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The Emerging Self: Full Moon in Aries

Dear Dancers on the Path,

While it's normal to doubt, there is one interesting thing to notice about its source. Doubt is most often rooted in the repetitive thought patterns of the mind. These habitual forces are like a strong wind with the power to shift you from the place of center when you feel the most authentically yourself.

Those moments, when you feel the most authentically yourself, also have a usual source. Authenticity of being is most often rooted in the full embodied experience of the Self in the present moment. It's a feeling. An awareness. A presence. A blessing. This experience is fleeting if dependent on external stimulus, but so much of the human journey is about learning how to make the experience of being your true self become the source of your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and actions.

Each of our journeys are unique. One of the keys to healing is the same desire innate to the human condition yearning for freedom: the power to choose. Some of the more interesting dynamics of this are when our freedom increases because we decide to no longer hold our own energy back. By developing, strengthening and honoring the truth of how we feel in our body, we are more able to flow with the truth of our own life force. 


Our resident astrologer, Virginia Rosenberg, shares how to align with energy of the full moon:

The Full Moon in Aries on September 24, 2018 (10:53pm EST) is a dawning. It is a sign of the Self. Not simply the self you know, but also the emerging Self. The You that is generated from being awake and attuned to the leading edge. The leading edge is an undiscovered place, and because of this, we may not deem it a safe place. Our sense of security may be challenged. We may wonder if we’ll be alone in this unknown place. Unmet. Feel those sensations, and go forth anyway. It takes tremendous courage to pursue the proddings at this edge. At this stage, if we are going to heal, pursuit and decisive action are the only options. We are required to summon strength and shed veils of false peace and complacency. Something new is unfolding. We are living in unprecedented times. And we are here for it. We are motivating, integrating, and showing up to help lead ourselves to a future home. Active participants, recipients, and makers of this revolution. Each of us is called to rise. We are called to live into our part of the leading edge. In doing so, we will piece together a new wave of harmony. The answers to old questions are changing. And so, we ask them again: who am I? Why am I here? With all the love in my being, what am I willing to fight for?


To make this shift from doubt to confidence is often to make the shift from identifying with our thoughts alone to feeling our soul embodied. From that aligned place, notice what thoughts emerge. What is the easiest way to align with that feeling? I'm biased here, but I'm going to go ahead and say again: movement. There's only one way to know if it works for you, and that's to do it. 

Wishing you an empowered experience of yourself with the equinox, full moon and the emergence of truth that is happening within each one of us each and everyday.

With gratitude for every moment we can dance together,

Rochelle


Last Week for Early Bird Discount

There's one more week to take advantage of the Early Bird Discount for our Qoya Collective Retreat at Blue Spirit retreat center in Costa Rica on March 23 - 30, 2019! This retreat not only celebrates 10 years of retreats at Blue Spirit, but it is also Qoya's 10th birthday celebration! Now through October 1st, save $300 off with the code CONNECT.

Click here for all the details and to register.

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Women's Dance Festival

Join forces with Toni Bergins, MEd, of JourneyDance, Rochelle Schieck of Qoya, and Parashakti of Dance of Liberation. This powerful collaboration of evolutionary soul transformation calls you to gather on the dance floor and remember the truth that lives in the wisdom of your body.

October 5th - 7th in Santa Cruz, California

Click here to learn more and register.


Upcoming Events with Rochelle Schieck

September 27th - 30th: Commune Retreat in Malibu Mountains, CA

Sunday, September 30th at 8:00pm: Qoya Class in Los Angeles, CA (Electric Lodge in Venice Beach)

October 5th - 7th: Women's Dance Festival in Santa Cruz, CA

Thursday, October 4th at 7:30pm: Qoya Class in Sacramento, CA

Monday, October 15th at 8:00pm: Qoya Class in New York, NY (Chelsea location will be emailed to you upon registration.)

October 26th - 28th: Omega Retreat in Rhinebeck, NY

October 28th - 29th: Initiation Teacher Training in Kingston, NY

Saturday, November 3rd at 6:00pm: Women Rising Rooted Workshop in New York, NY

Click here to find other classes near you.


Love this blog?

Enjoy more Qoya movements, rituals, and philosophies in our online course, A Call to Create, which helps you embody the wisdom of our book, Qoya: A Compass for Navigating an Embodied Life that is Wise, Wild and Free.

For free support, check out our library of movement rituals, our free e-course 10 Days of Qoya Love, the Lifestyle of Reverence podcast, or browse the archives over on our blog.


