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Try these Flexible Critter Poses.

Mom and baby yoga calms both mothers and babies and helps babies to sleep better . It is also proven to be a great way to help the digestive system, colic and even infant constipation. Babies from three months can really benefit from a class once they have reasonable neck control. Most classes will focus on opening out the hip and knee joints, strengthening the muscles in the legs and base of the spine and plenty of ‘tummy time’ which allows babies to lift their heads and strengthen the neck muscles. Gentle massages to relax the baby are almost always part of the session. Here are a few things to try with your little one in the studio or at home:

Step 1: Cup Head in Hands
Using the whole of your palms, cup Baby’s head snugly in your hands. This is a good time to ask permission – “May I give you a massage Baby’s name”. If baby is happy, use the tips of your fingers to make small circles all around the head.

Step 2: Smoothing the Forehead
Starting in the centre of Baby’s forehead, use the flats of your fingers to stroke out across the brow and down to
the temples. Be careful to avoid covering Baby’s eyes with your hands.

Step 3: Relax the Jaw
Using one or two fingers make small circles around the hinge of the jaw, just in front of the ears. Try this on
yourself to help find the right spot. Ahhhh!!!

Step 4: Angel Wings on Chest
Using the flats of your fingers start in the middle of the chest and stroke out to the sides of the rib cage, down
and back up the centre. Both hands move simultaneously drawing a love heart or angel wings shape.

Step 5: Arm Roll & Palm Stroke
Just like making plasticine sausages. Flatten your hands and roll Baby’s arm gently back and forth
between your palms from the shoulder up to the wrist. The movement is quite quick and often gets Baby very
excited! Repeat the arm roll a minimum of 3 times before stroking Baby’s palm with the flats of your thumbs. This
will help baby to open out his hand, turning off the palmar grasp reflex.

Step 6: “I Love You” on Tummy
Strokes for the tummy move in a clockwise motion, working with the natural direction that waste is
pushed along the gut. The “I Love You” stroke has three parts. Begin by stroking down the left side of Baby’s
tummy, starting beneath the ribs. This makes the letter “I”. Next stroke under the ribs from the right to
left, continuing down the left side again, making an upside down “L” shape for “Love”. . . Complete the sequence by using the flat of your hand to make an upside down “U” shape, starting in the bottom left and finishing at the bottom right. Talk to Baby while doing the strokes and tell her “I – Love -You!”.

Step 7: Rolling the Legs
Just like rolling for the arms. Flatten your hands and roll Baby’s legs gently back and forth from the bottom
to the ankle. Roll down the sides of Baby’s legs where the muscle is.

 

AND FOR TODDLING YOGIS…

Once your baby is toddling there is no need to abandon yoga.  More and more parents and caretakers become huge supporters of toddler and child yoga due to the behavioural advantages to energetic and sometimes over stimulated toddlers. Child yoga offers a non competitive haven from the realities of a busy life. What yoga does for children on a spiritual level is absolutely wonderful. Simple techniques that are taught during meditation can help little ones learn to quieten their minds in times of stress  or when they have trouble falling asleep. But child yoga is also a time of real fun. Back arches, forward bends and twists can be introduced in a creative environment. Using the already existing animal poses is a great way to get little ones excited. We are working on a few fun critter moves to introduce to your toddler. Please check back here in a few days!

Squat on your toes, with your heels touching. Spread your knees wide and put your hands on the floor between your legs — you look just like a frog having a nice little break on a lilly pad. Now look up, straighten arms and inhale. Then let us hear your best “Ribbit. Ribbit. Ribbit”!

yogaga valentines frog

 

Rest on your hands and knees, with your belly facing the floor. Inhale deeply first. Then exhale and pull in belly, tailbone, and butt. Pressing down on your hands, press your back toward the ceiling so your spine rounds…a bit like an angry cat. Meowwwwww!

 

Rest on your hands and knees, with your belly facing the floor. As you breathe in, lift your bum and chest toward the ceiling (leaving hands and knees on the floor), letting your belly sink toward the floor. Lift your head to look straight forward and say Moooooohhh.

 

yogaga valentines cow

 

Make your body into an upside-down V shape with hands placed shoulder-width apart and feet hip-width apart.  Have you seen a dog stretch in this way?  Turn it into “Walk the Dog” by walking in your downdog , trying to keep your arms and legs straight.  Woof. Woof.