A few months ago, a disturbing and slightly confusing video (below) went viral on social media that depicts a woman tossing her baby around like a ragdoll, holding it upside down, and flinging it from side to side. The caption that was usually posted with the video claimed that the FBI was looking for this woman, and people all over social media were outraged.
The post read, “Baby being tortured for fun. FBI ARE SEARCHING FOR THIS WOMAN WHO IS SEEN FLIPPING A BABY AROUND UPSIDE DOWN. THEY ARE ASKING U TO SHARE THIS VIDEO AND ASKING ANYBODY WHO KNOWS THIS WOMAN TO TURN HER IN TO THE FBI OR LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT. “
Internet users around the world shared the video, and eventually, news agencies started picking up the story. It’s now confirmed, however, that although the video is real, the claims associated with it are false.
As it turns out, the video shows a Russian mother using “dynastic gymnastics” or “baby yoga” on her child, and the practice is actually not illegal. It reportedly was started in Russia and has caught on in many other places. The FBI does not want the woman in the video, and it’s not clear how the rumors surrounding the video got started.
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While many believe this practice is unsafe, Russian baby yoga practitioner Lena Fokina says that there are proven benefits to doing this with a baby.
“The children often turn out to be early readers, singers, talkers, swimmers,” claims Fokina. “It also makes their hands stronger. We are humanists and we don’t do anything wrong.”
Still, many don’t buy Fokina’s claims, and experts don’t recommend trying this with your baby.