RETREATS TO REMEMBER YOUR ESSENCE

Bali Retreat with Betsy: October 6 - 13

Omega Retreat (Rhinebeck, New York) with Rochelle: October 26 - 28

10 Year Anniversary of Qoya at Blue Spirit: March 23 - 30, 2019

ROCHELLE GUEST TEACHING

Commune Retreat (Malibu Mountains, California): September 27 - 30

Multiversity Women's Festival (Santa Cruz, California): October 5 - 7

INITIATION TEACHER TRAININGS

Minneapolis, Minnesota with Angharad: October 12 - 13

New Zealand with Samar: October 26 - 29

Rhinebeck, New York with Rochelle: October 28 - 29

Online Initiation with Claire: November 14 - 22 (taught in French)

Paris, France with Claire: February 9 - 10, 2019 (taught in French)

INTENSIVE TEACHER TRAININGS

Woodstock, New York with Rochelle: November 13 - 18

New Zealand with Samar: December 10 - 17

Nosara, Costa Rica with Samar and Claire: March 30 - April 6, 2019

Theologos, Greece with Sara and Claire: May 7 - 14, 2019

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Integrity and Resonance: New Moon in Virgo

Dear Soul on the Other Side of the Screen,

As you navigate the change of seasons and all the transformations inside and around you, there may be times when you wish, hope, and pray for clear guidance. For almost 10 years now, Qoya has been encouraging people through movement to remember that a powerful navigational tool is feeling the truth you can experience inside of your body. One easy way to describe this sensation of truth is like a tuning fork; when your choices are in alignment with your truth, there's a feeling of resonance. The subtlety and nuance is that you can still choose things that may be difficult, that require you to rise up and grow, but there is a part of them that still feels good because you're remaining in your integrity. 

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What Feels Good in Your Body: Full Moon in Pisces

Dear Soul on the Other Side of the Screen,

For those of us who live in the Northern Hemisphere, we may be savoring these last few weeks of summer. For all of us, we may be savoring the close of the most recent eclipse season. Wherever we are in the world and wherever we are on the path, an intelligence is always available to us through sensation and noticing how we truly feel. This ability to sense truth in the body leads to courage to follow that truth. 

Qoya is based on the idea that through movement, we remember our essence is wise, wild and free. As we explore embodying our essence through yoga, dance, and feminine movement, each Qoya instructor will often say, "There is no way you can do Qoya wrong, and the way you know you're doing it right is that it feels good to you." We all go on healing journeys when it doesn't feel good to be in our bodies. Still, if we explore the idea that what we look for can guide what we see, by looking for ways to be in the body that feel good, we are more likely to find that good feeling. Over time, this process releases the cultural conditioning that we must bypass the body's experience and override it rather than feel it and follow it. By encouraging people to notice what movement feels like in their body rather than what it looks like to others, their inner validation is strengthened and they cater to external validation less. While there are times when it's normal and desirable to seek external validation, honoring your soul's truth is not one of them.

As we continue to dance with these transformational times of releasing the old and birthing the new in our individual and collective lives, I invite you to trust what feels good in your body as a guide. What daily practices of movement and prayer nourish your spirit? What foods feel good to eat and feels good in your body after you eat? What people do you meet with and afterwards feel inspired and uplifted? What media do you feel happy you engaged with? Where in nature do you feel more connected to your true nature? The answers to those questions will change, so the important part is to notice what feels true in your body in each present moment. 

In Qoya, there's a strong emphasis on noticing how you feel in your body because it's a barometer of how you're feeling in your soul. The body is the truth teller of the inner world that only you can experience. When you value your inner life and honor it with your decisions, it doesn't mean that you'll magically no longer have to face challenges. It just means that your main challenge won't be that you don't believe there is space for your authentic expression in the world. 

Many people may be moving at such a fast pace they don't notice the body's cues that come with nuance and subtlety. Exhaustion can leave us numb and unable to harness enough energy to notice the feelings in our bodies; yet every day and every single moment is another opportunity to listen for what would feel good in your body and honor that feeling. The full moon in Pisces offers an especially auspicious invitation to this.


Our resident astrologer, Virginia Rosenberg, shares: 

The Full Moon in Pisces on August 26, 2018 (7:56am EST) is a reverie for the harvest times coming. The indiscriminate abundance of summer begins to find its way through a sieve. How do we make use of all we experienced? The recent eclipse season still colors our worlds, beckoning the unconscious to leaven into awareness. Untold stories and unfinished conversations long for deeper conclusion. Give them space and anchor. The parts of ourselves that feel lost long to be more found. Our addictions crave containment. A welcome time of refinement, of lessening, and of process. Look for the ways your everyday reality can be more infused with prayer and inspiration. Look for the ways your dreams and inspirations can get anchored into your daily schedule. The point is in the recognition that heaven is here on Earth. Acknowledge, embrace, and feed existence. Let the sounds of steady rhythm interweave against amorphous tones that allow the mind to lose definition and gain grace. Perfection becomes acceptance. Acceptance gives way to forgiveness. Forgiveness absolves judgement. Judgement becomes compassion. Retreat into your subtlest senses, the divine elements of being that make angels of the dust.


