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Kasia Kocinska, owner of Paphos Yoga, expecting a new addition to the family
Kasia Kocinska, owner of Paphos Yoga, expecting a new addition to the family
  • Slow it down

Slowing down your practice can help prepare your body for the next nine months.  If you do not yet have a yoga practice, try seeking out slow flow, yin, or restorative styles of yoga.  Or ask anyone here at the studio what classes are appropriate.  We are here to help!

  • Don’t push yourself

Now is not the time for a handstand workshop!  In the first trimester relaxin, a hormone that softens ligaments and tendons is released in larger amounts, which raises the risk of injury.  Keep your range of motion the same, if not less than it was before you became pregnant to reduce those risks.

  • Moola Bandha

Moola bandha is a highly effective pelvic floor strengthener.   You can engage it by gently pulling up and in at the pelvic floor area as if you were trying to touch your tailbone to your pubic bone.  Try to keep this foundation throughout your practice.  If these actions are uncomfortable for you, simply bringing your attention to the pelvic floor area is also beneficial.

  • Keep your body comfortable

Your body is going to be housing a tiny living being for the next 9 months.  You want to feel good during practice!  Bring a blanket or a pillow to your mat.  Wear a soft sweater.  Give yourself mini massages during poses.  These are all ways to give the body a little extra love throughout your practice.  

  • Start using props!

Props are handy for prenatal yoga to help support the belly and other sensitive areas.  Props can enhance any yoga practice.  You can use common household items.  Some examples of prenatal yoga props include:

  • Yoga blocks or thick books
  • Bolsters or pillows
  • Blankets
  • Strap, Bandana, or shirt
  • Chair or wall

First trimester

Suggested pose: malasana (yogi squat)

Pregnant Caucasian woman meditating, sitting with legs folded like an upright frog, wearing a blue shirt and tight-fitting denim jeans, with eyes closed and index and thumb resting on her knees.

This is a terrific pose for pelvic floor health.  For a more restorative option, place a block under your tailbone for extra support.

Avoid:  lower back spinal twists

Twisting the lower back area can cause stress on the ligaments connected to the uterus.  Focus on upper spinal twists such as urdhva mukha pasasana (thread the needle pose) instead.

Second Trimester

Suggested pose:  virabhadrasana (warrior pose)

Colored drawing of a pregnant woman confidently performing the warrior yoga pose, with her baby bump prominently displayed.

Warrior pose is an empowering posture that strengthens the legs and pelvic floor.  There are three variations of virabhadrasana:  I and II are more common and accessible, while III is an advanced balancing posture and should be reserved for the experienced pregnant yogi.  Building lower body muscle is crucial for supporting the extra weight in the belly throughout all stages of pregnancy.

Avoid:  navasana (boat pose)

Any posture that involves vigorous ab work should be avoided.  Strain in the abdominal area can inhibit the growth of the belly.

Third Trimester

Suggested poses: supported supta baddha konasana (butterfly pose)

Woman in restorative yoga pose on incline surface.

This yummy restorative pose uses props for comfort and support.  Blocks under the knees; a bolster or pillow(s) as a reclined seat; a blanket over the body for warmth; feet propped up on a bolster or blanket.  These are all wonderful options to promote relaxation.  Be creative with your props!  If an area feels too hard, soften it with a blanket or pillow. 

Avoid:  traditional savasana (corpse pose)

Lying on the back during pregnancy can constrict the vena cava, an essential blood vessel, that feeds blood to the heart.  Another option for savasana is lying on the left side with a pillow between the legs and blankets under the hips and head.  OR you can stay in the restorative pose described above! 

Pregnant caucasian woman lying in Shavasana, post-prenatal yoga workout.
Side-lying savasana


Suggested pose):  viparita karani (legs up the wall pose)

Young woman relaxing in yoga pose with legs up against a wall.

Putting your legs up the wall is a nice way to introduce compression back into the belly after the baby is born.

Avoid:  Deep stretches and core building

After the baby is born, it might be tempting to jump back into your original yoga/exercise routine.  The body needs time to transition back into these practices.  Try to keep your yoga practices at about 80% or less.  Use props for support!  Slowly add in new poses every week and make sure you’re feeling good during practice.

As a Yoga Alliance certified Vinyasa Yoga teacher based in Paphos, Cyprus, I invite you to come and experience the many benefits of yoga at our studio. Whether you are a local or just visiting on holiday, our studio offers a peaceful and welcoming environment for you to deepen your practice. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more and schedule your first class.

"Girl sits cross-legged in yoga pose with the question "Why Yoga?" written above. Surrounding her are answers such as "relaxation," "mindfulness," & "flexibility."
"Girl sits cross-legged in yoga pose with the question "Why Yoga?" written above. Surrounding her are answers such as "relaxation," "mindfulness," & "flexibility."

