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Baby Yoga Class

Baby Yoga is a fairly new practice based on the age-old tradition. It includes simplified Hatha Yoga, coupled with rhythmical, more energetic movement that can be likened to Ashtanga Yoga: which help to maintain the infant’s interests and so both you and your infant can have fun together.

Infants are always ready to welcome new experiences and are eager to communicate. Their developing bodies are flexible and, just like adults; they can benefit from and enjoy the stimulating touch, movements and deep relaxation that Baby Yoga offers.

Baby Yoga leads on perfectly from Baby Massage, and as with Baby Massage, Baby Yoga promotes a life-long bond between parent and infant, and creates a foundation for a happy, healthy life.

Baby Yoga for babies can be active and dynamic and, paradoxically relaxing and calming, so can offer stimulation for your baby when they wish to play vigorously: and then relaxation as they quieten and calm.

What to expect from Baby Yoga

A carefully chosen family-orientated venue will provide the location for the classes. You will sit in a circle of other Mums with your baby on a hygienic yoga mat and be lead through gentle stretching and relaxation techniques that offer your infant physical stimulation as well as calm them down. Song, rhymes and games are combined to engage your infant in playtime that you will both enjoy.

Baby Yoga will give you the opportunity to:

  • use positive touch with your infant
  • do exercises with your infant
  • have special hugs and holds
  • spend special time together
  • learn about your infant
  • relax with your infant
  • play with your infant
  • bond with your infant
  • have fun together.

Transition from Baby Massage to Baby Yoga

Baby Yoga is a natural progression from Baby Massage. As very young infants are often quickly over-stimulated, Baby Massage can introduce an infant to positive touch gently. As the infant develops and grows accustomed to being touched, they can accept more stimulating experiences. Energetic and stimulating Baby Yoga exercises are a great follow-on from massage and allow for more positive activity time for parent and infant.

When an infant is comfortable with the full massage routine, then this is a good time to introduce the Baby Yoga exercises. Babies will then already be familiar with many aspects that are shared by both Baby Massage and Baby Yoga.

There are a host of benefits to be gained from yoga exercises, no matter what your age. The physiological effects are particularly well documented, but Baby Yoga goes far beyond these as it can have a positive influence on the emotional and cognitive development of the infant too.

The physiological benefits of Baby Yoga

The main physiological benefits of regular Baby Yoga include:

  • strengthening and improving muscle tone
  • maintaining flexibility in the spine and joints
  • improving the general functioning of the immune system
  • regulating and strengthening the digestive system which may reduce the discomfort of colic, wind and constipation
  • stimulating and balancing the nervous system
  • stimulating the senses
  • improving blood flow
  • helping with detoxification and circulation around the lymph system
  • stimulating the production of oxytocin (the hormone responsible for love and bonding, and associated with the ability to maintain healthy interpersonal relationships and healthy psychological boundaries with other people).

Baby Yoga can also:

  • be relaxing and calming, which can reduce the heart rate and lead to a better sleep pattern
  • help with general growth and development
  • support the development of the vestibular system
  • help the development of postural reflexes
  • enhance body awareness
  • increase babies ability to cope with future challenges.

The emotional and psychological benefits of Baby Yoga

The physiological benefits are only one aspect of the overall benefits that can be associated with Baby Yoga. What also needs to be considered are the emotional and psychological benefits, of which there are many. If you can understand how important it is to honour your infant’s wishes, and only practice Baby Yoga with you if they indicate "yes" to the activity, you will help the developing child realise that they are entitled to be heard and that their feelings are understood, and more importantly, honoured.

Baby Yoga can potentially help:

  • with the bond between you and your baby
  • enhance an infant’s feeling of being loved, respected and secure
  • build trust and a mutual understanding
  • promote relaxation which can improve quality of sleep
  • an infant learn to interact and play with others.

The physiological, psychological and emotional benefits, although seemingly separate, are indeed entwined. Therefore, Baby Yoga necessarily offers you the opportunity to holistically nurture your developing child and is a celebration of the individuality of each infant.

Benefits of Baby Yoga for parents

As you perform the Baby Yoga exercise with your infant, it may help to enhance your knowledge of them, as you steadily gain an understanding of what your infant is "telling" you during the exercises.

If you are able to understand whether your infant is indicating "yes" or "no" to Baby Yoga, then you are subsequently more likely to be able to understand what your infant is trying to "tell" you during your day-to-day activities as well. Baby Yoga is therefore a you during your day-to-day activities as well. Baby Yoga is therefore a very empowering tool as it may help to improve a low self-esteem and confidence in parenting skills.

Baby Yoga can help you as a parent:

  • have confidence and competence in handling your infant
  • to understand your infant’s non-verbal cues
  • develop a feeling of closeness with your infant
  • heal after a difficult or traumatic birth
  • when suffering from post-natal depression
  • to relax with your infant
  • learn breathing techniques
  • learn deeper relaxation techniques
  • to improve your physical wellbeing as the session includes simple relaxation, breathing exercise and stretching exercises.

It may also:

  • encourage the nurturing instinct through the stimulation of oxytocin
  • encourage deep feelings of wellbeing, joy, bliss, personal power, peace, gratitude, personal freedom
  • encourage greater mental clarity.

Baby Yoga classes can:

  • empower and support you as a parent
  • give you the opportunity to join a group where you will meet and share experiences in an open-minded, nurturing environment
  • give you the opportunity to learn by demonstration and hands-on practice
  • encourage you to take up yoga or another gentle exercise programme as an activity you can enjoy for yourself.

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