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Russian Baby Yoga or Shaken Baby Syndrome?

Susan is the last of 8 children, has raised 2 children, and has spent 26 years teaching high school kids. She grew up with a strong mother.

Warning: Disturbing Video


There is nothing that makes a parent happier than having a healthy baby. Some parents are not good parents, though, and allow themselves to become angry with their baby because the baby won't stop crying; therefore, these parents shake their baby, which can cause brain damage and even death. In my mind, I think, "Who would do that on purpose? Shouldn't there be a test parents must take before taking their baby home? If they don't pass, the hospital places the baby in a good adoptive home." Maybe my thoughts are extreme, or maybe they are right on the mark.

One possible example of shaken baby syndrome could be shown in Russian woman Lena Fokina's "Baby Yoga" video. After watching this display of swing and slinging the baby around, I would put her and anyone who follows her "techniques" on the same level of the anger-ridden parent who would shake a baby.

Real or Fake Russian Baby Yoga Video

What is Fokina's version of baby yoga? An adult swings the baby by the hands and feet, flipping the baby head over heels, twisting the baby's arm or leg as the person swings the baby behind her shoulders then to the front again, as if the baby were a baton. All of these movements are putting the baby at risk for shaken baby syndrome and serious damage to tender joints. tendons, and ligaments in the shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, and ankles.

Because of the disturbing site of slinging a baby around in the guise of "baby yoga," Lena Fokina's first YouTube video was taken down for breaking the TOS. It was banned as disturbing and as an example of child abuse. Of course, more videos came out on YouTube and were questioned about their validity, as the one displayed above. But as you can see in the video, the newscaster states that a reporter from the New York Times investigated this video, and did, in fact, find that Russian Baby Yoga is becoming a phenomena in some areas of the world.

Shocked. How can any conscientious parent even consider putting their baby through this vigorous display of snapping, slinging, and twisting?

Possible Symptons of Shaken Baby Syndrome

  • vomiting
  • crying
  • irritability
  • seizures
  • poor appetite
  • sluggish

It is hard to distinguish some of these symptoms because they could be related to other typical childhood illnesses. If you have left your child with a caretaker or suspect shaken baby syndrome, get your child to the doctor immediately. There could be hemorraging in the brain. Remember our babies and toddlers do not know how to communicate what is wrong.

Shaken Baby Syndrome

What does shaken baby syndrome do to a child? First, a baby's brain is not fully developed. Our brains do not fully develop until we are 10 or 11 years old. A baby's brain is not even close to being fully developed. If the baby's head is shaken, either in an accident or on purpose from an abusive parent or caretaker, brain damage is likely to occur.

Watching the baby yoga video, we can see the baby's head is constantly being snapped, his arms and legs are constantly being twisted and yanked. The baby's little brain is probably experiencing trauma that might not show up for years. As the baby's head is being snapped during baby yoga, the head trauma may be occurring to the underdeveloped brain as it hits the skull and damages fragile blood vessels and nerves.

During the video, we see a small baby. The newscast is reporting on the story and video at least two years after the video. Even though the newscaster said the baby is a healthy two-year-old, no one knows how the baby's brain might have been damaged, stunting future development. The child may not exhibit mental issues until going to school. Learning and behavioral disabilities may appear years after the baby yoga session or sessions, creating lifelong problems for the child..

Take some simple parenting advice for one shaken baby syndrome defense; do not do Lena Fokina's Russain Baby Yoga program. Long term damage could occur, and you are risking your baby's life and health. Why anyone would pay money to Fokina to do this to their child is beyond comprehension.

The Baby's Arm and Leg Sockets

Just in a non-medical observation, the twisting and yanking on the baby's arms and legs must be pulling them out of the sockets. Like their brains, baby's are developing all over their bodies. Their tendons and ligaments are not fully developed, and their sockets are still tender. It stands to reason that the violent way in which the baby's limbs are being used in swinging it around will also cause present and or future damage to the baby's body.

Gentle Baby Yoga and Childcare

There are actual gentle ways to do yoga with your baby. Stretching is completely different than jerking your baby around as if he or she were a sack to sling around your head. Common sense tells most of us that Lena Fionka's Russian Baby Yoga is not safe for our babies. It is appauling and a form of child abuse.


Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on January 25, 2014:

Hi Sylvia! Yes, it is extremely disturbing! I agree, anyone who is practicing this type of baby yoga should be punished for abuse and parents putting their babies through this should be arrested for child abuse. I cannot even imagine submitting my child to this!

