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Keep Up: New Moon in Taurus

Dear Soul on the Other Side of the Screen,

In Upstate New York, spring has finally arrived, which means each day there is new growth happening. The bare branches from last week are filled with more leaves each day with an electric green vibrancy. The buds on the trees are turning to flowers. The seeds my husband and I planted in the our first garden together have rooted, gathered strength, and burst through the surface of the earth. Isn't it incredible how determined the spirit of plants can be? Isn't it incredible how determined the spirits of humans can be?

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Worthiness & Nourishment: Full Moon in Scorpio

Dear Dancers on the Path,

Last month after the Qoya Embody the Goddess Retreat in India, my husband and I made a special pilgrimage to Bodhgaya, specifically to the Bodhi Tree where the Buddha attained enlightenment. It was an auspicious day as there were thousands of pilgrims from several Asian countries there for a festival of chanting and prayer. Making our way through the waves of people, we found our way to the protective wall around the Bodhi Tree. As I approached, a wave, no, a tsunami came over me - the feeling of unworthiness. In that moment, my most tender doubt of who I am took over my body and psyche. Who was I to approach a place so holy, so sacred? Who was I to have access to a place that has inspired so many on their journeys? Why did I get to be here?

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A Courageous Heart: New Moon in Aries

Dear Soul on the Other Side of the Screen,

In our daydreams, we might pray for ever-expanding bliss without challenge and with oceanic waves of ease and grace. That sounds nice.

I want to hold the vision for all of us to experience the many blessings of our lives and also to allow the challenges we face to be blessings that point us back to the center of our essence.

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The Willingness to Heal: Full Moon in Libra

Dear dancers on the path,

This Full Moon email is written for the part of your heart that can hold the wild paradoxes of this world with an impenetrable sense of love, truth, beauty, and faith in justice.

As challenging as things may be internally or externally, is there a part of you that feels the strength of your own backbone to not back down from the integrity of your essence?

As blessed as you may feel in your life, are you also aware of the tender balance that holds it all together? With awareness of the delicate fragile nature of life, are you willing to trade your mental fear of the future for an enhanced sense of savoring of the gifts of each moment, right now?

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The Auspiciousness of Right Timing: New Moon in Pisces

Dear Soul on the other side of the screen,

Do you feel spring’s emergence? Although for some it may still be covered in snow, can you sense the inevitable emergence of new life that is on its way to all of us?

On March 2nd, we began our Qoya Embody the Goddess India retreat in Dharamsala. We set the dates many months ago and were quite surprised to realize that we had synchronistically planned the retreat to start on the festival day of Holi! With the backdrop of the Himalayas and with the help of the local women devotional singers, we celebrated the harbinger of spring as a symbol of eternal life with COLOR, music and dancing. These moments of magic are a gift and like beauty, they are often experienced in the eye of the beholder.

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Lifting the Veil: Full Moon in Virgo

Dear Veil Lifters,

Good news alert! March 1st, 2018 is Qoya's 9 year anniversary! Once upon a time, there was a group of women who were curious to explore this question: how can we feel the most like ourselves when we move? We've been dancing into the answer to that question for many moons (117 of them to be exact!). With each cycle of growth and transformation, it's such an honor to rise up side by side, learning and growing and exploring the potential of our embodied lives when we remember that our essence is wise, wild and free.

We live in transformational times. Our capacity to sense subtle energy increases while our tools to manage the more obvious injustices call for upgrades as often as our iPhones. As technology advances and we're exposed to more information than ever before, an emotional acceleration awakens our capacity to feel more than ever before. More fear. More love. More pain. More joy. More sadness. More courage. Is this true for you? Has your tender true heart been stretching like silly putty all around this world?

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Dance with Your Higher Self: New Moon in Aquarius

Dear Soul on the Other Side of the Screen,

I often share in the Qoya teacher training program that I have a deep respect for every woman who shows up for class. If they have gotten through their lives up to this point, I know we can get through this class. 

While the photos on our website and descriptions of our offerings often emphasize the positive aspects of dancing, community, ritual, and remembering our essence, a depth is revealed whenever we have the courage to feel the truth of our experience, in Qoya or in life, that is sometimes painful. While the mind is incessantly clever with its distractions and diversions, the body doesn’t lie. Many of us numb ourselves through being too busy to pay attention in order to block the challenging aspects of truth; however, when we do this, we also block ourselves from the fulfillment of living an emotionally embodied life.  

