BirthKuwait Inagural Gala

BirthKuwait Inagural Gala
celebrating 4 years of giving (note: it's by invite only)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Prenatal Yoga ~ Your Questions Answered!

Do you want to learn more about the latest trend in pregnancy ~ Prenatal Yoga? 

Come to a free public lecture by Blooma Founder and Trainers Sarah Longacre and and Stacy Seebart to learn more! 

(See some commonly asked questions below)

When: Sunday, January 13, 5:30-6:30pm
Where: Kuwait Women's and Cultural Society (Khaldiya, Block 2)

When should I start Prenatal Yoga?

Prenatal Yoga can be started at any stage of pregnancy. The sooner you begin, the more time you will have to prepare for your upcoming birth, connect with other pregnant moms, and avoid common discomforts of pregnancy. If you are unable to begin classes until the later stages of pregnancy, even one or two classes can be of benefit. 

What should I bring to class? What should I wear? 

Most yoga studios are fully equipped with all of the necessary props and equipment. They will have blankets, blocks, bolsters, straps, mats and more. If you have a mat, feel free to bring it- most students prefer to use their own. You may also like to bring a water bottle, as pregnant moms become dehydrated twice as fast. Wear comfortable clothing you can move in- yoga pants, sweats, T-shirts, etc. Layers are nice, that way if (when) you get too hot as your muscles warm up, you can remove a layer. When you are ready to relax at the end of class you can put your layers back on to keep you warm and comfortable.

Will Prenatal Yoga alleviate common pregnancy discomforts?

The vast majority of mothers who practice yoga in their pregnancies report a decrease in their discomfort. Back pain, insomnia, hip pain, sciatica, leg cramps, and round ligament pain are just a few of the pregnancy discomforts which are easily remedied through a regular yoga practice. In addition, many mothers report improved digestion, decreased swelling, and better sleep at night as a result of yoga practice. Let your instructor know during intros/ check-in if there is something that you would like to address through the yoga practice. Not only will she be able to address it in the practice, other moms may have experienced the same issue and have ideas to help.

How will Prenatal Yoga prepare me for my labor?

A consistent yoga practice can help put your baby in an optimal position for labor, and many of the breathing techniques, postures and movements practiced in class can be used during labor to cope with discomfort and help your labor to progress efficiently. In addition, many questions and concerns regarding the birth experience are addressed in class. Instructors can answer questions or direct you to appropriate resources and other students may have experiences and information to share, as well.

I have never practiced yoga before and I am not flexible. Will Prenatal Yoga be too difficult for me?

Many women come to yoga for the first time when they are pregnant ~ you are not alone! While the practice will offer a challenge for long-time yoga practitioners, it is designed to welcome newcomers as well. Teachers are trained to meet you where you are and offer modifications as necessary. You should communicate with your instructor throughout class, letting her know if something does not feel right and asking for assistance. Whether you are a long-time yoga practitioner, or completely new to yoga, remember to listen to your body and honor your needs in the moment. Your yoga instructors- and the practice itself- will help you to do this.

Keep in mind that all yoga practice- whether prenatal or not- will help increase flexibility. Few yogis have come to the practice already flexible- it’s the practice that made them so! And as a pregnant mom, you are at an advantage. With the increased production of Relaxin (a pregnancy hormone designed to make your ligaments more supple and stretchy) it’s a perfect time to take up yoga!

I have been practicing yoga for years…will Prenatal Yoga be challenging enough for me?

Preparing for labor can be thought of as training for an athletic event, and while Prenatal Yoga is sensitive to the needs of pregnant women, most will find at least part of the practice physically challenging. As an example, some classes may include holding poses such as Warrior (virabhadrasana) or Powerful pose (utkatasana) for a minute while practicing mindfulness and breathing techniques to cope with the discomfort. Other classes use an active vinyasa flow practice. And some classes may use a gentler practice while challenging the mother with mindful meditation.

Like “regular” yoga, Prenatal Yoga comes in many styles, with practices as diverse as the teachers teaching them. If one class does not meet your needs, try another, till you find a class that works for you. And of course, be mindful of your changing body- you may find that the practice you have been used to is not what your body needs during this transformative time.

What does Prenatal Yoga have to offer that a regular yoga class does not?

The focus of Prenatal Yoga is very specific to the childbearing year. The physical practice focuses on relief for common pregnancy discomforts and restoring energy while preparing the body for the rigors of labor. Many poses can even be used as labor coping tools. The meditation aspect of prenatal yoga classes will help you feel connected to your pregnant self and your baby ~ and help you find stillness for your mind as you learn to integrate the changes that come with pregnancy. The community building will help you feel connected to other mothers sharing many similar emotions, questions, and experiences. This is a great opportunity to “compare notes” and make long-lasting friendships! In addition, pregnant moms taking regular yoga classes are often met with misinformed comments and instruction from well-meaning teachers and classmates, preventing them from getting the most out of their practice. Prenatal yoga class offers a safe space to totally immerse in the experience of pregnancy and let go of the distractions of the outside world.

What is the advantage of taking a class as compared to just practicing at home with a book or video?

Coming to class provides you with community and personalized instruction that cannot be provided from a book or video. An instructor can tailor your practice to meet your specific needs and help you troubleshoot when a pose feels awkward or you are experiencing discomfort that requires special attention. The conversation that happens in class can help moms find a provider, learn what to expect in their chosen birthing facility, or hear about maternity care options they would not otherwise learn about. A good prenatal yoga DVD or book is a great way to practice at home between classes, but is not a good substitute for class itself!

Where Can I Find a Prenatal Yoga Class in Kuwait?

The availability of prenatal yoga classes is growing in Kuwait ~ with the training and Blooma certification of 20 new prenatal yoga instructors this January! Please look under resources available for pregnant mothers at for the latest class timings and locations available.

Written by Sarah Paksima, mother of four children, expecting her fifth this February! Through her business EngagingBirth, she teaches prenatal yoga and Lamaze childbirth education classes and provides doula services. She is also one of the founders of BirthKuwait. 


I'm about to enter my third trimester, is too late for me to attend pre-natal yoga classes? I wish I have heard of this sooner so the back pains that I'm experiencing could be reduced and to help me relax and neutralize my breathing.

-Bethany Morrison

It is never too late to begin prenatal yoga. You will still feel the benefits of a gentle yoga practice. Just let your instructor know that you are just beginning yoga for the first time so she can help adapt it for your level.

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