Online Wellness Done Right? Grokker Review 2019
- Unparalleled volume of yoga and wellness content
- Excellent value for money
- Access to experts and teachers
- Wearable technology integration
- Huge, interactive community
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What is Grokker?
With a name like Grokker, it doesn't sound like your typical online yoga class service does it?
Well, frankly it's not. It's far more than that.
With 4000+ wellness videos, Grokker aims to be the complete package for a healthy life. Makes sense, seeing as this holistic approach provides enough yoga, fitness, cooking and mindfulness content to last a lifetime.
As someone who has a strength training regime, a healthy appetite for food, and a strong yoga practice - I can really see the benefits of a platform that ties it all together.
The platform itself is a big selling point too.
Imagine a Facebook, that puts high-quality yoga content in front of you every day, tracks your progress, connects you with like-minded wellness warriors and doesn't push you to play Candy Crush..
I spent a solid 2 weeks testing (and thoroughly enjoying) the free trial.
Here's my honest Grokker review.
The Grokker Platform
What really makes Grokker special is the platform itself.
Great content is obviously the cornerstone for any streaming service, but the true value here lies in the delivery.
After all, there's plenty of free content out there for people to consume. There must be a reason people are willing to pay for it right?
What people need from a service like this is convenience, motivation and connection.
Grokker addresses each of these things in different ways.
Your dashboard is your wellness command centre.
It's got everything you need to build and maintain your yoga schedule, keep on top of your active program (you can only follow one at a time), and interact with the community.
This is what I need from a home page, not just an easy way to navigate the videos. ✓
I really like the calendar feature.
I'm all about structuring my healthy lifestyle, and being able to schedule and track classes is great for keeping me on track.
I'm a very all or nothing person, so missing a scheduled video really annoys me.
The "Watched, no progress tracked" label irks me though. The platform is tracking my progress, but for it to register on the calendar properly, I also have to click the "I Did This" button shown below.
It seems like a soft way of enforcing social interaction on the platform, and I don't appreciate extra manual bureaucracy. So my calendar has a bunch of "Watched, no fitness tracked" because I don't feel the need to share everything. Sorry not sorry.
I've always wondered what successful gamification of wellness would look like. I think Grokker has made a pretty good attempt.
They provide a "wellness level" that increases with the amount of time spent watching the videos.
As a gamer, I'm easily motivated by logical progression (conditioned should I say?), especially when they call me a "C.H.A.M.P.I.O.N".
Though, I'd definitely like to see that separated out into the different wellness aspects.
Show me how many Ashtanga practices I've done, or how my Vietnamese cooking skills are coming along. Give me a sense of genuine improvements, rather than an arbitrary figure.
I still think it's a good start though, I hope they continue to develop it.
Meet the Experts
Grokker is an expert-led platform.
You're able (and encouraged to) not only follow your favourite experts to be alerted to their new content, but also to interact with them by @mentioning them in a comment on their video pages.
I spotted Kino MacGregor and Brett Larkin while I was browsing, so there's definitely some big names in there.
On most streaming services, community interaction is an afterthought.
Whereas Grokker make a real effort to integrate it into the platform. Opportunities to interact with the community are everywhere.
They still mostly revolve around the "I Did This" functionality, allowing us share our achievements and comment on others.
As I said earlier, it's not my favourite function (don't make me do extra things).
So, I'm not totally convinced strangers are going to have many meaningful interactions this way, but it's still light years ahead of other yoga streaming platforms.
The Q&A Cafe and forums are very nice additions though! Those areas, along with the ability to directly reach out to yoga teachers and experts - that's where I can see real value in the community.
Technology and Devices
Another area where Grokker really knocks it out the park is with it's technology.
Grokker.com has a beautiful, clean interface that has worked flawlessly on desktop and mobile for me. I also casted videos from my phone to the TV via Apple TV with no problems
Plus - and this is a big one - Grokker integrates with all the latest wearables.
I think this is a big step towards bringing yoga into the modern wellness revolution.
If you've got Apple Health, a Fitbit, or a Garmin, you're good to go.
The Grokker App
No modern streaming service would be complete without an app, and Grokker is no different.
Just like Grokker.com, the app gives you full access to the video library and dashboard functions.
I tend to either watch videos on my mobile when I'm on the go, or I cast them to my TV so the app is perfect for both.