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Alacazamshazam: Full Moon in Leo

Dear Dreamers,

After six months off from leading retreats so I could focus on getting married and moving into our new home in upstate New York, I was honored to return to leading a retreat this past week for a group of women exploring the way of the heart on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.

We danced through the medicine wheel of releasing the past with the archetype of the serpent. We asked for grace and the courage not to force what we're not ready to release, but instead to honor our grief and gratitude for what is already gone. We traversed into the archetype of jaguar, trusting our instincts to navigate the shadows as we travel between the physical tangible world and the world of spirit. We invited the sweetness of hummingbird medicine which offers the discernment to notice the nectar that is the most nourishing and celebrate it. After hummingbird, the next archetypical energy is eagle, where we take some time to dream. However, we don’t dream what’s just in front of our face; we rise up to an eagle’s perspective to dream bigger dreams and see the big picture. Sometimes that means expanding your dream 100 times bigger than you would normally dare to imagine. It can also mean asking, “What is the highest destiny of my soul?" and humbly move towards its fulfillment with inspired action.

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Clarity and Purity: New Moon in Capricorn

Dear Explorers of the Embodied Life, 

As we embark on 2018, we may find ourselves living in the question: what is on the other side of our transformation, individually and collectively? 

In the midst of so much letting go, so much rising up, and so much change, what is the purpose of it all? Spiritually speaking, there's always an opportunity for the soul to grow, and all experiences eventually usher you back to the holy home of your heart. Physically speaking, what is the purpose of these changes and challenges as you live your life doing your sacred work, loving your family and friends, participating in your communities, and paying the bills? With a more holistic and realistic perception of the physical embodiment of your spirit, your practical mind, and your daily need to lead a life that both flows and functions, the purpose of all this transformation is: you can emerge with clarity and purity. 

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It's OK to be Quiet: Full Moon in Cancer on New Year's Day

Dear Cosmic Companions,

Here we all are turning the pages of time from one year to another. From the center of my heart, I wish you and yours a very happy new year. On Christmas Day, I went for a walk in fresh snow through the woods of upstate New York. As I felt my thoughts and motivations slow down and my perception expand to see more layers revealing themselves, I heard something from deep within. I heard, "It's OK to be quiet."

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Being a Voice for the World: New Moon in Sagittarius

Dear Individual Expression of the One,

As the pendulum swings from shorter days to longer nights, we approach the winter solstice reflecting on the blessings and the challenges of the past year. I trust we've all had both. Whichever perspective we choose, there's an infinite invitation to co-create the world we want to live in. Often in our Qoya community (and communities like it), there's an encouragement to bring our unique creative expression, gifts, passion and purpose to the world. Yes! And... what is the furthest expression of your voice in the world? Could it be your voice for the world?

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The Power of Perspective: Full Moon in Gemini

Dear Soul on the Other Side of the Screen, 

There is a woman in my life who has endured challenges so great that her healing is proof of the power of perspective. I see her with a soulful purity that was not given, but chosen. Sometimes when the pain is that great, the trust in Love is so legendary, so extraordinary, and at the same time, maybe the only effective option. 

The signature in her emails is: “Trust, and not know simultaneously.” - MC Richards

Maybe you have a woman like that in your life? Someone who alchemizes the dull daily reality of lead into the enchantment of gold, sparkling in the center of every living thing? Someone who, as they say, has the eyes to see and the ears to hear.

Maybe that special woman with a soul-stirring perspective could even be you?

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Navigate the Depths: New Moon in Scorpio

Dear Explorers of the New and Ancient Ways,

If you're on this mailing list, there is likely a part of you that resonates with the messages of Qoya. If you've done a few Qoya classes, been on a retreat or read the book, you may already know them by heart:

Qoya is based on the idea that through movement, we remember. 

We remember our essence is wise, wild and free.

