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Movements to evoke your inner wisdom

Wishing You A Very Mary and Merry Mystical Christmas

Dear Subscribers to this List and Visitors to this Site,

 Thank you.

Thank you to infinity for your support of me and of Qoya.  Thank you for your courage to dance with the darkness, the light and the love that lives inside us all.  Thank you for being you and being part of this community.

It's been about a month since I last wrote.  And, I are you doing?  Just about everyone I speak to has been really "in it."  "In it" drawing reference to the place where things are quite intense, where the things that are no longer resonant with your deepest truth must stop.  "In it" where old habits that are not serving you must be shed like a snake sheds it skin.  "In it" in a way where the challenges of relationships, finances, jobs, health and hope all seem real.

Have you ever heard of thinking of Fear as an acronym that stood for False Evidence Appearing Real?  The idea behind that is it's considered false evidence because only love is real.

Only love is real is one of the key concepts of A Course in Miracles.  A Course in Miracles is a guidebook for a way to transition from the thoughts of fear to love, with Jesus, not solely as a literal, but a mystical example.

I went to hear Marianne Williamson speak last night.  In addition to being a prolific author, spiritual teacher and incredible orator speaking about the Course in Miracles every monday night in LA, she's also running for public office for the House of Representatives, in Los Angeles District 33, which is a miracle!    I also heard her speak on Christmas Eve last year and every time I hear her tell the story of Jesus not only as a historical event that took place two thousand and thirteen years ago, but as a mystical and archetypical event that is available to us every moment, I always take pause.

The gist is this- we are all Mother Mary and pregnant with possibility.  We are all Jesus and have the possibility to transcend fear and embody love.  We are all the manger, able to give shelter to those in need on their journey.  We are all the divine itself.

While I have never had the honor of giving birth in this body, I'm aware that being pregnant can be uncomfortable.  That there are SO MANY CHANGES that alter one's sense of reality and evoke many questions.  But, just like the sun will rise, that baby will come in it's divine time.

Amidst the blessings and challenges of each of our lives, what if we took a pregnant pause?  What if we allowed the miracles, magic and possibility swirling inside us to let it be in it's embryonic state, just as it is, without trying to rush it along prematurely.  And in our own way, prepare for the sacred birth.

Sometimes the things we are pregnant with surprise us in the way they arrive.  On my way to Africa, I stopped and had lunch with a woman who had been on one of my retreats and after our catch up she gifted me a beautiful pair of earrings.  I loved them, but I also really loved the bag and took it with me on my trip. Normally, I like to pack as light as possible and would not bring some extra packaging with me, but there was something about this bag and I kept it packed in my suitcase all the way to Africa.


photo-25Upon arriving in Zimbabwe for the first Qoya and House of Loveness service and safari retreat (stay tuned for dates for the second one next year), I was so incredibly moved to be back in Africa and mostly to feel the children's spirits with whom we would be working.
One particular child really touched my heart.  The moment I saw him, it was as if I had known him for a million years.  And as I got to know him more, I felt so much change inside of me.  He inspired me to want to make the world a better place in a completely different way than I had ever related to this task before.  It was for him and for his generation.  His presence evoked in me the desire to be able to be a supporter and cheerleader for anything he wanted to do in this world.  He's nine years old now, but this seems like the perfect time to set up a savings account for art school, college or whatever his heart feels called to pursue.  He is an orphan, but in any way I can, I'd be honored to be someone to support him on his life's journey.
I wasn't expecting to meet a member of my soul family in Africa, but I did.  And every time our heart opens- no matter what direction- it is a blessing.  The thing is I was pregnant with possibility and I didn't even know it, until this magical child was born into my life.  We are all always pregnant with possibility for the highest selves whose seeds live in us, courageously preparing to be born.

As I arrived back to my new home in LA and unpacked my things, I took out the bag with the earrings my friend had given me as a gift, the bag that for some reason I photo-26

kept and brought with me half-way across the world and back.  I looked at the roses on the bag and then I looked at the letters below.  They spelled Brighton.  Brighton was not only the name of the jewelry company who made the earrings, it was the name of the young boy I met in Zimbabwe.

Nice foreshadowing universe!

All this is to say in moments of synchronicity, magic or grace where a divine order seems the only possible way to explain a sequence of events so seemingly unrelated but geniously intertwined, if you can look at it from the right angle, are an opportunity to open for a miracle.  Those moments where we give birth to something.  And the creation of that thing that went from unmanifest to manifest is a cause of celebration.  That something or someone is born.

Whatever your faith, I encourage you to be calm and kind to the places of you that are pregnant with possibility and allow yourself to pause.  I invite you to feel the spirit of transformation each and every time you consciously choose love over fear.  I thank you for every time that you provide a manger, comfort and care to those who on their journey.  And I pray that the divine spark that lives in you and in all things is able to be born again today and everyday.

Have a Mary and Merry Mystical Christmas!!!

How to feel more magic in your life this Christmas, Holiday Season and Next Year?  Qoya!

Qoya is based on the idea that through movement we remember.  We remember our essence is wise, wild and free.  Wise, wild and free also draw reference to the movement forms that we practice.  Wise, calling on the wisdom of yoga.  Wild, the creative expression in dance.  Free, expanding the capacity to enjoy being in one's body through sensual movement.  Qoya also creates a safe space for women to remember those things that go beyond words.  The feeling when you see a sunset, when you are on the open road and your spirit is ready for adventure, when you get caught up in the contagious laughter of a child or when you feel the warmth of your lover's body in bed.  Qoya focuses less on how it looks and more on how it feels and when it feels good that's how you know you're doing it right.

And truth be told, all the miracles in my life happen in very close relation to times in my life where I am doing more movement!  Historically, movement is what keeps you in good health to be comfortable in stillness.   The more you dance, the better.  Please visit this page with free Qoya videos and know that I am working on many more offerings for 2014.

Also, if you'd like to join us for a Qoya Retreat, we have a retreat in Mexico with Qoya and the Goddess Process February 15-22, 2014 with a handful of spots left and the 5th Annual Qoya Retreat in Costa Rica March 28- April 5th, 2014.  Would love to dance with you!

Love and light from La,


Life Can Be Intense, Remember To Take A Sacred Pause (Plus a Free Guided Meditation and Opportunity for a Free Energy Healing Session with Rochelle)

After taking Kitty Cavalier's beautiful Qoya class in NYC last week, a woman I've known for years asked me, "How are you Rochelle?"  I responded, "It's funny how this life thing can be so intense sometimes, right?"  We both laughed in recognition and shared a knowing glance.  Yes, she understood.  She had felt pain, betrayal, confusion and loss right alongside her dreams, savoring moments, friendship, gratitude and love.  All the different aspects of life swirled together like some sort of assortment of ingredients from a frozen yogurt toppings buffet.  Maybe those difficult and intense moments in life are like those crushed up oreo cookies, even if think that they are not "good for you," they can have their own medicinal quality. Also this week, a man I had been on a couple dates with (see last post of being reduced to eye candy only to receive fuel for re-branding femininism) asked me for an energy healing session.  In the most tender part of the session, he said, "It's hard for me to go any deeper down this road, because I realize if I do, I will have to change my life."  As he said it, I realized it was true for so many of us.  I remember when I was in a relationship that needed to end and I was so overwhelmed by what staying true to my soul would entail.  It would ask me to change everything.  Lose my home, some friends, a sense of security and my dream of love.  Sometimes the invitation to change is too great to accept right now.

Since healing and transformation is what many people associate me with, there are certain times of the year where I am the recipient of more than usual texts, calls, emails and requests for support.  Where people "hit the wall" of their capacity and are forced to either grow and expand or contract and go inward.  The last week has been one of those times.

The cultural tendency is "to do" something to change this feeling and the invitation here is to take a sacred pause.

"To do" the things that bring you into a truer state of being.

What if you could...

Take a Sacred Pause.

Just stop for a moment.  Or two.

Just stay in for a night. Or three.

For today, stop trying to "figure it out" and let it be.  Just for today.

Take a nap.

Take a bath.

Take a break.

Slow way down.

And see what is there.

What is asking for your attention below the busyness?

Below the doing.

What lives in the being?

I had my own existential crisis last week where in the depth of inquiry I felt like I couldn't access the wisdom, comfort and trust so normally embodied.  What I was shown was that the ego mind is always activated in judging and analyzing the past or daydreaming and anticipating the future, but the expansiveness of the spirit/soul/truth/love is experienced in the present moment.  I heard myself saying to myself what I often say to others while teaching Qoya, "Slow down.  Take a deep breath and feel as much physical sensation as you can."  No matter what you are doing, you can come into the present moment through the experience of your body.  And when you do, even for just a second, feel that pulse of life, that life force that animates you and all things, savor it and honor it by just taking a Sacred Pause right there.

To expand your capacity to be still, because sometimes it actually takes practice to sit still, I'd like to share with you my morning breathing and meditation practice that prepares me for stillness each day.  (Video links are at the end of this email!) The hardest part of stillness is quieting the voice that always feels like there is something "to do", that list to infinity of tasks that need managing.  The completion of these tasks is a dependence on external validation.  The invitation to be still and just be with yourself is a returning to an ability to self-source.  To be able to get water from your own well and become empowered from your own inner validation.  Your inner validation is the place where you are congruently aligned with all parts of your self; mind, body, emotions, spirit, soul and energetics.  Often times our perceptions are being pulled in different directions. Thinking one thing, feeling a second, doing a third, soul yearning for a fourth.  A stillness practice can feel like herding cats some days, but when fully integrating all parts of Self, a woman can step more into her feline nature like a jaguar, strongly intuitive, well rested and ready for whatever life brings.

When can you schedule some time to sit still?  Today? This week?  A certain time every week?  Like you would schedule your morning run, can you make time to just be?  To sit on the couch and just sit there?  To stay in one night, have a bath and linger there for an hour or more?  Can you prioritize your practice of resting into the acceptance of things as they are?  I'd love to hear if you do and how it goes.

