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The Pendulum and Mother Mary agree- There will be an answer, let it be

The Pendulum and Mother Mary agree- There will be an answer, let it be

You know the lyrics of the Beatles Song Let it be:
"When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
And in my hour of darkness
She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be

The Freedom To Make Meaning and Other Thoughts on Sex, Sensuality, Orgasm and Pleasure

The Freedom To Make Meaning and Other Thoughts on Sex, Sensuality, Orgasm and Pleasure

We have the freedom to make our own meaning in life.  For example, today is March 11th.  For some, that means it is 311 day, where people who love the band 311 come together and celebrate. For me, 311 was the number of the last apartment my grandmother lived in, so everytime I see or hear 311, I think of her.  March 11th can be seen as 311, or it can be seen as a Tuesday. The invitation is to realize that we all have the freedom to associate meaning to the things around us, regardless of what the world around us says they mean.

Remember to Remember

Remember to Remember

When your eyes are tired the world is tired also.
When your vision has gone
no part of the world can find you.
Time to go into the dark where the night has eyes to recognize its own.
There you can be sure you are not beyond love.
The dark will be your womb tonight.
The night will give you a horizon further than you can see.
You must learn one thing. The world was made to be free in.



Follow Your Heart Wherever It Leads You

Follow Your Heart Wherever It Leads You

Happy Valentine's Day.  From my heart to yours. When I was eighteen years old I read the book the Alchemist by Paulo Coelho and heard the message, "If you follow your heart, the world will conspire on your behalf."  I decided I would live my life as an experiment  to see if that was true and if it worked out, I imagined a life I would love. If not, I would simply reassess and try something else.

Making 2014 A Year To Remember

Happy New Year and all that Jazz! I have been so inspired, motivated and dancing with life, that I haven't wished you all a Happy New Year yet.  I hope 2014 is off to a beautiful and meaningful start.  The new year is a great opportunity to start again. The great thing is that we can start again anytime and if we're being honest, we will likely need to start again and again and again.  Forgiveness of ourselves and others.  Gratitude for all that is in this moment. Desire for what is to come.  If we're lucky, releasing any attachment and dancing with life as it unfolds with trust and faith and love. One of the easiest ways that I start again and feel the literal and metaphorical blank slate is when I travel as pilgrimage, which means- I travel with intention.  I travel as prayer.  I travel because I want to open up to something that is calling me into the unknown.

Wishing You A Very Mary and Merry Mystical Christmas

Dear Subscribers to this List and Visitors to this Site,

 Thank you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Nice foreshadowing universe!

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

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

Have a Mary and Merry Mystical Christmas!!!

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

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

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

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

Love and light from La,


The Secret to Life for A Dolce Vita

Nora Ephron, author and screenwriter of movies like Sleepless in Seattle and When Harry Met Sally, was part of a project by Smith magazine to write a six word memoir.  Her wise words were, "Secret to life, marry an Italian."  I'm writing to you from Tuscany on the first of what I hope to be many Qoya and Dolce Yoga Retreats in Italy and I see what she means. (We loved it so much, we actually already booked our dates for next year- June 21-28, 2014.)  If marrying an Italian isn't doable right now, just being in this country is really something special.  We rented a villa up in the hills and have been exploring a renaissance way of life with poetry salons, learning to speak Italian, cooking lessons and doing Qoya classes outside dancing barefoot among the olive trees and doing yoga by the fireplace after the sun goes down.  To enjoy your life, and live la dolce vita (the sweet life), requires an expansion of space in your mind and heart to believe that it's possible, believe that you deserve it and believe that reveling in the sweetness of life is worthwhile on your to-do list.  Intellectually, most of us "know" that the practices of gratitude, honoring, celebration and authentic happiness are important, but we still may not take the time to cultivate the conditions for them to emerge.

The Shamanic Initiation of Turning Wounds Into Power

I am rarely able to see life as random or events as singular and alone onto themselves.  I'm one of those of people you could call new age, woo woo, out there or if you shared a similar belief system, you might call me connected, intuitive, reflective, a shaman.  When I am walking down the streets of Venice, California and a leaf falls from a tree in front of me and for some reason it catches my eye and time slows down as I watch it dance with the wind and land directly before me on my path, I don't think of it as random or just a leaf falling from a tree.  With the belief system that we live in an animated and interconnected world, I instantly ponder through metaphor and allegory and wonder- what do I need to let go of?


If a leaf falling from a tree is a catalyst for inquiry, you can imagine my process when two men were shot by gang members and I could see the crime scene from my bedroom window last week around Halloween. Talk about scary.  I was home alone and after I finished feasting on my kale, cabbage, sweet potato and wild rice deliciousness, I heard gun shots.  For a moment I froze and thought, "maybe they were fireworks?" I paused and went deeper into my body and felt my inner voice speak, "No.  They were gunshots and they were close.  Turn off the lights and go upstairs."  As I went upstairs, I could see from my bedroom window emergency vehicles beginning to arrive. Cop cars, firetrucks, ambulances and then helicopters.  The helicopter lights were beyond bright and shining into my room which meant whoever they were looking for was very close.I had some vague recollection of something called, so I got online and saw that this website has a live twitter feed of LAPD calls to Venice.  The tweets read 2 men shot  and down, 5 men armed ran into the neighborhood.  The bizarre thing was that I could see everything from my bedroom window and I wondered why.

Two days after the shooting in my neighborhood, there was another one at LAX.  That same day, I was on my way to a gathering of graduates from the shaman school I attended called the Four Winds Society founded by Alberto Villoldo.  He had a PhD in Medical Anthropology, studying how people heal and running a Mind Body Science lab in San Francisco, when he felt the call to not only be on the academic side of things, but to seek out to meet some of the most powerful healers in the world.  His travels brought him to Peru, where he planned to stay for 10 days, but ended up staying for 10 years and being initiated into the energy healing practices of jungle shamans of the Amazon and the medicine people of the Andean mountains.  He then came back to the US and started the Four Winds Society almost 30 years ago and have been training people into the wisdom keeping traditions and leading pilgrimages back to the source of this wisdom in Peru.  My time with the Four Winds has had a huge effect on me and guidance in the creation of Qoya, specifically in times of trauma or when things are hard.


The shamanic path is one where you learn to turn your wounds into power.  To use your heartache as fuel for your art.  To know that what you look for is what you see, so if you look for the gift, you are more likely to find it.  It's about honoring things as they are instead of being paralyzed and victimized by how you wish things would be.  And, it's about being courageous in your heart to dream a bigger dream, to vision past the limitations that may present themselves and source your thoughts, feelings and actions- not from your past, but from your highest destiny.  It's a shift in perception to do your part to co-create with the divine.  To create what?  Heaven on earth.  Even when it's hard.  Especially when it's hard.  Even when it's scary.  Especially when it's scary.


What does that look like in a human life?  I remember hearing this definition of a teacher almost ten years ago as, "A teacher is not someone who only shares information with you, but who shows you what that information looks like in a human life."  One of my greatest teachers is also one of my dearest friends.  Her name is Talia Frenkel.

Talia Frenkel

Talia followed her passion for photography, which led her to become sought out by the UN and the Red Cross to capture the essence of wounding after natural disasters.  She would be flown into Thailand after the tsunami, New Orleans after Katrina and Haiti after the earthquake.  You can imagine how big a human heart needs to be hold that much collective suffering and loss.  One day, she was given a different assignment to document the effect of HIV and AIDS on women and children in Africa. While photographing the indescribable pain around her, she couldn't help but realize this project affected her differently.  She said to herself, "Natural disasters are one thing that you can rarely prepare for and are seemingly random, but HIV and AIDS can be prevented, you just wear a condom."

And there, she turned the wounding she had been a witness to into power and created L. condoms.  L. condoms are about world changing sex.  L. condoms are female friendly being glycerin-free, paraben-free and designed to emulate the body's natural lubrication.  The product is triple tested, comes in recyclable packaging and uses vegetable inks. It's also a one for one model. So, when you buy a condom that is sustainably sourced, consciously packaged and designed with feminine health and pleasure in mind, one condom is given to a woman in a high-impact area of Africa through peer-to-peer giving and with an emphasis on education and programs for health counselors as well.


9 out of 10 countries in Africa have no access to condoms for up to 2-3 months at a time, but if just 1 out of 20 people who purchase condoms, choose L., L. can serve the prevention needs of the three countries with the highest HIV prevalence rates.  Which is potentially better than propagating the Trojan horse condom empire, which holds 69% of the market share and whose brand name associates sex with war and deception by referencing the mythological tale about tricking your way into penetrating some guarded fortress.

