Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Baby Yoga: Walkers

In my last post, I talked about my Baby Yoga outline for pre-walkers (or ages 0 to 15 months). In this post, I am sharing my outline that I used with walkers (or ages 16 to 36 months). A lot of it is similar to the pre-walker outline, with just a few changes:

Session #2: Walkers

  • Welcome/Introduction: This is where I greeted participants and gave a quick overview of the storytime. I also briefly talked about the benefits of doing yoga with babies.
  • Namaste with Clapping
    • In yoga, we say "Namaste" as a greeting at the beginning and end of class.
    • Say each child's name twice with a clap for each syllable. Then bow (if able) and say "Namaste"
  • Focus/Breathing: I had adults sit criss-cross applesauce with their babies in their laps, back to chest. I asked them to take a moment to settle in, then breathe deeply in and out 3 times.
  • Stretches:
    • I Love You (3 times)
      • Hold index fingers out in front of baby’s hands. Invite them to grab fingers.
      • Say I (help baby’s hands to heart), Love (arms stretched out to sides), You (baby’s arms into self hug and wiggle side to side.)
    • So Big (3 times) – baby can do themselves if able facing you
      • Parents legs out, baby sit between legs
      • Take baby’s hands and stretch up in the air and say Soooo
      • Lean forward and reach baby’s hands to ground/toes and say Big
      • This helps energize their spine and aids in digestion
    • Hands and Feet - wiggle and "say hello"
  • Kneeling Pose (show baby how first)
    • Downward Dog
      • With baby standing. kneel/stand behind them and place your hands on the front of their hips
      • Encourage them to reach forward to the floor
      • If necessary, pull baby's hips up, making sure hands and feet are still touching the floor
      • Once baby is ready, let go
      • Bark if you like!
  • Standing and Balancing Poses
    • Sun Salutations (2-3 times)
      • Stand up straight, reach up high then bend over to touch your toes. Baby does this too!
      • Stand up and stretch to the sun, make a rainbow with arms in the air. Baby does this too!
    • Star Pose
      • Kneel or stand with baby standing in front of you with their arms outstretched if possible
      • Sing "Twinkle Twinkle" and lean side to side, getting baby to lift each foot in turn
    • Jumping Bean
      • Sit or kneel with baby standing facing you and support them under their arms. Or if they can do it themselves, model it for them.
      • Say Jumping (small jump), Jumping, Jumping, BEAN! (big jump)
  • Book
    • I read From Head to Toe by Bill Martin Jr. and we did the actions together. 
  • Massage
    • Lay your baby on their back, feet towards you with your legs outstretched into a "V". (Or they can sit up with their back to you if preferred.)
      • If you do this at home, you might want to try it with a little lotion or baby oil on your hands
    • Feet and Legs
      • Stroke each foot with your hands and each toe.
      • Hold ankle and gently lift, use other hand to slide down thigh towards baby's foot for each leg
      • Gently massage each calf using small, gentle circles
    • Tummy: Massage baby's tummy using an open hand in large circles
    • Hands
      • Take baby's hand in yours and use your other hand to slide from wrist to shoulder and back again. Switch.
      • Gently stroke each finger or backs of baby's hands if they don't want to uncurl their fingers
    • Now take baby's hands and open arms wide. Then cross into a self-hug!
  • Closing Affirmation
    • I am smart (point to head)
    • I am loved (point to heart)
    • I am wonderful (open arms wide)

Have you ever done baby yoga? What did you do differently?

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