This is the message that came through so strongly for me this week and I hope that it can serve as a reminder in your own heart to take some time to slow down and rest too. I am so grateful for the life experiment/experience we are able to be living at this time and in the midst of so many changes, evolutions and revolutions within ourselves and our world.  And it's important to take some time to slow down and (speaking words of wisdom) let it be.  Blessings and gratitude to you for all you "do" to shine light in the world.  May you also soften into the essence that you are and experience the power of yourself when you can just be.

Rest well,


(that rhymes!)








P.S. Would you be interested in a free energy healing session with me?  For those of you who know are already planning on coming to the fifth annual Qoya Costa Rica Retreat March 29- April 4th, 2014, if you register this week, through October 18, 2013.  I'll be offering a private session with me as a bonus to do a Shamanic Energy Healing Session, Despacho Gratitude Ceremony or Lifestyle Coaching in person, on the phone or via Skype.  You can register here and Paypal is offering a payment plan for six months with no interest, and the retreat is just short of six months away! Would love to dance with you and share this sacred experience together.  If you're looking for something sooner, there is also Qoya and Dolce Yoga Pleasure Retreat in Tuscany, Italy November 16-22, 2013 and Qoya anytime, anywhere with these free videos here.


Enjoy this Shamanic Breathing video.  This is the practice I learned from my studies with the Four Winds Society and do most mornings.



This is my Shamanic Morning Meditation that I also do to access inner wisdom and prepare for inner stillness, also inspired by my training with the Four Winds Society.





My Take On Feminine Power and Leadership, Interview with Colleen Lasota, Free Bed Yoga Video and Happy Birthday to Qoya!

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 do you describe Qoya in your words?

 An experiential path in the form of a ridiculously fun dance party that leads to profound energetic shifts!

How does Qoya tap you into your wisdom in your life?

 My analytical skills and external experience dominated my perception until a year or so of regular Qoya classes sank in. The consistent practice of moving in a way that feels good has shifted this, guided me to slow down enough to feel and experience the wisdom held in my body and allow it influence my life. This happens in a wide range of ways--  a few examples would be getting clear messages in the form of  physical sensations, making perfect split second decisions without a thought, or having much much less fear of the unknown.

How does Qoya evoke your wildness in your life?

It feels so good to be wild- in the most natural sense.  I love to be in touch with my human nature, and I believe we were all born to dance.  The women with whom I dance wildly with at Qoya validate this for me, and sharing the movement in sacred space with them makes it so easy to share the wild open spirit with others outside of the class. 

How does Qoya help you revel in your choice to be free in your life?

Here I have to come back to the simple and profound practice of moving in a way that feels good. This is the best way I have ever attempted and/or experienced the state of being present, connected to my power. Soon it became natural to live most moments aware of my freedom to choose how it feels best to move through them. Qoya is a place to celebrate this and have fun with it! And it connects me to the power behind dancing and moving solely for the sake of experiencing pleasure. I have read that a million times that everything we want really is already in us and sure I understood it, but it never lead to me feeling that or really living like I understood it. Viva the experiential nature of Qoya!

Qoya is based on the idea that through movement, we remember.  What do you remember in Qoya?

I remember that we are all in this together. I remember my deep connection to every being ever in existence. I remember how much I love life.

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.


Bed Yoga from Rochelle Schieck on Vimeo.

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!



QOYA RETREAT - Costa Rica April 6th - 13th 2013 from jodi jones on Vimeo.

Happy Valentine's Day~ Join Eve Ensler's One Billion Rising to End Violence Against Women, Win a Boudoir Photo Session and Dance Yourself Back To Love

Dear One, I am forever intrigued and enchanted by how a woman will begin with a heart break, a heart ache or a yearning that goes as deep as the center of the earth and as soon as she starts to move her body, express the full spectrum of who she is and feel the physical sensation of the blessings and challenges of the situation she is in, there is a peace and calm that starts to emanate through her eyes, a softness you can feel in her heart and a fire in her belly.

All life, every situation, has its blessings and challenges and what you look for is what you see.  Your job, your partner, your home, the weather, all of it.  The tendency is to polarize one's perception into only making a gratitude list of the blessings or collapsing into being victimized by one's challenges.  The invitation in life and in Qoya is to dance wildly across the spectrum and into the wholeness of the situation, of self and of life, with love.  To wisely acknowledge that it is both- that every situation, person and experience of life holds its blessings and its challenges.  Savor the blessings and the beauty.  Stop to smell the roses and enjoy planting seeds in the garden.  Honor the challenges and know they are not happening to you, but for you and for your soul's growth.  Why else would they be there?


One of the most profound examples of feminine power is the ability to do this.  To be able to sit with the pain and challenge and then use it as fuel for art and beauty and blessings, using everything that does and does not happen as a pathway back to love.  You can see this modeled perfectly by the V-Day Movement One Billion Rising created by visionary Eve Ensler, who wrote the Vagina Monologues, to use Valentine's Day as a global movement to end violence against women and girls through art.  Through expression.  Through the honoring of the real life challenges and abuse by more than claiming, seizing, the blessings of turning pain into power and strengthening our spirits to find a collective voice of truth.  Visit her website here to see how much magic, beauty and love can be born when we mature to stand, and then dance, together.

One Billion Rising aligns with the essence of Qoya.  Through movement, we remember.  We remember our essence as women, our truth, as wise, wild and free.  Through the embodiment of spirit, through the dancing of our souls, we judge and analyze less to feel and experience more.  Our knowingness resonates as a zing in our spine and a confidence in our bones.

There's an important piece of the puzzle to One Billion Rising.  It's the invitation for women to rise up and stand for a world where they can share the full expression of their brilliance, beauty, sensuality, power and life force.  There is a tendency with women to stay small to stay safe, but the more women speak up, shine and share their unique gifts, the better this world will be.


I recently had the pleasure of working with professional photographer and Qoya dancer Lori Berkowitz for my first boudoir photo shoot.  Her intention is to capture moments where a woman can recognize her own beauty- inside and out.  The interesting thing about boudoir photography for me is like Qoya, it's less about how it looks and more about how it feels, what it evokes.  It's an experience of embodiment of selfhood, of being whole and holy onto oneself.  It's a captured moment of the remembering of the divine feminine light in this world, at this time, in 2013.  Through these images I was able to see  the part of me that is constant, and impenetrable, regardless of gain or loss, the spirit of being a woman.   I was so moved by the transformative power of my experience and wanted to share it with you. Lori is going to be offering Boudoir sessions at 50% off her normal rate at the Costa Rica Qoya Retreat April 6-13, 2013 and we will raffle off one free session to all women who have signed up for the Costa Rica Retreat by February 21, 2013.

To see Lori's website, go here.  Boudoir photo sessions with Lori in Costa Rica will be offered at half price, which is $275, and includes a full gallery ofall images and 2 retouched custom prints.   If you can't make it to Costa Rica and want to get your Boudoir on please call  212 244 2232 or email for a friend of Qoya deal!


Besides being able to win a free boudoir photo session, I'd like to share one paragraph about the Qoya Retreat in Costa Rica. In an ideal world, I wish we could all go to Costa Rica together and begin our day, instead of with an alarm clock of obligations, with the bright Central American sun coming through our window and the sound of howler monkeys ready to play.  I wish that on our walk up to early morning meditation and breathing, we would be overwhelmed with gratitude to have some time and space in our lives to reflect, to be and then to dream.  I wish that we could allow ourselves to be deeply nourished for an entire week with food that is all organic, mostly vegetarian, delicious, nutritious and made with love.  I wish that as we danced Qoya for hours every morning we would have the most profound remembering of our essence- of our wise hearts, wild souls and free minds through the movement of our holy bodies.  I wish that in the free space of an afternoon, we could follow our intuitive guidance to take us on external adventures of surfing, zip lining, horseback riding along the sunset or internal adventures to rest, to receive a massage, to have an hour long talk by the pool or sit and watch the waves of the ocean rise and fall.  I wish that as we gather together in the evenings to sit with spirit in sacred ceremonies, we would remember the power of our interconnectedness, to each other, to nature, to life.  I wish that with every time we immersed ourselves in the warm ocean water, felt the cool breeze, saw the canopy of palm trees or the butterfly crossing our path, that we would be able to pause and take a deep breath and that the moment would fill us completely.  Here is the link to the 3 minute Qoya video which really captures the essence of this trip to Costa Rica.  There are still some spaces available, so if you're thinking about joining, please do.


QOYA RETREAT - Costa Rica April 6th - 13th 2013 from jodi jones on Vimeo.


Ok loves, I leave you with an invitation to join One Billion Rising in support of ending violence against women.  Dance today and honor your movement as prayer and your intention as a portal for the divine to flow through you in this video as , "Only Love is Real.  FEAR is False Evidence Appearing as Real."   May it be so.

Only Love is Real. Fear is False Evidence Appearing as Real. from Rochelle Schieck on Vimeo.


