Baby Yoga is an interpretation of the principles and practice of Hatha Yoga – the most popular form of Yoga practiced in the Western world. Just like Baby Massage, Baby Yoga has been practised in areas of the world such as India for centuries.
Baby Yoga is not postnatal yoga, but yoga for babies. It involves adapting Hatha Yoga postures (asanas) so that they are suitable for young babies. This enables babies to experience the same wealth of benefits that yoga offers adults. Babies are ‘natural born yogis’ because they move and breathe without tension or restriction – when was the last time you managed to reach your foot to your mouth?!
One theory is that postures in adult yoga practice are based on the natural, unrestricted movement of babies and toddlers. By introducing your baby to this, you can help them to retain their freedom of movement – and share in the fun & joy this gives them.
Baby Yoga also draws inspiration from Ashtanga Yoga in the form of dynamic movement – relaxed holds with movement – that allow you to safely swing and move your baby while standing, walking or lying.
Another vital element of holistic yoga practice is pranayama – breathing techniques that enable you to balance, re-energise and relax. Although it is you – not your baby! – practising these techniques in the class, your baby picks up on & therefore share the subtle benefits that these breathing techniques bring about in you.
N.B. Because the course focuses on yoga for your baby, with only simple postnatal postures, stretches & breathing for you, no previous yoga experience is necessary.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?:
In one baby yoga session, your baby is given as much physical activity as they would receive if you handled and carried them all day. This helps your baby become more settled, sleep more deeply & can improve sleep patterns.
Baby yoga also stimulates your baby’s vestibular (balance) system, helping them to master skills such as sitting and crawling – and allows your baby to experience different positions – such as ‘tummy time’ – in a fun way!
It also improves digestion, relieves colic, strengthens your baby’s body & helps them move from reflex to voluntary movements.
Baby yoga also celebrates the individual personality of your baby, strengthening your bond & helping you get to know each other in a new way! Each class provides the time & space to give high quality attention to your baby, while they learn to interact with others and play actively.
Most of all, Baby Yoga is loads of fun! Babies relish the freedom of movement of the postures, swings, ‘mini-drops’ and relaxed holds. As well as being fun, these are brilliant for developing your baby’s balance & co-ordination as they experience the world from all different directions!
Baby Yoga also provides the perfect ‘counter-balance’ to the busy-ness of modern life, where the use of car seats, bouncy chairs and buggies can mean babies often spend periods of time in one position.
Our postnatal stretches and relaxation & breathing techniques also help you cope with the stresses of early parenting & boost your energy levels.
AT WHAT AGE CAN MY BABY DO THE COURSE?
Although babies & children of all ages benefit hugely from yoga, 4-week Baby Yoga course is suitable for babies aged 12 weeks to 9 months If your baby is younger, why not book onto one of our Baby Massage (link to baby massage page) courses instead? As well as offering a wealth of benefits, our Baby Massage course is a great way to prepare your baby for enjoying Baby Yoga when they are a bit older & includes a ‘taster’ of gentle baby yoga postures.
Our Baby Yoga course is designed as the perfect follow-on from my Baby Massage course, so if you are interested in both courses, it’s a good idea to come to Baby Massage first.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM A COURSE
Over 4 weekly classes you will learn a range of postures from gentle stretches to dynamic swings and relaxed holds. Each week, different postures are added or adapted to enable your baby – and you! – to get used to the experience of baby yoga gradually. The baby postures are always performed within your baby’s range of resistance, as every baby is different and their flexibility varies at different ages. Each week your baby will become more comfortable with each posture and this will enable you to become braver and more confident in performing them together! The course also includes postnatal stretches, breathing and relaxation, safety tips, songs and rhymes, plus I will try and provide handouts – including descriptions and pictures of each posture to enable you and your baby to enjoy Baby Yoga together at home. All classes are baby-led and relaxed – emergency nappy-changing and grizzly days are both expected and welcomed!
“From 2.5 weeks – 8 months and still loving it! Elkie has created such a warm nurturing space to bond and building confidence in handling our babies.”
Liz & Sebastian Jan – July 19
“Perfectly designed for newborn babies, following their age and development. I love the unique way of bonding with Josie, as well as learning about my baby’s body and development from someone as knowledgeable and personable as Elkie”
Nathalie & Josie Evans Aug 19- Jan 20
“Elkie’s baby massage is a really enjoyable experience with a calm atmosphere and a great way to meet other mums, there’s a brilliant section at the end of the class where advice and tips are given to everyone depending on what’s happening for them and their baby that week.”
Saffron & James Aug 19-Jan20
“The whole family benefits from her fantastic skills and as a mother I see the direct results of how beneficial massage can be for children. We all look forward to to Elkie’s monthly visits!”
Gemma Medland, Chislehurst
“Elkie has built a lovely safe and warm place for mums to come together and bond with their babies and each other”
Hannah Akin – Apr-Oct 2019
“An intimate and relaxed atmosphere, Elkie has a wealth of knowledge and her warm nature always makes you feel welcome!”
Kay (Midwife) & Charlie Brown
“Elkie’s classes provide a relaxed platform to help bond with your baby and reintroduce exercise as part of your daily routine. Elkie has created a wonderful environment within her classes for not only bonding with your baby, but meeting other mums!”
Lauren & James Rose April-July 19
“Its more than just massaging your baby, you learn new things yeah week, it’s a fun way to bond with your baby in a unique relaxed class, we absolutely love it!”
Sophie & Winona 2019
“Baby massage is one of the highlights of our week! Elkie is a wonderful, friendly and informative teacher and makes the classes really enjoyable.”