Happy New Year and all that Jazz! I have been so inspired, motivated and dancing with life, that I haven't wished you all a Happy New Year yet. I hope 2014 is off to a beautiful and meaningful start. The new year is a great opportunity to start again. The great thing is that we can start again anytime and if we're being honest, we will likely need to start again and again and again. Forgiveness of ourselves and others. Gratitude for all that is in this moment. Desire for what is to come. If we're lucky, releasing any attachment and dancing with life as it unfolds with trust and faith and love. One of the easiest ways that I start again and feel the literal and metaphorical blank slate is when I travel as pilgrimage, which means- I travel with intention. I travel as prayer. I travel because I want to open up to something that is calling me into the unknown.
There is something so magical about stepping out of the mundane momentum of going through the motions and into the magical world of possibility. I go away so that I can come home. And on my journey, I start with all the things I need to let go of (lessen the baggage, travel light). I put myself in a situation where it is easy to savor (good food, friends, sunsets, beauty). And I create some space to reflect and to dream. To remember.
This New Year's Day, I drove 10 hours in one day. Five hours there. Five hours back. To hug a Sequoia tree, or a SeQOYA tree. :-) I wanted the first day of the year to be devotional towards my intentions and it so was. Those trees are pure magic. I saw the biggest tree in the whole world! And I was so inspired as to what magnificence is created patiently over time and I was so humbled, as even great things die. The pilgrimage anchored my intention from being a thought to being an experience. The best memories were created doing sing-a-longs in the car and receiving the magic of synchronicity along the way. It wasn't in the to-do list, it was in the doing and the feeling of the doing.
Basically, I remembered. I remembered what was important and I aligned my body, mind, heart and soul with it. It was a great way to begin again.
As we dance into 2014, I invite you to join Qoya for a year to remember. Come to dance. Come to sit down in sacred space. Come to find your spot in community. Come to learn. Come to share what you know. Come to honor yourself. Come to remember.
Qoya is based on the idea that through movement,
Through movement, we remember our essence is wise, wild and free.
February 15-22, 2014
An Initiation To Remember with Dara McKinley offering the Goddess Process and Rochelle Schieck with Qoya Think of this as Divine Feminine 101. The perfect intro into a more feminine way of being or like the title, an initiation to remember. Also powerful for those of us dancing on this path to be surrounded in community, ritual, guided through conscious processing and supported by the lush and beautiful nature of Mexico.
March 29-April 5, 2014
This is the fifth annual Qoya Retreat in Costa Rica and always one of my favorite weeks of the year. Feel the Physical Sensation of your Intuition as Your True North. Do Your Soul's Work and Anchor Yourself in the South. Expand Your Capacity to Receive Beauty, Art, Nature and Love as You Enjoy the Sunset of the West. Go East, to the Place of the Rising Sun, and Find the Place Where You Resonate With Spirit.
May 2-4, 2015
*with optional teacher training May 4-5, 2014
Sometimes, the spa just makes everything better. Slow down. Relax. Sit by the Fire. Dance. Get to know someone and get to know yourself even better. In Miami.
Spiritually, if you really think about yourself as having a divine spark and your body being the place where your divine spark is kept... then, your body is like a temple and the spa is like going to church. Join us for the second annual Qoya and Spa Retreat at the Standard in Miami. You will love it.
June 21-28, 2014
When you close your eyes and think of Italy, what do you see? Amazing food. Incredible art. Stunning Architecture (like living in a Villa for a week). Beautiful landscapes. More amazing food. Passionate people with animated gestures. Olive trees. A rich history. And a culture who has mastered the art of living. Now keep all those things and add Qoya and a beautiful group of women to be Under the Tuscan Sun with and you are guaranteed a week you will never forget.
July 6-12, 2014
There are very few opportunities to be able to go into the heart of the Amazon Jungle and hear the voice of mother earth in the millions of trees, calls of the birds, silence of the jaguar, songs of the shamans and in the beating of your own heart as you dance, dance, dance. Qoya's roots are in Peru, as the name Qoya means Queen in Quechuan and the concepts of Wise, Wild and Free and Through Movement, We Remember. If your heart calls you here to remember, follow it.
August 26- Sept 1, 2014
It's a lot of work. It's a pain in the ass to pack, drive there, be dusty, be cold at night and be hot during the day. And yet, Burning Man is a living and breathing metaphor of life and it's an experiment of what is possible when 70,000 people come together to dream a bigger dream. I had one of the most powerful experiences of my life there and like all things good and true in this world, I want to share them with you. Come and dance Qoya and dance your soul in a new way that you may have never imagined before.
October 3-5, 2014
*with optional Qoya Teacher Training October 5-6, 2014
Qoya classes, rituals and a spa day. After you tune in and dance during Qoya, you are encouraged to go dance all over town during Austin City Limits! Live music. Great town. And a recipe for a weekend to remember.
November 10-21, 2014
Join Marcela Lobos of the Four Winds and Rochelle Schieck of Qoya for a women's journey through Chile for 10 full days of Qoya classes, beautiful meals, adventure hikes, rites of passage and sharing of Goddess wisdom, initiations with the indigenous Machi women shamans and lots of ritual and ceremony. A unique opportunity to explore the inner and outer adventures of healing, tradition and possibility.
November 29 - December 6, 2014
Get ready for your heart to expand. There are few things as humbling as seeing the joy of these children share their love and shine their light so brightly. There are few things more awe inducing than the majestic beauty of the animals you see and experience on safari. And there are even fewer opportunities to take this powerful of a trip and have a conscious community of people to process and honor it through daily Qoya, rituals and all the love and attention that House of Loveness founder, Betsy Blankenbaker offers. It is truly the trip of a lifetime.
Qoya is based on the idea that through movement, we remember. We remember our essence is wise, wild and free. Wise, wild and free also draw reference to the movement forms that we practice. Wise- the wisdom of yoga. Wild- the creative expression in dance. Free- expanding our capacity to enjoy our bodies through sensual movement. It's also about remembering those things that can rarely be expressed with words. The feeling of looking into another's eyes and feeling known. The warmth of a fire as you are cozy and warm in your home. Hilarious laughter with a dear friend where you are getting an ab workout from so much laughing. A piece of art that inspires you with its awe and beauty. The innocence in a child that mirrors the innocence in us all. The love. Qoya is based on the idea that through movement, we remember. That movement is a portal back to the physical sensation of our deepest truths and once we are aligned with them, our body can be our compass to find our way.
Join Qoya in 2014 for a year to remember and if you position yourself just right, the light will come right in.
With gratitude and love for a beautiful year to remember,
Dear Angels who live in the City of Angels: Join me for weekly Sunday night classes in LA from 6:30-8pm, for Sensual Sundays with Qoya and Imperatrix (the former Carnaval Samba Queen of Brazil) once a month and stay tuned for a Qoya Retreat in Los Angeles February 28- March 2, 2014.
Dear Angels who live in New York: Stay warm this weekend with Kitty Cavalier and explore deeming your Qoya practice with the Intro to Qoya Teacher Training Retreat this January 18-19, 2014