Yoga-loving mums needn’t give up the chance to stretch, unwind and clear the mind.
These days there’s the opportunity to do all these things and focus on baby or toddler too.
Baby yoga has been popular in the states for some time and is now extending its influence across the UK.
Mitchy Titch runs classes all over the country. Its teachers go through intensive training and set up their yoga courses as a franchise.
Mitchy Titch instructor Sam Bernice explains what is involved in her classes.
‘Parents or carers do a warm-up and then work with the babies. It’s not just about yoga, it’s a great bonding process and an excellent opportunity for social interaction.’
The classes work on the basic yoga principal of uniting body and mind and gives parents a chance to work on this with their young children.
Babies benefit from junior versions of classic yoga positions like the Plough.
In this example, the parent holds baby’s shins and then brings the knees into the tummy.
Parent and child have the chance to calm their minds with sensory, meditative and breathing exercises.
These include breathing onto baby’s skin through a straw and breathing through a sparkly cloth, which the baby can see moving in and out.
‘It encourages them to be calm, to focus and to concentrate the mind, which is actually a form of meditation,’ says Sam.
‘If you work on that with them at a young age, it helps them to become focused and develop the skills of listening and paying attention. I’m sure it’s been a benefit to my children.’
The mum and former primary school teacher has been a yoga enthusiast for many years. She says baby yoga also promotes healthy growth and aids motor development, flexibility and digestion.
But it’s as much about bonding and, of course, relaxation.
‘We know it promotes sleep – and if baby’s sleeping, mum’s sleeping, and that can only be good.’
Sam runs a group for babies up to crawling age but is hoping to establish a class for toddlers. As children grow older the exercises are adapted to suit.
The baby class runs at Whiteley Community Centre between 1.30pm and 2.30pm on Friday. Call Sam on 07830 186098 or visit mitchytitch.co.uk.