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Movements to love what is

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

Interview with Kitty Cavalier, Bhangra Dancing Video and Qoya Spring Tour!

I hope your New Year is off to a wise, wild and free start!  In today's post, I am incredibly honored to share an interview with Kitty Cavalier, a five minute video to experience incredible joy in your body through Bhangra dancing and announcing the Qoya Spring Tour going to New York City, Colomubus, Ohio, Crested Butte, Colorado, Los Angeles, CA, Sydney and Byron Bay, Australia, Auckland, New Zealand, Costa Rica and maybe even your living room. 


Once a month, we will be highlighting a Qoya dancer in the community.  I'll ask a woman who has embodied Qoya and it's philosophy to share what it means to her.  Today, I'm delighted to introduce our first interview with Kitty Cavalier, who teaches Qoya in New York City and is the founder of the School of Charm and Cheek where she shares her gifts teaching Qoya and burlesque classes, Seduction as a Spiritual Practice Workshops and Retreats, as well as other fun things like make-up tricks and magic candle rituals!  Enjoy her words here.

How do you describe Qoya in your words?

This is a toughie! To describe Qoya is kind of like trying to describe swimming in the Ocean, you just have to experience it.  How can you describe something that brings you bliss beyond words?  I usually do so logistically at first: “It is a class that combines yoga, dance, and sensual, free movement.”  I also drop in little love bombs like “it has completely changed my relationship to my body and my life” or, “I now look forward to exercise the way I look forward to a massage thanks to Qoya”.  

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

Qoya has taught me that my body knows everything.  If there is a situation I feel stuck in, or stuck on, I know that as soon as I turn on a song and start to move, everything will suddenly make sense.  I remember that (even though this sounds a bit like new age fluff) we are all Divine and eternal. It’s one thing to know that in your head, but Qoya makes that wisdom available to me in my body, any time I want or need to access it.

How does Qoya evoke your wildness in your life?

Well, I’m definitely always the one to start the dancing at a party now! I really think our bodies are like our own little universes.  What you can feel in your body exists in your universe.  If you know what it feels like to lose yourself in your dance, your sweat, your pounding heart, those are the moments are when the wild, untamed, organic soul is unleashed. Knowing what that feels like on the inside allows me to create it on the outside – in my work life, my home life, my spiritual life, my love life (hubba-hubba), and everything in-between!

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

One of the things I am most grateful for the level of freedom I feel in each moment thanks to Qoya.  I was in yoga class today remembering all the times that I would try to follow what everyone else was doing, causing myself pain in my body and beating myself up for not being “flexible” or “strong” enough.  Through practicing Qoya, I now know that my body is MY BODY. If someone is telling me to move it in a way that doesn’t feel right, I am free to stop and choose what feels good.  I don’t have to conform to what others are telling me to do.  I choose what I want, and trust that it is always the right choice, because it is my choice.

Qoya is based on the idea that through movement, we remember. 

What do you remember in Qoya?

I often ask this question of my students during stretching at the end of the class so that they can capture the experience they had in class.
The answers are always the same for everyone.
I remember that everything is going to be ok.
I remember that I am divine.
I remember that my life rocks.
I remember that being a woman rocks.
I remember that I am powerful.
I remember that I can do anything.
I remember that my body knows all.
I remember that if it feels good, that means I am doing it right.

Thank you Kitty! So grateful for you shining your light on and through Qoya.  

One of the things I am so inspired by is Kitty's desire to give and share what has evolved her on her soul's journey.  Teaching Qoya over the weekend in LA, we explored the theme of what is under our New Year's resolutions, intentions, goals or visions.  Other than the rewards that manifest in our lives, what is the the essence of what we want to give away.  We offered that gift as an intention as we danced our sun salutations.  We  embodied the sensation of how it feels when we share our gifts with the world as we free danced.  I've found the greatest consequence of following your deepest intentions and truest desires is a feeling of fulfillment and joy.  I've also found one of the quickest ways to experience joy in the body is through Bhangra dancing.

Check out this 5 minute Qoya Bhangra 101 video here and see if it is true for you too!  Remember, Qoya is an EXPERIENTIAL path.  It is not about understanding the concepts, but feeling the pulse of them in present time in your body, mind, heart and soul.  In other words, instead of a mental exercise of nodding your head as you read, get up and move!

Bhangra from Rochelle Schieck on Vimeo.

Want to plan an immersion of joy in your life? More than 5 minutes of Bhangra dancing, maybe an hour Qoya class?  More than an hour, maybe 3 days on a Qoya and Ski Retreat in Colorado or 7 days on a Qoya Retreat in Costa Rica? Or, join me down under while Qoya makes her debut at her first yoga festival in Byron Bay, Australia and Spirit Fest, a weekend for Yoga, Dance and Tantra, then a weekend workshop in Sydney, Australia and Auckland, New Zealand.  Or, we can always dance in your living room via 






Expect a Miracle,



P.S. To see more about Qoya and feel the energy of our offering, here is a short video from the last Qoya Costa Rica Retreat.

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

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.

