7 Benefits Of Baby Yoga

7 Benefits Of Baby Yoga

I love teaching baby and toddler yoga, even after 15 years. The benefits of Baby Yoga continue to amaze me, and other parents too.

Although it is now far more wide spread than back then, it is still one of those baby classes that parents are often unsure of what the real benefits to their baby are. This comes up frequently when parents contact me regarding what is involved in a baby yoga class. Time to put some of those amazing baby yoga benefits out there for you all.

Benefits of Baby Yoga – For Parents

Yes, you too can gain from attending a baby yoga class!

Bonding – The time that you spend with your baby during a class is precious. It is really is just about the two of you, and this allows for building those deeper connections.

Support – Never underestimate the power of support when you have a baby. You really do need to have a tribe around you. Other mums who know what you are going through, who can offer that much needed ear to listen or shoulder to cry on. Most of my classes end up creating Whatsapp groups that offer support to each other. Many develop friendships that last years.

Benefits of Baby Yoga – For Babies

Brain Boosting – You may have seen from my other posts that I love how baby’s brains develop! One of the main features of baby yoga that make it really great to boosting that brain power is mid line crossing. This where we take arms and legs across the body. You can read how important this is for baby brain development here.

Body Awareness – How your baby learns about not only his body, but where is body is in relation to other objects (known as propreoception). Working out how movement can benefit motor functions as well as sensory development are integral to my classes.  For more information on how your baby’s brain is structured you can read my article on the baby brain.

Establishing Routines – Getting your baby moving can really help alongside other activities to sorting out some routine in your day. If your baby is a bit grumpy before bed (the witching hour as I used to call it), then putting in a couple of fun yoga moves can really help to tire them out.

Break The Mood – Even the best of babies can get grumpy for seemingly no reason. No matter when people ask – “is he hungry”, “is he tired” and you know that answer is NO! They can get themselves into quite an emotional state without much effort. How about some tools to help you break that cycle? Well that is one of the most surprising benefits, if you can get singing and moving your baby, they often forget what was making them all emotional in the first place!

Singing & Movement – I love the combo of using baby songs and movements in classes. You can watch one of these in action in my Baby Songs Videos, on my Youtube channel.

How To Get Started With Baby Yoga

If you can attend a live class then that is great. Buddha Buddies run a combination baby development class that offers baby massage and baby yoga. You can also watch lots of baby yoga videos on Youtube, or meet up with friends and have a go together. For inspiration, check out my Yoga Songs Videos and have a go with your baby. You can watch the great Baby Yoga Action Song Wind The Bobbin below.

How Baby Yoga and Baby Massage Compliment Each Other

I love using both baby massage and baby yoga together. The movement followed by a chilled out baby massage really does lead to the most relaxed babies. You can catch my online baby massage course below. At only £57, it really does cover everything you need to confidently massage your baby at home. Learn How To Massage Your Baby

I hope that you are able to start with some baby yoga with your baby or toddler, as you can see there really are some great benefits of baby yoga, not just for your baby but for you too. As always I love to hear what you think, so please do leave a comment below or connect with me on my Facebook Page.

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x

Rachel

 

 

Baby Activities-Midline Crossing

Baby Activities-Midline Crossing

As parents, we are constantly amazed by how fast our baby grows and the new skills they seem to develop almost daily. As an Instructor, I have relished learning more and more about just how babies develop and how to incorporate these new skills into a part of our lives. In every Buddha Buddies Baby Yoga class I teach we include activities that practice ‘midline-crossing’. For me, they are an essential element of baby and toddler development, easy to do and repetitive (for embedding) and fun.

Why is it so important to add midline-crossing activities into part of your baby’s day?

Well, we all know that the left and right hemispheres of the brain control different things. (You can also look at our previous blog on how the brain is structured.) However, what is also key here is how the two sides are able to communicate. There is a bridge between the two sides called the corpus callosum. This allows both sides to essentially talk to each other. As each side carries out different tasks they need to be able to work together in order to coordinate learning and movement.

For babies, this communication is the foundation for later work on the development of such things as the dominance of hand and bilateral movement (both sides working together – i.e pushing and pulling).

So how can we add in activities early on in our baby’s development?

That is where our Baby Yoga comes in, specific moves are practised to enable the crossing of one limb over the middle of the body. Of course, we always make it fun and we never force any movement!

So to keep you going here are a few activities for you to try at home – or you can always pop along to a class or watch one of the various Videos including Action Songs that work on crossing the midline FREE on the Youtube channel.

  • Half lotus – with your baby on the floor in front of you start by taking hold of the right lower leg, now take this leg and move it across the body to the right thigh. Repeat each side several times. In class we also sing ‘pat-a-cake’ while we do this, adding other elements of singing and language into the mix!
  • Give me a hug – in the same position as before, this time take the arms out to the side and then cross over in the middle of the body, give them a little hug with their arms as you go. Repeat, this time ensuring that the arms move position, whichever one was on top is now underneath.
  • Hand to knee – with your babysat on your lap take the right hand and move towards the left knee. Repeat each side several times.

