Baby Yoga with Lena Fokina: Exclusive Pictures

January 18th, 2011  |  by  |  Published in Uncategorized  |  37 Comments

Pictures provided by Lena Fokina seem to show Platona Goryun alive and even thriving two years after she was the unwitting star of the baby yoga video when she was two weeks old. Also in the gallery: Lena’s daughters and various participants at Lena’s workshops in Dahab, Sinai.

A still taken from the original Lena Fokina video with Platona Goryun, then two weeks old

A more recent picture of Platona, in pink, with her father Sashka Goryun, nearly two years after the first video

Platona today, at left, with an unidentified friend

Sashka still does "dynamic gymnastics" with Platona

Tanya Fokina, Lena's daughter, swimming with her nephew Kristian

Lena's daughter Sasha, diving with son Kristian

Lena and her daughters follow I. B. Charkovsky, a Russian hydrotherapy advocate and faith healer, believes in exposing newborns to the ocean

Double baby yoga

When asked where her form of yoga comes from, Lena said, "life invented it"


  1. joanne says:

    January 19th, 2011at 7:18 pm(#)

    Let someone bigger than her swing her around and around and
    around. By the looks of the child, this baby is petrified.

  2. irmans says:

    January 20th, 2011at 11:18 pm(#)

    I Do Hope The Baby is Okey……!

  3. Xerim Alexeix of Ossetia says:

    January 21st, 2011at 12:32 am(#)

    What a Fuckin’ Bitch – She and the other ‘Baby Swingers’ need to be sent to Evin Prison, in Tehran, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and tortured for 10 years, thirty lashes per day, a room with no bed, no blanket, no heat in the freezing winter, or a/c in summer…then put all the Baby ‘Dadagawas together in the last year together and let them swing on a man made pain-swing!!!! U R PURE EVIL!

  4. Gonza123 says:

    January 21st, 2011at 1:16 am(#)

    you are disgusting this is not healthy nor is it sane the fact that the babies are alive means nothing. you are an idiot and I hope you try to come to the U.S as not all of us are fat and lazy. I hope you burn

  5. Elen Freelander says:

    January 21st, 2011at 1:43 am(#)

    I see no fear in that child’s face – what I see is more like rapture, or at least glee!

  6. Judy House says:

    January 21st, 2011at 4:00 pm(#)

    Will someone please tell Lena and her husband, the caveman days ended along long time ago, even hippies knew better, and then again what is her and hubby smoking in the pipe… All I can say is stupit, stupit, and really stupit. It is just to bad child abuse over there is not looked at the way most of us were raised

  7. suede says:

    January 22nd, 2011at 5:52 pm(#)

    Elen Freelander says:
    > I see no fear in that child’s face – what I see is more like rapture, or at least glee!

    Yup. “fear of falling and getting hurt” only starts after you’ve fallen and gotten hurt.
    For a newborn, assuming they have never fallen, this whole act is just whee!

    I was concerned though about a few moves where arms or spine might get hurt. I wouldn’t try it.

    In India, they(generally grandma or midwife) massage babies with oil, which is supposed to help bones form correctly etc.

    They even repeatedly “pinch” (not strongly) the nose out, so that the baby doesn’t grow to have a flat nose. lol.

  8. Teresa says:

    January 25th, 2011at 10:36 pm(#)

    WHOA chill the heck out

    no wonder everyone thinks the US is a country of bigots.

    I wouldn’t feel safe doing some of those swings with my child, but most of that comes from my lack of confidence in my ability.

    Also, I haven’t seen or heard any professional input or any formal assessment on this subject, so unless any of you narrowminded commenters are, step up to the plate.

    Telling her to go die and be tortured? Shame on you! Threatening another human being you’ll never meet with inhumane suffering, while she does crazy baby yoga with people she has met: her own daughters(WHO happened to turn out completely fine. MORE than fine if you count success.)

    I’ve seen moms do worse (alcohol abuse, physical abuse), and this mom seems to have benefitted her children rather than do worse.

