Rochelle Schieck loves to move- in her body and around the world. She started dancing as a young girl growing up in Minnesota until she was summoned by the call of adventure. Her love of movement and the desire to explore life’s meaning compelled her to spend the last 10+ years traveling around the world as a student and teacher to places throughout North and South America, Europe, Africa, India, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Rochelle has led over 4,000 movement classes and facilitated hundreds of private sessions while living in New York and California. Deeply inspired by the study of the divine feminine, sensuality, and other womanly arts, she started to integrate a more feminine approach to movement with her experience as a personal trainer, certified massage therapist, shamanic energy healer and her degree in Interdisciplinary Fine Arts to create the movement system, 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 are practiced. Wise evoking the wisdom of yoga, wild- the creative expression in dance and free- the ability to really enjoy one’s body through sensual movement. There are over 50 certified Qoya teachers and classes, workshops and retreats scheduled worldwide in 2013 in the US, Australia, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Europe, Peru, Chile and Zimbabwe. To learn more, visit www.wisewildfree.com and online classes at www.embodyqoya.com.
About 10 years ago, I attended a lecture given by an Indian yogi. He spoke about the benefits of a regular yoga practice and guaranteed it was possible to have anything you want in your life. He was trying to empower the audience to believe that life is like a buffet dinner and all you have to do is pick and choose.
A woman stood up demanding to be heard. She questioned, “How can we sit here talking about our privileged lives becoming more and more amazing when there are people out there really suffering? What about the poverty in India? The violence in Africa? The destruction of our environment?” The reminder of so many people’s despair and hopelessness filled the room.
It’s a good question.
How do you reconcile your desires for yourself and your desires for the collective?
The yogi was firm in his response and asked her, “What do you do?”
She paused, unsure how to respond.
With the preciseness of shooting a bow and arrow to its bulls-eye, he repeated, “WHAT-DO-YOU-DO? FOR WORK? HOW-DO-YOU-MAKE-A-LIVING?”
She replied, “I’m a web designer.”
He further asked, “Any experience in nation building? Distributing aid to foreign countries? Anything like that?”
“No,” she said as she looked down.
The yogi then took a deep breath and began to give her a sacred smack down. “You have to realize, all you can do is what you can do. Repeat — ALL YOU CAN DO IS WHAT YOU CAN DO. If you feel passionately moved by the troubles of the world, find a non-profit who aligns with your beliefs and offer your services to them or donate a percentage of your profits to their cause. DO WHAT YOU CAN DO.”
What can we do?
What can I do?
What are my natural gifts, talents and abilities?
What brings me the most joy and fulfillment?
What ideas and dreams make my body zing with the vibration of YES?
How can my work be of the greatest service to the collective evolution of humanity?
I was on the road to find out.
I grew up as a dancer. Dance was my refuge and how I learned to transform life’s challenges into opportunities. I realized as a young person that if I was not moving my body, I suffered. If I was moving my body, I felt full of energy, clarity, and joy. Therefore, I structured my life around movement. I studied dance and prepared myself for studies in movement therapy in college. I’ve also had a daily yoga practice for 10+ years.
While studying yoga, I made a realization around movement that changed everything. Dance had always been about how it looked, and while I loved doing it, it was about creating an image of beauty for an observer. Yoga put the focus and attention on how it felt. By focusing on the sensation of my breath, the balance of effort and ease and creating dynamic tension in all my movements, I found myself feeling the best I had in my entire life.
A couple years ago, I found myself working on the front lines of the pleasure revolution at Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts in New York City where I had the honor of watching women transform their lives through pleasure. As the women opened, I saw their bodies yearning for a way to move with as much pleasure and vitality as they were experiencing in their lives.
In 2008, a woman asked the leader of the school, Regena Thomashauer, “You always say, get in your body, but how? I just don’t know how to feel like a woman in my body; nothing seems right for me. The gym is torture. Yoga’s boring. I can’t seem to find the right level dance class. I love pole dancing, but it doesn’t agree with my body. I’m lost and not sure what to do.”
