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Teachers

Leena Miller Cressman

Leena fell in love with yoga at age thirteen and has been sharing her passion for yoga in Kitchener-Waterloo since 2008. She became owner/director of QSY in 2012. Her vision is for QSY to be a space that supports practice, grows community, and helps people cultivate more vibrant lives.

Leena's teaching blends functional and dynamic movement, strength building (even in muscles you didn’t know you had!), careful alignment, and mindful breathing and relaxation. She believes yoga practice can help us befriend our bodies and cultivate more calmness and compassion on and off the mat.

One of Leena’s passions is building a rich learning community and training new teachers through QSY's Yoga Teacher Training Programs. Leena is registered with the Yoga Alliance as an E-RYT-500 (Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher). Leena has completed over 1,000 hours of training in Anusara Yoga and other alignment-based and vinyasa styles, functional anatomy, Ayurveda, and teaching pedagogy. Recently she has been training in the Mindful Strength approach with Kathryn Bruni-Young. Leena is grateful for her many mentors, including Christi-an Slomka, Meaghan Johnson, Darren Rhodes, Matthew Remski, and her co-teachers at QSY.

To contact Leena with feedback or issues of a confidential nature, email us at info@queenstreetyoga.com to request her direct contact.

Emma Dines

Emma began practicing yoga in 2004 and has been teaching since 2010. Emma is the Creative Director of Queen Street Yoga, overseeing the studio's programming with Owner/Director Leena Miller Cressman.   

Emma’s classes are active, playful and encouraging of students to practice in a way that makes deep sense for them. She draws on her background as a performer and a writer to bring a focus of creativity and individual expressiveness to her classes. Emma teaches regular workshops and special event classes at Queen Street Yoga and loves the opportunity to dive into the details of alignment and anatomy with students.

Emma has completed over 700 hours of training with local and international teachers and continues to feed her own practice and zeal for teaching with ongoing study. In the past few years, she has been expanding her movement paradigm by studying the Axis Syllabus, Contact Improvisation, and Functional Movement. Her teaching aims to empower students with her best understanding of biomechanics and healthy movement while honouring each student's unique experience of embodiment.

Emma is a certified Yoga for Round Bodies™ teacher and is passionate about creating body-positive contexts that celebrate a diversity of abilities and sizes. Emma co-directs Queen Street Yoga's 200-hour Teacher Training Program and oversees the mentoring of new teachers.

Have you heard Emma sing at the end of her classes? You can download recordings of Emma's savasana songs on Soundcloud.

 

Andy Chan

Andy keeps track of all of the little details at QSY – especially when it doesn't occur to anyone else to think of them! As Operations Wizard, Andy's focus is on finding/creating solutions (ideally before problems arise) and communicating simple, clear procedures to the rest of the QSY team so that everything runs like clockwork at the studio.

Andy first joined QSY as a work-trade in the winter of 2013, mere weeks after moving to Kitchener from Toronto. She was looking to join a community in her new city and quickly felt at home in the studio. Now in a formal role at QSY, Andy brings her varied work and volunteer experience to grow the studio.

When not at her standing desk in the office, you can find Andy on her purple mat in the practice room (relishing the experience of someone else doing all of the thinking for her). The rest of the time, Andy can be seen with a laptop and americano in a café, walking/biking around Kitchener, making subversive cross-stitch art, or curled up at home with a book, her three cats, and tea.

Monica Sheridan

Monica uses the pronouns SHE and HER and has been exploring yoga since 2007 and completed her 200 hour Teacher Training at Queen Street Yoga in 2014. Since then, she has obtained teaching certificates for the Tensegrity Repair Series and Restorative Yoga. Queen Street Yoga’s focus on Alignment Based Hatha yoga, in combination with her previous massage therapy education has allowed her to create classes that explore the depths of safe foundational alignment alongside strong expansional breath.

Monica is a safe-skeletal-alignment enthusiast and promotes strength before stretch in every pose, coming back to that concept in each class. She loves to garden, and often ties tactile themes of grounding into the soil or reaching toward the sun into her teaching. Monica creates a warm, open environment in her classes and encourages questions and discussion with students to promote ongoing learning for everyone present.

