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Movements to remember the best parts of yourself

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.

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.

Why I Pretend Qoya Is An Exercise Class

How do I explain what Qoya is?  Usually, I pretend it is an exercise class and say, "Qoya is a combination of yoga, dance and sensual movement."  But the truth of Qoya lies deeper in the simple sentence it is based on, "Through movement, we remember."  Not only do we remember our essence as being wise, wild and free- which draw reference to those movement forms of accessing our inner wisdom through yoga, expressing our creativity and wildness with dance and be free to enjoy our bodies with sensual movement- that through the movement of our bodies, we remember God/Goddess/Spirit/Source/Truth/Divine Light/Insert World of Choice Here.   And like all things we hold sacred, it's so much more than that and hard to convey fully in a business card. Right now, I am on a two month, but looking more like two year or two decade pilgrimage to reclaim the divine feminine (and am writing articles about what I find on the Huffington post).


I have a passion for women's empowerment, my own and the collective's.  To me, women's empowerment, is simply the freedom to live as one desires to live.  I have witnessed, in myself and in others, that when we align with our ego, we are filled with limitation and when we are aligned with Spirit, our perception becomes limitless.  When connected to Spirit/Source, all things become possible and you can feel your place in the interconnected web of life.  But to do that, one has to be conscious of what their relationship to that Source is.  Hence, why I am traveling and writing on reclaiming the Divine Feminine is because, as a woman, if we can't find our gender in the map to enlightenment, it's harder to find ourselves.

Sometimes, it's best to start at the beginning.  My religious and spiritual journey started as a child who went to a strict Baptist babysitter.  This babysitter of mine had daughters a little older than me who were twins and who I looked up to and adored.  I wasn't invited to their birthday party because I was told, "only kids from church were allowed to go."  We lived next door to each other, so imagine me young and lonely, looking out my window at their birthday party wishing I could be part of it.  Not for long.  I took matters into my own hands and told my babysitter I wanted to start going to church.  One way or another, I was going to get to that party.

My first religious immersion began by enrolling in church summer camp, which was a lot like normal summer camp- except having breakout sessions to ask everyone if they had accepted Jesus as their personal savior (with all the adult camp leaders staring at you with their encouraging/condemning eyes).  I didn't know what it meant at age ten, but I took a leap of faith into trusting the adults before me and raised my hand too.

What ensued was studying the bible, becoming a sunday school teacher for younger kids and eventually feeling like I was definitely going to hell.  Somehow, skipping school and dancing on my couch to Madonna's "Like a Prayer" video on MTV resonated more than being still and silent during a church sermon, which in hindsight is perfect foreshadowing to my own journey. Even though I was a straight A student and an overall nice kid (see photo), somehow everything I did seemed to feel like I was going against the will of God and would be punished.   The main thing I learned from my early experience in religion was not love, but guilt. And so, out of guilt, when I went to college, I signed up for a class called Introduction to Christianity. I didn't see myself going to church on Sundays anymore, so I thought this class would be the perfect filler to continue my fear based faith.  However, the class did just the opposite.   From an academic perspective, we covered that the Bible was not a book written by God, but a book written (and re-written) by man.  We learned about during the times of Jesus there were several different interpretations of his teachings and the age old story that history is written by the winners and hence the version we have now is the one that was used by those in power to kill and eradicate anyone who believed differently like in the Crusades, Inquisition and other puritanical religious wars.  This class confused and liberated me at the same time.  I lost my map.  I lost the formula or the equation that explained where we came from, what we were here to do and where we going.  In exchange, I received my freedom.  No longer bound to words written on a page, I was now free to experience all of life and through my own experience have the authority to assess what resonated as truth.

And after fifteen or so years since that class, I have been searching for this truth in far away places like with yogis in India, ancient ruins in Cambodia, mediating with Buddhists in Thailand, with shamans in Peru and then some, I found my strongest connection to spirit right here through moving my own body, which is why I do Qoya.  And why I pretend Qoya is an exercise class is for two reasons:

1- It is.  You do experience the traditional benefits of an exercise class- increasing one's strength, flexibility, balance, agility and overall health.  The difference is those become the bi-products of your workout.  You don't exercise to burn calories, you move because it brings you joy and connection to the deepest part of yourself.

