Yoga class for pre-crawling or newly mobile infants and toddlers is a great way to bond with your child while instilling healthy life habits. Here are just a few of the benefits:
1. Language development – Yoga for babies and toddlers exposes children to language through song and words with actions.
2. Body awareness – Yoga class encourages children to become aware of body positions and names of body parts. Body awareness helps with children’s self-regulation, self-monitoring and learning to navigate physically in the world around them.
3. Strength – Crawling, holding down dog, trying to jump – these all lead to stronger muscles for life. Practicing yoga encourages weight bearing on the hands, this builds up the muscles of the arms and shoulders, and develops core strength, which supports proper lung function, digestion & elimination and is a key building block of future motor skills.
4. Gross motor skills – Few poses in a baby and toddler class are static. Little ones stomp, jump, spin, cross the midline, balance on one foot, transfer weight between the feet, pass an object from hand to hand, clap, pat the floor and practice moving their bodies many ways.
5. Socialization – Infants’ first connections are to faces, looking into the eyes of parents, eventually reacting with smiles and coos. This initial bonding is important for babies to feel safe, secure and loved. Learning to play with others is an important life-skill; it’s one that has to be experienced.
And the number one reason many parents come back week after week, session after session:
6. Babies Love It – Yoga is fun at all ages. Young children learn best through play, and yoga for infants and toddlers is all play.
As parents, on the other hand, we spend much of the time we have with our infants thinking about everything but the present moment. Household chores, grocery shopping, caring for older children, commuting to and from work, and even working from home are among the necessities of modern life.
Baby or toddler yoga class is a designated hour or so each week to focus on our child, getting to know them, and learning what they have to teach us. Early childhood yoga engages babies and toddlers through songs and rhymes and through movement and touch.
The poses and moves we do in class are inspired by centuries-old adult yoga postures, but they are also developmentally supportive. Many parents report that as they learn to crawl and walk, their babies independently come into yoga poses such as downward facing dog, plank, cobra, and more.
Yoga classes for babies and toddlers facilitate a sensational way for parents and caregivers to explore natural movements with their young ones during this foundational time.
Jen Mueller, E-RYT, RCYT, brings a sense of joy and playfulness to her classes – both the adult and kids classes – and hopes to offer her students freedom she finds in yoga. She founded Breathing Space to create a hub for family yoga in Washington DC and to share her enthusiasm for age- and developmentally-appropriate poses, games, and songs with yogis of all ages. Jen teaches the ChildLight Basic Training and the ChildLight Baby & Toddler Training. She also teaches Yoga 4 Classrooms Workshops. Jen invites you to join a kids yoga class at the ChildLight Yoga Studio in Dover, NH, or Breathing Space on Capitol Hill, find an instructor near you, or become Certified in ChildLight Yoga and start your own class!