I leapt at the opportunity and said, “I can teach you!” I heard her call for something more than an exercise class. Something more sacred. Something more fun! With a lifetime of movement experience coupled with a passion for women’s empowerment, I knew it was time to share what I had learned. I called on all the things I love: yoga, dance, sensuality, women’s empowerment, building community, philosophy, positive psychology, shamanism, honoring of the divine feminine, sweat, tears, enthusiasm, pleasure, music, more music, creativity, authenticity, play, rose petals — and freedom to create an initiation into enjoying and reveling being in a feminine body.
And that’s how Qoya Movement was born. The result was sold out classes, radiant women, and the most fulfilling experience of my life. The gift of seeing women dance in full remembering of who they are — wise, wild, and free — is a profound honor that I will always cherish.
I eventually realized that Qoya movement is more than an exercise class; it’s a shift in consciousness. As women open up their bodies in Qoya classes, the way they think about exercise transforms from a feeling of obligation and suffering to reveling in the pleasures of being embodied in a feminine way.
When I reflect back on that night 10+ years ago with the yogi’s encouragement and insistence for each of us to find our gifts, our passions, and the place where we can be of the greatest service in the world, to do what we can do…I think of Gandhi’s famous quote, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” I’ve created the following resources for women to feel the physical sensation of their own wisdom, wildness and freedom with wisewildfree.com, a movement-based blog that gives women from all over the world access to the benefits of Qoya. There are also Qoya Movement Classes, Workshops, Retreats and Private Sessions. My most passionate desire for change is seeing women step into their individual role as empowered leaders to bring our selves, communities and world into a new level of harmony and balance. So that we, as women, can step forward with confidence as visionaries and stand for dreaming a bigger dream. So that we, as women, can be the change we so desire to see in this world and shine!
I so look forward to dancing together!
Love all ways,
The divine light within me bows with gratitude for the gifts, blessings, and challenges that have been along my path and bring me to this divine moment right NOW. As each breath flows through me, I ask and intend that inspiration to create this work does, too. May the lessons that are most important to be shared come through with ease and grace. May the right people to collaborate with feel the magnetic pull to join our tribe. May the abundance flow in all directions, enhancing the well-being of all who choose to get inspired and move. May the wisdom traditions inform us, the wildness in us re-invent life anew, and the soul wings be set free to feel true freedom. May we also feel the strength of the community flying high together and dwell in kindness and compassion for each living being knowing we are all one.
To every task, yes and thank you.
To every inquiry, yes and thank you.
To every day, yes and thank you.
Taught over 4,000 movement classes and hundreds of private sessions, 2000- Present
Certificate as Master Practitioner of Energy Medicine, The Four Winds Society, 2010
Shiva Rea, Yoga Trance Dance Teacher Training, Kripalu, 2009
Mastery and Inner Circle Graduate, Enrollment Staff and Pleasure Revolutionary Award Recipient at Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts, 2007-2009
Foundation in Energetics, Global Alliance for Balance and Healing, California, 2007
Various Coursework in India, Thailand, Australia, and New Zealand in the topics of: Yoga, Vipassana meditation and sacred Indian Yogic texts
Shiva Rea Vinyasa Teacher Training, Kerala, India, 2007
Hirudaya Certified Massage Therapist, San Luis Obispo, CA, Spring 2006
Shiva Rea, Embodying the Flow Vinyasa Yoga Training, San Francisco, CA, 2006
California Artist In Residence 2006: teaching yoga, dance and meditation in CA schools
YMCA Mind/Body Fitness Director at San Luis Obispo YMCA, 2004-2006
YMCA Certified: Personal Training, Cycling, Group Exercise, Active Older Adults, 2005
NIA Technique White Belt Certification San Rafael, CA, 2004
Bikram Hatha Yoga College of India 300+ hour Certification, Los Angeles, CA, 2003
B.F.A. Interdisciplinary Studies of Fine Arts (I created my own major to prepare for further studies in movement therapy by focusing on Dance, Psychology, and Humanities). University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ , 2001