Vimala: My Early Years, Part 1 of 7

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My name is Vimala McClure. I live and write in Boulder, Colorado. I am the author of Infant Massage, a Handbook for Loving Parents and founder of the International Association of Infant Massage. I’ve also written A Manual for Infant Massage Instructors, The Path of Parenting and The Tao of Motherhood, A Woman’s Guide to Tantra Yoga, and Bangladesh. I have two kids, a son (35) and a daughter (33) and three grandchildren.

Forty years ago, I was a yoga teacher in my early twenties. I went to India, to learn how to teach, and help run an orphanage in Varanasi. One night I had a dream in which I was playing with two small children, a boy and a girl, in a beautiful meadow. When I woke up, I was sure these were my children, and I needed to go home and start my family.

Something I learned during that trip would shape my life forever. One night I was going to the well to get some water for the morning meal. I heard a sweet voice singing, and followed it into the room where the babies and toddlers slept. One of the Indian girls who helped us was massaging a baby and singing a beautiful, soft song. I put down my bucket and went to her, crouching next to her, watching. The baby was quiet, sucking her fingers and looking at the girl. The girl couldn’t speak English very well, but after the massage and the baby was asleep, she told me they massaged the babies every night  and it was a tradition in her culture. She promised to teach me, and during the next several days, she did. I had been thinking about the children there, and how warm and caring they were with everyone, how much touch was part of all their play and daily lives together. This short incident affected me deeply and brought me to a new life here in the U.S.

(c) Copyright Vimala McClure 2012. Please contact for permission to use.

About the Author

Vimala McClure

I brought the art of infant massage to the Western world after learning about it in India in 1973. After years of research and having my first baby, I developed a curriculum to teach parents. I wrote the classic INFANT MASSAGE, A HANDBOOK FOR LOVING PARENTS (Penguin/Random House), first published in 1979, revised and updated several times since. I began training instructors, then training experienced instructors to be international trainers. I then founded the nonprofit IAIM, now the “Gold Standard” for infant massage information, instruction, and training worldwide.

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IAIM MISSION: The purpose of the International Association of Infant Massage is to promote nurturing touch and communication through training, education and research so that parents, caregivers and children are loved, valued and respected throughout the world community.