Queen Street Yoga opened its doors in 2005 and has since then become known in Kitchener-Waterloo for its practical, fun, and alignment-based approach to yoga. Our aim is to make the practices of yoga and meditation more inclusive, fun, and relevant to our day-to-day lives. We are a community of teachers and students. We are movement educators and self-care advocates. We are a local business rooted in the KW community.
Movement Education. Based on years of yoga training and movement practice, we offer a progressive blend of yoga, functional movement, and strength training. We aim to empower students with a well-balanced approach to healthy movement, both on the mat and in day-to-day life. We incorporate mindfulness and self-inquiry into the practice to make it more holistic and meaningful. We share stories, laughs, and playfulness as we practice. We offer a range of classes, including both beginner-friendly and more athletic options.
Self-Care. We believe in slowing down and taking time to listen to our bodies, minds, and hearts. We share mindfulness techniques from a range of backgrounds in our Meditation courses. We teach the lost art of relaxation and stillness in our Rest and Renew classes. We offer retreats and workshops for individuals to reconnect with themselves and learn new self-care practices. We offer specialty yoga courses such as Prenatal Yoga, Yoga for Anxiety and Depression, and Yoga for Dynamic Aging.
Body Positivity. In a culture where body shaming and fat phobia are rampant, we aim to create a space where all bodies are welcomed, accepted, and celebrated. We hope to encourage a wider range of body sizes, ages, races, genders, and abilities to feel comfortable practicing yoga.
Accessibility and Inclusion. We see our business and yoga practice as a space to be the change we want to see in the world.
- We aim to create a space that is welcoming of all genders and identities; our all-gender washroom/changeroom is one way that we welcome folks of all genders into our space. We have many queer-identified members and staff, and we are proud to be listed in the Rainbow Pages as an LGBTQTI++ friendly business.
- We work to create a trauma-aware environment where each person is encouraged to participate in a way that is right for them. We use hands-on adjustment cards, so students can clearly and discreetly indicate their preference for hands-on adjustments.
- We care about cultural appropriation, representation, and inclusion. We work to educate ourselves and others about ways that we can work towards reconciliation and awareness of Indigenous Peoples in Canada.
- We know that finances can be a barrier to attending yoga; we offer a weekly $5 class to make yoga more financially accessible, and in the summer we offer free Yoga in the Park in collaboration with the City of Kitchener. We offer a work-trade program for individuals to exchange their time and energy for yoga classes.
The People Behind the Studio
Queen Street Yoga was founded in 2005 by Meaghan Johnson, based on the principles of community, mindfulness, and joy. After seven years as owner and director of QSY, Meaghan left the studio to pursue her dream of becoming a psychotherapist. She went on to graduate as valedictorian of her class at Concordia University in 2016.
In 2012, Leena Miller Cressman stepped into the role of owner and director of Queen Street Yoga, with Emma Dines as a co-director. Since 2012, Emma and Leena have been expanding the vision of Queen Street Yoga to include an emphasis on inclusivity, body-positivity, and queer and trans+ positivity. Under their leadership, QSY was recognized by the Kitchener Downtown Business Association for Community Involvement in 2014. QSY’s Vision Statement (written in 2012) is an expression of the values they hope to bring to the community with their work at the studio. Together, Leena and Emma direct the QSY Yoga Teacher Training programs, which have become known throughout Ontario for their thoughtful and progressive content and their outstanding graduates.
In 2013, Andy Chan joined the Queen Street Yoga management team and has been making herself invaluable ever since. Monica Sheridan and Leslie Stokman have also joined our team as managers, and now as a team of five, the Queen Street Yoga crew is committed to growing the studio’s offering of meditation, yoga, and community.
We are supported by a team of teachers who inspire us with their caring spirit and creative classes. Many of our teachers are parents or grandparents. They work in fields as diverse as theatre, osteopathy, rock climbing, marketing, and chemistry.
The Work Trade Program is at the heart of the community vibe at QSY. Staff at our front desk exchange their time and energy for yoga and meditation classes. This creates a feeling of stewardship and belonging around the studio, with so many people involved in the day-to-day maintenance of the space.