How do you transition from thinking about feeling good in your body to feeling good in your body? I would say one of the easiest ways is through movement! 

Here is a movement ritual to begin to explore what movements feel good in your body.

Sending a prayer for all of us to continue to expand our capacity to notice and honor the truth we feel in our bodies. As we become more sensitive to our own truth, may we become better ambassadors and space holders for others as they reconnect to their souls by honoring the truth of how they feel in their bodies.

With love,

Rochelle


Become a Qoya Teacher this fall!

Even if you haven't started your teacher training journey yet, you can become a Qoya Teacher before the end of 2018!

Step One: Complete the Intro to Qoya online training.

Step Two: Attend an Initiation Training. The Online Initiation with Lyndsey Azlynne is a great option, and Rochelle is also teaching Initiation Trainings on both coasts:

Monday, October 1st in Los Angeles, California

Sunday, October 28th - Monday, October 29th in Rhinebeck, New York

Step Three: Teach 11 practice classes to your family and friends to prepare to teach your class at the Intensive. These are casual classes; you can teach them to one person, over Skype to another student in the Intensive, even to your dog! The goal is for you to feel comfortable leading a class.

Step Four: Attend the Intensive Training with Rochelle this November 13 - 18 at Menla Mountain Retreat Center. It's a powerful week of personal transformation with a focus on "why" we teach Qoya, and in addition to classes, you will experience rituals to infuse each pillar of Qoya into your body and soul. 

Optional (but highly recommended!): The Mentorship Circle with Sara Ballard is a fantastic additional support as you prepare for the Intensive and teach your practice classes. You'll receive one-on-one feedback to help you grow more confident in your teaching.

NOTE: You don't have to wait to register for the Intensive until after you've completed the other trainings. If you want to join us in November, we recommend that you register for all 3 now to reserve your spot.

Questions? Reach out to us at info@qoya.love. If you're feeling the call to lead Qoya in your community or deepen your Qoya practice as a student, we'd love to dance with you!


Upcoming Qoya Classes with Rochelle Schieck in NY and LA

Wednesday, September 12th at 6:30pm in Woodstock, NY (Mountain View Studio)

Monday, September 17th at 8:00pm in New York, NY (Chelsea location will be emailed to you upon registration.)

Monday, October 15th at 8:00pm in New York, NY (Chelsea location will be emailed to you upon registration.)

Sunday, September 23rd at 5:00pm in Los Angeles (Electric Lodge in Venice Beach)

Click here to find other classes near you.


Love this blog?

Enjoy more Qoya movements, rituals, and philosophies in our online course, A Call to Create, which helps you embody the wisdom of our book, Qoya: A Compass for Navigating an Embodied Life that is Wise, Wild and Free.

For free support, check out our library of movement rituals, our free e-course 10 Days of Qoya Love, the Lifestyle of Reverence podcast, or browse the archives over on our blog.


RETREATS TO REMEMBER YOUR ESSENCE

Bali Retreat with Betsy: October 6 - 13

Omega Retreat (Rhinebeck, New York) with Rochelle: October 26 - 28

10 Year Anniversary of Qoya at Blue Spirit: March 23 - 30, 2019 - enrollment opening soon!

ROCHELLE GUEST TEACHING

Kripalu Women's Festival (Stockbridge, Massachusetts): August 24 - 26

Multiversity Women's Festival (Santa Cruz, California): October 5 - 7

INITIATION TEACHER TRAININGS

Online Initiation with Lyndsey: September 5 - 13

Studland, England with Sonja: September 22 - 23

Los Angeles, California with Rochelle: October 1st

Minneapolis, Minnesota with Angharad: October 12 - 13

New Zealand with Samar: October 26 - 29

Rhinebeck, New York with Rochelle: October 28 - 29

INTENSIVE TEACHER TRAININGS

Woodstock, New York with Rochelle: November 13 - 18

New Zealand with Samar: December 10 - 17

Nosara, Costa Rica with Rochelle and Samar: March 30 - April 6, 2019

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Express vs. Repress: New Moon in Leo

Dear Soul on the Other Side of the Screen, 

I taught a Qoya Class in NYC this week where I asked jokingly, "Has anyone noticed we've been in eclipse season?" People laughed. I imagine people who are not interested in astrology have even Googled it this week to find out what's going on up there, because something is definitely going on down here! Eclipses can bring intensity to our experience and a general feeling of "expecting the unexpected." If you reflect on the last three weeks, has a theme emerged with an opportunity for growth? Have you embraced the challenge and looked it in the eye or pushed it under the rug for another time? 

