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Movements to illuminate your gratitude

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,



Open Your Heart. Donate $12. Win a Spot at the next Qoya Retreat in Costa Rica in April. Yep. It could be You.

After finishing Qoya's fifth retreat in the last year and first New Year's retreat in Hawaii, I was infused with an even deeper sense of gratitude for how beautiful life can be.  I spent last night sitting on an island in the middle of the ocean under the light of the full moon fueled by the sparkling stars, decaf chai, strawberries and dark chocolate as I wrote a dozen thank you cards and felt like I could have written a thousand.

From this place of abundance, I feel called to honor the blessings in my life through service with the consciousness of our interconnection.  I truly believe that as you get stronger, I get stronger and as I get stronger, you get stronger.  So, it is with the desire for all of us to go higher in 2012 that I offer you the chance to give generously from your own abundance and receive the opportunity to come to the next Qoya Retreat to Costa Rica April 21-28, 2012 as my guest.

The fine print: You can win a spot in the next Qoya Retreat in Costa Rica April 21-28, 2012 (an $1,800 value!), but airfare and any other additional costs are not included.  To see what is included, look here!

Be entered into the contest by donating $12 to the Flawless Foundation for their $12 for 12 months of good karma in 2012 fundraising campaign. Each dollar up to $25,000 will be matched by a generous donor AND all the funds raised through Qoya will go to yoga programs for children.  You can be entered for each increment of $12 you give before midnight on Sunday, January 15th. And there's no limit to how many times you can enter.  It is also transferable so you can win and give the retreat spot as a gift! (To men and women~ I guarantee you know at least one woman who would love you for this gift!)

Rochelle Schieck, Founder of Qoya, and Patrick Kennedy at the Flawless Perfection Party in April 2011

One of my top 12 desires for 2012 is to be a catalyst for charitable giving and so when I saw this final push for a fundraising campaign with Flawless, I had an instant epiphany on how to make that dream come true.  Here's why I am choosing to make this donation to Flawless.  I know the organization very well as I've been a volunteer and have watched it grow from its inception.  I was at their first big event at the Millennium Hotel in NYC in 2009.   I was at their memorable event at the Burden Mansion on Fifth Avenue MC'd by Lisa Bloom and with the most inspiring panel of speakers like the Honorable Patrick Kennedy, Karenna Gore Schiff, Garen Staglin among others.  I've been to their dinner fundraisers that turned into dance parties and I've been on the phone with founder Janine Francolini when she's gotten big news like Moby is coming to the next event and endorsing Flawless and their mission or while she was on her way to be with the kids for one of their amazing programs that involve healing through gardening, the arts or yoga.  I was at their most recent event at Freg Segal in LA, where Flawless partnered with artist Tara Dixon and her business Gratitude Designs.  I've been blessed to be a witness to the common thread between all of these events and the work Flawless does.  The common thread is love.

Not love you only from a distance love.  Not love you only when it's convenient love.  Not love only when it's conditional love.  Real. Enduring. Soulful-even-when-it's-hard-love. Especially when it's hard love.

There is nothing convenient about trying to raise a child with mental illness.  And there is nothing harder than trying to navigate your boundaries to take care of yourself when someone you love is struggling with mental illness.  The reaction to the discomfort around mental illness is to look away.  The ostrich technique.  If I bury my head in the sand and then if I can't see it, maybe it will go away.

However, the totem animal of the Flawless Foundation is not an ostrich. It's a peacock.  The Flawless Foundation's mission is to "See the Perfection in Every Child" and  take a stand for more humane, compassionate care for children and adolescents who live with mental health and neurodevelopmental challenges.

The Flawless Foundation fulfills its mission by funding holistic healing programs and removing the stigma that holds people back from rallying around this important cause. Whether it is our own challenge or that of someone close to us, a culture that turns away from the reality of suffering that our fellow humans are going through affects all of us.

In a time and place in the world where there are so many worthy healing causes, the Flawless Foundation stands out to me as a brave and soulful warrior stepping towards the tender minds and souls of children and their care takers to love them right where they are at, seeing the perfection not only in every child, but in everyone.

And isn't that what we are all trying to do in our own way?  Bring more love and light to this world?  I am. I am devoted to leading Qoya classes, retreats and creating an online Qoya studio through which women have the invitation to remember the deepest truth of their soul as they move their body.  And the only thing better than experiencing a deep remembering and soulful connection to the divine in my body is the idea of being able to be a catalyst for someone else to experience it and imagine the healing impact that could have for them.

