Michigan State University students say East Lansing Hot Yoga provides a safe place away from academic and social stress.
MSU neuroscience sophomore Vidhula Srinivasan has taken at least two classes a week at East Lansing Hot Yoga for five months.
Srinivasan said the yoga studio helped her heal from MSU-related struggles, like managing difficult classes, finding her people and overall feeling lost since she wasn’t on campus last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m supposed to know what I’m doing, but I still feel like a freshman,” Srinivasan said.
Srinivasan is not alone in her struggles. According to a September 2021 study by The Zebra, 50% of college students in the U.S. said their mental health is below average or poor.
“I wanted a change, and it [yoga] gave me the peace I needed,” Srinivasan said.
Srinivasan loves the studio so much that she began working there in September. She currently cleans the studio and does work as a receptionist, but hopes to become an instructor in the future.
MSU veterinary nursing freshman Megan Dunseith also experienced positive changes from the yoga studio. “Yoga allowed me to realize not everything has to be perfect and took the stress of midterms off my back,” she said.
MSU human biology freshman Maddie Beene had a similar experience. “It [yoga] helped me focus on myself and my strengths,” she said.
East Lansing Hot Yoga owner Patty Sutherland felt the power of yoga herself when it helped her heal from a “traumatizing overseas custody battle.”
“I was a mess. The children were a mess. Yoga and meditation saved me,” Sutherland said.
A June 2021 study by the Harvard Medical School said yoga can increase levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid, which is “associated with better mood and decreased anxiety.”
Sutherland loves the East Lansing community, one reason she offers free Sunday evening classes for MSU students.
“I would hear from so many students that the free class gets them through college,” Sutherland said.
East Lansing Hot Yoga hopes to continue bettering the mental health of MSU students.