Through movement, we remember.
We remember, that as women,
our physical essence is Wise, Wild, and Free.
Wise: inspired by the wisdom of yoga
Wild: the creative expression in dance
Free: the freedom to feel pleasure in the body through sensual movement
“Qoya is so much more than movement. Through Qoya, we tap into the pulse of life. You know those moments where you see a sunset, when you’re on the open road and life feels full of possibility, when you are caught up in the contagious laughter of a child, when you feel the warmth of your lover’s body in bed, when you experience the fulfillment of work that you are proud of – when life expands and becomes sacred?
Qoya is based on the idea that through movement we are able to tap into this essence, this sacred pulse of life. Once we experience it, we learn how to honor and express it. We learn how to cultivate this sense of the sacred, more and more, and not only in our dance, but in our lives.
We reach out to our community, empower ourselves physically, clarify our intentions, and dance with our desires. In doing so, we activate a movement of women who connect with their essence as wise, wild, and free. We stand for the embodiment and feeling of more feminine ways of being that include but are not limited to deep transcendent love, intuition, transparency, self-expression, and radiance. We encourage one another to shine confidently as a woman who knows she is wise, wild and free.”
– Rochelle Schieck, Creator of Qoya
What is Qoya?
QOYA is a movement practice created by Rochelle Schieck that brings together yoga, sacred movement, dance, breathwork, meditation, community, ritual, ceremony and more.
Qoya is a movement practice for women. You don’t need to be flexible or have any prior experience in yoga, movement, dance. It’s open to women of all ages, abilities and stages of life. You don’t have to be “coordinated”, a “dancer” or a “yogi”. You can be shy, have two left feet. It is all welcome.
Qoya is based on the idea that through movement we remember our essence as wise, wild, and free. And using yoga, dance, sensual movement, community and ceremony, we learn to trust the sensation of truth in our bodies…. and this becomes our North on our compass as we navigate our lives.
In Qoya, imagine there is no way you can do it wrong
and the way you know you’re doing it right is when it feels good.
It’s that simple.
In every Qoya class you experience 13 core components expressing a unique theme for the day that supports the embodiment of your feminine essence, accompanied by an epic soundtrack of music that takes you on a journey – body, heart, mind and spirit.
A Qoya class can be as invigorating or relaxing as your body requires in that moment. Participants can express what’s inside through vibrant dance and energetic movements, or with a quiet flow. There is no way you can do it wrong!
During Qoya classes, women are encouraged to listen to, embrace and then express their body’s innate wisdom. In the safety of the class structure, participants are called to listen to their body and respond with movement, together with a non-judgemental community of like-minded women who feel called to move beyond the traditional gym workout. But that doesn’t mean you won’t sweat!
- You slow down and feel. You sweat. You play and have fun!
- Your perspective shifts from going through the motions to savoring life as sacred.
- You find the answers you seek in your body, and as well as the support to follow them.
- You also engage in ritual, pilgrimage, and community connections to open your heart, mind, and spirit.
If you’ve been feeling a pull and are curious about attending one of these Qoya classes, I highly encourage you to listen to the call and take the leap. Come along to a class with an open mind, move your body and experience the magic that is Qoya.
Join me for Qoya classes at Satmya Yoga in Kaukapakapa, Auckland.
- In each class the music is my co-teacher and my past playlists can be found on here on Spotify.
- Find out more about Qoya here.
- The story of Qoya shared by founder Rochelle Schieck here.
- A beautiful, short Qoya practice with Rochelle to try out at home here.
My Qoya journey
As a child I loved to dance! I was passionate about and did classes in ballet, jazz ballet, Scottish Highland dance. Music was my dance partner – whether I was wildly dancing alone in my room or with my friends, wearing out our cassette tapes of the Footloose and Flashdance soundtracks.
But once I hit high school, something changed. I thought it was uncool to dance. I dropped out of my dance classes. I took up sports instead. I still wildly danced to music alone in my room (and some of those early 90’s songs can still immediately transport me back in time to that age). But sadly I became self conscious around anything involving me dancing.
By my 20’s I considered myself “not a dancer”. By my 30’s it was very rare to ever catch me dancing.
All that changed with Qoya.
I sadly experienced a miscarriage in January 2016, a life changing experience given it took 7 weeks after finding out I’d lost the baby for my body to actually release and let go. At the time I was seeing a wonderful Arvigo Therapist, Samar Ciprian, for pre-conception and pregnancy care. She was also a Qoya teacher and I had many times longed to try out one of her classes. “But I don’t dance” I would tell myself. Even though I was a yoga teacher, I was still self conscious, shy and often very out of touch with my body. However my experience of miscarriage became a powerful portal back to myself and trusting my body again. Qoya played a huge part in that journey.
Samar kept gently nudging me in the direction of Qoya. During the miscarriage she encouraged me to try out Rochelle’s latest Qoya video, Feel Deeply to Heal Deeply. Feeling awkward and with the curtains drawn so nobody saw me, I played it. It changed my life. For the first time in years I felt truly back in my body. I danced wildly and freely. I moved my hips. I opened my heart. I moved through yoga poses with deep reverence and I cried with relief to feel reconnected with parts of myself I had long forgotten. That class awakened me. It reminded me I was sensual, I was strong, I was fluid and feminine.
From that very first online class I knew becoming a Qoya teacher was my calling. I worked my way through all the available online classes with Rochelle Schieck. I started attending Samar’s monthly Qoya classes. Through doing so, I found my community, I found my sisterhood, I found my passion. I found my love of dancing again. And the bonus was, after years of yoga, it was Qoya that helped me loosen my hips.
During the year my Qoya adventure began I found out I was pregnant again and in 2016 I completed the Intro and Initiation Qoya teacher trainings and began teaching classes. We joke that my daughter is a Qoya baby with how many classes I attended and taught while heavily pregnant. In February 2017 I completed my teacher training journey attending the week long Intensive training with Rochelle Schieck and my 5 week old newborn daughter and husband in tow! Was I crazy? Maybe. Qoya reminds us what the physical sensation of truth FEELS like in the body and I knew with ever fibre of my being this was my destiny. It was a wild, wild ride and I treasure the experience and the connections I made with my fellow Qoya teacher tribe.