Top 10 Benefits of Baby & Me Yoga
by Valerie Kacian, RCY teacher
If you have just welcomed a baby into your home, congratulations! You have entered the world of amazing possibilities, endless snuggles, and a sense of wonder. You have also entered into the world of endless diaper changes, broken sleep patterns, and perhaps some cabin fever. This is where yoga comes in. There are almost too many benefits to list out completely so here’s my attempt at a Top 10:
Benefits for Parents/Caregivers
- Build Community with Other Parents and Caregivers – Baby & Me Yoga provides parent bonding (sangha) time with others who know exactly what you are going through because they are going through it, too. I have witnessed incredible conversations, friendships blooming, and even suggestions on products, services, and establishments in the area. In this world of social media and screen usage, face to face time to talk is more important than ever. Fun fact: bonding and community results in an increase in the “feel good” hormone oxytocin so the more chances to tap into this hormone the better.
- Bonding Time with Baby – Let me rephrase this…uninterrupted bonding time with baby. No phone calls. No laundry. No meal prep. No one requesting anything of you. Simply, 60 minutes of time to move with baby, look into baby’s eyes, and really soak it all in.
- Getting Back to Routine – For many of us getting back to a routine is key to feeling centered and grounded in our lives. Baby & Me Yoga can provide a regular place in our schedules for movement, time with baby, and time with other parents.
- Learn Self Soothing Techniques – As a parent, I know how demands on time, a baby’s cry, and not getting enough sleep can frustrate even the most patient person. Self-soothing techniques such as deep breathing and gentle movements can help you fill up your cup so you have reserves to give to your baby.
- Address Postpartum Concerns – Pelvic girdle concerns such as pelvic pain, incontinence, and diastasis recti, as well as pain in the shoulder girdle and lower back are often concerns new parents have. Baby & Me Yoga creates space for you to gently move the body and spend time discussing methods you can do in class and at home to support yourself during this important period of time. (Please keep in mind that yoga is not a substitute for postpartum care with your health care provider. Any health care concerns including mental health concerns should also be addressed with your provider.)
Benefits for Baby
- Bonding Time with You – Babies want more than anything to spend time with you. They love the eye-to-eye contact, heart warm touch, massage, and gentle movements that Baby & Me Yoga can provide. I have witnessed big smiles and faces filled with joy each time babies have come to their mats.
- Help with Better and Longer Sleep – And who doesn’t like better and longer sleep? Babies wake up for a number of reasons both physical and social. Baby & Me Yoga provides just enough gentle stimulation and an opportunity to bond with you, as well as work out any digestive unease that can result in an improvement on any sleep disturbances.
- Aid in Improved Digestion – Parents learn gentle movements that can help baby improve digestion and ease gas pains.
- Increase Neurological Development – Child development is set in stages with each stage creating neurological pathways in the brain that support your child now, and later in life. Cross body movements such as crawling have been linked to learning to read later on in your child’s life. Baby yoga can help strengthen and develop these pathways in a way that is fun for parent and child.
- Reduce Stress and Anxiety – If you have ever brought a baby into an environment with bright lights, loud music, and lots of activity and your baby would not stop crying, you may have suspected that your baby had become overstimulated by the environment. What may have resulted was a high level stress and anxiety situation. Baby & Me Yoga invites baby to practice in the company of others with soft music, soft lighting, and lower stimulation so that they can experience new environments in a softer setting. As you breathe deeply, and provide a meditative practice in class, your baby learns ways to soothe and provide balance during times of stress and anxiety.
As you can see, there are so many benefits to bringing baby with you to a Baby & Me Yoga class. RCY is pleased to offer Baby & Me Yoga on Saturdays at 11:30AM-12:30PM. A new 4 week session starts Saturday, March 2. Drop in is available.