What is Baby Yoga and What are the Benefits of Baby Yoga Classes?

 
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Baby yoga classes offer a fun opportunity to bond with your baby, make some new friends and learn some exercises that truly benefit your child’s early development all at the same time. Many parents across the country have already discovered this relaxing and enjoyable activity, but the question is, what is baby yoga and what are the benefits of baby yoga classes?

What is Baby Yoga?

 
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Yoga has been around for thousands of years and is popular with its large number of practitioners for the physical, mental and spiritual boost it brings. Baby yoga runs along the same principles but is designed to be suitable for under ones. Babies can begin attending baby yoga classes once a doctor has checked their hips, which usually happens at around six to eight weeks. From then on, children tend to attend classes until around the time they turn one.

 

An instructor guides the parents to perform a series of moves, holds and stretches on their babies. Over the course of a few classes, they build on these moves and learn more, eventually gaining confidence and a better understanding of what to expect from the sessions.

What to Expect at a Baby Yoga Class?

 
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If you have been to a baby massage class, then baby yoga will feel like a natural progression. There are usually some massage elements in a class, but the good thing is that you don’t need to have tried that to enjoy.

 

Baby Yoga classes begin with a warm-up, which is essential for both parents and babies as they limber up for the exercises that follow. It’s not just the babies that have to move around!  When babies arrive, they either see us, smell the lovely incense we burn or hear the music we have playing and they familiarise themselves, knowing where they are and what is about to begin. This gentle opening is also ideal to get your child used to the new environment of the venue, especially after the car journey or pram ride they just endured.

 

The pattern we follow is very similar to those you would do at an adult’s class. It consists of a combination of light stretches and warm-ups, standing, floor stretches and rest. This is a great mixture that is not only engaging but entertaining, calming and a perfect opportunity for some quality bonding time. Many babies by the end have had proper stimulation and as a result, are so relaxed, they fall asleep at the end or shortly afterwards. You can already see the positive effects!

 

Each week we do different breathing techniques. This is great for being present, distressing, releasing tension and the parasympathetic nervous system, all of which both parent and child needs and benefits from.

What are the Benefits of Baby Yoga Classes?

 
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 There are so many benefits of baby yoga classes. The exercises aid circulation, posture and physical and mental development. Baby yoga helps small children begin to take control of their own movements and can even start to stir them into action when it comes to moving around and crawling as they get older. You will find that some of the baby yoga exercises include tummy time, which baby experts recommend for increasing strength and coordination.

 

Most babies leave the sessions feeling relaxed. Many parents report that the sessions make them calmer, happier and more positive. It’s an excellent opportunity to bond with your baby, to build your confidence in how you use your body and how you handle your baby. It gives parents the resources to tap into, should they need to soothe an unsettled baby. Many parents of very young babies see them as tiny, delicate and almost fragile. With the right guidance they will see that babies can withstand a lot more movement and really enjoy some of the lifts and swings carried out during the practice.

 

These social experiences can do wonders for your social life too. We have topics to discuss each week and many mothers enjoy talking about their parenting experiences and know they are not alone. It’s a really nice way to meet other local parents with similar aged children who can understand.

 

As an extra incentive, you might also like to know that parents often say that their baby sleeps better thanks to baby yoga. That will be music to the ears of many mums and dads of under one-year-olds

Sensory Experience

 
 

  One of the benefits of baby yoga classes that really stands out is the sensory experience it provides for your child. That direct touch between parent and child is important as they develop, and yoga encourages this.

 

Babies are also stimulated by the visuals and sounds on display during a typical class. It aids brain development as they process their experience and gives them a real sense of their own bodies, even at the youngest end of the spectrum.

 

Often classes feature instruments or materials such as silk scarves, light up toys, sensory bottles, spiky balls and foil blankets all of which add to the overall sensory effect.


Why Should I Try Baby Yoga Classes?

 
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Most parents who attend baby yoga thoroughly look forward to the next session. It is an ideal excuse to truly relax once a week but also to spend a dedicated hour just being present, not worrying if you are doing it right, stressing about the lack of time or the next chore to be done around the house. Having a small baby can be fraught and stressful at times, but baby yoga is a great way to escape that.

It is safe, fun, sociable and brings fantastic benefits to both parent and children involved. Do you want to know any more information or have any questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us today and we’d be happy to help.


A wonderful way to spend time with your little one

Casey Downie-Campbell

Sensory Land, London

Sensory Land is an activity class for young children under the age of 8 years old living in South West London. Pilot classes to be launched in July 2016, watch this space for more information.