Sonia Campbell

Dungog NSW Australia

I truly found Qoya by accident and wanted to share that experience with you as part of my bio.

After a number of people very close to me, including one of my closest friends who was like a sister to me to suicide, my father to cancer, choosing to end my marriage, a sudden loss of a very close friendship without reason at the time, I found myself in a very dark place. Facing every day, day after day was emotionally crippling and I finally reached a point where I had to do something. I was barely existing, on the inside anyway. We all have great facades when we want to hide the reality of what’s going on inside.

I found myself at a Holotrophic Breathwork workshop, which was the key to me learning a great deal about myself and what I needed to do. I had so much grief inside me and many levels of protection in place that I wasn’t even aware of. I became aware of some total disconnects I had in my body from incidents of abuse earlier on in my life. I thought I had dealt with these incidents on a psychological level. I was totally unaware of the trauma and the impact that these incidents had had on my emotional and physical body and the memories it held.


Having identified these issues I then had to find a way to work on them that felt safe. November 2016 I was searching and searching and reading when I saw a link on a website to Qoya. I remember thinking “Qoya, what the heck is that. Never heard of it”. I watched a video made by Rochelle Sheik, Founder of Qoya, and another one and another one. I sat and cried and cried than signed up to become a teacher. I did my first classes online as I couldn’t find any Qoya teacher in Australia at that time, the closest I could find was New Zealand. In January 2017 I was in New Zealand doing my Qoya Initiation training, and my first in person Qoya class! I knew without a doubt that I was in the right place doing the right thing and there was a healing going on.

Then, as it does, life stepped in and challenged me, as it does to us all and I put all that was important to me on hold. You know, that self-sabotage default that many of us have. 

Once again feeling lost, betrayed, hurt, confused I knew I needed to get back to what was right for me and I again committed to completing my Qoya training and signed up for my intensive training. December 2018 I was back in New Zealand on the beautiful Coramandel Peninsular immersed in everything Qoya and with the unquestioned sense that I was there not only to grow but to heal and find something in me that I was missing. 

I teach Qoya as I truly believe that in a world where we are surrounded by perceived pressure, internal and external expectations, stress, anxiety and brokenness that it is important to find somewhere to stop, breathe and remember who the heck you are. In a Qoya class you get just that, and what a precious gift that experience is. It allows you to trust yourself and to listen to yourself because in reality, everything we need to know about ourselves is within us. Accessing and trusting it can be the difficult part!

Throughout my life I have done many things that has shaped who I am. I am someone that loves to learn and grow, a mum , a massage therapist/body worker, a beef farmer and so much more! 

I look forward to continuing my journey and dancing with those who come my way!

When did you take your first Qoya class? November 2016 – Online and then my first in person class in January 2017 in Auckland New Zealand with Samar Ciprian at Moon Yoga.

What does it mean for you to teach Qoya? It’s like coming home to myself. It is a safe place where I am so very muchly me (you know, that person you really are in your head before the crap thoughts take over). To share and hold space for others to experience this is truly an amazing gift or privilege that I cherish. Having experienced and witnessed some amazing experiences in class I know that I am on the right path in sharing Qoya. The founder of Qoya, Rochelle Sheik says “When I heal they heal. When they heal, I heal”. Qoya has allowed me to get out of my head and heal myself in many ways. 

I also deeply believe that we are not meant to be solitary creatures. However, due to external experiences and things that happen in our lives we withdraw from others and the community to protect ourselves from getting hurt. We as humans function best in supportive communities, unfortunately life experiences can make it hard to find your community/tribe which accepts and supports you and allows you to be vulnerable and grow. For me Qoya is one of my communities in which I am safe to be me, and, in that place I am able hold space for others to find a safe community where they are accepted and free to be themselves through movement.

What is your favorite song to dance to right now? There's A Healin' Goin On - Spirit in the House, Jami Lula & Paradise - George Ezra

What book has inspired you on the path to embodying the feminine? Initially it was not a book but an experience in a Holotrophic Breathwork that led me to working with embodying the feminine. In the workshop I experienced the deepest need to let go of the masculine energy and acknowledge and be open to the feminine energy. ( we all need both in the right balance but I was way out of balance!) Feeling amazingly confronted, emotional and overwhelmed I realised that I had to redefine this whole “feminine” thing. Something that I had buried most of my life!

After that, the book that opened the gateway for me was “ Autobiography of an Orgasm” by Betsy Blankenbaker. (Betsy is also a Qoya Teacher). Reading Betsy’s story and experience of sexual abuse and behaviour was just like reading my own story, I just had to change the ages of experiences to fit. Although mentally you are aware that things happen to other people around you it’s when you speak with someone or read of their journey it helps you to feel as though you are not the only one. To read of the disconnects within her body as a result of experiences was a huge relief for me and reassured me that this does happen. We deal with the psychology around events but not the physical emotional trauma these events leave in our bodies memory. That that is neglected stays there forever and manifests in ways we cannot even fathom. 

I’ve still have some resistance and some work to do on embodying the feminine, but I’m getting there.

What would you tell someone who is thinking of taking a Qoya class for the first time? Just show up and give it a go. Forget about what is going on in your head. You know “What’s Qoya? Can I do it? Am I good enough? Will I get it right? I’m too old. I’m too young. I can’t dance”. None of that matters because you cannot get it wrong. There are no levels in Qoya. You know you are doing it right when it feels good. Show up. Have fun and move. You won’t regret it!