Community Care Package for our Muslim and Indigenous Neighbours

The Branches would like to offer a care package of yoga resources to our neighbours who may be experiencing grief and pain connected to harms to their communities. After the discovery of the remains of 215 children in unmarked graves at the Kamloops Residential school (and 104 at the Manitoba Residential School), and the murder of the Afzaal family in London, we want to offer both solidarity and support to Muslim and Indigenous community members who are hurting.

At The Branches, we approach Yoga from the perspective that everyone is dealing with or healing from stresses and trauma of some kind. We believe that trauma can occur for individuals and communities even if the violence in question does not extend directly to them; the impact of hearing news stories can bring up all kinds of feelings and experiences, from numbness and shock, to fear, confusion, anxiety or guilt. All of our teachers instruct with a trauma-aware lens, acknowledging that everyone has unique experiences and different needs. In our practice videos you will be encouraged to choose what makes sense for your own physical and emotional needs as you move. 

Our Community Care Package includes 20 practice videos: our Yoga Foundations series for getting started with the practice of yoga postures, our Yoga for Stress Relief series, an introduction to Yoga for Trauma Recovery, and a variety of gentle self-care practice videos.

This offering is not linked to any promotions – your email will not be added to any of our newsletter lists, and you will not be marketed to in any way. Our aim is to practice Community Care by sharing our resources. However, we do want to extend the warm invitation that you are very welcome to join us at The Branches for yoga and community events if the way that we teach and hold space feels healing for you. We have sliding-scale priced daily live classes, both online and in-person. We would love to share community space with you. 

If you are a member of a Muslim or Indigenous community, click this link to get access to the Care Package. You will need the ability to stream videos to access this package, and you will have access to the videos forever (or as long as we’re around). 

Meet Our Grads: Min Min

Min Min Tong graduated from our Yoga Teacher Training program in 2018 and has stayed connected to the studio community through teaching and taking classes. We appreciate Min Min’s commitment to social justice and continue to learn from her commitment to anti-oppression work. Here’s what she had to say about her experience.


What is happening in your yoga teaching life?

In my first year, I taught $5 classes (aimed at making yoga more financially accessible) at QSY. It was a wonderful experience. I also subbed several 7:30am classes, which really got my blood pumping in the morning! In the spring of 2020, QSY gave me the opportunity to teach my first 8-week course. I was grateful for having dipped my toes in, but the pandemic put a pause on the program. Since then, I’ve taught classes online via Zoom to office! As a school teacher, I’ve also been able to incorporate yoga and meditation into some of my classes.

What was your biggest takeaway from our program?

The sense of community at Queen Street Yoga has kept me going. It’s no secret that it can be really hard to find paid work the first few years as a yoga teacher. Having support from my fellow graduates, as well as my former teachers, Leena, Emma, Nicole and Monica, was very encouraging, through the periods where I wasn’t teaching or unable to find work. They reached out to me when I had questions and even kept me in the loop when new opportunities arose. I could not have asked to be supported by a better group of people.

“I had so many questions to ask. My curiosity was driving me to learn more and I was looking for a space to grow and be challenged. QSY was such a safe and supportive space. I was able to bring in thoughts and ideas from a personal lens, as a person of colour.”

Did you have any hesitations about doing the program that you had to address? Or obstacles you had to overcome?

I knew that this YTT program was for me because I had so many questions to ask. My curiosity was driving me to learn more and I was looking for a space to grow and be challenged. QSY was such a safe and supportive space. I was able to bring in thoughts and ideas from a personal lens, as a person of colour. I also greatly appreciated that the curriculum covered topics such as maintaining boundaries and explored what consensual touch means. As a victim of sexual assault, I have noticed that too many yoga studios don’t address it in their training. The program at YTT has done a thorough job of addressing some truly important and imperative issues in their training.

What would you say to someone who is trying to decide whether or not to do our training? What could you say to help them decide?