3 Ways To Help Surrender To The Unknown

I was in New York City last week during the infamous Hurricane Sandy.  I couldn't help but notice the outer hurricane mirroring the inner hurricane for so many people I know.  In my conversations with friends and strangers alike, everyone seemed to be going through a huge transformation, almost like an initiation requiring them to surrender to the unknown and trust.  Failure to do so resulting in anxiety, depression and paralyzing confusion. From a human perspective, it's common to be bound by the limitations of the mind, where we perceive the inner and outer hurricanes from a perpetrator and victimized viewpoint.  For example: hurricane Sandy is the aggressor.  All who are affected are victims.  The outer challenges in our lives are causing problems and distress.  We are innocently being punished.

From a spiritual perspective, we are invited to explore the idea that life is not happening to us, but for us, and for our soul's growth.  That every moment is an opportunity to remember ourselves as spirit, and when aligned with spirit, seeing ourselves connected to all that is and being able to trust in that even when, especially when, there seems to be convincing evidence otherwise.

The fundamental question becomes do you believe in the world as something that is testing you, then rewarding and punishing you based on your behavior, like a university psychology experiment, or do you believe there is a higher organizing principle that orchestrates an infinity of interconnected events to come into a harmonious symphony to make the music of life?

It's a big question and one I dance with every day.

Qoya is based on the idea that through movement, we remember.  We remember, as women, that we are wise, wild and free.  We remember the interconnected pulse of life that animates our bodies is the same force that makes a dog's tail wag, the earth spin, flowers bloom, hummingbirds fly and the wind hurl.  I'm writing this blog post which engages the mind, but my favorite part about Qoya and the healing practices that influence it is, it is an EXPERIENTIAL path.  It is not only about what you believe to be true, but what resonates as truth in every cell in your body and most importantly in your heart.

One of the questions to help shift from victim consciousness which arises in the mind to spirit consciousness which is recognized by the heart is by asking, "What are the gifts of this situation?" In heinsight, we can almost always see the most challenging and disturbing part of our past, our deepest wounds, ended up being the catalyst to illuminate our greatest strengths and initiate us into a more evolved expression of ourselves. The break up that broke your heart, only to realize later it broke it open. The loss of material possessions, only to be left with the gratitude for what you do have. The witnessing of lives lost, only to remember how sacred life is in the first place.

When in a challenging situation, whether it be the outer hurricane or the inner hurricane, here are three ways to help surrender to the unknown. I hope they can be of service to you as you navigate the adventure that is your life.

1- Create Sacred Space: There are a thousand ways to do this. I'll attach links of instructions to the suggestions here. Call in sacred space, do a despacho gratitude prayer ceremony, pull angel or goddess cards, build an altar, walk a labyrinth, (picture to the left is a homemade labyrinth, you can also use yarn) do a candle or fire ceremony, dance with intention to honor the sacred (which is another way to describe qoya), do another ritual you already know or make up your own.

The main ingredients of ceremony are honoring and gratitude.  The intention is not trying to manipulate or change things, but to honor them as they are. It is aligning with the spiritual perspective of trust and honor the gift that is being given, even if you have a personal preference for it to show up in a different package.  For example, as I was doing pre-hurricane despacho prayer ceremonies, I honored the gifts of being humbled by the force and power of mother earth, of the time to slow down and go deep within to contemplate what is really important and let what isn't slowly slip away.   You know you have created sacred space when it resonates with your soul.  Trust that you know how to do this and let yourself be guided to create the perfect honoring for yourself whenever you are being asked to surrender to the unknown.

2- Expect a Miracle and Listen to Bob Marley: In my meditation practice I continue to receive the message that says, "Stop worrying! When you have a problem, the problem is not the problem, the problem is the worrying." It's almost as if our fear and worry create a brick wall between ourselves and the solutions that are trying to find their way to us.  Instead of trying to get yourself to stop worrying, try expecting a miracle.  Imagine for a moment, that you truly believed everything was going to be ok.  If this is too big of a stretch, I suggest listening to Bob Marley on repeat.  During the hurricane, I was taping up the windows, filling the bath tub with water and putting candles and matches in every room in the downtown New York City apartment I was staying in singing along to, "don't worry about a thing, cause every little thing is gonna be alright...don't worry!" It helped.  Give it a try.

3- Go Outside:My first instinct with the hurricane was to go to the Hudson river.  I watched as the water came higher and higher knowing that there would soon be a storm surge.  I felt the wind swirl and my reverence rise as my it inverted my umbrella like a cartoon.  Part of our culture's neglect of the feminine has been our disconnection from mother earth and yet all of our healing metaphors are so easily accessible with the promise of a new day with each sunrise, the potential growth in every seed we plant, the inevitable letting go as autumn leaves fall off the trees, the ups and downs of life with waves of the ocean, the peace of a still lake or the magic light of the full moon.  I'm always comforted by the invitation that if you could only accept the seasons of your heart, the way you accept summer, fall, winter and spring.

In intense times, I also encourage you to dance! Here is a free 13 minute video called: Only Love is Real (Fear is False Evidence Appearing As Real, Learn to Dance In-Between). 

The heaviness in your heart that pulls you to the center of the earth...that is your humanity.  Let it keep you kind and compassionate.  The sparkle in your eyes, the zing in your spine, the light shining through you...that is your divinity.  Trust both to guide you as you dance between the seen and unseen.



P.S. I will be announcing the theme for Costa Rica 2013 along with a video with highlights from last year and an early bird discount good until December 1st, 2012 next week.

May all the blessings you put into the world boomerang back to you a million fold.


Spirituality Takes Politics As A Dance Partner and One Week of Qoya in NYC starting October 28th!

