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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. Co-directing QSY since 2012, her vision is for the studio 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.

Leslie Stokman

Leslie 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 her 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 her to discover the gifts of Vipassana meditation, TRE, and rock-climbing, which all inform her teaching.

Because she teaches a variety of class types, you'll get something a little different in each of them. Generally, she takes a light-hearted approach with the hope that we don't take ourselves too seriously. That said, she is 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 Leena Miller-Cressman and Emma Dines, Leslie has 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 her most memorable learning moments have emerged from the little chats before and after class, when students were the ones sharing their wisdom with her. Her 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!

Leslie is excited to share the practice of TRE (Tension/Trauma Release Exercise) within the community as a Certified TRE Provider, assist with QSY's Yoga Teacher Training program, and co-direct the studio. She is also involved at our local climbing gym, Grand River Rocks.

 

Emma Dines

Emma began practicing yoga in 2004 and has been teaching since 2010. Emma is the Assistant Director of Queen Street Yoga, overseeing the studio's programming with 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 manages 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

I keep 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, my 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.

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

When not at my standing desk in the office, you can find me on my purple mat in the practice room (relishing the experience of someone else doing all of the thinking for me). The rest of the time, I 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, my three cats, and tea.

The pronouns I use are she/they.

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.

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.

Danette Adams

After years of exploring her own personal meditation practice, Danette stepped out of her comfort zone and into a combined meditation/yoga class at Queen Street Yoga in 2007. That experience opened up a whole new world of embodied, mindful practices that encouraged her to complete her 200-Hr Yoga Teaching Training in 2010 at QSY with Hart Lazer, Meaghan Johnson and Kristin Honey.

While working full-time as a school counsellor, Danette taught yoga and meditation sessions for teachers and students at school and at QSY for a decade. Now, on the path of her new coaching and mindfulness facilitation work, Danette is excited to connect with others for the sometimes settling and unsettling, but always meaningful, work of resilient-building practices.

Linda Collins

Linda found yoga later in life. Newly retired, in her early sixties, she was looking for an activity that she could do while coping with arthritis. One day at a local Y, she noticed a Chair Yoga class and thought she could manage giving it a try. Linda found the gentle pace soothing and accessible to her, and gradually improved her mobility to the point that she was able to join regular yoga classes and do floor poses. For a few years, her practice was on and off, but whenever Linda came back to yoga, her appreciation for its benefits was always reaffirmed - with her becoming more dedicated to consistent and frequent practice at Queen Street Yoga in 2018.

In 2019, Linda was inspired to become a yoga teacher herself, hoping to share her love for yoga and improvements she had experienced with others. She completed the Queen Street Yoga YTT Program in 2020 and is now passionately instructing older adults in gentle, accessible yoga classes. She is currently working on her Certification in Restorative Yoga. Linda is grateful to her mentors Leena Miller Cressman, Emma Dines, and the other wonderful teachers at QSY for their instruction, support, inspiration, and encouragement!

Dalveer Kooner

After I took my first class at Queen Street, Yoga became more than a physical practice for me. Yoga became a practice of deep healing. As much as I enjoyed the physical aspects of the practice, I found it nourished my mind and helped me slow down. I have always maintained an active lifestyle from my involvement in martial arts, dance, running and strength training. Having experienced some injuries and pain from strength training, Yoga has helped me strengthen the smaller muscles, serving to prevent future injuries.

I am a lover of functional, mindful movement, working powerfully in my practice while balancing it with gentle restorative work. I aspire to bring others into the present moment through explorative exercises as well as opportunities to build strength while linking movement to breath.

When I'm not on my mat, I am working to become an accredited coach through the Jay Shetty Coaching program. I work in the finance industry as a business process manager and am passionate about personal growth, living intentionally, travelling and anything outdoorsy!

In 2019, I decided to become a yoga teacher and share my passion for yoga with others. I feel blessed to have completed the Queen Street Yoga YTT program in 2020 and am currently working on my Certification in Restorative Yoga. I am thankful to continue sharing this journey within the same space and community that inspired me in the first place.

Nicole Brown Faulknor

Nicole is a Registered Psychotherapist, 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.

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.