Queen Street Yoga is a place to grow, learn and be challenged. If you are a person who thinks deeply about anti-oppression or systemic disparities, this is a place where you will be engaged. Your voice will be heard and respected.


Choosing a Yoga Teacher Training program is a big decision. Learn more about our dynamic and empowering program on our website, and register for a Virtual Info Session to connect with Emma, Leslie and Leena, YTT Directors.

Meet Our Grads: Kayla

Kayla Haas graduated from our Yoga Teacher Training program in 2020 and has begun her teaching journey online during the pandemic. We look forward to seeing where she goes. You can connect with Kayla on Instagram at @kay.jay.h. Here’s what she had to say about her experience.


What is happening in your yoga teaching life?

After graduating from QSY’s 200hr YTT in 2020, I started teaching family and friends 1-2 times a week online. This year, I taught virtual kids yoga classes through a community centre and completed QSY’s 40hr Restorative YTT. I currently teach a private student through QSY and have subbed a few classes there.

What was your biggest takeaway from our program?

Yoga is so much more than physical postures. I credit the knowledgeable YTT faculty and guest speakers for helping me understand how to integrate yoga philosophy into all areas of my life. This foundational learning encouraged me to seek more information about the roots and evolution of yoga in order to better understand styles taught today.

“The learning that takes place within this training will spill into other areas of your life. You will be challenged to expand your self-awareness and critically examine your worldview.”

Did you have any hesitations about doing the program that you had to address? Or obstacles you had to overcome?

I worried about taking up space in a YTT program, and within yoga spaces in general, as a white woman. I had to reconcile feelings of guilt and uncertainty with my desire to deepen my practice and learn to teach. I knew I didn’t want to treat a YTT as just something to fill my time with, so I made sure I had the capacity to fully engage with the material in this program.

What would you say to someone who is trying to decide whether or not to do our training? What could you say to help them decide?

This program demands an investment of your time and energy for 10 months. The learning that takes place within this training will spill into other areas of your life. You will be challenged to expand your self-awareness and critically examine your worldview. This training was enriching, difficult, comprehensive, exhausting, and nourishing all at once.


Choosing a Yoga Teacher Training program is a big decision. Learn more about our dynamic and empowering program on our website, and register for a Virtual Info Session to connect with Emma, Leslie and Leena, YTT Directors.

Here’s our new name, you can take it or leaf it

A Post from Leena Miller Cressman, Queen Street Yoga Owner/Director 

We needed a new name. But how to choose?

After the weighty decision to move from our home of 15 years, 44 Queen Street South, the decision to find a new name was obvious. However, what to rename ourselves ended up feeling like a monumental task. It took several months of brainstorming, testing, and soul-searching before we finally reached a decision. I felt a huge responsibility to rename this studio, since Queen Street Yoga has been a special place for many people for a long time – including me. This task felt akin to renaming a teenager. 

I wanted a name that felt true to who we already are, and would lead us into what we can become. This has been an opportunity to think carefully about why our studio exists. And now, I am proud to introduce you to our new name: The Branches.

We wanted this new name to connect to our values. The branches of Yoga include so much more than just asana (postures). It is meditation, community service, and a spiritual pathway to wholeness. In addition to being a way to care for our bodies, we believe Yoga and movement practices can be a catalyst for social and environmental justice. Yoga practice can help us recognize our interconnectedness. Yoga can give us sustenance to care for ourselves and others. With Yoga as our common ground, we can learn to engage with the world more wholeheartedly. 

Our studio has been around for 16 years and we hope “The Branches” conjures the image of a huge, mature tree. We’re not a young sapling. We’ve got deep roots, a sturdy trunk, a big canopy, and we’re home to lots of life. The Branches represent the diverse people who have gathered in our community for the past decade and a half, and the many new people we are connecting with in online classes. Our new name speaks to the many people who have graduated from our Yoga Teacher Training to seed their own classes in schools, prisons, community centres, backyards, and seniors’ homes. Our strong branches reach far beyond a physical location.

