When you hear ‘baby yoga,’ you are most probably reminded of a serene environment. The words, slow, relaxed and calm would naturally come to mind. All those thoughts are highly challenged in the recently released video of an adult conducting ‘baby yoga,’ with what looks like a newborn in Russia.
50-year-old PE instructor Lena Fokina received hateful threats when she posted her “baby yoga” video. In it, you see Lena swinging the baby over and over in what most may feel is too violent for an infant, and may in fact be. In the video parents were also interviewed claiming that they trust Fokina’s form of “yoga” for their infants. The video was taken down due to falling under “shocking and disgusting” content according to youtube.com’s regulation. It has now been placed back up with a caution warning to it’s viewers.
Fokina gave her first American Q&A to Dadwagon defending her style of exercise, calling it “dynamic gymnastics.” The title may sound more fitting but the video is still offensive to some. Fokina has two daughters of her own, who grew up using the method highlighted in the video.
“More mobility,” is what Fokina referenced when asked about her goal in conducting this form of yoga. “First off, more trained skills. Second more freedom. Third independence. We learn from nature and teach our offspring to survive.”
The baby featured in the video was just 2 weeks old. “We’re talking about these reflexes they have by nature from birth,” says Fokina. “They are based in dynamic gymnastics.” This according to Fokina obviously. Others differ radically in opinion.
“I can assure you this is absolutely in no way, shape or form, yoga,” says Jeanna Lurie, Program Manager of Blossom Birth and co-director of Lotus Blossom Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training. “I am honestly quite put off at how the word “yoga” is thrown around in our modern society. While there are many, many different paths and schools of philosophy within the art and science of yoga, all share a few basic elements, which define them as “yoga.”
Irrespective of what this video should be called, Lurie is convinced it should not be referred to as yoga. “The meaning of yoga is “union” referring to the alignment of body, mind, and breath on a path to spiritual enlightenment or at least to a state of peace,” says Lurie. “A baby is too young to practice yoga. Actually, the yoga masters say that children can and are encouraged to ‘play’ with yoga, but the choice to commit to a true yoga practice cannot be made until age 12 or so.”