What About the Content?
With a bank of 4000+ videos, you can't just start with video #1 and go from there.
So Grokker does a great job at packaging the videos into bite-sized chunks. Yoga, Fitness, Cooking and Mind all have their own distinct categories, and they themselves are split into classes, programs, collections and topics.
All shot in full HD, every video I've watched on the platform has been top quality in picture and production. All really varied too, I much prefer a change of scenery and colour every now and again over the same blank studio each time.
Here's my content review.
Whatever your preferred yoga style, with almost 1000 videos over 16 topics there's plenty to dive into.
The "yoga topics" are a mix of traditional yoga styles and various focus' for your practice (e.g. core strength). I definitely made use of the "Arm Balances" content.
As for the yoga styles, right now there are 9 available.
I'd like to see more yoga styles, but in providing a range from Ashtanga to Yin, they have most types of practice covered.
There's definitely a focus on practicality over spirituality, but I have no issue with that. I think it's hard to recreate the spiritual energy of a yoga class via a screen anyway.
I tried a range of yoga classes, but the yoga programs are what really stood out to me.
I love the sense of progression that a schedule of videos gives me (I'm a Virgo), and I really enjoyed the 7-Day Morning Yoga Challenge from Celest Pereira.
A light and fun set of vinyasa videos to start each day of the week was a real treat. If you're a beginner I'd recommend the Beginner's Guide to Yoga with Michael James Wong too!
Now, I'm not the type to strap on some lycra and bounce around my living room, but the fitness offering on Grokker appears to be very good.
Whether you prefer Pilates, HIIT or Kickboxing, you can get your ass kicked in whichever style you like.
I like to keep my weight training to progressive sets in the gym (not as part of fitness routines) but of the videos I sampled, I found them to be (mostly) non-cheesy, effective workouts. Mostly.
One video I did find a lot of value in was the Foam Roller Exercises video as part of Kelly Lee's Daily Muscle Relief program. I'd like to try some more of the general mobility videos too.
For me, the cooking section was the unexpected hero.
I loosely follow a few YouTube channels for recipes and tips, but I never really knew how much I needed a platform like this to pull it all together.
The topics are broken down by Interests (e.g. Easy meals), Meals (e.g. Breakfast.. duh), and of course by cuisine.
I love using these helpful videos to improve my Japanese and Vietnamese cooking skills.
Thank you Reiko Hashimoto for teaching me such simple and delicious dishes!
Here you'll find a range of meditation and mindfulness content designed to improve different areas of your life. Some very unexpected oens too, I never thought I'd be watching a "Budgeting 101" video on a wellness platform but there you go..
You can find videos on the following topics:
I didn't try out too many of these topics, but I did try the High Performance: Mindfulness for Success program by Alister Gray.
It reminded me a lot of the Headspace app - and that's a very good thing. Must've been those soft Scottish tones..
I found the videos and exercises to be very clear and purposeful. Nothing groundbreaking, but an excellent delivery of some very rich advice.
How Much Does it Cost?
Grokker is as simple as it gets when it comes to membership and costs.
$14.99 p/month, or $9.99 p/month on the annual plan.
Can't argue with that value.
Plus, they offer a 14 day trial absolutely free
My Grokker Experience
From my experience, Grokker is the closest thing we mere mortals can get to a complete online wellness solution in 2019.
Taking the best content and videos from a range of wellness topics, presenting them in a clean and dynamic fashion, and tying them all together with the best-in-class technology solutions.
What I think Grokker really nails - in a way that nobody else does - are the personal and social aspects of online wellness. Like the hero in your favourite RPG, earning "wellness levels", tracking your progress and achievements, and sharing them with the highly interactive community are all great features.
It's exactly what I want from an online yoga platform.
I'm here primarily for the yoga classes (and they doesn't disappoint), but I was surprised to see just how much time I spent using the meditation and cooking content too. The platform does such a good job at serving you personalised content, I find myself (uncharacteristically) playing along.
Is Grokker for You?
There are lot's of good reasons to like Grokker.
Besides the amazing content, it has the best platform of any yoga streaming service, a wider range of topics and a stronger community. It ticks every box.
Grokker is a rich and purposeful platform, but it's not a spiritual one.
So, if you're looking for an all-round wellness solution, that integrates with your technology and your schedule, then Grokker is a great option.