Baby yoga provides all the same benefits as baby massage, as well as the following additional benefits:
As well as all the benefits above and those included in the baby massage section, my classes also give carers the opportunity to relax and learn breathing techniques, which can be very beneficial in dealing with stressful situations!
My baby yoga courses are suitable for babies from 14-16 weeks of age, right up to around 18 months / walking. Unlike massage, which is a more age specific, yoga can be practised with your baby for longer and give you the opportunity for continued interaction. Babies from 8-20 weeks fall into the "Beginner" category, with those 20+ weeks would be "Advanced", with both categories offering different levels of poses and progressions. Baby yoga is particularly popular once carers have completed a massage course with their babies, as a way to continue bonding and gives carers an opportunity for more fun and playful interaction.
Using the Moro Reflex
Certain poses taught use the moro (startle) reflex in babies and help to build trust between baby and carer. Through these exercises, babies learn that carers are there to protect them and is also linked to self-calming / soothing, teaching babies to adapt better to change or the unknown.
Developing instinctive self protection
While some babies are born with a instinctive response to put their hands out in front of them if they feel themselves falling - a very important skill particular when learning how to toddle/walk - others, for all sorts of reasons (dyspraxia, eye-sight problems and behavioural issues for example) very often are not. Some poses taught on my course, teach babies to try to control a fall by putting their hands in front of them if they feel their centre of gravity changing or are falling and thus, protect themselves.
Building core strength, flexibility & muscle tone
My course includes focused poses (particularly the Advanced level), which work towards building babies' core strength and improve head control - which in turn, improves time to reach developmental milestones. Improved core strength can also help with reflux, which is a common baby ailment. Courses are also progressive, so improvements in flexbility should be clearly seen from beginning to end and continually using my yoga poses will also help to improve babies' muscle tone and can also help with 'growing pains', during babies' development.
Body awareness & development
My yoga moves teach babies body awareness through diagonal co-ordination, which develops their nervous system and shows them they have two limbs (ie, arms and legs),which can work both separately and together in opposing directions. This skill can be very challenging for some babies to master, particularly if they have any behavioural or development issues, but without this skill the basics of crawling and walking will be difficult to achieve.
What's in it for carers?