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DadWagon Q&A: Exclusive Interview with Baby Yoga’s Lena Fokina

January 18th, 2011  |  by  |  Published in Uncategorized  |  149 Comments

Lena Fokina: either she just killed dinner, or she's doing double baby-yoga

Yep, it’s real.

That was the first thing almost everyone wanted to know about the now-infamous “Baby Yoga with Lena Fokina” video. The swinging, flipping and lariat-like twirling of a tiny infant seemed so surreal—and the baby so unmoved by its plight—that many viewers decided it had to be a hoax.

I had a hard time watching the video, too. But I was not at all surprised that it was Russian. I’ve been going to Moscow since 1990 (I now write about Russia for Time Magazine), and I have found a Russian obsession with physical hardiness that goes far beyond pictures of Putin fishing topless. I remember going with my brother to a Soviet sanatorium—what they used to call their spa-resorts—in 1990 and finding that the main treatment there was standing in a stainless steel room while a technician sprayed us with what felt like a fire hose. A friend I’ve known for over 20 years in Moscow got baptized last year in the countryside—not in a church with a splash of water, but by stripping in the middle of a frozen lake and jumping into an ice-fishing hole while the priest looked on.

But “baby yoga,” and its corollary, dunking-a-newborn-in-the-ocean, is not just another act of toughening. The more I looked into it, the more I realized that in a certain milieu of alterna-Russians, the parents who do this are sort of like Slavic Tiger Mothers: hyperinvolved parents who want to give their child a leg up in life. “I wanted the best for my daughter,” says my friend Ivan, who baby-swung his firstborn after hearing about it in a Moscow birthing class. “So we started when she was five days old.” Seven years later, he says, she’s not only healthy, she’s fearless and advanced beyond her peers: “She started walking early, swimming early. I really think it worked.”

[The original video]

I thought if I showed Ivan this video, he would be shocked by how extreme this particular bout of baby-swinging was. Instead, he watched it like Rowlf the Dog watched Two Girls, One Cup: meh, no big deal. It is, he said, pretty much what he did with his daughter.

Until I see some peer-reviewed studies about this, I’ll leave it to others to decide whether swinging a barely conscious newborn over your shoulders does more good than harm. But I am pleased to say that we’ve tracked down the baby in the video, and she seems to be doing just fine. (Follow DadWagon on Facebook)

Still swinging: the baby from the viral video, Platona, shown here with her father, Sashka Goryun, two years after the video came out

The baby, it turns out, is a girl named Platona Goryun, who lives in Khorol, Ukraine, about three hours outside of Kiev. She was just two weeks old when she was subjected to what Fokina calls “dynamic gymnastics” for newborns in the video above. Her father, Sashka Goryun, uploaded the video just a month ago, but apparently it was filmed almost two years ago. Little Platona is, by all appearances, a healthy toddler, albeit one who still gets swung in the air quite a bit (see our baby-yoga gallery for more images of Platona and her father).

DadWagon also managed to track down Lena Fokina, the Baby Yoga guru from the original video. Fokina Skype-chatted with us from her home in Dahab, Egypt, in the Sinai Peninsula, where she lives with her daughters (who not only survived baby-swinging but also grew up to be ridiculously attractive freedive instructors, pictured below and in our photo-gallery). Fokina was generous with her time and spoke at length about family freediving, slothful Americans, and the salutary effects of being swung over your mother’s head. The interview was done in Russian and translated into English:

Thank you for chatting with DadWagon, Lena. Can you tell us first a little about yourself: where you come from, how you came to do baby yoga.
I come from far away; my homeland is in the Urals. I then lived in Moscow, and now I’m in Dahab, Egypt, my “little homeland.” We came here four years ago, and go back to Russia in the summers. As for yoga, yoga is just life, whether you are an adult or a child.

How old are you?
I’m 50, but that’s only the appearance.

Tanya Fokina, Lena's daughter, swimming in the Gulf of Aqaba with her nephew Kristian

Tell me about the courses you run in Egypt.
Our courses in Dahab are a regime of daily exercise for children and adults of different ages: yoga, extreme developmental gymnastics, freediving, getting adapted to the water, rebirthing, lectures, discussions and much more.

Um, what exactly are “extreme developmental gymnastics”
That’s what we call it when it gets scary for the parents and children and me
(just kidding). It’s actually skipping rope, climbing, all sorts of flips, trampoline, stretching…

I do Ashtanga yoga, but I’ve never heard of anything like this Baby Yoga. Is this traditional or did you invent it?
Life invented it; it was conveyed to us by the teacher and author of all these ideas, Igor Borisovich Charkovsky.

So this is a uniquely Russian form of yoga.
This yoga is for all young children.

Are your students all Russians?
Of course not!

So where do they come from?
Over the last 30 years, Charkovsky’s system has lived in Russia and has spread from there. Not everyone accepts it.

The first thing everybody here thought when they saw your baby-swinging video was “Holy shit!” Then they thought, is it real or fake? So: Is it real? If so, who is the baby?
The child was born in the Black Sea region. Her name is Platona, and she was two weeks old when we took that video. We have a lot of children like her here. They are early readers, singers, talkers, swimmers. You haven’t seen anything like it anywhere!! And there’s swimming with dolphins, scuba diving with them… Come to Dahab! (Photos of Lena and her daughters in Dahab.)

And are they early readers, talkers, and so on because of baby yoga?
Not only this. It’s just one reason.

What else makes them so talented then?
Love for each other and to one another.

I have two small children and I was, you know, careful with them when they were newborns. So it was hard for me to watch your video. It looks like it has to injure the child. Their hands? The cartilage in the joints? Their brains?
No. It makes the hands stronger.

Did you know that YouTube took the video down because it was in violation of their policy on “shocking and disgusting” content? What is your response to that?
Did they notice that the babies aren’t crying—they’re even laughing—and that this system has been used for over thirty years in Russia and the children are all alive and healthy? If you need more proof, the best thing is to come see us.

Have you heard from people who are upset about the video?
Everybody in Dahab is satisfied. What’s more, a British film crew made a documentary about us, and interviewed the parents.

At the end of your video, it looks like you’re trying to get the two-week-old baby to walk. Is mobility the goal of your baby yoga?
Yes, more mobility, and other goals. First off, more trained skills. Second, more freedom. Third, independence. We learn from nature and teach our offspring to survive. Come to Dahab; we’ll be glad to show our classes and our children. How old are your children?

Four and two years old.
The happiest age!

Da, da. You say you “teach offspring to survive,” but it looks like what you’re doing could kill them. Have you ever had an accident while swinging around a baby?
I don’t recall any. Another objective of our yoga: to teach parents and children to interact so that everything will be in harmony.

How much training do you need to do this baby yoga?
It depends on the sensibility of the child’s mother. Sometimes it only takes one training session.

Do you think mothers who are afraid of this kind of baby yoga just aren’t brave?
Yes, those people have problems of their own. One more objective here is to get the parents’ own activity and movement levels up.