May it be better than we can even imagine,

Testimonials for the Qoya Costa Rica Retreat

Rochelle Schieck's Qoya retreat was a magical, loving and liberating experience for me! She taught me how to connect to my inner wisdom through moving my body in a way that was less about what looks good more about what feels good ... Rochelle is the most loving, giving, kind and inspirational women I've ever known. I recommend Qoya retreat to any woman looking to deeply connect with self, meet amazing like minded women and experience more joy in their life! You will have a blast! You will leave Qoya retreat feeling rejuvenated and more of you again!!!" - Brittany Daniel, Los Angeles, CA
I was lucky enough to celebrate my birthday at Qoya Costa Rica last year- Rochelle set off an incredible dance party to ring in my 41st year that I will never forget.  We were high up in the sky over looking the ocean and feeling it all!  Best BIRTHDAY ever- can't wait to return every year for celebrating LIFE!  - Lori Berkowitz, NYC


The Qoya Costa Rica retreat can be summed up by the expression of how all people greet each other: PURA VIDA! (Translation: Pure Life!)  The return on your investment in yourself when you sign up and go on a Qoya retreat is infinite...being wise, wild and free is truly priceless.  The Costa Rica Retreat is a shortcut to BLISS by way of heaven on earth.  - Tara Dixon, Brooklyn, NY


"This retreat is the place I go to fall in love with myself again. Qoya Costa Rica ignites my soul. When I am there I find myself dancing with wild abandon, laughing with delight, washing away my sorrows and connecting deeply to spirit. Qoya reminds me who I am as a woman. I can't think of a better way to spend a week. I am so grateful."  - Sarah Charlesworth, Toronto, Canada


Rochelle is a the true version of a modern day Sikh. She embodies a matriarchal energy that can lead, generate, inspire and renew a Spirit within all of us to deeply connect with ourSelves first, and the community at large. Rochelle's Qoya retreat in April of 2011 was one of the most sacred weeks I've ever spent with myself and an awe-inspiring group of women. She had me connecting with my own matrilineal lineage through special rites and ceremonies that truly swept my heart away in gratitude for the duration of the retreat and beyond. Rochelle is a modern day gift bestowing magical presents from what seems to be from a time long-ago. I encourage ANY woman to be a part of Rochelle's Qoya retreat not only for Herself, but for what she'll invariably inspire amidst her own community after her return!  -Kelly Quintia, Los Angeles, CA


Qoya in Costa Rica blew my whole world open! I was confused about where I was in life and why I was there and didn't even think I should go an such an extravagant trip as Costa Rica, but once Qoya started I knew immediately it was right. Rochelle has a way of daring you to face your dreams and Qoya empowers you to know you're capable of achieving them! I never felt so light, so connected, and so ME as I did while I was in that jungle paradise, dancing everyday. Thank you Rochelle for blowing open my mind and changing my life!      -Luci Butler, St. Augustine, Florida


The Qoya Costa Rica retreat was for me, THE BEST!!!!!!! I have actually gone twice! And twice, I fell in love. I fell in love with the environment we are placed in, the fascinating howls from the howler monkeys vibrating through the trees each night, the delicious, wholesome, taste-bud sizzling food, the guidance and teachings each day, the connection with other girls who just so happen to all be incredibly rad, interesting and fun. But most of all, I fell in love with the way I was able to tap back into everything and anything I ever wanted to know/feel/intuit/strengthen/lossen/deepen/open about and in myself simply through moving my body to the words and music offered on this retreat. Just So Good.    -Becca Kannapell, NYC

Why You Want To Remember To Listen To Your Body. It's Deeper Than You Think.

Qoya is based on the idea that through movement, we remember.  We remember our essence as being inherently wise, wild and free.  We remember our connection to something greater than ourselves, and we trust it.  More than the calories we burn, the strength and flexibility we develop or the pleasurable physical sensations from moving our body, is the feeling when we can truly follow our heart, our soul.

While in New York last week, I was walking down the street when I had an intuitive urge to call a friend of mine.  We hadn't spoken in a couple months and when he answered, he sounded horrible.  Understandably, as he shared with me a dear friend of his had just passed away from cancer.  As we spoke about his friend's struggle, I shared with him the vision I was seeing about the interconnected web of all of us.  That we can never really imagine how one circumstance can so deeply affect the whole.  His passing as a young man may cause his friends and family to live in a more inspired and devotional way which could ripple out in immeasurable amounts of beauty and kindness.  You just never know.  He said he was having the same thoughts and feelings in his meditations.  So many times death, literal or metaphoric, can be a wake up call to life.

I had just finished a course on Seduction as a Spiritual Practice with Qoya teacher Kitty Cavalier and had a gorgeous yellow rose in my hand.  I told my friend that I would do a ceremony and honor his friend's life with the rose.  As the snow was falling, I was dressed in high heels, tights, a silk dress and not enough warm clothes, but I decided instead of taking a cab, I would do the 20-30 minute walk through the cold New York City streets and pull one petal of the rose off at a time honoring this young man's life.  With each petal, I chose to honor an aspect of his life: his mother, father, ancestors, siblings, friends, his blessings, his challenges. I hadn't done this ritual before, I was just following my gut instinct, my inner guide.  All ritual and ceremony is most importantly aligned with intention vs. form.  During my walk, I passed by one of my favorite images of Mary in the city on Houston Street and left the stem of the rose at the base of her statue.  The song "Behind that Locked Door" by George Harrison came in and I sang it to this man's soul like a lullaby.  As I did, I felt a heart opening as expansive as the ocean wide.  The ceremony felt complete.

A moment later, I crossed paths with a homeless man who was rolling a suitcase in the cold and had a big smile full of crooked teeth.  He asked me if I'd be willing to look at his art work and showed me a beautiful drawing full of joy and celebration on one side of the paper. On the other side, there was a drawing of a man walking and the words street walker on it.  He said, "I was wondering if you might want to share anything with me.  I'm a street walker, where I follow my heart and walk the streets of this world." I started to cry, because that's what I do too.  I reached in my purse and handed him a large bill.  He beamed with gratitude and said, "Thank you for sharing love with me."  I replied, "Thank you for sharing love with me."

This has been an incredible year and a half of traveling and planting seeds for Qoya because it is the best way I know to follow my heart.  Because I believe for so many of us, our invitation in this life is to take what we have learned and experienced and share it.  Because, my relationship to life always expands in depth and heights and width through my connection to the infinite as I tune into my body, that I am so inspired to share that through movement, we can remember.  The message from the shamans I received was just that;  go on a journey in this world, and draw the map so you can help others find it too. (Hint: the best maps are the ones that point you to go within.)

As I tell this story, it's important to remember, the reason we do Qoya is to be able to access the wisdom, wildness and freedom in our body so that we can better access moments that transcend the body.  It's not just about "exercising", it's about experiencing the fullest possibility that life can offer us each day, learning ways we can build our strength: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual.  Ways we can be flexible: not only in our hamstrings, but in the flow of our day.  Ways we can be agile: like a child who falls down and gets right back up. Ways we can savor: an exhale that takes us into a hip circle of remembering the gift of being a woman.  Ways we can love and honor: what is- as it is- and still dare to dream bigger dreams.  Ways we can yes to this experience of life.

Every part of this sacred evening was guided by the intuitive knowing of my body.  So much beauty, connection, honoring and truth could have been lost if I had not listened to the gentle urges from within.

Qoya becomes a safe and joyful way to explore the depth of inner knowing that is truly there to process the past, revel in the present and navigate the future.  Through different movements, each woman learns how to go into the heart of her soul's wisdom.  It's deeper than you think.  And it's more fun than you can imagine.  In Qoya, we learn to listen for the subtle guidance of your wisest self that comes through the nudging and knowing of your own body and soul.

To find a Qoya class near you, click here.  To do Qoya anytime, anywhere, click here.  Two months from today is the beginning of the 4th Annual Qoya Costa Rica Retreat April 6-13, 2013,  If any of you are in Australia or New Zealand, please join us in March as well.

Sending blessings for every situation to serve the highest good of all involved and may many movements inspire a dance break to remember.  Here is a gentle five minute video to move and align with your heart.

What a feeling,

Visioning a New Year in 2013: Learn How To Do A Three Card Story And The Grapevine

I've been living in LA for almost two months now, teaching Qoya and planting seeds for her to grow out West. In the last Qoya class of the year, I led the women through a visioning ritual that I want to share with you today. It's called a three card story. First, let me differentiate between visioning and goal setting. I borrowed a friend's car recently and there was a CD of a lecture by a man named Jacob Glass where he described himself as a de-motivational speaker. De-motivational because many times our motivations or goal setting can come from a place of ego whose acquisition is outside of  oneself. Strategizing for things to happen can sometimes be a useful planning tool, sometimes a pacifying approach to the ego to further the illusion that it has control and sometimes be the default M.O. to a culture that even when things are going horribly, we can help feel better by knowing we are "working hard." I'm not opposed to working hard, but am curious about becoming more conscious about from what place our projects stem from- ego or spirit.

Ego generated goals will likely be exhausting and when fulfilled, satisfaction will be fleeting.   Spirit generated visions will have a soulful satisfaction, regardless of the outcome, to know that you have given yourself fully to the task and shown up not only for the material rewards, but for the inner transformation that always happens when we grow. And why do we set goals or visualize for the year ahead? Is it because we perpetually just want more or is it because we deeply want to evolve? Is it that our dharma, the unique thing that can only be birthed in this world through us, is calling our name?

The vision process is always self-examination. It's never, "God, I want this. Make this happen." It's always, "What do I have to become to live the vision, to manifest it, to reveal it?" The visioning process, then, is a process of transformation of the individual. - Reverend Michael Beckwith

In Jacob's lecture he encourages you to wait for some guidance and that if Spirit wants you to do something, you will know it.  So, when you get the divine assignment, that is when you go full throttle and run with it! Sounds good, unless you have no idea what your divine assignment is.

One of the three essences of a Qoya class is based on the idea that all answers are within. Qoya is like a map, like a labyrinth, into the center of one self to access each individual's deepest truths. The three card story is another way in.

Step One: pull out your divination decks. I mix up my goddess oracle cards, any of my decks by doreen virtue and my new favorite the be your own oracle cards. You can use traditional tarot cards as well.

Step Two: take a couple deep breaths to come more into your instinctual being of letting your body lead you and feeling the card draw you to it. As you pull your three cards, root into your intention that one card is to symbolize the beginning of the story, one for the middle and one for the end. Leave the cards face down and wait to turn the cards over one at a time as you are writing.

Step Three: get some paper and a pen out and write this first sentence down, "Once upon a time, there was a woman who had a vision of the year to come." Then pull the first card to tell the beginning of the story. Trust whatever the words on the card or the image draws up for you. Sometimes it can be literal, but remember, the intention is to access the vision that lives inside of you and the cards are a way to access that. After writing a paragraph about the beginning of your story, then flip over the second card and write the middle of your story. Try to let the subconscious take over and write without pauses, just letting it flow. Lastly, pull over the third card and write the end of the story.

Step Four: from reading your story, listen deeply to your words to hear the theme, mantra, or intention that came forward.  Notice the difference between setting goals on what you think you "should" do and that this exercise is to take you into your intuition to open yourself up to the bigger vision that lives in you.

