At the end of June, I spent three incredible days completing Birthlight Baby Yoga training in Belfast.
Alongside seven other ladies, I learned a huge amount about breathing, relaxation, communication, baby development, the principles of yoga, and of course gentle yoga movements for both baby and parent. The ethos of Birthlight focusses on a shared enjoyment of movements, building trust and deeper understanding between parent and babies. It’s such a great course and I really can’t wait to bring these classes to the babies and parents of Midlothian.
Birthlight is a world-renowned programme designed to enhance the wellbeing of families from pregnancy and beyond. The Baby Yoga course was born from fieldwork in the Peruvian Amazon rainforest. The unique ways that the native people carried and cared from their babies was adapted, combined with Indian traditions and thoroughly researched and thus the Birthlight Baby Yoga programme was created. Since the 1980s, Baby Yoga has been taught in the UK and has now spread around the world.
“Under the rubric of Birthlight baby yoga we offer a comprehensive stimulation of the senses together with movement and rhythm that babies need in order to best integrate experience and learn. Birthlight baby yoga offers an all in one land based practice for parents and babies (ideally complemented with Birthlight aqua baby classes) including massage, holds, stretching, singing and rhymes, game playing and relaxation. Birthlight Babies learn lots of shortcuts to ease their transition to developmental milestones (rolling sitting crawling standing walking), but mostly because this is done through loving interaction and fun, it helps their brain to grow lots of happy neuron networks at the time of most intense growth in human life.”
(Francoise Barbira Freedman, Birthlight Founder).
One of the reasons Birthlight is so respected worldwide is the thorough training process and support network for its teachers. The training was rigorous – my poor brain after a 4am departure from my house! Fortunately, my Zoology degree and my Open University studies on Child Development meant that I had a little bit of a head-start on all the physiology, anatomy, cognitive development and emotional development theory. As a regular yoga and pilates practitioner, the new moves did come quite naturally to me and I have been enjoying practising lots at home – so have my girls!
I am now in the position to teach four classes as a Student Instructor, one of which is to be observed by another teacher in the baby yoga field. I also have to submit lesson plans, reflective practice diaries, participant feedback forms and I will observe another Birthlight teacher. And that’s just for my Level 1! Of course, you know me, I’m already looking to Level 2 and making a start on my Baby Yoga Diploma (we’re talking lots of reading and essay writing for that!).
My first classes as a Student Instructor are for pre-crawling babies under 12 weeks old – if you’d like to join me…..
In this respect it’s not dissimilar to the International Association of Infant Massage training I undertook to qualify as a Baby Massage Instructor. I think it’s pretty important you know all of this, after all you are trusting me to teach you correct, safe moves for yourself and your baby (and this is a responsibility I do not take lightly!).
So that’s my training experience and overview of Birthlight Baby Yoga in a 500word blog nutshell. Any questions?