I just got back from teaching Qoya for the first time in Europe in Norway, Denmark, Greece and Turkey.  In addition to the big outer adventure, I also had an interesting inner adventure with a trip down memory lane.  Many years ago,  I would drool over the possibility to go on one of my yoga teacher's retreats to Greece. I would fantasize about being able to have the free time, finances and courage to get on a plane and then to get on a boat and have a completely new experience. That was about seven years ago.

What has happened in the last seven years that took me from being a dreamer to not only experiencing a dream come true, but being able to facilitate this trip for others?

When I teach classes, retreats, workshops, do private sessions or lead rituals and ceremonies, I always use the map of the medicine wheel that I learned from studying with the Four Winds and the shamans in Peru. The medicine wheel is the map of the archetypal energies of transformation and goes like this:

Call on Serpent to release what no longer serves and shed our past like a serpent sheds its skin.  Call on the archetype of Jaguar for protection as we  come into our highest integrity, so that we can always know our essence in this physical world and in crossing the rainbow bridge to spirit and back again.  Call on the Hummingbird and the metaphor of their yearly journey from Canada to Brazil, this little bird on this big journey (like ourselves) this individual soul on this epic collective awakening.  Hummingbirds also memorize thousands of flowers, but only go to the ones that truly nourish them, so we ask to have our nectar be illuminated and our path be sweet and filled with ease and synchronicity. We also call on the healing medicine of the Eagle and its courage to dream bigger dreams and go beyond what we know.

One of the things I've learned in working with these archetypes, is to be conscious of what you call in, because it shows up.

On the first full day of the Greece retreat, we called in Serpent and shortly after, we hit rough seas.  Rough seas where the boat would tilt as far as it felt it could before capsizing or throwing one of us off.  Over the course of a couple hours of holding on tight for our dear lives, life became oh-so-much-more dear.  And this was our gift from Serpent. There is nothing quite like facing your fear of death to bring you into conscious alignment with life.  As we pulled into harbor, safe and sound, I was comforted by proverbs and poetry, "calm seas don't make skilled sailors" and Mary Oliver's, "a ship is safe at port, but that's not what ships are for."

The rest of the retreat was full of perfect and divine weather allowing us to go through the rest of the medicine wheel and use the initiation from Serpent of letting go to come into present time.  To live with a renewed sense of integrity and purpose for what is really important, because in those moments, where you are in the tender balance between life and your desire to live more life, so many things that once seemed important no longer are.  And in those moments, what is the most important thing?  I'll give you a hint.  It's a four letter world.  It starts with L.

Aligned with the nectar of love, we begin to dream bigger dreams and shine.  No longer shackled by fear, we emerged from the sea wise, wild and free.

So, what does this have to do with spirituality and politics and with a dream I had seven years ago that manifested to be able to charter a yacht for a Qoya retreat island hopping through the Mediterranean?

Once upon a time I had a dream to go to Greece.  Seven years later it wasn't magically manifested out of thin air.  It did happen magically, but it was also born out of a series of decisions to align myself with love.  My love of movement. My love of travel.  My love of leading retreats and seeing how much transformation is possible through going on pilgrimage to sacred sites together in community.  It is a necessary luxury to take time from always doing things to be reflective and go deep inside to shed the past, align in integrity, enjoy the sweetness of life and dream another dream.  As Agapi Stassinopoulos says in her book Unbinding the Heart, "There are no seven or eight simple steps to unbind our hearts, but there is one choice that we all have, and this is our golden opportunity in every moment of every day, whatever small or big challenges it brings: Do I shut down or do I choose to open up one more time, even deeper?"  I would say, "there are no seven or eight steps to simply manifest your dream, but there is a golden opportunity in every moment to align yourself with love and your truth and trust where that leads you."

People on a spiritual path know this.  Embracing life with this conscious awareness creates transformational fire.  Fire heats things up and then they change.

I heard Marianne Williamson speak yesterday and there was a force, a call for change coming through her so strongly, I felt like one might have in the abolitionist movement, as one of the suffragettes or on the front lines of the civil rights movement.  Her call was to merge spirituality and politics to not only to create a new politcal party, but a new worldview where love was the bottom line. Where the goal was the elimination of unnecessary suffering.  Where embodying the divine feminine was less about dancing under the light of the moon (in Greece) and more about protecting the children.  And every child in the world is one of our children.

Her theory was this- "People on a spiritual path -- personal growth, spiritual practice, recovery, yoga and so forth -- are the last people who should be sitting out the social and political issues of our day. And there's an important reason for this: People on such journeys are adepts at change. They know that the mechanics of the heart and mind are the fundamental drivers of transformation. This doesn't just apply to one person, but to masses as well; if you know what makes one life change then you know what makes a nation change, because a nation is simply a large group of individuals."

I wish I could transcribe for you her entire talk because it moved me so deeply.  Click here to see her full Huffington Post article and here for info on her Sister Giant event in LA November 10 and 11th, 2012 for a meeting of the minds and a politics of the heart.  (You can also live stream the event!)

Almost everyone I talk to these days is either consciously choosing to surrender to the unknown or being forced to.  We are in a time of great change- externally and internally and my invitation to you is to align with love, cast your vote in this upcoming election and like Hafiz says in his poem, cast all your votes for dancing.

Dancing makes everything better.  I promise.  Even if it is just circling your hips for three minutes with me in this video. 