2- Movement is the one of the most effective portals into experiencing spirit.  The revelation that I am working with and teaching my next three workshops in Minneapolis, MN, Oslo, Norway and Greece on is best described by author Sue Monk Kidd when she writes, "Embodiment means we no longer say, I had this experience; we say, I am this experience."

The shift for reclaiming the divine feminine is to embody oneself as the divine feminine.

When I first started teaching yoga, I would often say at the end in savasana, "Remember we are not human doings, we are human beings.  Just allow yourself to be."   May we all soften our search to allow the Divine Feminine to just live, breath and be in us today.

How did your relationship to Spirit/Source begin?

How do you access Spirit/Source now?

Do you believe that you can do it through the simple action of moving your own body?

I do! Join me for an experiment to see if it's true for you too.  You can always move with me for free online at under the Intro Section or join for $30 a month and have access to over 50 videos, including full 1 hour Qoya classes.  I will also be teaching a workshop in Minneapolis, MN September 4-9th, 2012 at Four Gates, a workshop in Oslo, Norway September 20-24, 2012 and a Qoya Retreat in Greece Sept. 29-Oct 4 (with an optional add-on for 3 nights in Athens and 3 nights in Istanbul) this fall.  Would love to dance with you!

With love and leaping,


P.S. Thank you for all your support for my Huffingpost Blogs! My most recent article on my time in Rome is up and you can find it here. xo!

The Feminine Renaissance- A Two Month Pilgrimage to Reclaim the Divine Feminine. Wanna come too?

Dear Qoya Family, Thank you so much for being with me on this journey of Qoya to share the message that through movement, we remember.  We remember our essence is wise, wild and free.  Through the wisdom of yoga, wild and creative expression in dance and the freedom to enjoy ourselves through sensual movement, we reconnect to our truth and feel it through all the different levels of perception; physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, soulful and energetic.  We align ourselves in integrity with our deepest truth and from that spot- we dance.

I am so honored to be dancing with you in spirit, through these blog posts, in classes and retreats and would love for you to join me on another journey. I'm taking a two month pilgrimage to reclaim the divine feminine and just wrote my first blog for the Huffington Post that talks more about it.  Would love to share it with you and hear your stories in the comment section if the spirit moves you.

Also, I'm loving sharing with women.  Be sure to check out the free 10 days to Embody Qoya video or join for $30 a month and have access to over 50 videos so that you can feel that wise, wild and free woman in you.  Check out the site here.  I recommend beginning with Day Number 3 called "Serenity Now."  Notice how just massaging yourself for 5 minutes can shift the energy of your day.  Go straight to that video here!

Enjoy the full moon today and all the blessings that cross your path.

With love and whirling dervish devotion,


Sometimes the Best Advice Is Your Own

There have been many days, weeks, maybe even a year where I felt I personally rocked New York City.  I savored every moment in it.  I would meet a friend for yoga at 6:30am in Lower East Side, go for a green juice after at my beloved Juice Press and then buzz off to a series of meetings/work dates at different locations throughout the day at the Ace Hotel, various Le Pain Quotidien's or my most frequented spot Jivamukti cafe.  Then, I'd head over to Brooklyn to teach Qoya at Sacred Brooklyn and go out to one my favorite restaurants in the city Flatbush Farm after that.  If the spirit moved me, I'd end up dancing after at Barbes, Brooklyn Bowl, NuBlu, or some other place determined in that particular present moment.  Get home after midnight and wake up to do that or some other variation that included museums, parks, plays or other city adventures.  Days like those, I loved all the variety that each neighborhood offers, the inspiring people at every corner and the buzz of New York City around you.  And then, as if a switch turned off, all of a sudden the sound of the subway got a little louder, the lack of only one tree in sight a little more depressing, the heat a little more oppressive and was it me or were there really 1000+ plus people on this particular block? I came home the other day completely defeated by New York, cried with exhaustion and woke up the next morning with severe and sudden strep throat.  For the next 2 1/2 days, even texting was ambitious and challenging to my low energy level.  The fever, body aches, painful attemps to swallow (ouch!) and inability to sleep were a strong invitation to surrender into the swamp of fear, pain and despair. The goal is being emotionally responsible right?  Definition of responsible being able to respond.  Not collapsing into our wounds like a child.  Not dismissing them like an emotionally unavailable way-too-busy-for-this adult.  Right in the middle.  For me, it's going deep into the darkness with certainty of what is on the other side. Hint: love and light.  I shed tears.  I wondered why, what could I have done differently.  I blamed myself for getting sick...and then I didn't.  I let go to surrender into the experience of what was happening, knowing that it would get better.  And, when I couldn't surrender, I watched movies of other people's challenges that they overcame.  I also cheered my immune system on.  (I think she liked that.  I should write her a thank you note).  As I swallow in this moment without wincing, I'm writing to you from the other side.