    I don’t know if I believe the “walking, talking more” bit, but I’m not going to bash something I’m ignorant of.

  9. bridgett mtz. says:

    January 26th, 2011at 10:51 pm(#)

    This is to teresa,and lena fokina.. people like u have no concept of “WHAT IF” means huh. Just because the babys fine doesnt make it ok. “What If” lena droped the baby at netime, expecially when she has her by one arm swingn her rapidy thu the air. If she woulda accidently dropd the baby and it died i bet u wouldnt feel the same way. I wanna know at what time in this video did it even look like she cared about the well being of that baby, because I myself was saying OH MY GOD please let that baby be ok. I only saw Lena cheak and make sure the baby was alrite once in the whole 5minutes she was swinging her around. Damn I mean I wouldnt even swing my dog like that letalone a humanbeing. I hate merrygorounds and spining around in circles cuz it makes me sick.I can only imagine wat the baby was feeling. U no why she only does it with little babies? They cant speak for themselves,but I will. U Are reckless and dont think WhatIF I accidently drop or break the babies neck. Cuz I was worried the whole time and i wasnt even there. shes careless and shouldnt be allowed to teach ever agian. And as for teresa, I really hope to meet u sometime cuz I gotta see wat a fucking moran u are to even say the shit u say, I just hope u aint got kids cuz if so this world is in deep SHIT!!!!!!!! Oh and to dignify that just cuz she aint drinking or doin drugs makes it ok. Its worse than if she was I think. At netime she could lose contol and kill someone. I just hope shes stopped before its to late.

  10. kim says:

    January 26th, 2011at 11:24 pm(#)

    The ignorance and plain hate of some of these comments is way more shocking than swinging a baby. I exercised and swung all of my kids and now grand kids and they are all brilliant and well co-ordinated. I did not swing them like this lady, but who am I (or you) to judge her?

  11. Ivy says:

    January 28th, 2011at 3:31 am(#)

    Wow, some very rude and ignorant comments indeed. I probably wouldn’t swing a child to this extent, but then again I don’t really know any gymnastics and would be worried about dropping the child. Obviously these people who have been doing this for years know better than any of us do as to the effects of these dynamic gymnastics on the children. Alot of children here are babied too much, all kids need to be tossed around a little, I might wait until they can at least hold their head up though.

  12. Peggy says:

    January 30th, 2011at 3:00 am(#)

    I am shocked of what i seen on this video!! What is this lady thinking??? Let’s pull and arm outta socket for peeks sake!! GEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEZ!!! If this were ever to go on in the US.. ABUSE written all over it!! There was a point in this video that I did see that poor baby cry. Sad :( They teach you to hold a baby with head support.. because of the lack of muscle to support the head… it only takes one wrong move to snap that neck or cause injury to the spinal cord or stem of brain!! But, I got to say I am more shocked to see those who are in support of swinging a baby around by its limbs!! It only takes one wrong move to cause a fatal accident!! There are alot of bright children in this world, and they weren’t swung around as if they were a toy!!

  13. Sharon says:

    February 5th, 2011at 9:00 am(#)

    I think its wonderful. The baby was happy and seemed to enjoy it. American people are real do gooders but undoubtly we don’t know much about raising our kids or they wouldn’t get into the things they get into. Maybe Lena has found a way to keep the children happy and learning on into life without drugs a violence. As far as her dropping the baby, doctors could accidentially hurt you just as she could hurt the baby. As a matter of fact thats why they carry insurance. Investigate and find out more before you make mean comments wanting to hurt this woman. Maybe if you had had someone one sling you around your heart wouldn’t be as violent.

  14. mongos says:

    February 10th, 2011at 12:46 pm(#)

    When my kids were younger, I did a few things with them, swinging them, having them balance while standing on my hand…but it’s a matter of confidence on my part and confidence in my kids. Example, my daughter loved it, my son was always less comfortable.

    But it’s not anything I’d ever publish, or advertise. With infants I think it all foolish. Toddlers, some are up for it, some are not. And not all parents or adults are capable of it.

