By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500
Yoga asanas for babies are performed in partnership with an adult, usually the mother. A “Mommy and Me” Yoga class is a wonderful way for a baby and his or her mother to get to know each other, strengthen their bond, and participate in a gentle Yoga class that is beneficial for both of them. A close bond between mother and child has been well documented to help a new baby feel loved, safe, and nourished. Ultimately, a strong mother and child bond will help the newborn to thrive with deep feelings of love and security. A practice of Yoga asanas for mother and baby will nourish them both.
Yoga asanas for babies, are designed to support the growth and healthy development of the newborn, as well as enrich the continuous bonding process between a mother and child. Yoga postures will support the baby’s social, cognitive, and physical development. One of the main benefits of practicing Yoga asanas, with your baby, is that the experience of a concentrated amount of gentle touch from you, during the Yoga class, will help your baby to feel safe, secure, and deeply nourished. Baby Yoga movements are often supplemented with naps and infant massage. Both asanas and infant massages will help to develop a baby’s social skills, somatic awareness, and sensory perception.
Babies can be lead and supported in doing basic Yoga asanas, such as Child’s Pose and Dead Bug Pose. Instructions on how to do these poses can be found in the DVD section of your favorite store or online. Another great Yoga asana to do with your baby is to gently bring your baby’s knees into his or her chest two or three times. This will help to relieve any gas and support your baby’s healthy digestive process. Another very simple Yoga asana is to help your baby stretch out along the Yoga mat while applying very gentle massage movements along the spine. This Yoga pose will increase your baby’s circulation, enhance immunity, and relieve any muscular tension.
After a relaxing and nourishing Baby Yoga class, both you and your baby will be more deeply attached and relaxed. Even simple Yoga posturing techniques will help your baby to sleep better, alleviate any gastrointestinal distress, and will also help to lower his or her feelings of anxiety.
A feeling of being loved and safe will, in turn, boost your baby’s immunity level. As the bond between mother and child strengthens, your baby will also feel more peaceful and secure in this brand new world. Yoga asanas for babies are best learned, initially, from a professional Yoga instructor, to make sure that the appropriate safety guidelines are being properly followed.
Although we have covered the mutual benefits of Yoga for a mother and child, it should be noted that fathers, who become involved, will also notice the benefits of deep bonding. In fact, fathers who take the time to bond with their children, at an early age, will solidify their relationships throughout the test of time.
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