Dearly Beloved, I met with an entrepreneurial muse of mine, Laura Roeder, in Venice the other day for a cup of tea and a catch up. It had been almost a year since our last rendezvous and she told me about her getting married, the honeymoon, her business (she is one of the most amazing Social Media Mavens to walk this earth) and she also mentioned she was thinking about coming to the Costa Rica Qoya Retreat, but she had never done a Qoya class before.
I assured her that in terms of liking it- she would love it. I promise. As I was telling her that all were welcome and no experience is necessary, I realized one of the truly unique parts of Qoya and how it is different than the way other forms of exercise are taught. There are no levels in Qoya- no level 1, level 2, level 3. The only level is your intention and exploration into how good you can feel in your body.
The first essence of Qoya is focusing less on how it looks and more on how it feels and when it feels good, that is how you know you are doing it right. This idea surfaced out of noticing my inner psyche as I was practicing yoga, and I felt myself in a state of anticipation for praise or correction, waiting for external validation. For those of us who have had enough life experience or done enough personal growth work, we know that the only truly fulfilling and sustainable validation is that which comes from within. Qoya is a movement practice that gives you the opportunity and experience to strengthen your instinctual knowing by following it and trusting it to lead you in the way you move your body in class, but most importantly, when you truly feel that connection, you can use that feeling to navigate you through your life as north on your compass. To me, this is feminine power. To become so confident in your own thoughts, feelings and intuitions, that when you get a strong message, you can follow it.
How do you turn this feminine power into feminine leadership? The old paradigm of leadership is of a hierarchy, where one person leads and others imitate or follow. The leader takes up all the space. My take on a new paradigm of feminine leadership is that the leader is the one who can inspire and excite, but in essence, creates space for others to rise, knowing deeply that her own strength is in the strength of the circle she is in. Feminine value based leadership is deeply rooted in our interconnectedness that takes us out of the limitations, isolation and competition of the ego and into the creativity, joy and true connection with community sourced in spirit. Every Qoya class and retreat is always set up in this way- to strengthen the circle.
I'd like to introduce to you one of the most inspiring women in my circle. Colleen Lasota has created an amazing Qoya community and health and wellness community with her husband Christian Doten and adorable son in their movement studio in Minneapolis, MN called Four Gates Physical and Energetic Culture. As an entrepreneur, mom, wife, acupuncturist, Qoya teacher and lover of life, she is a busy woman and I'm so grateful she could take the time to answer some of the questions here. Colleen teaches Qoya every Tuesday night in Minneapolis at her studio and will be in Costa Rica in April.
(This picture is Colleen, her son and I singing communal karaoke at the Minnesota State Fair!)
How does Qoya tap you into your wisdom in your life?
How does Qoya evoke your wildness in your life?
How does Qoya help you revel in your choice to be free in your life?
Qoya is based on the idea that through movement, we remember. What do you remember in Qoya?
Thank you Colleen!
And thank you to all of you who are part of the Qoya Community and read these blog posts and dance your own unique dance. I honor your courage and your decision to shine and I know how hard it can be sometimes, like when you are cozy in bed, but you know it's time to get up and go into the day. Here is a gift of a free 7 minute video to help you transition from horizontal to vertical. These are the stretches I do every morning when I wake up. I'm talking in the video, but when you don't need the video anymore- I say gratitudes to myself and vision how my dream day would go in the postures and invite you to try it as well.
Enjoy all your dancing adventures- horizontal and vertical, inner and outer, here and there and everywhere~
P.S. Today is Qoya's 4th Birthday! I taught my very first class March 1st, 2009 in New York. What a beautiful adventure it has been.
P. S. S. There are still some spaces for Costa Rica April 6-13, 2013. If you're feeling called to join us- please do!