    So sure, you take responsibility for acting like this with your own children. But to show it off, or encourage others to do it, that to me is irresponsible.

  15. Philip says:

    March 13th, 2011at 7:53 pm(#)

    Why is it that those with the least knowledge on a subject tend to yell the loudest as if their point somehow becomes more clear or substantiated? Many of these comments go far beyond what a country so diverse in culture should, and shows a serious lack of respect and tolerance. Before you get pissed and start spewing venom in my direction, stop and think. How many of you have been to a foreign country? Have a passport? Served in the military? We are a nation fast becoming so intolerant of others, including our own fellow citizens, that it’s no wonder our standing in the international community has fallen.

    If you are upset by this statement, I encourage you to stop and think before demonizing others…..I also welcome your opinion because I fought for your right to have one without knowing you.

    If some woman swinging her kid(s) around on the other side of the planet takes your eye off the real problems we face here, than we have little to no chance of fixing our problems here. What the hell happened to fixing schools and the economy, or getting people back on their feet? Do you realize that WE were the people much of the planet looked to to help keep people free from persecution?

    There are other cultures that do much of the same things that Lena has, including showing others how. How may of the enraged people here can honestly say that they didn’t play rough with other kids or siblings as a child? Lena clearly cares about her children, their not fat, seem happy, and even if it seems quite odd or flat out f-ed up, Lena is raising her children in the way she believes is correct. Having been to Vladivostok, Russia while in the Navy gave new insight and knowledge of a people we were taught to hate. If Anyone told you how to raise your children, they’d not likely be well received.

    I found the video disturbing and at points was quite shocked. I would not handle any child in that way, but my beliefs are not Lena’s nor you own. I do know that if anyone gave me the s#!t Lena has received, I’d stand my ground as well.

    At two months old, my mother had me swimming at the YMCA along side other children who’s parents put their kids in the pool. I love the water, did not drown, and am definitely stronger for it. Does that mean that it was dangerous or that I could have died? Hell, yes. Today in the United States toddlers and infants are starting swim lessons even earlier.

    The fact most people enraged here are failing to consider rests in the “possible benefit” it COULD have. Another fact is that Lena did not come up with this herself, or am I the only one that read all the articles instead of just looking at the video and pictures.

    P.S. spell check is an amazing thing and here it’s on auto-pilot, so how is it that most the rants of irrational nature are so misspelled?

  16. Toni says:

    April 16th, 2011at 5:21 pm(#)

    This is stupid. There have been several alerts in the US about NOT doing this. They say that the bones are not fully formed and can snap or bend. The spine can break easily, tendonds and muscles strain and the swinging motion can possibly cause a shaking effect which can kill.
    Anyone who would even think of doing this are stupid and don’t deserve kids.
    I don’t have my own children but have several nephews. Holding them at 2 weeks old, I felt I could break them or hurt them! I wouldn’t even move once they were in my arms. To swing them around?! God no!

    It doesn’t matter if they don’t look in pain or fear, just the fact that these movements have a RISK of causing pain or fear or even damage should be enough not to do it.

    This lady needs to take some lessons and learn what is right. Hydrotherapy is a good thing for babies, sure but have they all got the correct education?

  17. Aisling says:

    May 9th, 2011at 3:12 pm(#)

    That’s amazing. The baby looks so calm.

  18. Mauro de Almeida says:

    June 9th, 2011at 6:55 am(#)

    It’s amazing how many aggressive people are judging Lena with NO knowledge, experience and facts.

    “What if she dropped the baby ?”, well she did not dropped. From the video I see she is experienced and know what she is doing. Many people criticize because they do not have confidence and the hability to do it and that is okay. If you think it is not for your child DO NOT DO IT. “What if” is a illusion. Life is not secure. Any baby can die anywhere and anytime, even if you let them sleep by themselves.

    She, as a mother, thought it was the best for her children, and from what it seems it was really the best for her children as they are doing well.

    If you get sick from watching this video is because you would be sick if you were the baby. Probably, these babies will have a brain which will adapt to these kind of movements. Function determines structure.

