Where did all the Chatturungas go?

Emma here!

You might have noticed some gradual changes in classes at QSY. Leena and I and many of our teachers have been incorporating movements like squats and push-ups into our yoga flows. “Where did the Chatturungas go?” you might be wondering. “Why are we doing squats in a yoga class?” You’re not alone in wondering this! This post will let you in on how and why our yoga teaching is changing and evolving

Functional Movement

You might have heard this term, as it has been getting a lot of buzz in the last few years. Functional Movement refers to movements or exercises that prepare the body to do the things that you do in everyday life – like get in and out of your car or bed, stoop down to pick up your toddler, carry groceries or keep yourself from slipping and falling on the ice. A lot of yoga poses can help you feel stronger and more able to do these movements, but many yoga poses are not that functional – they don’t help you become stronger or more flexible in “useful” ways. There can be different kinds of benefits to some of these poses – maybe they invoke a quality of reflection or introspection, even if they don’t help you move better in your daily life. We think there is room for all different kinds of movements in a yoga practice, whether they are immediately useful to you, or useful in a less tangible way. Continue reading


QSY’s 2017 Gift Giving Guide

The season of gift-giving is fast approaching. At Queen Street Yoga we are stocking up on all the yoga props you could ever need for enhancing home practice and self care. We’ve got plenty of items for yogis and non-yogis in your life. Check out our gift-giving guide below.


Get 15% off all retail items at QSY between Nov 7-Dec 24. We can also special order any Half Moon props for you – our last order will go out Dec 4th, in order to have all items arrive before Christmas. Please check out shophalfmoon.com and email us by Dec 4th with any requests you have. Send your emails to info@queenstreetyoga.com!

1. Treat your feet! – Toe Spreaders


As we exchange our bare feet and sandals for winter boots, our feet will get less and less natural movement and spread. To keep your feet more supple during the winter months, we suggest Joy-a-Toes Toe Spreaders! Joy-a-Toes have been known to help address and correct bunions and foot pain by waking up the lines of connective tissue in the feet. Wear them while reading a book, doing restorative yoga, or watching a holiday movie. Your feet will thank you.

2. Treat a Friend! – Gift Certificates

Encourage your friends to try out our studio with a Queen Street Yoga Gift Certificate! Let them know that we offer drop-in classes of varying levels, and Intro to Yoga courses if they’d like to learn the fundamentals in a progressive way.

You can purchase gift certificates online,  and print them at home. We also have beautiful printed gift certificates at the studio when you purchase them in-person at the studio. Gift certificates are available in any amount.

3. Calm your Mind – Meditation Cushions

Check out the beautiful new patterns that Half Moon released this fall! We love them. We can order any colour or pattern for you. If you want your cushion in time for Christmas, email us your order by Dec 4th. Check out shophalfmoon.com to see the variety of colours offered!

4. Give yourself a Massage — Anywhere, Anytime

Who doesn’t love a good massage? With an Acuball  or a set of Yoga Tune Up balls, you can give yourself a massage at home anytime. There are lots of instructional videos online with different ideas of how to use them. Watch an Acuball video here  and a Yoga Tune Up video on upper back here









5. For Deep Relaxation 

Do you ever feel like you just need to lie down? That’s what our Rest & Renew class is all about. Rest at home with some of our favourite props:

Eye Pillows (unscented or with natural lavender) are a nice compact gift that can help someone rest their eyes – either on the couch or in a restorative yoga pose.



Therapy pillows are larger, and can be heated or cooled and placed on the body to promote rest and healing.




Bolsters can be used for supportive restorative poses, meant to rest the nervous system. Learn various ways to use a bolster in our Thursday 7:45pm Rest & Renew class or  download a restorative yoga sequence from our blog.


6. For the Committed Yoga Practitioner – B Mats

We love B Mats. Many people have reported that their wrists and knees are much happier in their yoga practice after practicing on one of these mats. They are an investment, but they last a long time and endure the test of time.

Just this week we got these lovely leather B Mat straps in to the studio! These luxe straps are a lovely gift to yourself, or your closest yoga-mat-toting friend.






Images in this post created by B-Mat, Half Moon Yoga Products, Acuball and Yoga Tune-Up. 

Thank you Amanda!

Amanda Soikie, one of our core teachers at Queen Street Yoga, will be moving on from teaching yoga as of September 1st. We are sad to see her go and excited that she has chosen to take a new direction in her career. We will miss Amanda so much and we would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge her invaluable contributions to the Queen Street Yoga community.

