Yoga offers all of the benefits above but also some very positive additional benefits that we don’t see with just baby massage:
1. Extending contact with parents and babies
Our baby yoga sessions work with babies a minimum of 8 weeks all the way up to 2 years. Unlike massage where the same routine is suitable for all ages, yoga is more age specific. Some of our poses are suitable for babies 8-20 weeks (our beginner moves), others are suitable for babies 20+ weeks onwards (our advanced moves). This enables instructors to offer much longer on-going points of contact with parents. For example the 5 week massage course could be offered in the very early months, followed by the 5 week beginner yoga course at 3 or 4 months followed by a 5 week advanced course for older babies. This is an excellent way of keeping mums and dads engaged with your services for an extended period of time.
2. Using the moro reflex
part of our yoga training teaches how we can work with our babies moro or startle reflex (in a very controlled way) to teach our babies about trust building, dealing with change and emotional self-reliance. All important factors in the development of our babies emotional bedrock capabilities.
3. Building core strength
Our core focused moves (particularly our advanced baby yoga moves) work to build our babies core strength and improve head control. Without core strength and upper body strength our babies may experience delay in reaching many of the development milestones used to monitor our children’s development curve. By encouraging our babies to use core muscles and improve their head control we can begin to redress the balance of reduced tummy time (babies now spend very little time lying on their tummies) and the implications that this can have on babies development.
4. Diagonal co-ordination
Our yoga moves teach our babies the important fundamental of diagonal co-ordination - how to move arms and legs in opposing directions. This skill can be very challenging for some babies to master particularly if they have any behavioural or development issues, but without this skill the basics of crawling and walking will be difficult to achieve.
5. Teaching our mums and dads to breathe
Part of the yoga training focuses on helping our mums and dads to remain in control by using simple but very effective breathing techniques. Very often simply by focusing on our breathing and breath control we can maintain greater emotional balance and deal with the day to day challenges of parenthood in a calmer and more in control way. As part of the yoga training we also look at quick and simple techniques for dealing with stress at home and for remaining calm even in those difficult periods when stress and lack of sleep can impact on our parenting skills.