Here's the deal.  Life is hard. And beautiful.  And beautiful. And hard.  But, our power does not lie outside of ourselves.  It lies within us.  Instead of collapsing into our wounds like a child, the invitation is to feel the grief and honor it.  To feel the fear and like turning vegetable grease into bio-diesel, use the fear to fuel your calling to make a positive impact within your range of influence.  Like Talia did with her company L. Like Gandhi says and millions of us repeat, "Be the change you want to see in the world." It may be the love you shower your family with.  It may be joining the PTA and standing for healthy food to be available for those adorable children.  It may be collecting canned goods for food shelters on Halloween in addition to candy.  It may be like Marianne Williamson and taking her experience as a spiritual author and speaker to run for Congress in California.  It may be buying L. condoms and letting love rule.  It may be dancing.


Qoya is based on the idea that through movement, we remember.  Through movement, we remember our essence as wise, wild and free.  We remember the physical sensation of our divine spark and we expand our capacity to feel and honor the sacred pulse of life that dances through us as we dance through it.  And the more time we can be in that remembrance, we are able to recognize it everywhere we look and then we start to realize that the rise of the divine feminine is not only about the pleasure of this path, but it is about the honor of being a wayshower, a warrioress and taking a stand for powerfully protecting life.

I came home late the other night, around 1 or 2am, from seeing my dear musician Erin Mary Marsz friend play a show.  As I pulled back into my neighborhood, I felt the invitation for fear.  I felt the trauma of hearing gunshots from my living room and felt a fork in the road.  I could choose love or fear.  I could be scared and carry that fear with me.  Or, I could draw on  all the wisdom of my shamanic training and turning your wounds into power. I imagined myself as a jaguar, as this feline sense of full embodiment and presence in the moment and consciousness of everything around it.  I reclaimed the power within myself and the moment as I parked and walked to my home, not out of fear, not out of wishful thinking, being as attuned to each evolution of the present moment.  It may sound like a small thing, but it is what we are asked to do everyday.  Every moment there is this fork in the road between love and fear and in Qoya we are cultivating our capacity to choose love, to dance love, to stand for love and to have love shine through everything we do and do not do.  We go deep into this experience in all Qoya classes and retreats and I'll include a video below called Empowerment for Breakfast, with some Qoya strengthening exercises for you to do anytime you like at home.


If each of us step up to embody the truth of our own heart, we may be able to love so deeply that it ripples out into the world into less gunshots heard, a world where safe sex is a birthright and where there is savoring and celebration of life, even when it is hard.  Because when it is hard, we may be wise enough to remember that  the pain is sometimes just the package the fuel and inspiration for loving deeper comes in.




12packs-largeP.S. I just nominated Talia for Forbes list 30 under 30 in Social Entrepreneurship.  Please take a moment to click here and scroll for my nomination of her so you can vote! 

And I encourage you to also buy L. condoms and now that for each one you do, one goes to a woman in Africa.


P.P.S. I will be teaching a Qoya class at the Standard in Miami, Sunday, November 10th from 7-8:15pm.  Class is $30 and includes access to the spa.  Qoya is based on the idea that through movement, we remember.  We remember our essence is wise, wild and free.  Wise, wild and free also draw reference to the movement forms we practice.  Wise, calling on the wisdom of yoga. Wild, the creative expression in dance.  Free, the pleasure found in sensual movement.  Every class has a different theme and the theme for Sunday night is, "Let's Win!"  In this epic dance between love and fear, let's dance what it feels like when Love Wins.  (Love always wins.)  No experience necessary.  In Qoya there are no levels- no beginning, intermediate or advanced.  There is only one level and that is when it feels good, you're doing it right.  Wear clothes that are comfortable to move in and please be on time! xx


Through movement, we remember, so...let's move! I hope you enjoy this 13 minute Qoya video called Empowerment for Breakfast.

Empowerment for Breakfast from Rochelle Schieck on Vimeo.

Anyone feel like rebranding Feminism today?

I was sitting at a table last week with five men in suits from all over the world.  Their diplomatic titles ranges from past Minister of Foreign Affairs, Advisor to the Prime Minister and Ambassador amongst various nations.  How did I get a seat at this table? I was there as arm candy.  Or, I was there with a man I was dating.  For the first time in many years, I felt the fact that I was a woman typecast me into a role of minimized appreciation for my thoughts and feelings and maximized expectation for my appearance and ability to acquiesce. No one said a word to me at the table except to tell me how beautiful my dress was and to ask if I liked my dinner.

photo-45My ego was wounded.  I was so embarrassed.  I thought of the countless blogs, classes, workshops, retreats, conversations and meditations I have done on one main topic: the divine feminine. The exploration and embodiment and empowerment of WOMEN! And there I was with my make up done, high heels on, smiling politely even though I was raging inside (see photo.) To state the obvious, the lack of conversation headed my way could have had more to do with my limited experience in nation building and less to do with that I was a woman.  However, it was the role in which I was there and the social expectation for me to sit pretty and stay quiet that triggered a collective wound of feminine angst for not being recognized or given an opportunity to share one's contribution to the round table discussion.  It was less about me being individually uncomfortable and more about that collectively we are still living in, as James Brown sings, "A man's world."

Some statistics I shared in my Huffington Post blog last summer while setting out on a pilgrimage to reclaim the divine feminine came back to my memory.

Politics: 83.2 percent of U.S. Congress are men, and 76.4 percent in the state legislatures are men.

Business488 CEOs of Fortune 500 companies are men (that's almost 98 percent).

Art: In a recent survey out of 400 works of art in the Museum of Modern Art, 386 were by men (97 percent).

Media: In a 2009 study based on G, PG and PG-13 movies, 93 percent of directors, 87 percent of writers, and 80 percent of producers were men.

Religion: Unfortunately, the statistics on this topic are few and scattered. It looks as if the percentage of men in leadership roles for most organized religions is somewhere around 85 percent.

I have spent the last seven years of my life as a voracious student and passionate teacher of embodying the divine feminine.  I created a movement system, Qoya, based on the idea that through movement we remember.  We remember our essence, as women, is wise, wild and free.  We remember our deepest truths and the physical sensation of our own intuition.  I believe the most important evolution for our individual, societal and global communities is the empowerment of women and taking a stand for feminine values.  I personally believe the easiest way to accomplish this goal is to connect women to their intuition, have them feel the physical sensation of their deepest truths and create community of like-minded and like-hearted women to be supported by as each woman courageously finds her voice and stretches to share her gifts with this world.  In this way, I am proudly a feminist.


I am also aware that to use the title of being a feminist may lead me to being misunderstood and putting me in a man-hating, victimized, angry at the world, pity party box.  Said or unsaid, this stigma still dances around the word feminist and it's ridiculous, untrue and in desperate need for some rebranding.  With an ocean of gratitude for all of the men and women who have used their voice and stood for feminism up to this point and filled with inspiration for evolving the conversation for our children's children, I wonder...

What if we saw Feminist issues not just belonging to women, but that they belong to people as a collective and men are an integral part of this community?

What if Feminism is not a movement of seclusion, separation, competition or comparison. Rather it is all things celebratory, inclusive and desirable?

What if Feminism is about elevating the inherently female attributes that are essential to moving progress, power and the entire leadership conversation forward?

What if Feminism was not a sidebar discussion, but seen as central to all that’s relevant from pop culture to politics to international development?

In my mind, what if feminism = love.

Thank Goddess, some of my dearest friends, Kassidy Brown and Allison Rapson, were already on the case.  Today is the launch of We Are the XX.

And the questions above are their new feminist manifesto.

WearetheXX3We are the xx is a media campaign to brand feminism for this generation.  It's about starting a new conversation, a new manifesto and a new forum that is inclusive, celebratory and aligned with the highest good of all.  Want to join the movement?

The beauty of this campaign is that anyone with a computer or smart phone, anywhere from around the world can get on board.  Draw an xx on your body and take a photo.  Then post on Instagram and Twitter with @WearetheXX and #Weare.  The goal is that in a little less than six months, on International Women's Day, we can gather a million photos of people who are on board with this feminist manifesto and see the diverse and evolving face of feminism.

Kassidy and Allison are so committed to this cause, they got xx tattoos!!!! (See photo above and live tattoo footage in their launch video below!) Get inspired and show your support by writing your xx, taking a photo and remember to tag #weare and @wearethexx.


Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

We are the XX had their soft launch in Las Vegas as part of the Downtown Project and Catalyst Week in March of this year where they invited women across varying platforms to share their stories and thoughts on rebranding feminism.  Here is the video of my talk that I gave about my dance with feminism and some of the markers of being on a feminine inspired spiritual path.   I hope you enjoy!

Catalyst Week presents Rochelle Schieck 3.22.13 Talk from Fremont East Studios LV on Vimeo.

For opportunities to embody the divine feminine with Qoya, check out our upcoming offerings with:

Qoya classes in NYC Tuesday, October 1st and Tuesday, October 8th, 7-8pm

The Yoga Collective 135 W. 29th Street #603 between 6th and 7th Ave. in NYC
All classes are by donation and proceeds will be given to GEMS.
Girls Educational and Mentoring Services’ (GEMS) mission is to empower girls and young women, ages 12–24, who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking to exit the commercial sex industry and develop to their full potential.

Qoya Classes and Intro to Qoya Teacher Training in Austin, Texas

Join us during the weekend of Austin City Limits, October 12 & 13, 2013 for Qoya classes, a gratitude despacho ceremony and an Intro to Qoya Teacher Training perfect for developing your own home practice, going deeper into the philosophy or Qoya or learning how to teach to share with your community.

Qoya and Dolce Yoga Pleasure Retreat in Tuscany, Italy November 16-22, 2013

We've rented a private villa amongst the hills of Tuscany to explore the Italian daydream of poetry salons, learning to speak Italian phrases and cook Italian food, going on a spiritual pilgrimage to Assisi, and doing daily Qoya and Yoga sessions.  There is something magical that happens when we allow ourselves the luxury of time and space to enjoy our lives. May the seeds of pleasure we plant fuel us for our creative and sacred work in the world.  Various housing options are available from a private room and bath to bunk beds! Read more here:

Qoya and House of Loveness Service Retreat in Zimbabwe November 23-30, 2013

This first week is sold out, but we are dancing with the possibility of offering a second week, so if you are interested, please look at the information below and reach out to let us know.

5th Annual Qoya Retreat in Costa Rica March 29-April 5, 2014

Join us for my favorite retreat of the year.  Blue Spirit retreat center is perfectly created for you to go deep into your body with 3 hour daily Qoya classes, evening rituals, nutritious and healthy meals, afternoon adventures to surf, zipline, hike, kayak or rest by taking a nap, getting a massage with some of the best therapists in the world or enjoy some down time to read by the pool or have a great conversation while on a beach walk.  Almost half of the people on this retreat are people doing it for a second or third time.  Read here for more information:


I am so grateful for your desire to dance with Qoya and encourage you to support this initiative to rebrand feminism with We are the XX.



Thoughts on Movement With Meaning and Happy 3 Year Anniversary to!!

  September 14, 2010 was the first day of and I'm so honored that three years later there have been dozens and dozens of blog posts each year, Qoya communities beginning and thriving in New York with Kitty Cavalier , in Minneapolis with Colleen Lasota and her team of teachers at Four Gates, in Austin, Texas with Susan Anderson, in Los Angeles with moi and there have also been beautiful women offering workshops and series of Qoya in Toronto, Portland, San Diego and more!  I've personally taught hundreds of Qoya classes in over 10 countries and we've had Qoya retreats on five different continents in the US, Costa Rica, Peru, Greece and Turkey, India, Australia and New Zealand.  We have our sixth continent coming up in Africa in November with the first House of Loveness and Qoya Service Retreat in Zimbabwe.  



The thing I am the most proud of is that through movement, we are remembering.  I did Qoya by myself today, in a hotel room where I'm staying.  I picked a theme that had to do with what I was feeling.  I was exploring the idea of the thing that you can't not do.  For me, it's writing a book.  Every day I write, I am filled with bliss.  Every day I don't, I die a little inside.  It's something I just can't not do.  As I was dancing and doing the movement with meaning, I was moved to tears.  I was transported to a state of deep remembering.  This is the whole point.


Qoya is based on the idea that through movement, we remember. Through movement, we remember our essence as women to be wise, wild and free.  Wise, wild and free draw reference to the movement forms that we practice. Wise- the wisdom of yoga.  Wild- the creative expression in dance.  Free- expanding our capacity to feel pleasure in our body through sensual movement.  The class is taught to focus less on how it looks and more on how it feels and when it feels good that's how you know you're doing it right.  It's a shift from seeking external validation or approval to internal validation.


One of the main foundations of Qoya is that there is intention and meaning that is given to each part of the class.  And that the intention and meaning is for the whole woman and designed to engage and inspire ALL the different levels of her perception; physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and energetic.

In Qoya, we engage with movement as metaphor.  The idea that how you do one thing, is how you do everything.  So, we take our desires, our challenges, our lives and put them into our body to dance with them and notice how they feel.


My dream with Qoya is that as women do it more they start to refine their skill to trust their body so deeply, they can navigate through this world with their body as their compass. With their body as their guide.  Their friend vs. their foe.  They know what the physical sensation of truth is and can follow that feeling as their true North.  They know how to care for themselves, how to ground, how to rest and use that as their South.  They know how to attract the perfect inspirational people, events, music and books into their life to live in a state of enchantment as the head West.  They know how to give their gifts to the world, the alignment of Self when they are doing their Soul's Work.  And they know that all directions lead back to the ultimate destination- that is love.


I was recently asked to speak on a panel for Alternative Apparel in Downtown Los Angeles about the intersection of women's empowerment and movement where I shared all these ideas above and that through movement, we are remembering and when a woman deeply remembers her truth in her body, she becomes a force.  There is a magic that happens when we shift from the idea of how things are or can be into the feeling sensation and knowing in our bones of who we are and what we are capable of.  Who we are, being divine.  What we are capable of, being limitless. That's the place I hope we all begin to source from, releasing fear and embracing love along the way. Go! Go! Go! Team Qoya! Go!  (And if you don't know about Alternative Apparel, they are one of my favorite makers of clothes that have ever existed.  The cotton is sourced from Peru, just like the name Qoya.  The design team is fabulous and the clothes are really divine.


One more thing before we go, on this third anniversary of, I want to say~


Thank you for dancing with me.


Thank you for dancing with me.


Thank you for dancing with me.


And...if you would like to LITERALLY dance with me, like right now.  Please do one of these FREE Qoya videos here.  I just did an hour by my self in my hotel room and it was so lovely.  The transformation I experienced in one hour is incredible.  And, it's like that every time.  I hope that you will treat yourself to an hour of movement with meaning.  That you will gift yourself movement, like you would gift yourself a massage, and that it would hopefully feel that good! If you do, I'd love to hear how it goes.  Click here to access the Free Qoya Videos or go directly to the 60 minute Qoya class right here!

Sending you love on the 3rd anniversary of!


May the Wise, Wild and Free shine brightly in us all today and always.


Love, love, love!




My Money Love Story, Burning Man and Qoya in Austin, Italy and Zimbabwe

I love this title.  My Money Love Story, Burning Man and Qoya in Austin, Italy and Zimbabwe. We have a lot to cover in a few paragraphs here. My_Money_Love_Story_badges_02_35My first intention is to share with you My Money Love Story.  You see, a dear friend of mine, Kate Northrup, has her first book coming out today called Money: A Love Story  and it's a beautiful antidote to the more disempowering and negative stories we as individuals or our culture may carry around money.  Kate brilliantly does what a lot of us have found to do in our most challenging times, in the times when we are ready to evolve to the next level or in the times where we are full of gratitude for where we are- we learn to love it.  We come into agreement and celebration of things as they are, not collapsing into the discontent of what they are not.  And, when we are lucky, we realize that this gratitude, this honoring, this LOVE of our story is the fertile ground to plant seeds for the future to grow.  That creation itself is best planted in the garden of loving soil.  Kate interviewed me and many other inspiring authors, thought leaders and friends of hers to share their Money Love Story .  Here's our interview below with stories of my relationship to money growing up, how the less I worry about money the more I feel supported, about imagining I am on the universe's payroll and how I make decisions about money the way I teach Qoya, by listening to my body.


In Kate's words,  she shares that Money: A Love Story takes a fun, understanding, and – most of all – proven approach to creating true financial freedom. You won’t find any shame, blame, or finger wagging here. Just tons of relatable moments and simple, step-by-step guidance to living out your own money love story.

Whether you want to pay off your debt for good, rake in more income, or forge a lifestyle of true freedom.  The book Money: A Love Story is your road map and this book will lovingly take your hand and show you exactly how to get there.

