Since 2005, Queen Street Yoga has become known in Kitchener-Waterloo for its practical, fun, and alignment-based approach to yoga. Our highly-trained teachers specialize in making yoga accessible to beginners and people of all shapes, sizes, and fitness levels. For more experienced students we offer workshops, intermediate courses, and teacher training.
Queen Street Yoga is a haven of sunshine, quiet, and wide open space in the heart of downtown Kitchener. QSY is a place where people of varied demographics come together to learn and grow through the practices of yoga, meditation, and creative arts. We are dedicated to community outreach, bringing yoga and meditation to high schools, addiction programs, and social work projects in Kitchener and Waterloo. We have been recognized by the Kitchener Downtown Business Association for Community Involvement.
As a business and as people living in the Kitchener-Waterloo community, we acknowledge that we are on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishnawbe, and Haudenosaunee peoples. Queen Street Yoga is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land promised to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River.
Yoga means to unite or to connect. At Queen Street Yoga, we aim to be aware of the intricate and complicated ways that we are connected to all living beings and to the land. The colonial processes by which we came to live on this land were and are deeply unjust and have caused and continue to cause harm to Indigenous peoples. We endeavour to be accountable to this reality in ways that go beyond apology or acknowledgement on a website or poster. We welcome feedback and critique on our efforts.
Learn more about our process of writing this land acknolwedgement and learn about related actions and learning opportunities in this blog post.
1. Queen Street Yoga is a Scent-Free Environment. Please refrain from wearing or applying any scented products including hand cream, deodorant, natural scents, body spray, and scented lip balm. This is a health issue, not a preference -- several of our teachers and students have severe allergic reactions to scents. Click here for more in-depth info about this policy and tips for going scent-free.
2. If you think you might be pregnant, be sure to let the teacher know how far along you are. Even in the first trimester there are key modifications we would like to give you to keep you safe and comfortable.
3. Do not leave valuables in the changerooms. QSY is not responsible for lost or stolen articles. Bring wallets, cell phones, and keys into the practice rooms and leave them in the cubbies under the windows.
4. In all classes, place an Adjustment Card at the front of your mat. Flip it to “Yes” if you are comfortable with being touched/adjusted by the teacher. Flip it to “No” if you would prefer not to be touched by the teacher.
5. If you are late to a class, wait until the centering/opening is over and the class has sung “Om” to enter the room.
6. If you rent a mat, please place $1 in the basket on the prop shelf or window ledge. Clean the mat after class with the provided mat spray and towel and place your mat back on the prop shelf.
7. QSY is welcoming of people of all genders and sexual orientations. Our all-gender bathroom can double as a all-gender changeroom, as it has a lock on the main door. Individuals who choose to use this as a changeroom can place their belongings in the cubbies in the practice rooms. Read more about our initiatives for inclusion here.
8. QSY is welcoming of all body sizes. We strive to be a body-positive space that welcomes a diversity of sizes and abilities into our classes.
9. Inversions at QSY: We choose not to teach full Headstand and full Shoulderstand (where weight is placed on the head and neck) due to safety concerns for the spine. We ask that students do not practice these poses before, after, or during public classes for the safety of all QSY members. Read more about why we have this policy on our blog here.
10. Most classes will begin with the sound of Om (Aum) and end with Namaste. We welcome your participation in these traditional gestures, but appreciate that for the reasons of faith or personal preference you may choose not to participate. The sound of Aum is said to resonate with all of creation. Aum connects us to all that is around us, including each other. Creating this sound also aides in the opening of the nasal passageways and deepening the breath. Namaste is a salutation that means "the awareness within me honours and recognizes that same awareness within you."
Your Intro to Yoga course has made a huge impact on my life. I feel that I am learning the best technique, I am sleeping through the night, have very little back pain now, and what I have learned in your classes carries over into my life in many ways, in particular, into my violin teaching. So….my students are benefitting as well. Most of all, I feel more connected to myself, to people around me and to the earth. - Olga K.
Thanks for creating such a great space at QSY! I only really began to do yoga on a regular basis (tried it a handful of times before) in November when I started coming to the community classes with Emma at your studio and I'm loving learning at Queen Street. The friendly atmosphere and emphasis on joy, fun and technique is much appreciated! -Paula
Leena, your ability to inspire and teach should not go unmentioned. What I have learned through you is unmeasurable. I am continually inspired by your energy, your enthusiasm, and your ability to create a comfortable and non-competitive learning environment. Thank you for your guidance and dedication to the practice. - Brian S.
Emma, I just wanted to thank you so much for your approach, your inclusivity, and the difference you made in me. I was very apprehensive about doing yoga (formally) because I was afraid of judgment, of my lack of ability, of a million things. I'm extremely fat-positive, active, and open, but I get stopped up really easily with criticism from others. I got so much from attending your classes at Queen Street Yoga over the summer. Not only was I challenged physically, but when I was/am unable to do something, I always felt encouraged by you in a completely non-judgmental, non-patronizing way. I did not expect to find this kind of safety in doing yoga formally at a studio. You do an amazing job of what you do and I hope your approach never changes. - Katie C.
Thanks for being such a great yoga teacher for me – it has made a big difference in my mental and physical health. I try to apply yoga ideas every day, even when I’m not at a class or practicing at home! -Kim
If possible, could someone pass a message on to the teacher that her intro class last night (hip opening) was so awesome! Thank you very much. -Kate
This message is for Julie, my pre-natal yoga instructor. I just wanted to pass along the news that I had my baby girl last Wednesday, and everything went amazingly well. I have to say, I was able to handle this labour a LOT better this time around, and managed to have a completely natural birth, due in part to what I learned from Julie in pre-natal yoga. I was able to actually focus my breathing and use some of the postures taught by Julie to better manage my pain. So, thank you very much!! - Briana M.
That was another great class, thanks! I’m sore in a great way today! -Christopher
I just want to thank you SO much for all the energy and passion you put into teaching yoga. I have been doing yoga off and on for the past three years, but this past year was the best. Yoga has made me feel so alive and in-tune with my body and soul. Thanks for creating a rich learning environment! -Rachel
My daughter and I really enjoyed our drop in class on Friday evening. It was her first experience at yoga and I think she's going to sign up for your Intro to Yoga course. We both LOVED your studio space and the abundance of props! -Bonnie
Thanks so much Emma. Taking up yoga has been the best decision I have made for myself. I can't believe how much more movement I have and I know I need to continue in order to have lots more movement. I had a pulled groin muscle and with stretching it correctly it is now fixed for the first time in 2 years. Unbelievable!! I continue to stretch to get even more flexibility. I'm loving it. Thanks to you. You are awesome. - Deb
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