Baby Yoga – The Arms, Chest & Back

Diagonal Boogie

Position

Lay your baby on their back for the arm, chest and back exercises.

Tips

  • This exercise integrates the leg, hips and back exercises with the arms, chest and back exercises.
  • Work with your baby’s flexibility, do not force their limbs past the point of resistance.
  • Do the exercise for one arm and leg during the first verse and then swap to the other arm and leg for the second verse.
  • For young babies, the exercise and rhyme can be done at a slow pace.
  • Older babies might prefer this exercise for longer and with more vigour.

Suggested nursery rhyme

Cock a doodle doo

My dame has lost her shoe

My master’s lost his fiddling stick

And doesn’t know what to do!

Cock a doodle doo

What is my dame to do?

Till master finds his fiddling stick

She’ll dance without her shoe.

Benefits

  • Promotes brain development (when crossing the mid-line of the body).
  • Gently stretches the muscles in the arms and legs.
  • Maintains flexibility in the hip and shoulder joints.
  1. Gently hold your baby’s left ankle and their right wrist.
  2. Bring their leg and arm together.
  3. Then, stretch them out again.
  4. Repeat three times.
  5. Change over and hold your baby’s other ankle and wrist.
  6. Repeat, as before, three times.

Loving Hugs

Tip

For many of the exercises that involve both of your baby’s hands, you may find that they prefer to keep their hands near or in their mouth, which may make it difficult for you to do the exercise. If your baby cannot be encouraged to join in, simply move on to the next exercise and come back to this another day.

Adaptations

If your baby can support their own head and back, this exercise can be done while they are in a sitting position, supported by your tummy.

Depending on the mood of your baby, this exercise can be done swiftly or slowly, as the selected rhyme lends itself to both a slow or a fast beat.

Suggested nursery rhyme

Smiling girls, rosy boys

Come and buy my little toys

Monkeys made of gingerbread

And sugar horses painted red.

Benefits

  • Promotes body awareness.
  • Soothes sensory nerve endings, which will help your baby to relax.
  • Stretches muscles between the shoulder blades.
  • Expands the chest for improved breathing.

The yoga posture this exercise is based on Garudasana (Eagle Pose, arms only).

  1. Gently hold your baby’s wrists and stretch their arms out to the sides.
  2. Bring their arms in towards their chest.
  3. Cross your baby’s arms over each other (as if they were hugging themselves).
  4. Then gently stretch the arms out to the sides again.
  5. Repeat throughout the verse.

Wind The Bobbin

Tip

As this exercise is quite stimulating, this may be a little too much for young babies. Introduce the first two verses initially, so your baby can become accustomed to the exercise and add the last verse when they are a little bigger.

Adaptations

Your baby can be in a supported sitting position.

Suggested nursery rhyme

Wind the bobbin up

Wind the bobbin up

Pull, pull, clap, clap, clap

Wind it back again

Wind it back again

Pull, pull, clap, clap, clap

And clap your hands

Point to the ceiling

Point to the floor

Point to the windows

Point to the door

Clap your hands together

One, two, three

Put your hands upon your knee.

Benefits

  • Promotes body awareness and stimulates the senses.
  • Stretching and relaxing.
  • Promotes awareness of the surrounding environment.
  1. Gently hold your baby’s wrists and bring them together across their chest.
  2. Circle their hands and lower arms around each other in a winding movement for the first verse.
  3. Stretch arms out to the sides then bring them in again to clap.
  4. Circle your baby’s hands and lower arms in the opposite direction for the second verse.
  5. Stretch their arms out to the sides then bring them in again to clap.
  6. While singing the final verse of the rhyme, follow the actions as described.

Little Bird

Tips

  • Work with your baby’s flexibility. Do not force their arms beyond the point of resistance.
  • Try to keep their arms reasonably straight, like the wings of a bird.

Adaptations

Your baby can be in a supported sitting position.

Suggested nursery rhyme

See saw Margery Daw

Johnny has got a new master

He shall have but a penny a day

Because he can’t work any faster

Benefits

  • Stretching and relaxing.
  • Maintains flexibility in shoulder joints.
  • Expands the chest for improved breathing.
  1. Gently hold your baby’s wrists.
  2. Slowly and gently, stretch their arms above their head.
  3. Bring your baby’s arms back down to their sides, as if they were a bird flapping their wings in slow motion.
  4. Repeat three times.