How yoga is good for both baby and mum

Thought having a baby was the best excuse ever to ditch your yoga class? Think again. Babies and yoga do mix – and in the best circles. Gisele Bündchen is a big fan, as are the many mums who regularly go along to baby yoga. Not only is it a great post-baby body tone-up, there are lots of benefits for your little one.

We talk to baby yoga expert Sam Petter to find out more about baby yoga.

What benefit does yoga have for babies – and mums?

Baby yoga mixes physical touch with emotional contact and movement. The meaningful touch and play used in baby yoga gently encourages your little ones to enjoy and explore their new-found skills as they start to progress and move in different ways. Even if you only do it for 5-10 minutes at a time you will really notice the benefits. 

The meaningful touch and play used in baby yoga gently encourages your little ones to enjoy and explore their new-found skills

Bonding with your baby

mum and baby yoga

Baby yoga is also a really great way to bond with your little one – again the meaningful touch and play helps with this process. One of the main frustrations of being a new parent is that, in the beginning, there can be a lot of things you don’t understand about communicating with your baby because you are still getting to know each other! By doing baby yoga you will learn some really useful techniques to help you ‘have a conversation’ with your baby right from the start.  As you establish good eye contact with your baby and move with them in this very intimate way, it will help you both to understand how to communicate with each other.

Perfect baby balance

Babies who do yoga are often more advanced when it comes to crawling and walking.

‘Yoga helps a baby find his centre of gravity and increases his awareness of his own body and limits,’ says Amy Thorley, director of Hands on Babies. ‘Many of the moves are things a baby does naturally, but yoga encourages him to bear weight on his arms and legs.’

The thinking is that by locating his centre of gravity, your baby will be steadier on his feet when he learns to walk.

Bye-bye colic

One use of baby yoga is to ease colic – intense, uncontrollable crying that some think is linked to digestive problems. ‘Yoga can help by stimulating the circulatory, digestive, hormonal and immune systems,’ says Amy.

‘It releases tension and the way that pressure is applied to the abdomen is closely linked to baby massage, which can help with digestive discomfort.’