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Amanda has been a core teacher at QSY for the past 5 years. She has taught a wide range of classes and workshops both at the studio and in the community, including kids yoga, and classes for women recovering from addictions and folks facing housing instability. Amanda brought so much care and authenticity to her classes and the relationships she cultivated with her students. We learned so much from Amanda and we imagine you’ll see her around the studio practicing on the mat next to you. As she leaves us to begin a new chapter in her professional life, we wish Amanda success, learning, joy and peace.
All of Amanda’s regular drop-in classes will stay on the schedule, and will be taught by our other wonderful teachers; Carin, Leslie and Amanda Ingall. Amanda Soikie will be teaching her regular classes until the end of August, so stop in for a class to give her your well-wishes.
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Re-Post: Establishing a home practice

We originally posted this article and ten tips about establishing a home practice on our blog in 2014. These tips are still relevant now, and with our building a home practice workshop around the corner, we have been thinking about home practice a lot lately.

No matter who you are, keeping up a home yoga practice can be difficult at times. Heck, even our Yoga Teacher Trainees struggle with it sometimes! We showed our YTT’s this article on 10 Tips and Tricks to Establishing a Regular Home Yoga practice and asked them what they thought.

For short, the ten tips are: Continue reading

Questioning “Yoga Culture”

This guest-post was written by Jason Spencer, a graduate of our 2015-2016 Yoga Teacher Training program. You can meet Jason as part of the team of teachers leading the Sunday 6pm Community Classes!

I feel like I live in a yoga bubble call Queen Street Yoga. Initially, I was attracted to the studio by it’s location and because I had practiced in the past with Meaghan Johnson (who founded QSY). In the four years that I have passed since starting to practice at QSY, my connection to the studio has deepened, I have volunteered as a Trade, I have participated in Queen Street Conversations and I have continued my yoga practice to the point of wanting to learn to be a yoga teacher taught by the wonderful teachers who practice with this studio. What makes this studio so attractive to me is the focus on community and inclusion. Even as a newbie yoga practitioner, I always felt supported and encouraged to build my practice. When I was going through a difficult time in my life, the studio offered me options to continue my practice. In my classes, I see diversity of people and there is a clear message that all are welcomed. At QSY, there feels like an open invitation to be a part of community. Continue reading

Pain and the Other Voices In My Head

natalieThis thoughtful post was written by Natalie Barrales-Hall, a member of our 2015-2016 Yoga Teacher Training (YTT).  Natalie has worked as a community and youth worker, and in February she began teaching Queer & Trans Yoga at Queen Street Yoga. Natalie strives to facilitate safer spaces for students who may not see themselves represented in mainstream yoga spaces or those who may be questioning whether yoga is really for them. Her approach is gentle and permissive, and she invites students to consider a practice of gratitude and self-compassion.

Whether emotional, physical or traumatic, I’ve been thinking a lot about pain. Maybe that is because of the injuries and losses I experienced during the course of the training program (don’t worry, it wasn’t the yoga asanas!), or maybe it’s informed by my work and holding space for people who are hurting, or maybe it’s simply because pain is an inevitable part of being human. Whatever the reason, I’ve been thinking about it and in all my thinking, I’ve started to wonder about the stories we are told and tell ourselves about pain – pain as the cause of loss and disconnection, pain as a source of growth and healing, and what pain says about us and how we show up in the world.

In early 2015, I was struggling to understand and manage increasingly severe knee pain which had, for all intents and purposes, come from “nowhere”. In my efforts to alleviate the pain and restore full range of movement, I was encouraged to pursue further testing to rule out any underlying injury. Thus ensued a 4-month long process which concluded with a visit to an orthopedic clinic, where upon reviewing my MRI, I was reminded of one of the first stories I can remember being told about pain: this is your fault. As the weeks passed, I would be offered many more stories by practitioners who suggested that the pain could be the result of a meniscal tear, pelvic alignment and related biomechanical concerns or energy stagnation.   Continue reading


Re-Post: Queer & Trans Yoga: A Reflection on why it is needed and the purpose it provides

Curious about why we are offering a queer and trans yoga class? The following post was written by Jessica, a long time member of the qsy community as a work trade, and also as a consultant around starting the queer and trans class. Here she explains her perspective on why having a gathering place for queer and trans folks in a yoga studio feels valuable and important. This post was originally published on Jessica’s blog,  and has been reposted with her permission. Have a read!

Recently, Queen Street Yoga in Kitchener began offering Queer & Trans Yoga as a part of their weekly yoga class schedule. It is basic level class with a sliding scale monetary donation request, specifically for members of the LGTBQ+ community. The class originally started last year after consultations with local LGTBQ+ community members, but had been put to a pause after the teacher announced her relocation to another city. QSY was passionate and committed to finding a LGTBQ+ identified teacher who would run the class. Last week was the first week of the class resuming, with 14 members of the local LGTBQ+ community joining the class. This started a conversation among my social circle around the question “Why is there a need for Queer & Trans yoga?”. Several individuals questioned me on this, stating that yoga is a practice based on the acceptance and love of all peoples – so why would we need a “special” class for members of the gay community? Isn’t this excluding “straight people” from an inclusive practice? Continue reading