Wednesday, October 1, 2014

2014 Week 5 Baby Bumpkin's Yoga Activity for the Week is 'Downwards Dog'!

By Sue Heron Training Co-ordinator Tatty Bumpkin and Paediatric Physiotherapist

In this blog I describe a Baby Bumpkin Yoga activity and outline some of it's benefits so you can enjoy doing the activity at home.

Please remember though, for you and your baby to gain the full benefit of all the Baby Bumpkin Yoga and multi-sensory activities, find out about your local Baby Bumpkin class at
Our qualified Baby Bumpkin Teachers are fully trained in aspects of baby development and Baby Yoga and are kept fully up-to-date by our professional team of paediatric physiotherapists, Yoga teachers and musicians.

Or, maybe, you are thinking of a new career, which gives you:

  • The opportunity to work with kids
  • A great sense of job satisfaction and
  • Flexible working to fit around your own family?
In which case - find out how you could be trained to deliver Baby and Tatty Bumpkin classes in your area at
A Baby Bumpkin Teacher does not need Yoga experience -
they need connection with babies and a sense of fun!

The Baby Bumpkin Adventure this Week

If you are taking your baby to a Baby Bumpkin class this week you will go on an adventure with Baby Bumpkin and his friend Dog to the sea-side.Your baby will have a chance to:

1. Strengthen their ‘core’ postural muscles as they do the ‘downwards dog’ pose.

Downwards Dog!

2. Progress their early communication skills as they listen to you making the sounds of the sea and the Tatty Bumpkin dolphin song.

3. Have fun with others and develop their social skills as they dance with you and others as dolphins.

Dancing as Dolphins!

4. Experience a calm state with others in the final relaxation. 

Because each Baby Bumpkin adventure is carefully linked to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) the sessions not only enhance your baby’s physical skills they also develop your baby’s early communication, social and thinking skills
.   Find your local class at

The Baby Bumpkin Downwards Dog Yoga Activity

For babies who have developed good ‘head control’
  • Once your baby has good head control ie, they can hold their head up largely by themselves - they can try doing Dog pose across your thighs. This is a great way for your baby to have ‘tummy time’.
  • First make sure you are settled and comfortable on the floor - with your legs stretched out in front of you. You can sit with your back against a wall for added support.
  • Gather a few of your baby’s favourite toys or a safe baby mirror which you can use to distract and entertain them once they are in dog pose.
  • Lay your baby, on their tummy, across your thighs, gently moving them forwards so that their arms come down over your thigh and their hands can reach down to the floor (see picture above).
  • With their hands on the floor your baby will be encouraged to push up through their arms to lift their head up higher.
  • Put one hand on your baby’s bottom to help steady them and stroke down their back with the other to calm them (stroking the dog!).
  • Remember to keep looking at your baby’s face to check they are happy and keep talking to them so they are reassured.
  • Whilst in dog pose encourage your baby to look at their reflection in a mirror or reach for their favourite toy.

Games to play in Dog Pose

Walking the dog!

  • If your baby is older (4 – 5 months), and confident lying in dog pose over your thighs, you can add a little bit of movement by alternately bending and straightening your knees under them. 
  • As you do this action your baby will be gently rocked forwards and backwards and encouraged to take more weight onto their hands.

Why Downwards Dog Pose is Good for Your Baby

As you do downwards dog pose with your baby they will have the chance to: 

  • Strengthen their tummy, back and shoulder muscles
As your baby starts to take weight through their arms, pushing their head up as they extend their back they will be actively moving and strengthening their shoulder, tummy and back muscles. These muscle groups all have to be strong and active to help your baby sit, crawl and eventually come up into standing.
  • Stretch out their small hand muscles
Dog pose encourages your baby to spread out their palms on the floor to push themselves up. As they do this they will be gently stretching and activating their hand muscles in preparation for learning more complex fine motor (hand) skills.
  • Develop their independence and confidence
In dog pose your baby will be looking away from you for a short period, whilst still being close to you. Hence they will be discovering the world for themselves whilst feeling reassured that you are close.

  • Progress their body awareness, reaching skills and eye hand co-ordination
f your baby is looking at their reflection in a mirror they will be discovering their eyes, nose and mouth. If they are playing with their favourite toy whilst in dog pose they will be progressing their reaching, and fine motor skills and improving their eye-hand coordination.

So remember! Find out about your local Baby Bumpkin class at

Love Baby Bumpkin x

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