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Thanks for dropping by!! :-)

Sylvia Wingard on January 24, 2014:

This is so disturbing.. I watched a video on facebook of another woman doing this, I could not finish watching it. I was horrified and could not sleep with the image of that poor baby being swung, twisted and shaken so violently. There must be something we all can do to make this stop, and put these parents in jail.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on October 14, 2013:

Britt, I didn't know she was doing water dunking with babies. All I can say is, "WHAT is she thinking??!"

I was 20 when I had my son. I cannot fathom even trying any of this horrendous activity with a child!! Some day I hope she is never allowed to touch another child.

Best wishes to you and your little family.

Thanks for dropping by! :-)

BritJones1331 on October 14, 2013:

First time I saw this was a video of some other woman doing it in Russia and she thought it was funny. Also this crazy lady your talking about does more than "baby yoga" she dunks them repeatedly in water which is waterboarding a form of torcher in the Americans book yes there is research that babies can hold their breath underwater but non stop dunking could drown them. When I first saw "baby yoga" I was holding my 4 month old son and it was so horrible I held him close. Also there will never be a way to test if a person is a good or bad parent mostly when it is their first time being a parent. I'm 20 and giving my son love and care he needs even if everyone doesn't like his father that is in the picture but is my friend and he sends money right now because he can't be here because of the military and my boyfriend told me he will treat my son like his own but he will never take his fathers place as dad unless he runs out on his son. But I know he won't run because to him Family is first over anything.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on May 31, 2012:

KeBennett, I know it is shocking that someone would even come up with this idea. It is even more shocking that parents would allow this woman to do this to their child. I agree, no common sense at all!

Kebennett1 from San Bernardino County, California on May 31, 2012:

Oh LORD, protect those babies from such stupidity! I held my breath I think through the whole thing because it was so shocking and troubling. In the United States a parent would be investigated and probably arrested for such behavior, if nothing else the child would probably be moved from the parents care! No common sense at all here!

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on May 25, 2012:

Nell, this woman is the epitome of stupid and cruel. I cannot imagine how she came up with this rough handling idea for babies. Yoga is gentle and healthy, but this woman is just abusing these babies causing unknown future damage. Just sickening!

Thanks for dropping by!

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on May 25, 2012:

Jackie, I know! How would she like the living daylight shaken out of her. And to watch the Doctor's video where the baby is screaming as she does it is so horrible. She is just as bad as Casey Anthony. Who knows what damage is going to show up later in life for these poor babies!

Thanks for dropping by!

Nell Rose from England on May 25, 2012:

When I taught Kumon, an after school Math and English class, directly following the session was a baby yoga school. To start with I thought it was hilarious, never having watched it, it just sounded so stupid to me! But I stopped behind one evening and was really surprised at how much the babies loved it, of course it was gentle exercise and rubbing the baby's tummy. Not a bit like the above video. I have watched a few of these and am absolutely appalled. The baby should be taken off of her, how can some mothers be so stupid and cruel?

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on May 25, 2012:

I would love to see that mother done the very same way and see how good it does her! Unbelievable, it is a great thing to bring this to attention. I know just how hard, if not impossible, to get abused children checked out but someone blatantly abusing for entertainment...well, just another Casey Anthony, isn't she?

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on May 20, 2012:

KDu, it really is disturbing. I just cannot imagine how she ever thought of it as something therapeutic or healthy for a baby. I am glad you love your niece and nephew so much! :-)

Thanks for dropping by!

KDuBarry03 on May 18, 2012:

No way! That video should not even be on the internet; that is just horrible to do to a child! So young? My niece and nephew live with my family, along with their mother (my sister) and their father; now I have more reason to show them more love than I already do (LOL). I'm sorry, but this video just disturbs me to no end. Thank you for all the information that you gave if this intense baby yoga does occur. Thank you for sharing this information!

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on May 08, 2012:

I'm with you, Ardie! I cannot even imagine putting my child through this. I am outraged by this woman, but I am dumbfounded by the parents who allow her to do this to their child!!

Thank you for reading - I know it was difficult, but I had to help make people aware. How terrible!

Sondra from Neverland on May 08, 2012:

omg - I thought I was going to vomit. I hope someone took that baby ASAP from that woman...what a horrible way to treat a baby :(

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on May 08, 2012:

Sueswan, I agree. If she were in the US, I believe she would be stopped. Thank you for reading.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on May 08, 2012:

Vicky, I understand. I saw it on tv and was furious. I felt I needed to do something to make people aware. This woman is crazy to think this is beneficial to babies or anyone. I appreciate you reading, but I do completely understand why it was difficult. Thank you for your votes. Maybe if word gets out, people will never consider putting another baby through this horrendous "yoga."

Sueswan on May 08, 2012:

Hi Sholland

This is beyond disturbing. This woman should be arrested for child abuse.