Oh – and all that stuff about enjoying the journey? Well, turns out it’s true. The path to financial freedom will be way more fun than you ever thought possible.

Love your money. Love yourself. Love your life.  

Speaking of Love and Money.  Last week I went to the Burning Man festival in the desert.  I loved it. This festival is a pop-up city created by its inhabitants for one week of the year based on a set of principles to explore the possibilities of human evolution and radical expression.  One of it's principles is no money (other than to buy coffee and ice).  It is a gifting economy.  People come and offer workshops for free, art installations, toast, smoothies, massages and spa services, music and more and it's all given as a gift.  In addition to teaching Qoya and leading despacho ceremonies, my gift was writing love letters.  Someone would hand me a green juice and I'd hand them a unique, just for them, handwritten love letter.  It was beautiful.

Rochelle Schieck dances by the "Truth is Beauty" sculpture at the 2013 Burning Man arts and music festival in the Black Rock desert of Nevada

Burning Man 2013 was one of the most transformative, profound and powerful weeks of my life. One example, but I could share dozens, is the moment with the photo above.  My favorite way to pray is to put my music on shuffle and dance. Like someone would pull tarot cards for divination, I listen to the lyrics and feel the gift of vibration in the music, knowing whatever song comes is perfect. The first song was about walking away, consciously shedding the snake skin of the past. I went deep and danced it fully and kept rolling with the surrender that shuffle knows me better than I know myself.

About an hour later of wise, wild and free dancing, I went towards this sculpture by Marco Cochrane called Truth and Beauty in the picture above. I had been to the lighting ceremony where the artist who created Her shared a story of him growing up and his childhood next door neighbor friend was raped when they were both 9 years old. He spoke about how deeply this affected him in realizing the world was not a safe place for women. His request was was asking all who saw this sculpture and were moved by it to commit to being part of changing the world that allows space for the feminine to express itself safely in our world. My tears wept down my face to water the dry desert floor.

As I danced in front of this sculpture, Ave Maria by Beyonce came on and I held the pose of the sculpture. I felt the resonance of Her, of Self, of Women, Of Humanity. And mostly, I felt it all. I soaked in the sunlight, savored the morning desert breeze and had a moment of sacred communion.

After the song ended, a gorgeous man named Jim Bourg came up to me and asked if he could show me something. He had caught the moment on his camera. He made the prayer visible. And, so I offer it here to you. Ave Maria. Hail Mary. May the divine feminine in all of our hearts feel the safety to express its heart truth and deeply connect to Self, Others, Spirit, Life. To remember.  (He was also a reuters photographer, so this picture has been in dozens of publications from the AtlanticTotally Cool Pix, The Baltimore Sun and more!)

The experience of Burning Man was such a powerful affirmation of the intention of Qoya that through movement, we remember our essence as wise, wild and free on this journey of embodying the divine feminine in all minds, bodies, hearts and souls. The embodiment of the divine feminine is something that moves me deeply and I am so grateful for the inspiration to keep doing the work and dancing the dance that interconnects us all with love.

The other thing about Burning Man is to have a week where you are invited to create your own Heaven on Earth.  In my ways, this is my intention with Qoya classes, workshops and retreats.  They are my version of Heaven on Earth.  Meditation and breathing to go within and center in your connection to source.  Delicious and healthy meals to nourish one's body as a temple, the home for your soul.  Movement to remember, to feel the physical sensation of truth and divinity in your body. Community to know we are not alone, but all in this together.  Ceremonies to honor the past, celebrate all that is and to invite the future in to dance.

Here are my best versions of Qoya and Heaven on Earth this fall.

Join us the second weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival for the Qoya's first dance with Texas October 12-14, 2013.  There's also an optional one day Intro to Qoya Teacher Training.  Austin City Limits tickets still available here:

A Day Dream Come True in Tuscany, Italy, November 16-23, 2013.  Delicious food.  Staying in a restored Italian Villa. Poetry Salons. Learning some Italian and a few recipes to take home.  Daily Qoya and Yoga along with Meditation and Breathing.  Goddess Rituals. A Spiritual Pilgrimage to Assisi.  A beautiful community. Love.

Qoya and House of Loveness Service Retreat in Zimbabwe November 23-30, 2013.  There is a magic in service.  A magic in adventure. A magic in nature.  A magic in community.  And a magic when we all come together for one week to share love with the world.  This trip will be magic.

Thank you for sharing this journey of money as a love story, of Burning Man and of Qoya in our desire to create our own little heaven on earth.

All things are possible with great love.

Don't stop believin',




The Longest Distance We Travel: Six Inches From The Head To The Heart

I'm writing to you after my third trip into the Amazon Jungle of Peru and after the first time I have brought 15 courageous souls along for the journey.  (Sorry, no pretty pictures yet! Internet is too slow for photo downloads and uploads.)  You fly to a town in Peru called Puerto Maldonado, take a half hour or so drive and then get into a motorized canoe and go two hours down the Madre de Dios (Mother of God) river towards an eco-lodge with no phone or internet, electricity only from 5-10pm and the thrilling sounds of exotic birds, wild pigs, howling monkeys and the occasional sight of snakes, caimans (like an alligator) or jaguar prints.  It's an adventure, just as much internal as external. I find that when I am away from the momentum of modern society, when I step out of the collective belief system that more is better, faster is better or that the thing that will complete us, bring happiness or contentment is outside of us, I always sigh a sigh of relief.  Amidst indigenous cultures, I am reminded of a truth that resonates in my heart more than an obligation to accomplish things that I feel mentally.  The truth comes into focus and the fog of illusion clears.

Qoya is based on the idea that through movement, we remember.  We remember our essence is wise, wild and free.   In addition to doing Qoya, while traveling and stepping into the unknown, I find myself more easily able to remember.  In this state of remembrance is when I believe we have full access to our deepest truths and can align with our instincts to let them guide us in the direction of our highest destiny.  Our highest destiny not being measured in magnitude, influence, money or power- our highest destiny measured in resonance with our heart, in right relationship with our soul, in the fulfillment of knowing that we are doing what we came here to do.

Can you think of a moment where you had a strong instinct to do something that made little to no linear sense, but you just KNEW it was right?  You felt it in your body.  You felt it in your soul.  And you didn't follow a path that was already paved.  Instead, you made your own.

About 90% of our thoughts are the same things over and over again.  Same with our movements.  One of of my favorite things about leading people on retreats to sacred sites around the world is that when we step out of the familiar and predictable, we automatically have more access to what is possible.  We are humbled when we try to project our ideas of how things or people should be.  We see that life can look a million different ways and if we are lucky, this liberates us.

At times, it can be very painful to have our ego highlighted in contrast to more simple living.  We can see how much time we have spent chasing the idea of something and remember that the most valuable currency is always love.

This journey in the jungle for me revealed many gifts.  One of them was the longest journey we ever take is six inches from our head to our heart.  In meditation and ceremony, I kept being guided to notice a thought I was having and then instead of staying in the mental realm, to take a deep breath and bring that awareness into my heart and FEEL it.  The shift in perception was almost 180 degree difference.  I practiced this over and over again, day after day and laughed that while this was the assignment the jungle was giving me it is also the first essence of Qoya.  In the Qoya teacher's training manual, the first of three essences is to focus less on how it looks and more on how it feels and when it feels good that's how you know you are doing it right.

Your body knows.  Trust how you feel.

In so many ways, Qoya is the map for the six inch journey from the head back to the heart, from the judging and analyzing into feeling.  From the forgetting to the remembering.  And like we have all learned, one epiphany or moment of joy, doesn't promise the next moment will be the same.  It is a sensitizing yourself to be able to keep coming back to your center, your truth and your deepest knowing as a physical sensation of the divine in your body and let that be your guide.

Here are three things I've found that help get there.

1- Rest.  You have to have an adequate amount of rest to trust.  If you are trapped in the stress response of fight and flight with adrenaline and cortisol damaging your brain and making you exhausted or just getting by with caffeine to come up and alcohol to come down, you are negating many of the signals your body is trying to give you.  Get a good night's sleep.  Somewhere along my path I heard that every hour you go to bed before midnight counts as two hours of rest.  I'm experimenting with it here in Peru with bedtimes of 10pm and loving how it feels to be so well rested in the morning.  For many of our lifestyles, you may find this unrealistic, just try it as an experiment and see how it goes. The feeling of being well rested just may be worth it.