Should Americans try “baby yoga” at home?
Americans should be able to do a lot of this themselves, in order to pass something on to their children. An immobile American loses their naturally given reflexes (swimming, reaching, stepping—they have machines that do this for them). That’s why, in parallel with their children, the parents learn to do these things: dive, swim, run, jump, bend and much more. Our workshop is called “family active lifestyle.”

It’s true. Some American babies are too obese to swing around over your head.
Well, exactly, then: they need the Russian way of life!

Are there lessons for baby yoga online, or do you have to go to Dahab to learn?
Online is complicated. You have to go to the guru!

You said that the baby in the video was two weeks old. Why start so young? Their bodies are so underdeveloped.
We’re talking about these reflexes they have by nature from birth. They are based in dynamic gymnastics.

Did you know that this video went viral in the United States, that there was a lot of speculation about who you and the baby were?
We know. So what? The more people find out about this, the calmer and healthier they’ll become.

I saw that you do courses in the Gulf of Aqaba. What are your “family freediving” courses?
We adapt [children] to the aquatic environment. It’s a variety of exercises for breath, swimming and diving equipment, diving at depth and free-swimming along the reef and enjoying the stunning underwater spectacle.

Hmm. I grew up near the reef in Florida. It can be amazing.
Oh, we dream of free-swimming with wild dolphins! Do you know Boris Said?

We have a lot of dolphins, but I don’t know Boris. Who is he?
He studies wild dolphins in Florida and swims with them. Children and dolphins is another big topic of Charkovsky’s.

So my children are 4 and 2 years old, but they don’t know how to swim yet. What would you do with them in Dahab?
We would get them slowly accustomed to life.

Life in general or life in the water?
Life in general. And in the water. If you can organize a seminar, gather people, arrange a space, we’ll come.

Good idea! [ed. note: this may actually be a very bad idea] I noticed in some of your videos that some women in your courses are topless. Does this create problems with the Egyptians? When I was in Hurgada, another Egyptian resort, I noticed nudity was a big problem for Egyptians.
Each country has its own traditions and you have account for that. Don’t take your own prayers into someone else’s church. So we do not wear bikinis. This is a Muslim country. Some women here even wear a niqab.

Have you ever had any legal problems in Egypt? In Russia?
I never have. I love people.

But authorities are different. They never gave you any problems for the Baby Yoga?
We are humanists! And we don’t do anything wrong. On the contrary, many Egyptian parents learn these techniques and go diving, in their niqab, with us.

So the answer is ‘no’? Because in the United States, Baby Yoga might cause you some problems.
So then we are better off in Dahab! Come visit! Thank you!

Yes. I know it’s late. Just one more question: what is the name of the English film made about you?
“дети стихии” (approximate translation: “Children of the Wild”).

For more information on Lena Fokina’s courses, visit www.fokiny.com (in Russian).

To follow DadWagon on Facebook, click here. Also swinging kids on Twitter @dadwagon.


Responses

  1. SCOTTSTEV says:

    January 18th, 2011at 11:25 am(#)

    There is a passage in “Anna Karenina” where Levin is describing how a serf believed she cured her child’s illness by placing him in a chicken coop and reciting an incantation. I don’t think the scientific method has made much further inroads since then. And I don’t mean to focus that comment on Russia; the human mind is stuck with these hiccups and shortcuts of perception and rationalization.

  2. Nathan says:

    January 18th, 2011at 11:34 am(#)

    Ha. I was hoping you would bring the Tolstoy into this. Levin was definitely the kind of science-minded rationalist that would, say, not be a big Charkovsky fan these days.

  3. SCOTTSTEV says:

    January 18th, 2011at 12:28 pm(#)

    Glad to help, Levin also has my favorite agricultural metaphor for parenting, and life .

    what the hell is up with this gumshoe original reporting? I don’t think you’ve got this Blogging thing down. When you see a viral video, you should just start spouting off opinions like it’s MSNBC and the on-air light just turned on. No wonder you guys are only a little better than the average blog.

  4. Nathan says:

    January 18th, 2011at 1:46 pm(#)

    Don’t worry. We are returning now to our usual diet of bloviation and self-pity. Stand by.

  5. john cave osborne says:

    January 18th, 2011at 5:15 pm(#)

    simply phenomenal, Nathan. so interesting.

    loved it.

  6. deva says:

    January 18th, 2011at 6:10 pm(#)

    thanks for doing this. i’m fascinated…and freaked out…all at once.

  7. Jesse says:

    January 18th, 2011at 6:33 pm(#)

    Fascinating. Thank you for posting this!

    Someone I know on Flickr used “Early Neurological Stimulation” with their Icelandic shepherd dogs, a technique that seems to have a lot of similarities with this baby swinging stuff. The basic idea with dogs is that it stimulates their brain growth in such a way that they become especially confident, fearless and intelligent dogs. I found it especially interesting that the ‘regimen’ of training essentially took my friend less than 15 seconds or so with each puppy. So it had an effect without lengthy baby swinging sessions, I suppose.

    I would love to know more about connections between these two techniques! Now we need an expert in early neurological stimulation to write an article to follow up on this meme…

  8. Shawn Carpenter says:

    January 18th, 2011at 11:17 pm(#)

    Awesome post man — I meant to go to bed, but instead almost woke up everyone in the house. I quickly buried my face in a blanket to muffle the cackling. I think Bonnie and Lucy are too old (and smart) to be flung around. On second thought, Lucy would probably love it. At any rate, ewok #3 is arriving soon.

  9. Concerned Mother says:

    January 19th, 2011at 11:35 am(#)

    I watched this video in HORROR, swinging a baby by it’s arms is dangerous, you can easily dislocate it’s shoulders and legs. Babies should be babies and not playthings you swing around.

  10. kate says:

    January 19th, 2011at 1:52 pm(#)

    This is ignorance at it’s finest. What are her qualifications? Does she know the difference between a newborn’s body and an adult’s body? Obviously she does not because if she did she would KNOW (not “believe”) that swinging children from their arms is a big NO NO because their arms can EASILY be pulled out of their sockets. What a joke! And the dangers of not offering head and neck support are obvious. If you want to be a circus act that is fine. But don’t include inocent newborn children in your mental illness. The reason this doesn’t fly in America is because we know better and don’t have to use our children as props to get attention and recognition. I spit on you and your stupid ideas. You are a stupid, stupid woman.

  11. graham says:

    January 19th, 2011at 6:06 pm(#)

    “The reason this doesn’t fly in America is because we know better and don’t have to use our children as props to get attention and recognition”

    Have you SEEN Toddlers And Tiaras???