I look forward to being able to dance together whether it is in New York next week October 28- November 4th for Qoya classes, an intro to teacher training and a launch party for, in LA for Marianne Williamson's Sister Giant Event November 10-11, 2012, in Costa Rica April 6-13, 2013 or somewhere, some way yet to be determined.

The L Word,


A Week of Qoya in NYC with Qoya's Founder Rochelle Schieck, October 28-November 4, 2012 with Qoya classes, a one day intro to Qoya teacher training and the launch party! 

Qoya is based on a simple idea that through movement, we remember.  We remember, as women, that our essence is wise, wild and free.  Wise, wild and free also draw reference to the movement forms that we practice.  Wise evokes the wisdom of yoga, wild the creative expression in dance and free invites us to expand our capacity for pleasure in the body.  No experience required.  In Qoya, we focus more on how it feels than how it looks, and how you know you're doing it right, is that it feels good.


Here are the following class times and theme for that day.  Classes are $25 each (or pay what you can)
Sunday, October 28th, 6pm-7:30pm Surrendering to the Unkonwn
Monday, October 29th, 10am-11:30am Trusting Yourself (For Real)
Wednesday, October 31st, 10am-11:30am Go Dark or Go Home (Dress up as your shadowy dark side to dance)
***Thursday, November 1st, 7pm-8:30pm Do You: It's Better to Fail at Your Own Dharma Than Succeed at Someone Else's (This class is at Sacred in Brooklyn)
Friday, November 2nd, 10am-11:30am Know Your Magic Elixir

Intro to Qoya Teacher Training 

Saturday, November 3rd, 9am-6pm Qoya Intro to Teacher Training $250
This is an opportunity to go deeper into the philosophy of Qoya and immerse yourself in the intention behind the movements and familiarize yourself with the map that shows the way of how to access that through movement is one of the easiest ways that we can remember.  Remember spirit.  Remember our essence.  Remember that life is a dance that is dancing through us and we are dancing through it.  Price includes 1 day training and 3 months follow up support with membership to and  a private Facebook group to ask questions directly to Rochelle. Launch Party with Lunch, Despacho Ceremony and Qoya Class

Sunday, November 4th, 4-6pm Launch Party for and 6-7:30pm Qoya Class with theme Gratitude as a Superpower, $50
Launch Party! From 4-6pm, join Rochelle  and the Qoya Tribe to celebrate the launch of, a growing library of 50+ Qoya videos, ranging 5 minutes to hour classes, that you can stream online with your membership and do anytime of the day in your own home or on the go.  From 4-5 enjoy homemade Kicharee (a vegetarian delicious Indian lentil stew) and hot tea.  From 5-6, we'll do a sacred despacho prayer ceremony (feel free to bring anything that is bio-degradable to offer like flowers, candy, rice, shells, etc.)
Qoya Class From 6-7:30pm, come dance and explore gratitude as your superpower.  It will be a very special Sunday afternoon.
$50 includes kicharee and hot tea for lunch, despacho ceremony, Qoya class and one month membership to


All events (except Thursday night's class on November 1) take place in the Bhakti Cafe Building in the East Village of NYC
25 1st Av (between 1st and 2nd Streets)
Right by 2nd Av stop off the F train

***Thursday, November 1st Qoya, 7-8:30pm, at Sacred Studio in Brooklyn,

Hope to see you soon!

Shine brightly.

It Was The Best Of Times, It Was The Worst Of Times

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.  A new job and a break-up in the same week.  News that she's pregnant and news that he is terminally ill.  Someone is off for a magical vacation while someone else is foreclosing on their home.  All our lives are filled with this dance of blessings and challenges and the more that I get to travel and meet people from all over the world, I am inspired at the ways in which I can be a witness to how the human soul can heal, release and come back to love.  My most recent blog about my pilgrimage to reclaim the Divine Feminine in Israel is up on the Huffington Post this week.  The gist is, "I didn't see the Goddess honored in the Holy Land of Jerusalem, but I did feel her in the Holy Land.  I felt her swimming in the sea, in the clouds at sunset, with the flow of the river that goes through Tel-Aviv, in the peaceful quiet of the desert, and in the salt of the Dead Sea, and while I didn't initially see Her at the Western Wall, I felt Her in the stone." The piece highlights the take away message I received from my time in Israel, about nature being one of the most powerful ways to connect with the divine feminine, but it isn't the full story.  This trip was one of the most confronting I have ever taken with a mix of many blessings and beauty, along challenges and complexities.

For example, the reality of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was right in the living room of my friends and hosts. It started last fall when I hiked the Annapurna Circuit, which is a two week trek through the Himalayas in Nepal where you walk 6-8 hours a day and stay in a different Nepalese village every night.    Strangers quickly become friends as you and a hundred or so other people walk the path together, share meals and have lots of time to take about life (and don't have phone or internet service).  Three of the people I met there live in Israel, but not all of them would consider themselves Israeli.  Two of the women I met, Talya and Rima, are a lesbian couple where one is Israeli and the other is Palestinian.  On many levels, their commitment is an inspiring illustration of the power of love to transcend and unite despite old paradigms that would have previously kept them apart.  A question they get asked often and was asked by me, is "if you were in charge, what would you do to bring peace to the Middle East?"  In six years of their relationship and countless conversations about this, they explain that even they can't come up with a solution that seems fair and would be agreeable to both sides.  The complexity runs so deep and yet, they wake up each morning and align themselves with the love they have for themselves, each other and the world.

