Category Archives for Itsy Bitsy Yoga

Summer 2018 Class Registration & Schedule Changes

Classes for crawling babies and older toddlers and families are offered in multi-week class series; registration is required, no drop-ins. Summer Saturday classes run from the first weekend in June until mid July.  Tues-Thu classes begin after school closes and run into early August.

Weekly Early Childhood Yoga Classes

With fun, age-appropriate poses, our yoga for babies and toddlers classes focus on breathing exercises, movement games, rhythm, and songs for little ones and caregivers to do together. Yoga supports motor skills, language acquisition, and social-emotional development. Learn more.

Tot Yoga 

for crawling babies to 24 mo old toddlers with parent ore caregiver

Little Families Yoga (Preschoolers)

for 21 mo toddlers to 4 yr old preschoolers with parent or caregiver, younger siblings welcome

Younger siblings are welcome in Preschooler Yoga. Walking siblings 1 year or older may register for half price. No charge for babes in arms. Nannies, nanny-shares, grandparents, and other caregivers welcome. Up 2 two caregivers may attend weekly. Adults participate in class, but no yoga experience is required. Learn more about early childhood yoga.

kids yoga class, prek

Kids Yoga & Mindfulness

A kids yoga class encourages children to move creatively in a non-competitive environment while honoring each child’s unique expression of the poses. Breathing Space classes incorporate age-appropriate poses, breathing, movement, games, music, and art. Classes often revolve around a philosophical or natural theme and always include some form of quiet relaxation.

Our summer classes for bigger kids are ideal for students ready for class on their own. We’ll do poses, games, stories and relaxation every week.

Partial Registration and Summer Classes

We know that summer schedules are all over the place. For example, you may have vacation scheduled or your yogi is with younger siblings and the family nanny some weeks and signed up for camps other weeks, but you’d still like to participate in yoga. We here you!

Partial registration allows families who know they will miss one or two classes to commit only to weeks they know they are available, but there are some differences between partial registration and regular registration.

  1. Makeup carry-overs do not apply. You can’t take a makeup from a previous semester and apply it to partial registration and you can’t carry over a missed class into fall. You are already scheduling your missed classes.
  2. Registration requires two steps. You must purchase your partial registration AND email to schedule your class dates. Without the second step, your space is not reserved in class and, if a class fills, you may not have a spot.
  1. Finally, sibling discounts are not automatic for partial registration. Register your older child and make sure the younger child(ren) is(are) in your account profile. When you email your date reservation mention the sibling and we’ll set that up on the back end and charge the card on file.

Summer series are 6-8 classes long partial registration can be 1 or 2 weeks shorter than the full class.  Applies to Tot Yoga (crawling-24 mo), Preschooler/Little Family Yoga (21 mo – 4 yrs), Kids Yoga & Mindfulness (4-8 yrs). 

Schedule Changes for Prenatal & Baby & Me Yoga

prenatal yoga classStarting in June, our weekend prenatal and baby yoga classes move to Sunday afternoon/evening at Shenanigans Art Space! Hopefully this shift better accommodates weekend travel, plans, and nap schedules. Please contact us with any questions.

Prenatal Yoga:

Baby & Me Yoga

Sign Up Options:

  • Commit to 5-7 consecutive classes for a discount; $17 per class (late registration available until almost the half way point of a series), makeup policies apply.
  • Purchase a 10-class pass, $18 per class.
  • Pay by the class, $20 per class.

baby being massagedInfant Massage

Learn time-tested massage techniques to soothe and connect with your baby. Learn more or sign up for a summer series:

The ideal time to start this class is when your baby is 2-6 months old, but younger and older babies are welcome.  Our 3-week series is $96 per baby and up to 2 adults, sibling discount for twins depends on how many adults attend (contact us). Class instruction is progressive, so drop-ins are not allowed. Parents who miss a week are welcome to make up that same week in a subsequent series.

Spring 2018 Class Registration

With fun, age-appropriate poses, our yoga for babies and toddlers classes focus on breathing exercises, movement games, rhythm, and songs for little ones and caregivers to do together. Yoga supports motor skills, language acquisition, and social-emotional development. Learn more.
tot yoga collageClasses for crawling babies and older toddlers and families are offered in multi-week class series; registration is required, no drop-ins. Spring classes begin April 3 and continue through the beginning of June. Because birthdays and maternity leaves are difficult to schedule with semesters, Baby & Me Yoga does allow drop-in students. Learn more.

