One of the Hale mums asked me this morning “what are the benefits of baby yoga?”- a very good question that left me floundering in a sea of information and enthusiasm!! So, here goes:
Why baby yoga is brilliant: Reason 1!
For newborn- 3 mths, baby yoga helps establish good head control by giving you positions to hold them in to encourage the neck and back muscles to strengthen. This helps them later to learn to roll, sit , crawl,, and beyond!
Why Baby yoga is brilliant: Reason 2!:
For newborn plus, it eases digestive discomfort, eg. moves to release wind , strategies for soothing colic.
Why Baby yoga is brilliant: Reason 3!
The baby yoga approach (particularly the Birthlight approach) is to encourage babies to explore in 3d- offering enough physical support but allowing them to move themselves- eg the sways that we do across our lap to ‘my bonny’: we support them but allow them to ‘fall’ into our front hand which stimulates their sense of balance, and encourages them to use their trunk muscles to stay upright
Why Baby yoga is brilliant! : Reason 4:
It gives you a ‘toolbox’ to draw on (ever think- ‘how am i supposed to play with my baby when they cant hold things/ everything goes straight in their mouth?! Or, ‘i just dont know whats up- ive tried everything!’)
Try: Rolling/ swinging/ inversions for boredom!
Tiger in tree/ relaxed walks/ focus on your breathing to soothe and calm overstimulated/ tired baby
Hip sequence, massage moves, swooping and rocking cat for some ‘me and mummy time’ looking at your face!
Joint moves like aeroplane/ mama warrior/ adapted tree pose for a baby who is quiet/ relaxed but wants to be held.
i could go on…..!
Why Baby yoga is brilliant! Reason 5:
It gives you time and space to be playful and joyful with your baby: mutual spirals of joy result!
Why baby yoga is brilliant! Reason 7:
Tummy time doesn’t have to be just putting your baby on their front on the floor! In baby yoga we:
*Lay them across our laps in stick pose- moving to mini handstand, rollercoaster and inversions.
*Carry them in tiger in the tree/ safety hold/ firemans hold which both support the head and neck before they have head control, and strengthen the head, neck and back.
* Do cobra pose together, so baby is on floor on their tummy but can see Mum doing the same!
Why baby yoga is brilliant! Reason 8:
Because the foundations of creating a person who knows how to relax, lie in showing our children how to relax- they learn by what they observe!
Relaxation is a key part of yoga- we always relax at the end of class, and balance more active poses with resting poses.
My favourite: ‘Mummy’s space” pose- otherwise known as child’s pose!( on all fours- sit on heels, tuck arms by sides and rest forehead on ground- v comforting)
Why Baby yoga is brilliant! Reason 9:
Because the foundations of creating a person who loves to be active, and is physically confident, lie in encouraging physical exploration from an early age. Mums say the classes give them the confidence to try new things with their babies, like putting them on the top of their heads, turning them upside down, the monkey swing, etc! We do these in class safely and steadily with lots of pointers about your own posture and baby’s too.
And finally! Why baby yoga is brilliant: Reason 10!
Can any of the baby yoga Mums / toddler yoga Mums past or present, think of their own top reason?! Tell me what you love/d about baby/ toddler yoga. The reason most often given by the Mums who come to my classes is that it gives them the space to focus on and enjoy their baby away from the distractions and to do lists of everyday life. ( back to reason 5!)