Originated from India, Yoga is a discipline that has been around for over 5,000 years. It was first mentioned in the Rig Veda and is derived from the Sanskrit root word ‘yuj’, which means ‘to join’ or ‘to yoke’ or ‘to unite’. Thus, yoga is a practice of bringing the mind and body into spiritual harmony.
The original practitioners of yoga, called yogis or sages, carried their knowledge of the discipline to various parts of the world, including Asia, the Middle East, northern Africa and South America, and it became immensely popular among the scholars in these regions. Gradually, its many postures (asanas) that aim to promote strength, calmness, endurance and flexibility and techniques of breathing, meditation and relaxation reached common people and led to its renown across the globe.
Today, yoga has become a huge trend, so much so that free yoga lessons on YouTube are a go-to choice for new learners. But there is something that sets some of these channels apart from many other yoga classes in the social media space.
These free online yoga videos are created by well-known practitioners who chose the discipline to overcome their mental and physical struggles, such as low self-image, stress, anxiety and weight loss. These real-life incidents have inspired people who are looking for new ways to adopt self-love and a happier life. Moreover, these self-paced yoga tutorials fit in perfectly amid an evolving hybrid work culture, as they can be practised any time at home.
Whether you are a beginner or an advanced yogi, these best yoga YouTube channels have something to offer to all kinds of learners as well as teachers. However, before starting any form of exercise, consult a professional trainer or a physician because every body type is different and all types of workouts might not suit everyone.
Here are 11 best YouTube channels to follow for free yoga lessons
Boho Beautiful Yoga
Founded by Juliana Spicoluk and Mark Spicoluk, Boho Beautiful Yoga offers free tutorials on yoga, travel, fitness, vegan food, self-awareness and conscious living. The duo has garnered over 2.36 million subscribers on YouTube through their content that centres around the body, mind and earth.
Shot at picturesque locations across the globe, the library of videos on YouTube focusses on all sorts of learners and features beginner yoga, intermediate yoga, Yin yoga, yoga workouts, Hatha yoga, Ashtanga-inspired poses, morning yoga flow and much more.
The Spicoluks have also sold thousands of books and programmes online, creating an ever-growing community for health and mindfulness.
Born in Miami, US, Kino MacGregor is an Ashtanga yoga expert who creates video tutorials on various yoga styles, workouts and spirituality for her viewers.
As one of the most sought-after yoga teachers on the streaming channel, she has garnered over 778K subscribers on YouTube through free lessons that can help beginners develop their skills. Her videos also offer several ‘yoga challenges’ that keep them motivated to ace this discipline. While some of her meditation videos are shot at scenic beaches, she usually films her yoga tutorials at her studio or her home.
She launched the world’s first yoga TV network Omstars and has authored many books. She is the co-founder of Miami Life Center.
Yoga With Tim
Having suffered from health issues and low self-confidence as a teenager, Tim turned his life around with the help of yoga. Not just that, he also made better decisions for a healthier lifestyle. These included changing his eating habits and choosing who to hang out with. Eventually, he became a yoga practitioner and started teaching at a studio.
Specialising in the Vinyasa Flow, Tim’s YouTube channel has more than 252k subscribers and boasts a variety of postures, body stretching techniques, methods to reduce stress and anxiety. Like the other yoga practitioners in this article, Tim, too, offers free videos to challenge both beginners and advanced yogis.
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An international health and wellness coach as well as a bestselling author and inspirational speaker, Koya Webb’s YouTube channel of the same name boasts over 45.6K subscribers. Having dealt with negative self-talk and “feeling like a victim of circumstance,” according to her website, Webb discovered compassion for herself without expecting perfection.
She then chose yoga, which “alleviated the pains in my body while adding strength & flexibility. I developed a daily spiritual practice to keep me emotionally balanced during challenging times,” as she says.
Today, the ‘transformational specialist’ YouTube channel offers videos on food and expert advice on how to achieve optimal health and follow a positive lifestyle, along with ranging yoga lessons and seven-day challenges for beginners and advanced learners.
Yoga With Briohny
Having suffered from twin eating disorders of bulimia and anorexia, Briohny Smyth travelled to India where she learned Ashtanga yoga. She then went to the US to train under gurus Annie Carpenter, Kia Miller, Joan Hyman and Bahni Turpin, and the rest is history.
