(CNN)Tallahassee yogis planned to roll out their mats on a downtown street Saturday morning to raise funds for Hurricane Michael recovery efforts. But the class took on an additional meaning in the wake of Friday's deadly shooting at a yoga studio in the Florida city.
They planned to practice yoga outdoors. Last night's shooting didn't stop them
On Friday night, a man opened fire inside Hot Yoga Tallahassee, killing two people and injuring five others. According to Tallahassee police, the gunman turned the gun on himself and died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
McKenzie Burleigh Lohbeck, who organized "Yoga For a Cause," told CNN on Saturday the instructor who was scheduled to teach the class works at the studio targeted by the gunman. Lohbeck said she immediately reached out to the instructor to find out if she was safe and to tell her not to worry about the event.
"She said 'no, we need yoga more than ever,'" Lohbeck said. The event continued as planned.
"There were so many hugs and so much love and gratitude for just being here together," Lohbeck said of the event held on Adams Street. "It was the most powerful experience I've ever been a part of."
Cecily Armengol, a fitness director at Sweet Therapy Fitness, joined Saturday's event. Armengol told CNN "the mood throughout the practice was incredible."
"[The instructor] encouraged us to hold each other, look up to the sky, cry, smile and strengthen ourselves through our practice," Armengol said.
Armengol, who's lived in Tallahassee for 10 years and is friends with instructors and clients that go to the studio that was targeted, said people should feel safe in their workout spaces.
"It is where we go to relieve the stress of the day, forget our problems, and strengthen our bodies and mind," Armengol said. "To know that my friends and neighbor have had this taken from them is heartbreaking."
Other attendees took to social media to post from the outdoor event.
Pure Barre Tallahassee, a local athletic apparel boutique, wrote in an Instagram post: "Today we witnessed men and women of the Tallahassee community come together and choose to believe and trust that LOVE is stronger than hate ever will be."