What does yoga mean?

The history of yoga dates back over 10,000 years.  However, there is no much-written history about yoga from that time.  The earliest yoga text is The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali from 400 BCE.

According to Pantanjali:  “The restraint of the modifications of the mind-stuff is yoga”

A more modern definition could be the nurturing of a mind-body connection through the use of the breath.  Below, you will find the basic aspects of yoga practice, and some tips to help get you started.

The Five Elements of Practice

It is not recommended to practice an element without the ones preceding it.  Practicing the breath alone is okay (actually, it is encouraged!), but practicing postures without breath, bandhas and focus could risk injury.

  1. Breath (Pranayama)
Young man sits cross-legged on wooden floor, eyes closed, using pointer and middle finger to perform Nadi Suddhi pranayama, a yoga breathing technique.

Because it is the most important element of practice, most yoga classes begin seated with a focus on the breath.  Without the breath, there is no yoga.  The best way to start practicing your yoga breath is to find a comfortable position and close your eyes.  Start breathing in and out the nose with a focus on lengthening the breath, matching your inhales and exhales.  You could spend an entire yoga class doing this if you want to!

  1. Lock (Bandha)

Has anyone ever told you to “find your center”?  This refers to your bandhas or energetic locks.  Moola bandha is the pelvic floor and Uddiyana bandha is the core or belly.  Bandhas are used to maintain strength and balance throughout practice and to prevent injury.  The first step for practicing bandhas is simply bringing awareness to those areas.  If you want to go a step further, gently pull your belly button towards your spine (Uddiyana bandha) and slightly tip your tailbone towards your pubic bone (Moola bandha).  Bandhas should be practiced with the breath.

  1. Focus (Drishti)
Woman of color with short hair sits cross-legged, hands in prayer position, practicing meditation in a peaceful pose.

Finding a focus or point of gaze is the next element that should be practiced once breath and bandhas are learned.  Find a nonmoving object to look at.  If your gaze is wandering, the mind will also wander.  If this happens, gently bring your focus back to the breath/bandhas and find an immobile object to look at.  Closing your eyes can be helpful, but not recommended for balancing postures.  Drishti should be practiced with breath and bandhas.

  1. Physical Poses (Asana)

Notice that physical poses or asana make up only 1/5 of a yoga practice.  Asana is to be practiced after the first three elements are learned. 

Young transgender woman in red top and printed joggers performs Tree yoga pose, balancing and displaying flexibility and turnout.
  1. Elements 1-4 practiced together (Vinyasa)

You may have heard the word Vinyasa used to refer to yoga classes.  The simple meaning of Vinyasa is ‘putting together’.  Vinyasa, in this case, refers to practicing elements 1-4 together. 

Tips for Beginners

Couple sits in Matsyendrasana yoga pose, looking at each other, both wearing white clothing.

Focus on your breath

If you are overwhelmed by all of the elements of practice, simply come back to your breath.  Remember if you are intentionally breathing, you are still doing yoga.

Turn your attention inward

Yoga sessions are YOUR time to spend with yourself and to listen to your body.  If your body is not telling you anything, try asking questions such as “What sensations am I feeling right now?”  Focus on sounds, feelings, or smells in your yoga environment.  The more you practice listening to your body, the more information it will give you, which leads to a deeper relationship with yourself.

Do what feels good…. and only what feels good

I consider this the golden rule of yoga.  Do not push yourself into a pose you are not ready for.  The goal is to find the ‘sweet spot’ and breathe into it.  Pain is not a part of yoga.  If the practice doesn’t feel good, then why would you do it again?  You want your practice to feel good so you can look forward to the next class!

Take the first step in your yoga journey at our Paphos studio. We offer beginner classes, group sessions, and private instruction. Contact us today!

Man in traditional Indian clothing, doing yoga in front of nature. In challenging V-shape pose, feet touching the air.

Vinyasa Yoga definition/types

Vinyasa literally means to place in a certain way or put together.  The Sanskrit breakdown of vinyasa is as follows:

Vi – a particular way

Nysasa – to place

So, what does vinyasa mean in a yoga context?  Here are some examples:

Vinyasa Yoga

A Vinyasa yoga class, as defined by Mark Stephens, is a “Continuous sequence of breath-linked postures.”

Vinyasa yoga is an umbrella term referring to a yoga practice that uses the breath, body, and mind to ‘flow’ through postures.  The counterpart of a Vinyasa-style yoga class would be Yin or Restorative yoga which promotes long holds with less focus on transition.  The key component to a Vinyasa practice is the synchronization of the breath and movements.  If your breath is in harmony with the movements of your body (ex:  inhale arms above your head, exhale arms at your sides), you are doing Vinyasa yoga! 

