Baby Yoga Goes Viral: Not A Hoax!

A lot of viewers thought the crazy baby swinging video that has been shocking web viewers as of late was a hoax. Turns out it's real and it's all the rage in Russia!

Have you seen the crazy baby swinging video that has been shocking web viewers around the world recently? A lot of you thought the video, which was so appalling it was actually banned from YouTube, was a hoax. However, Nathan Thornburgh of DadWagon tracked down the baby swinger from the video and it turns out it’s for real. It’s baby yoga and according to the woman from the video it’s all the rage!

Lena Fokina is a Baby Yoga guru and she adamantly defends the practice of baby yoga in her interview with Nathan Thornburgh, saying that it is a great way to achieve important goals including toughness, freedom and independence. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I could do this to a baby even if I had proof that it would make the baby the toughest, most independent human being in the world. Caution: This video is pretty hard to watch.

What interested me about the interview with Lena Fokina is that she doesn’t seem to understand why people may think that baby yoga could be dangerous. Thornburgh says “It looks like it has to injure the child. Their hands? The cartilage in the joints? Their brains?” Fokina answers simply, “No. It makes the hands stronger.” In response to the fact that YouTube took the video down because it violated their terms of service due to “shocking and disgusting” content, Fokina said, “Did they notice that the babies aren’t crying – they’re even laughing – and that this system has been used of over thirty years in Russia and the children are all alive and healthy?” When asked if she ever had an accident while swinging a baby around Fokina answered, “I don’t recall any.”

I have a feeling that baby yoga probably isn’t going to become a worldwide phenomenon anytime soon, but are we right to frown down upon parents who want to swing their babies around by their ankles? Thornburgh writes that a friend of his, Ivan, decided to swing his firstborn baby around after he heard about the practice in a birthing class in Moscow. He said, “So we started when she was five days old. She started walking early, swimming early. I really think it worked.”

Maybe baby yoga is just a Russian cultural phenomenon that we as westerners cannot understand – Just like most Americans are appalled by the fact that the French eat snails. If parents-to-be are learning about it in birthing classes and, as Lena Fokina purports, baby-swinging is actually good for babies and hasn’t caused any injuries thus far then who are we to judge? I still think it looks like child abuse, but is it really my place to tell other cultures what they can and cannot do? What’s your take on this shocking new phenomenon?