MINERAL RIDGE, Ohio (WYTV) – In this weeks Hometown Hero segment, we’re recognizing Gina Chance, a yoga instructor who is dedicated to bettering people’s minds and bodies.

Two times a week, Gina Chance comes out to Mineral Ridge High School to teach football players yoga and stretching techniques. For her, she says a huge part of her brand is teaching out in the community.

“I work with teachers and the staff after school. I’m at the gazebo in Mineral Ridge for outdoor yoga. I’ve taught in the park, the farmer’s market, so really letting the community dictate where I’m needed the most,” Chance said.

Yoga is a passion Chance discovered after working as a chef for many years in the restaurant industry. She said it was fast-paced and stressful so you needed a release.

“I started practicing yoga and as soon as I started I fell in love with it and I wanted to share it with others,” she said.

After deciding she wanted to join the wellness community and elevate others, Chance went through yoga teacher training in 2019. Once she completed her training she opened a small yoga space. She says the community responded well and she was eventually able to open her current yoga studio “The Energy Exchange” in Howland.

“The beautiful thing about yoga is not only is it for everyone, it’s for every body. I have clients that range from these young kids, fifteen to 80 years old. Yoga is a practice with many benefits, so you can kind of start where you are and progress into it,” Chance said.

The benefits yoga has on both the body and mind are vast, Chance says. And being able to help others discover that is something she takes deep pride in.

“Even just training your body how to breathe deeper. How to relax your nervous system puts you in a state of balance and equilibrium.”

Chance also does personal training in people’s homes to help them get back on their feet and teams up with local businesses to bring the community together with one goal in mind.

“We’re here to support each other. We’re here to create safe spaces where we feel good around each other, to lift each other up not pull each other down — just embracing that positivity and health wellness attitude,” she said.