Giving back to the community is the foundation of Blue Ridge Yoga in Knoxville, Tennessee. Founder Jessica Mishu explained their studio has done everything from hosting fundraisers for the Ronald McDonald House to partnering with the local children’s hospital as ways to give back.

“I have been to so many yoga studios and I think giving back is the missing link,” said Mishu. “We do so much work on ourselves, but the real message of our life should be to improve the lives of others. I have made that our goal from the beginning. We have been open a little over two years we have given back 28 thousand to the community.”

Recently, their latest efforts to give back have been put towards sending a box of supplies to American soldiers. Mishu had the box filled with things specific to the regulations; such as non-perishable items and foods that were healthy.

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Jessica Mishu holds a box that will be shipped to soldiers.

“What we wanted to do with our Boxes was have everyone in the studio sign it, we had about 100 signatures on the box,” said Mishu. “We sent them that with a card telling them thank you, and some free yoga passes in case they are ever in Knoxville. It seems that a lot of things they are sent are sweets and candy, which is not really as helpful, so we also wanted to send over healthy snacks. We wanted to send love and let them know that there are people appreciating what they are doing and thinking about them.”

Blue Ridge Yoga has no plans on stopping their endeavors to give back, as they already have several other events planned in the near future. Mishu explained they plan to partner with a recently opened distillery in town to host a fundraiser aimed at helping young girls build self-esteem.

“I do a lot of networking in the community,” said Mishu. “I seek out different partnerships of things that I’m interested in. If a new business pops up I try to reach out to them as well because I think that we can all grow together. I don’t believe in competition between businesses. The more people you reach out to the more you find those kindred spirits of people that are passionate about the same things you are.”

Mishu said getting her staff and students to participate in the events is a breeze, as they all have the same passion for giving back as she does.

“I think you attract people that have a similar mindset as you,” said Mishu. “Our staff and students have been so supportive and helpful in everything that I have wanted to do. It’s a nice feeling knowing our studio is really built on a community that wants to give back.”