Weekly Early Childhood Yoga Classes

tot balanceTot Yoga 

for crawling babies to 24 mo old toddlers with parent ore caregiver

Toddler Family Yoga

for steady walkers through 3 yrs old toddlers with parent or caregiver, younger siblings welcome

Preschooler Yoga 

for 21 mo toddlers to 4 yr old preschoolers with parent or caregiver, younger siblings welcome

Younger siblings are welcome in Toddler or Preschooler Yoga. Walking siblings 1 year or older may register for half price. No charge for babes in arms. Nannies, nanny-shares, grandparents, and other caregivers welcome. Up 2 two caregivers may attend weekly. Adults participate in class, but no yoga experience is required. Learn more about early childhood yoga.

Infant Massage Classes

Massage curriculum is progress and taught over several weeks, no drop-ins. Learn more about Infant Massage classes.

Baby & Me Yoga

moms and babies in yoga classis a blend of fun, yoga-inspired movements and postures for baby and postpartum-appropriate yoga for mom/caregiver. Because it’s hard to get birth dates and maternity leaves to line up with series dates, we welcome drop-in students to attend prenatal and postnatal classes.

  • 12 noon  Tue with Kaydee @ Realignment Studio
  • 9:30 AM Sat with Erika @ Realignment Studio

Commit by the class or for the full multi-week series for a discount. Read more about Baby & Me Yoga or register for Prenatal or Baby & Me Yoga.

Winter 2018 Class Registration

two year olds in supported fish pose

Weekly early childhood classes

Yoga for babies and toddlers features fun, age-appropriate poses, breath exercises movement games, rhythm, and songs for little ones and caregivers to do together. Yoga supports motor skills, language acquisition, and social-emotional development. Learn more.
Classes are offered in multi-week class series; registration is required, no drop-ins. Winter classes begin January 6 and continue through mid March.

Tot Yoga (crawling-24 mo)

  • 11:00 AM  Wed with Jamie @ Shenanigans Art Space
  • 9:30 AM Thu with Rebecca @ Realignment Studio **starts date: Feb 8!
  • 9:00 AM Sat with Jessica @ Christ Church
  • 11:00 AM Sun with Jen @ Hill Center

Toddler Family Yoga (steady walking-3 yrs, younger siblings welcome)

Preschooler Yoga (21 mo-4 yrs, younger siblings welcome)

4 images of kids and family yoga

  • 10:00 AM Wed with Jamie @ Shenanigans Art Space
  • 10:30 AM Thu with Rebecca @ Realignment Studio
  • 10:00 AM Sat with Jessica @ Christ Church
  • 10:00 AM Sun with Jen @ Hill Center

See also:

Kids Yoga & Mindfulness (4-10 yrs)

Homeschooler Series

Kids yoga class encourages children to move creatively in a non-competitive environment while honoring each child’s unique expression of the poses.

Monthly workshop series for older children and teens

Classes for older children and teens feature more challenging poses and sequences than those for younger children along with breathwork, concentration, introductory meditation techniques and much needed relaxation time.

Family Yoga & Mindfulness (4yrs+)

Teen/TweenYoga & Mindfulness (8-12 yrs)

Registration for monthly workshops can be the full series or a single class. Minimum 8 enrolled to run any individual class.

Preschooler Family Yoga – Fun and Fitness – FAQ

Tot does toes-to-nose posePeople are sometimes surprised when I tell them I teach yoga to 2 year olds. “My toddler would never sit still for a yoga class,” they say.

I hope no one ever suggests that they should!

Preschooler, Little Families, and Tot Yoga classes incorporate lots of playful yoga poses, gross-motor activities, and age-appropriate games, kid-friendly songs and rhymes, and breath awareness exercises, and a little bit of relaxation for both little ones and their parents. We move all over the room, we use props in fun and creative ways, and we engage toddlers and preschoolers in developmentally-appropriate fun.

Sure stillness happens, but we measure that in sweet moments (not minutes).