  12. Katzenwoofers says:

    January 19th, 2011at 7:13 pm(#)

    Jesse, I do the Early Neurological Stimulation exercises
    with any puppies born here to moms who are too pregnant to spay
    when they arrive. Here’s a link to the article “Developing High
    Achievers” by Dr. Carmen Battaglia, which explains what ENS is:
    http://www.esmondrott.com/rearing.htm You will note that none of
    the exercises put any physical stress on limbs, joints, etc., or
    put the puppies in any physical danger whatsoever. They’re simple,
    short (3-5 seconds per exercise) exercises which
    cause a small amount of stress, leading to neurological development
    that occurs a little earlier than it would otherwise. In my
    experience, most puppies who receive the benefit of the ENS
    exercises grow into dogs who are adaptable, who recover from being
    startled/frightened quickly, who learn quickly, and are generally
    more confident, less bark-y, healthier, and more even tempered than
    puppies who aren’t stimulated. I say “most” because temperament in
    dogs is genetic, and sire or dam with a poor temperament passes
    that along to their offspring and even ENS can’t change that,
    though it can influence it. It takes 15-25 seconds per pup, per
    day, for 10-12 days to do the ENS exercises. It gives the pups such
    a strong foundation, and can have such a profound effect on their
    future lives that, IMO, it’s unethical NOT to do them with newborn
    pups. If you want to see how it’s done, I recorded an ENS session
    with some puppies back in August:
    http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/8814652

  13. J says:

    January 19th, 2011at 7:53 pm(#)

    This is fantastic! My significant other is expecting and I can’t wait to try this!

  14. Rebecca says:

    January 19th, 2011at 8:04 pm(#)

    Lena Fokina does not own the label “Baby Yoga”. There are many baby yoga teachers in the world, myself included, who don’t swing babies around. Since this is your blog, you are of course entitled to present this one interview from one perspective. I’m horrified though that TIME linked to your piece without any further reporting. One only needs to google to find a host of other kids and baby yoga resources and information. I will be blogging about this on my blog and Open Salon, because as both a journalist and a certified yoga teacher specializing in kids and babies, I don’t want everyone to go away thinking this is definitive.

  15. NOWAYINHELL says:

    January 19th, 2011at 8:45 pm(#)

    As I told a friend- Shes whacked. If she did that to my baby I would be forced to do that to HER … from thousands of feet UP… They have little joints and bones. This stresses them. What a fruitcake.

  16. Nathan says:

    January 19th, 2011at 10:20 pm(#)

    Well, horror does seem a slightly strong reaction to the fact that TIME linked to this piece. But I hear your point: it’s not yoga. In fact, I say in the piece that she calls it “developmental gymnastics”. But everyone’s been calling it ‘baby yoga’ because that’s the title of the original video that went viral. I should add that I’m signing my four-year-old up for yoga, so I’m a big fan of yoga for kids. Just not like this.

  17. Caterina says:

    January 20th, 2011at 1:52 pm(#)

    My goodness, but we are all so opinionated, aren’t we? Particularly Kate – “But don’t include inocent (sic) newborn children in your mental illness. The reason this doesn’t fly in America is because we know better and don’t have to use our children as props to get attention and recognition. I spit on you and your stupid ideas. You are a stupid, stupid woman.”

    While the video WAS disturbing to watch, because of our own cultural messages, I found myself trying to imagine what that baby was feeling. And what I felt was, trust in the world to support me, ease in the air and in my body, and no sense that the world would let me down. Granted, I was not the baby, but my body is well trained to interpret sensations. And the messages my body was giving me throughout that video was yearning – for the kind of confidence I would have in myself and my world with this kind of experience at such an early age.

    The other thing that struck me was the absolute ballet this woman showed with her routine. She was 100% focused on the relationship between herself and that baby. There was no “gee, what shall I make for dinner”, or “when is that $%#& parent going to pay their bill? distractions. Her body and that child’s body were dancing together, and she exuded the feeling that she had that child’s best interest at heart, and showed an exquisite confidence in her ability to keep that baby safe.

    The Russians have been exploring and pushing the envelope on the human body for decades. Unless you can find some of the babies she has “swung”, and prove that they are somehow harmed by her work, please refrain from your bitter vitriol. If we were so smart about babies, why do we have one of the highest infant mortality rates in developed countries? Why do we have one of the highest teen suicides in the world? Because we’re so freakin’ smart? I don’t think so.

    My next lifetime, I want me some of that swinging!! And free diving. And I am sending this to my daughter to see what she would think about the idea of having this kind of training included in her childhood.

  18. Concerned says:

    January 20th, 2011at 5:56 pm(#)

    Consider just for a moment she loses her grip while doing one of her big swings in that video, then those rocks close by will most certainly smash the baby’s skull and brain.
    Ok, maybe it won’t happen considering she looks like she has a firm grip, but any parent willing to put their baby at the increased risk of getting killed by swinging it around, I feel kinda sorry for. Actually I feel more sorry for the baby who doesn’t have the ability to say no.

    To conclude: “In Soviet Russia, baby swings you!”

  19. Marc says:

    January 20th, 2011at 9:02 pm(#)

    I watched that video on FB and then researched until finding this blog. While the video caught my interest, I found it so interesting, not only this women seems to know what she’s doing but Platona seems at ease and confident. I can’t stop thinking in the kind of relation it would promote between a mother and her child. While my feelings were initially mixed at the time of watching the video, it then makes a lot of sense to me. I have no doubt that these exercises have a great impact on the child and contribute to develop a special ability to evolve in any environment.

    To finsish and regarding the ignorant and negative comments, ask yourself what it is best: practising baby yoga and stimulating your child for a stronger and healthier development or feed him with coca cola, mc donald, tv and video games.

    And to DadWagon, thank you for this interview with Lena, good job! To the others, don’t do this at home!

  20. Lindsay Dianne says:

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

    I guess it’s true that if no one has any proof that she’s dislocated shoulders or otherwise harmed babies.. We should all just take it down a notch. I saw the video and completely thought it was a hoax; swore it was a doll. Yeah. I’m pretty freaked out by the idea… but hey…
    To each their own?

  21. Kristina Wright says:

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

    Are all russians this batsh*t crazy?

    Shaking baby syndrome and dislocated body parts not to mention that newborns have highly reactive shock reflexes and that jarring movements scare the bejesus outta them.

    Is russian society so lax in protecting it’s children that they don’t track down and prosecute this woman for child endangerment and neglect?

    Caterina linking this dangerous swinging to low mortality rates and a lesser risk of teen suicide is just ignorant. And Caterina before you go gungho in defense of this woman speak to a pediatrician, even a homeopathic pediatrician and see if they recommend this violent barbaric mistreatment of an infant child. And as long as time has been babies have learned to swim, walk, talk and read without being abused.

  22. 2Cents. says:

    January 21st, 2011at 5:33 am(#)

    I love her attitude, confident and unapologetic. I have no doubt in her abilities to swing the babies while still being gentle. The first thing that came to mind is that it is partly common sense mainly because I am one of those uncles that likes to pick up the nieces and nephews and throw them in the air or swing them around etc. When my good friend had his first baby it always seemed odd to me that he didn’t play with him in the same way. Just seems natural to me for some reason. I can see how making it a disciplined daily routine would benefit.