Vinyasa Krama

Krama means progression of movements.  Vinyasa Krama is the progression from simple to complex.  In a yoga class, this means starting with a basic technique then adding on, working towards a more advanced technique.  An example of this could be:

wide-legged forward fold > tripod > headstand

This can be either a sequence within a class, or the entire Vinyasa class preparing for an advanced posture (also known as a “peak pose”).

A woman performing an inverted yoga pose, surrounded by nature. Strong, focused, and determined, mat on grass.

Vinyasa sequence

Vinyasa can also refer to a specific sequence of postures within a yoga class.  The most common being:

exhale: low plank > inhale: up dog > exhale: down dog

This vinyasa can be cued in ANY yoga class, not just a Vinyasa yoga class.  Sometimes a short flow can feel nice after a long hold in a Yin practice.

A person performing Surya Namaskar yoga in various postures, with the sun in the background.

Elements of Practice

Vinyasa is the 5th element of yoga according to Ashtanga tradition and refers to putting elements 1-4 (breath, lock, focus, posture) all together to form a whole yoga practice.  If you want to learn more about the 5 Elements of Practice, click here! [insert link to YOGA FOR BEGINNERS article]

Helpful Tips for a Vinyasa Practice

  • Ujjayi pranayama

(Also called ‘victory breath’) is commonly cued during a vinyasa practice.  Ujjayi involves breathing in and out of the nose with a slight constriction at the back of the throat.  This constriction causes the breath to sound like ocean waves or Darth Vadar’s breath.  If you are uncomfortable doing Ujjayi breath, simple deep breathing in and out of the nose is an excellent alternative.  Either way, try to match your inhales and exhales.

A portrait of a person of color wearing denim jacket, standing with eyes closed in meditative state against a yellow background.
  • Mind/Body/Breath Connection

If you are having trouble keeping up, don’t stress!  Breathing is the most important part of any yoga practice.  Come back to your breath at any time in an easy posture, such as a child’s pose.  

  • Ask questions!

Vinyasa classes can vary from high-intensity power yoga to slow flow.  If you are unsure about the nature of a class, ask the teacher or call the studio.  Yoga teachers are always willing to suggest modifications for postures or techniques beyond your comfort zone.  We want yoga to be accessible and fun for everybody!

A portrait of a young African American woman leading a group in an outdoor meditation session surrounded by tiny flowers.

We offer Vinyasa classes at the studio in Paphos, so get in touch. You can join group classes or arrange a private yoga session.

Yoga class Pilates Room

Yoga in Paphos

Whether you’re spending your holiday in Paphos or you live here, there are plenty of yoga options around the city and in the nearby areas. There are many different yoga studios and gyms to attend a yoga practice in Paphos – many of which I haven’t even been to! There are also yoga classes organised on the beach, rooftops and grassy areas – all with awesome views and teachers. You can practice your favourite styles from Yin and Restorative to Hatha and Vinyasa yoga – depending on what fills your cup! 

Yoga class organised on the beach

When I first moved to Paphos I had no idea where to practice yoga other than my own living room which is not always what you feel like doing when you’re on holiday right? As a yoga student and teacher I have practiced yoga in many different studios around the world and I really enjoy practicing at yoga studios. I love the sense of being part of a group moving and breathing together, creating intentions and having a knowledgeable teacher guiding you through the yoga flow. 

So having spent almost two years living in Paphos I now know when and where to catch a good yoga class with my favorite teachers. Hope this will make it easier for people who are as lost as I once was 🙂 If you know of any other yoga places not mentioned in the blog post – please message me or comment below. 

Yoga @ the Rooftop of a Cool Coworking Space – Hugge Coworking

Yoga at the Rooftop of a Coworking Space

Yoga takes place on Monday afternoons, just before the sun sets over the city. It’s a 75 minute Vinyasa yoga suitable for all levels. If you’re a beginner or an advanced yogi you will find this class both challenging and grounding (despite it being on a rooftop!). These classes are usually with a nice crowd of people working at the co-working space downstairs, and often many visitors looking for something unique. After yoga you can stay to watch the sunset, have some tea and chats. The yoga classes are guided by me – the author of this post and a certified Yoga Teacher 🙂 To hear more about what I teach go check out my page. The cost of the class is 10 EUR. Yoga mats and blocks are provided. 

The Yoga Space – the yoga studio in Peigya

There is nothing I enjoy more than practicing yoga with Vanessa Morton at her beautiful yoga studio that just opened its doors late 2019. Vanessa has been teaching yoga for many years and is well known in Cyprus for being the best at what she teaches. She makes you feel welcome and a part of her community.

