Infant/Toddler Yoga

“If one feels the need of something grand, something infinite, something that makes one feel aware of God, one need not go far to find it. I think that I see something deeper, more infinite, more eternal than the ocean in the expression of the eyes of a little baby when it wakes in the morning and coos or laughs because it sees the sun shining on its cradle.” ~ Vincent van Gogh   

The following was adapted from

What are the major risks and other drawbacks associated with babies, toddlers, or preschoolers practicing yoga? Insights from he American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons & the American Academy of Pediatrics:

  • If yoga poses are held for too long, it can put too much strain on a child’s growing body. For instance, inverted poses can put too much pressure on the head, neck, or shoulders.
  • Children age 3 years and younger are prone to nursemaid’s elbow, a partially dislocated elbow joint. The injury happens in young children because their ligaments are loose and bones are not yet fully formed.
  • Young children might overstretch and not know when they should stop or ask for help.
  • Young children might not be able to pinpoint pain.
  • Yoga may wrongly be seen as a substitute for cardiovascular activities, which are important for physical development during childhood.
  • Younger children have lower attention spans and may not respond well to the position-holding involved in yoga.
  • Certain poses or movements may cause small children or infants to vomit if they have recently eaten.
  • Certain breathing techniques or poses may be contraindicated if a child has asthma, bronchitis, or a hernia.
  • Although the AAP suggests that yoga could promote better sleep and combat obesity in children, the organization does not currently have an official position on yoga.

Tips for practicing safe yoga at any age:

What can parents do to protect their children from injury if they are interested in getting their babies or toddlers involved in a yoga class?

  • Be sure the class focuses on gentle stretching and is practiced in moderation. And follow these tips:
  • Find a safe and appropriate place for children to practice yoga.
  • Provide your child with a proper yoga mat to prevent slips.
  • Allow your child to digest snacks or meals before starting a yoga class.
  • Don’t overdo it. Children should keep their movements slow and avoid forcing poses or extended stretches.
  • Inverted poses, which involve extending the legs above the heart or head, should be avoided.
  • Most importantly, look for instructors specially trained to teach yoga to children.

Below are some great resources:

Baby Massage: The Calming Power of Touch
A beautifully illustrated guide that offers parents and caretakers safe and easy-to-learn massage techniques that reinforce bonding and all-around wellbeing. Soothe fretful babies, help them to get to sleep, and ease the pain of common ailments such as colic, and teething. Massage enhance babies’ and toddlers’ brain development, encouraging brighter, happier children. 

Baby Om: Yoga for Mothers and Babies takes mothers through a yoga practice they can do with their infants. The techniques help new mothers enjoy the spiritual and physical benefits of yoga, allowing them to nurture themselves as well as their babies. This is also a good book for postpartum yoga and has a special section for cesarean moms. Contains four step-by-step classes — each concentrating on a unique stage in your child’s development.

 My First Yoga: Animal Poses uses child friendly vocabulary and vibrant illustrations to lead readers through a series of easy to follow yoga poses. Learn to become a strong dog, quiet turtle and proud lion- while stretching mind and body to improve focus, balance and concentration.

Itsy Bitsy Yoga: Poses to Help Your Baby Sleep Longer, Digest Better, and Grow Stronger The ancient practice of yoga will help your baby sleep better, digest easier, be happier, and stay healthier. It’s an excellent way to bond with your baby and improve his or her health. You don’t need any previous yoga experience. An accessible guide, with seventy beautiful black-and-white photos, at-a-glance reference charts, and rhymes.

Itsy Bitsy Yoga for Toddlers and Preschoolers: 8-Minute Routines to Help Your Child Grow Smarter, Be Happier, and Behave Better Created with 8-minute sequences easy to fit into a young child’s day. Beautiful photos, features more than 50 simple poses and games kids love, offering creative ways to get active. Yoga can even help your child throughout the day-from taming tantrums to teaching cooperation-On the Go advice and Poses show you how. 

The Little Yoga Mat Lotus Mat – 5mm Easy to clean. Size for kids under 3 (dimensions: 2 x 3 x 0.2 inches). Eco-friendly, biodegradable, recyclable, allergen, lead and PVC free, printed with eco-friendly ink. Great for yoga, play, picnic, nap or tummy time…adorable! 

Kids Yoga DVD – Once Upon a Mat – Children Ages 2.5+ gives your child a personal yoga instructor, who speaks directly to your child for the entire DVD. It engages your child in the yoga story, and guides them through yoga poses and breath work. The distraction-free background is perfect for little yogis, allowing their adventure to go as far as their imagination will take them – experiencing exciting yoga adventures, including an African safari, a trip to outer space, and getting caught in a thunderstorm! Ages 2-8. 

kid's Yoga Mat Eco-friendly Kids Yoga Mat – Studio Quality – 24″ X 48″ – PER Studio quality, designed for kids. Slip resistant waffle texture for better grip and balance. 24″ x 48″ – sized for young children, with room to grow into. Made from nontoxic, eco-friendly materials. BPA and phthalate free. Thick, durable cushioning easily wipes clean.