Jessica - posted on 01/20/2011 ( 17 moms have responded )
"The viral video of a Russian woman swirling and twirling a baby about seemed so surreal and unreal. Everyone thought it was a hoax. But it turns out Lena Fokina, the famous baby swinger, runs a legit business in Egypt, where she, well, swings babies. Fokina likes to call it "baby yoga." How much do you want to bet that a baby yoga place will open up in Noe Valley within the year?
When a five-minute video of a Russian woman swinging a baby around by its ankles and arms first started circulating around the Web, people were convinced that it was a hoax.
Gawker ran a story with the headline, "This Baby-Swinging Yoga Video Can't Be Real, Right?"
YouTube pulled the video deeming it "shocking and disgusting."
If you watch the video, you'll understand why. It's rather unsettling to watch this woman, who looks as if she'd fit right in at Yoga Tree, turn a baby upside by its ankles and then flip it up over her head.
It turns out this hard-bodied, 50-year-old woman is for real--and babies are a lot stronger than you ever imagined. Lena Fokina runs a yoga business in Dahab, Egypt, and Nathan Thornburgh, a daddy blogger and contributing writer for Time magazine, tracked her down and interviewed her.
Q: The first thing everybody here thought when they saw your baby-swinging video was "Holy s-!" Then they thought, is it real or fake? So: Is it real? If so, who is the baby?
A: The child was born in the Black Sea region. Her name is Platona, and she was two weeks old when we took that video. We have a lot of children like her here. They are early readers, singers, talkers, swimmers. You haven't seen anything like it anywhere!! And there's swimming with dolphins, scuba diving with them. Come to Dahab!
Q: And are they early readers, talkers, and so on because of baby yoga?
A: Not only this. It's just one reason.
Q: What else makes them so talented then?
A: Love for each other and to one another.
Q: 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?
A: No. It makes the hands stronger.
Q: 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?
A: 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.
Q: Have you heard from people who are upset about the video?
A: Everybody in Dahab is satisfied. What's more, a British film crew made a documentary about us, and interviewed the parents.
Q: At the end of your video, it looks like you're trying to get the two-week-old baby to walk. Is mobility the goal of your baby yoga?
A: Yes, more mobility, and other goals. First off, more trained skills. Second, more freedom. Third, independence. We learn from nature and teach our offspring to survive. Come to Dahab; we'll be glad to show our classes and our children."
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