The other side of those moments.  Those moments when you really feel like the unknown is too much.  It is too scary.  The pain is too great.  When will it go away?  The bills are due next week, where will the money come from?  Your heart is bleeding to create your art, but what if "they" don't like it, what if it's not good enough? You care about him or her so much, but if you tell the truth will they leave?   Those moments where you can become so paralyzed in the what if's, you can really get lost.  You can forget.  And, sometimes you need someone or something to help you remember.

Qoya is based on the idea that through movement, we remember.  Through movement, we remember our essence as being wise, wild and free.  We remember how to locate and identify our essence through movement and then use our connection to that essence like a compass as we navigate our lives in this world.

Recently, Kitty Cavalier, a burlesque dancer and the creator of the School of Charm and Cheek, (who is one of the women that went through the Qoya teacher training in Costa Rica last spring and who is pictured to the left with me) wrote a blog post about her inspiration to start teaching weekly Qoya classes in Manhattan. You can read it here.  (I also encourage you to take her classes if you are in the city. They're perfect.) As I was recovering from not feeling well, faith still strong, but a little lost, I read her quote me in her blog with the words I said to her, "Just start. Whatever dream it is you have, just start with what you have in that moment, but just start."  It was the perfect thing for me to hear in my back in the saddle state and it was something I had already said, already knew, but just forgotten.

Sometimes the best advice is your own.  Know yourself well enough to know the ways that you can connect back in with your own inner wisdom.   It can be through movement like Qoya or yoga, meditation or prayer, being in nature or on a pilgrimage, getting a good night sleep or taking a long hot bath.  Investigate which ways really work for you and maybe write a little list to keep, so when you need them and forget, they're still there.  Another way to evoke hearing your own advice is to imagine how you would advise your best friend with the issue that has come up in your life.  Offer yourself the same honesty, compassion and kindness that you would to him or her.  Most spiritual teachings guide you to remember that all you seek is already within you.  The next time there is something looking to be discovered, resolved or created- go within to find it.

My last class in New York City for a little while is Sunday, July 15th at Sacred Brooklyn.  The theme is the next paragraph which is a poetic collection of the song titles and lyrics from the playlist I'll use.  Come dance with us in Brooklyn or with us in spirit by listening to the playlist on spotify, click here.

Take up your spade and break ground.  

The Sun is up, a new day is before you.  Sun is up, wake your sleepy soul.  

Sun is up, hold on to what is yours.

There is no greater love than being able to say thank you sun.

Like a moth to a flame, burned by the fire.  My love is blind, can't you see my desire?  

That's the way love goes.

Drive while helplessly hoping to stay strong and keep your faith alive.

The Wolves, the man on fire and passion may take you out,

but even when the stars go blue, hide tide or low tide, I'm going to be your friend.

I believe in a better way and a higher love and am here to remind you, you are not alone.

Come dance with me up on the hill where they do the boogie or

with me and julio down by the schoolyard.

Follow your own advice.  Follow mine if it resonates as truth in your heart.  My advice for the day is to try Day 2 of the free 10 day into to  The theme is Just Move (kind of like Just Start, but with movement)! Here's the link to check it out with a free 5 minute video to get your body moving.

I look forward to dancing with you at the perfect time.

