By Hollie Grace James –
At only 22, Erin Harris might be young, but she has managed to bring a passionate idea to life over the course of only a handful of months.
Having signed a prestigious modelling contract that would have brought her to Miami, she was simply biding her time serving patrons at The Whiskey Bar in the downtown Ottawa’s Byward Market area. Warming up with some drinks one cold November night, things took on a serious tone with talk concerning that age old question: what do you really want from your future? Having spiritual parents (her mom is a retired school teacher turned yoga instructor), she took up Bikrim Yoga at a young age and even chose to travel through India for her twelfth birthday. So, naturally, her plans have always involved opening up her very own yoga studio.
As a recent graduate with no money or business experience of her own, she figured there was no rush and trusted that things would unfold as planned. Sometimes though, with a little encouragement and investment help from supportive friends, you just have to go for it. So Erin’s lifelong dream of owning her own yoga studio was going to come to fruition, just a lot sooner than expected. Jumping in head first, she cancelled her modelling contract and within a month had signed a lease for what would become SoulSpeak Yoga Studio, which officially opened on January 20.
It’s “a space to stretch, sweat, sit, and savasana,”says Erin, who is quick to reiterate that SoulSpeak is a studio for everyone. Everyone, according to SoulSpeak, means “the Yogis and Non-Yogis, the Newbies and the Gurus, the Warriors and the Happy Babies, the Yoginis and the YoGangsters.” There’s a class for every whim out there “whether you want to unwind, power up, slow down, tune in, or vibe out.” Getting much of their inspiration from the west (think less conservative India and more laid back Los Angeles), SoulSpeak Yoga has rolled out some trendy and popular classes like HipHop Flow, where you simply “roll out your mat and let the beat guide your practice.”
The sixteen teachers (with a surprisingly high number of male instructors) have a harmonious relationship of light and love, says Erin. Their positions were not advertised, and the teachers were personally referred to her through trustworthy sources. They’ve all become real friends, and you can get to know them under “THE FAM” tab on SoulSpeak’s website.
Yoga is all about strength, balance, and flexibility, in both the body and mind, and studies show it’s proven to increase mobility, strengthen and tone muscles, improve energy, circulation, digestion, respiration, aid in protection and recovery from injury and provide a sense of physical and emotional wellbeing and peace. Hitting the pause button is greatly beneficial for one’s health, and doing so is being made that much easier with the addition of SoulSpeak to the neighborhood.
For more information about SoulSpeak classes and pricing go to soulspeakyoga.ca.
*This feature is brought to you in part by Back on Track Physiotherapy and Health Centres.