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The Benefits Of Baby Yoga

HIPS
• Movement helps to open hip and knee joints (Butterfly, half Lotus)
• Tones deeper muscles around the base of the spine
• Knees to chest- stimulates the digestive system
• Knees side to side- twists base of baby’ s spine
• Leg stretch and drop- contrast between stretching and relaxing “Stretch! Let go!”
• Promotes healthy digestive system and relieves gas and constipation
• Tones the pelvic muscles in abdomen and back
• Push and counter push- one foot at a time encourages kicking
• Butterfly- opens hips, tones lower back when feet are circled round hips
• Leg lift and drop- relaxes baby and show the use of breath (extend to mini plough)

ARM AND SHOULDER STRETCHES
• Opens chest and expands lungs and breath
• The lift stretch uses the grip reflex to help hold on consciously and give baby the strength to lift themselves
• Aids developments of back muscles in preparation for crawling TWISTS
• Spinal twist with massage – stroke open the side of chest outwards and extend the arm. This opens up the chest
• Diagonals stretches – open up first then add the stretch
• Tones back muscles
• Promotes good limb co-ordination
• Tests parents’ co-ordination- try with opposites and reverse! BACK STRETCHES (for 3+ months)
• Stimulates the functioning of the digestive system
• Develops baby’ s breathing
• Strengthens back BALANCES
• Encourages baby to hold onto parent rather than being held
• Strengthens the back and legs in preparation for sitting, crawling and standing
• Helps baby to find a ‘ middle ground’ between being too cautious and over enthusiastic
• Has a positive effect on the nervous & vestibular system
• Helps a baby become more secure e.g. The mini drops provide a safe risk
• Helps babies to be active rather than passive

RELAXATION
• Walking: lean slightly back which keeps mother’ s chest open and shoulders back. This makes babies feel more secure
• Breathing, rhythm and movement helps refresh and invigorate parent
• Abdominal breathing helps expand intercostals muscles and mother can enjoy the freedom of movement once again
• Babies learn relaxation when their nervous system is at its most receptive where the heartbeat slows down and breathing becomes more even. All yoga works on the balance and harmony of the bodily systems. The respiratory system is the taking in of oxygen and expiration of carbon dioxide. Deep breathing in yoga encourages this and blood flow increases. The muscles of the diaphragm, chest and abdomen are all involved in this process and yoga helps with this. When you do yoga with your baby their chest is opened and so efficient oxygenation of the blood occurs. The cardiovascular system is helped by yoga as exercise increases the heart rate and pumps more blood around the body. The digestive system, both physical and chemical is aided by baby yoga. It helps release enzymes which help the breakdown of foods. The movements help stimulate the immature digestive system and peristalsis which moves the food through the gut. Yoga helps the excretory system by improving the elimination of toxins through the kidneys. Physical contact through yoga has been shown to stimulate the immune system. Both the lymph, T-cells, B-cells and phagocytes are all part of this system which helps baby fight infection and build up antibodies. Also, through relaxation, the stress hormone cortisol is reduced which further strengthens immunity. Lymphocytes produce antibodies which, as the lymphatic system are responsible for fighting disease. Baby yoga can help in the drainage of the lymphatic systemtherefore improving the circulation of the lymph which assists white cells and nutrients to protect the body. Baby yoga helps with the hormonal system. The endocrine glands are responsible for secreting hormones into the blood and are carried by plasma in minute quantities. This finely tuned balance of hormones acts in conjunction with the nervous system to affect body and emotions. The hypothalamus is the link between the endocrine and nervous system. Yoga increases the production of happy hormones such as endorphins and helps to balance the release of others, such as adrenaline. Another good reason to relax to increase feel good hormones. The brain and spinal cord co-ordinate the body’ s activities through the nerves. Baby yoga stimulates the receptors through all the senses and this helps with new experiences to be incorporated into the brain’ s neural wiring. Enhanced myleinisation and bonding improve the efficiency of the neural transmitters. Your baby’ s brain is stimulated by positive messages through baby yoga practice and helps the overall nervous system. The proprioceptive system is the perception of one’ s body position in relation to the outside world, which is vital for everyday activities. It also encompasses the vestibular system which is concerned with balance and movement. Fluid in the inner ear pass over nerve receptors and send messages to the brain. Baby yoga provides excellent stimulation of the vestibular system and helps with body confidence and balance. Babies have a better understanding of their physical boundaries and how their bodies relate to gravity. Vestibular activity is important for the development of the cerebellum at the back of the brain that controls balance and co-ordination. Baby yoga provides direct contact with the movement (unlike prams being rocked, cars being driven) and so helps with bonding. The somatosensory system deals with sensation such as temperature and pain and theintegration of senses. Baby yoga promotes awareness of the body through sensory input that the exercises and contact bring. Communication is enhanced through physical and emotional contact. The endocrine, nervous and immune system and work together to help maintain homeostasis which is the process of maintaining balance in the body, hence preventing illness

These are the 9 most useful tips for new mums & babies to help you long term and daily.

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