Step Five: from here, I encourage you to make a playlist that evokes the remembering of this intention and dance to it daily!  For ideas on easy and pleasurable ways to move your body, check out online with a free 10 day intro and a monthly membership with over 50 videos.

In Qoya classes, the structure is to begin with circling each part of the body to practice focusing less on how it looks and more on how it feels, looking for the place that feels good to move and open your body.  Then, we move into heart opening, hip opening, dancing sun salutation or a warrior yoga sequence, learning a choreographed dance, shaking, dancing our intention in free dance, community sharing and connection and we end with stretching.  In the spirit of New Year's Eve, here is a short three minute video to teach you the Grapevine!

Through movement, we remember.  We remember our essence is wise, wild and free.

May you be brave enough to remember the truth and intuitive enough to follow where it guides you. May love have its way with you. May the sweetness of the New Year be yours.

With love,


***And if there is an intuitive nudge somewhere in your three card story to come join us in Costa Rica, we'd love to have you! See the video below and click here to register!

QOYA RETREAT - Costa Rica April 6th - 13th 2013 from jodi jones on Vimeo.




How to Navigate December 21, 2012 like a Queen

Dear Qoya Queens, Do you remember that Qoya translates in Quechuan as Queen? Not a bejeweled and emotionally distant Queen in a castle, but a feminine manifestation of higher consciousness that is confidently seated on the throne that is her life. In a way, that is one of the best ways that I can explain all that I have come to study and learn about December 21, 2012.  This is our individual and collective opportunity to shift our consciousness into it's highest vibration to embody and radiate our inner Queen, which is another way to say, our divinity.

My friends over at explain this auspicious day on December 21, 2012 as marking the end of a 5,125 year cycle of the Mayan calendar and the beginning of another era. It's more of a "the end of the world as we know it," than a literal Armageddon. In fact, the Mayans call the post-2012 era The World Of The Fifth Sun or The Fifth World. The Mayans were profound record keepers and mathematicians, both astronomers and astrologers. Another occurrence they predicted for December 21, 2012 was that both the Earth and the Sun would align with the Galactic Center-- an event which has not happened for 26,000 years (the time the Ice Age began). Just as the Sun is the center of our solar system, the Galactic Center is the gravitational field that the entire Milky Way revolves around! So, this alignment of Earth, Sun, and Galactic Center connects us to worlds beyond our own, fiery and mysterious with an indescribable pull. This post is my offering for a guide to the end of the world (as we know it), with the intention of centering into your own essence as wise, wild and free and seated powerfully on the throne of your life.



I meditated deeply on "where to go" for the solstice.  Mt. Shasta? Hawaii? Back to Minnesota where I was born? New York? LA? The mountains? The ocean? The answer I received was, "There is no where to go out there. The only place to go is within." For those of you who are sensitive to the subtle energies shifting, be sure to take time to align yourself with an internal focus.  When researching guidance on how to navigate through these changes, the Shamanic wisdom that came forward was, "The assignment each person is given during this time is to listen deeply to and trust themselves and their intuition."  This is the perfect application of all the practices of yoga, meditation, clearing your system with green juices and eating organic whole foods and other self-development healing practices that all of us have been exposed to up to this point. This advice need not be applied from a place of fear.  Regardless of the Mayan Calendar ending and the predictions for an evolution in human consciousness, even if you don't personally feel a huge shift in your world right now, it's never a bad idea to establish a more powerful connection with trusting yourself.  And since it has been 26,000 years since we were aligned with Galactic Center....why not? Just do it. Go in. Trust yourself more deeply than ever before.

Here are three invitations to take you deeper in for your own guidance today.

1) Click here to do a 20 minute December 21, 2012 Forgiveness meditation with Alberto Villoldo, founder of the Four Winds Society.


2) One of my favorite tools for going deeper within for answers is the labyrinth.

A labyrinth is an ancient symbol for the meandering path of the soul that goes from light into darkness and emerges once again into light.  It’s a maze, but there is only one way out and that’s the way you went in.  The metaphors here are endless.

How do you walk one (or dance one)?  The way I was taught to walk a labyrinth was to go in with an intention and as you walk into the center, let all of your questions come up, all of your doubts and all of your fears. Feel yourself asking, curious and seeking for an answer. Make your way to the center and when you arrive, pause.  Sit down.  Soften.  Surrender.  Let yourself be held and seen and loved in the sacred center of the labyrinth and stay as long as you need.  Release all that binds you until all that no longer serves you is gone.  Trust that you will know when the releasing is complete.  When your inner voice tells you you’re ready, begin to walk out and instead of asking questions, allow yourself to be simply in a state of receiving.  Give your inner voice an opportunity to share what it longs to remind you of.

 How can you make one? You can make one out of yarn in your living room, out of sticks in your backyard or in the sand at the beach.  Make a labyrinth by making a spiral starting in the center and energizing and charging it with your presence as you make circles around it.  As many as seven spirals around, as few as two, do what feels right and whatever you have room for.

3) Do Qoya.  Qoya is based on the idea that through movement, we remember.  We remember our essence, our truth, our spirit as wise, wild and free.  Here is a free hour long Qoya class with the theme Feel As Much As You Can and access your inner knowing and feelings as a guide to navigate this sacred time.

Feel As Much As You Can from Rochelle Schieck on Vimeo.

I am so grateful for your support of Qoya and honor your courageous soul as we dream a bigger dream for ourselves and for humanity.  A return to love.  A remembering of spirit.  A dance that feels honest and true.

Blessings on your journeys- inner and outer!


P.S. Please join us in Costa Rica April 6-13, 2013 for the quintessential Qoya experience.

QOYA RETREAT - Costa Rica April 6th - 13th 2013 from jodi jones on Vimeo.

Going Home: The Pilgrimage Back to One's Body (And other news about Qoya Kids, the online Qoya Studio (it's up!!) and the next Qoya retreat in Greece!)

"At the end of all our exploring,

Will be to arrive where we started,

And know the place for the first time."

-T.S. Eliot 

My last blog post was titled 3 easy ways to learn how to listen to your intuition.  If you're going to write about encouraging others to listen to their intuition, it puts oneself in a position of moral obligation to do the same, in order to be in integrity. So, when I received a clear intuitive message that said, "Go to Minnesota for your birthday and (specifically) go to the physical land that you were born on," I booked my ticket and packed my suitcase.

The first couple days of my visit in Minnesota, I found myself completely enchanted with my friends and family, with the beauty of all the gorgeous gardens, parks, bike trails and outdoor concerts. I went to a bunch of delicious farm to table restaurants like the Birchwood cafe, Lucia's, French Meadow and vegan oasis Ecopolitan. I was overwhelmed by the amazing women who attended my Qoya weekend workshop at Four Gates and I found myself thinking "...maybe I could move back here and make Minnesota my home base?"

I looked up the address of the hospital I was born in and was off for my pilgrimage to visit the place where this trip around the sun first began. When I arrived at what used to be the hospital where I entered this world, I couldn't believe what had replaced it- a beautiful (and chic) apartment building that just opened.  In that moment, my intuitive vision became clear - I'm coming home.

After having my intuition guide me so clearly to my next home, I went for a walk in the closest part to this apartment building and came across this poem by T.S. Eliot.  The words were the stamp and seal of approval, the poetic synchronicity that describing goes beyond words.  When you can feel your place in the web of interconnection amongst all things.  To feel your intuition is to feel plugged in and supported in a way that is stronger than isolated and alone.  Reading this poem, could make anyone want to go home- to go back to the beginning, back to the space between two waves of the sea.

I believe that the easiest way to tap into your intuition, into your happiness, into life- is to learn how to feel it through your body, through movement.

Qoya is based on this idea that through movement, we remember.  We remember, as women, that we are inherently wise, wild and free.

That through movement, we can experience our own way home.  Back to the place we started our journey in our body and knowing it for the first time.

On my birthday, something else happened.  I launched the Qoya online studio!  It's a growing collection of videos ranging from 5-10 ,15, 30 and 60 minute videos that remind you that your body is an incredible resource of wisdom to answer your deepest questions.  Videos that remind you that your body is a vessel to wildly and creatively express your essence.  That your body is one of the easiest ways to be liberated, to feel free and to have a daily experience of your power, purpose and pleasure.

Some is free; like the 10 days to Embody Qoya (which are 10 days of 10 minutes of movement a day to get you going!) and the Qoya Kids page (which has a 15 minute video and pdf print out to guide movement for ages 3-5, 6-9 and 10-12).   The rest of the site has a membership fee of $30 a month. Check out it's first unveiling here at

My dream is to share all the things in which I have been blessed to experience and learn and create them in a format that is easy, effective and fun to serve, nurture and inspire others on their  journey. Do you have 5-6 minutes today to do the first day of the 10 Free Days to Embody Qoya? A little movement goes a long way.  Just a moment of remembering can be the kickstart you need.  It can be like control-alt-delete to reset your system again.  It can be the realigning of your compass, so that your body's wisdom can guide you home.

For the pilgrimage back to one's body, there's Qoya.  And now, you can have access to Qoya through your internet connection with dozens and dozens of videos on as well.  And then, there are retreats, which are sacred time to live the philosophy of Qoya morning, noon and night with morning meditation and breathing, longer Qoya classes, healthy delicious meals, adventures and learning how to sit with the sacred in ceremonies and goddess rituals.  The next 2 retreats are planned for Greece in the Fall and Costa Rica in the Spring. I'll also be teaching classes in NYC at Sacred in Brooklyn Sunday July 8th and 15th at 5:15pm and another workshop in Minneapolis Sept 4-9th.  I am so grateful for the growing community of dancers, for all the blessings that are and all the blessings that are to be.

Love doesn't even begin to describe it,



Qoya for Kids? For Men? For your health? Yes!