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on May 07, 2012:

Hi, Susan. I've seen this hub floating around and didn't want to read it, actually, as the title scared me. I finally got brave. The video is shocking, but I'm glad you wrote this hub. It's very educational and draws to light how wrong the woman in that video is. Great job. Many votes!

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on May 02, 2012:

I know, Ruchira! It is so wrong! I do not understand how she could have ever thought of it or thought it would be a good idea. Good Grief! It should be banned.

Thanks so much for dropping by!

Ruchira from United States on April 30, 2012:

gosh..who has introduced such form of yoga? this is so wrong and just not humane 'cause the baby is still developing and this form of exercise can injure her.

sholland, you have pointed out a good story and this so called yoga should be BANNED!

voted up indeed!

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on April 20, 2012:

Jeyaramd, you are so right. Shaken Baby Syndrome is such a horrible thing, and for this woman to think Russian Baby Yoga is not doing harm is just crazy. The baby's brain and joints are in danger of permanent damage.

Thank you for reading!

jeyaramd from Mississauga, Ontario on April 20, 2012:

Thanks for sharing this wonderufl hub on shaken baby syndrome. Its an important condition that parents under stress may resort to in the heat of the moment. Doctors often advice new parents of this. Your list of symptoms is very good. Thanks for sharing.

On a side note, I would like to mention that pulling a child's hand when we try to lift them off their feet if they are cranky is a definite no no. You have to remember that their joints are weak and not as robust as our. We should take due caution that we do not exert unecessary force on the child. Thanks for sharing this wonderful hub.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on April 20, 2012:

MBYL, it is shocking! Anybody who allows their baby to be used as her guinea pig is crazy, too. They are not thinking about the welfare of the child, that's for sure.

Thank you for reading.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on April 20, 2012:

Michael, I agree! I think if she came to the US or the UK and tried this she would be arrested. I cannot imagine the damage she is causing, and even more, I cannot imagine being a parent sucked into trying this ridiculous circus act at the expense of a child! Absolutely appalling!

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on April 20, 2012:

Ana, I know! I cried and felt outrage when I watched The Doctors video and that poor baby crying the whole time. It is despicable that this woman even thought to try this on the first baby!!

Slaven Cvijetic from Switzerland, Zurich on April 20, 2012:

I have always questioned this method of that Russian woman... How shocking it is! Good that someone makes a hub about it, because in my humble opinion such parents must have gone crazy to do something like this to their little babies. Great hub! Voted up shared and Interesting!

Micheal from United Kingdom on April 20, 2012:

OMG what is wrong with these people.

I am shocked and appalled that she hasn't been arrested let alone encouraging other idiots parents, to follow her example.

Russian baby yoga? what next?

Anan Celeste from California on April 20, 2012:

Wow! I am actually crying,...As a nurse I have seen horrible things. But this is just diabolical. Who, in their right mind, find this to be therapeutic? My husband and I are watching it together and we are both appalled and outraged.

We were talking about how afraid we were when our first child was born. Your'e afraid to harm them in any way. That's why we ask and read books. But this goes beyond being stupid. I just hope for the sake of the children that parents have more common sense. Great informative hub.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on April 20, 2012:

Moonlake, I agree that she is crazy to even think about handling a baby this way. It makes me so angry to watch her, and I had to speak out against her.

moonlake from America on April 20, 2012:

How terrible I never saw this. She is crazy I wonder how many babies she hurt. Great hub voted up.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on April 20, 2012:

Disturbing, awful, criminal, heinous, horrible, appalling... all words that describe this woman and her "techniques." As all of you believe, I too believe it is child abuse. I watched another video where she was being paid for giving seminars in Egypt. I cannot fathom how this is acceptable in any part of the world - Russia, Egypt, anywhere! The long term damage is what I think about. It is just sickening.

Thank you all for reading.

Joanna McKenna from Central Oklahoma on April 20, 2012:

What that woman is doing to that poor baby is NOT any version of "yoga" that I'm aware of. This is CHILD ABUSE, plain and simple! Anyone who says it isn't needs to have their own head examined...or slung around for awhile in the same manner by someone (or some machine) ten times their size and strength. Truly appalling that people are PAYING this monster to do this to a defenseless baby!

GDiBiase from Portland, ME on April 20, 2012:

Hi Sholland,

The video is heinous and horrible to watch! That poor little baby. With all the media on Shaken baby syndrom, how can someone think this is ok to do? The woman should be arrested for child abuse, I do not care if it is being done under the guise of exercise. Any intelligent person watching that video, sees child abuse.Thanks for sharing!

RTalloni on April 20, 2012:

It's criminal.

