‘A wonderful journey’

While celebrating 5 years, Blue Ridge Yoga gives back

Blue Ridge Yoga member Wendi Thacker, front, was one of the participants working out to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital during the studio’s Harry Potter Yoga fundraiser late last year, hosted at Schulz Brau Brewing Company.
As Jessica Mishu, Blue Ridge Yoga owner, and Caitlyn Phelps, studio manager, prepare for the studio’s five-year anniversary, they looked back on “a wonderful journey — better than I ever imagined,” Mishu said.

“We’re excited,” said Mishu, adding Blue Ridge Yoga, 623 N. Campbell Station Road, Farragut, opened in 2015. “We’re planning a celebration for May 16.”

Through the five years, the studio has given back to the community through fundraisers and volunteer time for various charities, such as cancer support, Volunteer Ministry Center, Young-Williams Animal Shelter, Tennessee Mental Health Association and Africa Yoga Project.

Most recently, Blue Ridge hosted a “Prayer Circle” Tuesday, March 10, collectively asking God to help tornado victims from the early Tuesday morning, March 3, devestation in Middle Tennessee.

“We just raised money for St. Jude (Children’s Research Hospital) with Girls on the Run,” Phelps said.

From the beginning, she started having fundraisers, and to date the studio has raised more than $80,000.

“Our goal is to get to $100,000 this year,” Mishu added.

She explained yoga has three different pillars: physical, mental and spiritual.

“Community is one of our pillars in the studio,” Mishu said. “It’s all part of the yoga process to work on finding this essence of joy within yourself and then being able to allow this joy that we believe is our true nature, to move it out into the world … use yoga as a vehicle for social change.”

While she was involved in the yoga world for quite some time before moving to Knoxville, Mishu said she felt something was missing at other studios.

“I just had some ideas about how we could be different,” she said. “I believe that community was not emphasized (at other studios) and was not offered. I just really wanted to make these changes to a yoga studio, when I opened mine.”

She wanted “community” to be two things: to create an essence of community among the studio’s members and to create social change.

“I wanted it to be something that, when people come in, they feel this essence of community, they felt this essence of support, because we live in a world that is so unconnected because of this digital environment that we live in,” Mishu said.

“I wanted to offer almost a sanctuary, where people felt that this was a place where they were accepted no matter what they looked like or how much they practiced before or what physical limitations they had.”

She also wanted the community to “stand for what we could do together, as a studio.”

For more information, call 865-288-3562 or visit online at www.yogaknoxville.com.