  23. Iseh says:

    January 21st, 2011at 5:38 am(#)

    Caterina is the only poster that has a clue.
    The irony of fat, apathetic Americans aghast at people doing other than sucking on a slurpee and watching the tube.
    No, America, you are not this ‘enlighened’ scientific utopia. As a matter of fact America ranks below the median for school test scores, with only Canada and Finland able to compete with Asian countries.
    As Caterina has pointed out, the Russians are always investigating new methodologies, and good for them. Both of that Yoga instructor’s daughters are hale, athletic, confident, beautiful and talented. Seems she’s done quite well rearing them.

  24. Cat says:

    January 21st, 2011at 8:56 am(#)

    This woman should be brought of up child endangerment charges… omg. One slip and that baby is dead or brain damaged… and you CANNOT tell me that is 100% safe… humans make mistakes… and ppl should NOT be doing that with babies.

  25. Jim Jones says:

    January 21st, 2011at 10:36 am(#)

    WARNING: This woman is a maniac and should not be trusted with babies!

    Anyone interested in trying this should consult a physician first and request a psychiatric evaluation, but for yourself, not the baby.

  26. mech says:

    January 21st, 2011at 12:05 pm(#)

    Goodness!! There’s no way I will do that to my child. What if there was accident? What if one wrong move happens? I can’t imagine the injury that the baby might incur. She’s lucky enough that there was no child that was harmed in that crazy baby yoga, or at least none that we know yet.

  27. dt says:

    January 21st, 2011at 12:44 pm(#)

    Whether the baby trusts her, or is having a good time, is not the point. We do plenty of things to babies they don’t like (ever suction mucous out with a bulb?) for their benefit (not that I’m saying this is for their benefit). What she hasn’t done here is apply a standard of harm: On the one hand, you have nebulous ideas this may help a baby; on the other, the very real risk of not only damaging them through swinging, but via a little “whoopsie!”

    This is no different from an anti-vaccine proselytizer–pure voodoo.

  28. lili says:

    January 21st, 2011at 4:22 pm(#)

    I think is is so much worse to see what North America is doing to their children. Obesity and diabetes not to mention the amount of antibiotic medications doctors prescribe. The toxins in our federally regulated processed foods. The hormones and antibiotics in our meats and dairy. This woman obviously knows what she is doing. The baby does not seem stressed and how do you know how much force it takes to cause injury. Another point is you can’t dislocate a shoulder there is no joint only tendons and ligaments.
    Momentum is what is moving this baby not force. There is very little stress on the joints. How many times have you grabbed your child by the arms and swung them around in play. You haven’t torn their arms off. Your movement would be forced not momentum like this baby.
    It is not surprising to hear the mortified reactions from people who fear anything different. North Americans are small minded fearful weak people who protect themselves with their uneducated opinions. I was a national level gymnast and started training at the age of 4. This is no different than any young athlete who endures any physical training. Russians do produce some of the best athletes and thinkers in the world.

  29. justnoticed says:

    January 21st, 2011at 8:02 pm(#)

    I’m rather amused to note that the stick-people logo for DadWagon looks oddly familiar…oh, yes! The picture of Fokina holding two babies upside-down. Do compare. Then be entertained by the irony.

  30. PrimalMama says:

    January 24th, 2011at 2:31 am(#)

    Wow! How inspiring!

    To all the horrified American mamas:
    What about the terrible tradition of FORCING your baby to eliminate waste on themselves? Do you ever stop to consider how terrible and harmful that is to the baby? You don’t think that the baby would be much happier and less stressed if you would communicate with your baby and allow them to eliminate waste away from themselves like any respectable human wants?
    Should I go as far and say that any mother who forces her child, be them 1 day or 1 year, to wear a diaper should have her child taken away and charged with inhumane acts to a baby?
    Get over yourselves and see the big picture….

  31. YOUareSICK says:

    January 25th, 2011at 10:50 am(#)

    You can clearly see the child crying and confused when you put it down after 5 mins off child abuse. Never ever do this to your child. It can cause braindamage, pulled arms and legs off of socket, break the spine, kill it organs and much much more.

  32. Mia says:

    January 25th, 2011at 11:40 am(#)

    ARE SHE OUT OF HER MIND. THAT IS CHILD ABUSE!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I GET SICK. THIS WOMAN SHOULD LOSE THE CUSTODY OF HER CHILD AND BE SENT TO PRISON. THAT IS NOT, AND I REPEAT, NOT OK!! I AM A MEDICINE STUDENT AND I KNOW FOR SURE THAT THAT BABY CAN BE DAMAGED REALLY BADLY. SHE IS TWO WEEKS OLD AND HER BONES HAVEN’T EVEN BEGAN TO GROW, WHICH MEANS THAT ANY KIND OF STRETCHING KAN TEAR THE BABYS TISSUES OFF.
    I GET SICK. THAT WOMAN IS NOT HUMAN…SHE IS A MONSTER

  33. André Martinsen says:

    January 25th, 2011at 2:03 pm(#)

    This is plain stupidity.

  34. Eva says:

    January 25th, 2011at 2:44 pm(#)

    Im a doctor from Sweden. This is abuse! Simple as that.
    Please stop now, and realise what damage you do to these pore babies.
    They can among athers be brain damaged.

  35. Lin says:

    January 25th, 2011at 2:47 pm(#)

    I know Lena and Igor Charkovsky
    they are amazing people with a very tender loving heart.
    i saw them help a few babies and know their work is unique and only deep understanding and knowledge could bring to life their skills and messge of health and freedom to the world.
    as a phisician i have seen them save babies and i trust their work and dediction is radiating the truth of who they are and their contribution to our world.

  36. Tone says:

    January 25th, 2011at 2:47 pm(#)

    Can someone please stop this crazy woman!
    Im a mother, and i cried when i watched it.
    She must be sick? Why has she not been arrested?

  37. Eva says:

    January 25th, 2011at 2:51 pm(#)

    Im a doctor from Sweden. Please do not copy thos woman.
    This is child abuse! They can be seriously brain damaged.
    It was so painful to watch. Please make this woman stop!

  38. Eric says:

    January 25th, 2011at 3:00 pm(#)

    In 2011 this should not happen. Im a yoga teachter from Denmark. I have been praticing yoga for 15 years.
    I do not know what to say. It is really sad that people believe that was this obviously sick woman is doing, is good for the babies.
    They are babies!!!!! They can not talk or defend themselves. Their bodies are not strong enough.
    Ask any doctors around the world.
    I really hope she stopes before she does som real damage to a child.
    Im shocked!!!!!

  39. sara says:

    January 25th, 2011at 10:45 pm(#)

    pfft I put myself in danger all the time skateboard, surfboard, bungee jumping,luge…

    And I’d think if a baby broke a bone, it would heal faster than me breaking a bone. Sheesh, babies are delicate human beings, not wimpy sheets of paper. They’ll survive. In fact they have (according to her now adult children)

  40. Nicole says:

    January 26th, 2011at 1:33 am(#)

    It is child abuse.
    Parents who follow her advice must be brain damaged them selves.
    Do you beleive doctors all over the world, or do you believe this woman who apparently dosent care that experts state that this is dangerus and painfull for the babies.
    You dont have to educated, or a parent, to understand this is abuse. Their faces are blue!!!!
    Try this your self if you think it is so good for you.
    Im so shocked that some parents follow her advice, i just can not believe what i see…..

