What is Baby Yoga?
Baby Yoga has been widely used in India for hundreds of years as part of their baby care along with baby massage. It is a variation of 'Yoga' that's more appropriate for babies & is usually integrated into a baby massage routine.
A typical class combines soft stretching inspired by traditional Hatha yoga poses to help support the development of babies and to aid relaxation and bonding.
Benefits of Baby Yoga
Offers relief from wind, colic & constipation
Stimulates the senses
Teaches Parent & Baby about relaxation
Strengthens muscles & joints
Aids developments of baby's brain, body as well as social & emotional awareness skills.
Baby Yoga offers a form of relief from a number of conditions such as Colic & Wind;
As Yoga stretches help to massage the abdomen & facilitate the expulsion of air from the bowel.
Yoga can encourage deep belly breathing which helps gastrointestinal functions.
The touch and movement that babies experience during Baby Yoga helps the body to digest and absorb food.
Baby Yoga plays an important part in beginning, enhancing & continuing the bonding process between mother & baby through;
Release of Oxytocin & Prolactin hormones
The mothers odour
The sound of the mothers voice
The effect of maternal contact during infancy;
Speeds up Mylination of the nervous system (communication between the brain & body). This can help the nervous system to mature and cope with different stimuli.
Strengthens muscles through massage and contact
Develops baby's sensory awareness
Aiding with bonding.
Stimulates the Senses
Evidence is building that the positive effects of Baby Massage & Baby Yoga upon a child are far reaching beyond infancy and into adult life affecting;
Left and right sides of the brain stimulated to aid with literacy
Promotion of relaxed sleeping & eating
Communication pathways opened and stimulated
Smoother, defined physical movements making fine and gross motor skills more efficient.
Enhanced coordination & bilateral coordination
Ability to find calmness in stressful situations.
Relaxation Is a Necessity
Massage & Yoga both encourage relaxation for both parent and child. Baby Massage promotes relaxation through nurturing touch, eye contact and the release of feel good hormones. Baby Yoga activates the Parasympathetic Nervous System which promotes relaxation and reduces stress in both mother/father and baby.
Reducing stress in a baby is important because;
Cortisol (one of the stress hormones) can elevate blood pressure and heart rate, increase blood sugar, and interrupt digestive and kidney functions.
Living in a stressful environment can mean that the brain overreacts to stressful events. The impact of this can be over production of stress hormones. This pattern has been shown to continue into adult life.
High levels of stress can affect the Hippocampus (a structure important in learning and memory). Chronic stress can cause nerve cells in the Hippocampus to be destroyed which can affect memory, spatial learning and motor ability.
Mothers produce more Prolactin & Oxytocin which helps the body to build up milk supplies.
Babies can sense and see when you are relaxed and this teaches them about how to find relaxation, what it looks like and feels like.
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