Someone once told me to “live where you pray the best.”

It inspired me to find places in the world
where I write the best because for me,
writing is a form of prayer.

Join me in the beautiful wine country of Cape Town
to honor the stories you are ready to tell.

Imagine giving your writing the reverence it deserves
in the setting it deserves.

There will be a spa day at Babylonstoren, a historic Dutch farm,
time in nature, beautiful rituals,
visits to local vineyards, candlelit dinners,
and daily Qoya classes and writing exercises.

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open.
— Martha Graham

A Qoya Writing retreat is an invitation to connect to the wisdom of your body as a portal to your stories.

Through movement and writing prompts, you’ll learn to let your body guide you deeper into your storytelling and honoring your voice.

"Betsy’s intuitive writing prompts have been a deep inspiration. They have uncovered the
story within and taken me down writing pathways I could’ve never imagined."


What is a Qoya Writing Retreat?
Qoya is a shift in consciousness that evolves the way we have been taught to move our bodies as women. Classes combine the wisdom of yoga, creative expression in free dance and the joy found in feminine movement. During the retreat, your writing is
drawn from intuition and inspiration that comes through in Qoya giving rise to the stories you are meant to share with one person – or with the world. Suggested reading before the retreat: Qoya: A Compass for Navigating an Embodied Life that is Wise, Wild and Free By Rochelle Schieck

This retreat in particular will be a small, intimate group of women with only a handful of spots available. It is the perfect opportunity if you are longing for a retreat experience without a big group.

Do I need to be a writer to attend?
All writing levels are welcome to attend. Betsy believes we all have a story to tell and finds that movement - Qoya - is a natural way to keep the channels of inspiration open. There are no levels in Qoya (and no way to do it wrong) and no levels in writing needed to enjoy, benefit and be inspired during the retreat. You will receive a three song writing ritual designed to keep the stories flowing even after you leave the chateau.


Betsy Blankenbaker is an inspired writer and filmmaker telling important stories of the marginalized voices of the world. She is a Certified Qoya Teacher and teaches pop-up Qoya classes as she travels. In 2016, she taught at the first ever Qoya Collective Retreat. She also teaches kids Qoya classes at the school she sponsors in Zimbabwe through her NGO, House of Loveness.

"In Qoya, Betsy opens space so each woman can listen and learn from her own body."

INGRID SATO, Somatic Psychotherapist, USA

"After attending Betsy’s welcoming, comforting Qoya Workshop, I felt as if my body and spirit were perfectly balanced, a lovingly stacked cairn of stones - invigorated, in tune and receptive."


"Betsy is a wonderful Qoya teacher - she confidently and gently guides you through deeply
transformative classes with space for laughter, tears and soul connection. I especially love
Betsy's open hearted honesty which made me feel 'held' in a supportive, loving space. I have
so much admiration for Betsy and regard her as a mentor. If you have the chance to take
Betsy’s Qoya class, jump at the chance!"



Day One (check-in after 3pm)
6-7pm: Delicious Gourmet Dinner
7:30-9pm: Opening Circle

Day Two - Three
8-9am: Breakfast
10am-12pm: Qoya Class
12pm-2pm: Lunch and time to rest
2pm-4pm: Afternoon (Writing) Circle
5-7pm: Free Time and Gourmet Dinner

Day Four
8-9am: Breakfast
10am-12pm: Qoya Class
12pm-6pm: Lunch and spa day and vineyard visit - Babylonstoren
5-7pm: Gourmet Dinner

Day Five
8-9am: Breakfast
10am-12pm: Qoya Class
12pm-4pm Picnic Lunch and writing circle
5-7pm: Gourmet Dinner
8-10pm: Gratitude Despacho. Closing circle

Day Six (Departure Day)
8-9am: Breakfast
9am-10am: Qoya Class
11am Check-out and blessings for your onward journey


Located in the heart of the Cape Winelands between magnificent mountains, Angala is a retreat for body, mind and spirit. Pampered in luxury and surrounded by nature, you are able to absorb the magnificence and quality that nature can bring to one’s life. A lasting impression will linger long after your journey back home. Angala is your barefoot 5-star sanctuary at the foothills of the Simsonberg mountains.


Pricing is per person.

Your tuition includes:

  • 5 nights' shared accommodations at the Angala Boutique Hotel
  • Spa day at Babylonstoren
  • Delicious, healthy meals
  • Excursion to local vineyards
  • Qoya and writing classes with Betsy
  • one 45-minute Skype session with Betsy before the retreat

Your tuition does not include:

  • travel to the retreat

This retreat is sold out.

Use this form to add your name to the waiting list.

We will contact you in the order entries are received in the event of a cancellation.

Name *

P.S. We also have a Zimbabwe Service & Safari retreat the week before, so feel free to join us for both.


How do I get there? We recommend flying to Cape Town Airport (CPT). You can book a shuttle or taxi from the airport to the hotel.

Arrival/Departure Times
Please plan on arriving from 3pm-5pm on first day of retreat.
Please plan on departing by 11am on final day of retreat.

Can I bring my own food and drinks? All meals and snacks are included; you will be well fed! Your rooms also include complimentary well-stocked mini-bars (including local wines) that are replenished daily. We will cater for any dietary requirements provided you let us know when booking.

Can I book a single room instead of a shared room? No - this is an intimate retreat, with only a handful of spots available.

Cancellation Policy: If you need to cancel for any reason and we can find a person to take your spot, we will refund the amount paid minus a $250 non-refundable administrative fee. If we cannot find a person to take your spot, there are no refunds; however, you can transfer your paid spot to someone else, so you can send a friend or family member to the retreat in your place.

Do I need to bring writing with me? Yes. All writing levels are welcome, but be ready to focus on a story you need to tell. Upon registration, Betsy will schedule a Skype session to discuss your writing.

“Working with Betsy was one of those experiences where the veil lifts and you realize just how
magical life can be; that is not to say writing my story of trauma was easy, but she lovingly
guided me through the process. Writing my memoir with Betsy’s coaching has made me feel a
part of a greater story of standing in truth upon this earth. The Buddha said, “There are three
things that can’t be hidden for long, the sun, the moon and the truth.” I am eternally grateful for
Betsy and her loyalty to truth and healing.“