Crazy Baby Yoga Lady Is for Real


baby yogaRemember 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 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

baby development, baby health, bonding


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

hotic... hoticedcoffee

As a former gymnast, I'm wondering WTF "extreme developmental gymnastics" is?

I didn't see the video, but I heard about it from horrified friends.  If it really is true, and the questions/answers are genuine, I think it's pretty scary.

nonmember avatar Natalie

I haven't seen the video, but I will say that in other cultures (particularly some African tribes) they don't treat their babies like they're fragile... they don't support the neck at all, they just think they need to get stronger. While I do think it's important to be careful with babies I think that the fact that other cultures aren't as hyper-careful might indicate to us that babies aren't as fragile as we think!

sweet... sweetcherry_59

She needs her uterus ripped out

steff... steffielynne

I saw the video, while my daughter is at the point where she thinks going upside down for a few seconds is fun, i do not dangle her upside down by her legs and swing her around like a raggedy ann doll. My goodness, this woman is loopy! how is this in any way developmental gymnastics? If i wanna interact and be in harmony with my child, i'll read to her, snuggle her, nap with her, and play! jeeshe!

LoriA... LoriAnn87

surprisedwhether the baby is real or not you should be doing that to a child. this women is sick.

Young... YoungHold

I still don't know if I believe that video is real.  The baby just doesn't move like a live human would.  The "free" arm (one she's not holding) looks stiff and rubbery and never moves from it's default position.  I think I watched it 2-3 times last week.  Gotta have the husband watch and see what he thinks.

But I'm gonna second sweetcherry either way.  She needs to have her uterus ripped out.

Suzi Suzi

"I think that the fact that other cultures aren't as hyper-careful might indicate to us that babies aren't as fragile as we think!"  Natalie, how do you explain Shaken Baby Syndrome then?  Ever heard of it?  It's when a baby is shaken in such a way that his/her head is flung forward and backward whiplash, but over and over.  The brain becomes damaged from the action, as well as the neck.  God forbid if the head hits anything while this happens!  Still think babies are not that fragile?

Tiffany Fisher

im with suzi! think about the brain damage and whiplash-which i am personally dealing with -it can last for years as well as have lifetime effects. and tell me how would u feel after this crap????

Kati Lunceford

OMG! I just watch the video and I just GOT sick! This woman is crazy! This screams CHILD abuse to the 10th degree! This baby (real or fake) makes my sick turn! The worst part so crazy follower of this NUT job is going to try this with their own child and break something or give the baby brain damage! WTH!! YUCK!

yvonne37 yvonne37

Ok so I watched the video.. dont   the baby is real or not, I think its crazy.  I believe in exercising babies (of all age), I used to take my newborns and move their legs and arms (not dangle them) and stretch and even give them soothing massages.. but this monkey-ing around a newborn is absolutely loony.. you can dislocate an arm or leg like this.. not to mention that babies brain being shook around like that.. I do believe we in the united states are way to careful with babies (dont see anything bad in it) and in other cultures its normal to handle them a little different.. but I would never ever dangle my baby like this.

1-10 of 16 comments 12 Last