I am often inspired to be in a culture fueled by devotion to God or Spirit.  The first time I experienced this passion for God was at a Ganesh temple in Kerala, India, where people lined up for the temple with the enthusiasm of going to see a rock concert. Before entering the temple, you would throw a coconut against the wall as hard as you can to symbolize the breaking of one's ego or anything that kept one from being able to fully experience God.  I was looking forward to visiting the Holy Land of Jerusalem, where so much of our world's religious history has taken place, but, instead of being inspired, it was the first time I really experienced the danger of claiming something as sacred.  When one places the idea of God outside of oneself, in a particular place or in a book, I saw how one can lose sight of the spark of divinity that lives in ourselves, in one other and in every living thing.  My idea of God is in oneness, in unity consciousness, in seeing the other person as you, so seeing the separation consciousness in the Old City that has it divided into four quarters and knowing it's history of being destroyed at least twice, besieged 23 times, attacked an additional 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times, I couldn't help but be overwhelmed with the awareness that there has got to be a better way to bring us back to love.

On my last night in Israel, I went to see an amazing world music group called the Idan Raichel Project.  Songs of hope, peace and love filled the air in half a dozen different languages and yet, I couldn't help be aware that next to the fence where we parked my girlfriends pointed out that that fence was the border of Syria, with a stretch of a couple hundred meters filled with land mines and where massacres and an impending genocide is currently taking place on the other side.  The temptation to lose hope, be in fear or go numb were all on offer.

And so my trip to Israel, it was the best of times and it was the worst of times.  To be in such close physical proximity to all this turmoil and strife, felt like the physical out picturing of the inner human conflict. At the same time, the devotional and religious culture can also be seen as expressing the yearning of a pure heart wanting to recognize the divine inside. It was balanced duality- on opposite sides of the spectrum- the agony and the ecstasy.

On my last day there, I woke up with a view of the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus walked on water, where miracles filled the air and I danced.  I danced with my bare feet on the grass, with my iPhone and headphones on their loudest volume and with my heart open enough to just honor it all.   I think it's our best plan.   There's the famous Albert Einstein quote about "you can't solve a problem on the level it was created."  To raise our consciousness up above our problems, we can dance to remember our deepest truth and to start to let that guide us. Qoya is based on this idea that through movement, we remember.  We remember that our essence as women is wise, wild and free.  And that we can do better.

The move I see women making all over the world is rising from the binds of victim consciousness and expanding their minds, hearts and awareness large enough to hold the full spectrum of life in love.  Beyond the duality of us and them, right and wrong, sacred and heresy, good times and bad times, there is a way to experience life by embracing the dance of it all.  It's not paradise lost or paradise found, it's just paradise as is.  Most importantly, it's not a thought that is conveyed by words.  It's an experience.  And it's most easily experienced for me through Qoya.  Through a sacred circle of conscious women, through authenticity and intention, through opening the heart and liberating the hips (physically and energetically), through movement as prayer by dancing your yoga,  through joy from learning communal dances from bollywood, to bellydance, to the electric slide.  Through shaking each part of the body to release what no longer serves our highest good and when initiated back into our essence- to dance fully present.  We dance like our ancestors around a fire.  We dance for the dreams of our children's children.  We dance courageously embodying the power and privilege to experience all of life.  And mostly, we dance because we can no longer not dance.

For those who can no longer not dance, I invite you to join me for 5 minutes or for a whole week (or for a whole life!)

5 minute free video to shake what no longer serves you!  on (an online Qoya studio).

Costa Rica Qoya Retreat April 6-13, 2013 

Oh the places you'll go,






A Tabula Rasa To Stop Worrying

The interesting thing about intention is when you realize that what you look for is truly what you see or like the Buddha says, "you are what you think." While traveling on my pilgrimage to Reclaim the Divine Feminine and meditating on Mother Mary I received a message that said, "When there is a problem in your life, the problem is not the problem. The problem is that you are worrying." Let's break this down. The problem is not the problem, the problem is the worrying. Statistically, this pans out. In my kindle collection of self-help books, Eckhart Tolle speaks of 90%+ of our thoughts are the same thing over and over, others speak of 90%+ of the things we worry about never happen and 90%+ of all illness can be linked to stress (which is from worrying). In other words, this worrying is not serving us.

I am preparing for my Qoya classes, workshop and teacher training in Minneapolis, Minnesota with this theme of calling in a tabula rasa, a going back to when the mind was in its hypothetical primary blank or empty state before receiving outside impressions that worrying was helpful or necessary. Of course it's necessary to a minimum, but at this rate it does more harm than good.  Qoya is designed to explore the ways through which we can release excess worry like; exercise, being in community, listening to music, being in nature and going within. Worry and anxiety arise when outer voices get larger than our inner voice. Our inner voice being the one that is concerned with love, beauty and truth. The voice of the soul that guides us. The one that we sometimes forget to listen to.

As I am planning this routine, I keep receiving handfuls of emails, phone calls and experiences which offer their invitations to worry. It's not that different from any other day, but I am conscious of choosing to worry less and trust more. It's an experiment. It's a choice. It's a surrender and a softness to know that it will be ok. To believe that it is ok right now.

