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Baby yoga: useful or a passing phase?

Hannah Blake
Yahoo Lifestyle
1 February 2013

During pregnancy, your body goes through a huge change. Postnatal yoga focuses on bringing structure back to your body, helping to realign your spine and your pelvis. It also helps to increase energy levels (which you’re going to need with a baby around!) as you learn breathing awareness and relaxation techniques.

So what better way than to get your body and mind in shape, while spending time with your newborn?

That’s where this new craze called ‘baby yoga’ comes in – a class for mum and baby (and even dad too), that combines fun songs and rhymes with stretches and relaxing sequences.

What are the benefits of yoga for your baby?
During the early years, your baby learns with her body before she will learn with her mind. Physical activity helps to develop the link between the brain and the body – this will help support posture, balance and the ability to control eye movement for life.

Regular exercise also helps your baby’s sleeping patterns and improves digestion, eases colic and can also stimulate a restless baby.

But that’s not all! Simple exercise, like baby yoga, provides you and your baby withphysical, physiological and emotional benefits. It can:

•    Boost self-esteem
•    Improve immune system
•    Aid concentration
•    Expand verbal memory
•    Promote a healthy lifestyle
•    Reduce stress
•    Help develop language and listening skills
•    Assist baby’s spinal development
•    Encourage creative play and interaction

According to Birthlight, in just one short daily session of baby yoga your baby will receive as much physical activity as if she had been handled for hours. 

Plus, any form of spending time together with your little one is a bonus as it improves bonding and communication between the two (or three, if dad joins in) of you. And this way, you also get to meet and hang out with other mums and babies too!

Can anyone do baby yoga?
Yes! It’s recommended that mums wait at least six weeks after the birth before starting baby yoga classes. And if you’ve had a caesarean section, it’s best to wait at least eight to 10 weeks. Everyone’s bodies react to pregnancy and childbirth differently, so listen to yourself and if you’re in any discomfort then wait a few more weeks.

Integrated into each class are simple postnatal recovery practices, so it’s beneficial for mums too. Like  most postnatal exercise classes, there’s no pressure to do anything you don’t want and you don’t need any previous yoga experience to take part in the first place – sounds good to us!

And don’t be put off if your little one is not in the best of moods or playing up – the relaxed, informal atmosphere of all baby yoga classes are designed to allow you the opportunity to feed, change, comfort or soothe your baby to sleep whenever necessary.

So if you’re thinking of giving it a go, head to www.yogabellies.co.uk or www.mamababybliss.com – both companies offer a variety of baby yoga classes across the UK.

Baby yoga may be the “must-do” of the moment, but if it’s beneficial to your baby’s development and helps you get back to your pre-baby body naturally, then we think why not?

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