Slowly but surely some of our favorite iPhone/iPad yoga apps are showing up in the Mac App store.  Okay, well actually there are basically only two yoga apps in the Mac App store right now fit to be classified as “yoga” apps, but it’s a start, and I’m absolutely positive there will be more competitors soon.  Here’s my review of the two apps currently available.

Pocket Yoga (4.5 stars)

Pocket Yoga has been in the App store pretty much since the App store opened, has received excellent reviews, and currently sells for $4.99.  Similar to its iPhone/iPad counterparts, Pocket Yoga provides detailed watercolor illustrations with options of practicing in ocean, desert, or mountain surroundings, at three different difficulty levels, and for three different durations.  Each type of terrain brings a different focus and intensity level to the practice.  Basically the app includes twenty-seven practice variations in total, plus Sun Salutations A & B.  The instructor provides pleasant voice and visual instruction through each pose, as well as gives cues for inhalation and exhalation.  Though some consider background music a necessity to their yoga practice, others would rather clean their yoga mat with their tongue than listen to music during yoga.  Fair warning that the app includes (tolerable) background music, but also has the option to turn both music and voice instruction off if desired.   Although I give Pocket Yoga a solid 4.5 stars, I’m also surprised that it lacks some of the great features of the less expensive iPhone ($2.99)/iPad ($3.99) apps, such as practice history, customized music, and a detailed pose description section.  Perhaps those will end up in future updates, or perhaps the developers figure you already own the iOS apps and they just want to keep things simple with the Mac app.  I’m guessing we’ll continue to see improvements and additional features in the future.  Bottom-line, although the iPhone and iPad Pocket Yoga apps are fabulous for on the go, the Mac app is an outstanding value as a low-cost supplement to a home yoga practice.

Pranayama (4 stars)

Pranayama is new to the Mac App store (added 9 March) and is currently available at an introductory price of $4.99.  Much like its iPhone ($4.99 univeral app) and iPad ($4.99) variations, which I’ve previously reviewed, the Pranayama app for the Mac offers the same simple and intuitive pathway to deep breathing and relaxation based on yogic principles.  Combining the power of breath with technology, as well as pleasing music options and animated visuals, the Pranayama for Mac app guides the practitioner to slower, deeper breathing, which amazingly enough results in more energy, stamina, and focus.  Very yogic, and definitely a useful concept for progressing beyond the asana level of the eight limbs of yoga.  With that said, unless you meditate in a chair in front of your computer or have no problem moving your laptop onto the ground or have a very short desk, this is one of those apps that’s probably slightly less functional on the Mac than its more mobile iOS versions.  Though the iPad version is practically perfect for those who always meditate on the floor (or basically anywhere), there’s no doubt that desk dwellers will love having the option of a full screen app that brings a little relaxation to their desktop.  Read more here about how the app works and try a demo to see if it’s for you.

While yoga apps are just beginning to make their way to the desktop, Pocket Yoga and Pranayama are definitely two great offerings to kick things off.

Three Parting Questions:

  1. What future do you expect for desktop yoga apps?
  2. What iPhone or iPad yoga app would you love to see on your desktop?
  3. Are yoga apps a helpful tool in your practice?

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