The Yoga Space offers various yoga classes from Monday to Saturday. There is yoga for beginners, yoga for athletes, intermediate and advanced classes. One class is 15 EUR. Packages are available. All yoga props are provided.

The studio is actually not in Paphos but a short drive away to Pegyia.

Yoga at Aphrodite Hills Spa

Yoga at the gym of a well known spa

Yoga at the gym of a well known spa is available twice a week. I teach Mondays 9am and Fridays 9am. All classes at the retreat are 75 minutes long. The yoga classes are either Hatha or Vinyasa flows with some breathing techniques. All classes are available for all levels. 

The cost of the class for non-members is 15 EUR. All yoga mats and props are provided at the spa. 

The Pilates Room

Yoga class at the Pilates Room

This is a very popular Pilates studio in Paphos, where I teach a “Slow Down Yoga & Meditation” class every Wednesday evening. The Pilates Room is run by Nikki who is a very dedicated Pilates teacher. She has many different classes running at the studio, so if you feel like doing some pilates – this is the place to go in Paphos. 

The class I teach is candlelit and available for all levels, even if you’ve never done yoga before. The class is 10 EUR, all props are provided. 

Yoga at Dance Zone Studio in Paphos

Yoga with Emilie is both soothing and energizing. She is an amazing teacher and I love her evening classes at this salsa studio (yes, you can also get your dance on after yoga!). The studio is located in the central Paphos area. 

Once you practice yoga with Emilie you will definitely go back for more – I always feel so grounded and relaxed after practicing with her.

She offers yoga for every-body and her classes include variations for all levels’ yogis. 

The cost of the class is 10 EUR, packages available. 

Yoga for You with Louise at Akoursos Village

Another great treat for your yogi soul is a trip to the mountains of the local village Akoursos where the lovely Louise has her own yoga deck built by her husband (wow!) with stunning views over the hills. The drive through rural areas is also an experience in itself. Louise is a great teacher and her classes will satisfy anyone looking for something challenging! 

Contact Louise for more info on location and pricing. I highly recommend 🙂 

Yoga with Vinyasa Yoga Johanna

Johanna is a sweet yoga teacher from France who teaches yoga on the grass by the beach in the Geroskipou area of Paphos. She has a unique way of bringing you into the zen state with her beautiful voice and creative yoga sequences. Her classes are usually held on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Contact her directly for more details. 

Drop-in class is 12 EUR. 

Yoga o’Clock with Roxana at Sandy Beach 

I actually haven’t been to this yoga but I heard good things. Roxana, the teacher, organises yoga every Thursday before sunset on Sandy Beach in the outskirts of Paphos. If you feel like doing yoga on a sandy beach by the sea – Yoga o’Clock is what you’re looking for on a Thursday evening. 

7 Buddhas Yoga Center Paphos

This studio is run by Dora, a lovely girl from Hungary. I have not been, so not in a position to describe. But if you go, please comment below 🙂 

Wellness Academy 

This studio is located near the vegan Meraki Cafe and yoga classes run a few times a week. Classes are led by Michael from Jamaica 🙂 I am planning to visit so once I do, I will update the blog post 🙂 Or drop a comment if you’ve already done yoga with Michael. 

Private Yoga Classes in Paphos

Private yoga class in Paphos
Private yoga class in Paphos with sunset

I also teach privates by the beach – on the rocks, sand, or grass. These yoga sessions are beautiful, as you’re surrounded by nature and usually in a peaceful quiet spot where you can connect with yourself on a deeper level. 

Cyprus Yoga Retreats

If you’re interested in a yoga retreat in Cyprus (whether at a villa or at a hotel) please drop me an email at [email protected] or visit my website for photos and videos from the last retreat I organised here in Cyprus. If you’re a yoga teacher looking for a retreat centre or a private villa in Cyprus also contact me for some ideas or a collaboration! 

Yoga retreat in Cyprus


If you’re willing to travel out of Paphos I highly recommend two yoga studios in Nicosia. I have been and done yoga there and I honestly sometimes travel for four hours there and back just to visit the studios. 

Yoga Love Story Nicosia

Yoga at this studio will blow your mind (and body). Nickie, the owner, is one of the most amazing teachers I have practiced with and she just moved to a larger space where she and few other teachers offer as many as 3 classes per day! Nickie is a very experienced teacher, she is so welcoming! Her studio is just beautiful. If I may say so it is the most incredible yoga studio in Cyprus. 

Yoga mats, blocks and bolsters are provided. Shower too! A little merchandise, coffee and tea also if you’re up for it. Check out their website for pricing and timetable. 

Mint Yoga.Pilates Studio Nicosia

I went to the class on Friday evening – the Vinyasa Flow. It was very good and guided by Gzada – another great teacher. Her studio is very cute. She also teaches pilates so if you want to mix it up I highly recommend it.

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