Why Reflex Yoga for Babies can help
I am just back from a lovely training session with a group of women who dedicate their lives to helping women with yoga through pregnancy, post-natally and baby development. We met at Creative Calm Studio in Bury, Manchester and for a day we explored the many reasons why yoga is healthy and useful for babies and why reflex yoga helps them extensively.
Babies are developing fast, we can all see that. What we don’t realise is that these developmental stages are the fundamental hook ups that make such a difference later on in our lives. It can be the difference between doing well at school, being able to concentrate or have neat hand writing for example. It can decide whether or not you suffer from anxiety or whether you are organised in your day to day life. Who you end up to be is being decided in those first few months of life.
From lifting your head, to rolling over and then to sitting and crawling, these functions are governed by your Primitive Reflex System in your ‘monkey’ brain. They are left over parts of us from our first incarnations as humans and they guide us through our early survival stages. From 5 weeks inutero until we are fulled developed, the Primitive Reflex System is helping our body and mind through different stages: Being born, feeding, rolling over, sitting are all guided by this system.
In most cases the reflexes work themselves though and we are who we are meant to be. In many cases however they do not. It could be birth trauma, it could be genetics, it isn’t really known exactly why, but many babies do not go through the correct order of reflex development and this causes them difficulties in babyhood itself and through out life.
Take crawling for example. If you don’t crawl at all or for long enough, this makes a difference to how your left and right brain are connected. This may mean that you are likely to be more disorganised than you would like. Or that you are not good a judging time and space. In worse case scenarios it may mean that you swing from being well focused to being ‘away with the fairies’ in a heartbeat. If it is quite severe it could mean that you hardly use your left brain and are lost in a sensory world that most often can overwhelm you.
Unsettledness, reflux, emotional overwhelm and an inability to sleep, all could be helped with a little reflex rehabilitation work. As can more severe symptoms like the ones above.
Most of the movements in Reflex rehabilitation are natural movements that we instinctively do as parents. Rocking our babies, stroking them, playing and tickling. However when the developmental stages are being skipped, a baby doesn’t crawl for example, then we need to go back and redo some of the movements more intensely and deliberately to help them along.
These movements are easy to learn and have been taught in the Autistic community for decades. It is only now, that we are realising that they are beneficial movements that help humans in all stages of our lives, babies included.
Reflex Yoga is a new type of yoga that incorporates these movements. For babies it is easily slipped into a normal baby yoga class and this is what my students came to learn yesterday in Manchester. Even if one baby is helped to thrive and flourish from this work, it will make it worthwhile. I know for sure that many, many babies will. As Yotism gets this message out, more and more people from the very young to the very old will benefit from Primitive Reflex work.