We’re not a young sapling. We’ve got deep roots, a sturdy trunk, a big canopy, and we’re home to lots of life.

The Branches is a place of growth and nourishment. In our new location, no longer beholden to landlords and threatened by ever-increasing rent prices, we have more freedom to put down roots and create inclusive community space. We are working to build a ramp to make our ground-floor studio accessible. To remove financial barriers, we’re now offering sliding-scale prices for all our classes. We hope that our space can become a hub for community action by offering low-cost meeting rooms. Our new location is easily accessible by public transit, walking and biking. We’re in the middle of major renovations and have invested in a small environmental footprint by eliminating natural gas and retrofitting our building with energy-efficient heating, cooling and insulation. 

Come practice yoga with us outside under the branches of the maple, linden, and spruce trees

So welcome to The Branches. We’re so excited to practice together with you in our brand-new yoga space, whether in person or online. It’s going to be beautiful! This summer, as we await the hopeful resolution of the pandemic and our renovations, come practice yoga with us outside under the branches of the maple, linden, and spruce trees on our spacious back deck. 

P.S. We have a brand new website to match our name launching soon!

Meet Our Grads: Nadine

Nadine Quehl graduated from our Yoga Teacher Training program in 2018 and is dedicated to sharing yoga as a form of community care. We admire her work as an advocate for the incarcerated women she teaches, and are so glad she is sharing her warmth and knowledge in the community. Here’s what she had to say about her experience.


What is happening in your yoga teaching life?

Before the pandemic I was teaching yoga to women at Grand Valley Institution (GVI). Since the pandemic started, I have led free Community Care classes for QSY with my friend Sara. I’m grateful that we were able to share those yoga class recordings with the women at GVI, since it hasn’t been possible to teach in-person there since the pandemic began.

I have been leading mindful movement sessions for my choir Inshallah once or twice on Zoom to keep us connected. I have also shifted teaching yoga for my colleagues at the University of Waterloo to an online format. This year I started the Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy Practicum at the Centre for Mindfulness Studies, which I love incorporating into my classes.

“I have had a shift in my personal practice of gratitude, self-kindness and community care – a journey that has deepened significantly as a result of YTT.”

What was your biggest takeaway from our program?

QSY teacher training enabled me to witness and embody the power of connection and compassion, as well as confidence. I started the program thinking that I would deepen my practice only, and not teach afterwards, but I have been teaching consistently since I graduated (and in a prison, which I never would have envisioned). I have had a shift in my personal practice of gratitude, self-kindness and community care – a journey that has deepened significantly as a result of YTT. QSY also gave me a whole new understanding of what ‘yoga’ is and the importance of making it accessible and inclusive and taking it ‘off the mat’ to address issues that need transforming in our world.

Did you have any hesitations about doing the program that you had to address? Or obstacles you had to overcome?

After spending way too many years in graduate school and getting burned out, I was hesitant to enter an intensive program of study, but QSY’s encouraging and caring community made a huge difference in my ability to learn and thrive. I also wondered if I would have enough time to commit to the practice and homework. I was concerned that an academic study of yoga might sap the joy from the practice but, happily, it made me love and appreciate yoga even more. I was terrified of teaching, but going in with an open attitude and intention to do the training to enhance my own practice helped.

What would you say to someone who is trying to decide whether or not to do our training? What could you say to help them decide?

I would suggest considering your availability, as it is a big time commitment and you will get the most out of the program if you can make time not only for the readings and classes, but also for the home practice of yoga. Talking to grads is a great start, and I am happy to chat with you if you want to reach out. Connecting with the faculty, be curious and ask lots of questions about the program.


Choosing a Yoga Teacher Training program is a big decision. Learn more about our dynamic and empowering program on our website, and register for a Virtual Info Session to connect with Emma, Leslie and Leena, YTT Directors.