  41. Nicole says:

    January 26th, 2011at 1:40 am(#)

    And Sara. How old are you ? 13?
    You say: “And I’d think if a baby broke a bone, it would heal faster than me breaking a bone_”
    You think….yeah. Well, ask any doctors.
    I guess youre not a mother your selves….or, i hope youre not….
    Baby we shoud start take babies skateboarding, sice they survive it all….

  42. Tory Bissonath says:

    January 26th, 2011at 5:16 am(#)

    This is an old granny-style of welcoming a newborn practiced in India over ages, though it is a bit new to the newer generation, yet it is something that has been practiced on babies to the great awe of people, just telling nothing and leaving it to the old Daiima ‘calling for an old granny midwife’. I am from Mauritius and everyone decending from the indian generation is not new to it. We do not call it yoga, because supposedly by so doing the child’s system is boosted when the latter is made to cry by this method. Ther more such tit-bits which is taken as normal and must practice on newborns. Unfortunately the new generation babies are just born in Neo-natal clinics or even in-vitro and the modern midwives have hardly the time to give such therapy to the new born.

  43. Ashley says:

    January 26th, 2011at 11:51 pm(#)

    I believe that she genuinely loves children, and believes she’s doing the best by them. Am I wary of the practice? Absolutely. But I’m not an expert in this kind of thing. I’m pretty sure that the baby was crying at one point, and seems more disoriented at the end of the video than the beginning — but I could be totally off-base.

    Honestly, I’m more off-put by the smug attitude of the whole thing, though I suspect a good chunk of that has to do with losing some context and vocal cues between Skype and text.

  44. Glen says:

    January 27th, 2011at 9:44 am(#)

    I recall psychology research that shows that ‘swinging’ causes neural growth in children (which is why swingsets are popular), and some experimental centers in the US now treat the retarded with special high-tech seats that swing them around for an hour.
    That baby and others Lena ‘treated’ are now, she claims, “early readers, singers, talkers, swimmers”?
    But cultural blindness: we accept circumcision in the US, but balk when a Russian lady swings her babies. (but, err, I gotta admit… I just hope she never drops one..!)

  45. fred says:

    January 27th, 2011at 10:58 am(#)

    Im sure the baby loves the salt water up the nose. Kind of high risk isnt it? What if the baby snorts some salt water up its nose or swallows some.

  46. Claud says:

    January 28th, 2011at 12:46 am(#)

    This is heart wrenching to watch. You can see the baby crying mid-way through the video. I think if there wasn’t music you’d hear it. I also agree that the baby seemed disoriented in the end. Wouldn’t you be a bit after being swung around for that long? I wonder if she’s ever heard of shaken baby syndrome.

    She’s also evasive in her answer when asked if she’s ever had an accident.

  47. Lena Fokina says:

    January 28th, 2011at 6:12 pm(#)

    I am crazy. I have drank too much in my life, and now all my brain cells are dead. I like to whip babies around because its fun, and some parents actually believe that it’s healthy! haha what a joke! i am just bored, and slightly retarded.

  48. Karen Wozniak says:

    January 28th, 2011at 9:47 pm(#)

    caterina, speaking of the suicide rate, you are completely disingenious in yuor comment, and this is to say the least. The US suicide rate is not at all among the ‘highest in the world’ as you put it, in fact Russia and other countries which were part of the erstwhile Soviet Union has way higher suicide rates than the US. It is actually Russia and Lithuania that have the highest suicide rate in the world. How ironic, huh? Is that Lena Fokina Russian by any chance or is this just a figment of our collective imagination?? Here, some figures for you. Lithuania (42 suicides per 100,000), Russia (38), Belarus (35) and Kazakhstan (28] and Ukraine (26). In the US the ratio is 1 in 100,000. OK??? So, try at least to be accurate when you post on this forum and instead of attacking other’s people as too opinionated (they are entitled to their opinion, right??) you’d better do some research and get your figures straight.

    http://nitawriter.wordpress.com/2007/05/11/suicide-rates-of-the-world/

    http://fathersforlife.org/health/who_suicide_rates.htm

  49. Karen Wozniak says:

    January 28th, 2011at 10:12 pm(#)

    lili says:
    Russians do produce some of the best athletes and thinkers in the world.

    Lili, so does the US. In fact the US has won more gold in the summer Olympics than any other country in the world in the history of the Olympic games (see link below). Also the US has won more Nobel Prizes than Russia. The US is ranked number 1 in the world with the most Nobel Prize laureates: 270 (Russia ranks number 8 with only 14). Your comment is ignorant, the fact that Russia has good athletes is not a an indication of the state of health of the general public in that country. Also the fact that the US ranks so well both in athletic competitions or in the scientific research field is by no means a good indicator of the state of the US public education system or the public health system. So, calm down a little before jumping to wacky conclusions.

    http://www.factmonster.com/ipka/A0771580.html

    http://www.aneki.com/nobel.html

  50. Karen Wozniak says:

    January 28th, 2011at 10:26 pm(#)

    Glen says:

    January 27th, 2011at 9:44 am(#)

    (but, err, I gotta admit… I just hope she never drops one..!)’

    you nailed it! this is the problem, I am no doubting her good intentions or her confidence and trust in her abilities and method, but it is irresponsible in the sense that she could experience a moment of dizziness herself or anything similar (a moment when she does not focus well enough, etc) and simply drop that baby. what comes to mind is Michael Jackson dangling his newly born from the window (or was it balcony?) of some hotel. as far as I remember everybody was appalled and mortified and the media crucified him for that.

  51. Americano says:

    January 29th, 2011at 11:54 pm(#)

    It’s quaint how we’re all demonstrating our American small-mindedness by quickly railing against something we don’t understand. Or how we like to shelter each-other for fear.

    What if she drops one!?

    What if my sheltered child ages to 120 years without ever living?

    The risk of being dropped by a professional tosser is probably lower than the risk of teaching our kids to run away from life.

  52. Robert says:

    February 3rd, 2011at 7:52 pm(#)

    To Peggy who said “If this were ever to on in the US…ABUSE is written all over it!!!” Well I’m an American and in America if we yell at a darn baby or child it spells ABUSE. Not ever thing you disagree with is ABUSE, so Please Get A Life and let people raise their own children and Shut The Heck Up!!!!! For the others that think Baby Yoga is wrong.Please tell me, why do we America’s condemn others when we disagree with their actions. People who live in other country’s have their own customs and traditions why can’t we America’s learn to respect what we don’t do or believe in. Our ignorance will be our down fall. We need to stop trying to control those that think difference from us. If that lady feel it’s OK to swing her baby and it’s been a tradition in her country for 30 years or more, then who are you to say something bad about her. One last thing, to me you need to raise your own children much better.

