I Swung My Baby Upside Downby Abigail Stanley
My baby girl is 4 and a half months old and we have started baby yoga. The first week was really good, it's all yoga for her, not me doing yoga and looking over to her sat twiddling her thumbs which most baby yoga seems to be.
We started pretty tamely just some stretches and touching her feet to alternate legs and arms stretched high. We were introduced to positive stress movements which is what I can only compare to adults going on a rollercoaster. It's supposed to be scary and stressful but makes them laugh and happy after….and maybe a bit sick. One of the stress movements was to have her laying on the ground and lift her legs and bum off the floor so her shoulders are the only part on the ground and then to just drop her. I was pretty okay with this I mean it's just like when you're juggling changing a bum with keeping their hands out of the pile of crap that lay inside.
Then we had to swing our babies into the middle of the group and I was sure she would crack her head open on one of these babies heads she was hurtling towards, but she loved it. Another tick. The instructor then told us that this was level one and by the end of the course we would be throwing out babies into the middle and catching them. Hahahaha oh, how I laughed. Turns out no, not a joke. I literally wrote notes to get out of p.e for my own health and safety and that of the other pupils. I am a walking disaster and my own mother calls me Calamity Jane. My own family has to carry the baby around in her car seat instead of me for fear that I'll trip over and drop her. So when this yoga teacher made it clear we would definitely be launching our babies into the air and catching them, I felt sick.
I've just returned from week 3 session. We are told to stand up and we are going to try an 'advanced' movement. 'Oh god this is it', I thought. We danced to Hickory Dickory dock and was told to swing our babies in time to the music and on the last rhyme to throw and catch our babies. I looked on the floor, no crash mats, was this woman insane. I started thinking about how I was definitely going to jail for injury to a minor but was cut off by the woman saying 'ok go!'. I let go and saw my baby a good few inches away from both my hands. I caught her phew.
That was me done, out the door, I was a nervous wreck. My baby didn't even laugh I think she just thinks this woman is sadistic like I do. I was packing up when the instructor told me we had one more move. Okay, a wind-down or cool down or something I thought no big deal.
No, another positive stress movement. What?! My baby just spent the last five minutes being hurtled through the air and now there was more?
We were told to sit on the floor with our babies on our laps and to pick up the baby by the legs. We were to then slowly increase the extent to which we picked the baby up until they were upside down. I watched this woman dangle this demonstration doll by the legs like she was on crack. This woman was insane. She actually wanted us to hang our children upside down. I thought this was an opportunity for our babies to experience nice, gentle, calming yoga techniques not to experience what life would be like on the pole.
I wanted to get it over with as fast as I could but then I thought god, whiplash. I'd have to go slowly, but then, would all the blood rush to her head? I didn't know what to do and in the end, I just closed my eyes and lifted her up and then gently, as quickly, and safely, as I possibly could, put her back on my lap. Again, the baby didn't look impressed, I might as well have swung her around like a football rattle for all she knew, she was outraged. She didn't cry but she wasn't exactly beaming with joy and laughing her head off like the woman had let on.