Mindful Baby Yoga- Discover the benefits of bringing mindfulness & baby yoga together
Combining baby yoga’s use of gentle movement with mindfulness enhances the well-being generated by the practice. In this post, I explore ways that mindful baby yoga can promote inner calm and security for babies, parents and carers.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness involves being aware of our present moment experience. We can bring this awareness into our everyday life by using all of our senses. This means paying attention to how we are feeling and to our surroundings. For example, we can notice the way water feels on our skin when we are showering. When we are eating we can take our time to experience the taste, texture, sight and smell of foods. Mindfulness also means meeting our experiences non-judgementally and acknowledging unpleasant feelings rather than pushing them away.
Mindfulness is particularly useful for people experiencing a major life change.* As we know, parents and carers of newborn and young babies are undergoing frequent change and upheaval in their lives.
Sensory exploration in mindful baby yoga
Baby yoga involves gentle massage and movement. There are many benefits to the practice; including improving digestion, assisting development and promoting bonding and communication. Baby yoga also stimulates the baby’s senses. With its focus on noticing the senses, mindfulness complements baby yoga. Combining the two can encourage adults to use their senses fully during practice. And at the same time, this combination helps babies to develop sensory skills.
You can use mindfulness in baby yoga while setting up the practice space. Use smell and focused attention while choosing safe essential oils. You can use touch to select blankets and to notice how their textures feel. By using sensory exploration in each step of preparation and practice you are anchoring yourself to the present moment.
Noticing your breathing and other sensations will help to ensure you are ready to give your full attention. Being fully focused and mindful will enable you to notice how babies respond to massage and stretches. Being in a calm state and using mindful touch will promote a calm atmosphere for babies to feel secure and explore movement.
Developing mindful habits during baby yoga practice can have benefits outside of sessions too. When faced with everyday tiredness and frustration, parents can try the techniques they’ve learnt. They can bring their attention to their breath and the sensations they are experiencing. This can help them avoid straying into analysis or negative judgements about their parenting.*
You can find out more about the teaching of Mindful Baby Yoga and other Little Loves Yoga courses here.