Remember this scary baby yoga video we saw circulating on the web recently? People were outraged by it, calling it child abuse and worse. Many speculated that it was a big hoax, or at least hoped it was. Turns out it's for real, and perhaps not quite as bad as it looked.
Nathan Thornburgh at DadWagon.com tracked down Lena Fokina, the alleged torture master in the videos, and asked her more about what she does. She Skype-chatted with him in Russian (her native language) from her home in Dahab, Egypt. From there, she teaches classes in yoga, extreme developmental gymnastics, free diving, getting adapted to the water, rebirthing, and more.
His interview is insightful and hilarious, in part because he asks these really emotional questions, and then she gives these short, clipped, no-nonsense answers you can just hear in Russian. For example:
He asks: "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?"
Fokina responds: "No. It makes the hands stronger."
No mention of the brain, but the hands, they're safe. Okay.
When asked about the video being taken down from YouTube for its "shocking and disgusting" content, she said:
"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."
She says people need to come see them A LOT!
This my favorite. He asks: "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?"
Fokina responds: "I don’t recall any. Another objective of our yoga: to teach parents and children to interact so that everything will be in harmony."
She doesn't recall any? Not so reassuring, but she does make a somewhat good case for how it increases mobility and promotes an active family lifestyle. You can read the entire interview for yourself and see what you think.
While it does appear to have a little bit more merit than the video alone would suggest, there's still no way would I let her get her hands on any baby of mine. And I'm not sure if I'm relieved to know it's not a hoax ... or not.
Does hearing from the lady in the video make you think it's any more okay?
Image via YouTube