Learn how to connect and relax with your baby while aiding your baby's development through the positive touch and movements of yoga.
Why Practice Yoga with your baby?
Baby Yoga/Developmental play is a fun, gentle and loving activity you do with your baby. It is a great way to bond, communicate and relax with your your little one. The various poses and positions promotes your baby’s general health and well-being. Baby Yoga is known to promote tummy time, an improved muscle tone, body awareness and much more. Baby Yoga also aids colic and wind.
While you and your baby are moving and playing together in a structured way in the form of swings and dips, you help to develop your baby’s proprioceptive system (our body's sense of awareness of the position of the body) and vestibular systems (our body's sense of balance). Whereas the use of songs during yoga helps to develop baby’s sense of rhythm and promotes language development and communication between mother and baby. In addition, the release of endorphins in both mother and baby’s body can help to promote relaxation and well-being while spending quality time together.
What are the benefits?
Relief - Yoga can bring relief to a number of conditions your baby can suffer from and that can cause them discomfort. Yoga stretches help massage the abdomen and facilitate the expulsion of air from the bowel. Yoga can help encourage babies to practice deep belly breathing which helps them to relax and regenerate processes like digesting food and sleeping peacefully.
Bonding - Bonding is a very important process between parent and baby. A strong bond has been shown to help support the emotional and social development of children. Baby yoga enhances the bonding process in different ways such as: eye-contact, touch, your voice and the quality time between you and your baby.
Relaxation - Yoga is very important for aiding relaxation and reducing stress for both parent and baby. When you massage your baby during yoga oxytocin is released which is part of a group of hormones know as the 'feel good hormones'. This will therefore promotes sleep and also help with bonding. It is very important for you as a parent to feel relaxed as well, so that your baby can learn that there are times we simply relax and unwind.
Stimulation and Development - Yoga helps to strengthen muscles and joints but also stimulate all the other body systems including circulatory, lymphatic and nervous system. The use of songs during yoga helps to develop baby’s sense of rhythm and promotes language development and communication between mother and baby. Baby Yoga helps the development of baby’s sensory awareness and processing by providing input into the proprioceptive system and vestibular system.
The proprioceptive system is our body's sense of awareness of the position of the body and the movement of the arms and legs. It tells us where our body parts are and what they are doing without us having to look at them. Therefore if a person is for example blindfolded they will know through proprioception where there body parts are without having to look at them. Our proprioceptive sense is stimulated every time we move a muscle or push or pull on our joints. A good developed proprioceptive system will allow your child to:
Use the correct pressure while writing e.g. not pushing to hard that is goes through the paper but on the other not too soft that you can barely see the writing.
Use the right amount of pressure when holding something delicate like an egg or heavy.
Use the right amount of pressure when petting an animal.
Play in a way with their friend that is fun but not too rough.
Proprioceptive rich activities can have a positive effect on children's behavior, focus and every day activities. Babies are born completely unaware that they have arms and legs or any other body parts. By moving your baby’s body in a controlled way and using the exercises in baby yoga and positively touching (for example through massage), your baby will become more aware of movement and the position of its body and its different body parts.
The vestibular system is our body's sense of balance and helps the infant to counter gravity, develop balance and control eye movements. It operates closely with the reflexes to facilitate balance. The vestibular system is located in the inner ear and is the first system that receive all the information to then send it through the right senses and is therefore thought to have the most influence on the other sensory systems and on the ability to function in everyday life.
Baby Yoga helps the development of the vestibular system by movement, drops, swings and dance and by stimulating your baby's vestibular system we are aiding their entire motor development. When your baby is gently being lifted up and down and gently being swung from left to right then the vestibular system is sending messages to the brains about whereabouts they are in space and where their current position is. The brain then sends a signal to the correct muscles. The different holds and the variations of speed in movement during Baby Yoga is also a great way to develop the vestibular system as the babies can distinguish the different speeds.
Some other benefits of Baby Yoga and the development of your baby's vestibular system are:
Response the position of the head in relation to gravity
Activate the protective reflexes
Voluntary control of the head
The strength and balance to sit and enjoyment of rough movement
The preparation for upright positions
You will be fully informed of the various benefits of Baby Yoga at the first session of your course. And we'll guide you through the movements and poses and how they aid or develop different parts of the body.
Our Baby Yoga courses are 5 weeks long and designed for babies from the age of 8 weeks. Every week you and your baby will learn new stretches, hold, songs, dips and swings as well as repeating the ones from previous weeks to develop your confidence in practicing yoga with your baby. The course is designed for everyone who would like to how to practice yoga with their baby and our classes are under the guidance of a qualified teacher.
Every week, we start with welcomes songs and dry massaging your baby. After which, we start with the yoga poses. Each lesson we will practice different holds, dips, swings, stretches as well as repeating previously learned ones. This will help you to get more confident in practicing yoga with your baby. Almost every move comes with a song. So there will be lots of musical engagement for your little one.
At the end of the class we will do some sensory play. So be prepared for scarves, bubbles, parachute, music and much more.
ALL ABOUT YOUR BABY
All classes at Love and Nurture are baby led and your baby’s happiness and development is our main priority. If your baby needs to be changed, fed or comforted then we encourage you to do so there and then. We believe in following your baby's needs.
By the end of our classes you will feel confident in practicing yoga with your baby. You will know the benefits of the different stretches, hold and dips and how to practice these with your baby.
Your baby will be stimulated through developmental play to blossom into the next phase.