Once upon a time my understanding of the definition of Qoya was Queen.  And Queen meaning a female manifestation of higher consciousness.  Then, on my most recent trip to Peru, I stumbled upon Qoya tombs and they weren't just for these Queens I had imagined in times of old.  My tour guide told me the Qoya people were a CIVILIZATION of people- not just women, also including men and children. This revelation of a bigger meaning for the word Qoya was happening simultaneously as four Norwegian graduate students appeared to help create Qoya Kids. During this same time, I was invited to teach at Omega they asked me to teach a class for men.  Qoya for kids? Qoya for men? Always devoted to dancing with life as it shows up, Qoya is expanding.  We (the Norwegians in the photo to the left , along with Qoya dancer and amazing mom Deb Javerbaum and I) headed out to Shelter Island to sit around a table and compile research and our experience to brainstorm how would Qoya look for children. Then we rallied a bunch of human beings under the age of 13 together and started to dance. Turns out, they love it.  We shot and edited a couple videos, drew illustrations and are refining text for an easy one page print out for teachers, parents/caretakers and/or kids to use and more.  We're also planning a Qoya Kids teacher training in NYC in July.  Join our mailing list to find out more.

And then...for the first time ever, we had Qoya classes for men at Omega! I decided I would teach the same class I teach for women, with some different music choices and a few less hip circles. The men were super sweet, receptive, great dancers and one of them asked to be the first Qoya for men teacher! I asked  for their feedback after class.  Here's what I got-

"One of the things I became aware of early on in the class was that I was not learning something new or the form of Qoya, but what Qoya was teaching me was to clear away the barriers that obscured the knowledge that I innately have, that I know how to move my body.  The Qoya class taught me to let go of the idea that would make me think that I don't know these things."

He got it! Qoya is not about  learning of form of what it is supposed to "loos" like.  It is about looking for the place in each individual person, in each individual moment, that "feels" good and sensing and valuing the pleasurable sensation of moving your body to let that guide you. It is about shifting our focus from searching for external validation- either by corrections or praise- and move to a sense of inner validation, where the fact that it feels good, is a good enough to do it.

Many of the men spoke about not having a movement practice that resonated with them. Most of them said they didn't care for  yoga. At first I was surprised, but then realized that about 80% (or more) of every yoga class I go to is all women. They spoke about not really being into the gym culture either and that they too were longing for something where they could express themselves through their body.  For now, I'm still going to continue teaching Qoya classes and retreats for women and launching Qoya for kids, but am open to see what other opportunities arise that serve all of our community.

In addition to teaching Qoya at Omega, I also heard an amazing speech last weekend by Dr. Gabor Mate who wrote a book called When the Body Says No: Understanding the Stress-Disease Connection. He brilliantly spoke about the needs that every child and human have. 1- For love, attachment, relationship and 2- Authenticity, expression of one's true self. He draws a correlation between our immune system and our emotions and thoughts to present his hypothesis that when we suppress our true feelings and our true divine nature, we suppress our immune system as well. With the link of stress being proved to be a main component in illness, he offers the viewpoint that the biggest stress of all- is not being yourself.

Hearing that speech filled me another wave of inspiration and hope to continue to share Qoya. Qoya's gift is an opportunity to fully express who you are through your body. To know the physical sensation of your dreams and your disappointments, of your joy and of your grief, and not to let them be stagnant.  But to learn how to honor them through the prayer of your movement and feel how these events activate your life, how they contribute to your journey- how they are your journey. To me, to dance is the highest spiritual realization. It is not a strong stance for this or that. It is not a hierarchy of one or another. It is not a self-conscious holding back. To dance is to revel in the pulse of life. To dance is to embody the life force that animates all things and in that dance, as your heart starts to beat and the sound of your own heart is louder than the sound of your mind, you remember. You feel your connection to your true self and in that truth, you remember your connection to all things and you remember that we are all in this together and that the only thing that is truly important is love.

To that pulse and to love, Rochelle

P.S. I am teaching the Goddess Altar this week up in Woodstock, New York. Then, I'll be in Minneapoils for the weekend before my birthday, June 8, 9 and 10 doing a Qoya class, workshop and one-day intro to teacher training. Stay tuned for announcements for a possible Qoya teacher training in Denmark in August and Qoya Retreat in Greece in October. Also, we have the dates confirmed for Qoya Retreat to  Costa Rica next year April 6-13, 2013. Looking forward to dancing together!

P.P.S. Have you tried Qoya? Try this hour long free class here! Password: qoya

Dream Bigger Dreams

Happy New Year Darling Dancers!

A quick note to wish you a magical New Year.  May the blessings that you put into the world boomerang back to you a million fold.

Here's also an invitation to join me in my New Year's ritual this year.  I sat down and wrote my top 11 gratitudes for 2011 and shared them with a friend, then we wrote our top 12 desires for 2012. The final part of this exercise is to then take the desire list of your friend and write your desires for him/her x 10!!! Take their desire list and magnify it, expand it, make it a shooting star, add your creativity and love of this person to see something bigger for them that they may not be able to see for themselves.  Let them do the same for you.

Gratitude is a great way to ground ourselves in the blessings of our lives and is the most fertile ground for planting the seeds of our desires.  We all love to dream, but sometimes we fall out of practice.  Holidays are a great time to press pause long enough to reflect on the past, savor the present moment and vision the future.

Know that you can do this ANYTIME, with a friend or on your own if you desire!  New Year's Day, New Year's Week, the New Moon, Your Birthday, Your Anniversary…or just because it's a Tuesday.

I believe that when you dance, you access your true essence and feel the sacred pulse of life in your body, from which all creation arises.  So, to tap into even more power and magnify your dreams, I am also gifting you this 10 minute movement ritual for DREAMING BIGGER DREAMS. (The Password is: qoya).

Thank you for a beautiful year of dancing with Qoya in 2011.  I am so grateful for you and your support and look forward to dreaming bigger dreams together in 2012! (Maybe in Costa Rica?!?)

With love,


P.S. Click here to do the Qoya 10 minute movement ritual on Dreaming Bigger Dreams! (Password: qoya)  Happy New Year! xo

A One Way Ticket To Paradise

My holiday gift to myself this year is a one way ticket to paradise. I'm talking about paradise literally AND figuratively.

Literally, I bought a one-way ticket to Hawaii.  Starting January 2nd, I am leading the New Year's Qoya Kauai Retreat. After that, I'm still open to the universe/spirit/god/goddess/my intuition to guide me.

Figuratively, I am inviting you to get your own one way ticket to paradise and join me. There is the paradise "out there". The paradise that seems elusive and temporarily experienced on a vacation, in the acquisition of a desire or in the daydreams and fantasies of the mind. There is also the paradise inside, that is available to us anytime regardless of external circumstances. It is the place where we feel ecstatic. Alive. Awake. Aware. Wise. Wild. Free. Ourselves.

The gift I am offering to you is a map to your inner paradise through movement.

Qoya connects us back to ourselves so that when you move your body in a way that feels good, you start to tap back into your essence, your truth, your radiance, so you can source from that center.

Once you have that tangible and measurable sensation in your body to reference, you can use it like a compass when making future decisions.  Does taking this job make my body zing like the way I felt when I was dancing?  Does this food make me feel lethargic and tired or full of energy like when I finished the Qoya routine?  Once you have experienced yourself at a high vibration naturally by simply moving your body, you know how to create the conditions to experience it again anytime you need it. (You move!)

The whole point is to notice what works.  What lights you up.  What makes you feel alive and more connected to yourself, spirit and others.  Then, do that more often.  It sounds simple, but sometimes we forget.

Qoya is based on the idea that through movement we remember. We remember, as women, that we are inherently Wise, Wild and Free. Wise, Wild and Free are also the essence of the movement forms that influence Qoya. Wise comes from the wisdom of yoga. Wild is from the creative expression in dance. Free is from the pleasure found in sensual movement. The focus is less and less and less on how it looks and more and more and more on how it feels. When you're moving your body and it feels good to move, you're doing it right.

Here is the link to a one hour Qoya routine called Paradise (Password: qoya)! It and dozens and dozens of other videos like it will be on (the online Qoya movement studio I am working on as I travel), but until that launches, I would love to share this with you and encourage you to explore finding the way that your body wants to move, finding your map and your way to your inner paradise in 2012.

I know there are many of you on this list who have never actually tried Qoya. Thank you for your support and I hope that you enjoy this video as an appetizer and that we can dine together and feast on Qoya in person sometime in a class or retreat together. For those of you who I have danced with, I hope this will be a reminder that takes you back into the physical sensation of remembering and expressing your true self through your body.  Please let me know how you like the video!

***To prepare for your Qoya class, wear comfortable clothing (the movements are a combination of yoga, dance and sensual movement).  Most people prefer to do the class barefoot.  Before doing any exercise, it is best to be well hydrated and have an emptier stomach.   Always listen to and honor the unique needs of your body.  The class is one hour long.

Here's the link to the class again! Password: qoya.

May we remember how to connect to the joy and pulse of life by feeling paradise in our body.  And if you'd like to join us in person for Qoya's next excursion to Paradise, look at the Spring Qoya Retreat in Costa Rica April 21-28, 2012 at the beautiful Blue Spirit Resort.

Dancing in gratitude,


How to Access Your Inner Wisdom

I am a wise woman who knows what path to take, who trusts herself and sees the truth through the eyes of love.

So are you.

A wellspring of wisdom exists in all of us.  While we receive insight and inspiration from ancient spiritual texts and powerful teachers, nothing can compare to when we know something as a truth in our own heart.  It is those moments when our mind comes into full clarity and our body feels truth resonate on a cellular level.  During these times, we are powerful and can stand proudly with a high level of integrity because our thoughts, feelings, words and actions are all in congruent alignment.  This is the expression of the Wise woman and she lives in all of us.

In Qoya, we call on yoga-inspired movements, breathing techniques and meditation practices with the intention of cultivating an increased awareness of own inner wisdom and a deeper trust in our ability to follow it.

After decades of a consistent movement practice, I am still in awe how movement, breathing exercises or meditating can so quickly and deeply root me in the present moment, help release any negative or stagnant energies, and remind me of my essence.  Try it for yourself.  This exercise is helpful anytime you need it, however, to have a stronger sense of awareness, do this after a movement session, breathing exercise or meditation.