Meet Our Grads: Chris

Chris Bourke graduated from our Yoga Teacher Training program in 2016 and has gone on to teach and work with several leaders in the yoga and movement world, and is innovating his own approach to yoga for mental health. We are so proud of how Chris is flourishing in his career, and can’t wait to see where he goes next. You can connect with Chris @anchoredtides on Instagram. Here’s what he had to say about his experience.


What is happening in your yoga teaching life?

The QSY YTT gave me an incredible launchpad into many movement training and teaching opportunities. This was in large part due to the way Emma and Leena fostered our unique teaching voices and interests. I remember our final teaching assignment allowed us to pick the ideal community we wanted to teach to, and how we would want to teach. That creative space opened the door for me to explore movement for mental health. I am currently teaching with GOODBODYFEEL and Mindful Strength as well as my own mental health focused practice, Anchored Tides.

What was your biggest takeaway from our program?

QSY was one of the first yoga studios that put a strong focus on anti-oppression and inclusion in their training. We had some remarkable guest teachers that taught us about anti-racism, LGBTQ2S+ spaces, and body inclusivity. That was one of the biggest takeaways – how to build spaces that are welcoming and inclusive to folks. They bolstered the confidence in holding those spaces and the humility it takes to make mistakes, and learn as you engage this work.

Did you have any hesitations about doing the program that you had to address? Or obstacles you had to overcome?

I remember when I first considered signing up for the training I thought “Do I practice yoga enough to do this and become a teacher?” I quickly learned that being a teacher and space holder is less about the postures or the movement, and much more about how we show up compassionately (ourselves included). This training taught me so much about building confidence in front of others from a place of embracing imperfection and not having to know it all.

“That was one of the biggest takeaways – how to build spaces that are welcoming and inclusive to folks. They bolstered the confidence in holding those spaces and the humility it takes to make mistakes, and learn as you engage this work.”

What would you say to someone who is trying to decide whether or not to do our training? What could you say to help them decide?

A Yoga Teacher Training is a really wonderful experience regardless of whether it yields a road towards teaching. You spend a whole year in this loving community of people who support one another and nurture each other’s personal/professional growth. During these wild times of disconnection and change, feeling supported by a community is incredibly invaluable. Aside from that, this training is going to give you some of the most innovative, progressive and up-to-date teaching strategies. Leena is a pedagogy GENIUS! Emma is a whiz in creativity and compassionate sequencing. Leslie is a strength and nervous system powerhouse. You are going to feel SUPER supported and SUPER smart afterwards.


Choosing a Yoga Teacher Training program is a big decision. Learn more about our dynamic and empowering program on our website, and register for a Virtual Info Session to connect with Emma, Leslie and Leena, YTT Directors.

Shame About Shame: A Reflection from Emma

This post is written by QSY co-director and lead teacher, Emma. This month, she is starting a gentle return from her maternity leave, and is excited to rejoin the QSY community.


Shame about shame. Would we call that Meta-shame?

I officially come back from my maternity leave later this spring, but I’ve got some thoughts to share with the community as I start to think about yoga and teaching again. 

One thing I’ve been mulling over during my maternity leave is body shame. And not just shame about my body, but shame ABOUT the shame about my body. Because I shouldn’t be feeling body shame, right? I’ve been teaching Yoga for Round Bodies for 8 years, talking up themes of body neutrality, self-acceptance and self-love in my classes and our teacher training. I’m YOUR cheerleader for taking things at your own pace, for focusing on how it feels to be in your body or yoga poses, rather than thinking about what you look like. I’m supposed to be a role model for self-acceptance, right?

The Sting of the Second Arrow

This shame I’m feeling is what many Buddhists call “the second arrow”, which I first heard about from Tara Brach. Simply put, when we experience something painful, there is often reactivity and blame (of someone else or ourselves). We experience more suffering than the initial pain, a suffering on top of suffering. Tara talks about cultivating the ability to “pause, recognize and open” in order to step out of that cycle of suffering. 

