And suddenly, you find yourself in an unfamiliar situation in your life. You're pregnant. You are expecting the arrival of a new, bright being. Your body is changing, transforming.
While expecting the arrival of my baby, I had the opportunity to embark on a journey. My guide on this journey was my fellow passenger - my child, and my daily yoga practice was our faithful companion. That's how I learned all over again how to listen and respond to my needs and desires, whether physical, emotional or mental. I soon discovered poses that relieved me or rejuvenated me, but also poses that the foetus seemed to prefer, that seemed to relieve or even to entertain or relax my baby. Ultimately, my yoga practice proved to be very valuable, both during pregnancy and labour, but also post-partum.
As a method of achieving proper posture and through breathing exercises, yoga allows a pregnant woman to exercise effectively and safely according to her own abilities, needs and desires. Awareness of her body and the changes it is undergoing, a connection to breathing, relief from possible pain, cultivating her relationship with the foetus, boosting self-confidence and preparing for childbirth, achieving a sense of well-being, relaxation and calm are just a few of the multiple benefits of a yoga practice followed during pregnancy.
A normal yoga practice for expectant mothers includes breathing exercises, performance of consecutive mild or dynamic poses, relaxation and visualisation techniques and meditation.
Some of my favourite poses were photographed in my eighth month of pregnancy and are presented here:
Ioanna Vasilakopoulou is a certified hatha yoga instructor (Yoga Alliance). She leads yoga practices, expressive dance classes and Thai massage sessions. She directs movement for the theatre while researching, composing and interpreting with the ditto performance and visual arts company. She has studied Sociology, Dance and Cultural Management.