The ancient practice of yoga will help your baby sleep better, digest easier, be happier, and stay healthier. Start today.
If you've been searching for an excellent way to bond with your baby and improve his or her health, Itsy Bitsy Yoga is the solution you've been looking for. Helen Garabedian, a certified instructor in yoga and infant massage, has developed over seventy yoga postures and thirty-five series for moms and dads to enjoy with their growing babies. You don't need any previous yoga experience. Learn the many benefits of yoga, posture by posture, in this accessible guide, with seventy beautiful black-and-white photos, at-a-glance reference charts, and memorable Itsy Bitsy Yoga rhymes.
Yoga can help babies up to two years of age:
-get relief from gas pains and colic
-digest food easier
-stay healthier with a strong immune system
-receive neuromuscularm stimulation
-learn to relax
The book also features seven Magic Poses that can soothe fussy, upset babies within minutes! So start enjoying more time with your happy yoga baby right now.
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About the Author
Helen Garabedian, a certified Hatha yoga and pregnancy yoga teacher and an IAIM certified infant massage instructor, was one of the first people to be certified as an infant developmental movement educator in the United States. Helen is the founder of Itsy Bitsy Yoga™ through which she conducts classes, workshops, and training nationally. She lives in Sudbury, Massachusetts.
Read an Excerpt
Itsy Bitsy YogaPoses to Help Your Baby Sleep Longer, Digest Better, and Grow Stronger
By Helen Garabedian
FiresideCopyright © 2004 Helen Garabedian
All right reserved.
A baby's most natural state is bliss. Open, curious, and content, babies are designed to give and receive love. However, sometimes a baby's true state falls a little off kilter and needs help to rebalance. Since babies do not come with instruction manuals, I teach parents and caregivers simple yoga-based movements and techniques to help free babies from suffering from digestion troubles and liberate their restlessness into peaceful sleep and happiness. You, as the caregiver, don't need any yoga experience to calm your baby and help him or her grow strong. All you need to do is breathe, love, and move!
The word yoga has acquired many translations over the centuries. According to The Heart of Yoga, by T. K. V. Desikachar, meanings of the word include "to unite," "to come together," "to tie the strands of the mind together," and "acting in such a way that all of our attention is directed toward the activity in which we are currently engaged." Yoga gives us insight. The practice of yoga with a baby can help parents and caregivers bond with the baby more deeply, and understand how best to care for them. When parents come to my yoga studio, they are not distracted by the outside world. Yoga can bring moms and dads closer to understanding and supporting their child's intentions, needs, and desires. Through yoga, babies sense their parents' trust and deep commitment to understanding and responsiveness as they move forward in developing their physical, social, intellectual, and emotional skills in the way that is aligned with each child's highest destiny.
Itsy Bitsy Yoga is a unique blend of yoga postures, infant developmental movement, and parent/child bonding. In this book, you will find nearly seventy easy-to-learn and practical poses and techniques that benefit your child from birth to twenty-four months old. I have intertwined the cross-cultural jewels from the wisdom of an infant's moving body, yoga, and the latest research in the field of infant development to deliver a developmentally nutritious movement program for a parent and baby to enjoy together.
In teaching yoga to facilitators and thousands of babies, toddlers, and parents, I have seen firsthand the benefits of yoga for babies: better sleep, improved digestion, relief from gas pains and mild colic, a stronger immune system, and an increase in body awareness and self-confidence.
As a certified yoga teacher and infant developmental movement educator, I examine Hatha Yoga postures with the intention of adapting them for the nonverbal baby to do with or without a parent's help. The culmination of my professional background, twenty years of yoga and meditation practice, and a lifetime of study and experience in caring for babies and toddlers, is evident in Itsy Bitsy Yoga. Itsy Bitsy Yoga teaches parents how to support their baby's physical development and movement as nature intended. As much as possible I will tell you the role yoga plays in your child's development so that the experience and rewards are richer for you.
Not everything in this book is yoga in a traditional sense. I also translate the movements of an infant's natural developmental progression into playful practices. Many of my students are especially impressed that my poses and techniques are able to calm their babies so well.