I believe that is possible through the yoga programs that the Flawless Foundation initiates and I invite you to join me in supporting the Flawless Foundation in their courageous work. The ability as an organization to approach children with love restores their dignity, gives them the help they need and acknowledges the divine spark that lives in them as the divine spark that lives in us all. We can open our hearts big enough to hold the complexity of these situations and hold space for them to heal and be loved right where they are.

To enter the raffle is a win-win-win, which is my favorite way to play.  You win by getting the gift of investing in another soul's well being and you get the opportunity to play with the idea of indulging in a powerful and joyfully transformative week in Costa Rica at the Qoya Retreat (or gift it to someone else!) And the children win by getting exposed to a nurturing environment that empowers them in their healing process through movement.

To enter: Go to the Flawless Foundation website and donate.  Send your confirmation email from paypal to and write Costa Rica in the title.  Every time you donate an increment of $12 you will be entered in the raffle.  There is no limit to how many times you can enter.  No limit to how much we can love. No limit to how much we can dance.  Raffle will be drawn January 16th and all donations must be made by midnight the evening of January 15th to enter.

Ready. Set. Give.

With love and aloha,


P.S. In the spirit of giving and excitement about launching my online Qoya site, here are links to a free one hour Qoya class online, a 10 minute movement ritual in the spirit of the new year to Dream Bigger Dreams, do a quick 5 minute video to gently open up your body with circling or tap back into the power of your pleasure with a five minute video to explore some sensual movement. The password is qoya.  And good luck winning the raffle!

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,


Mama, You've Been on My Mind

Today, March 5th, is my mother’s birthday. (Happy Birthday Mom!) When thinking of what to gift her on this day, I started to reflect on what she has gifted me. As I look back on my childhood, two things stand out. The first is the millions of times she said to me, “You can do anything you want. You can be the President of the United States, a pilot, a dancer...anything!”

Humanity evolves generation by generation and what a privilege it is to be born during a time in history and a place in the world where a young girl can be encouraged to pursue her deepest passions. I am so grateful for the freedom I personally feel to break out beyond any cultural or societal restrictions or expectations. Thank you Mom for planting that seed in me that I now so passionately embody and encourage in others.

Another thing my mom did that was pretty amazing was...she paid for all my dance classes. This wasn’t a once a week, one hour deal. I wanted to take every class my dance school offered. Like 20, 30, sometimes 40, hours a week of classes. Thousands and thousands of dollars she paid. Hundreds and hundreds of hours she worked as a single mother. Ridiculous amounts of miles she drove to get me to and from dance class and her investment was not lost.

Dance was my refuge, my church, my temple. No matter what state of mind or heart I went in, I came out feeling the zing, the pulse of life coursing through my body. This transformation that movement provided for me everyday as a child is something I believe so strongly in as an adult, I have created a whole business around sharing this simple and profound message with as many women as possible.

Through movement, we remember. We remember, as women, that we are Wise, Wild and Free. Calling on the wisdom of yoga, the creative expression of dance and the liberation to enjoy one’s body through sensual movement we evolve the way we have been been taught to be in our feminine bodies. We remember that movement is one of the easiest and most direct ways to be aware of the divine. The divine within us and around us.

Mama, You've Been on My Mind from Rochelle Schieck on Vimeo.

I had a vision to gift my mom a video of me dancing for her birthday. I wanted her to physically see the result of her kindness, of her wise words, “you can do anything,” and to see how my body expresses my gratitude to her and the gifts she gave to me.

It is a powerful thing to move for someone else, whether it is a sensual dance for a lover, a song and dance skit for a friend at a birthday party or simply devoting a dance break or a yoga pose to someone else.

See, the thing is- our body speaks a language beyond what words can express. The life force that animates our bodies, when infused with intention on another person, is a gift that goes deep into the core of our being- as the giver and as the receiver.

Who can you dance for today? How raw and exposed and vulnerable can you be with expressing your love through your physical body?

In Qoya classes this week, we devote one of our songs to dancing for someone else. As I invite a woman to do this, I instantaneously watch as her body lights up. The movement brightens. The soul deepens. Her love and light becomes embodied and expressed. It is always amazing to me to see how wired we really are to share our lives in community. I believe our society has mislead us with a false allure of individualization. Isolation and loneliness is out. Community and giving and receiving more love to and from others is in. How can you reach out to a friend, family member or lover? How can you create community and bring the people you love closer to you? How do you feel the most connected to yourself and then to others?