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The Immense Window: Full Moon in Aquarius

Dear Reclaimers of Imagination, 

Can you accept the world today "just the way it is"? In spiritual circles, that can be a trick question because so much work is presented as a way to heal the painful perspectives of the past by finding the gift in a situation and bringing that gift (along with your presence) back into the present moment. Accepting things as they are and trusting that everything has a reason can be helpful in healing the past, but also dimming the heart fire that calls us into action for our collective future. When I studied at the Four Winds Society, I was encouraged to dream with the same regularity as a meditation or yoga practice. If you do not consciously dream the world into being, you can be swept up in someone else's dream or someone else's nightmare. If you take a quick soulful inventory, how much of your individual life feels like a manifestation of your conscious intent? Looking at our shared reality of humanity on this earth, how much of the world feels like an expression of our collective dream? Is there a calling to re-imagine the world we live in, starting in your own life? 

I've had a wise, wild and free few weeks since our last new moon solar eclipse. We had a powerful Qoya Retreat at the Multiversity 1440 in the redwoods where we focused on doing our sacred work by dancing with the quote by Khalil Gibran, "Work is Love Made Visible." How do we become vessels for unconditional love to live in the world through the way we embody and share it? How do we find the courage to become visible? Luckily, we had good teachers. You can't get much more visible than a 400-foot redwood tree. We honored the underground connection of the redwood trees as a point of inspiration to become even more reverent of how we are all connected above ground as well.

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After an inspiring week of dancing, ritual, and exploration of our sacred work in Santa Cruz, California, I traveled to the sacred land of Taos, New Mexico to share Qoya as part of a workshop facilitated by Anne Davin, PhD and Robert Mirabal. Taos Pueblo is considered one of the longest continually lived in communities in the United States, going back over 1,000 years. This is the fourth time I have been a participant in Anne and Robert's workshop and each time I have felt a humble and profound opportunity to harvest back parts of my soul so that I may plant seeds back to the places where I live and love. 

When asking about how to navigate this current world's systemic problems of injustice, a phrase emerged from Robert, "be better, not bitter." Anne's encouragement was to, "court the sacred back to the places where there has been pain." The takeaway for me is to continue to imagine the world embodying a lifestyle of reverence and find those places where my internal oracular activism that holds that vision can meet with my hands that take action to help build it. 

After the workshop with Anne and Robert, I spent an extra couple days in the Taos Earthships for a Qoya Teachers Gathering led with Samar Ocean Wolf Ciprian where we explored the pillar of circling and our relationship to water. Some people asked, "Why are you going to study water in the desert?" For me, it was so clear; in places where clean water is scarce, it is seen as sacred. My favorite thing about staying in an earthship is their reverence for water. Each drop that is captured from the rain is used 4 times in the house. The first cycle is for the drinking or bathing water, then for washing dishes or clothes, then for the toilet, and finally to water plants. I love being in places where someone stretched their imagination beyond what has been considered normal, especially when normal is unnecessarily wasteful.

Circling in Qoya is a place where it doesn't matter what it looks like; instead, we look for the place where it feels good to open the body. We introduce the idea that our body is around 70% water and so is the earth, and invite the class to imagine reclaiming the element of water in our movements as we flow from one circle to the next. The highlight of our retreat happened when we went outside and did a water gratitude ceremony in which we each brought water from a place that was sacred to us and made offerings of water into a vase with stories of gratitude and appreciation for times when water has been there for us to heal, cleanse, connect, commune, when it has been an interface with our joy and our solace. As we were all buzzing in the field of resonant embodied appreciation for water...it began to rain all around us, but not on us. We were in awe.

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Who could imagine such a thing?

What else is beyond our imagination?


Our resident astrologer, Virginia Rosenberg, shares: 

The Full Moon in Aquarius on July 27, 2018 (4:20pm EST) is a Total Lunar Eclipse. A blood moon, the longest in this century, as the moon turns red in the shadow of Earth for a total of 83 mins. Basking in the shadows, it is normal to feel extra emotional. Stay awake to the sensations. This is an activating moon, a time of unrest. The stirrings of the future are blowing in the winds. Dissent. Not a moon of compliance or civility, authenticity and honesty demand that we rise up. Revolt. Reinvent. Make change. We are prompted to defend what we most love. To balance the personal and the objective. Our differences are highlighted. Ideologies clash. We can be allies and not be friends. We can let go of relationships that contain too much friction. We can stay in our hearts and stand in our truth. We can connect with those who are accomplices to our truth. We are learning how to adapt and form interdependence. Things are not in perfect working order. We feel the real versus the ideal. Loss brings us longing: for forgiveness, for a better world, for higher love. This moon is peculiar, yet highly creative, launching us into futuristic chapters. Revel in the way the light falls in most unexpected patterns. May we be lifted into the realms of that-which-knows, and is beyond, us.