Today, the YouTube account of the Thai yoga instructor is more than just a platform with free tutorials on various poses. Focussing on meditation, physical therapy, HIIT yoga sessions and several how-to tips and techniques to perfect a pose, she has garnered more than 58.8k subscribers, who can avail free online lessons and discover alignment in their passion, work and self.
Yoga With Kassandra
The Canadian yogi’s YouTube channel offers free yoga lessons on Yin and Vinyasa yoga. What started as online yoga classes in 2014 today has amassed over 700 videos and has garnered over 1.9 million subscribers on YouTube.
Viewers can learn several movements, poses and stretches, focussing on various parts of the body. Through her Hatha yoga videos, learners of all experience levels can work on strengthening their core and developing flexibility and strength.
Additionally, free seven-day and 30-day challenges are a treat for beginners and advanced practitioners alike. What’s more? Her techniques can be useful to Yin yoga teachers who can incorporate the methods into theirs to improve the practice of its slow-paced asanas.
Yoga With Adriene
The Austin-based celebrity yogi offers lessons to individuals of all ages, shapes and sizes from around the world. While her high-quality, free yoga videos cater to all experience levels, Adriene Mishler’s calming and down-to-earth persona has helped her create a loyal following of over 10.9 million YouTube subscribers.
Focussing on all kinds of athletes and fitness enthusiasts, the celebrity yoga guru’s videos also include styles for runners, weight loss, relieving back pain and alleviating stress and anxiety.
According to her website, Arundhati Baitmangalkar’s style is based on classical yoga practices, and she specialises in prenatal and restorative forms. Through her lessons, she aspires to educate her students to incorporate yoga as a discipline into their lifestyle as opposed to striving for a ‘yoga body’.
Before being an expert practitioner of Vinyasa and Hatha yoga, Baitmangalkar was a professional Bollywood dance instructor. However, her love for the discipline led her to teach yoga from 2006 onwards.
Over many years of practice, she has found the perfect balance between classical and modern yoga and is renowned for challenging, dynamic and fun yoga classes, training and workshops.
Baitmangalkar has more than 14.4k YouTube subscribers, and her channel is one of the best online platforms to learn yoga. Other than the many asanas one can learn through her free yoga lessons, she also covers various topics on lifestyle, meditation, teaching yoga, breathing techniques, DIY routines and much more.
Body Positive Yoga
Body Positive Yoga is all about “accessible, adaptive yoga practice for people with bodies of all shapes, sizes and abilities,” as stated on her website. Thus, it is perfect for those who are struggling with low self-image, disordered eating and the feeling of not being enough.
Having gone through her share of troubles with body image, Karnes draws from her own experiences to offer several tips, tricks, modifications and yoga styles that can help people make peace with their bodies and build confidence.
Her YouTube channel boasts over 26.4k subscribers, and she offers free yoga lessons where learners can “make yoga work for your unique body, instead of trying to squish yourself into a pose,” according to her.
Rebel Yoga Tribe
Learn and practice the many yogic postures with this South Asian yoga instructor who specialises in various yoga styles, including Yin, Hatha, Classical Kundalini, Tantra and Nidra.
According to her website, British-born Kallie Schut is of Indian heritage and honours the traditions of yoga by “bringing cultural awareness to the practice and developing an understanding of the colonial legacy and racial inequity in modern yoga.”
The yoga practitioner is renowned for her free tutorials for beginners, teachers and advanced learners on YouTube and Instagram. On the streaming channel, her account has garnered over 2.06k subscribers through the many forms of yoga as well as sound healing, gong therapy, meditation and mindfulness.
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Fitness model and yoga instructor, Lita Woranit started practising yoga in 2009. She is proficient in core Hatha yoga, Pranayama and meditation. Although she has around 589 subscribers on YouTube, the Thai yogi has amassed over 16.5k followers on Instagram.
While her videos on the streaming platform include various yoga poses, stretching exercises and methods to tackle the Office Syndrome, her Instagram account comprises posts about her training workshops and healthy eating, besides several yogic postures.
(Hero and featured image credit: Yoga with Adriene)
The article first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Singapore.