Baby yoga can mean 2 things - adult yoga that babies come to, or yoga sessions for babies.
For the first type of baby yoga, your child is placed in front of your yoga mat so that you can keep an eye on them while you work out.
Poses will be modified to incorporate your baby, for instance, you may hold them for additional weight resistance while holding a yoga pose.
This is a really good exercise for new mums as it reminds them to center themselves and their mental state, rather than solely focusing on the baby.
If you go to a studio with other mums, this also benefits your baby as they will be in the presence of other kids. They will have free time to explore and just exist, which is great for their development.
The other kind of baby yoga is what this article focuses on. Yoga is hugely suitable for babies as they are naturally flexible.
What age is baby yoga good for?
It is recommended that you wait until your baby is at least 10 to 12 weeks old before you attempt baby yoga sessions with them.
What does a baby yoga session look like?
A standard baby yoga session should start with a warm-up stretch. This ensures that you do not pull or strain any of your baby’s muscles and encourages blood flow around the body.
After this usually comes a dry massage and then targeted stretches for all areas of the body. Remember to keep eye contact with your baby and smile at them during the yoga session. Talk to them in a calming voice and encourage them as they progress through the session.
What are the benefits of baby yoga?
The benefits of yoga to babies are really similar to those of adults. Yoga opens up the body and can help to relax the body’s natural reflexes. Consistent stretching of the muscles and joints will improve flexibility, muscle tone, and can even improve the baby’s balance!
Baby yoga is also really good for improving your child’s coordination skills. The sessions involve a lot of eye and skin-to-skin contact, which will increase the strength of the bond between you and your baby.
As with adults, baby yoga can improve your child’s digestion and sleeping patterns. Many yoga poses incorporate tummy time, which is a great way to prepare them for crawling.
Taking the time to calmly work with your child and encourage their range of motion can have a hugely positive impact on your mental health as well as theirs.
What are some good baby yoga positions?
Supported Fish Pose
Sit on the ground with your legs stretched out in front of you. If you wish, you can lean against a wall to support your back.
Lie your baby on your thighs with their arms by their side. Their head should not be on your thighs, and instead hanging over the edge. Gently roll them up and down your legs, guiding them with their hips and shoulders.
Sit on the ground facing your baby. If they are too young to support themselves while sitting, gently support her upper body. Press your feet together in a praying position, bending your knees and allowing them to drop to the ground at your side.
Pull your heels as close to your body as possible, and then place your baby’s feet and legs in the same position. Hold your baby’s upper body and sway gently from side to side, back and forth, moving with them.
Gas Releasing Pose
This is a really useful exercise to perform with your baby if they have a lot of trapped wind. Lie them on their back and gently press on the soles of their feet.
As you do this, begin to push their knees towards their chest. Hold for a count of 5 and then gently release.
Sit on the floor with your legs out in front of you. Lie your baby across your thighs, with their head facing towards the ground.
Gently and slowly lift one thigh at a time off the ground. This works to improve your baby’s balance and increases their back and neck strength.
Grab your baby’s feet and march their legs into their belly. This will warm their muscles up. After this, pull their feet and toes towards their face.
Take cues from your baby, don’t overextend their legs. After this, you can open your baby’s arms out to the sides, opening up the chest area. Give them lots of love and kisses all over.
This is a really simple stretch and is perfect for when your baby has just woken up. Lie them on their back and gently stretch their legs out straight.
Do the same thing with their arms above their head. Hold this stretch for a few seconds and gently release.
Older Baby Poses
Start with your baby lying on their back on the ground. Tell them to bend their knees and press the soles of their feet into the ground.
As they exert more force, you will see their hips beginning to raise from the floor. Support this movement with your hands.
When your baby is old enough to be crawling about, you may well notice them going into downward dog of their own free will. Place them on all fours and gently raise their hips towards the ceiling.
Explain to your baby that they should press down with their hands and feet.
When your baby can stand up and balance alone, this is a really great pose to get them doing. Get them to stand with their feet in a wide stance and hold both arms out in front of their body. Clasp your hands together to make a trunk.
Bend forward at the waist and move your trunk around while making elephant noises. This is a great stretch and is super fun to do.