As I read Virginia's words about the immense window that this full moon total lunar eclipse in Aquarius is, I think of the characteristics of Aquarius to be creative, imaginative and forward thinking - so forward thinking, they are revolutionary. Where are YOU being called to be more revolutionary? More radical? Where are you yearning to stretch your imagination for your individual experience and our collective human experience?

When I got back from Taos, I went directly to the Omega Institute for Radical Dharma Camp: Talking Race, Love and Liberation lead by Rev. angel Kyodo williams, Jasmine Syedullah Phd, and Lama Rod Owens. There were many powerful things shared, but I want to share with you this checklist they offered us to assist our imagination of a better world.

They shared that your vision is not Radical Dharma unless it has:

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1) A Contemplative Approach: You must have an ability to touch into your internal world and the intention to merge with the external world. You must know how to slow down, observe, and be better at being in relationship with others. 

2) Embodied Practice: Much of the world is stuck in a dichotomy of ideology. How do you move past that? EMBODIMENT! When you truly and deeply feel the matters at hand, you become more empathic. Instead of minimizing the issues of the day into fleeting thoughts, take time to deeply feel where the oppression, struggle, and injustice lives in your body. While your experience will be different from those most marginalized, draw from your own lived experience as a way to relate to others through feeling. 

3) Liberatory Path: Be Inclusive, not exclusive. True liberation does not draw a line that it is only for some people and not for others. Be aware to not adopt the same violent techniques of oppression one is oppressed by. Notice the ways in which we are all collectively affected by systemic oppression and injustice. The work it will take to liberate black lives will liberate the whole society. 

4) Prophetic Practice: Be so grounded in your body, personal spiritual practice, and this particular moment in time that you develop a deeper awareness of subtlety and nuance. You step into the complexity of these issues and become accountable for telling the truth of these transformative times. Notice what is being called for, where we are, and what you're being called to do. With clarity, speak truth into this world. 

5) Collective Process: Your process must truly support the individuals involved relating to one another horizontally vs. in hierarchy. 

Imagine that! Can you? Will you? Beyond imagining in your mind, is there a place in your body where you feel the potential that lives in the world because it lives in you? 

Now is the part of the new moon or full moon blog where I hope to successfully encourage you to embody the theme of whatever we are talking about, because the inspiration and imagination of positive transformation is most powerful when it is FELT. Eclipses are said to set the energy for the next six months. What seeds are you open to imagining now to live into over the next six months? 

Movement Ritual: Stepping through the Immense Window 

This ritual has two parts. Part One: Embody Your Intention and Water it with Circling

Part Two: Part the Veil. This is a new thing I have been doing in my Qoya classes lately. Put on a song and start to move, then any time you feel a block, imagine it as a veil. With your hands, part the veil, and step through to continue your movement until you feel another block. The focus for this movement is to explore the immense window for you during this eclipse. What does it feel like? Anytime you feel confused, blocked, disconnected, or unclear about it, imagine a veil is in front of you. Part it with your hands and step past it. Notice what emerges in your body as you do this. Whatever emerges, this is your work! 

Here is a short 10 second video to see the movement to use anytime you feel called to step through the veil, and here's a playlistof some song suggestions to part the veil to.

A common reason people don't nurture their imagination and step in the direction of the revolution they're called to is...exhaustion. In case that applies to you, perhaps you can set the intention for a 10-minute nap that feels like 10 hours, then go into your movement when you have a little more energy.

May the movement be as energizing and restorative as rest itself. May the immense window before you be full of positive transformation for all. 

With hands parting the veil, 

Rochelle


For anyone reading this who has benefited from the healing container of Qoya when coming together through movement and ritual to explore the remembering of our truth in community, I am so grateful, and I wish that for everyone who desires it.

I am so inspired by this Healing Justice project "created by a team of Black women artists, healers, activists, and cultural workers who all exist at the intersection of multiple marginalized identities" that I donated the fullest amount I could afford. Remember - even a little bit here and there can go a long way when we work together! 

At a time when black women like Nia Wilson are senselessly murdered in the USA, the relevancy of black women holding healing space for themselves and others is paramount.

In the words of one founder, Ratasha Elise, "Our healing justice work encompasses racial justice with a focus on equity, gender justice, and economic justice. Applying a holistic lens, we are integrating life-giving tools and methodologies to support our own healing, wellness, empowerment, and community building. We are literally transforming the world, beginning with ourselves." 

