Review: Gaia vs. OmStars

in , , , by FroBunni, Friday, May 01, 2020
Yoga pose
Photo Credit: Jaida A. Photography

I often get asked what is the best way to start yoga, and I always recommend online classes because they're inexpensive and many people are more comfortable learning poses in their own home. But with so many options, it's hard to know which one to choose.

I've been doing classes on Gaia for a few months now, but I recently added OmStars to my roster, and while both are great options, they are very different experiences. Here is my review.

Gaia Yoga

Price: $11.99/ month or $99/ year
Notable Teachers: Rodney Yee, Patricia Walden, Mari Windsor
Where to Watch: iOS, Android, Chromecast, Roku, AmazonFire TV

The Good
Gaia is great for beginners. There's many different classes for different levels, and it provides a more traditional yoga class experience. You can filter classes by level, teacher, length, and type, and you can save classes for offline use too. The app is easy to use and navigate, and it doesn't just limit you to yoga. It offers meditation, cooking, Ayurveda, documentaries, and TV shows.

The Bad
While Gaia provides a more traditional yoga experience that you would find at a studio, it may not challenge more experienced yogis looking to include more advanced poses in their practice. There aren't that many advanced classes that include splits, handstands, and advanced hip openers, compared to the amount of beginner or intermediate classes.

The Verdict
Gaia is great for beginners and casual practitioners. You can really dip your toes in the yoga water and try different types of practices, like ashtanga, vinyasa, yin, etc., and can find classes that can fit into any schedule. But if you're looking to really challenge your strength and flexibility beyond the every day, you'll find that Gaia can be limiting.

OmStars Yoga

Price: $14.99/ month or $149.99/ year
Notable Teachers: Kino McGregor
Where to Watch: Online

The Good
With Kino McGregor, Carson Calhoun, Holly Fiske, and Irene Pappas, OmStars really has some yoga stars in its roster, and that's really great if you're trying to learn very specific yoga poses and practices. It's also one of the few yoga apps that has Rocket Yoga and goes beyond Ashtanga's primary series. With challenges and drills, OmStars will give you the tools to reach that elusive press handstand or open your hips to get into middle splits.

The Bad
The functionality is rough. For one, there is no app that can be downloaded to a phone, tablet, or TV, and it took me a minute to figure out how to make the video full screen. Navigation is cumbersome, and sometimes, in the middle of a video, it will automatically refresh to the home page. Finally, membership doesn't unlock all content, there are a few classes that will cost extra.

The Verdict
OmStars is great for yogis looking to advanced their practice beyond what the average class would provide. But functionality issues really make the app difficult to navigate and use, and the cost could really add up if you're looking for exclusive content. With many teachers offering practices and drills for free on their Instagram channel, it might just be easier to save those posts for later.

Final Verdict: Gaia Or OmStars?
At this moment, I've really been digging OmStars and feel a lot stronger and more flexible, and with Rocket and the Ashtanga secondary series, I know it's worth keeping for me. But, with it's more traditional classes and Mari Windsor's pilates classes, Gaia isn't going anywhere either.

In terms of which one I would recommend for others, I would say the average person would do best with Gaia. It's more accessible - in terms of classes and functionality - and just provides the better experience.

Got a question or just want to say hi? You can connect with me on my social networks!
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