Pause. Okay, deep breath. 

Pause and recognize. I guess where I need to start then, is recognizing that I still have body shame. Actually, let me re-write that. I recognize that my culture taught me to have body shame, and I’m still recovering from that. My culture taught me that the best bodies were thin, fit, able and beautiful. My culture taught me that if I gained weight, I was lazy, ugly and unlovable. Oof. That’s quite a cultural idea to recover from. 

It’s a tangled thing, unravelling these cultural stories and seeing how they show up in my mind. That’s where the shame about the shame comes in. I feel embarrassed that I haven’t completely transformed the way I feel about my body. I want to hide that, and only show the part of myself that is okay with how my body looks and moves. I can’t tell my yoga students or community that I don’t completely accept my body, can I?

Pause, recognize and open. Sure I can. Something I’ve discovered about shame is that it changes when I speak it out loud. When I share the vulnerability of it, and ask others to hold it with me. 

Do we have to already love ourselves to practice Yoga?

When I really sit with this and mull it over, it points me to the importance of having spaces and communities like ours, where we can show up in our realness, where we can pause, recognize and open on our own terms. Where we can be our half-realized dreams of who we are and want to be, and live the unravelling and reconstructing process that it is to learn about and (eventually, maybe, sometimes) love ourselves.  It’s not REQUIRED that you already accept and love yourself to practice yoga. That can be what a yoga practice nudges, nurtures and slowly allows.

A community like ours doesn’t make self-acceptance the next “perfect” to measure ourselves against. We can be careful not to make shame about shame the “new shame in town”. We can recognize that there is always more to learn, practice and discover about ourselves, and there is always more kindness we can extend. 

Reflecting on this also reaffirms my dedication to this work. This work of facilitating movement spaces where our bodies and attitudes can be welcomed with love. This work of making sure these themes are present and active in our teacher training program. We can work together to create a culture around bodies that tells new and different stories. Because the old narratives are harmful and untrue and they rob us of joy. They keep us separated from one another in little boxes of shame.

Have you experienced something like meta-shame? Or other concoctions of feelings about your body? Did it come after a big body change (like for me, pregnancy)? Or a gradual body change? What kinds of thoughts did you notice coming up? Did you feel like you could share them?

Proprio-what? Exploring ProprioCEPTION

This blog post is written by Elizabeth McFaul, graduate of our 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training program. Elizabeth was a long-time work-trade at the studio, and she continues to be an avid knitter, farmer’s market-goer, and Yoga enthusiast. Our trainees write blog posts as a part of their homework, and Elizabeth chose to dive deep into the movement education thread of our training.


What is proprioception? 

Close your eyes and move one of your hands around in front of you. Touch your ear, then the top of your head. You are able to do this (hopefully accurately!) because of your proprioceptive system.

Proprioception is your body sense, or your kinaesthetic awareness. It is your brain’s ability to sense the relative positions and movements of your different body parts. Because of proprioception, you can sense your hand in space as you move it around, even though your eyes are closed. It’s sometimes referred to as our sixth sense or a sensory map.  

Why is it important?

Your proprioceptive system allows you to make coordinated movements. It provides for body awareness, coordination, and motor skills. If we had to look at our limbs with every task, we wouldn’t be very effective. Imagine looking down every time we take a step, or looking at our arms when dribbling a ball, petting a cat, or putting things away. When we close our eyes, we still sense our body’s place in the world, relative to other items and relative to itself. 

Proprioception is important for everyday tasks, but it’s essential for sports and other activities where movements involve several body parts acting in a connected and coordinated fashion. It would be impossible for a gymnast to land a backflip if they didn’t have an elite level of body sense, aware of the position of each of their limbs at all times. 

What happens when your proprioception gets compromised?

Since all coordinated movement depends on your proprioceptive system, when it is compromised, simple activities like walking or standing can become challenging. 