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Dance with Darkness: Full Moon in Taurus

Dear Dancers of the Dance,

What would the world be like if the feminine were honored? And what if the feminine being honored in this blog post meant using the forgotten power that lives within us to co-create our reality with great spirit by trusting the feeling of truth in our bodies? To use this power, many traditions explain how the feminine force requires us to know our wholeness. Beyond the perception of polarity, we are invited to grow into feeling more peace with paradox. One example of this is realizing the conversation about the masculine vs. the feminine isn't one dimensional. We were born into a masculine dominant society, so we put our attention on elevating the feminine to bring a sense of partnership between these forces within ourselves and within the world. The goal is always an outcome that honors the interconnection that lives between all of us and all things in all dimensions.

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An Invitation to Be Authentic: New Moon in Libra

Dear Soul on the Other Side of the Screen,

If I were to offer you insights on how to be more critical, more linear in your thinking, more goal-oriented, more focused on how things look than how they feel...you (assuming you were raised in our modern culture) likely do not need this training. The modern industrial complex of thought motivates many, and whether we live that way or not, it is embedded into our cultural psyche.

Qoya began with asking the question in many areas of my life and also in movement: what if we approached things in a feminine way? What if the goal is not change, but to be comfortable with more of who we are? What if we were not focused so much on how life looks, but deeply honor how it feels? What if we trust the truth inside of us even though it may be completely non-linear and changes from moment to moment? 

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Trust Grief, Trust Joy: Full Moon in Aries

Dear Soul on the Other Side of the Screen,

In the midst of accelerated dissolution and chaos pouring through the daily news, it's normal to feel pangs of grief in the center of your heart. Contrast is a powerful teacher, and from the pain, the next blessing in your life may now be seen with a heightened sensitivity to the wonders of joy. Duality is the dance floor, and Qoya has always been a place where movement is a metaphor.

After tragedy enters into our individual or collective experience, one thing that slows down our healing is the idea that we shouldn't feel how we feel. If we're in grief, we tell ourselves we should get over it and be more positive. If we're experiencing joy and gratitude, we might feel we shouldn't be, and that we should be mourning to show our respect. Something I often say in class is:

"Imagine there is no way you can do it wrong and that the way you know you're doing it right is that it feels right to you - that it feels honest and true."

Making this shift places value on authenticity. In the midst of destabilization of structures, an opportunity arises to stand for what you believe in and to offer yourself in the circles of impact that you have. Your most powerful service will come from the trust that you have in honoring your own experience. Trusting yourself supports you as you support others.

It seems as if the great mystery reveals itself to us both in ways that we can understand and in ways that we can't. We come back to the fork in the road between fear and trust. In my own life, I have learned, again and again, to trust grief AND to trust joy. My greatest teacher in this has been nature. Like the forest fire of destruction that is necessary for a forest's growth, there is a perspective of life larger than any individual that simultaneously offers every one of us a small part in its fragile balance. Even as flames burn, you might see the most beautiful sunset you've ever seen, mysteriously calming you for a moment of awe.

Immense emotions can be overwhelming to the mind while also acting as fuel for the body, and you can find ways of moving your body that bring your nervous system back to balance and your awareness back to center. Maybe it's Qoya. Maybe it's hiking, or yoga, or this, or that. I highly encourage you to notice for yourself: what role does movement play in helping you access your most trusted true sense of self? Can it help you center as you dance with the intensity of this week and this full moon in Aries?


Our resident Qoya astrologer Virginia Rosenberg writes:

The Full Moon in Aries on October 5th (2:40pm EST) is a tunnel of transition. Some things aren't healed in light. Let shadow shape you. The dark womb is a place of growth and nourishment, a necessary chamber of becoming. Each full moon contains a magic of opposites. The womb and the tomb. Darkness and light. Conscious and unconscious. Self and other. War and peace. The new life birthing now asks us to sharpen our skills of adaptation. To be dexterous, perceptive, and responding. The emerging world asks that we do our work. We must be willing. We must be loving. We must hone and dedicate our practice. Place tools in our toolbox. Fill the world with our sense of self, in harmony with and in service to loving all else that exists.

"Work is love made visible."

- Kahlil Gibran

We make love visible. Dedicate yourself, then be released from labor. Cry our tears and wash our face. Our work and our life is born of our spiritual essence. It emerges from depths and brings with it the gems of twilight. Dark crystals of pristine purity. Diamonds in the rough. Admire each facet of this astounding jewel, your own light, taking seat in the velveteen darkness. Across the Earth, reflecting the sky, your soul light sings and cries and laughs an echo of fate.


