Get Fit with Baby: Yoga for New Moms and Infants
Just for Baby
You can help your baby practice yoga positions on her own, too! These three postures help relaxation, digestion, and development.
- Babies Arms: With your baby on her back, gently grasp each of her hands in your own. Slowly pull her arms open and then guide them closed. Also gently stretch them up above her head and then back down to her chest. This exercise helps loosen and stretch your baby’s arms and shoulders.
- Baby Roll: Sit with your legs together and extended in front of you. Position your baby on her stomach across your thighs. Lift the shoulder and hip closest to your body and roll her gently down the length of your legs; then roll her back up. With an older baby, help her put her palms to the floor and push up as you roll her. Baby Roll is a good just-for-fun exercise.
- Baby Back Roll: With your baby on her back, grasp her feet in your hands and gently roll them up until her toes nearly touch her nose.
You can use this exercise to soothe a crying baby. It is also good for helping digestion.
- Leg Rotations/Bicycle: With your baby on her back, hold each of her feet in your hands. Slowly bring both of her legs out straight then slowly push them back up to her tummy (knees to chest). Modify by alternating legs in a bicycle motion. This is a great practice for babies with gas or colic.
Making It Work
Time is at a premium for nearly all new mothers. Whether you are a first-time mom or have several children, work, chores, and family relationships make it difficult to find the time to do much for yourself.
Yoga is not only a valuable exercise, it slows you down and provides an opportunity for you and your child to bond and concentrate on one another for a short while. At the very least, practicing yoga with your baby provides a wonderful distraction—an enjoyable way to engage and entertain your baby.
Making it work just requires a little effort. Try setting aside a couple minutes just after your baby has woken up to practice poses together before starting your day. If you find that this works well for the both of you, consider expanding your practice time and try a yoga video. And if you find you want more, there are many mother-and-baby yoga classes available at studios worldwide. Whatever time you can manage to set aside will reap rewards.
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