With love and two dancing feet,



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,



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,


Feeling Good

I’ve been back from Costa Rica for about a week and I am still Feeling Good.  Hands down, without comparison, the Qoya Retreat in Costa Rica was one of the best weeks of my life.  Qoya is based on the idea that through movement, we remember.  We remember, that our essence is Wise, Wild and Free.  We reclaim our bodies as the pathway to spirit and enjoy expressing ourselves as embodied soul.  Seeing over 30 women take the journey into themselves through their body and emerge with bright sparkling eyes, strong toned bodies and ecstatically expressive hearts was an honor to witness.

Qoya is about turning up the volume of each woman's inner wisdom, of her creative spark and of her desire- first through her body, then in her life.  In Qoya, we focus less and less and less on how “it looks” and more and more and more on how it feels.  When it feels good is when you’re doing it right.   This is a shift from being previously dependent upon external validation and transitioning into a place where you trust your body as a guide and not only approve of it’s messages and desires, but you listen to and follow them!

Once you truly know the messages of your body- once you truly trust the messages she gives you in the form of your intuition, your instinct, your gut feelings, your zing- then you can fly.  You can rely on your own sensation as your compass.  I think I may have quoted Shakira on this blog before, but here it is again, “Your hips don’t lie.”  Neither does your heart, your yoni, your gut or your full body zing.  However, be wary of the monkey mind that loves to loop you around.  If the mind starts to sound like a used car salesman trying to sell you something, that is probably your ego trying to recruit you for team fear.  If your inner voice's guidance feels expansive and timeless and bold, that is probably the voice of your inner wisdom.

I want to share with you a couple of profound moments where I followed the zing in my body and the consequences of doing so.  These are times where it made no rational sense to make the decision I did, but I just did it anyway.  I  took bold action in the direction of my desires because I felt a strong hit of intuition.  It started with a deal I made with myself around 12 years ago where I decided that I believed that the universe would always support me in the pursuit of my true heart's desire. Therefore, all I had to do was figure out what that heart’s desire was and leap in that direction.  Before you read these stories, imagine what it would be like in your own life or what it would be like if we all believed the world is conspiring on our behalf.  What if we all believed that whenever we step out of our comfort zone and stretch in the direction of our biggest dreams that we are sacredly supported? It could be fun.

I hope as you read these stories your awareness of the ways you are supported and the remembering of the courage you have already modeled in your life arises. What I really hope is that those dreams that have been a soft whisper start increasing in volume and begin to howl like a wolf for it’s pack.

Once upon a time, I had a feeling that enrolling in Shaman School at the Four Winds Society was my next step.  Please note, this did not make logical sense to use all my savings to travel around the country and then to Peru for 6 months studying energy medicine.  However, I felt the zing in my body and I am devoted to answering the call when it arises, I went.

After a passionate study of the divine feminine for many years, I found myself in tears in my first introduction to shamanism.  This was an unbroken lineage of energy healing for thousands of years all in service to the divine feminine.  The divine feminine being mother earth.  Many of the metaphors of healing are done through connection with nature as a way to connect with spirit.   One of my most powerful overlaps of the divine feminine and shamanism was during a pilgrimage to the sacred mountain Salkantay (pictured to the left) outside of Cusco.  All of the mountains around Cusco ground a particular energy and this mountain was said to hold the energy of the "Undomesticated Feminine."  Shamans (of the Andes) believe that when you die your body goes back to the earth from which you came, your spirit goes to the heavens, but all the knowledge you acquired goes to the mountaintops.  Many medicine men and women will hike to the tops of mountains and meditate to access insight to their questions.  We hiked 16,000 feet over 5 days, took breaks to be in awe at the wild avalanches and at the top of that mountain is where I received the clarity of my message for Qoya: that our nature is wise, wild AND free.  It was there that I saw that Qoya is an opportunity to express and embody the full range of woman as kind and wise, nurturing and soulful, sensual and erotic, fierce and protective and wildly wildly creative.  All of us.

After hiking Salkantay, I went into the heart of the Amazon jungle to study with the Shamans there and here begins a beautiful synchronistic tale.