Carin Lowerison

The first yoga class that I ever stepped into was a power yoga class at a local gym in the town where I had a summer job during my undergrad. That was in 2001. I had been extremely active and athletic my entire life -- various forms of competitive dance, elite team for gymnastics, hockey, ringuette, track, Taekwondo -- but I stumbled upon that first yoga class during a challenging time of healing in my early adulthood and I was overwhelmed by the contrast of its physical demands mixed with an immense offering of calm and self-nurturing. Looking back, I am extremely grateful to that first class and marvel at the humbling and varied 19-year journey that my study of yoga and mindful movement has brought me. Looking back, I am equally grateful that when my family and I decided to move to Kitchener in 2013, that the studio that immediately welcomed me onto their teaching team was Queen Street Yoga. It really is an incredibly special and unique place. I received my first certification in Anusara-inspired Hatha Yoga in 2007 and pursued Anusara-inspired certification for several years before diverging into other styles of yoga and movement such as modern dance and martial arts in pursuit of a broader base of movement and mindfulness knowledge. To date, I have accumulated over 450 hours of yoga teacher training and continue to cultivate the craft of learning and teaching yoga through ongoing study. My teaching is greatly influenced by the time I've spent learning from QSY's Leena Miller-Cressman and Emma Dines. My teaching is also greatly influenced by my study with teachers Michael Siddall, Cynthia Cooperstone, Scott Petrie, Noah Mazé, Vicki Tarrant, Kathryn Bruni-Young and Cecile Milne.

My classes are playful, energetic, challenging, detailed and creative. I teach with great authenticity, enthusiasm, and care for my students. My classes are often theme-based, heart-centered, and always an adventure. My hope is that when you meet yourself in your practice, it will be a time of insight, creativity, and celebration that will ultimately inform and enrich all aspects of your life off the mat. I am continuously moved by the potential of yoga for teaching empowerment, dignity, grace, and self-awareness.

Other interesting fact: outside of teaching yoga, I am the Co-Founder and Managing Director of a theatre company called Green Light Arts.

Leslie Stokman

I began to practice Yoga in 2007, and finally had the guts to pursue a 200-hour teacher training right here at Queen Street Yoga in 2015-2016. Yoga reawakened my interest in and enjoyment of movement, including the effortful and easeful, and it sparked an intense curiosity for understanding the inner workings of the mind and body, and the ways in which they are connected, if not inseparably one organism. Yoga has since led me to discover the gifts of Vipassana meditation, TRE, and rock-climbing, which all inform my teaching.

Because I teach a variety of class types, you’ll get something a little different in each of them. Generally, I take a light-hearted approach with the hope that we don’t take ourselves too seriously. That said, I am a strong proponent of a committed, persistent practice that respectfully engages with our own abilities and limits, and the wisdom of the traditions from which we are privileged to learn here in modern-day Canada.

Influenced a great deal by the mentorship of QSY co-directors Leena Miller-Cressman and Emma Dines, I’ve also gleaned some wisdom from the amazing guest teachers we’ve hosted here: Matthew Remski, Trudy Austin, Kathryn Bruni-Young, and Cecily Milne. That said, some of my most memorable learning moments have emerged from the little chats before and after class, when students were the ones sharing their wisdom with me. My continuing education has spanned topics like the Tensegrity Repair Series, functional strength and mobility, and deep learning about trauma and the human nervous system, and most recently, Functional Range Conditioning!

I’m excited to finally begin sharing the practice of TRE (Tension/Trauma Release Exercise) within the community as a Certified TRE Provider, and assisting with our 2019-2020 round of Yoga Teacher Training. These days, I also work as a studio manager, and am  involved at our local climbing gym, Grand River Rocks.

 

Amanda Ingall

Amanda Ingall discovered the world of mind/body healing over 30 years ago, beginning with her work as a Registered Massage Therapist and Craniosacral Therapist. Although she has now retired her massage therapy license, she continues to offer Mind-Body Healing sessions. Her mindfulness meditation practice has spanned 20+ years with many teachers and traditions, including Jack Kornfield and Ken McLeod. She is also a Certified Holotropic Breathwork Practitioner. In 2016 Amanda completed her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training through Queen Street Yoga, and she is a certified Sacred Centers Teacher though Anodea Judith. Amanda's greatest joy is to inspire and empower her students to explore the deeper layers of themselves through yoga and meditation.

Being a proud Grandmother of two, Amanda launched into exploring conscious eldering. Visit Amanda's website amandaingall.ca to learn more about Legacy, her conscious eldership program for women.

