Personally, I’ve always loved the idea of being a yogi. I’ve just never managed to do it. I always find that I get bored easily with the slow pace and, quite frankly, I like doing exercises where I feel like I’ve really done something.
My experience of yoga isn’t very extensive, apart from a couple of in-person classes and some more experience with YouTube videos. I’ve just never been able to stick to it using these methods.
So, I thought I’d give the Down Dog app a go. I must admit I was sceptical about trying it, as I thought my dreams of becoming a ‘yogi’ were well and truly out the window after my many failed attempts.
Keep reading on for my full Down Dog App review to see how I got on.
Down Dog App Review
I guess the first thing to mention is that Down Dog isn’t just for yoga. They have a range of fitness apps.
You can also download Meditation, HIIT, Barre, and Prenatal Yoga apps from Down Dog. What’s even better is that you only need to purchase one subscription to get access to all of their other apps. You need to download the apps separately, though.
However, for this article, I’m only talking about my experience with the Yoga app.
From downloading it, I was impressed really quickly. I love nothing more than a clean-looking app that is easy to navigate and that’s exactly what Down Dog is.
There is a free and paid version of the app. With the paid version, there’s an extensive list of customisable options which is what I was most excited about.
Since in classes and YouTube videos, you’re only really able to do exactly what the instructor tells you to do (especially if you’re a beginner who needs a lot of guidance).
The free version doesn’t offer these customisations and you’ll only be able to do the set yoga classes.
But at only £9.99 a month, it seems worth it to me when you consider how much you would spend going to in-person classes.
How does the Down Dog App work?
After downloading the app, you’ll be prompted to create an account. You can do this with your email address, or with your Apple or Google account.
Next, it’ll take you through the customisation options. Which I’ll talk about more below.
Once you’ve set up your preferences, you’re all set for your first practice.
Features of the app
Now, I’ll delve a little deeper into the app’s features.
As I said, the best part of the app is the amount of choice you have when selecting your preferences and customising them for your own workout.
You’re not 100% committed to these preferences and they are easy to change at any time. You’ll see these options before you do a workout so you can check them and change them as you progress.
It’ll first ask you about your experience level. I went with Beginner 2, which seemed to be a good fit. The options vary from Beginner 1 (never done yoga before) to Advanced (meaning you’re comfortable with every pose – yikes! I think it will take me a while to get to this stage).
You’ll also be able to choose the voice that you would like to guide you through your lesson. You can choose between male and female and different accents.
The next option is to choose your music. I really enjoyed having this option here. I’ve found with many classes, either in person or online, that silence is awkward or I don’t like the music choice.
I also prefer having music being played for me rather than having to select my own, since I get too distracted by the music rather than focusing on the practice.
I went with the Acoustic option. It was very calming for me and I heard some songs I really liked.
After your practice, you can view all the songs played and it has links for you to listen to them on Spotify – which is a really thoughtful touch.
You can choose from the below styles of music:
- No music
- Alt Beats
- Alt Beats (fewer lyrics)
- Piano and Strings
- Brain Waves
- Nature Sounds
Style of yoga
Next is the style of yoga. It gives you a brief description of each style if, like me, you don’t really have a clue about the different styles.
I went for the cardio flow, as it said this was more fast-moving. I also like workouts where I sweat a little so that I feel like I have really done something. You can choose from the below styles:
- Full Practice
- Cardio Flow
- Quick Flow
- No Warmup
- Chair Yoga
- Sun Salutations
- Yoga Nidra
- Hot 26
Another great feature is being able to choose a ‘boost’. This is really handy if you’re doing yoga for a particular reason. For me, I wanted to help my legs recover faster from running, so I chose the ‘Glute strength’ boost.
The boosts you can choose are:
- Back Strength
- Chest and Shoulder Stretches
- Core Strength
- Glute Strength
- Hamstring Stretches
- Hip Flexor Stretches
- Hip Stretches
- Low Back Stretches.
This is a really great feature. Being able to customise this level of detail is something you wouldn’t even be able to do in an in-person yoga class.
Next, you can choose your pace. The options here are Slowest, Slow, Normal, Fast, Fastest.
Finally, you can choose the length of your Savasana. This is how long you would like to stay in your final position (this is always an easy position, don’t panic!)
Never do the same workout twice
One of the other great features of the app is that you never do the same workout twice. Every time you do a practice, it will generate a different sequence, and with over 60,000 possible options, you’ll find it hard to get bored with Down Dog’s classes.
Track your journey
Down Dog has the feature called ‘journey’ which allows you to easily keep track of your progress. In the journey tab, you can set your weekly goal. Your weekly goal will be setting how many classes you would like to do each week.
During your practice, you’ll be guided by a model and the voice-over of your choice. The room the model is in is clear and free of distractions, which is something that can’t always be said for YouTube videos.
You have the option to pause, rewind and fast-forward throughout your workout as well. A time icon also appears on the top left-hand corner so that you know how long you have left in a specific pose.
Is Down Dog for everyone?
In short, yes. Down Dog is definitely for everyone. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve never done yoga in your life or if you’re an absolute yogi pro. The Beginner options are simple and easy to follow. You also have the option to exclude particular poses from your practice if you decide you don’t like them. You don’t have to force yourself to do anything that makes you uncomfortable.
Does Down Dog offer a free trial?
Yes, at the moment Down Dog offers a 3-week free trial.
How much does Down Dog cost?
Down Dog offers two payment options. You can pay annually at £58.99, or you can pay £9.99 monthly. While this seems pricey, compared with how much you would pay for in-person lessons, it’s extremely reasonable. The customisable options and rich user experience certainly make it worth it for me.
The key pros the Down Dog are;
- Extensive customisation options
- Easy to follow along
- You never do the same workout twice
However, it’s not perfect. The free version is very basic, and in comparison to some others, it’s definitely on the pricier side of workout apps.
As I said, I was really sceptical at first. I didn’t think anything would make me enjoy yoga or encourage me to do it. But I found that I actually really enjoyed my first few practices and I will very likely continue my subscription with Down Dog.
To sum up, although the Down Dog is on the pricier side of workout apps, the features it offers are truly great. It may be the best yoga app of its kind, and it’s perfect if you want to start daily yoga sessions that help you to pose correctly.
The customisable options available on Down Dog are not available on similar workout apps, making this one really stand out. Why not check out some of our other workout app reviews here, like Nike Training Club or Map My Walk.