Magic happens both on the yoga mat and on stage for Wellbeats instructor Chance York.
Picture yourself seated in a quiet yoga studio illuminated by candlelight. Your body imprints into your mat. As your breath slows, your mind clears. You feel whole.
Imagine standing shoulder to shoulder in a dark, crowded club. Your body vibrates in time with the music. As the bass thumps from the speakers, your mind clears. You feel whole.
They appear to be opposite scenes, but Chance finds himself grounded in both spaces.
The stillness in solitude on a yoga mat and the all-encompassing energy of a packed concert can both provide relief during challenging times. They are the two places Chance turns when life becomes too heavy, overwhelming, or dark.
They are where he finds himself, where he feels whole, and where he is most alive.
Chance first found the serenity of yoga after he happened to stumble upon the pocket edition of “Yoga for Dummies” when purchasing his college textbooks. As he began experimenting with yoga, he quickly noticed the mental and physical benefits of regular practice.
“I bought this book, and I was just hanging out in the dorms reading it and doing it and being amazed that I could just be breathing and breaking a sweat,” Chance said. “When I was doing that, I just knew that there was something there. I thought, this is some powerful stuff.”
It was so powerful that Chance knew he needed to not only further his own yoga practice but that he wanted to share yoga with others. He has since become certified as a trauma-informed yoga teacher, MindUP brain-based learning teacher, and Tools for Peace curriculum facilitator. He’s a registered yoga teacher and has completed the 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training Certification through Yoga Alliance.
Chance specializes in Vinyasa/Hatha with an emphasis on alignment, internal integrity, self-healing, and self-maintenance.
“If I have one person think a little bit differently about the world that’s coming from them, about where they’re paying their attention, about the power they can unlock, that’s like magic to me,” Chance said of his yoga instruction.
That magic is not unlike the invigoration Chance finds in music when he’s performing on stage or writing in the recording studio.
As much as his yoga practice has informed Chance’s perspective on life, music plays an equal role. It makes up an important piece of his social identity.
“The performance side of it, being in front of a crowd, there’s really nothing like it,” Chance said. “There’s so much energy going on. You’re moving around, so you’re getting the natural high of the physical activity of doing it. You’ve got people all excited. There’s the music, the subwoofers, the lights—it’s like your whole body is vibrating together. It’s like nothing else.”
A hip-hop/rap artist who performs both solo and in collaboration with others, Chance is a dynamic lyricist and performs with contagious energy.
In an interview with Twin Cities Public Television (TPT), Chance explained that his music has gone through a lot of phases, but the lyrics he’s been writing over the last two years include “a lot of affirmations, a lot of positivity or reflection on working to reframe my story of life to be more suitable to what I want.”
The positivity and intentionality behind Chance’s lyrics represent a blend of his two passions as the grounding and mindfulness of his yoga practice finds its way into his music.
While external energy fulfills Chance when he’s performing music, an equal—yet opposite—internal energy lights him up during his yoga practice. Both are meaningful pursuits that he enjoys sharing with others.
Whether he’s leading Wellbeats virtual yoga classes or taking the stage to perform, Chance is an artist brimming with inspiration and magic to share with the world.
Watch as Chance shares his personal wellness journey in this video from Wellbeats’ My Black History Life video series produced by Perk at Play Productions and TreeTop Media.
Visit the Wellbeats for All Celebrates Black History Month web page to join Wellbeats’ Black History Month celebration and get to know fellow Wellbeats instructors Jan and Nate as new videos in the My Black History Life series debut throughout the month.
Based in St. Louis Park, MN, Wellbeats is a leading provider of on-demand virtual fitness, nutrition, and mindfulness classes for use in workplaces of all sizes, health plans, on college or university campuses, multi-family housing, the U.S. military, and fitness and health clubs. Wellbeats makes fitness accessible, affordable, and approachable for everyone. More than 1,000 classes and 30+ programs are available to help members stay on track and meet their goals. To learn more, visit www.wellbeats.com or check out a sampling of the company’s fitness classes during a Facebook Live class, and follow Wellbeats on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.