Qoya is a Quechan word for Queen, a female manifestation of higher consciousness. Quechan is an indigenous language used by the shamans in the Andean region of South America. I visited several ancient Inka ruins while I was in Peru studying energy medicine, and every time I heard a tour guide say the word Qoya, I’d feel a zing in my body. I love how powerful and magical the word feels, and this is at the heart of Qoya Movement: loving how your body feels. The image of a Queen also embodies my vision of empowered women confidently seated on the throne of their lives, feeling wise, wild, and free.
Qoya is a shift in consciousness that evolves the way we have been taught to move our bodies as women. Drawn from the wisdom of yoga, creative expression in dance, and the pleasure found in sensual movement, Qoya helps women enjoy and revel in their feminine bodies.
Qoya classes combine the traditional benefits of fitness — including strength, flexibility, balance, endurance, and agility training — with a unique empowering approach that is feminine, expressive, and, most importantly, fun.
Qoya invites new ways of being to be expressed as a woman in her life.
Ways we can build our strength: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual.
Ways we can be flexible: not only in our hamstrings, but in the flow of our day.
Ways we can be agile: like a child who falls down and gets right back up.
Ways we can savor: an exhale that takes us into a hip circle of remembering the gift of being a woman.
Ways we can love and honor: what is — as it is — and still dare to dream bigger dreams.
Ways we can say yes.
Qoya classes address the different levels of awareness in a woman: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and energetic. To engage all parts of the self, here’s an idea of what you can expect going to a Qoya Movement class:
In our classroom, rose petals decorate the floor. Lights are dimmed low and candlelight warms the room.
Instructions for movement are given through images and metaphors. (For example: “move your spine from side to side like kelp moves, gently swaying on the bottom of the ocean.”)
We dance to amazing music from around the world, knowing that “music expresses that which cannot be put into words and cannot remain silent.” (Nietzche)
Each class begins with a theme to evoke awareness and contemplation in the areas of psychology, philosophy, history, and spirituality.
We unite our body and mind, honor the interconnectedness in ourselves and our world, consciously create community, give rise to our intentions, encourage our desires to dance through us — and, thereby, nourish our soul.
Qoya Movement Classes have the following core components:
- Centering oneself by placing an intention to direct the power of the mind.
- Coordination of breath and movement to cascade in rhythm while warming up the body with simple yoga and dance movements.
- Amplification of the body’s inner voice and unique personal expression through movement.
- Liberation of the body from the linear, rigid habits of daily life in the modern world through sensual, fluid motions that are (a) rooted in yoga and various schools of dance, and (b) geared towards a feminine range of movement.
- Cultivation of your comfort level and your confidence in moving your body sensually.
- The practice of variations of sun salutations to open and activate the muscles, joints, and spine, and clear the energy lines of the body.
In Qoya classes, sun salutations are danced through and also used as a way to emotionally honor and process anything that may be up in your life right now.
The first set embodies and acknowledges the pain, contraction, or discomfort.
In the second set, we seek the gift in the situation.
The third set merges our new awareness with gratitude for the challenge that catalyzed our new understanding.
Up to this point, our breath and movement flow together in rhythm.
Our body is now open, strong, and flexible from the yoga and dance sequences.
We are softened from the reverent, swirling, sensual movements.
We feel creative and confident in expressing ourselves through our body.
Now… we can truly dance.
- Have you ever found yourself, for no apparent reason, dancing in your living room? You hadn’t planned it, but a song came on and, all of a sudden, you just had to dance. No choreography. No judgment. Just raw, authentic movement.
That’s where we’re going.
We begin with simple dance-like steps to invite the music in. For those who are new to class or shy, you can repeat those steps as long as you like. But, for many, as soon as we invite them to free dance, the walls and ceiling of the room seem to expand and all inhibitions lift.
We dance with purpose and abandon.
We dance like our ancestors around a fire.
We dance with joy and enthusiasm
We dance without reservation.
We dance because we can no longer not dance.
- 90% of our thoughts are the same thing over and over and over… it is the same with our movements. As we free dance, we remind ourselves to break free of patterns and habits and explore new ways of moving. We explore the road less traveled via movement. It can make all the difference.
- We partner up for a final stretch of the mind, body, and soul. We engage in a guided, sacred sharing of our gratitude, desires, revelations, and celebrations.
- The final relaxation gives us to time to integrate all the gifts of your Qoya class. Our hair is drenched in sweat, our bodies feel vibrant, radiant, alive. Our minds are clearer and more focused. We have honored our emotions and expressed our feelings. Spiritually, we remember: the parts of ourselves that are wise, wild, and free.
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.