At DiscoverHER Project, the month of September was all about connecting. There are so many ways one can be connected; by being mindful and connecting with yourself, with others, connecting in your career, and with your own personal passions. As you know, DiscoverHER Project wants to see more HER in the world and help young women pursue their dreams in a fearless way. Our September spotlight is someone who is embodying just that. She is a radiant soul who is fulfilling her dreams by connecting with herself, connecting with others, and collaborating with others in order for her to continue to grow and be the best teacher she can be.
Erin Chiarelli is an ambitious, bubbly, 25 year old yoga teacher who was born and raised in Ottawa, Canada. Being the oldest of four siblings, having that voice and being in a leadership role came easy to her.
At a young age, she fell in love with her first passion: soccer. As her passion for the sport kept growing, she made it her job to keep playing. When Erin graduated from high school, she attended Laurentian University for Concurrent Education where she joined the Laurentian Soccer Team. Three years went by and much to her dismay and any other athlete, she injured herself. She moved back to Ottawa and continued her education at the University of Ottawa.
“Even though I was sad and frustrated with my injury, coming back home brought me so many opportunities. I worked hard and things came my way. I was able to meet a ton of new people, I met my best friends through joining a sorority, I started working at Pure Yoga Ottawa which later lead me to do my teacher training and finding my community, a community where I felt the most at home. I am now a full-time yoga instructor after only a year of teaching.”
Another one of her passions include connecting with people, leading her to study at the University of Ottawa to become a teacher. Erin has always been a people-person. She loves meeting new people, learning about them, and helping them to succeed. However, throughout her studies, something still didn’t feel quite right. When asked what it was that ignited her spark to become a yoga teacher, she proudly said her mom. (What a proud mom moment)
“My mom completed her teacher training and I saw the amount of growth she went through at a time of her life when she was lost, so I thought I could also benefit from the training. At that time in my life, I was lost in what I wanted to do. I was in school to become a teacher but it didn’t feel right. I love exercising and I want to be a teacher, so I thought, why not combine the both! A piece of advice I would give to someone who is “lost” is everything happens for a reason. Even when things that are less desirable happen to you in your life, those things help you learn and grow as a person. I know if I didn’t go through my ups and downs, I definitely would not be where I am today. Because of those low times, I am stronger and more able to tackle what comes my way. ”
Yoga was never apart of her vision until her injury occurred. Although she had a passion for fitness, her injury made it very limiting. And alas, this is how yoga came into her life. Yoga allowed her to move and work with what her body needed. It allowed her to connect mindfully and challenge herself on and off of the mat. Little did she know that that feeling of being stuck and lost would disappear and she would start fulfilling her dreams in becoming a yoga instructor.
At 24 years old she became a certified yoga instructor, moved to Montreal to expand her teaching abilities, immersing herself in a different people environment and started becoming the teacher that she has always envisioned. After a few months of building her brand and learning what kind of teacher she strives to be, Erin decided to move back to Ottawa. The Pure Yoga family welcomed her with open arms as well as Movati Athletic, the University Of Ottawa and Algonquin College. Needless to say, she is doing amazing!
“I define success by my happiness and growth. I have come such a long way and my definition of success has changed so many times. In my eyes I am successful because I maintain strong relationships with my family, my close friends and work. I am working a job I love and I am constantly learning and changing even when sometimes that makes me feel uncomfortable, to me that is success.”
As Erin keeps growing as an individual, she is also evolving as a teacher. She is extremely excited about working at different universities and colleges. Although school can sometimes be a stressful place, she reminds us that it’s important to make time for ourselves no matter how busy we are. Being mindful and creating that healthy living lifestyle is essential to creating a positive, stress-free, healthy environment. If you’re having a bad day or simply need a brief escape from the outside world to refocus, Erin wants to be that champion for you. Making that connection with people not only helps her students but it also helps her. As she collaborates with different centres and institutions, it allows her to work with all different kinds of people. Recently, she has started working with students with disabilities and she is eager to learn and keep evolving.
“I wouldn’t say my vision has changed but it has become more refined and continues to be adjusted as I grow.”
Even though Erin is living and breathing her dream, her vision keeps growing and her goal is to eventually own a yoga studio. We here at The DiscoverHER Project wish you nothing but the best! We are so excited to see where your project brings you and we look forward to working with you in the future; we cannot wait to practice yoga at your studio!
“The best piece of advice I ever got is do what you love. I know it is a “known” thing but really if you are doing something you love, you will be much happier and that will radiate from you onto others.”
Founded on an ambition of helping girls succeed in becoming their best selves, DiscoverHER Project advocates the right to education for girls and women around the world. We aim to educate, invest, and empower in young women globally by offering a platform with programs, tools, and resources to enable them to succeed.