Frequently Asked Questions

We often here from parents that they are hesitant to enroll if they aren’t sure their child will enjoy a class. We get it. That’s why we have our:

No Risk Refund Policy – Not sure if a kids & family series class will be right for you or your child? Register and come to the first class. If you notify us in writing within 48 hours after the first class that you will not be able to continue the session, we refund all but $2o for that first class.

We are also very flexible about switching classes for students who have nap time shifts during the course of a series. For example, if your child is enrolled in an 11 am class and starts napping at that time, we’ll happily switch her into one of our 9 or 9:30 am classes instead.

Yep. We move a ton.

Generally, if you are enrolling in a class for your child’s age, we are prepared for your child to behave in age-appropriate ways.

kids yoga bowFor Little Families Yoga (2-4 yrs), we don’t use yoga mats and instead move all over the room. Some of our students are always on the go and that’s really quite alright. Some toddlers seriously need to move in order to pay attention. Those are the students parents assure me do the yoga poses at home, just never in class. Sometimes those students join in briefly whenever their favorite activities come up and then go back to running in circles. It’s all good.

For Kids or Family Yoga (ages 3-6, or 4+), we do use mats and are beginning to learn to be on the mats for much of the class. Class is still super active, we move off mats for all sorts of games, and we don’t expect stillness from young children.

If your child has special needs, it is helpful to check in ahead of time so the instructor can be prepared and think through lessons and activities with your child’s needs in mind. We are happy to have you enroll and decide after the first class or two if it is the right fit. Again though, check in with the instructor. Parents are typically more worried about possible disruptive behavior than our yoga teachers and will work with you on strategies to help your child succeed in class.

Absolutely. Your child is welcome to bring any grownup they want with them to class. Up to 2 caregivers may attend class on a weekly basis. Additional visitors may attend occasionally and are encouraged to participate. Please be considerate of space constraints when bringing guests.

marching game, preschooler yogaYes. Siblings attending the same class are eligible for 1/2 price registration. Children older than 1 yr must register (no charge for infants younger than that). See our pricing and discounts page.
Typically we can accommodate siblings 1 year younger than the stated age range, so 1 yr olds in Little Families Yoga (2-4 yrs) and 3 yr olds in Family Yoga (4-8 yrs).

Amalie teaching Little Families, preschooler yogaProbably Toddler Family Yoga, but get in touch if you think the slower, slightly less boisterous environment of Tot Yoga might be a better fit. Learn more about Early Childhood Yoga classes.

Yes! That’s Tot Yoga, which is for crawlers (or near crawlers) and walkers up to 24 months.

Nope, sorry. We don’t offer drop-in options for classes for crawling or older children or trial classes during the regular session.  Children really do need the consistency of a weekly class both for comfort and so they can best learn and drop-ins can be disruptive to the class routine. Read more.

tot yoga game with bolstersSince it often takes several classes for a child to settle in, dropping in once is not really the best indicator of whether your child will enjoy class. However, we get that it can be tough to commit to a class when you can’t imagine what happens or how your child will react, so:

  1. We occasionally offer trial/drop-in days, when the teacher will spend a little extra time explaining the class routine and parents get a chance to see a class in action.
  2. We have a no-risk refund policy. If you register for a class and decide for any reason it’s a bad fit for you, your child, or your schedule, and you decide early in the series, you can drop the class and get a prorated refund. See details.

We also understand that life is unpredictable and have a generous makeup policy for families that wish to commit to a series but know they will miss a class or two.

Tot yogaAbsolutely. It sometimes takes a few weeks for our more reserved students to get comfortable enough to participate. That’s one of the reasons we offer classes in 6-10 week series rather than drop-in. Toddlers especially need time to get used to a space, a group of people and an instructor.

Even once they are comfortable, some more reserved little ones may be more watchers than doers in class. That doesn’t mean they are not learning and they may be more inclined to practice at home.

tot yoga kicking cobraWe do expect parent participation. The more yoga you do in class the more your child will do.

While parents should expect to move quite a lot, we will be doing yoga appropriate for the child’s age range, so it’s probably not a workout for the grownups as compared to an adult class.

Amalie teaching Little Families, preschooler yogaPoses and activities are designed with toddlers/preschoolers in mind. While your instructor will likely be able to make suggestions, we expect adults to take care of their own bodies during class.

