Article by Jo 22.02.16
Of course, there are always the obvious benefits of baby swimming that have always been there…
Physical: strengthen heart/lungs
Social: learning to take turns, making friends.
Vital safety skills: turning to the side, back floating, rotations.
But has anyone thought of it having also having the most powerful notion of teaching parents to relax, live in the moment, and to have open hearts?
In today’s busy world, baby swimming could have an ever greater role to play in teaching our water parents to ‘live in the moment and to really connect’ with their baby. Facilitating strong, powerful bonds between parent and baby.
Due to our busy lives, one where we are constantly bombarded with images and words via the Internet. We are becoming so connected to the tech world that we have forgotten to connect to the people around us.
We have become a society that creates ‘to do lists’, planning and thinking about the future and sometimes we get caught up in comparing our lives with others. Do we have a true sense of identity or have we lost who we are as we are surrounded by what others are doing? Our minds are preoccupied with taking photos or writing the moment for others, that we actually forget to live and enjoy the moment our self. How many of us check in daily with our heart and soul? Feel the sun, smell the aromas around us, listen or feel our breath?
We often miss the beauty around us. Opening our hearts and minds and offering compassion and love.
Children are so much better than us, living in the moment… But as they grow and adapt their environment …
Perhaps baby swimming can facilitate mindful practises for both parent and child?
Can we help increase our awareness of our senses, which in turn might help reduce anxieties and fears?
How can baby swimming help promote a mindful presence?
*We can ask our swimming parents to check in. Are they participating in the classes or just going through the motions?
* We can offer a couple of moments at the start of the class to have ‘an open awareness’. To take a deep breath in and to release any tensions.
* To start in a wide stance on the pool floor … To feel safe and grounded. allowing gentle movements to flow naturally.
You don’t have to go into full ‘yogic detail’ but just a few kind words, to create a sense of calm at the start of the class… A gentle reminder to watch our babies cues, ensuring they are happy throughout all of our swimming practises. And by ending the class with a lovely swim together, where parent and child can connect and enjoy the moment….
Reminding our selves to tune into their laughter, smiles, playful nature that the water brings. Creating a non-competitive environment through our swimming practises, where our swimming parents feel nurtured, safe our babies feel protected.
An environment where we are NOT teaching our babies to swim…. As that will just happen over time with patience…
But one that creates a powerful environment where we can truly relax, enjoy the water ….
One where we can escape just for 1/2 hour with our babies and dream and grow together.