The Branches was founded in 2021, having operated as Queen Street Yoga from 2005-2020. Leena Miller Cressman is the owner of The Branches, and works with co-directors Emma Dines and Leslie Stokman to lead the community.
We share Yoga and movement as a way to build community, and create a better world. These are our values, the various branches that make up our approach to Yoga and community.
Rooted in Practice
Movement Education & Mindfulness
Our approach to movement and mindfulness is informed both by wisdom traditions and modern research. Our classes are an evolving blend of yoga, strength training, functional movement and inner awareness. At The Branches we endeavour to honour the deep and broad roots of Yoga that originate in South Asian wisdom traditions. Movement and postures are just one of Yoga's branches, and we are devoted to sharing other branches of Yoga such as meditation, contemplation, study, and service.
Self-Care & Befriending our Bodies
We take refuge in Yoga, and regard it as sustenance for the journey of creating a better world for humans, all beings and the Earth itself. We practice to expand our capacity, to heal from harms, and to rest, play and find joy. We uphold body positivity/neutrality and we teach with accessibility and trauma awareness in mind.
Widening the Canopy
Community Care & Social Change
We see our practice as a stepping stone to meaningful action. We aim to expand access to Yoga as a form of Community Care. We are committed to the ongoing work of anti-oppression including interrupting the delusion of white supremacy. We care deeply about the existential threat of climate change and we actively seek ways to support climate justice in the way we live and operate.