What does yoga and childbirth have in common? More than you might think.
The most important thing in both is breathing, posture (for comfort) and meditation (for calming). From this realization, Julie Franks developed Pre/Post-Natal Yoga, a class through Bemidji Community Education.
Franks became involved in Yoga in 1985. After having her first child, she saw the similarities and benefits of yoga and childbirth techniques, and became certified to teach in October.
Franks has six students enrolled in the five-week class, with another optional five weeks offered this spring.
"I give them the tools for their toolbox," she said. "They can then bring their knowledge home and practice with their partner. It's all about being comfortable, calm and nurtured."
According to Franks, the class is a gentler version of yoga. There are no belly-down or inversion posses. "Breathing is the most important," she said. "It's a connection that's should be developed with the partner."
With the knowledge from her first pregnancy, Franks said she makes sure to work on strengthening the lower back muscles of her students and gives them general massage tips for their partners to help them through a successful pregnancy.
"Yoga helps you trust your intuition; it safely nourishes body, mind and spirit for yourself and the growing baby."