Just as much about creating positive shifts in our outer world, we need to bring attention to our inner world. One of the most profound insights I've come across in my studies was in a lecture given at Mama Gena's School of Womanly Arts by Dr. Anne Davin that helped me to do just that.

Dr. Anne Davin points out that we're part of a patriarchal culture that values the masculine hero and we can mistakenly see ourselves on that same journey.  The characteristics of the hero's journey are to do it alone, have a separation between humans and divine and rely on our rugged individualism. The hero is self-sacrificing, expected to survive against all odds, dominates, revels in his victory and doesn't question his value or direction.

She then invites us to look at what would happen if we reverse those qualities to describe a heroine's journey and explore that paradigm. The heroine's journey is interdependent with others and there is no separation between human and spiritual worlds. She has soft relationships,receives from others, her ego dies to see the perfection of circumstances (she stops worrying) and is surrendered. Humility is worn as a jeweled crown and she lives her life as a open question.

In essence, she points out that the heroine doesn't just make lemonade out of the "lemons" of her life. That's what a hero does. The heroine recognizes her divinity as the same source that made the lemons. And, connected to her divinity, she sees the dance of life.

It's a leap. It takes courage. And dancing helps.

There is something so innate, so powerful and so transformative about moving your body in a way that outwardly expresses the truth and freedom that our souls resonate with. To dance is to release any of your worries for a moment and to surrender to the beat of your heart connecting with the rhythm of the music, the dance of life.

A facebook friend, who I have not met in person, sent me this video today when I was right on the edge to fall back into worrying about something. Instantly, watching these people dancing all over the world, I remembered. I remembered that the habit of worrying is a trap and that dancing is one of the easiest ways I know to break free. Enjoy this video if you haven't already seen it.


After sharing this post with my friend Colleen LaSota, who is an acupuncturist and co-owner of Four Gates Studio for Physical and Energetic Culture where I teach Qoya in Minneapolis, she shared with me how perfectly this theme goes with the transition from earth's influence in summer to metal's influence in early fall.  She shared, "The earth's influence in summer is all about feeling your deep purpose in the world and rooting into that, but it can also be a heavy weight and bring up some worry on how to come into a greater alignment in your life.  Metal's influence is less about the metal of a car, but the crystallized and super dense crystals and precious stones of the earth that symbolize the process of letting go, like the leaves starting to change colors before they fall, and recognizing the preciousness of life underneath.  So, a Qoya theme of releasing worry to tap back into your essence as wise, wild and free is in perfect alignment with the energy of the earth and seasons."   Love that!   She also sent me this quote by Lorie Dechar, a Renowned Alchemical Acupuncturist, saying "A central principle in Chinese medical psychology is that for every thought we have in our minds, there should be a corresponding action in our bodies. This unimpeded movement from the mind into the body allows our Tao to flow effortlessly through us and out into the world through our words and our actions."  So, if you are in a worry loop, you would want to think less (by meditating, exercising, relaxing) or take some action and do what can be done instead of being paralyzed by the weight of worry.  In my experience, Qoya is one of the easiest and most pleasurable ways to come back to center.  I invite you to see if that's true for you as well.

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

Wanna dance with me? Minneapolis: Sept. 4-9, 2012 Oslo, Norway: Sept. 20-24, 2012 Copenhagen, Denmark: Sept 25-26, 2012 Greece: Sept 29- Oct. 4th, 2012 Costa Rica: April 6-13, 2013 Anytime, Anywhere: Online at

Butterfly kisses,


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

Dancing Your Heartbeat

Dear Dancers of Light, I hope this finds each of you doing well in whichever season it is in your heart. Maybe you're feeling like hibernating and contracting like winter in the morning and warm and expressive like the summer in the evening. Maybe filled with enthusiasm and the sparkle of possibility like spring when you think he or she might call. Maybe the pain of letting go, like when the last leaf falls off the tree in autumn, and you're the one who knows it's best for both of you if you don't call. Wherever you are, with all this valentine's day hula-a-baloo the inner romantic or cynic in us is easily evoked.

Valentine's day is the dramatic obsession with the quest for finding love outside of yourself, as in, your valentine.  However, most wisdom teachers encourage you to first go within.  Qoya agrees.  While there are hundreds of books and classes to help you heal your heart, open your heart, find your soul mate, manifest your perfect lover, conjure true love, keep it once you have it and along the way learn how to love yourself, I was deeply moved recently when reading new book by author Agapi Stassinopoulos Unbinding the Heart where she simply says,

"There are no seven or eight simple steps to unbind our hearts, but there is one choice that we all have, and this is our golden opportunity in every moment of every day, whatever small or big challenges it brings: Do I shut down or do I choose to open up one more time, even deeper?"

Reading those words are liberating from the how to's of studying the magic equation to bring love into our lives.  With this example, loving becomes a simple practice in each present moment to be willing to open your heart one more time?

Are you in?  Can you feel the physical sensation in your heart of contraction or expansion? Do an experiment and think of someone and notice how your body responds.  Are you closed?  Can you open?

I invite you to think of this the next time your phone rings, the next person you have a conversation with or the next time you look in the mirror. Can you choose to open up your heart one more time, even deeper?

A friend put this quote on my Facebook yesterday, "those who don't move won't notice their chains." Agreed. I invite you to open your heart just a little bit more than feels safe and to dance just a little more wildly outside your comfort zone. To help, here is a preview of one of the shorter videos that will be on my online Qoya studio. This is called Dancing your heartbeat and is less than 5 minutes of movement leading with your heart.

