Do you ever find that it’s easier to make time for a workout or tri training but when it comes to active recovery, stretching or a spot of mindfulness and meditation, time somehow seems to disappear? For many, investing time in meditation, yoga or Pilates is the key to their mental and physical edge. Showing the body some well-deserved care after all that pounding on the bike or on the road can be important, not to mention that finding a moment of stillness in our busy lives can do wonders for the stress levels. Not only that, stretching, enhanced flexibility and strengthening can be the key to injury prevention, essential for staying in tip-top condition, so it’s time to make some time. We’ve made a list of go-to apps and channels that will help you to fit a bit more balance into your training schedule and there’s no faffing required - just download, press play and go.
Yoga (For flexibility, strength, balance and calming the mind and body)
App: Daily Yoga
This app does what it says on the tin and as with many of these kinds of apps, you get a free trial period before having a paid subscription option, but if it works for you, and helps you to get some yoga moves in during the day then surely, it’s worth it?
Daily Yoga is a popular app for those looking for a faster moving yoga that’s focused on fitness, so if you find it hard to slow down when it comes to training this may be the app to help ween you off a schedule of sweat-induced workouts and nothing less.
Offering guided classes, asanas, workouts and even multi-week programmes, with options for all levels and abilities, this app offers a great mash-up of Pilates, Vinyasa flow and even some Hiit (High intensity interval training) moves for those of you who need a bit more. And if you’re looking for a sense of community also, no problem, Daily Yoga makes it easy to interact with an active global community, so you always stay motivated!
App: Down Dog
Down Dog is the top dog if you are looking for something a little more personalised. This smart little app delivers a brand-new yoga practice every time which means you never have to follow the same pre-recorded practice, again and again, something that often puts people off doing an app or channel-lead practices. Plus, it’s beginner friendly and you can actually customise every workout by choosing your practice goals, difficulty level and sequence type to create your perfect practice.
A great feature of this app is that it also has music that fits the practice, to add to the flow or relaxation of the session.
So, get a feel for Down Dog then opt for the ‘pro subscription’ for all the benefits and make it a regular part of your training for enhanced flexibility and strength, the key to staving off those injuries.
Channel: Yoga with Adriene
Adriene Mishler is officially YouTube’s Queen of Yoga; the humble, ever-lovely Texan with an awesome dog called Benji, has created more free yoga videos than you could ever wish for, so you’re guaranteed to find practices that suit you and your fitness level, whether you’re looking to begin yoga at home, improve general flexibility or focus on specific areas of the body.
Adriene focuses a lot on breathing, following more of a Hatha yoga style, with her mantra being, ‘find what feels good’. She promotes yoga for all, creating lots of videos and multi-week challenges and programmes for beginners as well as adding in considerations and options for all abilities.
Look, all we’re saying is that she is rocking YouTube, you may well become hooked, and you will secretly want to be Adriene’s best friend...
Channel: Yoga with Tim
If you’re looking for an all-American nice guy and total body yoga, look no further than Tim Senesi. This yogi is as cool as a cucumber and offers a great range of outdoor and studio practices, 30-day challenges and strength training. So, like his YouTube counterpart, there is a video for everything, whether you’re a beginner or an expert. Do yoga with Tim every day and feel as calm and chilled as he is.
Pilates (For strength, posture, easing tension and relaxing muscles)
The Fittbe Pilates app encourages you to fit Pilates into your every day and has an ever-growing catalogue of workouts no matter where you are. So, if you’re looking for some full body strength training, a strong core and time off the bike and out of the pool, download the Fittbe app for simple, effective workouts. It’s simple and effective, what else do you need to get some extra strength training in your life?
Channel: Lottie Murphy Pilates
Lottie Murphy is a healthy lifestyle blogger, Pilates instructor and holistic health coach from London and her channel boasts a variety of workouts from the fundamentals of Pilates to body sculpting routines, as well general wellbeing and recipe vlogs. Lottie’s down-to-earth style promotes Pilates for the mind and body having started practising every day whilst at ballet school. So, it could be just what you need if you think you need to find some peace and quiet within your busy daily routine.
If you’re looking for high-energy, all-American Pilates you’ll enjoy sessions with Cassey Ho, the award-winning fitness instructor, certified group trainer and Pilates mat and Reformer teacher taking YouTube by storm. You’re in good hands when it comes to Cassey’s videos and workouts, plus, there’s even a Blogilates app that allows you to access workouts and recipes when you’re in need of some strength training on the go.
Meditation (For exercising the brain; improving mental clarity, finding focus, memory, easing stress and anxiety and enhancing sleep quality.)
You can’t get any better than a meditation and mindfulness app created by a former Tibetan Buddhist monk, can you? Headspace is one of the ultimate go-to user-friendly apps most of us think of when it comes to meditation, so what makes it so great?
Firstly, there’s a free 10-day trial so you can really test whether it’s the app for you. Secondly, it’s great for those wanting to get to grips with meditation fundamentals because every meditation is guided, the app is fuss-free simple and easy to use, you can monitor your daily meditations and you can choose sessions that focus on different aspects of life, i.e. work or health.
So, if you want to add meditation to your daily routine, check out Headspace – it could be just what you need to help you find focus in your training, recovery and during races.
For enhanced sleep, soothing sounds and ultimate relaxation you’ll want the Calm app. Even the menu plays you relaxing nature sounds.
This might be a great addition to your training regime; to find focus and calm the mind when you need it most, whether you’re having a rest day, tapering for a race or when you need to block out the world and concentrate on the road ahead.
Choose between guided meditation, calming voice-free music or the soothing sounds of nature to put you to sleep. And there are even ‘Sleep Stories’ narrated by celebrities like Stephen Fry to take your mind off of the to-do list or training schedule and help you find deep relaxation.
Channel: The Honest Guys
There are many guided meditations on YouTube, so you might find you need to test a few channels out before you find the one that works for you, but The Honest Guys might be a good place to start.
The Honest Guys are the masters of relaxation and fantasy. This style of guided meditation won’t be for everyone but if you’re looking for ultimate sleep mediations, relaxation videos and fantastical stories then this is for you. A truly immersive style of meditation that could just be the escapism you’ve been looking for outside of the gym to calm the mind and interrupt the busy everyday chatter of work, traffic, emails and those incessant WhatsApp group chats.
If you’re looking for something different then Leo is your man; the professional life coach for Actualised.org’s YouTube channel delivers a unique, “no BS” and no-frills approach to meditation.
Leo promotes meditation as self-investment and a tool that will help you to unlock potential and deliver very real results without the fluff.
Leo is all about self-growth and talks of emotional awareness, becoming “world class at what you do” and building self-awareness, which we could all do with a bit more of in our everyday life, for our mental health and fitness. It may take a few minutes to get into his rhythm, but Leo certainly has a powerful energy, so if you’re looking to ‘master your psychology’, go straight to Leo on Actualised.org.