Ultimately baby yoga has always been and is a great way to simply spend time with my daughter, Caelin who is now 23 months old- setting aside even just 10 minutes to forget about the 'washing up' and just be with her, enjoying time together with lots of interaction, movement and singing.
I love how our baby yoga practice has grown with my daughter. It is great to see her now doing baby yoga with her dolly, independently doing the stretches and moves like downward dog, tree and butterfly but still loving to be helped into a handstand or be swung for what sometimes feels like forever!
As a new mum, baby yoga helped increase my confidence with how to handle my baby, through teaching me different holds, lifts, swings, drops and inversions. Whilst many of these moves are quite natural to do, I would possibly not have felt safe and secure doing them and might not have thought to actively incorporate them into my day with Caelin. Baby yoga can be used throughout the day- baby fussing and you simply are unsure what they are wanting- I have been amazed how a quick ' upside down' can literally turn their mood around.
Baby yoga is about sharing space and an activity together. We can do yoga together or I might do my own yoga whilst Caelin plays or Caelin might take the lead for a while, initiating moves and requesting songs. We have found a rhythm that is reflected in our daily life of coming together, being alongside one another and taking turns in initiating the next activity.
Part of the rhythm of baby yoga is finding the balance between active doing time (asanas) and non- active quiet and still time (relaxation). I have always struggled to stop and relax and I now notice this with my daughter. Baby Yoga has helped remind me that relaxation needs to be part of our daily life, actively being non active together, giving Caelin the opportunity to learn about relaxation and hopefully grow up with the art of relaxing.
Baby yoga has taught me how to share and support my daughter as she explores and experiments with what she can do, from her first roll in a baby yoga class to now learning to jump and hop. It also helps her build strength and balance through the exercises- all those swings and drops are not just fun but also great for developing the vestibular system!
I'm a virgo and love the satisfaction of getting several things done at once, especially as a busy mum! So the fact I can spend time with my little one, enable her to have some active time and do a little exercise myself is very satisfying. I particularly remember in the early days when holding, feeding and gazing at my daughter for hours led to tense shoulders and neck, it was bliss just to take a few moments to relieve some of the stress and strain through simple moves and stretches.
It has also helped me to remember to be aware of how I am lifting and carrying my daughter so as to ensure I am not putting unnecessary strain on my back. Our backs and spine are vital to our health so we need to look after them and respect them.
Finally did I mention it is time spent with my little one? And time spent really being with her, having fun, learning and simply being together.