Local yoga instructor provides relief for Ruston

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RUSTON, La. (KNOE) - Asja Jordan is a yoga instructor from northeast Louisiana. When she saw the April tornado rip through Ruston, she says she knew she had to help.

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Jordan says she wanted to focus her efforts in a way that combined the city's need with her passion. So, with Saturday morning's free yoga class, she says she's providing relief for Ruston.

"I wanted to combine something I'm passionate about and also there's a need," Jordan says.

Jordan only started practicing yoga four years ago, but she quickly found out she loved it.

"It's not just a physical practice," Jordan said. "It's something you can take on and off the mat. That is just something I think everyone can get great benefit from. A practice that's both physical and mental that can lift your spirits."

Now, she's using that love to lift other people's spirits.

"So, I asked myself, there's a need here in this community [and] how can I fill it with something I love to do," she said.

So, she decided to host two yoga sessions, one on Friday night and the other Saturday morning. Instead of paying the instructor, the people who came were able to stretch their wallets for Ruston, donating money to Community Foundation of Ruston and to the people who are still suffering from April's tornado.

Baxter Flor came to show his support too.

"Actually, driving here we saw a lot of the damage from on campus and whatnot, and I hadn't seen it before,” Flor says. “It's pretty messed up, the university is. I'm sure other places are as well."

He says this a great way for him to reach his Zen, while reaching out to others too.

"Yoga has a way of dissolving boundaries that we have between people and just bringing us together in positivity, energy and whatnot," Flor said. "It's great we can use something we love to bring people together first and foremost and be able to donate money that we have."

It's those donations that will help the city get through the pain. Jordan says, much like yoga, the pain of rebuilding is all part of the process.

"Pain is necessary. Pain is a necessary thing to push you into bigger things that you want to achieve,” Jordan says. "Whenever we're in the face of pain or discomfort and shine through and push through that, that's what the practice of yoga does. I think that pain is necessary, and it's something that we all can overcome."