Yoga has been a rising trend now across the world for over a decade, while traditional yoga reaches back thousands of years into ancient Indian history. But what about yoga for infants? Is there such a thing? Many teachers have implemented yoga for new mothers, while largely emphasizing stretches for the mom, not the baby. Thanks to Helen Garabedian, yoga can help the development of your little one too. Introducing ItsyBitsy yoga, it’s infant yoga for moms and their babies.
ItsyBitsy yoga was birthed by Helen in 1999. It has been gaining popularity all across the nation and the world as people are learning the amazing benefits in developmental skills, health and flexibility through doing special yoga with their newborn to tots. ItsyBitsy Yoga can be practiced with a child from early infancy clear through age 4 or 5 and is a wonderful bonding tool for parents to use with their kids.
Combining music, rhythm and touch, ItsyBitsy Yoga offers a beautiful playground within which parents can bond with both their new little one and the community of parents with them, as this yoga is generally taught in a group setting of at least five other caretakers. Taking time to meet the other parents gives new moms and dads the chance to feel connected with others facing similar challenges and share helpful tactics, stories and loving sentiments with their peers.
Beginning with a few moments of meditation or silent breathing, the mother or father holds the infant to their chest and concentrates attention on the heartbeat, bringing both of them into presence. The class progresses through a series of movements and songs beginning with the more mellow, leading up to standing poses where the parent’s body becomes engaged as well.
Unlike other mama and baby yoga, ItsyBitsy Yoga focuses on yoga for the infant or growing baby, taking a few moments here and there to give a pose to the parent. Benefits of ItsyBitsy Yoga include improved digestion, better sleep, reduced colic, a more peaceful baby and better mental development. The sensory world is stimulated with simple exercises teaching the little one balance, body awareness and how to move in space. Certain poses emphasize different skills that are essential for healthy development of the infant, such as tummy-time.
Due to the over-whelming emphasis that has been placed on sleeping babies on their backs – a scare brought on by the increase in SIDS – little ones often miss the much-needed time on their tummies which helps them learn skills and increase spine strength that later helps with both crawling and walking. ItsyBitsy provides tummy time in spurts mixed with song and other body actions to assist the little one in familiarizing themselves with this important posture.
Whether your baby is brand new or crawling around all over the house, they are never too young to learn ItsyBitsy Yoga. Infant yoga for moms (or dads) and their babies will help strengthen the bond, enliven the spirit and bring peace to a household struggling to find their way in the new world of parenting. Look on-line today to find the nearest ItsyBitsy Yoga teacher near you. You can also find Helen’s Book and learn it yourself.
Written by: Stasia Bliss