- Baby yoga promotes the baby’s well-being, relaxation, and growth
- It’s best to start practicing different poses after the second month
- The happy baby, the cobra, the bridge, and a few other poses occur during different stages of the baby’s development
- Practicing yoga with your child helps establish a stronger emotional bond and physical trust
- Keep the baby yoga sessions limited to 20 minutes at most and allow baby resting time
As a combination of spiritual, physical, and mental practices, yoga is an excellent way to boost overall health and make sure your body is in an optimum state. However, a lesser-known fact is that babies and young children stand to benefit from yoga just as much as adults. According to this 2019 study, kindergartners who practiced yoga poses two times for 12 weeks presented with less hyperactivity and increased attention span while performing tasks.
Although it may sound strange, yoga is an excellent way to aid your baby’s mobility and help them hit their development milestones faster. Even when they’re only a few months old, practicing yoga poses can improve their strength and coordination while allowing you to create a strong bond with your child. No yoga mat or extra equipment is necessary – you only need to ensure your baby has fun while going through the poses.
10 Popular Yoga Poses For Babies
Babies start doing yoga early on, even without your assistance. Some poses we practice as adults often come naturally to children as they grow and develop their motor skills. However, waiting for your baby to pass the six to eight weeks mark is crucial before starting to do yoga. This gives the babies enough time to develop control over holding their heads and discover other movements with their bodies.
Let’s explore the most popular baby yoga poses and learn how your child can get the most yoga benefits in its early life stages.
Happy Baby Pose
In the beginning, babies spend most of their time on their backs and learn to explore the surroundings while moving their hands and feet. Around month four or five, they learn to reach for their feet and make the happy baby pose. To help them sooner, you can extend their legs in the air and gently push them toward the tummy.
The happy baby pose will relax your child and strengthen its core muscles. Even more, it’s one of the recommended exercises for newbies of any age that want to combine healthy habits with childhood fun.
As the name suggests, the wind-relieving pose aids the baby’s digestion and ability to pass gas. This is a yoga pose that can be done even during the infancy stages to relieve the child from tummy issues.
The best way to do it is to hold the baby’s feet and slowly press the knees towards their head. You can wait for the baby to take a few deep breaths with their legs bent, then allow them to release. To strengthen your bond and make the baby more comfortable, you can place them on your stomach and do the exercise with them.
This is a dynamic yoga pose requiring more movement and support. Make sure the baby’s head and core are supported, then hold its legs in the lower part and start creating cycling motions. You can go slower and switch legs one after the other or go with a faster pace, depending on your baby’s comfort.
Bridge Yoga Pose
After five months, babies can try doing the bridge yoga pose. You can place it on its back and help your baby bend its knees and lift its hips. The weight will mostly fall on their feet and shoulders, strengthening their pelvic muscles and increasing focus. If the baby needs help raising the hips, you can place a pillow beneath it for initial support.
During tummy time, your baby will naturally lift its head, wondering about its environment. To get it into the cobra pose, you need to encourage it to lift its chest, arms, or feet. You can put a little pressure on the lower back while supporting its chest and hold the pose for a few moments until the baby learns to do it. This is one of the best spine health exercises that will strengthen the baby’s back and improve its posture in the long run.
Babies start using their arms and legs to support their core and transition into the tabletop pose as they grow. You can hold each arm in your hand to support them or make the tabletop pose by its side and let the baby mimic you. Practicing the tabletop pose, along with other crawling variations, promotes the baby’s brain development and sensory integration.
Downward Facing Dog
During their transition from crawling to walking, toddlers will try to support themselves up, thus creating the downward-facing dog pose. You can practice this pose during yoga by encouraging your baby to stand up on their feet from the tabletop pose. Another way to reach this pose is to keep the baby’s legs straight up, then allow it to extend its arms by itself and push its body to create the ‘V’ shape.
The butterfly pose promotes good posture and leg and hip development. During the earlier months, you’ll need to place the baby in front of you, supporting its head and back with your body while keeping its knees bent and pressed to the floor. Later, when the baby becomes adept at this yoga pose, you can encourage it to flap its legs, imitating a butterfly, to further strengthen the lower extremities.
The squat is another yoga pose that aids the baby’s walking process. You can incorporate this pose into the baby yoga routine early on by holding up the child’s upper body and bending its knees on the ground. When your baby has enough strength, allow it to push itself off the ground and hold its own weight in the squat.
Use this yoga pose to stretch the child’s muscles and help body coordination. As the baby is outgrowing the toddler phase, it will be able to complete the tree pose with ease. Until then, you can practice this pose by raising your baby off the ground, holding its hands, and encouraging it to lift one leg at a time.
What is Baby Yoga?
Baby yoga is a yoga practice that enhances children’s health and development through different stretches, holds, massages, and movements. The activities are usually parent-guided and designed to deepen their bond with the baby. The mixture of emotional connection and physical touch supports the baby’s well-being and growth.
How to Do Yoga Poses For Babies
The most important thing when practicing baby yoga is to ensure your baby is fully engaged. Singing and going through the poses as child’s play is recommended, allowing your baby to have fun. Eye contact is crucial since it strengthens the bond and trust between you and your baby, ensuring they willingly will participate in the movements.
Health Benefits of Baby Yoga Pose
Practicing yoga with your baby can bring both long-term and short-term benefits. Besides improving their balance, coordination, and flexibility, baby yoga poses allow the baby to gain physical confidence early on. Moreover, the movements stimulate the brain, improve blood flow and muscle tone, and even aid digestion. Baby yoga also promotes better sleep and relaxation, a benefit both babies and parents can appreciate.
Safety Tips and Precautions
To avoid injuries, never force your baby into any yoga pose. Parents should allow them to explore different movements while fully supported. The parent can showcase the pose for older babies and then leave the child to recreate it alone. Always have your hands clean, and don’t rush through the poses.
The yoga practice shouldn’t last more than 15-20 minutes, and allow your baby to rest between poses. Avoid keeping the baby in one pose for too long; holding on for a few breaths and including more repetitions of the same pose is much better.
1) What are some popular baby yoga poses?
The most popular baby yoga poses are the Happy Baby Pose, the bridge, the cobra pose, and the tabletop pose. Babies are natural yogis that move through these poses during different development stages.
2) Is it safe to do yoga with a newborn?
Practicing baby yoga with newborns isn’t recommended; starting after the eighth week is best. To ensure the biggest safety, you can start practicing yoga as soon as your baby can hold its head up, which is around the third month after birth.
3) Can a baby do yoga at home?
You can treat your yoga sessions like playtime and practice with your baby at home. Singing to your child or massaging it beforehand will ease the process and ensure your baby is willing to go through the poses.