  53. meltingman says:

    February 7th, 2011at 9:32 pm(#)

    c’est clair que ça donne envie de courir tout de suite. voir geuler, en tout cas avec un tel traitement je suis sur qu’on deviens vite très autonome>>> “Sauve qui peut, laissez moi partir” seront ses premiers mots.. ou “pitié”… avant quelques “maman?” très intérrogatifs a 1 mois :lol: .

    je ris mais c’est nerveux.. surement de la même façon qu’il saura courir.

  54. Hunter says:

    February 10th, 2011at 10:58 pm(#)

    Why why do this this baby yoga thug it’s terrible why I can’t even tell you how discussed with who ever does this

  55. JCM says:

    February 18th, 2011at 9:02 am(#)

    Brilliant article. Lending credence to this viral video for the masses to swallow wholesale…

  56. Gabi's mother says:

    February 22nd, 2011at 7:45 am(#)

    This woman is sick! I am amazed to see that lots of people support her…
    What’s the use on being an “early walker” if in the end all of them will start walking anyway? Is it worth to put a baby in danger so that she or he can start walking a month before the others (in case the baby survives, ofcourse!)?
    Ofcourse she will say she have never had an accident with a baby… but I am sure some of them must have had some brain damage.
    Maybe she never heard about the shaken baby syndrom!

  57. Tara Jenkins says:

    February 24th, 2011at 12:44 am(#)

    If this becomes the next Olympic sport – Baby Tossing – the Russians are going to destroy us.

  58. bailee says:

    March 12th, 2011at 9:34 pm(#)

    this is wrong she should be arrested…. i strongly think that this should be considered child abuse!!!!

  59. Isa says:

    March 13th, 2011at 12:19 am(#)

    Yes, it was horrible to watch! But I watched it again. I realize she SWINGS the baby but it is not a JERKING movement. It seems dangerous if the person isnt train to do it. I dont think it should be done on newborns or that long period of time to anyone. In fact I have an 8 month old baby and learned that in the hospital, when babies are born doctors do a variety of tests to check on their reflexes and that includes letting the babies fall on their back!!!! Did anyone knew doctors do this to every child born in America??? I guess not because you people are not sueing all neonatologyst in America for this… That is called MORO Test and they do others I dont remember their name. Still, people should not do this at home. I am looking for a baby yoga class and I wouldnt care if it has some hard excercises for my daugther to build up strengh and flexibility, but I woul not go that far like throwing her in the air. And people should be able to express their opinions, even if is an ignorant one or offensive in nature, thats called freedom of speech in a democratic country!!! People have the right to be idiots!!! That includes the Fokina lady…

  60. Philip says:

    March 13th, 2011at 8:14 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?

  61. Joelle says:

    April 3rd, 2011at 3:34 pm(#)

    Hi,
    did you find the English film made about Lena Fokina ?

    Joelle, from France

  62. Nathan says:

    April 4th, 2011at 12:26 pm(#)

    Hi Joelle–No, I haven’t found anything about the film, and haven’t gotten any more information on it. Besides that it is called, loosely, Children of the Wild (Lena said the title in Russian). If you hear anything, let me know, folks!

  63. ane says:

    April 17th, 2011at 10:37 pm(#)

    Do they have child protective services in that area? – Make reports to local authorities.. gasping in horror after the fact and failing to use the ‘system’ to protect children is just annoying..

  64. Lorefield says:

    April 19th, 2011at 2:12 pm(#)

    Interesting article! Even more interesting comments.
    I will say that I do not buy into her ideas, but I don’t think she is doing it just for attention. It seems like she really believes in what she is doing, even though I cannot see what possible benefits there could be that outweigh the risks involved.
    To those who defend her because she is supposedly trained in this? She is not just a practitioner. She trains and encourages parents to do this with their own children! You might have the utmost confidence in her abilities, but we have seen plenty of parents screw their kids up bad enough without swinging them through the air. And the comments about “fat, stupid Americans”? So, it is either this or Happy Meals? Seriously. There are safer ways to enrich your children and they do not involve fast food. You say we are so ignorant, but there you are painting all Americans as fat and lazy. Pot? Kettle? Wow.
    And to those who say that babies are resilient, and we might as well just stick them all on skateboards? Do you have any kind of medical training? Do you actually know how well a baby recovers from broken bones? And if it is quicker than adults, does that make it OK to break them???
    Oh, and to everyone else. Spell check is your friend. And he is feeling neglected these days. <3

  65. Cindy says:

    June 10th, 2011at 1:45 pm(#)

    It’s so funny how people will percieve things according to the blog. This is the 4th webpage today that I’ve seen this video and it really does depend on the bloggers influence. Blogs where the blogger was clearly against the “baby yoga” the majority of it’s viewers responded to the video in horror vs. bloggers who are for or open to this type of “baby yoga”, the majority of it’s viewers are for or open to it.

    But everyone who agrees with this are dumb. Their have been DEATHS related to this type of “training” and if you’re willing to risk your childs life just so he or she can start talking, walking, or singing better or earlier than the next kid…I feel SORRY for your children.

    Children should be nurtured with care and cherished for who they are. Not forced to be some kind of puppet to do what you please with them just because they are HELPLESS.

    You agree with this spinning, you must agree with the fact that this woman follows the teachings of a man who thinks it’s good to dip a child in and out of freezing cold water for 10 hrs straight?

    OK folks before you force this upon your children LETS SEE YOU DO IT!

    AND FYI dogs are dogs, they do not compare to human beings so save your animal studies for your vet. Thank you have a nice day.

  66. Whittle says:

    July 10th, 2011at 3:48 pm(#)

    Oh wow!!!

    What isn’t wrong with this?

    #1
    Babies are at there most flexible at their younger ages.
    So why on earth would a baby need this?

    #2
    What happens if you drop the baby on it’s head???
    I’ll answer that 1 for you because there is mostly 1 answer:
    Death or brain damage.

    #3
    So if and already flexible baby who can’t even decide
    his own needs at 2 weeks! What the hell makes you think they need this?

    #4
    And what if you do 1 of these twisting motions the wrong
    way with the momentum of the movement?
    Simple again dislocation of joints or breaking of bones,
    it’s that simple!

    So you found your niece market of idiot parents who
    would put their babies at risk for something they absolutely
    do not need. As everyone knows babies are flexible as a human gets!

    I’m sure you have been lucky to this point to have
    never dropped a human child but I fear the day you
    would have to explain the “oops I dropped him/her scenario”
    Please do not neglect this thought, it’s natural instinct
    to fear your mistake leading in a babies death!

    Conclusion: Silliness to satisfy the strange needs
    of the practitioner and parents. If I’m wrong show
    me proof of why a baby should be put in such a dangerous
    scenario for whatever benefit.

