5 Apps Every Yoga Teacher Should Use
As a busy yoga teacher, I’m a big fan of apps that allow me to spend less time managing lists, writing emails and crunching numbers, and more time creating and teaching yoga classes. Equally, more time to study yoga philosophy, research movement techniques and sequence beautiful classes means that my students have a more fulfilling experience every time they step into the studio - which is good for them and good for business, because they keep coming back!
Every yoga teacher I know came to this profession because they genuinely want to help people improve their sense of wellbeing; physically, emotionally and spiritually. But we all get caught up in the day-to-day running of our businesses (because as important as the work is, being an independent yoga teacher does also mean being a small-business-person) and find ourselves running into classes with minutes to spare and minimal planning.
As well as Momoyoga (of course!), these are my top five apps to help you cut down admin time and inspire class planning, so that your classes can be more fulfilling for both your students and for you.
Yes, starting with a boring one. But stay with me - QuickBooks is the top accounting software for the Self-Employed, and when it comes to dreaded tax return time, it’ll save you from hours of stress and confusion. The app allows you to snap photos of receipts, automatically attaching them to your expenses - as well as providing an easy and trackable way to manage your invoicing. If you’re someone (like me) who doesn’t love making spreadsheets and who loses receipts 15 minutes after putting them in your pocket, this one’s a must! And it’s much cheaper than hiring an accountant.
More exciting than an accounting app, this one combines a huge depth of anatomy knowledge with intricate animations to help you plan your classes with anatomical intelligence.
It covers over 190 postures (80 on the first download, and 110 additional postures with an in-app purchase) and shows muscles in action as the poses are demonstrated with very clever animations. It even has built-in sequences that you can use for quick class planning, and a sequence builder which allows you to create your own sequences.
It’s an incredibly valuable tool for yoga teachers; you can easily see the muscle groups that are working in each posture, and if you’re new to teaching, the instructions for how to teach the pose are really useful. It’ll not only improve your class planning, but also help you to learn about yoga anatomy so that your teaching gets better and better.
This one’s a personal favourite, and one that speaks to one of the great challenges for yoga teachers - staying inspired. With a beginner version (50 videos) and an advanced version (100 videos), this app is for yoga practitioners and teachers with an interest in acro yoga or partner yoga. It offers step-by-step flows to begin practising partner and acro yoga, with HD video and accompanying text descriptions in case you want to watch without the sound. It’s great for introducing a new element to your own practice, and to your teaching.
Pocket Yoga Teacher
If your students have ever asked you to create bespoke sequences for them to practise at home, or if you ever struggle to put your class sequences together without an easily accessible visual aid, this app is perfect for you.
This app has all of the pose illustrations and voice instructions available in the original Pocket Yoga app, and an earlier version of this variation called Pocket Yoga Builder; but this one also allows you to use the app’s illustrations to build your own sequences - which you can either use just as a guide for yourself, or easily share with your students. Illustrations rather than video mean that it doesn’t take up too much storage on your phone or tablet, and if you have an iPhone or iPad it also integrates with the Apple Health app.
It includes lots of lovely touches - including the ability to change the voice that gives the instructions, and the option to practise with your own playlists.
One of the most important things yoga teachers needs to do in order to be good at their job is to maintain their own practice, and keep learning all the time. For this reason, I was overjoyed when YogaGlo - my favourite source of online yoga classes and teacher trainings - released their mobile app. The app offers a wide range of classes by highly trained international yoga teachers, which are searchable by filters including style, level of experience, teacher, class duration, and focus - as well as by keywords.
For teachers, YogaGlo also has a selection of online teacher training modules available to buy, for continuing professional development - which is a wonderful thing to have access to when you’re in need of a bit of a boost but aren’t get to an in-person training. While online teacher training is definitely a no if you’re not already trained to teach well, online courses are good for continuing professional development. And YogaGlo’s offerings include trainings by renowned teachers such as Jason Crandell and Tias Little.