It’s rarely a problem. Pregnant moms often skip or modify belly-down poses and anything else that doesn’t feel right and adults with special conditions adjusting accordingly.

The biggest challenge is probably for adults who have significant difficulty getting up and down from the floor. I’ve had mobility-challenged caregivers, usually older nannies or grandparents, do very few of the poses with no problem. My suggestion is to try it and see how it goes.

Do note that several of our class venues are down a flight of stairs (strollers can be left locked outside). Our Saturday and Sunday class venues are handicap accessible.

Benefits of Yoga for Babies & Toddlers – Crawlers and Walkers

Yoga class provides a safe space for babies, toddlers and their caregivers to explore movement milestones, social-emotional development, and connect with each other and other parents and children. Taking class with your tot or toddler can offer some of the following benefits you might not have thought about:

Tot does toes-to-nose poseLanguage development – Tot yoga classes expose babies and toddlers to language through words with actions, songs, and attention to body awareness. By connecting movement with language, yoga supports the way language development is already happening in your child’s brain.

“University of Washington research in 7- and 11-month-old infants shows that speech sounds stimulate areas of the brain that coordinate and plan motor movements for speech.” – University of Washington ILABS

Comprehension of words relies on areas of the brain associated with motor control as well as ‘classic’ language centers, researchers report.” – Neuroscience News
Tot rings chime, yoga classSensory stimulation and awareness – Babies need tons of sensory input to train their brain to process information. By engaging in unique physical play during yoga, babies stimulate their vestibular and proprioceptive systems as well as senses of touch, hearing, and sight.
“Stimulation through the senses of touch, hearing, seeing, smelling, and tasting directly affect the sensory neurons and help in establishing these connections. According to research, an infant’s brain is producing 2-3 million synapses per second!” – Bright Hub Education
Tot practices balanceVestibular and proprioceptive input – These two senses related to movement and touch are so important they get their own entry.   Baby’s vestibular system, which tells him where he is in space, has been developing since just a few weeks after conception. Proprioception tells him where he in in relationship to himself. Our vestibular sensors are primarily in our inner ear while our proprioceptive sensors are in our muscles, joints, and bones. Together, they are make up our kinesthetic awareness.
Maryann Harman explains in EarlyChildhood News that movement and early childhood development specialists believe that “[all] learning in the first fifteen months of life is centered on the vestibular system development” and that the vestibular system is very closely tied to language development.

“[W]hen our vestibular system is not functioning properly, we often have auditory processing problems in addition to difficulty with balance, coordination, and eye muscle control.” – PediaStaff

“The vestibular system coordinates eye and head movements. Without this coordination, it may be challenging for children to complete everyday activities such as copying from a white board in their classroom …” – Sprouts Child Development Intiative

Learn more about early childhood yoga classes for crawling babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.



Top 5 Reasons to Do Yoga with Your Infant: Baby Yoga & Play FAQ

baby & me yoga, warriors

5. Yoga is good for babies.

  • The poses we do in baby yoga classes are developmentally supportive, may improve digestion, ease gas pain and colic, and boost the immune system.[1]
  • Yoga play stimulates the vestibular system, proprioceptive development,  and motor control.[2]
  • Baby Yoga rhymes, songs, interaction, and movement stimulates language development.[3]
  • Dedicated face time interaction in baby yoga class stimulates baby’s neurological development and empathy skills.[4]

4. Baby yoga class is good for parents.

mom and baby centeringEven though more than half the poses we do in class are for baby, the benefits for mom and dad can be dramatic. Practicing yoga with your infant can help you feel more relaxed and gentle stretching and conditioning exercises can provide relief from some of the stresses and physical symptoms of early parenting.

3. Yoga practice helps babies sleep better and longer. 

Moving and engaging with caregivers for 45+ minutes is a lot of work for babies. Many parents report that their best naps of the week are on baby yoga days.

2. It’s is a way to get to know your baby better.

moms and babies in yoga classYour baby will engage with you and the yoga poses, games and songs in a way that will reveal his or her unique personality. Does she like vigorous movement or gentle activities? Is he outgoing or reserved with new people and experiences? Your baby will communicate their preferences in class and participating is another opportunity to connect with your baby and meet that fundamental need of your child.

