HelloYoga launched just before the government mandate that all non-essential businesses, including gyms and yoga studios, would need to close for the foreseeable future, and was perfectly timed for the surge in searches for online yoga. Unlike a lot of the existing yoga apps and online yoga classes, HelloYoga was specifically designed to offer one-to-one, expert-led practice from the best qualified yoga instructors all over the world, via their own safe video connection.
Working out from home can be really challenging in terms of self-motivation, particularly when we all have a lot of news and media to be distracted by. And while your friends might be posting (smugly?) all over their Instagram that they’re doing daily fitness classes, and people are contracting injuries from taking up new activities without the help of physiotherapists or instructors present.
If you’re a beginner looking to start learning the basics of yoga with some constructive feedback, or an expert yogi missing the adjustments and personal attention you may be used to in a studio environment, HelloYoga is a new online app and platform that offers a more bespoke online yoga experience. All you need is a yoga mat or towel, a bit of space, and a smartphone or computer screen to connect with your teacher.
HelloYoga are offering a 3-day free trial of their private sessions with individual tutors, so I decided to try it out for myself. The platform is very simple to use, and you can select via instructor, times available or yoga style (Yin, Hatha, Vinyasa flow, Ashtanga and Freeform customised just for you). After the trial, HelloYoga costs £89 per month, so it’s well worth exploring via three free sessions first but notably cheaper than a lot of gym or yoga studio fees can amount to. HelloYoga are aiming to offer a quality, luxury yoga experience at a more approachable price point.
I booked a 55 minute Vinyasa flow session with Bijou Fernandez, because it suited my morning schedule and slotted into my working day. I was slightly nervous about having a one-to-one session with an instructor who I didn’t know, but doing it through a laptop screen made it feel entirely safe. We started with a quick intro and Bijou asked me how often I practice yoga, what kinds of classes I’ve attended before and how I was feeling that day so he could tailor the class entirely to my experience level and requirements.
He was teaching from the brilliant sunshine of another continent, and I was in my living room in London, but it didn’t make it awkward or interrupt our flow (aside from me being a little jealous of the weather). There was a little dialogue between positions, but we mostly focussed on my posture, stretches and breathing, a brilliant guided practice with a bespoke, tailored feel. We had a slight connection problem once, but reconnected within five seconds, and were able to laugh about it. In relation to other yoga apps, I felt that I was in the hands of an expert yoga teacher I wouldn’t normally have access to, at the time that I wanted. I soon found myself booking in for another session with Bijou, later that week.