The last couple of weeks have been rather disorienting for me with some drastic changes on the home front as we navigate a move. When routines are thrown out of the window, stress enters the picture. And so, to help me find some kind of centre, I decided to learn Yoga.
Apps vs Virtual Classes
The first question I had to ask myself was if I should go for an app or simply sign up for a virtual class. While the latter would give me a community and friends, my temporary displacement didn’t allow for following or keeping up with certain timings. I needed classes on demand, which led me to two options – YouTube and Asana Rebel.
Why I Chose The Asana Rebel App
With YouTube, I faced the problem of plenty. There were too many channels, too many playlists/programs, too many instructors. And as if on cue, Asana Rebel showed up on my Instagram. Now, this app doesn’t offer trials, but I took a leap of faith and got a subscription. They had an offer where it was Rs. 3,000/- for an annual subscription. I did the math and even if I did Yoga only 3x a week for a year, it would work out to only Rs. 20/- a session, which was I was okay with. And while it was definitely cheaper than a gym membership or a live virtual class, it was still expensive by app standards (I mean, Nike Training and FitOn are both free). I guess one way to explain this was that I was seeking a totally fresh start. I’ve had the app for a month now, and I’ve used it for 21/30 days. Here’s what my experience has been like:
Learning Yoga on Asana Rebel
The app basically asks a bunch of questions about your fitness levels, your goals, your vitals, your diet, etc before it gets to the main screen. And it’s only when the main screen loads do you realize that it’s more of a lifestyle app. There’s meditation, recipes, even focus music for when you want to be more productive and sleep sounds if you have trouble sleeping.
The app offers independent workouts apart from “challenges” which have a set of workouts that are to be completed in a certain order. It also suggests a workout every day, in case you don’t know what to pick. The workouts are categorized broadly based on what they offer – mobility, strength, balance, breath focused, and toning.
You can also choose workouts based on the time you have and the intensity you’re seeking (high/low). You don’t need any special equipment to do these workouts, apart from a mat.
While I was reasonably fit, I had never really learned Yoga formally. So my knowledge of Yoga was very basic and at some level, limited to the Surya Namaskar.
But Asana Rebel covers this really well because all their workouts come with voiceovers that are as detailed as they are calming. There is no motivational yelling, just calm and precise instruction. Even the more intense workouts have only calm instructions. Every workout comes with a warm-up, cool down, and a final couple of minutes in Shavasana, which is always the highlight for me.
The workouts do go quite quickly, so if you’re new to fitness (vs being new to Yoga), Asana Rebel might be too advanced for you. If you’re not used to working out with an app, following the workout might be challenging. And to reiterate, it is among the more expensive options out there in terms of apps. I dislike the fact that you can’t download workouts either. For me, FitOn continues to be the best option for all-around fitness. However, if you’re in the mood for something new and challenging, Asana Rebel is worth a try.
Creating Sustainable Habits & Gaining Mobility
I personally found a great deal of improvement in my flexibility, especially around my knees. I had sciatica when I was pregnant, which resulted in really tight hamstrings – to the point where touching my toes was an issue. But with regular practice on Asana Rebel, my mobility has improved greatly. I can now bend beyond my toes, which in itself is a huge achievement. This is an outcome of Yoga as a form of exercise, of course, but the app did make it really easy to build a good habit in a pressure-free manner. I’ve tried a couple of smoothie recipes as well and they turned out great too!
Verdict: Is Asana Rebel Worth It?
When it comes to exercise, Yoga is always going to be a winner, whether or not you use Asana Rebel. But the app certainly makes learning and practicing Yoga very engaging. I also like the holistic “lifestyle” approach of the app with recipes, meditation and even sleep & focus music thrown in. Overall, I’d highly, highly recommend Asana Rebel for people with intermediate fitness levels who’re looking for something new. If you’re a beginner though, there are better and cheaper options.
Have you tried Asana Rebel? What are your favourite fitness apps? Let us know in the comments!