    Of course these exercises are not for every mother, because you gotta have physical strength, confidence and knowledge about mobility to do it.

  19. Cindy says:

    June 10th, 2011at 2:01 pm(#)

    It’s funny how she says she doesn’t “recall” if any of the babies she worked with have been injured. Oh so you might have injured a baby or two but you just don’t remember? What the hell is that supposed to mean. I’ll tell you what it means it means YES! She has hurt babies and people who follow her practice have hurt babies. The more people do it, the more injuries and FATALITIES (yes their have been more than one death to a child because of these types of practices) we will see.

    So for you ignorant people who say we should not be “judgmental” or that they have seen mothers do worse (drinking, smoking, drug use) THAT’S PURELY IGNORANT. Just because someone does something WORSE does not mean that this practice is right. In the U.S drinking, smoking and doing drugs is not something we praise mothers for doing. So be quiet with that nonsense.

    It is COMMON KNOWLEDGE here in the U.S that babies are fragile and cannot support their own weight and that you must be careful when caring for them. You can easily dislocate their arm(s) by simply picking them up by their arms, never mind swinging and flipping and spinning them about for 5 full minutes.

    I said it once and I’ll say it again, if you think all is well in doing this type of thing to your infant or for any infant, let’s see you do it.

    And when you find it to be tiring, difficult and painful keep in mind that you are an adult with more than enough mussel mass to support your own weight. A newborn baby does not. THANK YOU AND HAVE A NICE DAY.

  20. Jay says:

    August 11th, 2011at 8:06 am(#)

    Seriously? Some of you need to calm down. You’re speaking as if you know for a fact that the child is being hurt, when clearly as someone said earlier, these people have been doing this for a loong time. Just because you feel you have to pretend to have better parenting skills because of an alleged morale implication cut from ignorance, doesn’t mean you’re in the right. These people’s culture differs from ours and physical and mental toughness plays a big role in their society. Stop acting so self-righteous and you’ll see that they’re parents just as you claim to be who only want the best for their child. So chill or just stop posting your idiotic rants showing the world your minimal level of intelligence.

  21. Lauren says:

    September 19th, 2011at 2:32 am(#)

    It’s irresponsible. A baby at that age is fragile and should not be swung around like it’s a toy. And no it’s not my place to tell her what to do with her children, but the fact of the matter is that she is promoting it to other people and that is not ok. Sure she is probably able to do it, but how many people can sit there and swing their child around and not drop them. And she claims that it helps them in their development. I would like for her to explain what benefit that can have on a child. A baby does not have bones like an adult, but rather it’s cartilage. So just imagine if an adult or even a toddler falls you break something (if your lucky), but if an infant falls it’s over. I can not imagine taking that kind of risk with a child. And your reason that it’s fine is because she didn’t drop the baby baby?  So by that reasoning if a toddler is playing with matches, but doesn’t start a fire it’s fine. And for all of those who make fun of those who find this appalling and keep telling them to “chill out”, you need to get off that high horse you are on. You think just because your “accepting” towards the fact this woman does this makes you better than those who feel she shouldn’t have children, your wrong. You are making fun of our culture. You think were self righteous because of how we were raised, yet you do the exact same. No I do not know the logistics of what this woman does but I do know it’s dangerous. You can paint the picture any way you want “the baby is enjoying it”, well a baby enjoys sticking foreign objects in it’s mouth too, but does that mean you let them chew on nails? Well I guess buy some people standards if no harm comes to this specific baby this one time it’s alright. I’m guessing this is why Egypt has an infant mortality rate  of 35% and the U.S only has an infant mortality rate of 5%, because we find this so appalling. 

  22. lesha says:

    December 21st, 2011at 7:01 pm(#)

    Actually, it’s very healthy for the baby.
    Baby’s that experience this read,write, walk swim quicker than other toddlers! as from the video the baby being a new born is already starting to move her legs at such a young age.
    Also the baby become’s fearless during these sessions.
    I’m only saying..
    It’s a Russian thing.. been going round for a long time.


