Dancing Your Soul Story

Who are you really?

There’s the version of yourself that you present to the world. The person that you think will make others happy. Win their approval. Make them love you.

There’s your idealized image of womanhood. The woman you think you could or should be, perhaps inspiring, perhaps not quite the right fit, or a vision you’ve outgrown.

There’s the narrative of your life that you carry inside about who you are and who you were. Colored by memories and judgments, perhaps useful, perhaps not.

How do you discern between the narratives that are imposed on you and your true feelings and desires?

You want to express all of yourself and proudly share the history and stories you carry without shame.

You want to feel connected to your body, heart, and soul, tuning out the static from advertising, cultural messages, and other people’s expectations.

You want to be who you truly are.

Your desires.
Your vulnerabilities.
Your dreams.
Your superpowers.
Loud and proud!

Come dance with your soul story at this retreat and become a little more real⁠—with others and with yourself.


Your body always knows.

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This retreat is an invitation to engage with your stories about yourself and their connection to others by exploring the physical sensations in your body.

No matter what the narrative in your head, your body will never lie to you. It always holds your true feelings, which you can listen to through simple movements.

How can greater connection with your body facilitate a stronger connection with your desires? What is the unique medicine that your body offers? What cultural stories can be released so you might find more pleasure, joy, creativity, and fulfillment in your outer expression of your inner experience?

Finally, is your body a portal to the divine? What if a simple moment of connection with your body is prayer? Can you pray with feeling, sensation, and movement as much as with words, thoughts or ideas?

We’ll be dancing with these questions and more.



Movement brings you back to yourself.

By dancing with the physical sensations in your body,
you'll feel deeply connected to the bigger picture of your life. You'll feel what you know is truth, but is often elusive to believe:

You are whole and holy. No matter your current circumstances, you are a unique expression of the divine, a once-in-forever event to be celebrated.

The journey to this feeling of wholeness requires support: from the energy of Mother Gaia, from movement and ceremony, from stillness to listen to your body, and from the circle of people around you.

Immersing yourself in medicine and metaphor, how might you use movement to transform yourself?

How can you feel more connected to your soul by connecting with your body?


On this retreat, you will:

  • Feel connection with your body through daily Qoya classes

  • Nourish yourself with healthy, delicious food

  • Engage with your relationship to your personal stories and identity through movement, ceremony, and Embodied Story Sessions

  • Get back in sync with nature's rhythms

  • Deeply rest and integrate all the epiphanies and changes within yourself throughout the week

  • Return home with a new community through the retreat and beyond


“I have been coming to Qoya now for about five months and I absolutely love it! Yes, I was a bit nervous on my first class as I really had no idea what to expect, but I soon discovered that it was such a safe space made by beautiful women with an amazing teacher. I came away from the class thinking WOW! Every woman should try this. The freedom of really being able to let go and move my body however I wanted has been a wonderful experience. There's something about the movement/dance/ritual that has really helped me release, transform and evolve. Oh, and I did I mention that class are so much fun?! Samar is one of the best facilitators I know and holds such a sacred space. I am grateful for her and these Qoya classes."

-A.D., Auckland, New Zealand

"Samar has been a hugely helpful guide along my path of healing. She is very kind, gentle and strong. She creates a safe space for sometimes difficult or painful issues to come up and be recognized. I've had movement in areas of my life that I haven't been able to get with other forms of healing. I've confidently recommended her to friends and will continue to do so." 

-W.N., Auckland, New Zealand


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Samar Ocean Wolf Ciprian

I am a Certified Practitioner and Self-Care Teacher of the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy®, and a Mayan Spiritual Healing Practitioner of the same lineage.  I have had additional training in advanced bodywork techniques and pregnancy/post-partum care with Dr. Rosita Arvigo.  I am a Holistic Pelvic Care™ & Holistic Pelvic Energy Provider™, trained by Tami Kent.  I am a Qoya Teacher and Teacher Trainer and I have had the profound pleasure of learning from and teaching alongside its creator, Rochelle Schieck.  These bodies of work are the sacred container through which I serve the bodies of the women in my care, and ultimately worship and restore the Body of the Earth.  

I have been blessed to draw upon a rich history of learning.  It has been a privilege to receive over seven hundred hours of Yoga teacher training and instruction in Yogic tradition over a nine year period through the late Shantimurti and other wonderful teachers at Ashram Yoga, New Zealand.  In 2003, I was initiated in Reiki Masterhood, a practice and tradition that opened the doors of perception and an awareness of the subtle energetic field that runs through all that I do.  

In addition to the many wondrous humans who have guided me, named and unnamed here, I bow in gratitude to the teachings of the Earth Mother. I don't remember a time in life where I was unaware of ever-present communion with Her.  

My joy and bliss lies in the power of the body to connect us, akin to antennae, to some of the most beautiful and profound experiences available to humans.  To the existential, the wildly embodied, the empathic and the deep within.  It is my utter joy to be able to offer people spaces to find these connections themselves.  Such a blessing, and one I am so grateful for.  