For me, my secret potion, the way in which I plug in, is through movement. So, from that spot, I invite you to join me for the last couple weeks of the Spring Series of Qoya classes in Manhattan, on-going Qoya classes at the new studio called Sacred in Brooklyn ( and there are also a few spots left for our upcoming Qoya Retreat in Costa Rica April 16-23, 2011.

There is always a golden thread in our stories. Once you find it, let it unravel you in your dance...and shine.

I look forward to dancing with you!

With love, Rochelle

Blessed to Be a Witness

Our souls are yearning for something that is real.  Something that resonates as truth.  Something sacred.  You know those moments that take you out of the mundane and into the mystical. When you see the green flash during a sunset, experience a mind-blowing orgasm, are transported by an amazing book, savor a delicious bite of food or get enchanted by a child’s innocent hilarious laughter. One of the premises of Qoya is based on the idea that movement is one of the easiest ways to access those ineffable feelings that are best described as sacred.  In Qoya class this morning we lit candles, blew our intention into rose petals and sprinkled them around the mat to send a message to our brain that this is not obligatory exercise only for the maintenance of our health or to be fit, but this Qoya class is an invitation to revel in the sensation of our bodies and to reclaim our physical feminine body as a temple for our essence that is wise, wild and free.

Dancing with the Sacred from Rochelle Schieck on Vimeo.

Even if you’re busy, especially if you’re busy, I encourage you to take a moment to evoke the sacred in your day today through movement.  Here is a video with a simple movement of inhaling arms up to the sky and exhaling while bending your knees, grounding back to the earth and swinging your arms down. Listen to the sound of the waves rhythmically going in and out like your breath and take a minute out of your day to get back into your body and practice your ability to feel the sacred as you move. Website's Main PageFunny thing about this word sacred. It's really catching on and re-emerging into our contemporary culture. In Brooklyn last weekend I taught at a new movement studio opened by my visionary friend, Dara Cole, called Sacred. . It's a pretty perfect name. In addition to offering Qoya classes there, she is creating a space for all of us (man, woman, child) to honor ourselves through movement and tap into the awareness of what is Sacred.

I invite you to join me for a free Qoya class at Sacred this Sunday, February 27th from 5-6:30pm.  Regular Qoya classes at Sacred in Brooklyn are starting this week with Qoya every Wednesday and Sunday evening from 6:30-8pm. To see the Qoya class schedule in Manhattan, click here.

I also want to make sure you have another opportunity to dance with the sacred on your radar. Qoya is going back to Costa Rica on April 16-23rd, 2011!!! We will connect with the sacred through movement in daily Qoya classes, nature in the abundant jungle and ocean, go on courageous adventures and be part of an active and inspiring community of women.  There is also the opportunity to participate in Qoya's first teacher training. For a sample schedule, to view the gorgeous flyer, see testimonials and information about the adventures and accommodations for Qoya’s upcoming retreat, dance as you click here.

Sending you gratitude and blessings on your journey.  For those of you I have had the pleasure to dance with, I sincerely feel blessed to be a witness. And for those of you I haven't met yet, I look forward to dancing together at the perfect time.

Shine on Sisters as you feel yourself dance with the sacred today and the sacred dancing through you always.

With love, Rochelle

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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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Let’s Get It On.

In the spirit of the holiday season, let's get it on. Get it on? As in sex, sensual pleasure, orgasms? Sure, why not?

True or false: Sex is one of the most ecstatic physical, mental, emotional, spiritual experiences you can have.

True- especially when you know yourself well enough to be able to ask for what you want, receive it with gratitude and give generously. (Kind of like the art of giving and receiving X-mas and Hanukkah gifts). Whether you are single, mingling or in a committed relationship- sex transcends us. Orgasm gives us a glimpse into our true nature as a blissful being. It heightens our senses and reignites our ability to revel in and savor the gift of being alive. Sex also releases endorphins and oxytocin, your "feel good hormones," which are good for relieving stress.

If you want to be grateful this holiday season, I recommend tapping into the pulsing gratitude of heat between your legs, not the turkey's. Instead of the lethargic, borderline comatose, state after overeating these holidays- what if we went for a feeling of being radiantly alive? Can you recall an amazing moment of sensual pleasure? Of release? Of surrender? Of a long grateful exhale?