  23. FreddyD says:

    February 28th, 2012at 1:54 pm(#)

    This is very crazy, have now words for this stupid woman, a jong child from 2 weeks, im can not believe that the children now woonded or broken bones have, sorry this it,s very stupid and with non feelings for the childs, what not cant say when he or she pain have.This must stopped over the world.

  24. J. Buchan says:

    March 6th, 2012at 8:34 am(#)

    Since you know nothing about!!! You cannot comment on it. She has healthy daughters, as shown, she is moving them in a controlled manner.
    Meanwhile your children are lounging on the couch in the XBOX and Internet world!

  25. R. B. says:

    March 6th, 2012at 12:02 pm(#)

    She’s not even watching the baby as she swings it! I wonder how many she has dropped?! This cannot be healthy. You aren’t even supposed to swing older children. Babies’ tissues are not fully developed. You’re supposed to support their heads and necks, too! This looks whiplash-inducing.

  26. kimmy says:

    March 6th, 2012at 12:25 pm(#)

    honestly this not proffesional or will ever be the way she is swingning those children and tossing them around she couold drop them she is lucky to not have popped any sockets out would u put a six month old on a salt and pepper shaker no she is shaking them up very fast to which has been known to kill babies i hope this bitch realises this isnt a safe nor good way to raise children

  27. alainas mommy says:

    March 7th, 2012at 3:00 pm(#)

    As for you saying that we don’t know what we’re talking about in being worried for the child’s well being. When my brother was little his collar bone was broken by our mother just “playing around” with him swinging him….so YES it CAN hurt them and I can see it now…just as I could see steve irwin being killed with his stupidity…I could so see it being in the news one day that she dropped a child and they are put into intensive care only to die….so sad :(….To each their own though…

  28. Nancy says:

    April 10th, 2012at 2:51 pm(#)

    Wow-the world is FULL of uneducated people and unfortunately they sometimes take risks that can have potentially devastating consequences. For those that don’t know an infant can have brain damage when impact to the brain is only 7km/hr. The over the head swinging and many of the other moves are eerily similar to shaken baby syndrome. Anyone who has seen an infant with these injuries would never take such risks as what are done in this video. To say this has been done in Russia for 30 years doesn’t make it ok or safe. Drinking while pregnant has been done for years and some babies are born without fetal alcohol syndrom however what about the thousands that are?? Does that mean its safe? Stupid. Yoga is intended for the mind and body to connect and create awareness of oneself. Passive yoga such as this does not provide that. I have participated in baby yoga with my children and it was nothing like this. They were early to reach all of their developmental milestones and excel at most things. It is love and attention to your child(ren) that has the biggest impact of these outcomes, not swinging your child (or allowing a stranger to). Please use better judgement-you are a parent and are responsible for the safety of your child! So irresponsible…..

  29. Tom says:

    April 11th, 2012at 8:24 pm(#)

    wow… I am so proud to see at least a few people on this website not baying for this woman’s blood. The first time I saw this video I thought, “gee, that looks dangerous, but the baby is not harmed, why not?” then I watched again and saw that actually this woman appears very skilled and is actually quite careful when it comes to the more dangerous moves like suspending the child by a single limb. I would love to learn more about this activity so I can make an informed decision, maybe I might like to try it with my next child if I can learn it. All of the people who think that their ignorance is somehow just as good as this woman’s knowledge and wisdom would be sterilised in an ideal world, or at least not be allowed to vote… maybe we should remove their children from them so they don’t raise them to be as ignorant and hate-filled as they are… that’s the real child abuse here, that such ignorant and hate-filled people are able to raise children in their own image

  30. tobi says:

    April 12th, 2012at 10:55 pm(#)

    I was just wondering, if any of the above people who commented, is a Dr? I’m far too clumsy to try this, but I think some of you need to chill out. You should try and go outside, read a book, or do something productive. You wonder why the whole world hates americans, so hateful, and such horrible grammar.