2- Celebrate what is.  Savor what you have.  The constant going-going-going is not sustainable and rarely enjoyable.  Just like your body needs rest to integrate the activities of the day, the heart needs gratitude to enjoy the gifts of this life.  My favorite way to shift out of the momentum of linear time and come into sacred time is through a Despacho Ceremony.  Despachos are used by the Medicine men and women I have studied with in Peru as a way to come into right relationship (Ayni in Quechuan), to say yes to life.  I'll attach instructions here if you'd like to do one yourself.

3- GO! After you are well-rested, after you have said thank you and when you feel the blessing of clarity of a dream, desire or passion that is stirring your soul, GO IN THAT DIRECTION!  It sounds so simple sometimes.  The most important thing is love.  Trust yourself.  Believe in your dreams.  Follow your heart.  That's because the idea is simple.  Your mind can understand the words and what they mean, but we were not born to just understand words and ideas, we were born to live our lives.  When there are spaces between your inspirations and clarity, simply enjoy the time to rest and take time to say thank you for the multitude of blessings in your life. But, when the gift of vision has shed light on your unique path, pack your bags, your trail mix and your water as you set out on your journey.

The path from your head to your heart is only six inches and it can make all the difference.  Remember to rest, say thank you, go in the direction your heart calls you and whenever possible, dance! (Upcoming Qoya offerings and Despacho Gratitude Ceremony instructions below.)

My gratitude to you for being on this list or reading this post, for your courageous soul and for all the love you put into the world.  May it boomerang back you a million fold.  I'm pretty sure that's how it works.




Qoya Classes as part of Learn How To Be Your Own Astrologer Retreat in Tulum, July 22-28, 2013

Qoya Classes and Intro to Teacher Training in Austin, Texas October 12-15, 2013

Qoya and House of Loveness Service Retreat in Zimbabwe November 23-30, 2013

Qoya in Costa Rica (5th Annual Retreat) March 29-April 5, 2013


The Despacho Ceremony

The despacho is a gift to spirit, or the organizing principles of the Universe, and is a ritual of energetic exchange for healing, reestablishing right relationship and protection. The despacho is a living artistic reflection of your inner landscape of life, that sacred level of the soul. The despacho ceremony has it’s symbolism of each element in the offerings where each item represents a prayer and a gift of power that sparks the momentum for energy shifts and healing. You will set up your despacho by blowing your prayers into the various items creating a mandala or living art work of your prayers. When you are complete you either bury, burn or put the prayer offering into running water.

The steps to create your own Despacho are simple:

●  Begin with a large piece of white or colored paper (This will be the “wrapping” for your offering – think of it as a present).

●  Fold the paper into thirds one way and then thirds the other way so you have 9 squares.

●  Working within the center square you begin to layer the burnable objects that have been informed with your breath, so the energetic essence of your prayers is within each one.

●  A suggested list of contents, order and their meaning is below, however, I believe that resonance of heart trumps form.  If you don't have access to all these things, it's more important to just sincerely say thank you.  Create your prayer bundle in a way that is meaningful to you. Once you have filled the despacho with your prayers and vision for yourself and the collective, fold the bundle into the shape of a gift, as an offering to the earth, to spirit, to the divine.


Ingredient Suggestions and their representations:

●  Sugar – represents sweetness and love

●  Qintu’s – Typically in Peru they use 3 Cocoa leaves but you can utilize 3 small leaves from your native trees in your neighborhood or you can use Bay leaves.  Put groups of three leaves together and blow prayers into them.  The three leaves symbolize prayers going to the three worlds: the underworld, here on earth and in the heavens.  You can also do four leaves to symbolize the four directions or four elements.  You can also do groups of seven leaves to symbolize the prayers going to all seven chakras.  Do what feels right.

●  Red and White Carnations or Native Flowers– traditionally red represents the earth and white the mountains. Place a red and white carnation petal on top of the Qintu representing the snow covered mountains reaching to the heavens on top of a red petal for the earth.

●  Build the foundation of this gift with the Qintu’s, informing each with your prayer (12 minimum).

●  Cover these with a little more sugar – Representing even more love and sweetness.

●  Add one open shell – placed in the middle of the prayers it represents the womb of the earth, our source and birthplace. This holds us and nourishes us, and provides opportunity and safety.

Here are some ideas for what some of the elements could represent for you as you blow your prayers into them, but let yourself be inspired and creative as to what organically comes through as you look at the items and whatever items are in front of you. In Costa Rica, it might a mix of shells, dirt, sand, leaves, rocks. In your home, you might use flowers, popcorn, hemp seeds, dried fruit, etc. It’s not about “what” ingredients, it’s about the quality of your attention and intention to come into harmony and right relationship by saying thank you.

  • ●  Rice – fertility and abundance, to bring your prayers into fruition.
  • ●  Lentils- vibrant health
  • ●  Nuts– sustenance
  • ●  Beans – for protection, abundance, power places, and the springs that nourish us.
  • ●  Corn – sustenance: gift back to the earth for what we have been given.
  • ●  Raisins and dried fruit – spirits of our ancestors
  • ●  Animal Crackers – for animal spirits who hold certain pure energies on the planet for us
  • ●  Black licorice- protection and safetyAnd then add a few pinches of “Sweetness”
  • ●  Candies, Candy hearts, sweet gum drops, candy corn etc – everything we are in relationship with.
  • ●  Lots of chocolate – “Pachamama” or mother earth LOVES chocolate.
  • ●  Loose sage or other incense – to feed the elements of the earth.
  • ●  Gummy or candy frogs – messengers, envoys to carry our prayers; cycle of waters.
  • ●  “Play” money, one piece – ensure successfulness of the despacho.
  • ●  Cotton balls unraveled – clouds; represents aware time and dream time.
  • ●  Confetti Stars – connection to the stars.
  • ●  Colorful candy or sprinkles – to celebrate all life.
  • ●  Flower petals – for healing.When you have placed all your items in the despacho, the corners of the large paper are then folded over the contents so that they all overlap at the center. The despacho is now a smaller square. The despacho is then tied, without flipping it over so all the prayers are sustained.  Make it pretty.The despacho is either buried (for slow, steady results), burned (for quicker transformation) or fed to the running waters ceremonially within a reasonable amount of time after it was prepared. Be mindful if you are putting in water to only have natural ingredients in the despacho. When the despacho is placed into the fire, participants generally do not look towards the flames until after the offering has burnt. This symbolizes non-attachment to outcome and release of all claim to that which was given away. May all our prayers be heard with sweetness and sincercity from the pure and innocent place from which they stem for the highest good of all.

Learn How To Be Your Own Astrologer While Dancing With Qoya In Tulum, Mexico. *Another Sincere Attempt At Heaven On Earth

Sometimes, I wish life came with an instructions manual. Kind of like following step 1, 2, 3 of putting things together like a piece of Ikea furniture.  Sometimes, I love surrendering to the mystery. Not knowing what will happen in the end, but trusting the process along the way.  In my life, I have come across some people who do believe that life does actually come with a set of instructions, or at least some suggestions. They are astrologers.


Before making big decisions in my life, I will often check in with my dear friend and astrologer Ophi (one-half of The AstroTwins, to see what is going on in the stars and every single time there is a correlation between what I am experiencing in my life and what is going on astrologically.  The theory is this: As above, so below.  As you look at the constellations of stars and planets above and become familiar with their archetypical meanings, it's like watching a play up in the sky.  Think of the original drive-in movie.  Then, as you watch the themes, comedy, drama, etc. reveal itself above, it gives you instructions, suggestions or insight on where the energy is likely to flow down here.  On earth.


From my various readings with Ophi and from recommending her to dozens of my friends and personal clients and having her come to the Costa Rica Qoya Retreat last year to do readings, I see over and over again how learning about your chart can be a huge tool of self-awareness and empowerment in your life, so the second I heard that her and her twin sister Tali were doing a retreat in Tulum, I knew I wanted to be there as a student and then we had the idea to offer astrology themed Qoya classes and voila...Learn How To Be Your Own Astrologer with the Astrotwins in Tulum, Mexico, July 22-28, 2013 with Astrology Themed Qoya classes taught by moi.  Two points for team heaven on earth.


