Why we’re jealous of yoga teachers in KW

Emma from Queen Street Yoga here. And if you are a yoga teacher in KW, I’m jealous of you.  😉

When I did my teacher training, I had to travel. Not to glamourous locations like Costa Rica or India, but to small studios in freezing Winnipeg and land-locked Cincinnati. I travelled because I am picky – I knew who I wanted to study with, and I was willing to go the distance. I slept on couches, spent hours on Greyhound buses. One time I even got turned away from the US border (that is a story for another day). It was exciting to see new places and learn new things, but it was also a slog.

I experienced wonderful bonds and community with the people in my trainings (200hr and beyond), but it was hard to sustain the excitement and conversation once I returned homeLeena was the only other yoga teacher in KW that was studying the same type of yoga as me. So for a long time, it was just her and I, talking about teaching and practicing together.

Leena and I took over the leadership of Queen Street Yoga in 2012 and since then, have created the kind of yoga teacher trainings that we wish we could have taken. Leena also travelled a lot for training, and while it was cool for her to study with Ram Dass in Maui (just a little name-dropping for ya), it lacked the continuity and growth that comes with ongoing community. Our teacher trainings in the last few years have aimed to connect individuals to a lively and regular sense of community – that “thing” that most of us are seeking in our lives. With the practice of yoga and mindfulness at the centre, our trainings have evolved to become transformative communities.

Here’s where my jealousy comes in. This year, Leena and I have curated a Continuing Education program for yoga and movement teachers with some of the top teachers in Canada. All of them are leaders in their fields, and they are doing wonderful things for the world of movement education.

I am jealous of you because all of these incredible teachers are coming to KW and all you need to do is show up. No greyhound buses, no sleeping on couches, no trouble at the US border. We are bringing them to you. And throughout this program, we are dedicated to making the community of yoga and movement teachers in KW (and surrounding areas) more connected to each other, more confident and hugely inspired.

So who are these top teachers? Some you may recognize from the shiny world of Instagram: Cecily Milne of Yoga Detour has been merging Functional Range Conditioning and a buttload of her own brand of creativity to make yoga more physically sustainable and well rounded. She’ll be with us in January. And Kathryn Bruni-Young has taken her studies in strength training and combined them with the mindset of yoga to give people the practice of Mindful Strength. You can catch her in June. Madeleine Shen is a movement teacher that flies under the radar – she doesn’t have an Instagram account, and you’ve probably never heard of her, but she is really something – she has been quietly blowing people’s minds in Toronto for several years, blending knowledge from the Axis Syllabus Research Community with yoga to make it intelligent, accessible and enjoyable.  And Leena and I will be teaching people the lost art of lying the f*&$k down in our Restorative Immersion and YTT, as well as framing the program with shorter workshops to keep the conversation going about teaching, learning and adapting our practices as teachers and movers.

There are a few more guest teachers in the mix: Jennifer Snowdon will teach about the Buteyko approach to breathing, Christopher Bourke will bring his background as a social worker to a workshop on Trauma-Aware Yoga Teaching. We are so excited to hang out with all these awesome teachers, we can barely wait for the fall to come! But, we also can. Summer is the best.

We hope you join us for the full program, as we’ve created it to be a well-rounded, community-oriented experience. Teachers who take the full program will experience a depth of conversation that those who are dipping in once or twice will only get a taste of. The need for face-to-face community is growing in this age of social media and online classes – it’s great to be able to study online with anyone, but what is possible in face-to-face conversation is deeper and richer than comments on an Instagram post. You know that – you teach in-person classes. What your students learn from you is possible because you’re in the same room together, breathing the same air, sharing the same space.

We know that life is busy, and it can be hard to commit to a full program. So you are also able to sign up for the modules individually, space permitting.

We hope you choose to come and share this learning space with us.  Check out the program details here, including $255 off when you sign up for the full program by Aug 20. Have a beautiful rest of your summer.

With care, Leena & Emma

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Leena Miller Cressman is the director of Queen Street Yoga. Right now she’s in love with practicing the Tensegrity Repair Series, handstands and doing gentle twists over her bolster. You’ll also find her cruising around on her rusty but trusty bike, and tending to her community garden plot full of arugula, kale, and basil.




2012-11-02-09-09-42 copyEmma Dines is the creative director of Queen Street Yoga. She loves writing, visiting thrift stores and going for walks in the woods. She also loves cartwheeling, sewing and making her own kimchi.

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