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Birthlight Infant Aquatics and Aquanatal yoga in Japan

It was such a joy, to be able to join with existing birthlight teachers from Taiwan and new teachers from Japan, in the first Baby swimming and Aquanatal yoga course in Karuizawa, Japan. The teacher training course was organised by birthlight teacher Rita Lee,  in the beautiful mountain resort of Karuizawa, a fast bullet train ride from Tokyo.

Japan is a country of contrast, with traditional and contemporary styles and practices living side by side. The people are so warm and welcoming, and birthlight aquatics was very well received. Baby swimming is an emerging concept in Japan, were swimming provision for the under two is still quite rare, and traditional in its expression. In this context, I was expectant to see how our method would be received. I was delighted to see such a rapid grasp of our principals, by the trainee teachers. The concepts of gentleness , balance and buoyancy based practices, where understanding  baby movement language is underpinned by research, with a culture of love and respect which were openly embraced.

As humans, we are intrinsically wired for love and respect and therefore are open to learning how to translate this into a practical expression. I watched with delight as the baby swimming holds became fluid and rhythmical, the baby water rolls soft and connected. This began to happen, as teachers relaxed and understood that we work as part of the water, not just in it or with it to provide a safe and mindful environment, for baby, parent and teacher to flourish. The babies, our best teachers, explored, floated, rolled, pivoted and pendulamed in harmony with their parents, a birthlight water dance at its best.

The Aquanatal practices, are so intrinsically woven into baby swimming, for one is the extension of the other, that as we progressed to our next course, it was wonderful to realise again, how seamless these two courses flow together. One of the highlights was having a GrandMa join us on the Aquanatal yoga training and to watch her ability and potential come out and surprise her and delight us all. Teachers worked on their balance, breathing, movement and flotation. We learnt again the importance of connecting with our babies in utero, and how to support Mama's through changes in their body and emotions. We laughed as we mooed like cows and hummed like bees, we giggled at how beautifully female the hip movements are and how these can help create space for the baby to move down the birth canal.

Oh how I love birthlight, and how good it was to share this knowledge with the next generation of birthlight teachers. There are videos and photos uploaded on the birthlight water parenting fb page, please take a look, and join in with your thoughts.

So thank you again Birthlight Japan, for pioneering our courses and sharing our collective knowledge worldwide.

with much love