Touching your baby can generate much more than a smile. The benefits of yoga for babies, known as “Mom and Baby Yoga,” include helping to improve digestion, relaxing the infants, and permiting them to experience something indispensible for the rest of their life: emotional security.
During a recent workshop offered last August, Tammy Bennett, was one of the class participants with her son Aslan. When asked about her experience, she said: “Yoga classes help in assisting us as parents to learn new ways of moving and touching our children that help with their digestion, it also helps us as parents in finding new and creative ways to have fun, and turn stressful situations into happy situations. For example my favorite thing I learned was to sing my child’s name. It has a calming impact on him and allows me to finish the last five minutes of driving in peace and in safety!”
Yoga can help children develop their flexibility, strength, coordination, and body awareness. Their concentration can improve along with their ability to relax and feel calm, which helps them to cope with the conflicts and stressors of an increasingly hectic world.
More than being just great exercise, Yoga is a way of life that encourages children to play and connect to the power of their breathing and bodies, tune in more deeply with their inner self, and develop a receptive relationship to the natural world around them. It encourages self-esteem and body awareness, and fosters cooperation and compassion, instead of competition.
But not all the benefits are for the baby, the mother can strength her back, abdominal and pelvic floor muscles after the stress of pregnancy, childbirth and labor. There is also a release of tension in the shoulders and neck muscles (often from poor posture in carrying her baby and nursing.)
After nurturing a baby through pregnancy, breastfeeding, and sleepless nights, classes such as Mom and Baby Yoga (also known as Postpartum or Postnatal Yoga) provide an opportunity for Mom to regain strength and flexibility, and bond with her baby in a supportive and healthy environment. It is an opportunity for her to befriend and connect with other mothers who are having similar experiences as herself.
A decrease of overall stress and reduction in cortisol stress hormones can take place, as well as promotion of relaxation and rejuvenation of the mind. An increase in over-all endurance and well-being will help with coping mechanisms and techniques whenever feeling overwhelmed as a new parent.