Take a couple of deep breaths to ground you in the present moment.
 Think of a question you are seeking guidance about.  It’s best to start simple and as you strengthen the connection to your inner wisdom, start asking more complex questions. You’ll ask your question three times, each time accessing a different level of perception.

  1. Put one hand on your head and ask your mind what you should do. Listen for about 10 seconds.
  2. Put one hand on your heart and ask again. Listen to the voice of your heart.
  3. Put one hand between your belly and your sacred sensual center and call on your instincts.   Listen for the voice of your feminine essence.

*If your question has a simple yes/no answer, notice if your body physically contracts, which signals no, or expands, which points to yes.

Hundreds of times I have heard someone tell a story about their life where something happened and they say, “I just knew it. I had a feeling, but I didn’t listen to it.”  Most of those times, challenges could have been avoided if they had honored their inner wisdom.  However, I have never heard that story in reverse.  I’ve never been witness to someone saying, “I had a strong intuitive feeling and I followed it and it turned out I was totally wrong.”  Our intuition doesn’t always lead us to our desires on the most linear path, but it often leads us to something better that we could not have even imagined.

If you didn’t sense any strong intuitive messages this time, don’t worry. The most important step is to start calling on the wisdom that lives within.  The more you ask and are willing to listen, the more you begin to amplify the voice of your intuition and increase your sensitivity to it, which will lead you to be  able to hear the subtle messages more clearly.

At the Qoya Woodstock retreat, one of our three 2 1/2 hour Qoya movement sessions will be devoted to calling upon our own wisdom.  We will learn different techniques to tune in and access our inner voice through yoga, breathing techniques, meditation practices and free dance.

Join us for a Qoya Woodstock Retreat this Labor Day Weekend to explore the woman that is wise, wild and free, September 2-5th, 2011.  There is also an opportunity to do a Qoya Teacher Training September 2-7th, 2011 and be part of a movement that teaches other woman how to embody their essence as Wise, Wild and Free.  Click here to see more details about this upcoming retreat.  If you're thinking about coming, do the exercise above to see what guidance you get in making your decision!

Honoring the wise woman in you,


What happened after I got an assignment to write a list of 100 gratitudes.

I had just moved to New York when I got a phone call from my mom that my Grandma was in the hospital and not doing well.  I asked to speak with the nurse who said, “Even if you leave on the next plane, I don’t think you’ll make it.”  Two hours later I was boarding a flight to Minneapolis. This was the fall of 2007 and I had recently enrolled in a course where the assignment we were given that week was to write a list of 100 gratitudes, so on my red-eye flight from California, I started writing.

I arrived at sunrise to my grandmother's hospital bed where my tired family had spent the night by her side.  She seemed to have stabilized, so they left to get some sleep. Longing to connect, I curled up into her hospital bed and laid next to her.

In college I had been a hospice volunteer and remembered from our training that the hearing is one of the last things to go. Trusting she could hear me, I laid there spooning my dying grandmother and started to shower her with a long list gratitudes.  I did this for hours.  I thanked her for making me cinnamon and sugar toast.  I thanked her for slicing cantaloupe and watermelon for me every time I came over to her house ages 5 to 25.  I thanked her for putting so many pictures of me up in her home.   While it was slightly bizarre that she had a border of 20+ 8x10 pictures of me in one of her extra rooms, I loved it.  It was a way that she expressed her love.  I thanked her for caring about me so deeply.    I thanked her for her courage to live her life with a strong backbone.

My jet lag coupled with lack of sleep on an overnight  flight and then my eyes becoming swollen from pouring tears like a heavy summer rain were making my eyelids heavy and me starting to fall asleep.  The rhythm of our heartbeats and breath going in and out was like a steady lullaby luring me to rest.  When I woke up, she was gone and had died in my arms.

While the healing process of grief is always unique for each circumstance, one epiphany often arises.  Be here now.  Don’t take any of your blessings for granted.  Worry less.  Be with the people you love more.  Life is short, enjoy as much as you can.

Qoya is based on the idea that through movement we can tap into our essence as wise, wild and free.  In Qoya class last night, I looked around and saw women really present, really loving the sensation of being alive in their body.  These women in class aren’t exempt from life’s challenges.  None of us are.  And sometimes life can really kick your ass.  But, in each situation, we get to choose how, or if, to dance with it.  We can collapse into our old wounds and stories.  We can distract ourselves.  Or, we can simply choose to dance with what is- as it is.

By physically moving your body, you give your emotions and thoughts time and space to be honored, expressed and moved.  In almost all cases, when we are not feeling well, be it mentally, emotionally, physically or spiritually, it is because something is stuck, congealing or not flowing.  The word disease itself translates to lack of ease, lack of flow.

If I could offer one suggestion to any woman who is ever feeling the weight of doubt, the paralyzing stand still of indecision, the numb or piercing ache of grief and despair, it would be to move.

All the different levels of our perception are interconnected and as you open up your body, you also start to open up your mind and your heart.  It works. I promise.

I invite you today to simply turn on a song and dance the beauty of where you are today.  Even better, write a gratitude list for the gifts you have received around something that has been challenging  you.  What you look for is what you see, so often by looking for the way something has served you, you can more easily see it.  Once you are grounded in gratitude, trust your body to lead you as you move.

Pick a song you love, put your ipod on shuffle or sign into pandora.  The most important thing is to realize the healing power from simply moving your body and to know that one of the easiest ways to tap into your wise, wild and free self is always available to you.

Today would have been my grandmother’s 83rd birthday.  I am so grateful the last hour of her life was being showered with gratitude and love.  I am also so grateful to be able to dance with you all now.  Whether it is in Qoya Classes, on one of our retreats in Woodstock, India or Costa Rica, in a private session or simply between the words on this website, I am so grateful to know that more and more of us are feeling the call to dance and to feel the sacred pulse of life dance through us.

With love and respect to you and your wise, wild and free self~ Rochelle


Here it is! Today is the day I am celebrating one of my dearest friends having one of her biggest dreams come true. Lisa Bloom is the author of her first book called  Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed Down World.

It’s published.  It’s in bookstores (see proof in photo to the left). It’s on amazon. You can read it on your kindle or you can buy the audio book on her website. (P.S. If you’re going to buy it, do it today as sales during the first week determine whether it is a best-seller.)

Lisa has a special place in my heart.  She appeared as the first person I met during my own Eat, Pray, Love adventure. I’m assuming you have read the book or seen the movie, but if you haven’t, I highly recommend it. My story was somewhat similar to Elizabeth Gilbert’s, the author of Eat, Pray, Love.

1- I also had that dark night of the soul, crying on the floor in the bathroom, knowing my life needed to change. 2- I had a huge dream to travel to India and around the world for a whole year. 3- In the midst of intensely living items 1 & 2 on this list, someone told me about the book Eat, Pray, Love. 4- I read it in one sitting, staying up all night and then calling in sick to work the next day to finish reading. (Side note- I also read Lisa’s book in one sitting. Love those page turners! Thank you to all the authors that take the time to write the books they feel called to write. I am forever grateful for the positive experiences they are a catalyst for in my life.) 5- When I closed Eat, Pray, Love, I went to the computer and booked a ticket to India six months from that date giving me 180 days to try to leave my relationship of five years, quit my job, put everything in storage, save as much money as possible and get ready to take a 360 degree journey around the world. 6- I did it all and it was amazing. 7- The first person I met on this journey was Lisa Bloom.

Since meeting her at this pivotal time in my life, Lisa has been a wellspring of inspiration for me to draw from.  Her childlike enthusiasm and joy of life juxtapositioned with her ability to take a fierce stance on the pressing issues of our times as a legal analyst covering trials like Saddam Hussein's crimes against humanity tribunal and also as a trial lawyer taking on David-and-Goliath battles on behalf of the vulnerable against some of the most powerful forces in our culture illustrated for me how a woman can have it all.  Lisa has a successful career.  She has two amazing kids in college who are passionate, intelligent and a genuine joy to be around.  She always has an abundance of love in her life and is recently engaged to her beloved.  Mazel Tov!

I remember hearing, "A teacher isn't someone who just shares information, it's someone who shows you what it looks like in a human life."  And that's what this book does.  Lisa isn't preaching, she's genuinely sharing how she has come into balance being a successful woman in a culture that is heavily influenced by the media (she should know, she's been on TV almost everyday for the last 10 years).   Her book reads like the first conversation I had with Lisa: full of passion, excitedly jumping from topic to topic, soulful, centered in the now and drawing on her encyclopedic knowledge of the current issues of our time.

Lisa’s book starts with a couple of disturbing statistics like:

  • 80% of Americans did not read a book for pleasure last year.
  • 25% of American women would rather win America’s next top model than the Nobel Peace Prize
  • 24% of American women ages 18-34 would rather loose their figure than their ability to read

However, she doesn’t leave you outraged with these numbers.  The book ultimately reads as inspirational with stories of how women can avoid self-abandoning themselves during this time in history where they have more freedom and opportunity than any other generation before them with practical and poignant suggestions and solutions. To read more about the book, check out her full page book review in Elle in the June issue or online here or just read the whole book! And then read another book! And then another!

Lisa recently reminded me that in one of my Qoya classes years ago, then called Inspired Movement, I had everyone write down one big dream they had on a piece of paper. After writing it down, we shared our dream with another woman and spent the entire class dancing “as if” and exploring what would it feel like to have that dream fully manifest. The dream she wrote down was to write this book. (For more about this technique, check out a previous post I Wish I Knew How it Would Feel to be Free.)

We can all relate to the feeling when you have a dream that seems bigger than you. Where you are full of desire, but you have no idea HOW it will work. How is it all going to come together? How will I find time? How will it be received?  Common conjuring wisdom is- don’t worry about the how’s, just take forward motion everyday in the direction of your dreams and enjoy the process.