Kristina Lekin

Kris began practicing yoga in 2006 while an undergrad at the University of Waterloo. During her first year at graduate school, yoga played an integral part in her personal growth as her practice deepened. She completed her teacher training with Pranalife Yoga in 2010. Having always been a teacher of some sort (piano, math, science), relaying the yoga she was learning came naturally to her. Since then, she has taken her practice from Toronto to Europe and has studied with numerous teachers. She completed a secondary training with Sadie Nardini, and is now certified to teach Core Strength Vinyasa Yoga.

While her background is in the Ashtanga yoga lineage, her practice and teaching have evolved from these roots to become more alignment-based vinyasa. She believes deeply in the powerful effect of the breath as a centering tool. With creative sequencing and a carefully selected music playlist, her classes flow seamlessly and the breath guides the practice. This results in a practice that leads you to your edge, and challenges you to find peace there.

Outside of her yoga practice, Kris has recently completed her PhD in chemistry at the University of Waterloo. She is in love with live music, particularly at outdoor music festivals, and has been playing and teaching piano since she was a child. She eats clean, blogs about it, and is happy to make others curious about her lifestyle.

She volunteers her time to run the Waterloo Yoga Club, a non-profit organization at UW designed to help students develop a yoga practice. She has also recently become an ambassador for the Power of Movement, a yoga fundraiser to help raise money for the Arthritis and Autoimmune Research Centre.

Marg Hull

Marg has been practicing and loving yoga since she first experienced it on a sandy, salty beach in 1974. Since then, she has studied a number of styles, including Ashtanga, Sivananda, and Iyengar. A classically trained singer, Marg found yoga principles invaluable as she performed and taught voice for many years, experiencing the empowerment of the body-mind-spirit connection. She found a home at QSY in 2007, completed her teacher certification with Hart Lazer in 2010, and graduated from QSY's 200-hr teacher training program in 2018.

Marg is fascinated with human growth and potential. She has spent years as a core, music, and physical education teacher in the elementary system, and holds a Masters in Theology: Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy.

Ever a morning person, Marg is thrilled to share the joy of yoga with friends in Sunrise Practice class at QSY. She also teaches a 7-week course, Yoga for Anxiety & Depression, to help others deepen their mind/body connection.

Julie Zettel

Julie has been practicing yoga since 2002. Julie began her teaching career in 2008 at QSY, where she instructs Prenatal Yoga. In 2007 Julie received her 200-hour Teaching Training through Yoga Alliance, under the guidance of Hart Lazer. She also completed a Pre and Post Natal Teacher Training in 2006 with Michelle McCormack of 5 Elements Yoga and Pilates.As a mother of 3 coupled with 10 years plus of hands on experience I’ve gained a solid foundation for nurturing and supporting women through pregnancy and childbirth.

In her own words: "Prenatal Yoga and Bellies Inc. Core Confidence Training have played a very influential role in helping me prepare my yoga students for their greatest journey as parents. Through advanced knowledge of the core and pelvic floor I’ve learned to assess common pelvic health issues in pregnancy and postpartum. I offer guidance through simple effective exercises and breath awareness toensure students learn the importance of a healthy strong body in pre and post pregnancy."

Julie teaches gently and promotes spiritual, mental, and physical development for you and your growing baby. You will also experience a deeper connection to your child.

Nicole DeNoble

Nicole first tried yoga as a former competitive dancer who was looking for a new movement practice. A consistently on-again and off-again practitioner, she dabbled in various yoga classes and styles throughout the years. This exposure fuelled her curiosity to gain a better understanding of the underlying principles of the practice and alignment-based movement.

A Kitchener-Waterloo local, Nicole discovered Queen Street Yoga and enrolled in the Intro to Yoga course as a way to brush up on the fundamentals. This course was a turning point for Nicole, introducing the concepts that she would later explore in more depth as part of QSY’s 2016 teacher training program.

Nicole enjoys getting to know her students while facilitating a movement practice that accommodates varying needs. Her classes develop at a steady pace with clear cues, and she encourages students to participate at the level that makes sense for them on any given day.

As of Fall 2018, Nicole will be back in the classroom pursuing QSY's teacher's immersion continuing education program.

Wendy Michaud

After falling in love with the supportive community and focus on self-care at Queen Street Yoga back in 2015, Wendy quickly found herself spending more time exploring this thing called yoga. In 2018 she completed her first 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training program at QSY, and now enjoys sharing all of the neat things she learns about in her classes.