To embody this is a video that invites you to circle to warm up your body, do a shadow dance to explore yourself trusting grief, shaking to explore trusting joy, then a short yoga sequence to calm your nervous system through breath and movement as you go back into your day. 

In addition to movement, I invite you to trust your grief by lighting a candle and taking a few minutes to honor the tragedies of this time. Allow yourself to deeply feel the losses that have occurred and see for yourself: can you trust grief?

My favorite book about grief is Martin Prechtel's The Smell of Rain on Dust.

In a different moment, I invite you to trust your joy by letting the light that is always within you find expression through you. Is there something that would delight you? Do you have the courage to open to it? Your favorite restaurant? Your favorite song? Imagine something you've always wanted to experience: can you dance in its direction?

One of my favorite books filled with exercises to lead you in the direction of joy is Ask and It is Given by Esther and Jerry Hicks.

Undoubtedly, we need to expand our capacity to honor grief and honor joy. Gratefully, we can learn from one another. Offer a kind word and hug to those in grief. Receive the inspiration to heal and continue from those in joy. Give and receive as we all journey.

May all our inner and outer journeys be protected and blessed.

With trust,

Rochelle


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GUATEMALA RETREAT

Join us in Guatemala this January to begin 2018 by following The Way of the Heart. The heart's voice is quiet and gentle, and can easily be drowned out by the loud voice of the ego. In this retreat, we will focus on heart-centered movement and ritual to reconnect with the voice of the heart and strengthen our ability to align with our heart's messages in our everyday lives. 


COSTA RICA INTENSIVE DISCOUNT

Now through the end of October, receive a total discount of $500 off your tuition when you enroll for the Collective Retreat and the Costa Rica Teacher Intensive. Use the discount code EARLYBIRD when you register for the Collective Retreat, then use the discount code CR2018PACKAGEto receive $250 off the Intensive! Offer only good if you register for both.


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Celebrating How Much We've Healed: New Moon in Virgo

Dear Soul on the Other Side of the screen,

One way to gain confidence and courage to embark on what's ahead is by acknowledging all the ways in which you have already done that very thing.

If you look at your life right now and take three deep breaths, are you willing to be more than a little bit impressed with yourself at how much you have transformed? At how much you have risked for truth? At how much you have sacrificed to be more authentic expressive of your truest self?

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The Subtlety of Surrender: Full Moon in Pisces

Dear Dancers in the Moonlight,

For some, surrender means acquiescence. A compromise and going against your inner truth without protest. 

For others, surrender can be empowering because you are no longer at odds with what is. 

This subtle shift of surrender from acquiescence to empowerment happens when you can be an active participant in your life fueled with inspiration, courage, and action in the face of your current reality rather than feeling victimized by the world around you and drained of energy, wishing things were different than they are.

You can, if you choose, trust love, life and each other.

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The Courage to Connect: New Moon in Leo

Dear Soul on the Other Side of the Screen,

I stand for transformation, and I have a feeling you do, too. The challenges of this time are as real as ever. The blessings of this time are real, too. The challenges require grief and the blessings require celebration.

As I deeply listen to the call of the individual and collective heart and soul, I hear the importance of conscious choice and action with a warning to be very wary of the places where you feel numb and disconnected.

Qoya offers an embodied ritual to deepen your courage to connect to and feel your wise, wild and free essence. To remember how to be courageous to stay connected to your inner wisdom. To remember how to be courageous in staying connected to the wildness of authentic expression. To remember the sensation of being courageously connected to your body and life in ways that resonate with truth.

We practice remembering our essence as wise, wild and free in a Qoya class so that we can better feel, listen to, honor, and maintain the courage to stay connected to ourselves in our daily lives.

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Sacred Work is Love Made Visible: Full Moon in Aquarius

Dear Soul on the Other Side of the Screen,

Have you heard the quote by Khalil Gibran? He says, "Work is Love Made Visible." I took the liberty of adding one word to the beginning as inspiration for our Qoya retreat last week. The word is sacred, because for me, doing my sacred work is how I make love visible, in my world and the world.

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