The first 3 months of our babies life is spent adjusting to their new physical world. Every single need was automatically met in the womb, and now here's this new world where they have to learn how to do everything from breathing, suckling, digesting, eliminating and so much more. As parents, or caregivers, we are also adjusting to this new life. We are figuring out how to help our little ones meet all these changes. We are learning about their bodies, needs, cries and finding out our rhythm of care and nurturing. These are some enormous changes happening in our families! Whether you practice Yoga everyday or you've never been to a class, we can find guidance through Yoga philosophies to help our little ones adjust to this big, wonderful world.
Pace - From birth, babies track our nervous system. When we are anxious, they feel it. When we are excited, they feel it. Amazing, isn't it? So, right away the first thing we can pay attention to is our pace...slow...down. Living in a city we often rush from place to place and many times we run late, especially when little bodies are thrown into the mix. Instead of rushing to the next place, stirring up all the stress and anxiety, can you take a moment and slow down? Watch the leaves fall, smell the flowers, watch the boats along the river. It's ok to be late, it's ok to slow down your pace.
Alignment/Center - When you notice that life is becoming chaotic and your inner alignment has lost it's balance, check in with your awareness, attention and intention to find your balance again. Feel your feet root into the ground, finding stability, and bring that rooted feeling up into your core, up your spin and out the top of your head (crown). Finding your center during stressful times and taking the time to remain grounded, even when a baby is distressed, means you are working from a calm and responsive place instead of a reactionary place.
Pranayama (Breath) - Babies watch our every move, constantly learning from us. This means they are even watching us breathe. Taking deep, full, belly breathes allows our babies to focus, settle and mirror our breathing. Naturally babies breathe from their bellies, remember that little newborn belly going up and down? It is only through time and the stress of life that we start to breath higher and higher. Sit with your baby in your lap, your belly pressed right up against their back and take 3 big inhales and exhales, sending breath right into their back.
Hum (low OM) - Babies love singing! Singing, or humming, is an act of love and babies feel it. Singing lights up all the areas of the brain and stimulates the senses. Place one hand on your heart and the other to theirs and give humming a try. Babies love the heart to heart connection and the sound helps them settle and soothe.
Exercise/Play (Leela) - The same way we exercise to move energy, our babies need to do the same thing. When babies exercise and play they move energy around and learn how to regulate their nervous system. This free play is essential to creativity and discovery and is a great reminder to our adult bodies, to have fun and explore the incredible things our bodies can do.
Reflect/Mirror - Yoga teaches us to check in with ourselves, reflect on the things we learn on the mat, the things we observe about ourselves. We can practice this with our babies too. We can watch, observe and reflect back to our babies. Observing and acknowledging their emotions is an authentic way to build trust and attachment.
Small Meditation - Believe it or not you can actually meditate while with your baby. I like to call them Wonder Moments. You know when you are watching them look at the Christmas tree lights for the first time? That's an instance where you can stop and be completely in the moment. They happen all the time; when you are taking in every inch of their face, watching them learn a new skill, watching the snow fall, finding a new scent. These are all times in your day where you can do a small meditation. When you find yourself in a Wonder Moment, take a deep breath, fill with joy and enjoy!
Caring for a baby is one of the biggest responsibilities there is, whether you are a parent yourself, or you care for a baby. It's important to take the time to be a family, to be with yourself, be with your spouse...nourish all the parts of you. You can't pour from an empty cup, so be sure to take the time to give yourself love and be open receive love from others. No body has this whole thing figured out, the best thing you can do is be present, open and willing to make mistakes.
Ansley has been teaching Infant Movement classes since 2013, after studying Developmental Movement with Ellynne Skove. Since completing her training Ansley has taught all over the New York, New Jersey, Boston and now Florida. Ansley is certified in Level 1 Reiki and has completed her 200hr YT. She is passionate about empowering, nurturing and providing care to all families as they encounter the demands and joys of parenthood. Through her work she is able to soulfully fulfil her greatest ambition; to care for others.