To support this project, click here and donate before July 31st.


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Eclipse Season Discount!

To offer some extra astrological support through this major eclipse season, enjoy a 55% discount off our online course, Embodied Astrology. Through 12 Qoya movement rituals with an accompanying workbook, instructional videos, and exercises, you will integrate the wisdom of astrology in a totally personalized way by embodying its archetypes.

Click here to learn more and register.


August in New York City with Rochelle

Come dance with Rochelle in New York City this August:

Monday, August 6th, 8:00pm-9:30pm

Theme: Taking Time to Dream. Rise up from your daily life and explore your relationship to taking time to dream and vision for yourself and for our world. We live in a dream drought, where we not only forget our dreams at night, but forget to actively dream during the day. Let us strengthen our vision by dreaming together. Location in Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan will be emailed upon registration. Closest subway stop is 28th St 1 Train.

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Love this blog?

Enjoy more Qoya movements, rituals, and philosophies in our online course, A Call to Create, which helps you embody the wisdom of our book, Qoya: A Compass for Navigating an Embodied Life that is Wise, Wild and Free.

For free support, check out our library of movement rituals, our free e-course 10 Days of Qoya Love, the Lifestyle of Reverence podcast, or browse the archives over on our blog.


RETREATS TO REMEMBER YOUR ESSENCE

Bali Retreat with Betsy: October 6 - 13

Omega Retreat (Rhinebeck, New York) with Rochelle: October 26 - 28

10 Year Anniversary of Qoya at Blue Spirit: March 23 - 30, 2019 - enrollment opening soon!

ROCHELLE GUEST TEACHING

Kripalu Women's Festival (Stockbridge, Massachusetts): August 24 - 26

Multiversity Women's Festival (Santa Cruz, California): October 5 - 7

INITIATION TEACHER TRAININGS

New Zealand with Samar: August 11 - 12

Online Initiation with Lyndsey: September 5 - 13

Studland, England with Sonja: September 22 - 23

Minneapolis, Minnesota with Angharad: October 12 - 13

INTENSIVE TEACHER TRAININGS

South Carolina with Sara: August 5 - 11 - join the waitlist!

New Zealand with Samar: December 10 - 17

Nosara, Costa Rica with Rochelle: March 30 - April 6, 2019

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The Value of Lived Experience: New Moon in Cancer

Dear Soul on the Other Side of the Screen,

Qoya is based on the idea that through movement, we remember our essence. My prayer has always been that when people remember the essence of their individual, impenetrable sacredness, they are better able to to see, honor, and respect the sacredness in everyone and everything else. Instead of solely sharing an idea, Qoya's philosophy is transmitted through embodied experience. What do you know to be true because you felt it with your whole soul through your bones and breath?

Each time a human soul embodies their own essence, feels it in their bones, and honors the sensation of source energy in their breath (the energy that animates life!), a power activates the original intent of their purpose. Each of us hold a unique puzzle piece to the collective evolution of awareness, and many of us feel that our purpose and contribution to the world is changing. Maybe quickly? Maybe intensely? Maybe full of inspiration? Maybe full of fear? Maybe full of faith?

How do you find courage to honor your truth as it gets louder and louder each day? I encourage you to re-sensitize your body with activating movement and restorative rest.

Notice when the body's nervous system is calm, when it's not in a state of activated fear of fight, flight, or freeze. Learn the tools that bring you into this state and balance you. I love Qoya for movement and Karen Brody's Yoga Nidra for rest, but the best practice for you is the one that works for you. Be willing to experiment with different things to find what it is for you and remember that it may change at different times. Be flexible and remember the other best practice is always the one you do. I feel the need to remind myself of these things as the upcoming eclipse season offers an intensity that can be rocket fuel for transformation.


Our resident astrologer, Virginia Rosenberg, shares:

The New Moon in Cancer (July 12, 2018 at 10:48pm EST) is a partial Solar Eclipse and also a Supermoon. Batten down the hatches. Change is here. We are living it, positioned at the gate, listening to the river of inevitability rushing between the worlds. This Moon is a threshold. A reckoning. An eruption of long-buried unconscious. As the veil drops, crisis leads to catharsis. Something dies and releases forever, in turn giving birth to a new reality. We are at the helm of this reality. Claiming our power. Dancing into the depths, into our histories, into the power of lineage and blood and kin. How do we truly belong to ourselves, to each other, to the land, to our nation? How do we return to the fold? Call upon the Great Mother. Nurture her and her creatures. Respond rather than react. In the face of fear or disaster, take responsibility. Show up even more. Stop enabling the old, the addictive, the abusive. When the wells run dry, we make new ways of being in the world. Step firmly into the field of rebuilding. Reshape what is within your reach. Adapt to what is beyond you. All things are a-turning, darkness eventually giving way to brighter dawns.

