If you were like me at the beginning of the day I’m writing this post (May 20th, 2019 to be exact) you have absolutely no idea what Qoya is and aren’t sure how to pronounce it either.
First things first, it’s pronounced KOI-YA.
Next, you’re probably thinking, well I know how to say it, but what does it mean? Qoya is a movement system based on the idea that through movement we remember. By tapping into the wisdom of our body, we remember that we are wise, wild, and free. That allows us to connect with our true self and inner wisdom so that we can get back into the flow of life.
Now that that’s out of the way, we can get on to my story and what went down yesterday. Full disclosure, being the type a Virgo that I am, I googled what was Qoya before buying my ticket. I just had to make sure I had a tiny bit of background. I stumbled across this video. Maybe a little weird for some, but it called me in. It looked therapeutic. It looked like what my body, mind, and spirit needed.
There is something about moving the body that's really special. Not only does it feel good on tight muscles and joints (um hello I was just on an airplane the day before I yesterday), but we hold so much stress and stagnant energy in out bodies. Unfortunately our everyday, modern day, western life doesn’t help us let go of it…ever. We all sit around stressing all day staring at screens — none of that is conducive to letting that energy flow through and not build up. The problem with the build up? It causes dis-ease in the body — from the status of our mental state to literal physical illness.
OKAY! I’m extra vata and all over the place and still vibrating from class. Let’s take a step back here really quick and chat about how I came to even find this class. It all started because last week I wanted to find a tapping class or workshop in SF. It was pretty slim pickings, but found one women — Kate Winch — whose vibe totally jived with me. Turns out she was teaching a tapping workshop at my favorite neighborhood crystal stop (Scarlet Sage) that very weekend. Needless to say, I was totally bummed when I realized that it coincided with my trip to Colorado. The good news! She hosts them often according to her website. The other good news! Because I got such great energy from her, I slipped into her DMs and asked about upcoming classes. That led me to find out about her June tapping workshop AND resulted in me getting put on her mailing list. Low and behold an announcement email appeared in my inbox yesterday morning about a Qoya class taking place that night. I felt a ping to go so asked a couple friends and one was able to go (shout out to you Lauren because I probably wouldn’t have gone by myself).
Let’s set the scene! The monthly class (you can bet I’m going back) takes place at the Women’s Building on 18th Street in the Mission. That’s the cool distinctive building with art all over it right by Birite. If you’re SF local, you know what I’m talking about. I walked in at 6:59 and was promptly directed upstairs by the building attendant downstairs (I think the fact that I was a Caucasian 20 something carrying a yoga mat was a dead giveaway). What the attendant didn’t know was that this lady’s sense of direction is not so great. I proceeded to walk into a tai chi class, started introducing myself, and was stared back at with confusion from everyone…wrong classroom….a walk down the hall and I made it on just in the nick of time for the 7pm start!
We sat in a large circle on our yoga mats and began with a tapping session to calm everyones nerves after introductions and to set the tone for our hour and a half together. Then, we did some group movements and called in our own personal intention — I chose love and joy — to call both love and joy in and give them both back into the universe. After that, we were instructed to go to the middle of the room and choose an oracle card. I could not make this up if I tried, I choose the “Summer Solstice: Radiance” card. If that does not scream woo woo love and joy to you, you’re not my people. From there you can bet I was in on the whole thing.
We flowed between free dance and guided movements. She played a variety of music that went along with the purpose and reason behind our movements — nymph like dancing songs and Abba was all included! It was FABULOUS. We went through moving our neck, heart, hips, and even worked on shaking out our blockages (if you follow me on instagram, you know I picked this up last year at Rancho La Puerta and practice it IRL on the street with zero shame).
I was stunned, but also not so stunned, to realize that the heart opening dance was the most difficult for me. After we would move through an exercise together, she would give us a couple minutes of free dance and encouraged us to dance and lead from the part of the body that we had just activated. Hips were not a problem for me. After stretching them out, doing some j drops, I was hip and booty shakin’ and poppin’ like no ones business. A complete 180 from the heart opening dance before that — I felt vulnerable leading with my heart even in a room full of non-judgmental women who weren’t even looking at me. I think that says a lot. Shall we dig in here? Duh. I’m at a place in my life where I’m 110% over my last, very long long-term relationship. I’m over the person, but even more important than that, I’m over grieving what I though my life was going to be. I’ve completely moved on from that, I’m at peace with it, and feel more myself than ever. I have a clear definition of the woman I am and feel confident in her and in being her body. What I’m realizing through dating is that opening my heart again is going to be the tough part. I’m good at sharing (because that’s what I do here), so “opening up” and being real with someone isn’t hard for me. That said, I feel like it’s easy for me (and the other person) to confuse that for opening my heart up. Truth be told. My heart and emotion center has it’s guard up big time. If you’ve been following along for a bit, you know I’m back to stone cold bitch mode — aka I literally don’t cry. This is what I was like before I met my ex boyfriend. I chalk it up to early childhood dead dad syndrome. I learned to either play down my emotions or throw up a shield to not feel them, just process and move on. That’s honestly how I knew I was healed from my relationship. I stopped crying about it // anything. While a lot of the time it’s convenient, it’s definitely not healthy. Crying is such a great emotional release — just like physically shaking and moving your body is. But the closest I can get to a cry is a major teary eye with cloudy vision and mayyyyybe one singular tear and only when my hormones are going haywire.
Anyways, what I guess I’m trying to say is that the body and the way it moves gives away what our minds and voices can’t or don’t want to reveal. My body physically had trouble moving when my heart was attempting to open up and lead me. I really have to make a conscious effort to allow myself to let go, drop the shield, and be vulnerable next time I’m in a space with a partner that could lead to something bigger than just another dinner date. It may take time and some trial and error, but I’m ready for it and ready to cry again — for the release, for sad things, but also for all the happy joyful things — bring. it. on.
Now back to the Qoya class. After making our way through different areas of the body and a dance facing the wall away from others to expose our shadow self (honestly this was even easier for me than the heart leading dance), we returned to the theme of todays class PLAY! And had a very fun long last free dance where she kept reminding us to play, to have fun, to feel our bodies like we would if we were kids. Let me tell you, IT WAS EXHILERATING. I’m still vibrating from it as I type 4 hours later. It reminded me that I used to dance all the time. Not just in ballet class growing up. But at recess, at playdates, at home. My friends and I would literally just make up dance routines for HOURS to perform them for our parents. Why did we stop doing that? When did we start judging ourselves so much? When did everything get so serious?
It felt SO good to let loose and just have fun. Throughout class, she kept reminding us that there is no wrong way to do Qoya. If we’re moving in a way that’s honoring our body and feels good to us, then we are doing it right! Do you know how refreshing that feels to hear. Imagine if someone told you that about everything you did all day. It would be pure bliss. That’s what I’d like to create my life to be. No wrong, just doing what feels good and knowing that’s right.
With that, I will leave you with a dare. Set a reminder on your phone to get up and dance DAILY. Shake off your stress and worries, move your beautiful body, and feel your soul radiate love and joy.
I hope it changes your day, your week, your year, your life. XO