What are the Benefits of Baby Yoga
Yoga is already a well-known relaxing and stress-relieving activity amongst adults, but have you heard of baby yoga? Contrary to what you’d expect, it isn’t about training babies to do their own variation of downward dog. Baby yoga involves both the parent and baby, with the parent going through modified yoga poses while holding or rocking their baby.
How Baby Yoga Works
Unlike a regular yoga class, you won’t be going solo on the mat because you’ll be bringing your baby along. A certified instructor will be guiding you the whole time into movements that are safe for both you and your baby. Because babies enjoy regular movement, you won’t be sustaining any poses for a minute or more—rather, you’ll be flowing lightly through the sequence. Baby yoga classes tend to incorporate music as well as occasional light stretching for your baby, and there can be props like bright toys and silk scarves.
Benefits of Baby Yoga
As amazing as it is to welcome your baby into the world, pretty much all new parents can attest to finding it challenging and exhausting at times. Baby yoga offers a unique way for parents to carve out space for taking care of their mind and body while still bonding with their baby. On top of this, your baby will get their much-needed share of gentle play and movement.
At our Weston-Super-Mare nursery we believe there are great advantages to practicing baby yoga such as:
It promotes bonding between you and your baby
The number one reason why baby yoga works so well for parents and their babies is that it strengthens the child-parent bond. After all, you’re in physical contact with your baby for most of the session. Given how busy modern schedules are, taking care of your baby can sometimes feel rushed because you’re juggling it with other items in your to-do list, but doing baby yoga allows you to slow down and spend time mindfully with your baby.
At the same time, babies need a lot of affectionate touch, especially from their parents and caregivers, and they can miss out on it when they’re always in strollers. Since baby yoga requires you to hold your baby a lot while paying careful attention, you deepen your bond and become more attuned to your baby’s body language and cues. After spending so much time in the womb, which is dark and enclosed, babies can become more comfortable with the outside world with the guided sensory stimulation from baby yoga.
It eases tension and gets you moving
As a parent, baby yoga will also be beneficial for you! Baby yoga is still a type of yoga, so you’ll experience a lot of the usual perks associated with regular yoga classes. Through the modified poses and guided breathing, you’ll be able to relax more, sleep better, and let go of tension. If you’re consistently putting your baby’s needs first before your own, you have to practice self-care too so you won’t experience burnout.
While both mums and dads can do baby yoga, some classes cater specifically to mums, offering postnatal exercises that put them back on track with their fitness. Since a mother’s body has gone through plenty of changes recently, these classes emphasise muscles such as the pelvic floor, back, and tummy. Aside from easing back pain and speeding up recovery, baby yoga can guide mums into building up strength and flexibility again.
It helps with your baby’s development
The most obvious impact of baby yoga is that your baby becomes more at ease with their body. Baby yoga serves as both exercise and play for them. Not only do babies love being lifted and stretched in the right way, they pick up better body coordination too with baby yoga. For example, when you lay your baby on their tummy, neck and upper body strength become enhanced, so it’s good to put your baby in different positions. Exercises where babies cross their arms or feet over the midline of their body can even contribute to brain development
Whatever stage of life we’re in, stimulation is necessary for us to grow and develop and it’s the same for babies. A baby yoga class offers variations in movement, visuals, and even sounds. Because they’re in a controlled environment, babies become better at processing different stimuli without being overwhelmed. Beyond body awareness, they also form a better sense of the physical space around them.
It enhances your baby’s wellbeing
The movements in a baby yoga class are specifically designed to enhance your baby’s wellbeing. Babies find repetitive movements soothing, and their cortisol levels—or the amount of stress hormone in their body—naturally go down, resulting in a stronger immune system. As a result, babies aren’t as prone to strong ups or downs and crying fits, and they can fall asleep more easily, meaning more time for you to rest! Some poses can even improve digestion, so you might notice that your baby has fewer issues with colic or wind after a baby yoga class.
It gives you the chance to meet other parents (and their babies)
Baby yoga classes are only for parents and their babies, so you’ll be with people who can relate with what you’re going through. Some classes even encourage a certain theme or facilitate discussions about parenting, so it’s easy to start conversations and meet other parents. You can even hang around after the class to socialise.
Another great thing about baby yoga is that it provides a supportive, non-competitive environment where you won’t feel pressured and you can speak up about your concerns. In fact, it’s usually okay to stop or go out in the middle of the class to change your baby’s nappies, and you don’t have to feel self-conscious about your baby crying. Of course, your baby also gets to meet and interact with the other babies there!
Try a Nearby Baby Yoga Class
Make sure to do baby yoga in a class with a trained and certified instructor rather than on your own. Keeping your baby safe and secure is a priority, and a proper baby yoga teacher will let you know about important body mechanics, such as keeping your baby’s head supported if they’re less than six months old.
Once you do find the right baby yoga class, you and your baby might enjoy it so much that you’ll be really excited for the next session! Baby yoga brings the benefits of yoga to both you and your baby, and you’ll feel the difference right after.