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Rochelle Gates is a therapist, facilitator, Qoya teacher, Arvigo® Therapist and Mayan Spiritual Healing Practitioner whose work is informed by over two decades of work and training in the healing fields of Psychology, Psychotherapy, Psychodrama, Relationship Coaching, Aware Parenting and various somatic and energy therapies. Her work focuses on healing and empowering individuals to find their own unique path to love, freedom and living in a way that is truly authentic to them.

Embodied Story sessions are a synthesis of all of Rochelle's experience and are created to allow a group to come together and tell or retrell the stories of their lives in the way that is holds the greatest potential for truth and healing. Sessions may include role-play, movement, vocalization, storytelling, and more, and are the creations of the living heartbeat of the group.

SAMPLE ITINERARY (exact times may vary)

Friday 13th December
4pm - Arrival 
6:30pm - Dinner
8pm - Opening Fire Ceremony 

Saturday 14th December 
7:30am - Breakfast 
8:30am - Qoya
10am - Break
10:30 am - Embodied Story Session
1:30pm - Lunch 
Free Time 
6:30pm - Dinner 
8pm - Evening Ceremony

Sunday 15th December
7:30am - Breakfast 
8:30am - Qoya 
10am - Break 
10:30am - Embodied Story Session
1:30pm - Lunch 
Free Time
4:30pm - Closing Ceremony 
6:30pm - Dinner and blessings for your next adventure


"It is difficult for me to quantify or put into words just how much Samar has guided me on my path. She has helped me to reinstate a level of personal health and well-being that I did not think possible. When I thought things were hopeless, she gave me hope and the result was nothing short of a miracle. I will always consider her my guardian angel and am grateful that our lives managed to intersect." 

-D.K., Vancouver, Canada


The retreat will be held at the Ashram Yoga Ohui Retreat Center, at a beautiful, wild, family-run yoga center on the Pacific Ocean with a beautiful purpose built ceremonial fire pit under the stars in pristine wilderness with no light pollution, surrounded by mountains, forests, and fields of flowers. It’s a 2-hour drive from central Auckland; click here for directions.

All rooms are shared and basic but cosy and homey with some beautiful views of the ocean and trees.
All participants are required to bring their own bedding - top sheet provided.
Vegetarian venue with beautiful hand prepared food made according to Ayurvedic principles (individual dietary needs can be catered.)

Accommodations are a mix of shared rooms in the yoga houses or private/shared caravans. A private caravan can be requested on a first come/first serve basis.


All bedrooms are shared in the yoga houses or private/shared caravans. For private caravans, please enquire to Samar at

Your $333 USD tuition includes:

  • 2 Qoya Classes 

  • 3 Ceremonies 

  • 2 Embodied Story Sessions with Rochelle Gates

  • 2 nights’ accommodations

  • Dinner on Friday night. All meals Saturday and Sunday.

Your tuition does not include:

  • Travel to the retreat

  • Optional Thai massage sessions with resident therapist Dee

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Apply for your spot today

These sessions rest on the bedrock of deep trust and group cohesion. Due to the nature of this work, and to support every person at the retreat, a short interview with Samar by phone is necessary before signing up for this retreat.

Name *

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 deposit. 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.


+ What time of day does the course start, and what time does it finish?

We suggest arriving to the retreat center around 4pm on the 13th to have time to check in and settle in before our 6pm start. Departure is at 6:30pm onwards on the 15th.

+ How do I get to the retreat?

Auckland International Airport is the closest airport.

Arriving by Car: Turn off Tairua Road (Highway 25) at the Opoutere junction (signposted). Drive to the very small town of Opoutere (about 5km) and go straight through it. The road turns to gravel (a gravel road is a kiwi term for an unpaved road made of small, loose stones). Keep going to the very end of this gravel road (another 3km). Our driveway is the first on the right where you’ll see a wooden Ashram Yoga sign. Follow the long driveway and keep to the left following the signs. You’ll see some buildings and a large marquee tent. Take the drive to the left. Our office is in the yellow house at the top of the driveway.

If you get lost then please ask the locals for directions, or call us anytime. If your cellphone is out of range then you can use the pay phone in Opoutere or drive back towards the main road until you get reception. Ph: (07) 865 8451.

Arriving by Bus:
The nearest intercity bus stop is about 15 minutes away at a tiny place called Hikuai. We can pick you up and drop you off there for $25 each way, but it must be arranged in advance.

I support the group to set up carpooling with each other ahead of time. Please email to indicate if you would like support with carpooling.

+ Is it women only? What age group?

This retreat is open to women only, ages 18 and up. There are no levels in Qoya, and all levels of movement experience are welcome. No experience with Qoya is required!

+ Do you cater to specific dietary requirements?

We will cater for any dietary requirements provided you let us know when booking. Please feel free to bring any special snacks you desire.

+ I have more questions. Who do I contact?

Any questions we haven't covered here? Email me at or text me at +64210381084.