Baby Yoga Guide
- Mums Tips
- Fitness & Health
- Published on Thursday, 05 January 2012 14:11
- Last Updated on 09 April 2018
- Monica Costa
- 0 Comments
Baby Yoga is one of the most special bonding activities you can do with your baby. The class tones the body and helps to regain your strength and posture. The best benefit of all is that the rush of endorphins and soothing movements make mum and baby feel happy and help to encourage good sleeping patterns!
A typical class lasts for one hour and consists of up to 14 moves, creating a sequence of activity involving both mother and baby. After all the excitement, a post-yoga cuddle is the perfect way to calm your baby down before naptime. It is essential to wrap them in something warm, soft and suitable for their delicate skin, such as a snuggly blanket.
To encourage mums to give Baby Yoga a go in the comfort of their own home, celebrity yoga instructor Nadia Narain has created an easy step by step guide. Nadia has worked as a yoga instructor at TriYoga for over 12 years, specialising in pre and post-natal yoga.
In this article you will find the moves which make up a full class, accompanied by easy to follow pictures and the key benefits of each. So go on, give it a try and then enjoy a well deserved cuddle with your little one!
Cross your right leg in front of the left, inhale and reach the fingers out on the ground in front of you. Make sure the buttocks are evenly placed on the floor and keep the spine long.
Exhale, and fold forwards over your baby, stretching all the way to your finger tips.
Inhale deeply and slowly walk the hands back in, then exhale. Repeat with the left leg in front.
Benefit/area of work: Releases discomfort in the lower back.
Move 1: Cat Stretch
Uncross legs and come onto all fours, with your spine in neutral (a straight line).
Spread your fingers, take a deep breath in, and lift your head and seat up, creating an arch in the lower back.
Exhale and release the other way, moving the head and buttocks down to create a round back.
Repeat 4-8 times, depending on level of experience.
Benefit/areas of work: Creates flexibility in spine and shoulders.
Move 2: Half Dog Stretch
Inhale, make sure your back is in neutral spine and put your elbows down on the ground, palms flat in front.
Stretch both your arms straight out in front of you and bring your head down towards your baby’s toes. Make sure you keep your hips over your knees and shoulder blades down and back.
Take a nice, deep breath in and breathe out. Then walk both hands back so you are on all fours, with a straight back.
Benefit/area of work: Spine, hips.
Move 3: Downward Facing Dog to Plank
From an all fours position, inhale, tuck your toes under, lift your knees and push your thighs back to ‘Downwards Facing Dog’.
Feel your thighs moving back into the space, drop your head down and try and push your heels down to the floor.
Take a deep breath in and try and straighten your legs. If it’s not possible to straighten them, bend your knees slightly and lift up through your buttocks.
Exhale and bring yourself forward to a plank pose.
Bring your bum down so your whole body is in a straight line, looking at your baby.
Keep the arms and back nice and straight, the stomach firm and engaged and the thighs strong.
Smile at your baby and then exhale back to Downward Dog, pushing the hips to the ceiling to create an upside down ‘V’ shape.
Repeat this whole sequence 4-8 times, depending on level of experience.
Benefits/areas of work: Stretches spine, legs, tones stomach and arms.
Move 4: Push Up
Inhale, make sure your back is in neutral spine, put your forearms down on the ground and interlace your hands in front of you.
Press down into your elbows, tuck your toes and lift your knees up off the floor, then walk your feet in so the buttocks are in the air.
Bring your shoulders forward, pull in the stomach and kiss your baby.
Then exhale and raise your buttocks and hips back up.
BEGINNER LEVEL: Put the knees down, palms flat on the floor and arms straight down in front of you. Lift and lower with the arms only, holding the stomach in tight.
Repeat 4-8 times depending on level.
Benefits/areas of work: Strengthens upper arms, shoulders and tones stomach.
Move 5: Tickle Your Baby
Come back to standing.
Feet pointing straight out in front of you, legs straight.
Take a deep breath in, pull the belly in and reach your arms over your head.
As you breathe out, reach forward from the hips and tickle your baby from head to toe.
Breathe in and come all the way back up.
Repeat 4 times.
Benefits/areas of work: Lengthens spine and hamstrings.
Move 6: Warrior Lunge
Lift your baby onto your chest and stand upright. Step one leg forward and bend the knee to a lunge position, tracking knee over ankle.
Make sure the other foot is turned out and the leg is straight.
Rest your baby on your thigh and hold for five seconds. Return to an upright position and then bend the front leg again.
Repeat 4 times on each side.
Benefits/area of work: Tones the legs and buttocks.
Move 7: Half Bridge
Lay on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground, baby on your stomach.
As you breathe in, lift your hips up as high as you can, tighten your buttocks and pull in your pelvic floor muscles.
As you exhale, very slowly release your pelvis back down.
Repeat 4-8 times
Benefits/areas of work: Strengthens buttocks, back and pelvic floor.
Move 8: Flying Baby
Lift your knees in towards your chest and bring your baby onto your shins, so his/her head is alongside your knees and your feet are touching their feet. Hold their hands, inhale stretch your feet out, exhale and bring your feet back in.
To increase difficulty level: take your knees out and as you bring them in, bring your head in and lift up to kiss your baby.
Repeat: 4-8 times
Benefits/area of work: Strengthens core abdominals.
Move 9: Leg Lift
Sit your baby on the stomach and hold them around their waist.
Breathing in, take your right leg up, and then exhale down.
Hold the stomach tight as you do so.
Make sure that the leg that lifts up is straight and the leg on the ground is out flat, both feet flexed.
Only repeat 4 times maximum
Benefits/area of work: Strengthens core.
Move 10: The Wheels on the Bus
Rock yourself up to a seated position, using your abdominal muscles.
Sit with your legs crossed, and lift your baby from your lap to lay them on a cuddly, soft blanket on the floor.
Sing “The Wheels on the Bus”, hold your baby’s hands and make large circles with their arms. Repeat to the end of the song, approximately eight times.
Then, lift your baby’s legs up towards his/her nose and release back down. Make a few circles with your baby’s legs, carefully moving them in one direction and then in the other direction.
Benefits: Helps to stimulate baby’s digestive system.
Move 11: Rockabye Baby
Hold your baby’s hands in one hand, and their feet in your other. Gently rock them side to side and sing “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”. Make sure your baby is fully supported and rock until the end of the nursery rhyme.
Benefits: Releases any of baby’s spinal tension, creates a mini massage effect
Cool down and cuddle
Time to cool down…Wrap your baby up in a soft blanket and make sure it has been pre-washed in something suitable for their delicate skin, like Persil Non Bio and Comfort Pure. The two products are specially designed to be skin kind and both have skincare research recognised by the British Skin Foundation. Used together they give fresh, pure results gentle enough for even the most sensitive of skins – plus they are dermatologically tested so you can trust your baby will be wrapped in softness after every workout.
Put on your favourite song and gently bounce and rock your baby side to side, to wind them down. Once they are settled, sit on the floor with your legs crossed and spend five minutes cuddling them to reward them for all their work.
Now look forward to a well-earned rest, while your baby naps. Well done for taking the time to exercise your mind and body today, give yourself a pat on the back!
To view the guide online or for more information click here.
Monica Costa founded London Mums in September 2006 after her son Diego’s birth together with a group of mothers who felt the need of meeting up regularly to share the challenges and joys of motherhood in metropolitan and multicultural London. London Mums is the FREE and independent peer support group for mums and mumpreneurs based in London https://londonmumsmagazine.com and you can connect on Twitter @londonmums