Wendy approaches teaching with curiosity, light-heartedness, and lots of laughter. Her classes are based on a foundation of functional movement and strength building, with lots of room for restorative and mindfulness practices. You might hear some imaginative cues in Wendy's classes, as she's always looking for creative ways to help people relate to new concepts or see things from a different perspective. But don't be surprised if you hear a few technical terms thrown in, as she also loves gettin' nerdy about anatomy and biomechanics.

A teacher in many aspects of her life, Wendy enjoys sharing what she's learning about body movement, the latest biological research, and how to DIY all the things. She spends any free time she can find knitting, baking, and sewing, or just hanging out with good friends and a bag of dice.

Nicole Brown Faulknor

Nicole is a Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying), a yoga teacher, and a Child and Youth Counsellor. She is a member of both the Colleges of Registered Psychotherapists in Ontario and the Canadian Association for Psychodynamic Therapy.

Nicole has over 18 years of professional experience working with marginalized, vulnerable, and oppressed communities, individuals, families, and children. Nicole’s yoga teaching draws on the methodology of Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY). Her approaches as a yoga teacher and a psychotherapist recognize the intimate relationship between the physical body and the psychological well-being of a person. This approach holds the view that the body is a resource for self-discovery and psychological healing. Learn more about Nicole at www.wounds2wings.com.

Natasha Allain

Directed and impacted by Jungian Psychology, Shamanic ceremony, and the energetic healing system of Sensei Usui, Natasha brings a diverse bag of tools to session. As a multi-faceted Healer, Natasha works closely with the central nervous system, listening and interacting with the energetic centers, narratives, and subtle body responses within. In her practice, Natasha encourages a holistic approach to healing, where acknowledgement and alignment of the physical, emotional, and energetic bodies set the foundation for healing.

Today you will find Natasha teaching yoga and intuitive movement classes, talking to her plants and animals, making music, and co-facilitating ecstatic dance events. She is healing her communities one song, one dance, one session at a time.

Nadine Quehl

Nadine started practicing yoga in 2005, and took the 200-hour teacher training program at Queen Street Yoga in 2017-2018, and a few months after completing her training, started volunteer teaching yoga at Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener. This experience continues to reinforce her appreciation of yoga’s role in healing and empowerment.

Nadine brings a gentle and energizing presence, and combines elements of meditation, mindful movement and strength training. A focus on alignment and engaging muscles to ensure stability in poses (“strength before length!”), connecting movement with breath, and encouraging students to approach yoga and meditation with attitudes of curiosity, non-judgment and playfulness are important to her.

Prior to discovering the joys of yoga, Nadine took a number of courses in tai chi / qi gong, and she incorporates movements from these practices into her yoga classes. Similarly, she took a number of courses at the Centre for Mindfulness Studies in 2016, and she weaves mindfulness meditation techniques into her yoga teaching.

Nadine enjoys spending time reading, hiking, canoeing, singing in a global song choir, and acting.

Scott Morton-Ninomiya

Scott discovered yoga in 2015 and since then his love and curiosity for yoga has grown steadily. He completed the 200-hour teacher training program with QSY in 2018, ‘wisely’ aligning that intense learning experience with the first year of his PhD(!?). Scott feels at home in the thoughtful, inclusive, supportive and fun community that QSY has created and he fosters that sense of community in his own practice as an instructor. He believes that our sense of humour is as important to the foundation of our practice as a good mat, and that yoga is about generous self-care, not impressive selfies.

If Scott had a dollar for every time he heard someone say, “I’m not flexible enough for yoga”, he’d buy the next person who says it an unlimited pass at QSY. Yoga is all about building strength and flexibility from wherever we are starting out. Scott (who is currently vying for the world record of tightest hip flexors) encourages anyone – especially other men – to try yoga.

Outside yoga, Scott is working on a PhD in Global Governance at Balsillie School of International Affairs. His research is focused on how we can speed up the global transition away from fossil fuels through local action – combining his interests in environmental sustainability and community development. For fun, Scott enjoys running, paddling, hiking and camping.

Carol Kennedy

I started my yoga journey as a child, practicing poses found in yoga books with my mom. I rediscovered yoga when I joined the QSY team as a trade on Tuesday nights. It wasn't until I stepped into my first Yoga for Round Bodies class that yoga really started to make sense for me. This class made it possible to connect the yoga world with my unique physique, and I continue to bring those concepts into my everyday practice.

I finished my 200-hour YTT in 2020 with a great passion for movement, inclusion and breaking down stereotypes around body shape, size and fitness. I am grateful for the incredible opportunity to teach Yoga for Round Bodies and am looking forward to meeting all kinds of bodies on the mat.