I've been teaching baby yoga classes for a while now here in Woking but I still get parents ask me lots of questions such as:
- so what is baby yoga?
- what exactly happens in a class?
- do I need to have done yoga before coming to a class?
So in this blog I would like to answer these questions and explain exactly what happens when you come to a baby yoga class with me.
Yoga for Babies - Is this a thing?
Yes - babies can totally do yoga! Baby yoga is a beautiful thing to share with your little one and whether you have done yoga before or not it's so easy to get started. There are no crazy postures (asanas) and I don't ask babies to hold poses like downward dog or do sequences like Sun Salutations. I simply provide you with a little baby yoga mat and show you some lovely movements that are based upon traditional Hatha yoga but in a fun and gentle way. It's perfect for babies that are discovering their bodies and how they relate to the world around them. In fact baby yoga really helps baby to build their sense of body awareness, develop their motor control and their sense of spacial awareness and balance.
What Exactly Happens in a Baby Yoga Class?
The baby yoga classes that I teach vary slightly from week to week but here is the basic structure that I would work to in a class, just so you know exactly what to expect when you walk through the door. Don't forget that babies like repetition and familiarity too!
1. Welcome and Introductions
Mummies and babies get to know each other by introducing themselves and their little one. It's great to get to know each other and share those mummy stories!
2. Positive discussion
Now there are lots of things that as a mummy we have to deal with such as tiredness, exhaustion, worries about feeding baby or their growth, but we always start our classes on a positive note discussing a positive topic around motherhood such as sharing a story from your week that has made you smile or a milestone that baby has reached.
3. Stretches for mum
Now we can't expect our babies to relax and enjoy yoga if we aren't relaxed ourselves so I include a few stretches for the neck, shoulders and back to relieves any little aches and pains and get you all calm ready for assisting your little one through their baby yoga.
4. Movements for legs and arms
Whilst baby lies on their back or sits, we get their legs and arms moving into different positions, helping to keep baby supple and strong and explore just what their limbs can do!
5. Movements to music
After basic movements have been established we combine different movements together to music to make it fun and easy to remember at home. Here is a little example below!
6. Exploring different positions and holds
Throughout the class we explore different ways to hold baby and different positions that they can move through. This is great for new mummies to become comfortable with baby handling but also to learn some settling techniques. If your baby isn't a fan of tummy time for example I can show some alternatives that can work to encourage tummy time and build their head and neck strength. Older babies really love swings and dips, which is great as these movements move them around so that they can build up a picture of how their body relates to the outside world.
7. Nursery rhymes, sensory fun and more
A few more songs and some fun sensory toys and experiences are thrown in too to make the classes interesting and rewarding for both mummy and baby. Sometimes there may be a little baby massage, we might use a sensory noisy toy or you may even see bubbles floating across the room!
8. Relaxation and breathing together
I bring every class to a close with a breathing exercise and a little relaxation (one of the most important parts of all of my yoga classes here at Susan's World of Yoga) - there is nothing better than a cuddle and little closeness with your baby.
Mummies and babies leave the class feeling relaxed, energized and happy in equal measures.
Benefits of Baby Yoga
Well, there are so many wonderful benefits but here is a little summary of some of the key benefits of baby yoga:
Want to Try out Some Baby Yoga?
If you are interested in trying baby yoga (and you have a baby between 2 months and crawling) take a look at my baby yoga page here for details of upcoming classes and courses. https://www.susansworldofyoga.co.uk/baby-yoga