When I watched a YouTube video of Lena Fokina performing “baby dynamics” – or baby yoga – on kids as young as two weeks old, I literally gasped. For starters, it should be illegal for anyone – doctors, parents, teachers, spiritual gurus – to fling a baby above their head and around their back like they’re performing some kind of amateur basketball trick. But that’s exactly what Fokina specializes in and, I have to say, it looks like glorified child abuse.
Fikona, a 51-year-old Russian phys ed teacher, performs these minutes-long sessions on kids as young as two weeks old. To say they’re alarming would be an understatement. I actually had to look twice (that is, when I could stomach looking at all) because I was convinced she was dangling a doll by her tiny limbs and not a real, live baby.
Turns out I’m not the only one who felt that way. Some viewers questioned whether the videos were even legit to begin with, but reporters eventually tracked down Fikona in Dahab, Egypt. Here she was involved in a seminar called “Parenting the Deliberate Way,” where parents from across Europe were paying her to perform these questionable moves on their own infants.
“It’s very good for babies and not dangerous at all. Some babies cry at first, but they begin to enjoy it,” said Fikona, a mother of five. (You will indeed hear babies crying throughout the YouTube footage.) “Most people think young babies can only lie on a bed, eat, and cry. But babies are born with natural reflexes, which we can use to help them develop physically and intellectually.”
I’m no expert, but it doesn’t take a medical degree to figure out that this can’t be good for your little one. In fact, all it takes is a bit of common sense. Which is precisely why it’s so shocking that parents are lining up to have Fikona “adjust” their babies. I mean, I can’t imagine how anyone could watch this woman in action and then think, “Wow, I’d love to have her perform these moves on my own baby.” It’s insane!.
It’s a sad reality that too many children die each year from Shaken Baby Syndrome. This “baby yoga” looks pretty similar to me. I’m all for people trying out alternative medicine and therapies. But when it involves flinging a newborn baby in the air and dangling her by the limbs, I’m just not buying it. And, frankly, neither should you.