“God is change...God exists to shape, and to be shaped.”

Octavia Butler

Viva la Evolution!


When I read Virginia's sentence describing this time as, "an eruption of long-buried unconscious," it felt so true.

For those of us who live in the United States, last week was our country's national holiday. Instead of myopically only celebrating the freedom of some, I observed a more holistic view of the United States in the people around me, awake to its painful origins and the dire need for reconciliation of its past as it continues in our present day.

In each Qoya class, we do a shadow contrast dance to embody the opposite of the theme. We do this to embrace our wholeness and honor all the different parts of ourselves. It's easy not to acknowledge certain parts of our personality, to feel guilt and shame and pretend they're not there. When we avoid our truth, we lose an opportunity to grow and heal. Through embodying the feelings we tend to ignore, our shadow becomes constructive instead of destructive. We expand our capacity to be present with pain, our own and another's. It's often said that if we do not honor the shadow consciously, it comes up unconsciously. As Carl Jung said:

“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light but by making the darkness conscious.”

Would you be willing to explore what arises when you allow yourself to value your lived experience by feeling it right now?

To honor the energy of this new moon/eclipse or any moment that arises, I invite you to dance with this video, Feel Deeply to Heal Deeply, and notice what is present when you feel deeply. Embrace your wholeness through your willingness to look at anything uncomfortable that emerges with compassion. Cultivate the courage to look it in the eye with love, to stay aware of your breath, and to trust your body to guide you on its healing journey.

While many of us in Qoya have been willing to look at our shadow individually, there are soulful instructions I hear in Virginia's forecast about our willingness to do this even more, especially on issues that we struggle with collectively. As she writes:

"Show up even more. Stop enabling the old, the addictive, the abusive. Reshape what is within your reach."

I invite you to explore where you can show up even more in service to the collective to stop enabling the old, the addictive, and abusive uses of power. How can each of us help reshape what is within our reach? I believe one way to start is by taking all the ways you have valued your own life experience and begin to consciously value the different life experiences of others. Listen to their words. Honor their experiences. Stay present and receptive to learn. Move beyond your implicit bias. Move into the potential to truly align with wisdom teachings by honoring the interconnection of all beings and building integrity within your thought, word, prayer, and action.

For any of you reading this who have already been doing the work to dismantle oppressive systems, thank you for your courage, passion, resilience and strength. For those who are new to this work, here are the last three books I've recently read or listened to on Audible and were deeply moved by, all of which are powerful opportunities to learn from the authors' lived experiences.

So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Olu

In this New York Times bestseller, Ijeoma Oluo explores the complex reality of today's racial landscape--from white privilege and police brutality to systemic discrimination and the Black Lives Matter movement--offering straightforward clarity that readers need to contribute to the dismantling of the racial divide. Perfectly positioned to bridge the gap between people of color and white Americans struggling with race complexities, Oluo answers the questions readers don't dare ask, and explains the concepts that continue to elude everyday Americans.

I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown

In a time when nearly all institutions (schools, churches, universities, businesses) claim to value "diversity" in their mission statements, I'm Still Here is a powerful account of how and why our actions so often fall short of our words. Austin writes in breathtaking detail about her journey to self-worth and the pitfalls that kill our attempts at racial justice, in stories that bear witness to the complexity of America's social fabric--from Black Cleveland neighborhoods to private schools in the middle-class suburbs, from prison walls to the boardrooms at majority-white organizations.

Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love and Liberation by Rev. angel Kyodo Williams, Lama Rod Owens and Jasmine Syedullah, PhD

Igniting a long-overdue dialogue about how the legacy of racial injustice and white supremacy plays out in society at large and Buddhist communities in particular, this urgent call to action outlines a new dharma that takes into account the ways that racism and privilege prevent our collective awakening. The authors traveled around the country to spark an open conversation that brings together the Black prophetic tradition and the wisdom of the Dharma. Bridging the world of spirit and activism, they urge a compassionate response to the systemic, state-sanctioned violence and oppression that has persisted against black people since the slave era. With national attention focused on the recent killings of unarmed black citizens and the response of the Black-centered liberation groups such as Black Lives Matter, Radical Dharma demonstrates how social transformation and personal, spiritual liberation must be articulated and inextricably linked.

New moons and eclipses are powerful times for contemplation. Honor your need for truth. Honor other's needs to express theirs. In the Qoya teacher training, I encourage teachers not to assume that how they feel about something is how everyone feels about something. The most important sentence in every class comes after the theme has been shared and the teacher says, "Now I invite you to dance your relationship to __________(the theme of class)."

