Dunking And Swinging Babies With Lena Fokina And Igor Borisovich Charkovsky
RUSSIAN baby yoga is all the rage. The video of Lena Fokina whirling Ukrainian baby Platona Goryun about her body was unusual.
Fokina teaches the skill in Dahab, Egypt. Her yoga is called “extreme developmental gymnastics“. And if you parents aren’t doing it then your children are going to be left behind.
Nathan Thornburgh interviewed Lena. She’s 50:
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…
Fokina says her baby yoga was invented “by life“, and is inspired by the ideas of Igor Borisovich Charkovsky. Who he?
He’s the Russian who advocates threathing through the nose. He dunks the baby girl in the water over and over. Her mother looks on:
“She is entering a unified state. This heals her from trauma, cleanses the karmas and strengthens her. Igor worked with her like this for three-four hours when she was just three days old”…
When the infant emerges from the “trance” state, she is placed in a sling that is connected to elastic cables, and is hurled from side to side, the water splashing her face; sometimes she is submerged. She is then removed from the sling, and Charkovsky and her mother hold one of the baby’s hands and rotate her in the air in a 360-degree circle, forward and backward. Charkovsky also throws her with one hand high into the air, for a 360-degree somersault, and then for a dive into the water.
In 1992, a boy of one year and nine months, who was trained by Charkovsky, succeeded in swimming 33 kilometers in a pool in the course of 15 hours, 2 minutes and 28 seconds – nonstop.
In WATER BABIES by Erik Sidenbladh, Charkovsky speaks of his beliefs:
Charkovsky believes that the step from water onto land created a duel between living creatures and gravity that has lasted millions of years. In water the effect of gravity is lessened greatly. The need for oxygen decreases by 60 to 75 percent. The body’s energy can be more efficiently utilised for healing and development. Charkovsky says: “Not until I had done thousands of experiments with animals did I begin to understand what kind of problem I was attempting to solve. Up to then I hadn’t really realised how deep down in the unconscious mind of all land animals —-including man — the fear of water lies. I could never have dreamed of the complex view which exists between different sides of the problem, of the subtleness with which our “forefathers and mothers” control our way of viewing the world, of the forces which take part in the battle between old and new in our way of thinking.”
Fokina says her technique “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…
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”…
So. What are you waiting for?
Photos of another form of Russian yoga:
First published Feb 17, 2011