Massaging babies has been an Ayurvedic practice for thousands of years. In India babies are typically massaged throughout their first year of life, or at least for a minimum of forty days after birth. Many other traditional cultures around the world have customs for infant massage, the practice being passed down from other to daugther.
Today baby massage is being rediscovered and scientific studies are proving that it offers a multitude of benefits, such as:
nourishes the nervous system and skin
improves skin texture, colour and softness
aids your baby's digestion by relieving constipation, colic and gas
neurological development is stimulated
immune function is increased
soothes the baby deeply promoting better sleep and overall relaxation
One of the most beautiful aspects of infant massage is the bond that creates between the mother/father/caregiver and the baby, which is crucial for emotional nourishment.
"Being touched and caressed,
is food for the infant.
Food as necessary
as minerals, vitamins and proteins...
Massaging a baby is an art.
As deep as it is old.
And yet so simple.
Simple but difficult.
And difficult beacause simple...
It is a sacred art, in the true sense, since it concerned with babies,
with the renewal of life..."
(from Loving Hands, by F. Leboyer)
Baby massage can be carried out once the baby's umbelical cord stump has fallen off or once you feel that your baby is ready. In Ayurveda baby massage is always followed by a warm bath to complete the treatment, hence I offer it only as home visit option together (or not) with the mother massage. A comprehensive handout is included in the session.
"Marinella gave me and my baby girl a lovely massage when she was just 6 weeks old. She had been very unsettled for a few weeks, not being able to sleep properly. That night she had the calmest feed and longest sleep in ages! Thank you so much!" Maria
Practicing yoga with your baby creates a stronger bond between the two of you and gives you a sense of grounding and support, whist helping your baby's physical, emotional and neurological development.
Babies love yoga: the stretches, the singing and the relaxation! They love routines.
They are my favourite students and teachers, as they are so pure and 'in the present moment'. It is an utter joy to witness their weekly changes in their bodies and attitudes and so moving to hear them using their voice when I start playing the shruti box and we all chant together - it's yoga magic and is what nourishes me every week. I feel so honoured and grateful for this opportunity to be sharing yoga with little people!
In my weekly classes (and in private sessions) I integrate the work for mothers with the work for babies and everyone goes home well nourished and relaxed. Often babies have a really deep sleep and great feeds during or after a yoga session.
You can read more details about my classes here or get in touch for private sessions.