Your proprioception can be compromised by neurological disease, impairment, or pain. Pain reduces the brain’s ability to process proprioceptive information from the joint(s), because it is busy listening to pain signals instead, and the high-priority pain signals crowd out the other signals. Pain also tends to lessen movement in the injured joint, leading to less detail in the sensory map. Pain reduces movement, which reduces coordination, which can reduce movement further, and so forth. 

Sensing your own proprioception

You can tune into and refine your own sense of proprioception with exploratory movements that are new, interesting, and rich in sensory input. Intention also plays a critical role, as does repetition. This is often why physiotherapy focuses on deliberate, repeated movements to help your body recreate maps for the injured area. 

Here are five fun ways you can explore your sense of proprioception:

  1. Explore balance, especially on an uneven surface (like a foam block). Balancing on an uneven surface forces your body to make continual adjustments to stay balanced, offering a lot of sensory input in the knees and ankles. This can help your speed and efficiency in making micro adjustments to movements like changing direction, kicking, and stepping, which can prevent twisted knees or ankles in sports. The more uneven the surface, the more challenging this motion can be. 
  1. Build awareness in an eyes-closed Sun Salutation. Start by completing a few rounds of Sun Salutation A. Try to keep yourself at a consistent pace. Then close your eyes and repeat. Are there changes to how you feel the movement? Do you approach the movements differently? What else might you notice? Closing your eyes removes that sensory input, focusing your efforts on proprioception and other senses.  
  1. Play some Hopscotch! Grab a piece of chalk and create your hopscotch. You can play hopscotch the traditional way, or for an additional challenge, pause between each hop (around 20 seconds), balancing on one foot. Reaching for the rock changes your relationship to gravity and the dynamic movement of hopping from one foot to another challenges your proprioceptive system with things that are novel & new. 
  1. Test your control with a Crossover Walk or a Grapevine. Try this exercise slowly, concentrating on the movements and focusing your awareness on your knees. Start with your feet a bit more than shoulder width apart, bend your knees, then cross one leg over another, taking a large step to the side. Step out so that your feet are returned to their original position, and then repeat, sidestepping like this 5-10 times in both directions. If you’d like to try a different version of this, try the grapevine. Cross one leg over another in front, then for the next step, cross behind. 
  1. Reach and replace in Warrior 3 Block Play. Grab a block (or something similar in shape). Stand on one leg, take the block in one hand, and bend forward to place the block on the ground. Come back upright, then bend forward again, picking up the block with the opposite hand. Come back upright, and repeat. You can make this as challenging as you’d like by placing the block in different locations. Placing the block very far away, behind you, or very close to your standing leg all can add difficulty. You can see proprioception in action if you look away while you explore this exercise. Your body remains aware of the location of the block even as you aren’t looking.  

What other ways can you explore your body’s sixth sense?


Loving this content? To learn more about our 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training program, click here.

Let’s Talk About Yoga Spaces

This post is written by Cassidy McCabe (pictured right), graduate of our 2020 Yoga Teacher Training cohort, and features a conversation with her friend and fellow Yoga practitioner, Adwoa Toku (pictured left).

I knew that enrolling in the yoga teacher-training program through Queen St. Yoga would transform the way I thought about yoga forever. Initially, I learned how to sequence a great class, how to give anatomical cues, and how to adapt poses for different skill levels.  It was very important to me to be prepared to teach students from their mats; and as I continued to study, my understanding of yoga was drastically altered. The changes in my concept of yoga began when the program introduced some preliminary anti-oppression education. I started to contemplate some of the personal challenges that can inhibit individuals from even taking their first step onto a yoga mat. I began to wonder if yoga is accessible to all people.

Spoiler alert: it’s generally not.

Can race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, age, body size or ability be a barrier which stops people from even beginning a personal yoga journey? These questions started to percolate with me, serendipitously, at the same time I was being exposed to the Black Lives Matter social movement in my community and around the world. To further explore my questions, I reached out to one of my close friends, Adwoa Toku. 