I will show you how certain positions play a necessary role in your baby's physical development. I'll help you support your baby's physical development and the natural flow of unfolding gross motor skills. Lack of awareness in positioning, holding, or moving an infant can result in future lower back problems, reading difficulties, and challenges in focus.
It is my belief that over thousands of years ago when yoga was first developing, yoga masters studied the movements of babies to create postures, or asanas. Through the practice of yoga, adults are returning to the unrestricted innocence and bliss of infancy. In a sense, yoga for babies has always existed. It is part of what babies do naturally. However, the natural movement babies need to experience is being reduced with the overuse of confining baby-holding devices such as infant car seats, walkers, seated activity centers, and strollers.
This photograph illustrates how an infant's development mirrors Classical Hatha Yoga postures developed more than five thousand years ago. For example, a baby coming up to a walking stance reflects the Downward Facing Dog Pose in Yoga.
Babies who are new to walking move into Downward Facing Dog repeatedly to transition from the floor into standing. Down Dog (as I like to call it in Itsy Bitsy Yoga) also occurs earlier in development when a baby is almost crawling. Throughout the book, I will explain what role Down Dog and other traditional Hatha Yoga postures play in your baby's development.
Top Five Reasons Why Babies Are Natural Yogis (yoga students)
1. Like yogis, babies prefer to breathe through the nose.
2. Like yogis, babies are only concerned with the present moment.
3. Like yogis, babies love unconditionally.
4. Like yogis, babies practice nonviolence.
5. Like yogis, babies practice yoga postures naturally as part of development.
Is It Too Early or Too Late for My Baby or Toddler to Start Yoga?
No. You're never too young or too old to start the practice of yoga. Parents and caregivers are invited to start practicing the postures in Itsy Bitsy Yoga with babies anytime between birth and twenty-four months. See Chapter 2 to get you started.
Yoga Takes as Little as Twenty Seconds and as Long as Twenty-five Minutes
The time you spend doing Itsy Bitsy Yoga is a vacation from the rest of your day. This developmentally nutritious activity also enhances your bond with your baby. A baby's or toddler's yoga practice can last twenty seconds to twenty-five minutes, depending on the baby's needs and your schedule. One of the book's nine Magic Poses (explained on page 10) can reduce fussiness almost instantaneously. In five to ten minutes you and your baby can engage in any one of the book's thirty-five Itsy Bitsy Yoga Series. Each series playfully combines three to seven postures to help you calm your baby, help your baby sleep longer, and grow stronger. Finally, you may choose to practice a number of the book's seventy yoga postures that are appropriate for your baby's current developmental stage.
No experience is necessary to share yoga and its benefits with a baby. Many people have always wanted to try yoga but thought they were too busy, until they became parents. In fact, more than half of the parents I teach had never done yoga before expecting a child. When a woman becomes pregnant she has more reason to pay attention to and care for her body in ways she might not have previously. Parents come to my classes to bond with and learn about their babies. After all, the word yoga means "to unite." When people learn how beneficial yoga is, they want to share it with their families. Also, my students have found yoga to be useful for enhancing the bond between a new baby and older siblings, grandparents, other family members, and nannies.
Molly and her fourteen-month-old son, Trevor, came to my class on a friend's referral. Molly had never tried yoga, but had known that someday she would like to. She thought it would be a good activity to share with her son, and it was! It turns out that Molly loved the time she spent practicing yoga with Trevor. Now, every time Trevor hears the words "Tree Pose," he assumes the Tree Pose in yoga! Molly has also begun practicing yoga for herself and finds that she has more energy to keep up with her growing toddler.
Copyright © 2004 by Helen Garabedian
Excerpted from Itsy Bitsy Yoga by Helen Garabedian Copyright © 2004 by Helen Garabedian. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
How Yoga Can Help You and Your Baby
How to Use This Book
Infant Yoga Fundamentals
Yoga for Newborns
Yoga for Head-Holders
Yoga for the Almost Sitting
Yoga for Almost Crawlers
Tots Yoga Fundamentals
Yoga for Crawlers
Yoga for the Almost Walking
Yoga for Walkers
Yoga Through Childhood