Astrology has been a huge influence in my life over a decade. Fore example, last year, I checked in with Ophi because I had been traveling and teaching for about a year and wasn't sure if I should settle down or keep going.  She pulled up my chart and said, "Your Jupiter is in Gemini this entire year, which is all about expansion, travel, ideas, just keep going and you'll know when it's right to settle down."  That sounded right.  About two weeks ago, I woke up one day and said to myself, "I'm done being a nomad for now.  I want a home again to make roots and will still travel and teach, but I want to create a garden, a cozy place of my own and start building a life somewhere."  Within days of my change of heart, I moved into a house in Venice, California and am so happy to be here and looking forward to sharing Qoya more through the West Coast. I then talked to Ophi and she pointed out that I decided to move into a home exactly as my Jupiter was leaving Gemini, the sign of travel, communication and being extroverted into Cancer which is about home, nurturing and the feminine.  For me, astrology can be very affirming.  I have a feeling of a change I want to make (move to LA) and then I hear Jupiter is going into Cancer (the energy in the stars is all about home and rooting for the next year).  Bam. Feeling really good about that decision.


This is most interesting to me when I look at the shift from the Age of Pisces to the Age of Aquarius.  An "age" in astrological terms lasts about 2,150 years and when we look through the lens of spiritual consciousness, the Age of Pisces has the themes of victimhood and saviors (Jesus and Guru archetypes) where the Age of Aquarius has the themes of Oneness (no hierarchy), coming together while maintaining uniqueness, it's about each person becoming your own Guru, your own Savior.  It's the shift from looking "out there" to looking inside.  And that's another reason why I love The AstroTwins. Their interpretation and approach to astrology is so empowering. It's not about doomsday forecasts or scary predictions that leave you feeling like a victim of fate. It's about teaching you which energies are available at any given time, so you can make the most of it. It's about cyclical living, and being in tune with nature like our ancestors were.   Which is perfectly in line with Qoya.


Qoya is based on the idea that through movement, we remember.  We remember our essence, as women, is wise, wild and free.  We remember our deepest truths and we reconnect to the physical sensation that guides us through.  That physical sensation of truth becomes North on our compass and we remember to trust ourselves deeply as we navigate through life.  And as we navigate, it's good to have a map (like our astrological birth chart that we will learn how to read at the retreat!)


I invite you to join us July 22-28, 2013  for a Learn How To Be Your Own Astrologer Retreat in Tulum, Mexico at a boutique hotel right on the beach.   The daily schedule will include Astrology themed Qoya classes, Learn How to Be Your Own Astrologer Sessions, free time for adventures or rest, delicious food, ceremonies and rituals and a strong sisterhood and community of like-minded and open-hearted souls.  Four spots left and if you're feeling called, would love to dance together and share this sacred experience.


And if you're interested in learning more about Astrology, I posted info on my team of astrologers below.  To learn more about Qoya, there's also a link below to a page on my site with 11 free videos to get you moving during your day.

Thank you for being here dancing in consciousness with the the idea that through movement, we remember our deepest truths.  My prayer is that it is as true for you as it is for me and we all gather strength in our collective remembering to do the things our hearts are called to do in the this world.

Many blessings and gratitude for you,


Astrology Resources 

If you're curious to learn more about Astrology or to get a reading, my team of Astrologers are:

The AstroTwins, who you can find for amazing free daily, weekly and monthly horoscopes and information on private readings at
Shamanic Astrology Readings with Sao
Vedic Astrology Readings with Linda (email:

Free Qoya Videos Online

To do a little Qoya today, visit our free online video page here with 11 different videos, ranging from 5 minutes to an hour.  A little movement goes a long way.  Before you move, notice how you feel and then notice how you feel after.  Is it true for you?  Through movement, do you remember?
**This pic is from my local sunset and beach dancing spot at Venice Beach.

3 Steps to Celebrate! And an invitation to a Pay-What-You-Can Qoya Retreat in Woodstock, Free Shamanic Breathing Video and Love.

I had dinner with my best friend from middle school last night.  We've been friends for almost 25 years and our birthdays are both in the next two weeks, so we did a little impromptu ritual of sharing three of our favorite moments from the last year and three desires for the year to come.  We laughed wildly and were able to deeply connect through the celebration and gratitude of what had crossed our path on our journey last year and our eyes lit up with excitement to take time to dream of what may come to be on our next trip around the sun. In times of great change, in times of being busy, in times of exhaustion, it times of doing our best to get by, sometimes celebration can be put on the back burner.  So, how do we get back to a celebration mindset?

1- Be where your feet are.  Take a deep breath.  Close your eyes and ask yourself, "What wants to be celebrated?"  (Hint: this is not a mental exercise, it's more about a feeling in your heart. Close your eyes, take a deep breath and imagine what wants to be celebrated coming to you like a vision vs. like you have to go search for it.)

2- Shine.  How can you embody your gratitude?  How can you radiate your appreciation for what you are celebrating into the world?  Ideas: light a candle on to honor your vision as you work today, put a song on and dance to celebrate the feeling of what you thought of, wear an outfit that has special significance to you as you celebrate the image that came to you, organize a party for yourself, ask a friend to share a meal and toast to this beautiful thing in your life, buy yourself flowers and let them be an acknowledgement of this blessing.

3- Notice how it feels to be home.  Notice how gratitude and celebration feel like home.  Maybe...appreciation and honoring, are our natural state.  Anytime I do a Qoya class or retreat, gratitude ceremony or ritual or am in nature, I feel this physical sensation of home in the present moment.  Celebration brings us back home into our hearts and into the present moment.  Where, the tendency is to be judging and analyzing the past or daydreaming the future.  But the power and the most pleasure is right here, right now.

3 more ways to celebrate with me!

1- Free Qoya Shamanic Breathing Video.  This is the Shamanic Breathing that I do every morning.  Works like a charm to bring you into present time.



2- Help someone else celebrate.  One of my favorite things I learned from a teacher and friend of mine, Agapi Stassinopoulus, says in her book Unbinding the Heart, if you want something, start by helping someone else get it.  You want to celebrate your life more?  Think of someone who has done something, had a birthday or just is amazing and help them celebrate.

3- I know it's a little last minute, but when inspiration strikes, inspiration strikes!  Join me for a Pay-What-You-Can Qoya Retreat in Woodstock June 7-9, 2013 where the theme of the retreat is Celebration!

I was deeply inspired by Danielle LaPorte's most recent gift on her birthday to offer her Desire Map as a Pay-what-you-can offer.  I loved it and had a thought- what if I offered a Pay-what-you-can Qoya Celebration Retreat in honor of my birthday on June 11?

So, here it is!

My invitation to you is to come and join us for this intimate retreat in Woodstock, New York at the Menla Mountain Retreat Center, which is gorgeous sacred land commissioned by the Dalai Llama and pay what you can.

The minimum payment that includes the food and housing is $600 for a single room and $500 for a double shared room.  That is the amount that goes to the Retreat Center for room and board. Any additional cost for the retreat, rituals, Qoya classes and value received is up to you to pay-what-you-can.

There is also a kind sister goddess who lives locally, who offered her home to those who would want to save on costs even more and come as a commuter and pay the minimum $200 for food and then pay-what-you-can for the retreat.  Or, if you live in the area or have friends in the area and would want to commute, that is cool too.

It's an experiment in love and if you feel called to come dance, sit in ceremony, revel in nature, be supported in community and celebrate, I hope you'll join us.

A common thing I hear after a Qoya retreat is, "That was one of the best weeks/weekends of my life."  I trust it will be that foryou too.

More info and itinerary for retreat:

Links and Logistics to get to Menla:

To register, please email me at

Registration requested by June 1st, 2013.


Blessings and gratitude and love,

P.S. If you are in Minnesota, please join us!













Everything You Need To Know About The Qoya Retreat in Costa Rica April 6-13, 2013

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

If you were to be honest with yourself, what is your heart's true desire?  In that quiet moment when it is just you and you, what is calling?

When you make a decision, can you identify if you are making it from a place of love or a place of fear?

How do you remember how strong you really are?  By boldly exploring the inner and outer worlds or by keeping your fingers crossed for the status quo?

I ask these questions because I am planning the next Qoya Retreat in Costa Rica April 6-13, 2013 and I invite you to join me.

Qoya is based on the idea that through movement, we remember.  We remember, our essence is wise, wild and free.  Wise, wild and free also draw reference to the movement forms that we practice.  Wise calls on the wisdom of yoga, wild- the creative expression in dance and free- the ability to enjoy oneself through sensual movement.  Qoya focuses less on how it looks and more on how it feels, so when it feels good, that's how you know you are doing it right.  No yoga, dance or sensual movement experience is necessary, just the willingness to listen deeply to your inner voice guiding you.

