The viral 'baby yoga' video that has shocked the world.

This upsetting, dangerous and disturbing video apparently depicts a practice called ‘baby yoga.’

An approximately two-minute long video has been circulating Facebook depicting a baby being swung around violently – by its arms, its legs and even its head. The infant is spun in circles, turned upside down repeatedly and dunked into a bucket of water. He is screaming and crying, while the adult ignores the child’s distress.

The adult swings the baby upright before holding him by his cheeks and continuing the swinging. The baby falls silent.

Still from the controversial Facebook video.

After a sustained public backlash, Facebook has now removed the video. But for several days, the social media giant refused saying the ‘baby yoga’ video was not against its guidelines: “Whilst we understand that people may be upset by this video which depicts a form of baby yoga, after careful review we found it does not break our rules.”

Through its inaction, Facebook drew a great deal of attention to a disturbing new trend.

So, what is ‘baby yoga?’

What was occurring in this extreme video was nothing like the ‘mums and bubs,’ or post-natal yoga which parents might be familiar with. The form of “yoga” apparently depicted in this video is called, ‘Baby Dynamics Yoga.’

According to GawkerRussian born Lena Fokina is the ‘technique’s’ biggest advocate. She advertises herself as a ‘child rearing expert,’ posts videos online and offers teaching workshops out of Dahab, Egypt.

Here is an example of Fokina’s technique. Warning: some readers my find this footage upsetting.

The ‘Charkovsky method’ of baby yoga, developed by Russian doctor Igor Charkovsky, has apparently been practised for over 30 years. It first received some media attention three years ago, after one of Fokina’s more controversial videos was taken down from YouTube.


‘Baby Dynamics’ is designed to aid infants’, “muscular abilities and development,”Australian Woman’s Weekly reported in 2012. “Most people think young babies can only lie on a bed, eat, and cry. But babies are born with natural reflexes, which we can use to help them develop physically and intellectually,” Fokina told the magazine.

“It’s very good for babies and not dangerous at all. Some babies cry at first, but they begin to enjoy it”.

But the baby in this viral Facebook video is clearly not enjoying the experience. He is crying. Screaming. That is, until he falls silent.

Still from the controversial Facebook video.

Lurleen Hilliard, founder of abuse charity Nolonger Victims told The Mirror she feared the baby could have been killed by the abuse in the video. Hilliard spoke to medical professionals, who she says stated, “when the baby goes quiet towards the end, it could have suffered something called hyperextension – the neck could have been stretched so much that the baby suffocated.”

Hilliard isn’t wrong. Abusive Head Trauma, or ‘Shaken Baby Syndrome’ as it is more commonly known, can be caused by dropping, throwing a child, or shaking a child.

According to Kids Health, injury can result when an infant’s head is moved uncontrollably: “This is because infants’ neck muscles aren’t well developed and provide little support for their heads. This violent movement pitches the infant’s brain back and forth within the skull, sometimes rupturing blood vessels and nerves throughout the brain and tearing the brain tissue. The brain may strike the inside of the skull, causing bruising and bleeding to the brain.”

Specialists say that bouncing a baby on your knee or tossing them in the air is not likely to cause injury – but that is very different from throwing a child or wildly swinging a child.

What are your thoughts on this extremely controversial technique? 

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