They may not be able to walk or talk yet, but
they are the most natural performers of yoga! They enjoy lying on their back
and having their thighs rotated. Yes! We are talking about babies and infants
here and the hot happening phenomenon, "Baby Yoga".
It is widely accepted that during children's initial years,
they learn with their bodies before they learn with their minds. So when do we
start? Believe it or not, these yoga sessions are conducted for babies from
around three to four months to active crawling stage.
Baby yoga or infant yoga is an innovative program, where
the parent and child have an opportunity to spend quality time together and in
the meantime get trained for simple yoga postures like sitting and stretching
Baby Yoga is a natural progression of baby massage. You
don't need to practice yoga or even know anything about yoga to get started
with your baby.
Baby yoga poses actively engage your baby's
brain. Benefits of this are aplenty, just to mention a few:
Helps with Balance
: Through yoga, babies learn to
balance themselves quicker. 'Downward facing dog pose', which is great for
learning to crawl, 'wind relieving pose' and 'bridge pose' are few examples
which can help your baby to balance.
Yoga helps to strengthen and encourage your baby's brain and body
development. When yoga is added to your baby's everyday routine, your baby will
have more ability and confidence to walk and crawl. Yoga also gives vitality
and strength to the growing body.
Improves Upper Body
during yoga improves the upper body and neck strength. which increases the
baby's overall strength and development as the baby grows.
Promotes and maintains flexibility and suppleness of your
baby's muscles and joints.
Helps in Sleep:
helps to improve sleeping patterns both in duration and frequency, as well as
encourages sleeping through the night, when used as part of a regular routine.
Helps the digestive system, relieves tummy upsets
Yoga poses are known to increase blood flow to your digestive tract and stimulate
the intestinal action known as peristalsis so digestion is more efficient.
"Knees to chest" is a great asana (posture) to help relieve babies of
gas or any other stomach upsets, such as constipation and colic.
Great Bonding Time
: Helping your baby with yoga
poses not only gives you a one-on-one time with your baby, but also creates a
stronger and tighter bond with your baby. Parents also learn ways to calm their
baby more quickly through yoga.
Group yoga with your baby is a great way to socialize in a non-competitive
setting. It gives you a chance to meet other parents and make friends with
other babies too!
Word of Caution:
should be taken when performing yoga with infants. In general, the younger the
baby, the smaller and slower the movements should be. Babies do not have
adequate control of their heads until about age 6 months, and "soft
spots" are present on the skull, so parents should make sure their
infant's head is supported during the activity. Be gentle with the baby because
muscle and joint injuries could happen if the activity is done too rigorously.
More research still needs to be done to conclusively prove
the benefits of yoga for babies, so don't push your baby to do difficult yoga
poses that are normally meant for adults.
We have all heard of 'Stretch for a healthy
lifestyle'. So, don't wait too long, for healthy habits learned early in life
become healthy habits later in life.