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Preparing Your Baby for Crawling Through Yoga: Tips and Techniques

As a mum of 3, watching each of my little ones reach significant milestones like crawling filled me with pride and excitement whilst at the same time, wishing time slowed down and they stayed babies forever (please tell me i am not alone in this!)

The journey to crawling and then crawling itself marks a pivotal moment in baby's physical development, as a yoga teacher with a fascination in body mechanics I have been able to recognise the role that yoga can play in preparing them for this exciting stage.

So I thought id share here about how yoga can support and enhance baby's journey towards crawling and give you some tips and techniques for navigating this journey!

So why is crawling is such a crucial milestone for baby's development? Crawling not only strengthens baby's muscles and promotes coordination but also plays a vital role in cognitive and sensory development. When crawling, babies develop spatial awareness, depth perception, and hand-eye coordination, laying the foundation for future motor skills and exploration.

The journey to crawling can include:

  • head control during tummy time

  • rolling back to side

  • rolling belly to back

  • playing with feet (this really works their core strength!)

  • rolling back all the way to belly

  • digging in toes to slide forward when on belly

  • lifting their bottom up into all fours

  • rocking on all fours

The origins of yoga trace back thousands of years to ancient India, where it emerged as a comprehensive system for physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. Rooted in philosophies such as Hinduism and Buddhism, yoga encompasses far more than physical movement alone; it embodies a holistic approach to life, aiming to cultivate harmony between body, mind, and spirit. Central to yoga philosophy are the limbs of yoga, which include ethical guidelines, physical postures, breath control, sensory withdrawal, concentration, meditation, and enlightenment. These principles form the foundation of traditional yoga practices and serve as a roadmap for personal growth and self-realisation.

In the context of baby yoga, the essence of these principles is translated into gentle and playful practices that support infants physical, emotional, and cognitive development. While babies may not consciously engage with the philosophical aspects of yoga, they naturally respond to the nurturing touch, rhythmic movements, and calming presence of their caregivers during baby yoga sessions. Through simple stretches, gentle massage, and interactive play, caregivers can help infants explore their bodies, develop coordination and balance, and strengthen their muscles. Additionally, the mindful presence and loving connection cultivated during baby yoga sessions provide a supportive environment for bonding and attachment between caregivers and infants. In this way, the principles of yoga are embodied in the practice of baby yoga, offering a holistic approach to nurturing the well-being of both babies and caregivers alike.

Yoga offers a holistic approach to supporting baby's physical and cognitive development, making it an ideal complement to their crawling journey. Incorporating simple yoga poses and techniques into baby's daily routine can help improve flexibility, strength, and body awareness and relieve some fascial tension all of which can help with crawling.

How to incorporate aspects of baby yoga to your day....

Firstly recognise that baby yoga moves do not need to happen only at a baby yoga class, you can do them throughout your day, times that work really well for practicing are after you hav changed baby's nappy and they are on the changing mat - adding in a stretch here or a few sit ups is an easy integration, or when you are playing with them on a play mat.

Ok so now lets go through some ways you can be integrating yoga into baby's day.

1. Gentle Stretching to loosen tight muscles, release tight fascia and increase flexibility.

2. Tummy Time Variations: Tummy time is a crucial aspect of baby's development, and incorporating yoga-inspired variations can make it more engaging and beneficial. Try placing toys or objects of interest slightly out of reach to encourage reaching and crawling movements during tummy time.

3. Baby Massage: Incorporate gentle massage techniques into baby's routine to promote relaxation and stimulate circulation. Focus on areas like the hips, thighs, and shoulders to support mobility and ease tension in key muscle groups.

4. Joint Mobilisation: Gentle joint mobilisation exercises can encourage full range of motion in baby's joints. This can include gentle movements of the arms, legs, and circles of spine to improve flexibility and mobility.

5. Working on their spacial awareness and balance. This can be done through swaying whilst holding baby, lifting them up eetc, these are great things to do in front of a mirror. These really work their brain development too.

5. Mindful Breathing yourself, practicing calming breaths whilst holding baby allowing your nervous system to regulate helps them to regulate theirs.

6. Sensory Exploration: Engage baby's senses through sensory-rich yoga experiences, such as exploring different textures, hearing soothing sounds, smelling things such as herbs or fruit. These sensory experiences can enhance baby's awareness of their body and environment, supporting their overall development.

Incorporating yoga into baby's routine offers a myriad of benefits for their physical, cognitive, and emotional development, making it an invaluable tool for preparing them for crawling.

By integrating simple yoga poses and techniques into baby's daily activities, we can support and enhance our little one's journey towards this exciting milestone. Through gentle stretching, tummy time variations, baby massage, joint mobilisation, mindful breathing, and sensory exploration, we can empower baby to navigate the world on all fours!

And then the journey to walking begins!!!

Join me for Baby Yoga in Central Glasgow. An hour for you and baby, surrounded by friendly, like minded community of other new parents. No yoga experience necessary!


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