For many people, when I ask them, "If you were to be honest with yourself, what is your heart's true desire?  In that quiet moment when it is just you and you, what is calling?", they don't know.  Life can have a certain momentum to it, where we can be going, going, going and sometimes not having the time to slow down to savor, to honor, to release and to dream of where we want to go next. Instead, we may feel stuck and not going anywhere or  just being carried along by momentum projecting us forward based on the past. Through Qoya exercises, rituals and free time to reflect, there are many invitations to evoke the deep truth of your heart's longing and cultivate the courage to follow it.

Qoya believes that every answer you seek "out there" already lives is in you and that through Qoya you can learn to use your body as a compass that keeps you aligned with your north star.  I have watched almost two hundred different women come on a Qoya Retreat to Costa Rica, India, Greece, Woodstock, NY or Hawaii and reconnect with their deepest truth on the retreat and go home with more confidence in trusting themselves and their ability not only to dance through life, but to let life dance through them.

I love the definition of courage as when your desire gets larger than your fear.  It makes me think of that saying, "What would you do if you knew you could not fail?"  There is a deep intelligence that we can learn to trust to guide us in every area of our lives.  Through my life and my studies, I have found one surefire way of tapping into it.  It's the experiential path.  It's where you align your mind, body, emotions, spirit and soul into the same experience.  More than reading a book, taking a workshop or doing mental gymnastics, to get out there and experience life.  To really feel like you are living.  And from your experience, locate your truth.

As I describe how we spend our time in Costa Rica, see if you can feel the opportunity here to deeply remember and reclaim the soul's journey you are on by clearing your mind, healing the past, coming into the present and dreaming a dream that resonates more whole heartedly together.

The Qoya Retreat in Costa Rica April 6-13, 2013 is an invitation to go on an adventure to explore and embody the woman in you that is wise, wild and free.  There is the outer adventure to travel to Central America, trek through the jungle, swim in the ocean and let your adventurous side come out by trying surfing, zip lining, paddle board surfing, hiking to waterfalls or kayaking. There is also the inner adventure, the inner exploration, of using morning meditation and breathing exercises, daily Qoya classes, feeling the benefit of nourishing yourself with delicious and healthy organic meals, time in the afternoon to rest by taking a nap, getting a massage, relaxing by the pool or walking along the beach and by sitting with the sacred in healing ceremonies and rituals at night.  (Be sure to check out the video above or click here.)

This retreat is about waking up as an individual and as a community.  If you slow down enough to hear your own breathing and heart beat, you'll remember.  If you get lost in the pulse and rhythm of the music and start to surrender to move the way your body wants to move instead of how you think you "should" be moving, you'll remember.  If you let nature teach you to let go, trust and enjoy each cycle of life, just like you trust summer will turn to fall, fall will turn to winter, winter will turn to spring, and spring back to summer,  you'll remember.  If you sit in a circle of conscious community with women who are willing to be authentic, transparent and courageous, you will remember all the possibilities that live in you.

In many ways this trip is celebratory and self-indulgent and a true gift to be able to experience.  And, if all you are looking for is to treat yourself, you deserve it.  We all do.  In addition, what I notice is that as women become so reinvigorated, passionate and full of life force, they start to ask from a place of their fullness, "How can I be of service?" and "How can I combine my strengths and passions for the highest good of all?"  When you experience so much of life's beauty, the natural feminine evolution is to become a better steward of the gift of life itself. (I have some ideas on how to do that that I will share with you at the retreat.)

The theme for this upcoming Qoya Costa Rica Retreat is Creating Community.  When hearing Marianne Williamson speak recently, she said (my paraphrasing), "For women to truly step forward and come into their power, they will need a woman to their right, a woman to their left, a woman in front of the them, a woman behind them, a woman above them and a woman below them. Surrounded in sisterhood, a forcefield protects us so we can be brave and true." As she said this, I received a download of six female archetypes of creating community that we will focus on in Costa Rica.  In addition, everyone will leave with a plan on how to create conscious community when you go back home.

Here are a couple other quick things to know if you are considering coming to this retreat on how the Qoya experience is unique.

  • There is free time!!! Many workshops and retreats I go on are borderline stressful by scheduling you out from 6am to 10pm.  I believe that free time is essential for rest, integration and to have space to follow your inner voice that may lead you to take a nap, write in your journal, read or have an inspiring conversation with another woman.  All afternoons are designed to have this space to create the type of trip that aligns with what you need and desire.
  • We will learn how to sit with the sacred in our evening prayer ceremonies and rituals.  They are not traditionally religious in anyway and encourage each woman to honor what her individual heart, mind and soul feel to be true.  With these practices, we cultivate our capacity to be in right relationship with the divine and learn how to create sacred space and ceremonies in your own life for when we go home.
  • There is an emphasis on building community through connecting to one another. Hence, there are many opportunities to share with other women in the Qoya classes.  I believe that when I get stronger, you get stronger.  As you heal, I heal.  As she is inspired, we can be inspired.  By being able to hear another woman honestly and transparently bring voice to her journey, we can all be reminded of the power to celebrate our journey as well.
  • This retreat is for women only.  I love men and I believe that one day I'll teach Qoya for men and possibly co-ed retreats, but right now, Qoya is a sacred space that it is created where we can all be together as women and learn from one another.
  • There is a large emphasis here on music! Some yoga classes or retreats may use a little music here and there, but in Qoya it is a huge part of the teaching and transmission to let the music take us deeper into our emotions and up to a higher vibration.  Another Qoya teacher, Kitty Cavalier, recently wrote in her blog, "We dance to playlists that take you from the ocean caves of a desert island to the Lower East Side of NYC, up to the clouds of heaven and back down to the dance floor of Soul Train, all at the same time.  The music is as much of a teacher in Qoya than the actual human teacher." Exactly.  Here is a link to one of the playlists on spotify from last year titled Costa Rica Qoya Highest Destiny Playlist
  • Really incredible women come on these retreats.  Every time, I am so grateful and inspired by the amazing community of women that are drawn to share this experience together.

So, there it is! This is the 4th annual Qoya Retreat in Costa Rica and there is a video to get a visual taste of the week, the description of above of the theme being community, a list of insider info on how Qoya retreats are unique and in invitation to go deep inside yourself and see if your true heart's desire is to join us.

If it is, here is the link to register.    (After I wrote this blog post, I found out that Pamela Madsen, the author of Shameless, wrote an article in Psychology Today that talks about the new trend of women taking women only retreats and features Qoya!)

Yee haw,*


*Here is a group of us horseback riding at Sunset on the beach at last year's Costa Rica Retreat.


Thanksgiving And The Journey Of A Dream

The journey of a dream.  Oooh baby, baby, it's a wild world. And as Cat Stevens says, "It's hard to get by just upon a smile." This Thanksgiving I'm thinking about the journey of a dream.

In seed form, a dream begins in the field of pure potentiality.  It requires us to release any learned cynicism and reconnect to the purity and innocence of life, like a child, who wishes for something they have yet to experience.

For years, I would look out my window and do the whole, "star light, star bright, first star I see tonight, I wish I may, I wish I might, have this wish I wish tonight." And I would wish to fly.  After a solid two years of wishing and still being bound by gravity, I switched my wish to ask for a bike (and got one the next day.)  Bam.

We do this as adults all the time.  Our heart can dream in a land of possibility and it can resonate as true and bring us joy.  However, then when evidence refuses to show up in the timeline we desire (I got tired of WAITING to be able to fly), the mind encourages us to scale back and be more realistic because it feels more safe, comfortable and in control within the limitations of probability.

Maybe something happens that expands the land of probability!  Something you never thought likely in the "real world" before.  He/she asks you out.  The job interview.  You're pregnant! You won a 3 week trip to Africa!! Your book was on the New York Times best seller list!!!   You beckon your dream closer to you and it feels like it is heading your way.

Or...something happens that makes you give up on the dream.  Something you can't imagine could be so cruelly taken away.  He/she disappears.  You get fired.  You miscarry.  You can't go on the trip you won because of a family emergency.  No one reads your book, even though it is really REALLY good.  You tell your dream to bugger off and go bother someone else.

When we're lucky, something else happens that is not solely a shift externally of gain or loss, but internally finding your center.  Remembering.  Qoya is based on the idea, that through movement, we remember.  We remember our essence, our internal truth.  The one that can stand aligned with your heart and soul regardless of external circumstances.  When you are in that spot, you can stop worrying, because you remember everything is going to be fine.  You lighten your heart, because like the wave that rises, it also falls.  The best tactic is to learn how to surf.  (See more surfing in the Qoya Costa Rica video here!) 

