Is baby yoga a worthwhile activity? Fitness expert talks new mum Lauren Pope through the benefits

As far as baby activities go, new parents are spoilt for choice. While some activities pop up as yearly fads, others - like baby yoga - seem to stand the test of time.

Perhaps it’s the combination of sensory experience and comfortable stretches that leave children wanting more, but it’s safe to say that baby yoga is cementing itself as a regular activity for new parents.

In Yahoo UK’s pregnancy series, The Baby Bump with Lauren Pope, baby yoga practitioner, Vanessa Coelho, explains how to give it a go at home.

Many new parents have missed out on joining group classes because of the coronavirus, but that doesn’t mean they can’t reap the benefits by giving it a go at home.

Baby yoga has gained popularity over the last couple of years. (Getty Images)
Baby yoga has gained popularity over the last couple of years. (Getty Images)

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“We tend to start baby yoga after eight weeks,” Coelho explains, this is after they have their first jabs.

She recommends starting by explaining to your baby what you’re going to do, so they feel close and connected to you throughout - a key part of the yoga practice as a whole.

The first step to a quick at-home practice is a gentle knee to tummy massage.

“We take hold of the baby’s legs and just gently bounce them up and down just to ease any tension. Then, we move the knees towards the stomach in a clockwise direction.

“This is really good for mobilising hip joints and massaging their lower back,” Coelho explains.

This is a great move to practice if you’ve been on a long car journey with your baby in a car seat, helping loosen up their muscles.

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The next move is known as lotus pose, where the parent takes the baby’s right foot and moves it towards the left hip and left foot towards right hip.

“Then hold gently, rocking from side to side. It’s great for stretching the baby’s hips and massaging their lower back.”

After that, Coelho moves the baby into a bicycle stretch - which includes raising your baby’s legs up and moving them in a cycling motion one at a time.

This is a top tip for parents who are looking to support their baby’s digestion and a simple move that can be done at home.

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“A mini twist is when you move the baby’s legs over to one side and hold them down with your hand, then you use your other hand to massage the other side of their body.”

This move will help improve flexibility in your baby’s spine.

All the moves Coelho mentions can be easily done at home, making it a great option for those unable to get to classes due to the risk of COVID-19.

What keeps baby yoga apart from other activities in the longevity of it is how each move can impact a different area of a baby’s body.

As we know - every baby is very different with differing needs, and taking up some gentle stretches can really help to see to those needs in the gentlest way possible.