Good morning, beautiful people!
As promised, today I will tell you about Sofia’s baby yoga classes.
Those of you who have followed or have known me for a while are well aware of my love for yoga. What you may now know is how it all started.
My first encounter with yoga happened when I was still in elementary school. I remember my dad pulling out this book with pictures of strange looking people. *Not to discount this guy’s talent, it’s actually quite impressive what he’s doing here… but, c’mon, you we all know what I’m talking about! Haha!*
Anyhow, let’s move on. I remember being very intrigued, but at the same time being super confused. Breathing through the pain? Moving slowly? Breathing on counts? To add to my confusion, it went pretty much against my rhythmic gymnastics training and I didn’t see the point of standing in a pose where nothing was pulling. *I was flexible, remember?*
I never read that book *No colorful beautiful pictures, remember?*; nonetheless, I my fascination never faded away and I kept on leafing through the pages every now and then. Fast forward to my early twenties, curiosity was still there. What was different is that now I wanted to learn. I’m turning 30 later this year *gasp* and I’m addicted to yoga. I love how practicing yoga makes me feel and don’t plan on quitting. Those stretches feel way too good! *It’s crazy how our bodies change, don’t you think?*
I actually wanted to attend prenatal yoga in addition to my prenatal aqua class. Unfortunately, both class were held at the same time, so I improvised.
Sofia’s first yoga class happened when she was almost 2 months old. I was thrilled to have that experience with her, yet I had no idea as to what to expect.
Well… It was interesting! Definitely not what I expected, but there is nothing wrong with it! I guess going into it I was thinking yoga flows… deep stretches… What I forgot to account for is BABIES! *Duh?!* Also, generally baby classes are great for socializing; thus, majority of moms were beginners and we had to go at their speed. *Once again, there is nothing wrong with it. Just regular overambitious self! Haha!*
All jokes aside, there is a big deal I learnt at baby yoga classes!
Probably, the coolest part was learning various stretches for babies. Sofia still enjoys them!
First, we would warm up babies’ various muscle groups, just like we do for ourselves, starting with upper body.
Lay baby on her back on the floor. Hold on to her wrist. Lift baby’s arms up and then bring them down. Repeat 5 times.
Begin in the same position as before, but alternate sides: Right arm – up, left arm – down, switch sides. Repeat 5 times.
Still on the floor, spread baby’s arm out to the sides, bring them on across her chest, and spread them out again. Repeat 5 times.
The next stage is a lower body warm up.
With baby lying on her back, hold her feet or lower legs. Gently push one leg up toward her chest while extending the other. Switch sides. Repeat 3 times on each side.
Now do the same, but with both legs simultaneously. First push both knees to the stomach, then extend to the floor. Repeat 3 times.
It’s time to do a bicycle! Guide your baby’s legs in a circular motion as if pedaling a bike. Do the movement 10 times, then reverse the direction.
With the baby on her back, lift her legs perpendicular to the floor. Gently stretch them to the sides, like a mini split, then bring legs back in the Buddha pose while crossing legs one over another. Repeat 3 times while alternating the leg on top.
While on the back, bring baby’s knees to the stomach. Move the legs in a clockwise circle, then reverse in a counterclockwise motion. Repeat 3 times in each direction.
At this point, the baby is warmed up for full body stretches.
*In this video Sofia is 4 months old. I was simply playing around with her while doing some of these stretches.*
Lay baby on her back. Hold baby’s right wrist with your right hand and baby’s left foot with your left hand. Gently pull baby’s left foot to her right shoulder while bringing her right hand across to her left hip (baby’s leg should be above her arm). Repeat 3 times, then switch sides.
With baby’s feet in your hands, gently bring them to your baby’s nose. Don’t force it. Repeat 3 times.
Beginning with your baby on the floor on her back, grasp her forearms (if your baby still doesn’t hold her neck properly, you can hold your baby under her arms while still supporting your baby’s neck with your fingers). Gently bring your baby to a sitting position, then to standing. Then in reverse: back to a seated position and, finally, on the back. Repeat 3 times.
I may have forgotten a move or two, but you get the gist of it. Sofia absolutely loves these exercises. Believe me, you will be rewarded with multiple smiles while bonding with your baby at the same time!!!
You may also be curious as to how YOU can practice yoga with a baby by your side. No worries, mama! You can still do it!
First of all, the baby can be cooing right NEXT TO you.
Your baby can be ON you.
You can also hold your baby in your ARMS. Most importantly, make sure that you are stable in any given pose. If needed, stand by the wall or hold on to a chair for extra stability; but if you’re still in doubt, just put your baby down. It’s better to be safer than sorry.
Don’t forget to make it a fun activity for both of you. Babies love interaction!
Have you done yoga with your baby? How do you engage your baby?