I recommend turning on a song that turns you on for a couple of minutes and doing movement that initiates with your hips (see video for movement suggestions and playlist at end of post for song suggestions). While doing some hip circles, swaying from side to side~ dance and connect with the power and life force between your hips. Like Shakira says, hips don't lie.

Hip Circling for the Holidays from Rochelle Schieck on Vimeo.

What you look for is what you see. As you dance, look for the thrill of being in your body. From there, I suggest you transition from a vertical to a horizontal position and take some time to be grateful for the sensual pleasure of being in your body. As you lie down, look for the ecstasy that is always available to you. As your face is flushed, memorize that feeling of delight. Embody your gratitude by enjoying yourself. Then with a knowing smirk on your face and sparkle in your eye, feel more gratitude for every person, place and circumstance that crosses your path for a truly happy holiday season.

If you're looking for some more sensual inspiration or a "let's get it on" themed stocking stuffer, check out Steve and Vera Bodansky's new book Extended Massive Life or one of their classics like Extended Massive Orgasm. Click here for a link to their books at

Love and hip circles, Rochelle

P.S.  I'm getting ready to leave for Costa Rica this week for the first Qoya Retreat at Blue Spirit Resort December 11-18, 2010. I am beyond excited with women coming from California, Colorado, New York, even Norway! We have 2 spots left. If you want in, just let me know- I'd love to dance with you.

Looking forward to dancing together at the perfect time~

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

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Do you remember the 21st night of September?

Yes, it’s true. I’m quoting Earth, Wind and Fire. But, stay with me. I recently heard Barbara Biziou, author of The Joy of Ritual, speak and she said something along the lines of, “Our lives have become a series of run-on sentences where we are so busy, we’re not taking time to stop, to slow down and really be present with each other. Rituals are an opportunity to put a period at the end of the sentence, to mark the important times in our lives.”

A birthday dinner where we sit down and celebrate a loved one’s life. Last weekend, families observed Yom Kippur to fast, pray and atone. Halloween is coming up, where we dress up and that day becomes memorable because it breaks us out of the mundane pattern of our lives, sometimes feeling like Groundhog Day. As much as I love Bill Murray (see photo below) let’s consciously mix it up today and remember the 21st night of September (or whenever you read this).

Question: What is something that you can honor about your life? What is an accomplishment, big or small, that you could acknowledge?

Find examples of things that you have already done that you are choosing to celebrate:

*ways you have been courageous in taking action towards your dreams by researching possibilities, connecting with a like-minded community or graduating from a program

*ways you have been standing for what you believe is important, modeling the behavior you desire to see in others....being the change

*ways you have lived your life with great love, where you extended an olive branch symbolizing peace, choosing to be kind instead of needing to being right

*ways you have lived your life with beauty, even if it didn’t always seem that way, but today you choose to view your life as a journey, an epic one, and you as the heroine.

See the places where simply your presence has contributed to the well being of this world. Write one or more instance down on a piece of paper. Let's dance to that.

Intention: Once you find something and you have written it on a piece of paper, create a simple ritual to honor it. Some easy ideas are lighting a candle, setting an intention to celebrate, put on a special outfit (optional, but very fun) and then be fully present as you do your movement.

Example: My very close friend Becca invited me out to dinner last night to celebrate the launching of this site I can we make it memorable? How can it be more than just dinner but marking this as a special day? I came up with the idea that we would put on hot pink sequence dresses and tap dance around New York City, just to make ourselves laugh. We never made it outside because we were having so much fun dancing around her apartment. Now I will always have the gift of our memorable celebration dinner. Breaking up the run-on sentence of our days, we put an exclamation mark on our night.

Movement: With the stage set (candle lit, consciously honoring a part of your life, and maybe a fun outift...) dance! Kurt Vonnegut says, “Dance! Even if the only place you have is your living room.” Trust that your body knows how to move and give it the space to move the way it wants to. Bend your knees, feel your hips move from side to side, take deep breaths into the sensation of your body and go for it.

How to take it with you into your day: Once you’ve celebrated yourself in your own creative way, take a moment to think- is there someone close to you who you could reach out to and acknowledge a moment in their life? Make sure you don’t skip your own celebration and go straight to doing it for someone else. Do yours first! From all the energy and joy you have from your own celebration, you'll have infinitely more to give.

For a song to dance guessed it- September by Earth, Wind and Fire. Click on the link below for the music video and ideas for costumes! Enjoy and report back on what sort of fun memories you create. I’d love to hear.

Click here to see Earth, Wind and Fire singing September on You Tube

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