You don’t have to be a yoga guru to enjoy the benefits of yoga with your little one. Yoga is all about exploring your body through a variety of movements, such as bending, twisting, reaching, and stretching. In fact, you only need three things to explore yoga with your baby:
- An open floor space
- A baby who is awake and ready to play
- A mom who enjoys spending time with baby
Optional: A yoga mat, towel, or blanket
Remember: Yoga should always happen to the point of feeling good, but not be painful. Make sure the doctor has given you the A-OK before practicing. If something hurts, slowly move out of the pose.
Baby Cobra (1–4 months)
Mama: So much of #momlife is spent hunched over in feeding and cuddles. This move will help open up your chest and shoulders, while strengthening your core. Plus, you get to look into your little baby’s eyes.
Baby: Not all babies love to be on their belly, but tummy time is good for head control and strengthens the muscles of your neck! Be sure to let mom know when you’ve had enough.
Happy Baby (4–6 months)
Mama: Explore gentle rocking side to side or front to back. Stretch your legs tall or wide, or pull them in close to your chest––just don’t let go of your feet! This is great for stretching your hips and lower back.
Baby: This really is a happy pose––especially if you can get those cute little toes to your mouth! If you can, go for it. You have just mastered stretching and sucking your toes at the same time. You’re getting so big!
Cat/Cow (6–10 months)
How-to: Both mama and baby get onto all fours. Slowly move from an arched back with head tucked (cat) to a caved-in back with head extended (cow).
Mama: Babies are starting to push up into an “all-fours” position and may even crawl away from you. That’s okay! To encourage interest as you move, try to make the cat sound when arched and the cow sound when caved. Your baby (and your back) will love it!
Baby: Your mama is so silly! Give her a laugh or two here. If you are already crawling, you may try pulling up on mama as she is sturdy on all fours. Just don’t pull her hair!
Mountain Pose (10–14 months)
How-to: Both mama and baby stand up facing each other, tall and proud. Plant your feet firmly on the ground with hands at your side or stretched up overhead.
Mama: If your baby isn’t standing alone, no worries! This is a great opportunity to hold hands and help your baby stand. Make it into a game of standing, then plopping back down (or squatting), then standing again. Lots of giggles should follow, and you just might get your heart rate up!
Baby: You are so big and strong! Stand tall like a mountain and follow mom’s lead! If you are way past this stage, then become a running mountain and make mom chase you. She’ll love it!
Downward Dog (14–18 months)
Mama: You may want to walk your hands out a bit to reach an actual downward dog. Try to keep your legs and arms straight, pushing your backside up and toward the ceiling. This is great for full body stretching, as well as playing peek-a-boo!
Baby: You were upside down for quite a while in utero, so this downward dog may be familiar and comfortable for you. Enjoy exploring your world from this new position!
Yoga can be a positive experience for both you and your baby if the movements are natural, engaging, and fun. Your baby loves to spend time with you. Together you can create healthy habits in just a few minutes each day.