Yoga with babies and children may not look the same as your regular practice (if you have one) but is a great way to incorporate more movement into your days all together as a family. Young children learn best by observation. If they see you stretching and moving in ways that seem fun and silly it may just encourage them to give it a try!
Short sessions are best for kids; even a few minutes a day can help increase focus, body awareness and mindfulness, enhance concentration and memory, develop strength and flexibility, and aid in emotional regulation.
For Yoga with a small baby, you can lie them on your mat and engage with them as you move through your practice by making eye contact, smiling, touching, and lots of kisses! There are even poses that can safely be done while holding your baby. If you are unfamiliar with the practice you can find many examples by searching on YouTube for ‘baby yoga’. This is a great way to ease much of the tightness and discomfort that comes with caring for a little one, such as in the shoulders, neck and chest, hips and low back. Many Yoga studios offer parent and baby classes, whether in person or online. This is a great way to connect with other parents that are in the same life stage and to have a sense of community. Being home with a baby can be quite isolating. Connecting with other parents is vital to help feel supported during this time.
If you’ve recently had a baby it is best to wait 4-6 weeks after birth, or 8-10 weeks following a caesarean birth, and after you have received the go-ahead from your care provider that it is safe to resume physical activity.
There are many different ways of introducing young children to a movement practice. The following list provides a few suggestions to get you started.
There are many great kids yoga programs available on YouTube as well. Cosmic Kids Yoga has a very popular channel with many videos to choose from. Their videos range from high energy to peaceful guided relaxation, so you’re sure to find something to suit your child’s temperament or needs on any given day. There are themed classes based on animals, seasons, events, and even popular video games! Finding a class based on your child’s interests is a great way to start getting them involved in a movement practice.
The most important thing to remember is to keep it easy, relaxed, and fun! And keep trying! Your child might not be interested right away, or may have a short attention span, and that’s ok. If there is no pressure to do Yoga ‘the right way’ kids will be more likely to give it a try and find their own way to have fun with it. Before you know it your little one may be busting out their Down Dog in the kitchen saying “look at me!”.
Hi! I'm a Mama of 3, an Ayurveda Spa Specialist, Pre and Post Natal Yoga Teacher, Postpartum Facilitator, and Postpartum Doula. I am passionate about caring for birthers during the Sacred Window of postpartum, and educating others on how to care for the new families in their lives.