Queen Street Yoga: My First Yoga Love

Long time QSY student Carina Gaspar recently moved to Toronto, and she wrote this humorous post for her own blog about “breaking up” with Queen Street Yoga. We’ve since decided with her that we don’t have to break-up, but she can be in a long distance relationship with the studio. We look forward to seeing her on weekends when she’s back visiting from Toronto!

QSY is the kind of place that stays with you long after you go home. Where you feel pulled to go back, as opposed to having to push yourself to go in the first place. Where you feel a little homesick when you’re away for too long. And it’s because it has heart. And kickass teachers. And big windows, comfy blankets, a studio with character and cuteness, an approach that’s holistic and open and fluid. And, at the moment, a pretty rad sticker collection.

Photo c/o Emma Dines

I wrote that snippet last November, in reference to a contest Queen Street Yoga was having, but it rings even more true today as I sit in a Toronto cafe and take in my new/reclaimed city. I woke up this morning with one thought: let’s get my bum in gear and head off to class. Only to be hijacked by the fact that I’m in my Kensington apartment, a Greyhound ride away. Right. But the pull was still there.

The pull that makes me miss big hugs and cosmic abs (celestial core workouts are outta this world), toasty Accuballs, creaky vintage floors, and even that one light that squeaked for weeks because there wasn’t a tall enough ladder to reach and adjust it. Even that light became part of our practice, lending its falsetto to our ohms.

The pull also means I refuse to say goodbye to my teachers–also known as my friends–and to hoard two more classes on my pass because I can’t bear to finish it off. And also because I’ll return there soon, because I’m not giving up one of my homes. This just means I get to sign up for weekend workshops, yes? Yes.

Yoga dance party!
Yoga dance party!


Years ago, I was the girl who walked into a yoga studio in Toronto for the first time and walked right back out, terrified of the planking members. So, thank you to Leena who helped root me on my mat for the first time, and for showing me that it’s so much more than exercise. It’s self-care, community, and inextricably linked to who I am now. And thank you to Emma, Marisa, and Carin, and fellow yogis who are now some of my dearest, most cherished friends.

I’m going yoga studio shopping these next few weeks, and I can’t help but feel unfaithful. That I’ll be doing downward dog with someone new now. That someone else’s hands will be adjusting me. I never wanted to be a cheater! But at least I can take comfort in the fact that we’re all doing salutations to the same sun.

I’m sending out ohms and namastes to you all today.


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