Adwoa, wearing black shorts and a t-shirt, practices Dancer's pose outside among flowers and shrubs.

 “Creating these transformative practices to address things that we know we’re all dealing with… the anxiety we feel in our bodies; the fear, the guilt, the shame, these are things that a lot of the time, even if we talk about, it still exist within our bodies. So how do we move these things that our body holds outside of it; and how do we then give ourselves space to move forwards and to move together?” –Adwoa Toku

Learning In Relationship

Adwoa and I have been friends since we met in residence at Wilfrid Laurier University, in 2012. We discovered yoga separately, but would communicate elements of our journey with each other, and share our love for the practice. Given our friendship, I felt comfortable asking Adwoa for her perspective. As a Black yogi, I hoped Adwoa would be able to provide me with some insight to the questions I had a desire to explore.  When I approached her about the concept of how yoga spaces can be inhibitive for individuals, Adwoa was enthusiastic about being part of the conversation.

Adwoa’s Lived Experiences

We recorded ourselves on a Zoom call and the results were informative and transformative for me personally. Adwoa’s charisma and honesty shines through, as she speaks from the heart about her yoga journey. Here is the link to our conversation:

Adwoa had a few final words to summarize the key points of our discussion:

“At the end of the day, my experience as a Black yogi is equal to my experience moving through the world; navigating spaces that don’t necessarily see me in their landscape, but knowing I deserve to shape my life in a way that fills me up. It’s up to those who hold privilege to show up and have the hard conversations with their peers, who hold privilege as well. It’s the ways of complacency and comfort that have led us here; those of us who experience it’s shadow know that marginalization is nothing new. Moving from a heart-centred place sometimes feels like jumping into the fire, of all the hard realities we don’t want to see, but is necessary for change.” -Adwoa Toku

Big News!

 

Dear QSY Community,

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you. Thanks for all the ways you have supported us over the course of the pandemic: from sending encouraging words, to joining our virtual memberships, to coming to outdoor yoga this summer, to supporting us with your holiday shopping, you have shown up for us. While we aren’t out of the storm yet, it is truly thanks to you that this email is not a closure announcement. 

Instead, I want to share a very big decision we’ve made, one that affirms our deep commitment to continuing the work we’re doing:

We will be moving to a new location! 

Our current space on Queen Street has been home to our community since the beginning, in 2005. Because of all that history, this is not a decision we made lightly. I know this space carries deep meaning for so many of you, just as it does for me. But, we aren’t in a position to stay at 44 Queen and stay financially viable for the foreseeable future. 

I want to acknowledge that this year has already brought so many challenging transitions, so if another change feels hard for you too, I get it. But over the course of this pandemic, it became crystal clear to me that the magic of QSY isn’t the space. It’s the people who come to move, breathe, rest and laugh together that makes it so special. 

We can create that magic together wherever we go.

We are working our butts off to make our new dream location a reality. Running the studio and teaching is not a side gig. The studio provides full-time employment to three of us, and part-time work for a dozen other teachers. With the help of government subsidies and your support, we’ve been able to continue our work, and this has meant the world to us. 

We can’t give you all the details yet, but in the meantime, here’s what you can count on: 

  • We will be in Downtown Kitchener, and continue in-person classes
  • All of our amazing teachers and staff will come with us
  • We’ll stay online too, offering virtual classes, courses, and retreats
  • We’ll still offer high-caliber training for yoga teachers
  • We’ll have full continuity of our virtual offerings, and hopefully only a short pause of in-person classes while we move
  • Later this winter, we will share details of our moving plans and host an event to say farewell and honour our time at 44 Queen 

With your continued support, and alongside this plan to move locations, I’m hopeful that our yoga community will continue to be here long after this pandemic is a distant memory. Wishing you and yours a safe and cozy holiday season!

In Community, 

Leena Miller Cressman, QSY Director