1. Baby yoga is yoga

Hands down, this is the best reason to do yoga with your baby. Babies have fun. Parents have fun. You both learn games, songs and poses to use at home and to teach other people in baby’s life.

New Students: $28 for 2 Classes
Good for prenatal and postnatal classes only.

Baby Yoga Frequently Asked Questions

Our public prenatalpostnatal yoga classes – including Baby & Me Yoga – welcome drop-in students.

  • Pay by the class:  Single class drop-ins for prenatal or postnatal classes cost $20;  Good for 90 days from date of purchase.
  • mom and baby centeringMulti-class flex-passes: When students commit to take 10 classes, they are eligible for a per class discounts. At $17 per class, a 10-class flex pass costs $170.
    Valid for 6 months from purchase in any prenatal or postnatal class, including Baby & Me.
New Students: $28 for 2 Classes
Good for prenatal and postnatal classes only; within 30 days of purchase.
  • Baby & Me Series registration:
    • Parents can also commit to a series of 5-8 consecutive classes for $18 per class. For example, 5 classes is $90. See series listings for dates offered.
    • Series registration is available for the first 1/3 of the series only. After that point, students may still drop in, but discounted registration is not available. Series makeup policies apply.
  • Unlimited Prenatal/Postnatal Membership: At $75 per month with a minimum 3-month commitment, membership offers the cheapest per class price. Twice weekly attendance costs less than $10 per visit with membership.
    • A membership pass is valid in any weekly prenatal or postnatal yoga class, including Baby & Me Yoga. Membership auto-renews until cancelled with at least 15 days notice.
    • Memberships may be frozen for 6 weeks upon birth of a baby. Simply notify us and freeze will be effective from baby’s birthdate.
    • Members are also eligible for 10% discount off registration in children’s or family yoga series or prenatal workshops.
  • All prices at include 5.75% fitness tax.

Baby & Me Yoga classes are a blend of baby-centric activities, with the primary emphasis on baby-caregiver interaction and bonding, and postpartum appropriate stretching and strengthening for caregivers.

We do age-appropriate poses, activities, songs and rhymes along with some gentle stretching and conditioning for caregivers.

While caregivers still get a some exercise, it’s very different from classes where baby is invited, but hopefully sleeps or remains quiet during class so moms can get a workout.

Ironically, Baby & Me Yoga classes are often quieter and calmer than a lot of postnatal exercise classes because baby is engaged throughout.

Yes! That’s Tot Yoga, which is for crawlers (or near crawlers) and walkers up to 24 months.

We have never been able to talk babies into being born on our series schedule, so offer drop-in options for those classes. If you are able to commit to the majority of a series, we can set up a partial registration for you at the series rate. Simply contact us with your specific dates.

Of course, if your child will be home with a family member or nanny when you go back to work, you are welcome to have the join class when your leave ends.

Baby & Me Yoga Class

Baby & Me Yoga is a blend of baby-centric activities and postpartum appropriate stretching and strengthening for caregivers. It is not designed as a serious workout for caregivers, but you do need to be prepared to move and we hope you will leave feeling better in your body than you arrive.

We spend a good portion of the class sitting criss-cross or in other positions on the floor and we get up and down several times. Almost every class incorporates lunges or squats while holding baby as well as some shoulder or low-back exercises for caregivers.  Comfortable, stretchy clothing is important and jeans are not recommended.

moms and babies in yoga classGenerally, class is most appropriate after 6 weeks. We strongly recommend that you be cleared for exercise, especially if you had a surgical birth or complications. Baby too tends to be more ready to participate after about 6 weeks. A 45-minute class is a long time for a newborn. Very young babies often sleep, eat, or fuss their way through class.

That said, you are still welcome to come. We’ve had moms happily start class as soon as they are ready to be out and about, modifying exercises that are too strenuous (such as skipping the abs) and addressing baby’s needs as they arise. Sometimes, just being at class is what mom needs. If that’s you, please come.

If you would like to wait until the six week mark but class is already starting, don’t fret. Late registration is welcome for several weeks into the series as long as there is room in the class. We are happy to reserve your child’s spot in advance if you contact us.

playing in baby yogaPlease bring a baby blanket and small, quiet toy to all our class locations.