And Lisa so did. Lisa quit her successful job as a TV host, moved to LA, sat in her new beautiful office day in and day out for months and wrote that book! This book that had been gestating in her for years is born today! My favorite part is that thousands and thousands and maybe even millions of women will benefit from the sage wisdom and sassy ranting of this intelligent, soulful, modern-day thinker of a woman.

In celebration and in honoring of Lisa and her big day, please join me and Aretha Franklin for a couple of minutes of enthusiastically dancing around wherever you are to embody the intelligent woman you are and how today and moving forward you won’t let that go to waste.

*As I proofread this post, I am reminded of the flow of synchronicity. I actually gave Lisa my copy of Eat, Pray, Love when we met in India which started an amazing back and forth of book recommendations. My big dream during that trip when I met Lisa was to start leading retreats and bring people to the most powerful spots on the earth and receive all the transformational gifts of going on those big journeys- inner and outer.  Those dreams of mine are also coming true. Qoya has three retreats on the calendar and would love you to join us. Please click on each link for more information.

Qoya Retreat in Woodstock, Labor Day Weekend, September 2-5th, 2011 *with optional teacher training Qoya Retreat in India, October 29th-November 9th, 2011 Qoya Retreat in Costa Rica, April 21-28th, 2012

Have a beautiful day and thank you for visiting

Let's dance, Rochelle


A woman stopped me on the street near Union Square in New York City last week offering to save my soul.  She wasn’t your ordinary missionary.  In addition to bringing Jesus into your heart, she said it is also imperative that you give yourself fully to the Divine Mother. This is new.

Being a woman devoted to the reclamation and integration of the divine feminine into our individual lives, relationships and culture, I loved that She (the Divine Mother) was being included in the conversation!

However, things quickly took a darker turn. We’ve all heard it before. She threatened that if I did not fully accept Jesus and the Divine Mother into my heart, my soul would be trapped in the depths of hell, possibly for eternity.  Then she asked, "Would you like me to share with you how you can save your soul?"

I decided to engage. I dropped down into the deepest part of myself, deeper than my bone marrow, and said something along the lines of, "I’m very grateful you stopped me today because it gave me the opportunity to realize that I feel really comfortable with the state of my soul right now. Everyday I practice communing with the divine spark in me through meditation, yoga, dancing, Qoya, loving and engaging with life and everyday I look at everyone I meet and everything I see and imagine the divine spark in them too. As convenient as it would be for the answer to everlasting life be as easy as agreeing with you and doing what you say, it just doesn’t resonate as truth. From what I can tell, one of the best parts about life is being able to dance in the mystery, in the not knowing.  And I don’t think you proclaiming that you have the answer is really helping people on their journey. I think you are playing on the part of each of us that is scared of the unknown and I don’t appreciate you trying to scare me towards God.”

She appreciated my sincerity and actually agreed with everything I said. Interestingly, she then decided to take the afternoon off and think about our conversation. This whole scenario really got me thinking about the gratitude I do truly feel for being at peace with the mysteries of life and also the deep connection that I feel to spirit. Qoya as a movement practice has also become a consistent way that I feel I can tap into those feelings of bliss, interconnectedness and joy so easily and it is my wish to share that with everyone who is interested.

In Qoya class this morning, our theme was practicing feeling comfortable with the mystery of life by leaning into community and seeing that we are all in this together.

As we are all in this together, there are also some amazing women leading the way. I am inspired by these particular women who have taken the culture they were born into and the traditions that were passed on to them, tried them on like an outfit and then were willing to let themselves becomes a seamstress making something that fits more to their tastes, that is more expressive of what they feel as their true nature, rather than trying to fit into someone else’s clothes. In some cases, this may even involve taking off some clothes (wink).

These three women come to mind. First, a woman I have long admired as we run in similar circles of goddess studies both at the School of Womanly Arts and through NIA is Dara McKinley. She has a beautiful blog at where she inspires men and women to source their exquisitely powerful feminine juju in order to restore health to the world. She has a degree from Naropa in Contemplative Psychology (Buddhist psychology) and in the midst of her passionate expression of the feminine and intelligent study of western and eastern psychological theory, she also has a beautiful mother who is a devout Catholic. I love how she takes all of these influences and puts them through her filter sharing her unique light. I was honored when she asked to interview me and here’s a link to what we talked about and the blog post on her site. I hope you enjoy!

Another woman is the oh-so-divine Kitty Cavalier. She just launched her new website today and let me tell you, this woman has my heart. The way she stands for women embodying their divinity through sensuality and burlesque is something fierce. Check out her testimonial about Qoya here and then I couldn't help but put in a quick clip to one of her burlesque performances I recently had the pleasure of being a witness to.

Qoya Testimonial with Kitty Cavalier from Rochelle Schieck on Vimeo.

Kitty says in her testimonial, "In Qoya, I don’t feel like I’m going to an exercise class, I feel like I’m going to a temple." To me, that’s really the whole deal. Claiming your body as home. Honoring your body as the address of your soul in this lifetime. Going beyond the obligation of staying “fit” and instead reveling in the pleasure of moving your body just because it feels good. Strong and flexible muscles, a good healthy sweat, increased balance and coordination, as well as overall health are a rocking by-product of this dance party called Qoya, but the intention is joy. Joy and pleasure first. Fitness second.

Just a few days later and a few blocks away from Union Square where I encountered the previously mentioned intersection of dogma, fear, truth, faith and love, I also saw one of the most soulful singers named Stormlarge perform at Joe's Pub. Thank goddess for technology, so that I can share this beam of light that comes through Stormlarge’s soulful voice from her performance.

Qoya Loves Stormlarge. from Rochelle Schieck on Vimeo.

My desire is that each woman feels their deepest truths in their body. Whether that is through Qoya, burlesque, singing, making love, swimming in the ocean or taking a nap. I desire for truth to be not something you read on a page, but the sensation of your breath going in and out right now. We are all so strong. Our souls are all so strong. We are all in this together. And we're doing a really amazing job. Let's celebrate. Let's dance. Let's start acknowledging that divine spark in us and others more and more. My theory is: if you really identified with your divine spark, you would probably be having a much better time. I hope you are inspired to have a beautiful weekend filled with pleasant surprises and delicious soul food.

Please note- as of Monday, Qoya is going on tour! I will be teaching during the Shamanic Women’s Altar retreat in Park City, Utah led by Marcela Lobos the first week of April and the Qoya Retreat at Blue Spirit Retreat Center in Costa Rica April 16-23, 2011. I’ll miss you New York and look forward to our next rendezvous in warmer weather.

Also, in-between blog posts, Qoya classes and retreats, I am working day and night to create the most amazing online Qoya studio.   It will be a reference for all the ways that each of us can embody and enjoy the wise, wild and free parts of ourselves. Stay tuned.

I am so grateful to you and look forward to our next dance.

Be the light, Rochelle

P.S. If you're looking for a simple and pleasurable movement as a way to feel more present in your body, please check out a previous blog post from last month all about Dancing with the Sacred.   Enjoy!

P.S.S. Just for fun, the song Soulshine by the Allman Brothers

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Don’t let your silly dreams fall in between the crack of the bed and the wall.

Don’t let your silly dreams fall in between the crack of the bed and the wall.-Lyrics from Bermuda Highway by My Morning Jacket

It’s that time of year again. The time to reflect on the year past and set intentions for the year to come. In addition to Christmas, some of you may have celebrated the winter solstice last week. I sure did. I found myself following a suggestion to go to a hippie commune of sorts in Costa Rica where 100+ Westerners honored the full moon/lunar eclipse/winter solstice by meditating for 45 minutes, eating a vegetarian dinner and then transitioning into 5 hours of never-ending trance music. Please know this- music is my life. It’s the catalyst that opens up the space to experience my biggest passion, which is dance.  Imagine that the music is so painful to my ears I am running through the jungle trying to find some reprieve. I even tried to entice some of the trance dancers to leave early and drive me home by offering them $100. My entrepreneurial invitations went unanswered. The truth is, I would have paid my last month’s salary to get out of earshot from the painful blaring and spewing of electronic noise. I mean, what ever happened to a good ole’ drum circle?

Sunset at Qoya Retreat in Costa Rica

There was one solace found; looking up at millions of stars brightly shining and seeing the most radiant full moon light up the sky. Then, moment by moment, I watched each lingering phase of the eclipse. I thought of all of our ancestors who would navigate the cycles of their lives and the land and their travels by looking up into the patterns and mysteries of the night sky. It’s always been amazing to me that you can see the moon from wherever you are in the world (cloud cover permitting). Whether it is watching an eclipse, a sunset or seeing a profound expression of nature like a waterfall, volcano, a rushing river or the view from the top of a mountain peak, there is a magical moment when we feel connected to source. The pulse of life that makes the ocean waves rise and fall, seeds turn into food that nourishes our bodies, the force that propels a monkey to jump from tree to tree or the rhythmic pull that draws the soft sensation of our breath in and out. Experiencing that pulse of life is our soul food. The connection to source is what nurtures us on our deepest level of awareness and energized by source, we gather strength and momentum to go for our next dream.

Qoya Ziplining in Costa Rica

I had a big year of dancing with my desires, of putting those silly dreams out into the world, by launching my business, website and my first retreat this year. I’m just getting back online after a week long retreat in Costa Rica leading 13 women through the heart of Qoya and embodying the feminine by doing daily 3 hour Qoya classes every morning immersed in the jungle, going on afternoon excursions like horseback riding during sunset, surfing friendly beginner waves (everyone that went stood up on the board!), zip lining across the tree canopy hundreds of feet in the air, getting massages and experiencing the oh-so-powerful and healing afternoon nap. Before each Qoya class, I like to give a quick 30 second intro saying, Qoya is based on the idea that through movement we remember. We remember, as women, that we are wise, wild and free.  We draw on the wisdom of yoga, creative expression in dance and the pleasure found in sensual movement as a way to embody and express our feminine essence. Qoya is about dancing in the question, “How does a woman’s body want to move and more specifically, how does your body want to move?” The focus is less on how it looks and more on how it feels and when it feels good to be in your body, you’re know you’re doing it right.