1- I meet the co-founder of Omega, Stephan Rechtschaffen, but I didn’t know he was the founder of Omega.  I just knew him because he came to my yoga class, we chatted a little and then went our separate ways.

2- Two weeks later, my inner voice demanded, “Go to Omega this weekend! Go to Omega this weekend!”  “Ok, ok!  I’ll go!” I conceded.    I arrive and the first person I see is Stephan.  I am amazed at the coincidence of meeting him in Peru and then running into him a couple of weeks later at Omega.  He mentions it’s not such a big coincidence because he founded Omega and is there quite often.  Ha!  I express my gratitude for him co-founding one of my favorite havens on the east coast, a center devoted to the evolution of consciousness and bringing like minded people and teachers from all over the world together.  He mentions he also started a place in Costa Rica called Blue Spirit and that he runs groups there too.  I shared with him my vision for Qoya as a way to evolve how women relate to their bodies and feel their spirituality by embodying the feminine.  Later in the conversation, I voiced my desire to bring women on retreat to Costa Rica. He said, “Let’s put you on the calendar.”  This was the beginning of a dream coming true.  The picture to the right is one of the gorgeous women on this last Qoya retreat fully embodying her wise, wild and free self dancing on the beach.  Nice.

3- During my first retreat in Costa Rica last December, guess who stayed in the room next to me?   Alberto Villoldo! Alberto is the founder of the Shaman School I attended, The Four Winds.  He was vacationing with his gorgeous wife and teacher Marcela Lobos, who led the trip I went on in Peru a couple months earlier. Can you believe it?  I invited Marcela to be a guest at my Qoya class one morning.  She came and she loved it and then invited me to teach Qoya at her next Women’s Altar retreat in Utah in April 2011.  I love how this story keeps intertwining and unfolding.

4- I had the most amazing time in Utah doing my first sweat lodge and going through the rites of passage of the feminine from maiden to mother to crone, with Marcela. I loved the opportunity to learn about the feminine through the experience of being in a true circle, where each woman was honored for her voice, medicine and unique expression.  It was a powerful and transformative week to be initiated through ceremony into the feminine rites of passage.  Click here to see about a similar class Marcela is teaching in her native Chile this fall.  I took many of the gifts of the Women's Altar into the Qoya Retreat in Costa Rica.  See picture below from one of our fire ceremonies at the beach where we stepped into the timeless tradition of gathering around a fire.

5- After the Women's Altar class, I took a red-eye from Utah back to New York and attended an amazing event put on by my dear friend Janine Francolini, the founder of the Flawless Foundation.  The Flawless Foundation is devoted to seeing the perfection in every child, focusing on bringing more loving and compassionate care to children with mental illness.  One of the speakers was Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy who spoke right to the heart of everyone in the audience.  Mr. Kennedy was addressing the topic of mental illness as a civil rights issue and asking each one of us to open our hearts and minds to see the “spark of divinity” in everyone and to truly treat others as we would like to be treated, with dignity and respect.

With the 50th anniversary of his JFK’s speech, Patrick Kennedy will be launching this decade’s “Next Frontier,” as exploring the “inner space” of brain disorders –– “a moon shot to the mind.”  This event is to be a catalyst for a unified, all-fronts effort like his uncle’s, President Kennedy's, space program.  The moon shot to the mind program is needed to combine research, build awareness and explore neuroscience to understand and heal neurological illnesses.

I spoke with Mr. Kennedy after his speech about how moved I was with his asking everyone to wake up to see the “spark of divinity.”  What I heard was an invitation not only to see the “spark of divinity” in these children with brain challenges, but I heard the call to wake up and see the spark of divinity in all of us.  I asked him if he had heard of the recently published book Power Up Your Brain: The Neuroscience of Enlightenment by David Perlmuetter and Alberto Villoldo.  The book combines the perspectives of a medical anthropologist and shaman with a neuroscientist to come together to explain the ever emerging connections between spirituality and science in a way to heal and power up your brain.  (I highly recommend this book and sent a copy of the book to Patrick Kennedy's office as a gift).