Audrey Howitt from California on April 20, 2012:

Wow--this is awful. I had not seen this video before--Thank you for getting the word out---

Marcy Goodfleisch from Planet Earth on April 20, 2012:

This is indeed disturbing - thanks for publishing this information. I wonder why that hasn't been shut down in some way? Voted up and shared.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on April 14, 2012:

Alocsin, the first video, which might be the one that was used on The Doctors show where the baby was crying while she slug him around, was actually banned. I cannot believe anyone would do this - would even think of it. Thanks for reading and the votes.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on April 14, 2012:

Bob, I agree. Thank God that most of us see the ridiculous stupidity of this crazy woman. I saw a YouTube video of her doing sessions in Egypt. I can't understand it - handing my baby over for that type of treatment.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on April 14, 2012:

Teach, it was hard to watch, and I agree completely about it being outlawed worldwide.

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on April 13, 2012:

That is scary and am surprised it still remains on YouTube. I hope parents of babies see that as a warning, especially given the dangers you present in your hub. Voting this Up and Useful.

diogenes from UK and Mexico on April 12, 2012:

Looking at this video, it's easy to see not only are baby's brains not developed. Jeez, there's a world of nuts out there and on the Internet.

Sometimes I think the whole bloody race has gone mad when you see all the sad behaviour.

Some idiots will do anything to attract attention and become celebrities for a day.


Dianna Mendez on April 12, 2012:

I only watched the first few scenes of the yoga baby action -- too much for me to handle! Agreeing with the fact that it may be a few years down the road before we see noticable harm from this exercise. This should be outlawed everywhere.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on April 12, 2012:

I know, Pamela, it is shocking to think someone even thought of it!! Thanks for reading.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on April 12, 2012:

I saw this on the news the first time and was shocked. I can't imagine anyone with half a brain thinking this is good for a baby. Excellent hub on shaking baby syndrome.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on April 12, 2012:

Hi Turtlewoman,

It isn't even her baby. She is trying to make money by introducing this type of "yoga" to parents to use on their babies. It is horrific. I understand you not being able to watch the videos.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on April 12, 2012:

Sen.Sush, that Doctors' video really got to me. Their professional opinion was enlightening. It shocked me that anyone would even come up with this idea for babies or anyone.

Kim Lam from California on April 12, 2012:

I can't even watch this video. It's so disturbing and it makes me want to just slap some sense in that parent. This is so dangerous on so many levels, like you mentioned in your article. What if her hand slips and she accidentally drops her child?! Wow.

Thanks for sharing!

Sushmita from Kolkata, India on April 12, 2012:

I would also request everybody reading this Hub to go through the torture of 'The Doctors' video. It explains medically all the implications. I can't tell you Sholland how good this Hub is and I wish we could get all those Utube viewing crowds to read your Hub.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on April 12, 2012:

Sen.Sush, I agree with you completely. I hope this torture is stopped. Poor little babies can't communicate what is really going on with them, and they need protection. They don't need to be treated as if they are guinea pigs on and trial and error basis.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on April 12, 2012:

You are welcome, Made. I felt I needed to show people this so they would know how dangerous it is. Most would already know that, but obviously there are people willing to allow this woman's ideas on baby yoga to be tried. It is so disturbing.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on April 12, 2012:

I know, Kelly. I was so sickened when I saw the video on The Doctors... the poor baby was crying, and she just kept slinging the baby around. I don't think she would be welcomed into America.

Sushmita from Kolkata, India on April 12, 2012:

Sholland thank you for sharing these horrific videos and the information. I just can't believe what parenting is coming to! Why do you need your child to be 'super strong' for ? Let him grow up and weather the rough of life, he will be strong. Let him play around, swim, run as he grows and he will be strong. There is on one hand the tendency to fill up the baby with medical and food supplements; and on the other hand such pseudo practices! People seem to be getting stupid day by day. I totally agree with you and hope that soon we will have a world order where parents would need to qualify to become parents. Stretching exercises are known to all races, usually after a light oil massage, and with knowledgeable supervision. I have seen children grow up to be wonderfully immune and healthy with such, but this is crazy! Voted up useful, I hope these practitioners will be soon banned and even prosecuted.

Madeleine Salin from Finland on April 12, 2012:

Wow, it just makes me feel sick seeing this woman doing what she does to her baby. How can she be allowed to continue doing the so called "baby yoga"? Thank you for sharing.

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on April 12, 2012:

Omg! Omg! I had not seen that video - that woman should be jailed. I thought that was a doll she was slinging around! That is horrible and I am shocked. Thanks for sharing this - I dear for anyone who tries this. Several times - she could have dropped that baby - swinging it over her head?? I am just shocked.

Voted and sharing.

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