The idea of using the iPad to practice yoga is appealing because of the tablet’s portability. Because of its video-game style graphics, at first glance Core Yoga appeared much like a Wii-style yoga workout for the iPad.
It is, however, a very short, focused workout that is intended to strengthen core muscles, promote spinal integrity, and develop yoga breathing (pranayama) skills in about 10 – 15 minutes per day.
The app takes the user through the following poses: squat, leg lift, triangle, downward dog, bridge, forward bend, and floor twist. Each pose can be modified to “normal” or “easy.” The developers included these poses in the app because they target muscles in the core, which most of us need to strengthen.
The most significant choice the user makes during Core Yoga is to chose a breathing pattern to accompany the workout. Unless a user has prior experience with pranayama, I would strongly recommend starting with the first level, which is inhalation and exhalation (read the app’s instructions so you breathe like a yogi) timed with the poses.
The music is coordinated to cue the breathing, so that the user can listen to the tone in order to know when to inhale and when to exhale, which is very convenient since the iPad screen may not always be easily visible while in a yoga pose.
The menu contains a demo (included below), which gives valuable insight into how to do the breathing exercises, as well as other useful information not found within the app:
Core Yoga is available to download from the App store for $9.99.
What I liked: I loved the graphics and music. The sound cues were easy to follow. I liked that the user could set each pose to “easy” or “normal” difficulty rather than having to apply one degree of difficulty to all of the poses.
What I didn’t like: The lack of voiced instruction during the practice was off-putting. If a user does not know how to do a pose, the only way to learn is to read about it through the information menu beforehand, and then try to remember what to do while in the pose.
To buy or not to buy: While I do believe that if a user did the Core Yoga workout on a regular basis she would develop stronger core muscles, I am still not sure who the target audience is for this app. The app’s emphasis on pranayama, and lack of instruction during the practice isn’t friendly to beginners, yet its brevity is unappealing for more seasoned practitioners of yoga. Core Yoga could fit in as part of a yoga routine, but it isn’t a substitute for a yoga class, or even most yoga fitness DVDs.
- App Name: Core Yoga
- Version Reviewed: 1.1
- Category: Healthcare & Fitness
- Developer: Saagara
- Price: $9.99