Life is always offering you a series of invitations to come into the present moment and enjoy all that is.

I was given an assignment by my teacher in March for 6 months to not ask for anything.  Absolutely no desires.  My homework was to learn to just say thank you for everything as it is.  I learned that more than anything I want in the future, the biggest gift is the ability to savor what is, as it is, right now.

For today on Thanksgiving, I want to share my favorite gratitude practice.  It is to put on a song to dance to and say thank you with my whole body, heart, mind and soul. As you dance, acknowledge all the dreams that were born in the land of pure possibility and then came true!!!! (For some, you may also want to say thank you for all the unanswered prayers.) For whatever you choose, take a moment to sincerely say thank you. Humble yourself enough to open your heart and acknowledge the co-creative magic that is supporting and guiding us all in our interconnected web of experience. Dance a thank you for every breath, for every gift, for every challenge, for everything.

The journey of a dream is like our own journey of remembering and forgetting who we are as spirit, becoming distracted by the physical world we feel bound to and then having a transcendent moment where we come back to the power of the present moment, the gratitude for the journey of life itself and that if we truly really believed there was a divine spark in us, we would probably be having a better time.  Whatever part of the journey you are on, have patience with yourself, the process, and do not give up (especially on dancing).

Go have fun and enjoy your Thanksgiving!  Sometimes it takes discipline to enjoy yourself and sometimes you have to be the catalyst for the group.  If you feel called to play the music a little louder, dance a little wilder and feel the love with your whole beating heart a little more, invite others to join you.  There's no day like today and today is Thanksgiving, so give thanks for every moment in all it's complicated and simple bliss.

As I take a deep breath today on Thanksgiving, I say a prayer of gratitude for your support of Qoya and of me on this journey of remembering that we are all truly wise, wild and free.

May it be so today and always.

With love-infused gratitude,


P.S. Qoya Costa Rica Retreat April 6-13, 2013

Thanksgiving can also be the time where loved ones start asking you what you want for the holidays. For those of you who have the Qoya Costa Rica Retreat April 6-13, 2013 on your xmas wish list, there is an early bird special of $200 savings until December 1st, 2012.  Click here to register and be sure to see and share the video with anyone you think would love to come.

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


P.P.S. If you are in LA, come join us for Qoya Classes here in December!

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.

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,


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!

Learn How to Walk a Labyrinth: Where David Bowie, The Dixie Chicks and Qoya all come together.

Maybe it started with David Bowie.  I was 10 years old and my weekend ritual was visiting my local video store to rent the movie Labryinth.  I don't know how many times I did this, but I know it was more that 12 and less than 30.  Years later, I find myself fascinated with the transformation a labyrinth offers and use them often.    My next Qoya class at Sacred Studio in Brooklyn, Sunday night, July 8th,will focus on them. 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? Out of yarn in your living room or out of sticks in your backyard, 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.

A labyrinth is a ritual where your physical body walks to journey inward.   Many times we look outside ourselves for answers only to be left confused and depressed, because the only answer that will ever truly satisfy our soul is the answer we know to be true within.

Each Qoya class is designed to take you on a journey back to your sacred center, back to remember. Remember, that you truly are wise, wild and free.  Qoya encourages learning from an experiential viewpoint, that your strength is not rooted in the fleeting nature of a thought, but in the physical and soulful sensation of something you experienced in your Being.  However, this requires honoring your experience as valid.  We live in a culture that in many cases successfully programs us as women to doubt what we know to be true and to give our power over in exchange for external validation- of our looks, of our accomplishments, of our value. Qoya realizes the consequences of this and structures itself differently.  Qoya replaces the dynamic where as a "student" you would be waiting for the teacher's correction or praise and instead empowers you to be the student and the teacher of your own experience and cultivate your own inner validation.  A phrase I commonly repeat is, "you know you're doing it right when it feels good to you."  How many times in a day do we go against what feels right or what feels true?  For what? Many say that it is easier to follow the momentum of those around us instead of standing up for our own truth.  I find it just the opposite.  The acquiescing of our own truth to appease sucks life force out of me like a vacuum.  Vascillation between what I dream, desire and feel as truth between that which is accepted or appropriate is exhausting.  And following that truth, speaking out and being bold enlivens me to my core, radiates my confidence and brings an unparalleled fulfillment.

I believe that following our inner guidance, our inner truth and aligning our thoughts, emotions and actions all into the same experience, creates the portal to one of the most feminine, and for me, one of the most savored parts of my life experience- magic.  Leaping from a place of the perceived, or commonly accepted, known into the unknown based on one's own inner compass is the magnet for synchronicity, magic and the experience of being truly supported by the universe.  I often think of Joseph Campbell's quote,

"Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls."

Here's a small example from my life last weekend.  I was visiting one of my most beloved friends in this world and she invited me to join her, her fiancé and another couple for dinner.  Something in my gut wasn't feeling it, even though I knew they were all wonderful people.  So, I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and went within.  I was shown an image of me at a Ben Harper concert in Santa Barbara.  In the back of my mind, I knew that was going on, but had forgotten about it and it was now 4pm (and I was in LA).   About two hours later, I found myself in Santa Barbara with a front row ticket about to see the concert in one of my favorite venues at the Santa Barbara Bowl.  My friend let me borrow her car.  I got on craigslist and emailed 5 people.  The moment I arrived in Santa Barbara my phone rang with the front row ticket.   The download of inspiration I received that night was one of my most enchanted evenings of this whole year.  One epic moment was when Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks came on stage to sing a cover of the Pink Floyd song "Mother" that she has been collaborating with Ben Harper on.  Hearing this song changed my life.  Seriously.  I felt the pilot light of my spirit re-ignited.  Her voice filled the air and felt as powerful as the ocean itself, which was in view.  Here's the video of the song on youtube here. 

I slept so well.  The joy of being on an adventure.  The reward for listening to my intuition.  The inherent goodness that felt so present in every moment.  I then became fascinated with Natalie Maines again and her story of how when the Dixie Chicks were the top selling female band of all time and then she spoke out against President Bush at the beginning of the Iraq war and the consequences, controversy and story that followed and were documented in the amazing documentary Shut Up and Sing.   I was thinking about her as another woman to put on my list of muses and I listened to the video of her singing the song from that night over and over.

Then...on my flight from LA back to New York, as I was listening to the Dixie Chicks on my iPhone boarding the plane, I looked up and she was sitting right there!  Can you believe the synchronicity? I sat down next to her  and told her everything I just told you about how touched I was, how grateful I was, the coincidence of it all.  We spoke of the power of synchronicity, of these new songs, of beauty and art (and she noticed I had a banjo on my back!)  When magic and synchronicity appear, one can only guess how or why, but for me, I intuitively feel that synchronicity and magic are the reward for listening to your intuition, to your inner wisdom.  To be led by the call forth of your body, instead of by the expectation of another.  And, it takes practice.  It's like strengthening a muscle.  And one new way to strengthen that muscle may be to walk a labyrinth.

If you're able to join me this Sunday in Brooklyn at Sacred, I'd love to see you there.  You can also google to see if there are any local labyrinths in your area or take a pilgrimage to find one.  I also invite you to join me sometime on my online Qoya studio at

And whatever direction you go, may it lead you to the direction of your dreams.

Love, light and labyrinths,


P.S. You may be interested to know that "The origin of the Labyrinth was written by Homer where on the island of Crete, Minos was the ruler of a peaceful kingdom, until one day a half-man, half-bull Minotaur was born as a child to Queen Pasiphae.  Minos commissioned Daedalus, the renowned inventor, to create a prison to hide his half-man, half-bull son.  Daedalus was confounded by the daunting task, when he happened to encounter the young princess, Ariadne, as she was performing the Dance of Cranes.  Her footsteps wove a pattern of graceful spirals.  He saw where her feet had danced a labyrinth.  When Ariadne fell in love with the Greek prince Theseus who was being challenged to travel in the labyrinth to kill the half-man, half-bull, she begged Daedalus to help her.  He gave her the enchanted ball of thread for him to take into the center of the labyrinth, which would help him find his way out."   Pretty amazing that the inspiration of labyrinths themselves are from a woman dancing...just sayin'.  All this historical info on labyrinths is from a book I am currently re-reading called "The Art of Pilgrimage: The Seeker's Guide to Making Travel Sacred" by Phil Cousineau.  A must read for a traveling heart.