I need to tell you about Andy.
It was 2012, and Leena and I had just taken over the studio from the former owner, Meaghan. Andy had been a work trade on the desk for several months. She was the kind of miracle person that would come up with improvements to the current system and implement them herself. When we realized we needed help getting the studio online (can you believe we used to have a paper pass system?) we hired Andy for a few hours a week.
She quickly made herself indispensable.
You may have seen Andy quietly plugging away on her laptop at the studio or practicing next to you in class. You might have noticed her friendly and helpful attitude, or been in touch with her over email about your pass. She definitely knows your name – she knows the names of almost every person who comes into QSY! A few years ago, Andy turned down a better-paying job at a start-up because it would take her away from QSY. Our mouths gaped when she told us this. But she looked us straight in the eyes and said “I have never felt more appreciated and acknowledged in my work than I have at Queen Street Yoga. And I believe in this place. I’m not going anywhere. “
Andy makes me believe in Queen Street Yoga, even when I doubt it myself. It is not easy to run a small business – with rent rising as tech companies move in, and competition popping up everywhere (with parking! oh how we are jealous of places with parking!), it is a hustle to try to keep this little place chugging along. But then I come into the studio and see Andy, still coming up with improvements to our systems, and still dedicated to her yoga and mindfulness practice. And that makes me remember and believe. That what we are doing here matters. That sharing mindfulness, self-care, and movement education is important. That the world needs spaces like this, spaces that are working to be more inclusive, accessible, and body-positive.
And then? Andy goes and embroiders our logo. Twice.
A few years ago, Andy did a cross-stitch of our logo. Last year we re-designed the logo, and a few weeks ago she showed up with a cross-stitch of the new logo.
People don’t make a cross-stitch for the business they work for. They do something like that because they feel like they belong to something, they feel nourished and fed. Andy makes me remember that we are not just a business. We are a community. Andy believes in our values and she reminds me that this place is home.
I could write a post like this about any one of our staff members. Leena, who owns the business, who took on the risk and uncertainty of this venture because she believes in the vision. Monica, who manages the trade program and a million other things, and does so with cheerfulness and caring. Our incredible teachers, so many of whom have swooped in last minute to help out when needed. Our work trades, who manage the desk and make the studio sparkle.
There are so many people who make Queen Street Yoga feel like home. We hope and trust that, if you let it, it can feel like home for you too.
This October, we hope you spend some time making Queen Street Yoga feel like home. Alongside a 30-day Yoga & Mindfulness Challenge, we’ll be hosting some community events so you can meet your fellow yogis and build community off the mat.
Monday Oct 8 – QSY Community Hike!
Meet at the studio at 10:30am, we’ll carpool to the Walter Bean Trail.
Sunday Oct 28 – QSY Community Brunch-Luck!
11am-1pm We’ll make coffee & tea, you bring a brunchy snack to share.