GaiamTV Review

Updated March 31, 2014
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Bottom Line

If you want access to some of yoga's most famous instructors, reviewers say GaiamTV is hard to beat. Subscribing also opens up a wide variety of fitness, health and wellness programming beyond yoga. GaiamTV offers polished compatibility with tablets, smart TVs and other devices, and reviewers say its programs cover every major style of yoga. But some content is starting to show its age, and some students may find the three difficulty levels insufficient.

Instruction

All the big names are here. GaiamTV offers videos by more than 50 instructors. The list includes extensive offerings from some of the biggest names in yoga, including Rodney Yee, Seane Corn, Kathryn Budig and Shiva Rea. "If you need to have access to every Rodney Yee video ever made, this is the place for you," notes one reviewer. Users can rate and comment on individual classes, but there is no true interaction with the teachers. The majority of classes receive 4- and 5-stars reviews, and reviewers say instructors are top-notch. Users can access all classes taught by a particular instructor via their bio pages, which may help them "get to know" each one better.

ProsIncludes big-name instructors, Access to other fitness, wellness programs, Compatible with many devices, Wide variety of classes, styles, special sessionsConsSome videos are dated, Only three difficulty levels

Production

Titles are more polished than most. Unlike many other online yoga sites, GaiamTV offers titles that were released on video and DVD. Of course, that means settings vary wildly -- some may be shot in airy studios, while others are set on the beach or in the desert. It also means workouts tend to have higher production values that include smoother editing and multiple camera angles, but some of the titles are dated. GaiamTV offers classes in every major style of yoga and has special collections for prenatal yoga, morning and evening workouts, stress relief and weight loss, among other needs. There is a free 10-day trial, and then access is $9.95 per month. Access also includes content from My Yoga Online, which Gaiam acquired in 2013.

Ease of use

Viewing is compatible with lots of devices. Reviewers say GaiamTV has a clean, uncluttered interface with an intuitive search function. Users can search using a wide range of criteria, including difficulty, style, instructor and duration. Users can also access particular segments of videos, so if they don't have time for a full hourlong workout, they can choose a particular 20-minute chunk, for instance. The site classifies each title with one of three difficulty levels: basic, beginner and intermediate, and reviewers appreciate the thorough class descriptions. Users can also access GaiamTV via an Android tablet or iPad app, the Sony Playstation 3, Roku, Vizio Co Star, Apple TV, Samsung Smart TV, Panasonic Smart TV and Sony Blu-Ray. The site also includes a clear tutorial on how to connect laptops to high-definition TVs via an HDMI cable.

Our Sources

1. LisaLiving.Well.com

Gaiam TV Review, "Lisa", April 25, 2013

This review praises how easy it is to find particular videos by particular instructors on GaiamTV, and says the site is easy to navigate and browse by category too. It also notes the videos' thorough descriptions. The user did have some technical issues, however.

2. TippyToeDiet.com

Review: GaiamTV, Cammy Chapel, May 29, 2012

This thorough review praises GaiamTV for its ease of use and variety of choices for all fitness levels. But the reviewer wishes she could filter out some titles or teachers, and says the link to the Gaiam store is distracting.

3. About.com

Best Sites for Online Yoga Videos, Ann Pizer, June 12, 2013

Ann Pizer, the About.com guide to yoga, includes GaiamTV in this roundup's picks for best online yoga. It notes the "extensive catalog" of yoga and other workout videos, including Rodney Yee's body of work. No cons are noted.

4. PopSugar.com

Websites That Offer Free (or Dirt-Cheap) Yoga Classes, Jenny Sugar, May 17, 2013

This roundup praises GaiamTV's catalog of "actual yoga DVDs" that includes big-name instructors. It also notes the free app for iPad or iPod. No cons are noted.

5. Alignyo.com

Online Yoga: 10 Sites for Streaming Yoga Classes, Ally Garner, Oct. 29, 2013

This roundup notes the breadth and depth of Gaiam TV's offerings as well as its high-profile instructors. The short blurb does not name any cons.