  31. tobi says:

    April 12th, 2012at 10:57 pm(#)

    Sorry what I meant was … You wonder why the whole world hates americans? So hateful, and such horrible grammar.

  32. Vernon Cross says:

    October 1st, 2012at 3:57 am(#)

    I know. . .let’s all just stick the kiddo in a swinging chair, expose the defenseless little one to way too much TV, and stuff the poor itty-bitty one with sugar-laced formula. Know then he or she can be an all-American kid headed for the same problems too many of us face way too young in life. Short attention span, statistical fattiness, and a psychological dependence upon viewing screens. Some will excel despite the lack of self-control. Most will gork on video games, then go on to normal jobs that require much less hand/eye coordination.

  33. Bruce says:

    November 21st, 2012at 3:34 pm(#)

    What a strange concept… and what even stranger comments. I have no idea what the developmental impact would be from this action against a child. I would question the wisdom of doing in this in a garden with all of those nice hard stones around – she seems to have no concept of safety. I do suspect that the stimulation would be… hmmm… perhaps helpful for the child – but that would need to be really examined.

    I agree with many of the commentators who noted the incongruity between desire to protect the child while at the same time raging and threatening the woman. I suspect that many of those most angrily reacting are the same as those who HATE the idea of ObamaCare (giving healthcare to those who can’t afford it) and LOVE the ideas of guns (that kill tens of thousands of “children” every year). What a strange conundrum you folks are.

    Good luck with that…

  34. Irany Ornellas says:

    February 24th, 2013at 11:52 am(#)

    I know of no animal that treat their newborns as well. It is cruel, inhumane and abhorrent. THIS IS NOT YOGA.
    Yoga is compassion.

  35. mombamufasa says:

    March 7th, 2013at 4:46 am(#)

    I would like to look into this further before I do this with my baby. As for those people looking for a doctor’s opinion–think for yourselves for once in your life. Some doctors are brilliant. But medicine and critical thinking skills do not always mix. Many in the medical field love to make unfounded claims on the basis of their credentials. Most doctors and most of the people posting comments are neither biomechanical engineers nor physicists and are in no position to gauge whether the motions of these baby exercises are in any way dangerous. How many doctors have analyzed the biomechanical properties of the tendons, cartilage, and other soft tissue in a developing baby, and then did an analysis of the dynamics of baby yoga, and then calculated the number of g’s or the maximum impulses or maximum tension on the ligaments “suffered” by the baby during a typical exercise session. None, most likely.

    Swinging a baby can cause SBS or dislocated limbs? Sure, if you swing them hard enough. Is there a chance of dropping the baby? Sure. Will dropping the baby cause harm, if you hook the baby up to a bungie cord safety harness? Maybe if you throw the baby and it accidentally gets strangled in the cord. Do these exercises create superbabies? Maybe, maybe not. But I’m willing to do some research and give it some serious thought before immediately dismissing it as “child abuse.” And if you’re not willing to do the same because you think it’s “common sense”, learn some history of science/medicine/any-other-field-that-exists and you’ll see quite a few examples where the common sense of even the most brilliant minds has been utterly and spectacularly wrong. But if you want to continue to be a close-minded, uneducated mother or father, then here’s the end result: you’ll raise your kids to be like you, and we’ll have even more idiots running around posting inane, unqualified, irrational, unentertaining comments in response to some other mother’s rearing of her kids.

    I couldn’t resist a quick response to “Nancy”‘s comment above, only because it’s riddled with irony (my comments in brackets):
    “Wow-the world is FULL of uneducated people and unfortunately they sometimes take risks that can have potentially devastating consequences. [natural selection? I think the consequences would be great! It’s amazing that Nancy survived this long to post her comments!] For those that don’t know an infant can have brain damage when impact to the brain is only 7km/hr. [Eh? What the hell kind of physics course did “Nancy” fail? Ever hear of the terms momentum or impulse? I better not throw any 7 km/hr ping pong balls at my baby.] The over the head swinging and many of the other moves are eerily similar to shaken baby syndrome. [How can exercises be similar to a syndrome? My English of command no so good.]


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