The most effective and enjoyable way I know into the heart, into our essence, into the well of love is by going within. The fastest and most pleasurable way I know in is Qoya. The movements of yoga, dance and sensual movement unbind and release us to express our wise, wild and free essence and that's why I show up and offer Qoya to you as a gift from my heart.  May we all realize that it is not the question of whether we are gifted, but what are our gifts.  And with whatever gift we are blessed with, may valentine's day be less about the fairytale of romantic love, but the love of life and sharing of our gifts from our heart and the dance of it all.


Love big. It doesn't matter how big, but just a little more each moment that you can.

With a dancing heart, Rochelle

P.S. Qoya updates! If you're not in New York, know that I am so excited when I can offer you So so so excited. Until then, if the spirit moves you, please consider joining us for the next Qoya retreat in Costa Rica April 21-28, 2012.

If you are in New York. I'm here too!!! and teaching Qoya in Manhattan Saturday mornings 9-10:15am and in Brooklyn Sunday afternoons 5:15-6:15pm. See more details here.

All my Qoya classes the next three saturdays in Manhattan, are donation based and all donations go to Gems. See more about them here!

Would LOVE to see you and dance together.

Know the Movements that Refuel Your Soul

Know the places that recharge your spirit.

Know the people who inspire your life.

Know the movements that refuel your soul.

If I asked you the three places in the world where you feel the most like you- would you know what they are?  The places where you feel deeply grounded?  The places where you feel like you have the most joy?  Where you have the most epiphanies?  The places where you feel the most powerful?

What if I asked you about the people who inspire your life?  The ones that have been around so long, no action is requrired for you to be moved by them, just knowing they exist is inspiration enough.  The new ones that captivate and catapault you into a higher realm of consciousness, fun or both!  Who are the mirrors of light when darkness is around and are like a bonfire in which your spirit can warm itself up on the coldest of nights?

What are the movements that refuel your soul? That GIVE YOU ENERGY for your journey?  How can you move in a way that you instantaneously remember that there is a part of you that is sacred, eternal and divine?  Do you know?   Wouldn’t it be fun if you did?

It’s up to each of us to take the time to notice and what you look for is what you see.  The next time you flip through your travel photos remember how it felt.  Where were those magical recharge stations?  Whenever you find one- be sure to go there more often.

When your phone rings, watch how your body responds.  Are you avoiding the caller? Sulking in obligation? Excitedly answering?  Stay close to the people who light you up.

The next time you go to the gym, go for a run, take a yoga class, twirl around in pole dancing, leap in dance class, strengthen your core in pilates or explore the wise, wild and free woman in Qoya~ notice what movements illuminate the path back to yourself.

Qoya is based on the idea that through movement, we remember.  We remember as women that we are inherently wise, wild and free.  My vision is that as you become centered in your deepest truth and feel empowered as you embody your essence, you dance with pleasure along your unique path that leads to the highest destiny for you and for all of us.

If you'd like to try Qoya, check out these videos online: a one hour Qoya routine called Paradise, a 10 minute movement ritual for Dreaming Bigger Dreams or a 5 minute exploration of sensual movement.  (Password to videos is: qoya.)

I’d love to hear what your favorite moves are as you dance, your favorite spots on the earth and some of your favorite people and why!  Please share with me on facebook and share this with a friend if you think they’d enjoy it.



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,


The Secret to Feel the Free in Wise, Wild and Free (hint: pleasure)

I am a free woman, unbound and limitless in my capacity to revel in and receive pleasure.

So are you.

This is 3 of 3 in a series of blog posts that focuses on the essence of each of the core expressions of Qoya: wise, wild and free.  Hands down, one of the most powerful ways a woman can own her life is through knowing how to access her own sensual pleasure. Before I go into how this philosophy is taught, embodied and lived in Qoya, I want to credit the woman who opened up this world for me- Regena Thomashauer.  Regena, a.k.a Mama Gena, started the School of Womanly Arts in New York City which offers a 6 month Mastery program where you learn the tools and the arts of using pleasure to have your way with the world. It's also called the pleasure revolution. I've done the course 4 times. I've done the advanced course called Inner Circle 3 times.  I've had over 40 of my friends and peers do the course and I've watched hundreds of other women completely transform their lives by shifting into the power of the feminine.  In all the personal growth and development work I have done, this is one of the most unique and effective ways I have come across to tap into your feminine essence and it influences and supports myself and Qoya everyday.

Regena is launching a brand new round of her online Virtual Pleasure Boot Camp, a ten-week program designed to take you out of ordinary civilian life and root you firmly in the tools, arts, and culture of the Pleasure Revolution, all from the comfort of your own home.  If you feel the calling to dive deep into your essence of being free to fully experience the joys of your life, I can't recommend her work enough.   It is because of my experience in the School fo Womanly Arts that I was able to identify my deepest desire and then have a community of women supporting me to make that big leap, which was creating Qoya.

I am forever grateful for all my experiences with the school and forever honored at the opportunity to share it with other women who are ready to take off the lid that keeps them feeling small to live the legend that is their life.  Please connect with me if you have any questions about Mama Gena's and I'd be happy to share more of my experience with you.  I do truly believe as each woman steps more into her power and her pleasure, it gives permission for another woman to do the same and another woman, and then the men in her life, and then her children, and pretty soon we've got a community of people enjoying their lives, expressing their unique gifts and truly evolving our world.  Sounds fun, huh?