  67. Tess says:

    July 15th, 2011at 3:23 pm(#)

    Definitely against this… This is what starts it with shake a baby syndrome. This isn’t good.
    If you want to do something with your baby that really helps them limbs wise is massaging, most Indian families do this and the baby’s are really sturdy and stand up on their own two feet real quick. Don’t do what this woman does, it’s absurd and really dangerous…

  68. Stephanie says:

    August 1st, 2011at 5:00 pm(#)

    This is f*cking INSANE. Who would let someone do this to their newborn? This woman is crazy, but not as crazy as the people who willingly give her their children…. WOW

  69. Mrs. T says:

    August 1st, 2011at 7:32 pm(#)

    Okay, so she’s swinging a newborn baby around….
    next to a fucking rock pile? She couldn’t swing it around, I dunno, next to a mat? A pile of pillows?

  70. EverySmartMan says:

    August 1st, 2011at 7:57 pm(#)

    My God, my faith in humanity is dropping fast after reading all these comments. This isn’t about if Americans are ignorant or closed minded and yes, we make mistakes but we are not all bad parents and certainly are not THIS bad. This is about a child’s safety and how this is an unproven method of making your kid active and well.

    Wait, but they said that child and the woman’s own kids grow up well, fit, and attractive after this method was done to them. Well NEWS flash children, maybe that’s because in addition to this dangerous ‘treatment’ they probably eat well, study, and exercise too which will be what causes them to become so healthy, not swinging them around when they are barely able to survive it and highly likely to get hurt. You can’t just link baby swinging to overall health improvement when those three factors are also in effect. Why do you think most weight watch diets say ‘with this diet AND exercise, you will lose this many pounds too.’

    Now so what if this does work? It’s still barbaric and if I am a so called ‘close minded’ American, why is it I instead think the following: “Rather then put a child though that situation, can’t we find a safer, more effective way to improve a child’s early health and growth even if though stress?” That’s being open minded, not agreeing with insane methods but thinking how they can lead to a better way to improve lives. This method should NEVER be the way we should raise our kids. Ever. This method could lead to better, more effective ways to raise them but it will never be the way to make an outstanding kid.

  71. Alexandra says:

    August 29th, 2011at 12:14 am(#)

    Dear all,
    just have a look on these videos with dynamic gymnastic from several ukrainien and russian talk shows:
    http://m.youtube.com/index?desktop_uri=%2F&gl=FR#/watch?v=59lMqrWhJyI
    From 4.14
    and this one for instance
    http://m.youtube.com/index?desktop_uri=%2F&gl=FR#/watch?v=HVQp9XyYOf8

    It’s a well-known technik in the former soviet republics. As I was little baby my parents also practiced some exersices with me. I’m 30 now and totaly fine:)

  72. theslynch says:

    September 3rd, 2011at 10:41 pm(#)

    God, I love this blog. A blog is only as good (entertaining) as it’s comments. Home run dadwagoners–home run! Still LMAO.

  73. Susannah says:

    November 6th, 2011at 12:33 am(#)

    Uh,Robert…. you said ” Our ignorance will be our down fall”. Downfall is one word. Duh! And as for Caterina and her ilk, We know your orphanages are filled with children who are tied to beds and are ignored and unheld until they are vegetables from lack of love and caring. Deny this all you want! My brother has lived in Russia for 18 years. Also.. since America is such an awful place, why are Russian women lined up around the block dying to come here for a better way of life?? I know. My cousin married one .What these excuses for human mothers are doing to these babies is criminal! The babies cannot protest! How do you know they like it? That it doesn`t hurt? I curse anyone that would do this to a child!

  74. Susannah says:

    November 6th, 2011at 1:01 am(#)

    Oh Philip….. While you are chiding others for their poor spelling…. you might want to check your own. Paragraph 4…. …” their not fat…” That would be” they`re not fat “. And excuse me..we Are the nation the rest of the world looks up to! They are dying to come here! Also.. just because a country has a custom doesn`t make it right ( example.. female genital mutilation. Or swinging tiny, helpless babies by arms and legs.) My brother has lived and worked in Russia for 18 years.. My cousin married a Russian. Go visit their orphanages and see the healthy little kids strapped to their beds, dying from lack of human touch. These women don`t have to worry about dropping their babies on their heads! There`s a place for them!

  75. Hadley says:

    January 16th, 2012at 3:22 am(#)

    Fun! I loved being swung around when I was a kid! If I could find some giant muscly dude to swing me around as an adult I’d be all for it. Why so much hate? I’ve been having dreams about swinging my baby upside down (I’m 9 mo pregnant now) – very interesting that I should stumble upon this… Why do people consent to being filled with fear? If those of you negative people out there would lighten up you might just notice how lovely and resilient life is, babies included.

    Most babies are born head first, which means that they are upside down for a good 2 months or so, if not much longer. I’d think a newborn would find being swung upside down quite familiar and therefore soothing. Think about the gymnastics that go into being born! Baby has to rotate 180 degrees within a tiny confined space (the pelvis) while being nudged and pushed and squeezed by the body’s most powerful muscles. My kiddo has been doing flips inside of me for months now! I’m sure he’ll appreciate having more room to enjoy his body once he’s on the outside. The only problem is gravity – his little muscles are used to floating around in amniotic fluid and can’t perform the same maneuvers he easily achieved in my belly before he got too big to move around much in there. You can see in the video she’s not shaking the baby – all the movement is very fluid. While I might not be comfortable doing that around ROCKS (made me nervous!), if I gain the confidence and skills I’ll totally be swinging my kid around (somewhere not near rocks, or bricks or other hard or sharp objects). As long as he’s enjoying it, and why wouldn’t he? I also plan to hire a very burly man to swing you around, and at first you’ll protest, but then you’ll realize how lovely it is to be swung around by someone strong and competent and you’ll start to laugh and realize what a uptight poop you’ve been most of your life and begin to contemplate serious life changes, confident that the world is a good and safe place and you will be supported in whatever it is you want to do.

    And lastly, let us not forget Dr. Karp’s 5 S’s System! (Dr. Karp of immensely popular “Happiest Baby on the Block” fame) where S number 4 is “Swinging: Newborns are used to the swinging motions within their mother’s womb, so entering the gravity driven world of the outside is like a sailor adapting to land after nine months at sea. “It’s disorienting and unnatural,” says Karp. Rocking, car rides, and other swinging movements all can help.”
    http://www.happiestbaby.com/5-ss-system-may-help-colic-symptoms/

    OHHH SNAP! So stop being fear driven people! Fear is the mind killer after all.

  76. Umi Fujii says:

    January 31st, 2012at 3:39 am(#)

    Iseh, you say-<<No, America, you are not this ‘enlighened’ scientific utopia. As a matter of fact America ranks below the median for school test scores, with only Canada and Finland able to compete with Asian countries.

    In my country with very high test scores and certainly fewer fat people than Russia, this woman seems very crazy and a bad mother!!! This is stupid! A newly born baby needs gentle handling, it is not a nunchaku (ヌンチャク) it is a baby! I see the baby in the video doing the moro and startle reflex which means the baby is alarmed. It clenches its tiny hands to try to hold something but nothing to hold when she has its feet. This is ridiculous behavior and is NOT what a sane mother would do!

