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.
AdvertisementBaby 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 exercises.
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.
Boosts Endurance Power: 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 Strength: 'Baby'stummy time' during yoga improves the upper body and neck strength. which increases the baby's overall strength and development as the baby grows.
Improves Flexibility: Promotes and maintains flexibility and suppleness of your baby's muscles and joints.
Helps in Sleep: Yoga 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.
Social Interaction: 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: Care 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.