Laura is a licensed professional counselor, teacher, writer, and researcher. In addition to teaching Qoya, she is a professor of Counselor Education at Virginia Tech. She
is passionate about facilitating embodied healing experiences through Qoya, expressive arts, mindfulness, and other experiential practices. Laura loves being a mom to her three children and enjoying spontaneous dance parties with them and her amazing husband Will.
When did you take your first Qoya class? February 2016 with Qoya teachers Lindsay McKinnon and Sara Ballard. The moment I was introduced to Qoya by these women, I knew I needed it in my life moving forward! I attended as many Qoya classes as I could from that time on. I completed Initiation teaching training with Rochelle soon after, in July 2016.
What does it mean for you to teach Qoya? The mantras of Qoya have become my life mantras. Slow down to feel. There's no way you can do it wrong. Everything is within. Qoya is more than a philosophy, it truly is a lifestyle. Since becoming a Qoya teacher, I have continued to grow and stretch in so many ways with movement as my mainstay. Life is always evolving and as it does, I continue deepening my understanding of living and embodying Qoya. I have found that in all of my life roles - as a professional counselor, teacher, partner, parent - I infuse Qoya into these roles because I do not know how NOT to. It has become a part of who I am.
What is your favorite song to dance to right now? “See-Line Woman” by Nina Simone, “Do It” by Tuxedo
What book has inspired you on the path to embodying the feminine? Qoya: A Compass for Navigating an Embodied Life that is Wise, Wild and Free!! I find myself reading Rochelle's book again and again. I turn to it often for inspiration, encouragement, and validation in embodying the feminine. I also enjoy Radiance Sutras and Warrior Goddess Wisdom for affirmation.
What would you tell someone who is thinking of taking a Qoya class for the first time? It is hard to describe Qoya in words, but Helen Keller's sentiment rings true here: "The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart." Qoya is about slowing down to notice how we feel. It's about relishing sensation and it is a full body experience. It is a heart awakening experience. When you take a Qoya class for the first time, give your mind permission to take a vacation for 90 minutes. I promise it will check back in afterwards.