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Movement for Mental Health - The Benefits of Yoga & Exercise

Movement, physical activity, specifically yoga, have a significant impact on your mental health and well-being by offering a holistic approach combining physical movement, breath awareness, mindfulness, and relaxation techniques.

Here are some ways in which yoga can support mental health:

  1. Increased Release of Feel-Good Chemicals The physical activity of yoga stimulates the release of endorphins, neurotransmitters that act as natural mood boosters. Endorphins reduce feelings of pain and stress while promoting a sense of well-being, happiness, and straight 'up joy. The release of endorphins during yoga alleviates the common symptoms of depression and anxiety and leave you feeling refreshingly inspired.

  2. Reduced Stress and Anxiety A regular yoga practice reduces the body's stress response by increasing the production of neurotransmitters, like serotonin and norepinephrine, which play a crucial role in mood regulation. These chemicals help combat stress, anxiety, and depression, promoting a calmer state of mind and improved mental health, that can last up to 14hrs after a single hour of yoga. Wow!

  3. Improved Cognitive Function The movement of yoga and physical exercise have been linked to enhanced cognitive function and improved memory, attention, and laser-like concentration. A regular yoga practice increases blood flow to the brain, delivering more oxygen and nutrients that support optimal brain health. This process enhances mental clarity, focus, and overall cognitive performance. Now you're a smarty pants!

  4. Enhanced Self-Esteem and Body Image Engaging in a regular yoga practice improves self-esteem and body image due to any form of physical exercise helps with weight management, toning muscles, and improving physical fitness. Achieving fitness goals and feeling good about your physical abilities boosts self-confidence and enhances overall self-worth, positively impacting mental health. Ya hotty!

  5. Distraction and Relaxation Physical activity serves as a healthy distraction from negative thoughts and daily stressors. Engaging in movement allows you to focus your mind on the present moment, providing a break from rumination and promoting relaxation. Activities like yoga, tai chi, and mindful walking can be particularly beneficial for mental relaxation and stress reduction.

  6. Increased Social Interaction and Support Yoga and many physical activities offer opportunities for social interaction and connection. Participating in group yoga classes provides a sense of community, support, and belonging. Social connections and positive relationships have a significant impact on mental health, promoting happiness and your sense of well-being. Find your tribe!

  7. Regulation of Sleep Patterns A regular yoga practice, or regular movement, can improve quality, duration, and restfulness of sleep. Physical activity helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle and promotes the release of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep. Improved sleep patterns have a positive effect on mental health, reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression.

  8. Boost in Overall Well-Being Engaging in movement, yoga, and physical activity promotes an overall sense of well-being. The sense of accomplishment, the satisfaction of achieving fitness goals, and the improved physical mobility contribute to your positive mental health outcomes. Physical activity also provides a sense of purpose and structure in daily life, which enhances your calmness and mental stability.

written by Matthew Fritz

Matthew is the owner of Sutra Studios in Phoenix, Arizona and recognized as the Wellness Visionary within his field. He is an intuitive Guide, Life Coach, Speaker and Artist dedicated to assisting others in maximizing their strengths to obtain the confidence to achieve their goals. Visit:

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