As you can see, they are all easy moves to incorporate as part of any routine. You do not need any special equipment and if you can, always make good eye contact, so you work on your non-verbal communication and bonding at the same time.

If you would like to know more about the activities or baby development, then do pop along to a class. You can also check out the YouTube channel, which has some great videos to watch on all things baby. 

Some Tools

I have put together a little list of some great baby (under 1-year toys) that can help with mid-line crossing activities at home.

Have a look at some of these developmental toys, you will notice that not only are perfect for adding in some midline-crossing but they also address other skills such as; problem-solving, hand to eye coordination and fine and gross motor skills.

Rachel Hawkes

Rachel is a mother of twin girls. She is a graduate with a combined honours degree in ‘English & Psychology. She is also a Complimentary Health Specialist, running a Wellbeing Centre and also is founder of Buddha Buddies – baby classes based around child psychology.

You can read her book on Mindful Parenting on Amazon. Sign up to receive more top tips to help you on your parenting journey.

Mindful Parenting by Rachel Hawkes
Mindful Parenting by Rachel Hawkes

There are Amazon Affiliate links in this article. Only products used or recommended by other parents are ever endorsed.

Baby Action Songs

Baby Action Songs

Baby Yoga

As a Baby Yoga Instructor, I love the simplicity of baby action songs. A simple nursery song combined with some movements never ceases to bring a smile to a baby’s face.

However, did you know there is a lot more going on in that baby brain while they are smiling and moving?[

Disclaimer: Please note this post may contain affiliate links. This means I may receive a commission if clicked at no extra cost to you. Though the opinions remain my own.]

Your Baby’s Brain

You know that your baby has the most awesome brain, every parent is always astounded at just how quickly their baby develops and gains new skills. Let’s face it, even at birth the amount of brainpower that your baby shows is pretty mind-blowing! (did you know that your baby knows your smell as soon as they are born – amazing and true!)

During the first year, the physical size of your baby’s brain doubles! That just goes to prove that they really do get smarter every day. Also, the area of the brain that shows the most development in the first year is the cerebellum, which is responsible for movement. You can read more about this in the great article by LiveScience.

Developmental Skills

So, how can we harness this rapid growth and boost your baby’s brainpower?

Doing – Yes, really! The main method of really working that grey matter and the method that works best for your baby is the act of doing, watching and engaging in something.

Action Songs

By working on song and movement you are utilising both the left and right sides of your baby’s brain. This really is a double winner for boosting that early development. Different areas of the brain are being activated at the same time! I cover various songs in baby yoga classes but I have also started to put them together in a FREE VIDEO SERIES over on youtube. You just need to grab your baby and you are all good to go! I have put one below so you can see me in action.

Singing, love it or hate it? Luckily enough, your baby is tuned to love the sound of their caregiver’s voice, so even if you think you are sounding horribly out of tune, do not worry your baby will still love it! It is another way to get other family members involved. There really is nothing cuter than a sibling signing to his or her little baby brother or sister! If you have Grandparents who are not nearby, you can always set up that Zoom call and get them singing too.

Movement with Song

Adding in movement during the song really is the next step in working that brain. Your baby will always love listening to songs you sing, but when you start adding in some movement with them, it really takes make the whole thing far more exciting and interactive, which all helps with that brainpower. There are various songs that are available, and you one of the joys is always making up your own too. I have listed some of my favourites below, but feel free to add in any that you know. The lovely thing is that lots of traditional ‘nursery’ songs work so well for this, and many of them are regional. It is a great way of adding in some real diversity and also family history to the next generation.

Other Baby Developmental Techniques

Your baby learns by watching and doing, so what other baby activities can you add into your day?

Baby Massage – this still remains one of the best ways to add-in soo many benefits to your baby. From bonding to singing, there really is a whole lot of techniques there to build that baby brain. You can start baby massage today with the online baby massage course. It has all you need to learn baby massage at home, all delivered in video modules that allow you to learn at your own pace. It also has full support via the private Facebook Group too.

Learn How To Massage Your Baby

Books – reading with your baby, especially if you are choosing interactive books is another brain-boosting baby activity that you can easily add in every day. I have put in a couple of my favourites below.

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keep It Going – From Birth To Age 3

These are all suitable for the first year, but remember that your baby’s brain will continue to grow and the first 3 years at the biggest times of brain growth during our whole lifetime. There is more to read on how your baby’s brain is structured and activities for working both sides of the brain too. So keep going with those activities! You can check out more baby and toddler activities here and also how to add in some mindfulness activities for the toddler and beyond years

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