Back to where we started...Qoya...wise, wild and FREE...sensual pleasure....

Sensual movement gives us permission to explore how to slow down, to indulge in circular, swirling, non-linear motion; to sway from side to side, to roll around on the floor, to circle your hips and feel the freedom of your own body.  The intention is not how the movement looks, but exploring which movements feel good in your body.

When a woman moves naturally in her body with fluidity and power, it can appear "sexy" – and it is. But, in Qoya, we don't do it to look good for an observer. We move this way to enjoy our own bodies.

Embracing our sensuality releases conscious and unconscious layers of shame, guilt and doubt that no longer serve us.  Qoya encourages each woman to remember how to access the pleasure that is always available to her through her physical form.


Stand up and place your hands on  your hips.  As slowly as possible, circle your hips a couple of times to the right breathing deep and slow.  When you feel ready to switch directions, circle your hips a couple of times to the left and start to let your hands dance anyway they want to.  Explore enjoying the feeling of touching your own body.  Here's a video from a previous blog post last year's holiday season to hip circle along with. It only takes a couple minutes and a little movement goes a long way, so give yourself a couple minutes to enjoy your body, click here to see the video and circle!

Sensuality is only one aspect of being free, but it’s important to realize that tapping into the sensual pleasure of your own body is one of the fastest ways for a woman to reclaim an aspect of her power that may have been previously given away or self-abandoned.  Knowing oneself in this way encourages not only a woman to feel free, but to feel empowered.  Being empowered sensually often translates to being empowered in life.  Qoya desires to offer women an opportunity to tap into their sensuality in a safe and sacred way and in doing so gain clarity about their desires and feel their sensual essence as fuel for the journey.

To revel in the pleasure of your own body is to accept the gift of being a woman and one of the most profound ways to say YES to your life.  Thank you for being here with us at today.  I look forward to the next time we are able to dance together.

Here's to each of us living our yes,


Join us in Woodstock Labor Day Weekend for a Qoya Retreat devoted to exploring the Woman that is Wise, Wild and Free with morning 2 hours+ movement sessions, afternoons off to relax or go on adventures and evening gratitude and visioning prayer ceremonies.  Register by Friday, August 26th!

Want more?  Read the Qoya newsletter sent out yesterday about how Woodstock is calling all wise, wild and free women to dance again!

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

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

I Shall Be Released.

One of my last nights in Costa Rica I was lying in bed distraught, despondent and, in a way, delusional.  I was beyond upset.  There was no logical reason for me to be under the covers at 7:30pm (while in a warm beautiful tropical country in December while my contemporaries were snowed in during a New York blizzard).  However, I was sincerely contemplating going to bed and the thought of 12 hours of slumber seemed like a great idea in the pursuit of trying to find a way to ease the pain.  I’m aware of the hormonal shift that was naturally occurring in my body at that time and that the decrease in serotonin during this particular time of the month could have been a fair explanation and yet... there was such an overwhelming sadness. Instead of resisting, I dove in.  I opened myself to feel all the pain, all the sorrow and it hit me like a weight.  Like someone threw me an anchor to catch and I was holding on as it took me to the bottom of the ocean floor.  I looked around at what was there. What is this sadness? What is it’s essence?

I thought of the most recent book I read called The Diamond in Your Pocket by Gangaji, a western enlightened woman.  She says, “Just take a moment, this moment, to let everything go- the search, the denial, the rejecting, the clinging.  Let it all go and just for this moment rest in the truth of your being.  Then whatever comes after that can be seen and experienced in the context of the sanctuary of beingness.”

After a strong wave of peace and surrender came over me, I heard my inner voice encourage me to move.  Not to have to change anything, not having to make it different, but just to feel my body move and to feel the life force that animates my body.

I went to my computer and made a quick playlist titled Neosporin.  As soon as I started dancing a smile came across my face.  I actually have a theory that I’ve tested on the women that have been to my Qoya classes.  I believe that one of the easiest ways to access and embody our own happiness is to move in rhythm.  And by happiness, I really mean beingness- where you are at peace and enjoying the present moment you are experiencing.   Try and see if it is true for you too.

Here is a quick 2 minute video to feel yourself move in rhythm and notice if you too shall be released.  Released from what?  Released from whatever is blocking you from receiving all the love, abundance, health and creativity that has it’s eye on you.  Can we open enough to be present and in the present can we experience our true selves with delight? I believe we can.

The Magic of Rhythm from Rochelle Schieck on Vimeo.

Remember, the main message of Qoya is that through movement we remember.  We remember, as women, that we are wise, wild and free.  By taking a moment to move, we can tap back into the truth of ourselves and our being.  Being wise. Being wild. Being free.  Being.  Being...Released.

I'm so grateful you're here.

With love, Rochelle

P.S. Thursday Morning Qoya Classes begin 1/13/11 from 9:30-10:45am and Tuesday Night Qoya Classes begin 1/18/11 from 7-8:15pm.   Click here to see more details!

P.S.S. The next Qoya Retreat is set for April 16-23, 2011!   Click here to see more info on registering for this upcoming adventure!

And just for fun...Nina Simone singing I shall be released.  Sending love your way.

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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~

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