Here in my site there are many exercises and massage complexes for your 0-12 month-old baby, and today I’m sharing easy exercises at home (or baby-yoga in other words) for both you and your little one.
You should perform the exercises regularly at least 10 minutes a day. Gradually increase the duration of the exercises, watch your baby’s reaction; if he has tired, then take a break and do the next series of exercises some hours later. If the baby does not feel good, then it is better to do relaxation exercise that day.
Your emotional state is very important when you start doing the exercises. If you have a bad mood or are unwilling to do them, you better wait until you feel better for during the exercises you share your emotions with your child.
The basic principle of baby-yoga is nonviolence, so if the baby is crying for no apparent reason, it is better to postpone the exercises.
The exercises include all the components of a classical yoga:
- creation of mood;
- massage (preparation for the implementation of poses, starts the process of baby’s disclosure);
- the poses and movements that stimulate the major organs, life support systems of the body and stimulating muscles ones;
- a set of exercises for moms to recover from childbirth;
- deep relaxation.
Simple movements the baby yoga is based on, are still being practiced from generation to generation in some regions of India.
Benefits of baby-yoga for moms:
1. strengthening of emotional bonds with the child;
2. it helps the mom to rebuild and strengthen her body after the childbirth;
3. while practicing baby yoga, a conscious attitude toward yourself and sensitivity to the child is being developed. Attention to the baby’s signals becomes primary;
4. it teaches to relax with the child;
5. it helps to cure any psychological birth trauma;
6. it helps to get rid of postpartum depression.
Benefits of baby yoga for baby:
1. physical strengthening of the body (flexibility of the spine and joints, strong back);
3. stimulation of all senses;
4. it helps the child to switch from reflexive movements to deliberate ones;
6. tactile stimulation effectively helps develop brain and nervous system;
7. development of emotional bonding between mother and child;
8. positive feelings and joy of interaction.
Baby-yoga is one of the ways to interact with the child gently and thought play. You give your child an opportunity to see the world in three dimensions. Exercises with the baby help the little one fell well emotionally and physically.
These exercises with the newborn help his spine gently straighten from the “embryo pose”, helps to learn to hold the head up and to strengthen muscles. While exercising his arms and feet, you will help your little one “open” his hips, shoulders, knee and elbow joints.
No matter whether you have an experience of yoga practice or not, while doing exercises with the child, you will learn that your baby can teach you a lot.
You will need:
• clothing for you that won’t limit your movements;
• loose clothing for the baby, the arms and legs should be bare;
• a clean swaddle;
• a good mood.
Place for exercises. You can do the exercises with the baby in any place convenient for you. It is better while sitting on the floor or on a mat for yoga. To strike the most comfortable pose use pillows of different sizes.
1. Strike a comfortable pose. You can sit down, your legs are stretched out; you can cross them in front of you, or you can kneel. The baby is either lying on your laps or on the floor in front of you. If the baby is 6 months of age and older, you can sit him on your laps, his back leaning against your abdomen. Your back should be straight, abdomen relaxed.
2. Creation of mood. Slightly close your eyes, take a deep breath, then exhale. When exhaling, imagine how you are letting go all the disturbing thoughts, anxiety, tension in the body. You are feeling harmony. Strike the baby from head to toe.
3. Warming up for moms.
- Turn the head to the right, to the left;
- rotate the head in circular motions;
- rotate the shoulders;
- rotate the wrists;
- squeeze and unclamp the fingers;
- stretch arms up.
While warming up, keep eye contact with your baby smiling at him, you can sing a cheerful song or turn on the music.
4. Gentle baby massage.
Massage before yoga helps the child to tune in to the exercises, and also helps to warm up the muscles and joints. If your baby is active give him a toy in a hand and massage him in a sitting position. At the beginning of the exercises, it not necessary to massage all parts of the body, you can alternate massage and exercises.
- Stroking the body (start from the top of the head, shoulders, back, arms and legs);
- facial massage;
- massage for fingers;
- massage for the chest (stroke the chest in circular motions form the center of the chest to the sides);
- massage for the tummy (stroke the tummy in circular motions);
- massage for the legs and feet (perform circular motions with the palms moving the hands from an ankle toward the hips);
- massage for the back.
5. Exercises for the hips (the hip and knee joints are being opened, deep muscles of the body are being toned in the area of the spine bottom, blood flow to the organs in the pelvic area is being improved. These exercises are used to relief colic, indigestion.
- Butterfly. Take the baby’s ankles and bring the feet together. Gently move them in this position to the tummy and rotate in circular motions.
- Butterfly in a prone position.
6. Half Lotus. Bring a foot to the opposite hip, press the heel down to the hip as high as the baby’s leg is able. Do not force. Then change the legs.
7. How to stand up with the minimum load on your back: from standing position on your knees.
Hold the child with one hand under his chest, the other under the buttocks. Bend the knee joint of one leg, the thigh is parallel to the floor; the knee of the other leg is leaning against the floor; fold the fingers of the supporting leg, start from the floor and stand up, keep your back straight.
8. Swinging on a knee. Stand on one leg, the knee of the other leg is bent; the baby is sitting on it. Raise and lower the bent leg (you are strengthening abdominal muscles, and the baby is developing the vestibular system).
9. Pose of triangle. (This pose helps you stretch your side muscles of the body, back of the legs, improve digestion, strengthen the pelvic area; the baby is learning to hold on to you and the muscles of his abdomen, back and thighs are being strengthened.)
Stand, your legs apart widely; turn the left foot 90 degrees, and the right one 45 degrees. Hold the baby with your right hand on your right side, pull the left hand to the side at the shoulder level, and bend to the left while exhaling. Do the same action in the opposite direction.
10. Swinging the baby. Hold the baby’s legs in the Butterfly Pose or under armpits. Swinging the baby helps develop his sense of balance, and you are strengthening your back and legs.
11. Exercise “High-Low”. When sitting, raise the baby over your head. You are strengthening your abdominal muscles, the baby is strengthening his back and abdomen, as well as he is learning the concepts of “high” – when raised above your head, and “low”- when lowered on your knees.
12. Playing with a bell. The exercise helps baby’s vision and hearing develop as well as strengthen the muscles of the neck. Ring a bell over the baby’s head, on the right, on the left, from below, and the baby is turning his head to the sound and is keeping his eyes on the bell.
13. “Mini-plow”. Raise the baby’s feet and put them behind his head, and then gently release them allowing the entire child’s body relax. The exercise helps the child to understand the difference between relaxation and tension.
14. Relaxation. Lie down in a comfortable position. You can lie down either in a supine position and put the child on your breast, or on a side and feed the baby. You can also sit having placed a support behind your back. Turn on a sweet music. Breathe deeply two or three times. Feel the rhythm of your breathing and, if you can, that one of your baby. You can visualize the kind of picture that makes you feel secure and happy. Tune in to the joy of relaxation together with the baby.
Have you ever tried baby yoga with your little one? What changes have you noticed in your body and baby’s behavior? Any tips to offer other parents who are practicing or just planning to practice baby yoga?