It’s no secret that practising yoga is extremely beneficial for a mom, from pregnancy to after delivery. It ensures a happy, healthy you. But the next time you roll out your yoga mat, make sure to have your baby there with you! Practising yoga with your bundle of joy is just another fantastic way to begin bonding with them. Not to mention how wonderful it is for boosting development in infants and toddlers.
Research suggests that introducing your baby to yoga sets the foundation for a healthy and fit future. Here are some benefits of doing yoga with your baby:
It is known to aid in better digestion for your baby and also reduces colic gas.
The gentle movements kick off motor skill development and neuromuscular development in your little one and fostering the mind/body connection.
Promotes exercise ethic
It does wonders for establishing healthy habits that will stick with your child till the future.
Helps reduce anxiety that is common for new mothers to face and creates a peaceful environment.
It can improve sleep for baby and mother, so that your family sleeps better and longer.
It is a great way to strengthen the bond that you already share with your little one.
Instils positive body image for you and your baby, and increases your confidence in handling your little one.
Before starting, make sure that your little one is actually willing- never force them to practice with you if they are cranky, hungry or sleepy. Be on the lookout for any signs that they aren’t enjoying it- and stop immediately. Come back to it again when they are willing and happy. The following are a few poses/movements you can practice with your baby!
Simple stretch: Lay your child on their back and extend their arms over their head, keeping their legs straight. Hold just for a breath or two and release.
Knees to chest: Lay your baby on their back, and slowly bring in one of knees to their chest. Hold for a breath and release, and change legs. Smiling and talking to your baby will help soothe them and make them bond with you. You can do two legs at a time if your baby needs help in releasing gas. Make sure your child is willing to do it, and move very gently and slowly!
Paschimottanasana (seated forward bend):
- Carry this asana out very slowly, and have blankets under you, should your baby slide off your legs.
- Sit erect on the floor with your legs straight in front of you and buttock supported. Flex your feet.
- Place your child with their back on your legs, facing you. Use a blanket to make sure they are comfortable.
- Inhale and reach out to your baby with your arms, bending your back and trying to touch your toes. It is perfectly all right if you can’t, just push till you feel a nice stretch. Exhale.
- Maintain this pose for a while, breathing deep for 10 seconds or till your child is happy in this position!
- Having eye contact and being face to face with your little one, laughing and talking while you reach out with your arms is a wonderful way to bond with them.
Adho mukha svanasana (downward dog pose)
- Get on your hands and knees, with knees directly under hips and hands under shoulders. Place your baby in the space under your belly on their back.
- Lift your knees back and extend, with your pelvis pushing up and your heels pushing back, trying to touch the floor. Try to have your legs straight or alternate bending your knees.
- As you hold this pose, look down at your baby, smile and laugh. While coming down on your knees again, give them a little kiss. If your child can crawl, they will probably love crawling under you or could even try to imitate you!
- Maintain for 10-20 seconds, breathing deeply and coming down slowly.
Setu bandha (bridge pose):
- This is a pose you can make your 6-month-old practice!
- Lay your child down on their back, and encourage them to bend their knees.
- You can support their body while pushing up their bum, achieving the bridge pose. Encourage them with kind words, coos and claps.
- Hold for a breath and repeat if they enjoy it. Again, don’t push your child into perfecting the asana, the small movements are what matter!
- Practice this pose with them, side to side so that they can imitate you.
Shavasana (corpse pose)
- Lay on your back with eyes closed and hands and legs straight out. Do this at the end of your yoga session because this pose calls for complete relaxation.
- Breathe slowly, letting go of any tension you might be holding in your body.
- Have your baby lie down on your chest, with their heads on your heart.
- Make sure the shoulder blades are resting evenly on the mat.