From the moment she participated in her first yoga class, Rebecca was hooked. Just from the one Kundalini yoga session, she felt peaceful, calm, centered, and above all- empowered. After the experience, Rebecca started taking yoga classes regularly; and around the time, became pregnant with her first son. She was determined to have a natural childbirth in her home and knew yoga would physically and mentally prepare her for such an event. Now 20 years and 5 natural childbirths later, Rebecca Fritz co-owns Sutra Studios with her husband Matt. Their studio offers a variety of yoga, meditation, and wellness events and utilizes a multitude of techniques from sound healing to aromatherapy to support their clients. This month, I had the opportunity to talk to Rebecca about Sutra Studios’ philosophy and the benefits of yoga and meditation, with the additional privilege of hearing the inspiring story of her family and business.
The philosophy of Sutra Studios comes from the book of Sutra itself and stems from the definition of yoga, which means connection to self. Essentially, the studio uses the practice of yoga as a way for their clients to build stronger connections with themselves. You do this by tapping into what Rebecca calls the, “controlling the feeling-thinking-doing loop”. She explains this as a cycle of our emotions creating thought, then those thoughts creating movement (or action), and movement creating new emotions. This cycle continues our whole lives. Meditation and yoga are opportunities for you to hijack the thinking and doing parts of the loop in order to help you feel better and find higher knowledge. “Yoga in itself is meditation. It’s like the ability to tune out of all your automatic programs, thoughts, habits, actions, and tune into who you really are. Which is really above all of those things”. Practicing yoga also has the benefit of alleviating pain, soreness, and physical stresses on your body (as someone who went through 5 childbirths and on a separate occasion broke her back, Rebecca knows how curative it can be). Beyond that, having an open body connects to having an open mind.
Surprisingly enough, movement is just a small part of yoga. “Yoga in all of its facets helps you to achieve the state of being called ‘meditation’ more easily,” Rebecca explains. Holding a meditative state more often can help you become more trusting and peaceful as well as help you create purpose in life. Meditation also is shown to reduce stress and anxiety while switching your brain from a reptilian, fear-based, way of thought to using your prefrontal cortex- associated with creativity and critical thought. You are even able to learn from the experience of mediation; knowledge created by you- from your own mind! There is a misconception that meditation relates to blocking out or suppressing emotion or thought when instead meditation is about thinking bigger than your thoughts and realizing they come and go.
While their methodology might seem overwhelming, the whole system works by simply participating in wellness sessions. Sutra Studios organizes outstandingly creative wellness events, complete with ambient lighting and sound as well as… lasers and a DJ? That’s right! Matt is not only the Creative Director and master of marketing, but also Sutra’s resident DJ. The events organized by Sutra Studios have an emphasis on fun and good times. Rebecca explains that yoga is about building connections with yourself, not making shapes with your body. “If you have fun, you will come back, and if you come back, it will change your life.”
Through the experience of owning Sutra, Rebecca and Matt have struggled through both the great recession and the COVID-19 pandemic, but they have adapted and held their business together for the last 13 years. Their oldest son is currently 18 and works alongside his siblings helping manage the business. The Fritz family has been able to grow and learn together as a family, navigating their business towards success and improving the lives of those in our neighborhood and community. Sutra Studios offers a comfortable place to learn yoga and meditation while making deep connections with oneself and improving life subconsciously. The year is still early and there is always time to start a new habit. See how Sutra Studios can help you and at the very least, you will get a good stretch.
Written By Drohan Lord
Drohan Lord is a Bioscience High School Senior and intern with the Evans Churchill Community Association. You can read more of his interviews with local businesses in the ECCA community on our website.