The moral of this story is like the most morals of most stories.  Trust yourself. Take incredible care of yourself by clearing your mind, opening your heart and feeling good in your body so that when your intuition arises, you know yourself well enough to clearly hear and trust it.  Then, take bold courageous leaps in the direction of your desires.  Follow your bliss.  Follow the flow.  And write thank you cards to those that help you along the way.

  • What synchronicities in the past have lit you up?
  • How much do you call on your own intuition?
  • When a synchronicity happens, do you pay extra special attention like it is a dialogue with the divine or do you write it off as a mere coincidence?

I invite you to invite in more synchronicity, more miracles, this week.  Let the magic unfold!

Since my passion is in movement, here is a video to get you back into your body feeling good in your hips. Do this once a day or several times a day, but the most important thing is to do it.  Through movement, we remember.

Feeling Good from Rochelle Schieck on Vimeo.

Join us on one of Qoya’s next adventures!:

  • Classes in New York City at  Sacred in Brooklyn Wednesdays and Sundays 7-8pm
  • Launching of (an online Qoya studio) in May/June 2011
  • Labor Day Weekend Qoya Retreat in Woodstock, NY September 2-5th, 2011 with an option to participate in a Qoya Teacher Training September 2-7th
  • Qoya is going to India in October 28th- November 9th, 2011!!!
  • The next Qoya Retreat in Costa Rica is officially April 21-28th, 2012 with an option to participate in Qoya teacher training.

I so look forward to dancing together,



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Qoya Testimonial with Kitty Cavalier from Rochelle Schieck on Vimeo.

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

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

Qoya Loves Stormlarge. from Rochelle Schieck on Vimeo.

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

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

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

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

Be the light, Rochelle

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

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

Blessed to Be a Witness

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

Dancing with the Sacred from Rochelle Schieck on Vimeo.

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

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

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

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

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

With love, Rochelle

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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Hello, I love you. Won’t you tell me your name?

Hello, I love you, won't you tell me your name? As we're getting to know one another, I wanted to introduce myself. My name is Rochelle Schieck. I live in New York. I believe that through movement we remember. We remember that we are inherently wise, wild and free. I encourage women through my Qoya classes, workshops, retreats, private sessions and this blog to move. The big picture vision is that the more women move and subsequently remember, the more they trust their inner wisdom, express their wildness and revel in their freedom. And like most spiritual or wisdom traditions teach, we collectively remember that all we seek is already within. It's just about creating a passageway to the deepest truest parts of ourselves. One of the most pleasurable, exciting and confusing parts of the human experience is our sensuality. It's time to presence a modern embodiment of an empowered woman who oozes with self-love. Imagine it was simple. Love your body as it is now. Love how it feels to move in it. Love more. Criticize less. Let's practice and rock out a little along the way.

Question: When is the last time you felt sexy?  In 5 minutes, you are going to say, 3 minutes ago.

To me, sensual movement means moving the way your female body wants to move. Sensual movement gives us permission to slow down and feel. 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. 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.

Movement:  3 simple things~ 1) walk across the room sloooooowwwwwlllly and enjoy yourself as you walk 2) a couple hip circles to the right, a couple hip circles to the left 3) repeat

Intention: This is an opportunity to say, "Hello, I love you" to your body.  Notice your inner dialogue as you move your body in a strong feminine and sensual manner.  You know you're doing it right when you're enjoying it.  Slow down and deepen your breath to tune more in to more physical sensation.

Music:  Hello, I Love You by the Doors

Take it with you: Do this experiment in front of a mirror where you try 2 different approaches to looking sexy. 1st- TRY. Try to look sexy. Use extra effort and notice how it feels. (It usually feels somewhat ridiculous). 2nd- Slow down, be you, and focus on FEELING pleasure in your body as you soak in the sensation just for you, not for anyone else.

Did you get it?  As I teach Qoya classes, I notice women can fall into a default of what they think is sexy, which can feel inauthentic.  A woman who is enjoying herself will always shine.  Get in the habit of enjoying simple things like the way you walk, make each hallway a catwalk, the elevator a stage to pivot turn on and see where else you can slow down, tune into your body and feel more sensation.  And from that place, introduce yourself to the next person you see with a Jim Morrisonesque hello.

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Do you remember the 21st night of September?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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