  77. Donna List says:

    March 1st, 2012at 1:40 am(#)

    Someone should give this woman a taste of her own medicine and see how much she toughens up.

  78. Zandra Michaud says:

    March 3rd, 2012at 4:02 pm(#)

    This is all kinds of wrong. What is she honestly thinking? i mean its obvious babies are fragile and are new and there bones, muscles and ligaments are not matured. Espesially something like that would be soo frightening: http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.becomingmamas.com%2Flife-in-the-fourth-trimester%2F&h=wAQEZv8PZAQGjWvhUjMCjfKiGECPLpWmuG9TfYYNfTJikIg

    Health authorities need to do something, that is child abuse.

  79. Georgie says:

    March 13th, 2012at 10:54 am(#)

    What I found interesting was her comment about how fearless children become. Your body has a natural reflex to it which is designed to respond to situations. If you’re fearless and your body lacks those reflexes, then you may also lack the fight or flight reflex, which is natural to ALL mammals. Mom just removed her child’s ability to make instinctful reactions to situations, which very well may roll over into poor judgement. I’m not saying all fearless people make poor decisions, but a whole lot of them do and sometimes they don’t get an opportunity to learn from it. That’s when they received their Darwin award. So, her justification for doing this doesn’t add up. Also, she talks about how healthy her ‘toddler’ is. What’s this child’s health really going to be like when she’s older? An alteration to the natural flexibility and function of the joints as she ages? There’s a reason this is new, it has not been proven. A few whackjobs, which could hardly be called doctors and no support by pediatrics……raise the red flag baby!

  80. Someone says:

    May 31st, 2012at 9:00 pm(#)

    I like how she’s nonchalant in the interview, and how some people are saying how great it is.

    @Caterina: It has nothing to with cultural differences. This could easily injure or even kill a baby.

    And suggesting that it isn’t a problem because of teen suicide rates in the US is a logical fallacy.

  81. Tasha says:

    February 5th, 2013at 12:08 am(#)

    WOW!! you guy’s are crazy!! here in north america it will never pass. One thing for sure a baby is very delicate, neck, body part, joints and the brain. all this movement swigging the baby tossing it like a rag doll up in the air could cause a brain injury, further more baby shoulder could be dislocate easy, but yet this russian women goes and post this on you tube? there is enough sick people out there but yet the reporter decide to do a story on this ? If Russia is ok with child abuse why post it for the world to see it? cause in north america this russian women will be charge and in jail and all her follower.

  82. Nana says:

    February 6th, 2013at 2:17 pm(#)

    @Georgie. Yes, it may cause the children to throw caution to the wind or it my help them think more rationally in scary situations. I know people can become numb with fear; but if you are able to use your brain rather than your instinct then i think its better.

    Another thing, alot of you people that are commenting contradict yourselves and the people who have used links to “prove a point” – how do you know those links are reliable resources? (I’m pretty sure articles posted on wordpress don’t constitute as reliable academic resources).

    Infants are flexible and more resilient than people think. I watched my sister give birth, and as the head emerges (sorry for being graphic) the doctor pulls the whole baby out by the head! And when my nephew was a baby, I would swing him or throw him up in the air so that he would laugh. The movements that she’s performing are fluid and not at all jarring or shaking. She is being very gentle. So, baby shaken syndrome? I don’t think that will happen if the movements are fluid and graceful. Don’t get me wrong, some of the movements were a little shocking to watch and I wouldn’t try this at home; but you don’t give babies enough credit. An infant automatically holds his or her breath when water is close to their head (Hello people! Nirvana’s album cover? lol) and a lady i know photographs her daughter in their swimming pool. I’m sure she isn’t swallowing up water, either.

    @Sara the skateboarder is right. Babies are delicate, sensitive creatures not sheets of paper. Though, just because they are flexible and resilient doesn’t mean you can throw them or push their boundaries. I agree with @Hadley, too. Everyone who is against this video keeps saying they’d like to do to her what she’s doing to the baby. But, if you were doing exactly what she is doing (and I mean EXACTLY) I think she would enjoy it (that is if you could actually toss her around like that *smh*).

    Finally, another point I would like to address is the “American/Close Minded/Underachiever” thing. And I, as an American citizen and residential college student, think America sucks. The health care system sucks, the education system sucks, the justice system and the political system DOUBLY sucks. I’ve studied abroad and surround myself with people who have studied abroad; and every where you go about half the people (European People) you meet think Americans are fat, stupid and obnoxious, about a quarter only know what they see in American pop culture, half that quarter doesn’t gaf and the other half of that quarter think America is the best place ever (until they come here and can see for themselves how America sucks and then want to return back to where they came from). There are obviously okay things about the U.S., I mean, at least for now.

  83. Tammy gaskell says:

    February 7th, 2013at 6:21 pm(#)

    I think this is awful and the parents to these little babys should be hung ..what they are doing is terrible and could course brain damage …its just not right to treat your tiny baby in such away …in Australia we have plenty ov ways to teach our kids to swim from early age or to read and walk as such ..but we never put our baby through such a awful treatment as trowing them aroung and tossing them over our shoulder and hanging them upside down and swinging them around like rad dolls …I think its horrifying what they do to their new born babys …Soooo wrong in my eyes

  84. Jill says:

    February 9th, 2013at 9:50 pm(#)

    Anyone ever heard of shaken baby syndrome? Go take an anatomy class people. This is disgusting!

  85. Dahabian says:

    April 23rd, 2013at 11:08 am(#)

    ‘Have you ever had any legal problems in Egypt? In Russia?
    I never have. I love people.’

    Total nonsense! She has had problems in Dahab nearly all hotels and beachfront cafe’s have banned her from practicing her child abuse on their beaches! She now does it at a remote location as it upset so many people. From witnessing her ‘baby yoga’ most of the poor babies are screaming their head off – AND – in Dahab she actually dunks them under the water at the same time as swinging them around on their limbs! It is truly horrific.

    ‘But authorities are different. They never gave you any problems for the Baby Yoga?
    We are humanists! And we don’t do anything wrong. On the contrary, many Egyptian parents learn these techniques and go diving, in their niqab, with us.’

    This is total bull! Egyptian parents have not accepted these techniques and are too horrified by this display of terror on the beach. I have personally reported this ‘baby yoga’ to the world health organisation. Let some experts come and study its so called benefits. If they can prove it is beneficial – I will finally shut up. Until them I will keep trying to get them to stop – at least in laid back and peaceful Dahab!

    ‘So the answer is ‘no’? Because in the United States, Baby Yoga might cause you some problems.
    So then we are better off in Dahab! Come visit! Thank you!’

    Please don’t come to Dahab for Lena’s ‘baby torture’ Or if you do please come and help us stop this brainwashing nightmare from happening on our beaches.

    Finally for those of you who are even considering doing this – read this article:

    http://egyptianchronicles.blogspot.com/2011/01/kick-that-baby-yoga-cult-out-of-dahab.html

    http://www.haaretz.com/weekend/magazine/water-babies-1.216283

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