Looking for the best fitness tracker for yoga?
Maybe you go to a yoga class at your local gym or in the semi virtual world of 2020 your yoga instructor may be virtual and you follow along at home to something along the lines of Fitness with Adriene.
Whichever way you do it, yoga is great for your overall fitness focusing on both your physical and mental health.
Best all rounder
- Yoga workout videos on device
- Respiration Tracking
Best Fitbit for Yoga
- Activity Minutes
- 24 / 7 heart rate monitoring
Best budget option
- Calories burnt
- 24 / 7 heart rate monitoring
The Vivoactive 4 / 4S and Venu SQ are all very similar products which are very suitable fo fitness and health tracking across a number of activities. The main differences are that S stands for small in 4S and the VenuSQ comes with an AMOLED screen.
The screen shows animated workouts so it is possible to see a yoga move on the device before you try it. The animations are realistic and there is the capability to download more pre-made workouts from the Garmin Connect site.
The Vivoactive range have the ability to measure your respiration rate which is how much you inhale and exhale in a minute. Whilst in yoga mode this will be tracked and can later be analysed in the Garmin Connect app.
The Vivoactive range can identify the best time for you to get the most of your yoga workouts using a concept know as Body Battery Energy. The device gathers data across stress, sleep, heart rate variability and activity to produce a score between 0 to 100 – think of it as similar to your phone’s battery indicator – the higher the score the better it is to do your activity.
The Vivoactive range is quite expensive and it may be worth considering whether a smartwatch like the Apple Watch would be more suitable. On balance, with GPS, onboard music, respiration tracking and quality yoga tracking the Vivoactives are the best fitness trackers for yoga right now.
The Charge series has always been a great practical offering from Fitbit for tracking your activities. Whilst the Fitbit Charge 3 offers what you need to track yoga the latest offering the Fitbit Charge 4 gives that little bit more in all round benefits.
Sleek, small and covering the basics of step counting the Charge 4 is capable of tracking 20 different activities including yoga. You also get to benefit from Fitbit’s newest metric Active Zone Minutes (AZM). Taking into account age, weight and height and resting heart rate the Charge 4 keeps tabs on any workout that gets your heart pumping. You earn minutes for any period you are in one of these heart rate zones fat burn, cardio, or peak heart-rate zones.
The aim is to get to 150 AMZ as recommended by leading health bodies such as the World Health Organisation although this can be adjusted up and down as you see fit.
Away from yoga, the Charge 4 offers a number of all round fitness tracking features For the first time on a Fitbit Charge built in GPS so you can go for a run without taking your phone as well as an Sp02 sensor which works well with Fitbit’s renowned sleep tracking to give deep insight into your sleep quality.
The Xiaomi Mi Band 6 is probably best suited to newcomers to the fitness tracking world but adds some additional features such as smartphone notifications.
There are 11 different supported activity types including yoga. Each time you record a yoga session the device keeps a record of your heart rate, pace and calories burnt. This all feeds into the Personal Activity Intelligence score which rates your health on a range of 0 – 100.
Whilst, not as fully featured as some other devices available the Mi Band 6 fitness tracker gives you an inexpensive way to track your asanas.
Why use trackers for yoga?
There are some people who would argue that using a device to track a yoga session is a no-no and takes away from the reflective and meditative aspects of yoga.
We disagree! The continued evolution of fitness trackers and smart watches has moved them on from devices that simply track steps to more rounded devices that are more suitable for yoga.
What to look for in trackers for yoga?
To be able to record its effect on your fitness and keep a good record of your yoga workouts the base level of functionality to look for is the ability to:-
- track calories burned
- measure heart rate
Bear in mind, that a lot of fitness trackers use a wrist based monitor and use a set of assumptions to work out your calories burned. You will always need to ensure that your settings of age, gender, height and weight are set correctly. If you require more accuracy in your heart rate reading you either need a chest strap like the Polar (link),, or a heart rate monitor that goes round the arm like the Wahoo TickrX(link). The downside is that they can get in the way during yoga sessions and restrict your movements as they can be quite constrictive.
More advanced functionality
For many activities
Any fitness tracker worth its salt should have the basic functionality and there are lots of reasonably priced options out there. Make your budget stretch a bit further and you get into smart watch territory. Typically this will get you a set of features such as gps, water resistance and sleep tracking that are useful across many fitness activities not just yoga.
Specific yoga trackers don’t really exist at the moment. In our research we did come across a couple of options such as the Jeevah yoga smartwatch currently crowdfunding on indieGogo or the Yoga Notch if you are OK with attaching sensors to your body to track your poses.
So the best option is to choose a fitness tracker that can be used for many fitness activities and use its capabilities to tailor it to your specific needs.
Any trackers that have one or more of the following features will allow you to get more from your yoga workouts
- guided breathing and meditation
- respiration tracking
- yoga specific exercise modes
- ability to download an exercise app for yoga to the device
- sleep quality tracking
- videos of yoga flows that you can view directly from the device
- vo2 max recording
Can a Fitbit track yoga?
Yes if the Fitbit has the ability to measure heart rate and calories burned it can track yoga. Whilst, that will work we would currently recommend getting the Charge 4 as the tracker comes with Active Zone Minutes. Fitbit’s new metric moves away from step counting and uses 24/7 hear rate tracking to give you a baseline resting heart rate. Anything, that increases that is counted as exercise and we would expect yoga to do that more often than not.
Last update on 2023-01-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API