Why Baby Yoga is good for You and Your Baby
Yoga can be translated to mean ’unite’ and there is no relationship where unity is more important than that of parent and child. Perhaps you have never thought, though, about baby yoga having the potential to enhance your own experience as a parent as well as being something enjoyable and beneficial for your little one, so here we explore are a few ways in which this might come about.
1) Being in the present
Yoga is an activity where all the attention is focused on the task in hand. Practising being present is a way of training your brain to be more focused and appreciative of the ‘now.’ It helps you worry less about the ‘what if’s’ in life and stress less about what has happened in the past because neither the past nor the future are relevant to the moment you are in. Babies grow so fast and doing yoga with them helps you to appreciate each second that little bit more.
When you take the time to completely focus on your baby within the moment, your child is learning that they are valuable and important which, if installed from birth will have a huge benefit in their learning and development.
Being present with your baby also helps you to get to know them better and understand their needs more intimately. When you are better at reading their cues and understanding their needs then you can meet them quicker. This will lead to a more contented baby.
2) Yoga promotes bonding
Doing yoga together provides you both with space and time to get to know each other and strengthen the bond you have. Babies learn about the world through their senses and yoga is a beautifully multi-sensory experience, involving the whole body. Your baby will associate the experience with how they feel about you. They take in the feel of your touch, your smell and your voice. When they feel, smell or hear you out of yoga practice they will still experience the same emotions as when they were experiencing the yoga in the moment. Your relationship deepens as a result.
3) The body systems benefit with yoga
Touch has been proven to have an instant and profound impact on the human body. We need touch; it is a vital experience for our mental and physical well-being. Positive touch, such as that experienced through yoga, improves the functions of the body including the respiratory circulatory, digestive, eliminative, nervous and endocrine system.
Yoga also provides the opportunity to combine movement with touch making it a multi-sensory encounter. This type of stimulation actually aids the development of the brain and nervous system which is not complete at birth.
When baby’s body is healthy they are happy and that creates a more relaxed and contented home life for you.
4) Yoga relaxes the body and mind
As Yoga stimulates and stretches the body it will physically put the body into rest mode, enabling your baby to deal with stress better. Feelings of well-being are naturally developed which promote a restful sleep (this isn’t ever guaranteed with a baby but it is more likely). The process of baby yoga, includes stretch and relax routines, this teaches your baby that tension and relaxation complement each other. This knowledge and practice eventually helps babies to relax themselves.
Additionally, focusing on relaxation helps babies to regulate their own response to stress and tension from physical discomfort. This is especially relevant in babies around the gastrointestinal system because babies can struggle in this area and symptoms of colic are common as pressure builds and is not released. Uncomfortable babies can cause a lot of distress to parents as it is often difficult to ascertain the problem and provide sufficient comfort to ease it. A restful, relaxed infant, benefits you as much as the baby!
5) Yoga involve the whole family
Much of the time the care provided to your baby can be centred around a single individual (most commonly mum) but there may be many adults in your little one's life who want to form deeper bonds with him or her and baby yoga is a great, practical, way to involve all the family.
It is important that everyone participating has been instructed properly but as long as they have been given the right guidance baby yoga can be great for dads, grandparents, god parents, aunties and uncles and anyone who wishes to play a significant role in the child’s life.
Any care giver who wants to experience the benefits of baby yoga in a safe and supportive space are welcome at Tots Play. Within our classes movement is a key element, and the movement we teach through our multi-activity sessions which, as well as yoga, include massage, sign language and musical and sensory play are influenced by the natural development patterns of babies. This ensures a well rounded experience, to enhance development in many different ways, as well as being lots of fun for all involved.
Come and Try Yoga (and lots more) at Tots Play
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Whether you trying some yoga together or another of your favourite play activities, enjoy this special time with your little one, and happy playing!
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