Jessica Mishu, the owner of Blue Ridge Yoga in Knoxville, Tennessee, on creating a studio for her community. 

How did your studio come about? What   was your vision or mission? I wanted to use yoga as a vehicle for creating social change, and what I’ve found as we continue to grow is that our mission resonates in the hearts of both our students and our teachers. Our students step up to the plate by helping us with our fundraisers or by giving us new directions and suggestions for how we can do more. Coming together as a community to help change the lives of others is the heart of Blue Ridge Yoga.

In your opinion, what is the most interesting features about the studio’s architecture or design? Our studio has a very cozy feeling. All of the walls are painted a soft blue, and we have plants everywhere. We also have a lot of natural light entering our space from the transom windows we added when we expanded in 2017.

What is a key to your studio’s success? From the very beginning, our success has been defined by our students and teachers. Our community is not made up of people who just show up to teach or take a class; we are made up of people who truly care about making connections with others. We laugh, play and cry together. The people who teach and practice here are what carries us forward.

What is a piece of advice you could give to other studio owners? My advice is trust your intuition. You can’t be afraid to speak up when something isn’t aligned with your mission. Take time to sit with decisions without immediately reacting. Try to see how choices make you feel instead of how they sound. It is important everything is authentically you and you truly believe in your mission.