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Oct 21, 2012 by TAMMY McKENZIE
Baby Yoga Helps Infants Improve Bodily Systems

A new form of yoga for babies is booming and new mom's are the biggest promoters. A few dozen infants as young as a few days old to 12 months were initiated into the "hugely beneficial" exercise along with their moms at a unique workshop organised by the Pampers Mommy and Baby Sleep Academy.

Developed 5,000 years ago, yoga has finally reached the Western World and is taking it by storm even with newborns. Most yoga practices focus on physical positions called "asanas", breathing exercises called "pranayama", and on meditation. Many have found that yoga not only improves their physical health, but also offers mental clarity, stress control, and promotes an overall feeling of well-being.

Yoga that can be done with your baby -- in your arms, on your belly, resting against your thighs or sleeping peacefully at your side -- is powerful in the way that it connects the changes in your body with your new child. It helps regain a pre-pregnancy body as mothers bond with their babies, and embrace their new lives as moms.

As part of the workshop, certified baby yoga guru Odona Farska of the Flow Yoga Dubai Studio took the infants and their mothers through a series of gentle movements that are proven to benefit them physically, physiologically and psychologically.

"Baby yoga helps stimulate bodily systems like the digestive and nervous systems, besides ensure sufficient physical activity for a baby. It helps the child sleep well and heal birth traumas. It is also a bonding time for the mother and child and ensures they are happier," Gulf News quoted Farska, who mastered the art of baby yoga in London, as saying.

She said a typical baby yoga session spans 10-15 minutes for 3-6 month-olds and 20-30 minutes for 6-12-month-olds.

It covers all features of classic yoga, right from the warm-up to the stretching, postures and movements so that the vital organs are stimulated, the muscles toned and the mind and body relaxed.

By extension, baby yoga is said to influence interaction with the child in every aspect, be it the manner in which he or she is lifted, carried, sat down or walked around.

Tammy McKenzie is a certified personal trainer and fitness specialist with a speciality in women's fitness.

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