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Iana Varshavska from YanvaYoga shares tips on getting the most out of your yoga sessions

YanvaYoga is an excellent online tool for people looking for new tips and tricks when it comes to sparking their yoga workouts, especially yoga for pregnant women. The website, which was founded by Iana Varshavska a few years ago, has become an incredibly popular tool for yoga-obsessed households. As the COVID-19 pandemic has caused widespread national lockdowns, working out with close friends at your local gym or fitness centre has become heavily regulated. In some places, it remains banned because of accelerating coronavirus cases. However, with the terrific support of Iana from YanvaYoga, you can complete all your yoga routines from the comfort of your home.

Check out some of Iana Varshavska’s answers to our questions, which revolved around how to maximize your yoga routines.

Hi Iana. In your understanding, why is yoga such a great exercise? What are some of the health benefits of practising yoga?

I like to repeat, “Yoga is more than just an exercise, it’s the way of living. It helps to rejuvenate the body and mind; let you focus on yourself and your inner world.” One of the biggest benefits of yoga is that it improves the overall strength of the body and promote a better lifestyle. Apart from that, it helps to:

  • calm down and relieve stress;
  • Improve the quality of life of patients with diabetes;
  • prevent cardiovascular disease;
  • reduce high blood pressure;
  • listen to your own body;
  • cure back pain;
  • improve flexibility and coordination;
  • improve digestion or cleanse the body of toxins.

When people start practising yoga they become more awaken and mindful, learn to let go all bad. They gain self-confidence and start to monitor what they eat. Their sleep also improves, providing the good quality rest; thus the level of everyday stress correspondingly decreases. Yoga helps practitioners to perceive the world as it is. It reminds them that the true beauty of your inner world depends on you but not on what is going on around you.

As a bonus yoga teaches how to use breathing as medicine. It also allows you to forget about chronic pain and anxiety.

Are straps necessary for all yoga routines? What are the benefits of using straps during your training?

Yoga straps, as any other yoga bolsters, were made to ease and improve your practice. With their help, you will learn to better align the posture and better understand it accordingly . Remember not to get carried away and force yourself into a pose. Always listen to your body and act softly, allowing your body to unfold at its own pace.

What type of clothes would you recommend wearing during yoga routines?

There are no clear rules for choosing an outfit; each practitioner can dress according to his/her taste. At the same time, the success of classes largely depends on what you are worn at, because too tight or too loose clothing can interfere with the correct exercise.

Remember, the main criterion for choosing what to wear for yoga is convenience. Yoga clothing should not slip, press or restrict movement when taking any position. As it is difficult to stand on your head or do stretching in loose-fitting clothes, it is better to choose a tight-fitting suit for training.

How does yoga help women who are pregnant?

Yoga suits perfectly for almost everyone, especially for pregnant women. At our website, we have many articles about prenatal yoga( pregnancy yoga benefits, the best poses and breathing techniques to practice and poses to avoid while pregnant).

In short, yoga improves the physical state of future moms. For instance, stretching exercises help improve flexibility and avoid tissues breaks during labour. Yoga also allows maintaining the elasticity of the muscles during the entire pregnancy process – which means that the expectant mother will quickly get in shape after childbirth.

Yoga teaches correct breathing techniques. The ability to breathe properly helps expectant mothers to go through painful feelings during labours.

Yoga helps to improve mood and stamina, relieve emotional fatigue. Maintaining the habit of doing yoga during pregnancy, and after the birth of a baby, a woman stabilizes the emotional background, relieve herself of the emotional swing caused by hormones. Thus, a good mood will be an additional bonus to the overall benefits gained from practising prenatal yoga!

How does using yoga blocks maximize your routine?

Same as in the case with yoga straps, yoga blocks helps to improve yoga practice without extra efforts and threats. Yoga blocks serve to “raise the floor”, bring it closer to the practitioner, and thus facilitate the asana.

For instance, you may use yoga block while performing Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose). Sometimes when practitioner just starts practising yoga, this pose might be hard to perform correctly without a correspondent yoga prop. In this case, yoga block can help to correctly align the body and fixate it in the right position. After some time, your body will get used to the alignment, making it easier to practice.

You can also use blocks as a muscle tension stabilizer.  As an example, lets take Setu Bandhasana ( Bridge pose). For performing this asana correctly, you should activate the right set of muscles: your abdominal, buttock and hamstrings muscles should be tightened. Hold the block between your knees and make sure all the muscles are on. The advantage of using the block, in this case, is that holding the block helps relieve tension from the sacrum and protect yourself from injury.

What are the three most important things everyone should do before starting their yoga routine?

First of all, never practice yoga with a full stomach. It’s highly recommended to practice yoga on an empty stomach. Thus, try not to eat 2-3 hrs before your yoga practice. Eat something light, not stimulating flatulence.

Drink water 10-15 min before and after practice. I do not recommend drinking water during the practice for several reasons:

  • during practice, we disconnect from the outer world and plunge into ourselves. The rhythm of performing asanas and proper breathing help us to reach the right state. If we drink water during practice, we will not be able to save this state, constantly shifting attention from one activity to another.
  • Performing some inverted asanas and twists is difficult when your belly squishes like a barrel (smiling)

Secondly, check your attire, jewelries, hairstyle. Nothing should distract you from the practice or interfere with the performance of this or that asana.

Thirdly, tune into the practice. Put your phone aside, calm down, warm up your joints and prepare your diaphragm for deep and even breathing.

What is the best thing to do after practising yoga?

After finishing practising yoga give your body some rest. I prefer doing  5 to 10 min Savasana when it’s evening yoga practice. It helps to calm down your body after the practice and prepare to sleep.

Small meditation its a great option if you practice yoga in the morning. Again, it helps your body to calm down after the practise but doesn’t make you weak and sleepy. On the contrary, morning meditation helps to be more awaken and concentrated during the day.

The next thing is re-hydration and taking a shower. During the practice, our body loses water so re-hydration right after you finish your practice would be the right decision.

Eat something to fuel your body with more energy. I recommend taking your meal approximately 20 min after the practice. Eat something healthy and nutritious. For instance, if it’s morning oatmeal with raisins, nuts and banana will be a great start of the day. If you finish practising yoga in the evening, then eat some protein-rich dinner like salmon or turkey with vegetables. For those looking to lose weight through yoga, I recommend refraining from eating after evening yoga practice.

Don’t forget to thank yourself and your body for the practice you’ve done.

I’d like to finish with the great words of B.K.S Iyengar:  “The body is your temple. Keep it pure and clean for the soul to reside in.”


Thank you Iana for your time!
You can follow up with Iana Varshavska at or connect via Instagram