When I first started teaching at Queen Street Yoga in January of 2011, I felt like the luckiest person alive. I had just finished my teacher training, and Meaghan (QSY’s founder and then-owner) came to a class I was teaching in Uptown Waterloo, and hired me on the spot! I was nervous and excited to start teaching at QSY. The first regular class I taught was a Thursday community class at 6pm.
A year later I was teaching drop-in classes on Wednesdays and Saturdays. When I first started teaching on Wednesdays and Saturdays, the class sizes were much smaller. I often taught classes of 2 or 3. Now the classes are full of regular students, usually no less than 15 (and the occasional Saturday is overflowing at 35!) It has felt so rewarding to build relationships with so many people over the years. I have often said to students that my teaching is a co-creation – I couldn’t do it without them! (Really. I would just be talking to an empty room.)
My teaching schedule has been getting fuller and fuller in the past few years. I teach a number of pre-registered courses (Intro to Yoga, Yoga for Round Bodies) and I oversee the Intro to Yoga program, mentoring our new teachers in how to most effectively teach beginners. I love teaching Rest & Renew, and the pace of teaching Basics classes really appeals to me (lots of time to get exploratory in the subtle movements and sensations of the poses.) This September Leena and I will begin teaching our second Yoga Teacher Training program, with an amazing group of enthusiastic learners.
In light of the Yoga Teacher Training program, as well as some personal commitments, I have decided to let go of my Wednesday and Saturday classes as of September. I am really pleased to have some of our most experienced teachers, Amanda and Carin, take over these classes from me. I have mixed emotions about this change. I know that I will miss the students who have been so consistent and committed to those classes. I also know that letting go of these classes will give me more energy for the Yoga Teacher Training, as well as other pursuits in my life. One of my passions in life is writing, which has come second for many years as Leena and I have worked so hard to grow the studio. This coming year I hope to balance my yoga teaching with a strong commitment to writing. I think that having a more balanced teaching schedule will help me in this endeavour.
I will certainly miss everyone who made Wednesdays and Saturdays such a blast for so many years! I hope that you are able to make it to my other drop-in classes, or choose to join me for my Go Deeper course starting in September. If you’re interested in following my writing, I try to post little snippets of writing on my blog.
Emma Dines is the creative director of Queen Street Yoga. She loves writing, visiting thrift stores and going for walks in the woods. She also loves cartwheeling, sewing and making her own kimchi.