My prayer with Qoya is always the same whether someone is doing a video, reading the book, during a class, or retreat: that we are co-creating spaces where you can feel how you actually feel and that everyone experiences the opportunity to embody their truth that emerges from the value of their lived experience.

Holding the Vision,

Rochelle


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Women's Festivals in 2018

Enjoy a festival of transformational movement, dance, and ritual in a circle of women on both coasts!

Kripalu Women's Festival: August 24 - 26 in Stockbridge, Massachusetts

Multiversity Women's Festival: October 5 - 7 in Santa Cruz, California


Classes in New York City with Rochelle

There are 3 opportunities to dance with Rochelle in New York City this summer:

Sunday, July 22nd, 7:00pm-8:30pm

Theme: Radiance. Rochelle is excited to be back at Sacred in Brooklyn! In the heat of summer, come dance your relationship to radiance. Want to prepare ahead of time? Check out the Radiance Sutras by Lorin Roche.

Monday, July 23rd, 8:00pm-9:30pm

Theme: Greater Good. So much of our growth at this time is being aware of how our individual actions affect the collective. In a time of so much transformation and change, let us offer this dance to explore our relationship to the greater good. Location in midtown Manhattan will be emailed upon registration.

Monday, August 6th, 8:00pm-9:30pm

Theme: Taking Time to Dream. Rise up from your daily life and explore your relationship to taking time to dream and vision for yourself and for our world. We live in a dream drought, where we not only forget our dreams at night, but forget to actively dream during the day. Let us strengthen our vision by dreaming together. Location in midtown Manhattan will be emailed upon registration.

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Love this blog?

Enjoy more Qoya movements, rituals, and philosophies in our online course, A Call to Create, which helps you embody the wisdom of our book, Qoya: A Compass for Navigating an Embodied Life that is Wise, Wild and Free.

For free support, check out our library of movement rituals, our free e-course 10 Days of Qoya Love, the Lifestyle of Reverence podcast, or browse the archives over on our blog.


RETREATS TO REMEMBER YOUR ESSENCE

Taos Retreat for Certified Qoya Teachers: July 16 - 17

Bali Retreat with Betsy: October 6 - 13

Omega Retreat (Rhinebeck, New York) with Rochelle: October 26 - 28

10 Year Anniversary of Qoya at Blue Spirit: March 23 - 30, 2019 - enrollment opening soon!

ROCHELLE GUEST TEACHING

Movement, Myth and the Mysteries of Water in Taos, New Mexico with Dr. Anne Davin - July 13 - 15

Kripalu Women's Festival (Stockbridge, Massachusetts): August 24 - 26

Multiversity Women's Festival (Santa Cruz, California): October 5 - 7

INITIATION TEACHER TRAININGS

New Zealand with Samar: August 11 - 12

Online Initiation with Lyndsey: September 5 - 13

Studland, England with Sonja: September 22 - 23

Minneapolis, Minnesota with Angharad: October 12 - 13

INTENSIVE TEACHER TRAININGS

South Carolina with Sara: August 5 - 11 - one spot remains!

New Zealand with Samar: December 10 - 17

Nosara, Costa Rica with Rochelle: March 30 - April 6, 2019

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Our Commitment to the Future: Full Moon in Capricorn

Dear Futurists,

"The future enters into us, in order to transform itself in us, long before it happens." 

-Rainer Maria Rilke 

Can you feel the future calling you forward? Can you feel the smallest hints about your next steps starting to be illuminated like Broadway marquee signs? Do you feel the things in your individual life and our collective life transitioning from the place of desire or want to need? If so, you may be in alignment with the Full Moon in Capricorn shining in the sky above all of our heads this week.

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Choose Your Own Adventure: New Moon in Gemini

Dear Courageous Choosers,

Once upon a time.....

Now you fill in the rest.

Qoya is based on the idea that through movement, we remember. Sometimes what we remember is the future. There is a new future calling us all forward that we may not know yet, but we can feel. Do you agree? 

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The Great Cosmic Joke: Full Moon in Sagittarius

Dear Full Moon Dancers,

We live in tumultuous times; some call them the turning of the ages. And here we are. Alive. Awakening. Embodied. Dancing. As you may have heard before, Qoya is based on the idea that through movement, we remember. We remember our essence is wise, wild and free. I often share that if we truly remembered our connection to source as the infinite divine spark that animates our bodies, we would probably be having a better time. As serious as these transformations in our individual life and our collective worlds can feel, they are undoubtedly times of tremendous opportunity - and - I find a sense of humor is essential.

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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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