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.
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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