Rolling and spiralling are key movements in Birthlight baby and toddler yoga. This is not just because they are fun, which they are, but because rolling is very beneficial for our babies and toddlers, and spiralling can help to protect parents’ backs from strain when lifting little ones.
These movements stimulate the Vestibular system- responsible for how we orient ourselves in space and learn to balance. They also echo both the rolling which babies do inside the womb, and the journey made through the birth canal and into the world. (These movements are said to be especially important for babies born by C-Section.)
We progress in baby yoga classes from mini- rolls ( not the chocolate kind!!) , rolling from Mum’s shoulders to lap, rolling up and down Mum’s thighs, to a roll all the way down Mum’s legs , stopping for a tickle, then all the way up to her arms for a kiss! It’s loads of fun and babies who have gained head control seem to love being able to see the world from a roll! Even tiny babies can do mini rolls up and down Mum’s upper arm!
By the time little ones are rolling over by themselves they will find this movement really funny and try to propel themselves with Mums help! Toddlers will learn to roll themselves along the floor, first with Mum or Dad’s help to guide them; then by themselves! My daighter has just mastered this and rolls all over the floor until she meets furniture! Another favourite practice in older baby and toddler classes is joint rolling, where parents and little ones take it in turns to roll down the middle of the room, with plenty of cushioning for sticky out bits! Parents’ arms naturally protect their little ones and although most are nervous about trying this in case they squash the little one, if down in a relaxed way it is perfectly safe and feels so natural! Great for confidence building as well as delighting you both!