Most of our venues have a few yoga mats to lend, but you may prefer your own yoga mat for hygiene or comfort. If so, please bring one.


baby yogaYour baby will cry.

Let’s just get that out in the open. That’s how babies communicate; it’s totally fine.

Even the fussiest babies are welcome in Baby & Me Yoga. Your instructor will not be distressed and is happy to have you there and, I promise, the other moms/caregivers have been there and will be far less upset about your baby fussing than you will be. Please join us.

baby yoga classThat’s fine too. We are not running baby boot-camp.


preschooler yoga class, relaxationThat may not work. There isn’t a lot to entertain big kids at baby yoga, but we have occasionally had parents bring older children, mostly when other plans for them have fallen through or school is closed. Siblings are welcome in that circumstance. We do not recommend bringing older children on a weekly basis.

If you need to bring your older child, we recommend bringing quiet toys or books and arriving a few minutes early to set up a space for your child and to set expectations. Please check in with the instructor ahead of time if possible.

If we hold class on a day that school is closed, we’ll be very flexible in our planning. If there were ever enough demand for childcare during one of our series, we would definitely consider that. If you want to take class with a toddler and infant regularly, consider attending Little Families Yoga instead or doing a makeup in that class if you decide to skip rather than attend baby yoga.



  1. Garabedian, Helen. (2004). Itsy Bitsy Yoga: Poses to Help Your Baby Sleep Longer, Digest Better, and Grow Stronger. New York, NY: Touchtone/Simon and Schuster.
  2. Kopp, Claire. (2003). Baby Steps, Second Edition: A Guide to Your Child’s Social, Physical, Mental and Emotional Development in the First Two Years. New York, NY: Holt Paperbacks.
  3. McEllroy, M. (2014, July 14). Months before their first words, babies’ brains rehearse speech mechanics. UW Today.
  4. Medina, John. (2011). Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five. Seattle, WA: Pear Press.

Itsy Bitsy Yoga for Babies – 3 Week Series

Baby yoga - Butterfly Pose

Itsy Bitsy Yoga classes contain dozens of unique yoga postures designed to support baby’s development. Each class is filled with calming, nurturing ways to enhance bonding and improve baby’s sleep.

During a Baby Itsy Bitsy Yoga class, babies enjoy yoga while on their backs, tummies, or held in loving arms. For parents, this class is a special opportunity to meet other moms, get support, and learn about baby’s emerging personality.

Most of the yoga we do in Itsy Bitsy Yoga is for baby, but you will also learn breathing and relaxation techniques as you practice a bit of yoga yourself. No yoga is experience required.

Dates: Sat May 31, Jun 7, Jun 14
Time: 10:45 AM  –  11:30 AM
Location: Hill Center

Cost(s): $ 45.00  SIGN UP

Drop-ins welcome with space availability; do not count toward minimum unless reserved in advanced. Email to use credits from your prenatal class pass or makeups from another series.

Please see our Class Tips, Fees & Policies and Tips for New Students for more details. See How to Sign Up for Class for more instructions.

Registration is for one child (approximately 6 weeks – pre-crawling) and up to 2 parent/caregivers. Bringing twins? We recommend bringing 2 caregivers, but it can be done with only one (contact us about a sibling registration discount in that case). Minimum registration 5 students one week in advance to run series.



Do Babies Need Yoga? Why Take A Baby Yoga Class

“Babies don’t need yoga. They’re fine the way they are,” was the comment made in my presence by another yoga teacher not that long ago. I totally agree, I also wholeheartedly advocate for and teach mom & baby classes.

Baby yoga, child's-pose, itsy bitsy yoga

Smiling Child’s Pose by flickr user lululemon athletica

Babies are often described as natural yogis because they are so naturally “in the moment.” As parents, on the other hand, we spend much of the time we have with our infants thinking about everything but the present moment. Household chores, grocery shopping, caring for older children, commuting to and from work, and even working from home are among the necessities of modern life. Itsy Bitsy class is a designated hour each week to focus on simply being with our child.

