It has been labelled "dangerous" by health experts but "baby yoga" instructor Lena Fokina says there is nothing wrong with the practice which sees newborn babies thrown in the air and flipped upside down by their wrists and ankles.
Footage of a bizarre new baby fad sweeping Europe has been banned from a number of parenting sites after it was labelled as glorifying child abuse.
Fokina, who practises the techniques known as the Charkovsky method (developed by Russian doctor Igor Charkovsky), said the movements improve children's "muscular abilities and development" and that she has helped a number of parents in Europe and Egypt learn the method.
The images of Fokina performing "baby yoga", were so shocking that many viewers believed the moves weren't being demonstrated on real babies but on dolls.
But Fokina insists the method is real and that she has been performing the techniques for the past 30 years on children from newborn babies to two-year-olds.
"It's very good for babies and not dangerous at all. Some babies cry at first, but they begin to enjoy it," Fokina, who is a qualified PE teacher said.
"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.
"I work with parents from across Europe. I hope soon I will be working with a family in England. I think there are a number of open-minded parents there whose babies could benefit from my work."
Her 'baby dynamics' sessions, which can last up to five minutes, include babies being spun, swung and flipped, often by a single limb. In some cases, the unusual moves left the child screaming in tears or vomiting during or after their session.
Still, Fokina insists that the method, which was practised by ancient African tribes, has developmental benefits for children.
"The method was originally developed to cure and correct the health of children having muscular or skeletal problems but it is also suitable for healthy children," she said.
"The movements are designed to improve their muscular abilities and development.
"And the children often turn out to be early readers, singers, talkers, swimmers. It also makes their hands stronger. We are humanists and we don't do anything wrong."
And it seems some parents are willing to give it a try. Fokina recently held a seminar — Parenting the Deliberate Way — in Dahab, Egypt where around 20 parents had signed up their child for 12 days at a cost of A$380 per family.
Despite doctors warning against dangerous movement to newborn babies, which can trigger Shaken Baby Syndrome, Fokina insist the techniques are harmless as long as the child is eased into the movements gradually.
"Even a tiny baby's body can adapt to the process easily if you take it gradually," she said.
"As long as the parent or instructor has practised and studied the teachings of Dr Charkovsky, the child will be fine.
"People tend to get upset when they see it because they are not aware of children's real abilities, but these abilities are much wider than it is traditionally thought."
Despite the concerns of others, Fokina says she believes in the method so much because she used it on her own children more than 30 years ago.
"All my children have grown up according to the Charkovsky method and they have all gone on to achieve outstanding results in life. They are Russian champions in parachuting, freediving and horse riding," she said.
"Now my children are practising those same methods on their own children. It's the best proof."
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