The first year of a child’s life is exceptionally precious and the relationship between mother and baby at this time is vital. It has been found that the experiences babies have during this time have an influence on their basic level of health through out their lives while social building blocks based on mother baby interaction are also made during this critical period.
Yoga classes specifically for babies and their mothers not only encourage baby’s physical development, they also foster the unique bond between them. Babies have hearts and minds open to communication and new experiences and they are particularly responsive to touch, movement and rhythm. Yoga fulfils these needs for stimulation as well as providing stillness through relaxation.
Classes provide gentle strengthening post birth for mothers and help cleanse and encourage deep relaxation. Yoga poses stretch and tone skeletal muscles, stimulate endocrine glands to release positive hormones and help realign the body so that posture is improved. This helps mothers’ bodies cope with the not only the physical stresses of constantly carrying baby but helps deal with lack of sleep and time for themselves. Babies’ own heart rates and response to stress are directly linked to their mothers’ so when mother is calm, baby is also calm.
The loving touch and holding of baby, as practiced in yoga sessions, is known to be the greatest spur to development, some say even more than breast feeding. Furthermore, during classes mothers are encouraged to make lots of positive face to face contact with their baby which is shown to provide vital stimulus for the growth of a social, emotionally intelligent brain. Songs and gentle swaying in turn help soothe both mother and baby. The chance for mothers to interact with other mothers is an added benefit and pleasure!
The practice of yoga is universally known for having changed thousands of lives. There is never a better time to start but from the very beginning of one’s life.
A new Mama and Baby Yoga class begins with Nadine on Thursdays from 12-1pm from the 1st of May 2014 at Health Space Mona Vale.
For further reading see “Why Love Matters” S. Gerhardt (Routledge:2008) and “Primal Health” M. Odent (Clairview:2002)