The poses and moves we do in class are developmentally supportive – meaning they are largely movements that baby will discover and practice on their own. Many parents report that their babies independently come into yoga poses such as downward facing dog, plank, cobra, and more. Itsy Bitsy Yoga creator Helen Garabedian explains:
“From birth, babies instinctively draw their knees up toward their chest as if trying to come into knees-to-chest pose (apanâsana). The infant’s digestive system is sometimes underdeveloped at birth, and apanâsana aids in digestion and relieves gas discomfort.

Sphinx pose helps the four-month-old lengthen the spine, energize the organs, and tone the upper body. Sphinx pose is a necessary precursor to weight-shifting and one-hand play as a baby rests on her tummy. As the five- or six-month-old baby is beginning to lift the head and torso to higher elevations, sphinx pose evolves into cobra pose (bhujângâsana). Postures practiced on the tummy strengthen the muscles and connections needed for crawling and may help prevent future lower back pain.

Baby yoga, itsy bitsy, down dog

Baby in downward facing dog pose by flickr user kourtlynlott

As babies become mobile and work toward crawling, they move through more of the poses adults do on the yoga mat.
Downward-facing dog (adhomukha-shvanâsana) is first practiced before a baby starts to crawl, and later is a favorite pose of one-year-olds. Developmentally, downward-facing dog helps connect a baby’s upper and lower body. After crawling is integrated into a baby’s movement repertoire, a baby may begin to walk in downward-facing dog (or bear walk.) This helps an experienced crawler get a feel for moving through space at a higher level than crawling, but at a lower level than walking.”

The wonderful thing about a baby yoga class is that we, as parents and caregivers, get to experience exploring these natural movements with them.

Baby yoga, seated forward bend, itsy bitsy yoga

Baby yogi takes pachimotansana variation by flickr user cianc (kidding, he may need rescue)

When my own daughter was an infant, yoga class was one of the highlights of my week for many of the same reasons the moms in my classes love it. It was a break from my day where I was encouraged to simply get to know my baby, connect with other parents,  relax and let go, and even learn a little bit about child development.

After I returned to full-time work at the office, my husband took over in yoga class and our experience is why I encourage moms to bring their partners to class or teach what they’ve learned to dad or other caregivers. When multiple caregivers know the same poses and songs, they become like a shared language and help parents meet one of their baby’s most fundamental needs: the need to communicate and connect with us.

When multiple caregivers know the same poses and songs, they become like a shared language and help parents meet one of their baby’s most fundamental needs: the need to communicate and connect with us.

New Students: $28 for 2 Classes
Good for prenatal and postnatal classes only.

What is preschool yoga class like?

Tot - downdogIf you’ve never taken your 2-year-old to a yoga class, you might have trouble imagining what we do there.

If you just don’t think your active toddler will stay on a yoga mat for 45 minutes, you are totally right and it’s totally ok! In kids yoga, we MOVE! We march; we hop; we skip; we gallop.

Scarf play in preschool yogaWe do yoga poses, but that’s only part of the magic (and when you’re in a room full of preschoolers in warrior pose shouting “sunshine” at the top of their lungs, it is definitely magic). We act out stories like jungle safari or trip to the beach, using very little Sanskrit to describe the poses we are doing and no detailed alignment adjustments.

Instead, we engage children in fun games as they explore their bodies and develop strength and coordination in the poses. We emphasize developmentally supportive movements as tykes master gross motor skills such as balancing, jumping, coordinating movements on both sides of the body, and more.

Tot - Toes to NoseWe embrace the children for who they are: some are watchers who might wait for the safety of their own homes to break out what they saw in class; others want to do every pose and make up their own; still others may need to burn off steam running in circles in the room and might only join the group when we do their very favorites.

Children learn age-appropriate poses and breath awareness, ways to relieve frustration, improve motor skills, and increase attention span by actively following directions.  They also connect with their parent and caregiver as grownups model a healthy and fit lifestyle while having fun.

Breathing Space Baby and Tot 587For parents, preschooler yoga is very much an exercise in yogic parenting: releasing our attachment to particular outcomes and being present to this moment we have with our child. Of course, my husband says his favorite part of preschooler yoga class is, hands-down, legs-up-the-wall at the end (with bubbles for the little ones).

See our current class schedule to the right and come check it out for yourself!

And check out this video interview with its Itsy Bitsy Yoga creator and child development specialist Helen Garabedian: