Wild and Sacred: a Qoya and Creativity Retreat

Our ancestors spent their days connected to the earth.

They searched for food,
cared for their families,
and relished their communities.

They honored time as a sacred process
and trusted their bodies' instincts.

They saw the holy in every aspect of the physical world
and shared their devotion to the sacred with each other.

They painted their dreams onto cave walls,
built altars and temples,
and created rituals to strengthen their relationships.

With Earth.
With their community.
With survival itself.

They transformed the mundane into the sacred.

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Today, our world revolves around technology.

A digital landscape of perceived connection,
advertising, consumerism, and comparison
that remove us from our wild.

We are animals first, mind and ego second.
We aren't only connected to Earth, but a part of it.

Even though we're thriving in ways our ancestors dreamt of,
we crave simplicity, instinct, reverence of the sacred,
and most of all, connection with each other.

What if we could harness creativity to reconnect with our wild?

What if we could tap into both, the new AND the ancient?
Technology AND embodiment?

Dance with abandon.
Paint with your hands.
Create sacred objects.

Build nature mandalas.
Walk in the woods.
Savor the wind and feel the rain.

Be wild! 

You'll get your hands in paint, clay, and dirt to recognize yourself in your art and the art in yourself.

You'll feel your nervous system relax in nature, your senses awaken, and your wild, animal brain come to life.

You'll feel free and remember that YOU are a creative being.

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"Sara helped me get back to the feelings in my body when I was attempting to paint specific things on my canvas. It’s such a long held belief that I have to create something that looks good to other people; otherwise, it’s not art. Sara was amazing in holding space for me to simply feel the paint, and allow whatever was my truth to escape onto the canvas."


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This retreat is not about finished projects.

This is not art to create a museum-worthy object to display.

This special week has been curated for your exploration of self, to remember the truth in your body, and to connect to yourself as creative, wild, and sacred.

It's also an opportunity to do all of this in a safe, small group of women who are gathering to support and be supported in the same way.

A community of WILD and SACRED!

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This is an invitation to disconnect from stress
and reconnect to your raw wildness.

Inspiration from nature.
Creative instincts.
Sacred community.

This retreat goes way beyond an arts and crafts project.

Our Qoya movement and visual art sessions will open up your heart and soul outside of your body. You'll begin to communicate with your canvas as an extension of your intuition, and every day, the creative projects take on a life of their own, becoming a visual progression of your inner journey.

You'll go home with a totally new outlook on yourself as a creative being as well as your own creative process, so you can interact with it from a totally new perspective. 

You'll feel inspired to integrate more art, movement, and ritual into your daily routines back at home, weaving your ancient knowing with your modern life.

You'll remember the creative, dynamic woman you are.


Sara Ballard is a life long joy seeker, lover of music & movement, sacred adornments, and is deeply committed to creating community. As a former bodyworker, Sara has always had a passion for helping women feel connected to and fall in love with the physical and metaphysical magic in their bodies.

Her life’s work has been built on various ways of helping people reconnect, access, and remember the truth in their body. She thrives on authenticity, deep connection, and reverence to her and others’ divine nature.

In any given week, you can find Sara teaching weekly Qoya classes, offering Qoya teacher Initiation training, and hosting retreats in Greenville, SC. She loves creating Sacred Soul Malas, bespoke semi-precious gemstone prayer beads individually created for each person. In her spare time, she homeschools her three beautiful children, and laughs and plays with her patient, Qoya-loving husband, Russell.

"Dancing a Qoya class with Sara is truly an embodying experience. She is gifted at helping women drop into their bodies and connect with themselves to hear true inner guidance. She leads her classes with such joy and love, and holds a safe space for women to feel deeply and to connect with each other in love, transparency and vulnerability."



6:20am Optional Sunrise Meditation at Mediation Rock
7:30am Breakfast
8:30am Qoya Class
10:30am Morning free time
12:00pm Lunch
1:00pm Painting and free time to explore
5:15pm Dinner
6:00pm Labyrinth walk
8:30pm Sunset viewing on the Lodge deck
9:00pm Fire Ceremony




The retreat will be held at The Mountain Retreat and Learning Center in Highlands, North Carolina.

The Mountain is a sacred spot high atop the Blue Ridge Mountains where the expansive view seems to shift in color and dimension as well as transform your internal prospective on life. Nestled amongst a forest of ancient trees, the Mountain is the perfect place to reconnect to your Wild and to embody and create more of the Sacred in your life.

All rooms are shared with a roommate, and everything during the retreat is included. Daily Qoya classes, all meals and lodging, all art supplies including a 4'x4' canvas (plus US Shipping), all excursions (Zip Lining), and all ceremonies and rituals.


This retreat is for women only. All ages and movement levels are welcome.

Your all-inclusive retreat tuition includes:

  • 7 nights accommodations
  • 3 meals a day + snacks
  • 6 days of Qoya classes and rituals
  • all art supplies, including a 4x4 canvas
  • shipping your finished canvas home in the domestic United States (international shipping is not included)
  • all excursions (i.e. zip lining!)

It does not include:

  • Travel to the retreat. You are also welcome to bring money for any time that you spend in Highlands, NC before and after the retreat (there's an amazing crystal store in town!)
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Register to reserve your spot

Payment plans available through March 20th

Cancellation Policy: If you need to cancel for any reason and we can find a person to take your spot, we will refund the amount paid minus a $250 administration fee. If we cannot find a person to take your spot, there are no refunds; however, you can transfer your paid spot to someone else, so you can send a friend or family member to the retreat in your place.

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Frequently Asked Questions

+ What time of day does the course start, and what time does it finish?

Arrive between 2pm and 4pm on May 27th Depart at 11am on the 2nd

+ What's the closest airport?

The two easiest airports are Greenville/Spartanburg SC (GSP), which is about a 2 hour drive from the Mountain, or Atlanta, GA (ATL) which is about a 3 hour drive. Driving from Asheville, NC is about 2 hours as well. There are no airports up in the mountains. There are no shuttles, so the best way to get up to the Mountain is by car, personal or rental car. You will be able to connect to other retreat participants beforehand to see about ride sharing etc.

+ I have more questions. Who do I contact?

Any questions we haven't covered here? Email us at info@qoya.love.