From there, we turn on the music and go on a journey. In my experience teaching Qoya classes for the last 2 years and teaching other forms of yoga and dance for the last 8 years, I’ve found that women light up when they go beyond the "going through the motions" approach to movement of right, left, up, down, turn, twist and evolve their consciousness to move with intention and expression.

In one exercise in Costa Rica, I invited each woman to think of something they deeply wished for and then dance “as if.” Dance and embody how it would feel when this wish becomes fully manifest. The next song, she would continue embodying the feeling of living the full expression of her dreams on one side of the yoga mat and on the other side of the mat she'd embody what it would feel like if she didn’t try. The point is to start to realize what it would feel like in your body if you gave up. What if you surrendered to the the fear, to the doubt? While uncomfortable, it can be very powerful and motivating to realize what is at stake. To realize that our "silly dreams" are not in fact silly. To realize that the only thing more painful or scary than taking that bold leap in the direction of our desires, is not taking it.  Every single one of us has a unique gift to share with this world and our deepest dreams and desires are a great map towards the next step on that journey.

Feeling the pulse of life dance through you and you dancing through life.

As you celebrate this holiday season, solstice and new year, I encourage you to take some time to make a long gratitude list for the blessings that have crossed your path this year. Our appreciation is the fertile ground to plant the seeds of our desires. From there, pick one of your top 2011 desires and dance “as if.” Dance your heart out loud. Make all of your movement like an exaggerated heartbeat. I recommend What a Feeling by Irene Cara (see YouTube video below) from the Flashdance soundtrack as a sure-fire song to lift your spirits. After that, tune into the song Bermuda Highway by Morning Jacket (also attached below) and assign one side of your yoga mat or the room to be dancing “as if” or what it would feel like to live your dreams fully manifested in the world and on the other side explore what it would be like if you didn’t try, if your succumbed to your doubt and fear. Also, spend time dancing in between and notice how the vacillation between each side feels.  Set the intention for this exercise to give you information to strengthen you for the blessings and challenges on your path this upcoming year.

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. - Anais Nin

Imagine women collectively daring to dream bigger dreams and encouraging other women around them to do the same.  Let's make 2011 a year to press the edge, to expand and to evolve.

My desire for you this Holiday Season, Winter Solstice and New Year is to feel and embody the zing of excitement and enthusiasm in the direction of your dreams, infinite winks from the universe sending their support with coincidences and synchronicities that can only be explained by magic and to feel the pulse of life dancing through you and you dancing through life.

I would love to dance with you in 2011! Our Costa Rica Retreat was such an amazing success, we decided to do it again in April. Mark your calendars for April 16-23 in Costa Rica and stay tuned for a list of classes in NYC, a Qoya Road Trip Schedule and other fun 2011 dates!

May the beauty of what you love be what you do - Rumi

To life, Rochelle

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I Wish I Knew How it Would Feel to be Free.

I wish I knew how it would feel to be free. In my Qoya class last night, we began dancing to Nina Simone’s version of  I Wish I Knew How it Would Feel to be Free.  The lyrics continue...

I wish I could break all the chains holdin’ me.  I wish I could say all the things that I should say.  Say ‘em loud.  Say ‘em clear.  For the whole ‘round world to hear.  I wish I could share all the love that’s in my heart.  Remove all the doubts that keep us apart.  I wish you could know what it means to be me.  Then you’d see and agree that every man should be free.  I wish I could give all I’m longing to give.  I wish I could live like I’m longing to live.  I wish I could do all the things that I can to do and though I’m way over due, I’d be starting anew.  Well, I wish I could be like a bird up in the sky.  How sweet it would be if I found out I could fly.  Oh, I’d soar to the sun and look down at the sea.  And I’d sing because I know, I would know how it feels to be free.”

Question: What does it mean to be free?

The New Oxford online dictionary definition of free is: not under the control or in the power of another; to be able to act as one wishes.

Better Question: How does it feel to be free?

An amazing writer, entrepreneur and philosophical inspiration to me, Danielle LaPorte of, and I were talking at one of her NYC tweet ups last year where she said she recommends  a “to feel” list vs. a “to do” list.

Of course!  The idea is this - more than a job, you probably want the feeling of purpose or security.  More than a vacation, you probably want the feeling of pleasure or the feeling of being rested.  More than a massage,  you probably want to feel cared for, that your life is abundant or that you have time for yourself.

It is incredibly empowering to identify your desired feelings.  Here’s an exercise to find out how.

Oriah Mountain Dreamer, who wrote one of my favorite poems called "The Invitation", talks about a writing exercise she learned from poet David Whyte that goes something like this.

1) You write "what you say you want" and then write "and if I never have _____, what I really want is ____.”

Here’s my example:

I want to continue to travel the world and make the following stops: Morocco, to dance all night to Berber musicians, go back to the most amazing Israeli restaurant I’ve ever eaten at (it was on some sidestreet in Paris and I want to find it again!),  sip tea before doing a yoga class in the town of Rishikesh in Northern India, trek through the Himalayas doing the 18+ day hike on the Annapurna circuit in Nepal and then rest in a hammock being served coconuts in Bali.

And if I never get to do those things, what I really to be swept up in the magic of life.  To feel the exhilaration of adventure, the see the bright smiles of strangers, to remember that there is so much more to life than the 9-5.  What I really want is to feel connected.  I want to feel fully present and enjoy each moment.  I want to embrace each person I cross paths with.  I want to love.

See the magic?  It may be awhile before I go on this trip, but from asking this question, I have so much clarity about what is driving my desire.  And those feelings are all accessible to me right now.  I can make my lunch outing an adventure.  See the smiles of strangers all over New York City.  I can remember what ‘s really important.  I can take time to connect, to be present and to embrace the people I meet along my path.  I can love.

Even better, through the body, through dance, through Qoya, you can become empowered by physically feeling these desired feelings in every cell of your body.

In our Qoya class last night we started with taking time to dance to Nina Simone’s song I Wish I Knew How it Would Feel to be Free and to feel freedom in our bodies as we dance.  No right, no wrong, just free.  Doesn’t matter what it looks like, just focusing on what it feels like.

I invite you to do the same.  Listen to a song you love and take a couple minutes to:

1- Feel free in your body.  Unrestricted.  No judgment.  Just soaking up the pleasure of moving your body like a sponge.

2- Do the writing exercise to go deeper into what one of your desired feelings is.  Then dance that feeling.

By going deeper into the heart of what is driving our dreams, we become empowered by them and can find ways to enjoy them right now.

If you have any questions about trying a Qoya class or joining one of our retreats, please email me at

Shine on Sisters!

With love,



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Remembering and Forgetting.

Welcome to My name is Rochelle Schieck and I am so glad you're here and grateful for how you got to this page. Last month I met Carolyn Garcia, who was the wife of Jerry Garcia. Jerry Garcia's voice and music that he played with the Grateful Dead was an anchor to many people spanning generations ranging in musical influences from folk to rock to funk~ all leading back to a message of love. There was an inquiry in the music of the spaces between our moments of remembering and forgetting. Remembering and forgetting that love is always what is most important. Always.

We're human. We're busy. We forget.

But, it's so important to know the ways in which we can remember. Remember how good it can be. Remember how good it already is. Remember the divine spark and pulse of life that lives in us and through us.

Carolyn Garcia said that the Grateful Dead their shows began in the late 60's with an intention to have a place where the community could meet. The community of people who were excited about the social revolutions of civil rights, women's rights and making love- not war. Right now in the midst of our own generation's war, economic fallout, impending environmental issues and 24/7 news media reminding us of our challenges, it's easy to forget what is really important.

I'm sending out the invitation to remember. To remember what is of the most supreme importance to you. The people, places and things that light you up. The remembering of the deepest truth of who you are- your joy and it's expression. When I heard Carolyn Garcia say, "They were creating a place for the community to gather," it just hit me. In every cell of my body I felt my desire to create places for my community to meet.

For the women who want to howl by the light of the moon, tread in the waters of the warm ocean, indulge in delicious organic food and be surrounded in a group of like minded women to continue the conversation of what it is to be ultimately feminine- please join me and Liyana Silver, relationship expert, and Alisa Vitti, women's health and lifestyle expert in Costa Rica December 11-18, 2010 for an epic week of remembering the profound pleasures of being in nature, being in community with women, being on an adventure and time to just be. Click here to see the gorgeous flyer and get more information.

For the women who want to practice movement and learn techniques of breathing, the power of setting intentions, have a sacred space to meet once a week to be encouraged to have their bodies express their true self and their feminine power, please join me for Qoya classes in Brooklyn and Manhattan starting next week. Click here for schedule and how to register.

For the women who want to have access to their source energy, like a shot of espresso, who want to carve out a couple minutes of their day to remember the joys of being wise, wild and free, who want to say yes and thank you to every thing that crosses the path...let's dance. Let's dance today and please use this blog as a resource for you to dance anytime you desire.

Question: What helps you remember? What people, places or activities do you engage in and it is an easy flow of positive energy that wakes you up, makes you feel alive and helps you remember what is most important to you. For some it's the ocean. For others it can be hiking outdoors. An old friend. A new friend. A divine meal. A lover. A child. Sipping a hot cup of tea while looking out the window. I believe for all of us two ways we can remember are through dancing and through community.

Movement: Feel your feet. Feel your connection to the floor. Feel grounded in the present moment through physical sensation. Play with moving your feet as fast as you can. Try to touch as much of the ground as you can with your feet. Remember the childhood joy of hot potato and imagine you are stopping out a fire with your feet. Have fun in your body! See video below for suggestions and someone to dance with.

Feel your feet to be wise, wild and free. from Rochelle Schieck on Vimeo.

Intention: The intention is to remember. Remember what is important to you and dance for that. Tap into more energy in your body and feel the awareness of your feet.

Take it with you into your day: Can you get your feet to touch the earth today? Walking in the grass, sand or on stones? Feel your feet throughout your day and notice where they take you. Let them lead you to the places that delight you and help you remember what is most important to you.

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