focused and relaxed
  • Let go of stress
  • Classes for beginners, advanced students, and everyone in between
  • Practice anytime, anywhere (and we really mean anywhere – even at the park or on the beach!)
  • Our classes are: the best quality, convenient, affordable and truly portable
  • Keep your gaze where it belongs!
  • No TV screens, no computer screens = no distractions
  • Our classes are designed with clear instruction so they are easy to follow
  • We offer printable pose guides with clear pictures of each pose, and an online pose guide with large pictures and detailed descriptions.
  • It is like having a yoga instructor right in the room with you

Experience the freedom and power of an audio yoga class!!


(Excerpted from site)

Our Company, Our Passion

It’s simple. Our passion became our company. We’ve always believed in whole health, and the power of yoga, health and wellness. In 2005, we created My Yoga Online so we could share this passion with the world. We wanted to bring the benefits of yoga, Pilates, meditation, dance, nutrition, and holistic living to everyone, everywhere.

Today, we stream hundreds of high-definition videos to people in countries all over the world. We offer one of the largest and most diverse Mind-Body video and article libraries in the global arena. Our Premium, On Demand subscription service provides unlimited online access to the powerful benefits of yoga and wellness, wherever and whenever our members need them.

Your Practice, Your Results

Our classes fit your schedule. You can practice at home, at work, while traveling – or anywhere else you want. With one of the largest online library of yoga and wellness videos and articles in the world, you can choose the perfect class for you, exactly when you need it. We’ll help you progress on your yoga journey and reach your fitness goals quickly and easily – whether you have tons of experience or none at all.


It doesn’t matter

At the end of the day, when the skies grow dark and ghosts and goblins roam the sidewalks – the only thing that matters is that you have some sort of exposure to Yoga.  Digital, real-life, or Memorex…The power of Yoga lies within the individual more than the medium.

Again, Happy Halloween to all of you!


Photo courtesy of www.hiren.info

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