The Student News Site of University of Texas at Arlington (Department of Communication)

Lone Star Sentinel

The Student News Site of University of Texas at Arlington (Department of Communication)

Lone Star Sentinel

The Student News Site of University of Texas at Arlington (Department of Communication)

Lone Star Sentinel

Practitioners tout yoga’s benefits

Studies show yoga decreases cortisol, and practitioners say they experience improved temperament and mood
Staff Photo
A statue of a meditating cat rests on a yoga mat surrounded by a yoga blanket, yoga blocks, and a strap. Yoga practitioners say the practice gives them increased feelings of well being.

ARLINGTON, Texas—Yoga has been growing in popularity during the past few years with thousands of people praising its benefits for both the mind and body.

Multiple studies show that yoga not only improves mental stability but also eases stress.

Marissa Soto, a University of Texas at Arlington yoga instructor, has taught yoga for around 10 years and stands by its benefits. Her teachings in hatha yoga focus on balancing the body and the mind along with deep breaths and relaxing the muscles. Practitioners see yoga as a stress reliever, Soto said.

“They come in and you can tell they want to actively try to relax their body, relax their mind, take a moment to kind of self-care,” Soto said.

As of September 2023, there are more than 300 million yoga practitioners worldwide, and although yoga’s growth has slowed down, it continues to be an exercise that many people practice, according to Eighty-six percent of people have reported an overall improved sense of mental wellness and clarity from the practice, and in 2017, it was the most commonly used complementary health practice among U.S. adults.

Along with the growing number of practitioners comes a wave of curious students hoping to learn the benefits of yoga. One of these students is Shobika Suresh, who’s been attending yoga classes at UTA for a few months. She practiced yoga in her hometown before continuing classes at the Maverick Activities Center. She said she enjoyed yoga because of the relief it gives her, even if the classes are only an hour long.

“It kind of gives me a relaxed feeling after a long day and gives me flexibility throughout my body,” Suresh said.

People who regularly partake in yoga have reported multiple benefits to the exercise. Sixty-three percent of people showed a positive increase in their temperament and mood, according to, and studies show that yoga is the ideal exercise to loosen and move the spine. If the spine is not regularly moved, pain and health complications may follow.

Aastha Arora, a psychology major and a peer health educator on-campus, is aiming to pursue her honors bachelor’s as she studies the mind in the mental health field.  As the president of the National Latinx Psychological Association, she said she is highly aware of yoga’s benefits and said she hopes to spread broader awareness.

“I’m actually doing research on mindfulness movement as of now and that has made me go in depth of how movements like yoga, tai chi and dance can be used to practice mindfulness,” Arora said. “And obviously, I feel like people have been getting more aware about the benefits of mindfulness in general.”

Yoga seems to bring feelings of peace to practitioner because of its impact on stress hormones. According to, regular yoga practice can help decrease the hormone cortisol, the primary stress hormone in the body.

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