Qoya means Queen in Quechuan (an indigenous language used by shamans in South America). This doesn’t refer to an emotionally distant, bejewelled figure who holds a position of inherited power, but instead, Queen that translates as “a female manifestation of higher consciousness.” The Qoya were the women in the communities – all the women – all revered for their powerful intuition. Unlike a Queen who rules over others, the Qoya Queen reclaims the right and personal authority to govern herself.
I have now had the honour of teaching 24 Qoya classes in Poole to over 50 women. There is a growing tribe of beautiful souls who feel that Qoya is a joyful part of their self care. I devote my sincere love to each class I teach and learn so much every time. I am quite humbled by the feedback I have received and here are some of the highlights:
“It was so lovely to meet you all today…I was so apprehensive as it’s not something that I thought would be ‘me’ and I couldn’t have been more pleasantly surprised… what a lovely group of ladies you are. I felt so emotional and so energised and happy afterwards. I can’t wait for next week now. “ J C
“Thank you so much for an amazing Friday morning. Such a heavenly way to start the weekend. I can’t wait until next Friday.” CP
“Phenomenal class today Dulcie, so powerful in shifting energies – it felt like coming home. Thank you thank you.” AH
“Amazing class Dulcie, it transformed my mindset within 30 seconds of the breathwork and helped me SO much today. Loved the music, loved the sea, loved the circle, love you. Thank you and thank Qoya for the simplicity of it’s miracle magic”. SL
Each week is dedicated to a different theme and I get to play DJ and create a tailored playlist! We get under the skin of each theme, and each women creates an intention to devote their dancing to, with the idea that energy grows where energy goes. We open up our hearts, travelling the 6′ from our heads to our hearts and letting our hearts lead the way. We practice yoga as prayer whilst focusing on our intention with reverence. We explore the opposite of the theme – eg: Taking the theme of Sisterhood, what does it feel like in your body when you don’t feel connected to Sisterhood? In recognition that we are all made up of light and dark, we create a safe space to really honour, acknowledge and experience our darker feelings like sadness, frustration, jealousy, anger – we take them as a dance partner and move them through our body. Then we test one of the hypothesise of Qoya that, like wild animals, we can shake our selves back to centre, shake off those heavier feelings and restore our natural vitality. A fun choreographed dance brings us together in celebration. Then we have the pinnacle of the class, the chance to dance freely to a track that embodies the theme perfectly – eg: how does it feel in your body when you are connected to Sisterhood? We dance those feelings to our heart’s desire. The class is drawn to a close with a share of the highlights whilst we stretch and discuss how we may incorporate the positives from the class into our life. We close with a well deserved rest in stillness, letting the essence of the class seep into our bones, before we leave feeling energised and uplifted.
So far in my Qoya classes this year we have danced for:
*Sisterhood – This was a special fund raising class where over £500 was donated to help fund the brain tumour treatment for my dear friend Debbie Smith. The night was magical and drew some beautiful souls. Huge thanks to James and Layla Gordon for gifting us the wonderful space at The Queens Hotel. “The circles of women around us weave invisible nets of love that carry us when we are weak and sing with us when we are strong” – Sark
*Courage – In this class we explored how it feels to have the courage to take a leap of faith! Courage doesn’t mean you aren’t afraid. Instead it means that you don’t let fear stop you. It takes courage to live the life you want.
*Gratitude – We explored feelings of Gratitude and how we can invite more of it into our lives. In this world where we are so often depleted, to pause a while and remember what you are truly grateful for is a source of joy. The moment you start acting as though life is a blessing, it starts feeling like one.
*The Gift of Presence – We considered that life is actually only available in the present moment. “Nothing is more precious than being in the present moment. Fully alive, fully aware!” Thich Nhat Han. One of the glorious things about each Qoya class is that it grounds you in the present moment. You take this gift of presence into life after class and life is all the richer for it.
*Nurture your Inner Child – “Above all, never let age extinguish your inner child!” S Agna. Qoya is a fabulous space to let your inner child dance to her hearts content. She can fuel us with incredible energy and enthusiasm. How many times in your life have you been told to ‘grow up’ or not to ‘be silly’? How did that feel for you? Did you suppress a part of yourself in response? Our inner child never leaves us and deserves to be honoured and nurtured.
*Self Love – One of my favourite themes! We could all invite so much more self love into our lives. The relationship with ourselves sets the tone for every other relationship that we have. Surely we owe ourselves the love that we so freely give to others? Then we serve from the saucer because our cup is filled to overflowing – giving from this space is easy and effortless. This class perfectly coincided with Valentine’s Day!
*Freedom – I believe that Freedom is being YOU without anyone’s permission. “The most important kind of freedom is to be who you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You trade in your sense for an act. You give up your ability to feel and, in exchange, put on a mask. There can’t be any large scale revolution until there is a personal revolution. It’s got to happen inside first” Jim Morrison. One of the key essences of Qoya is Freedom – the freedom to enjoy being in our bodies. This class was full to bursting as the theme struck a chord with many women!
*Connection – For the last 10 years Qoya has invited women to connect with themselves through movement, to have an embodied experience of their essence as wise, wild and free. From this place of connection with ourselves, we are more easily able to connect to others, to nature, to spirit, to life itself! “Connection is why we are here. It gives purpose and meaning to our lives” Brene Brown. This class coincided with International Women’s Day and the 15 year anniversary since my lovely Mamma died. It was no coincidence that they were on the same day – divine intervention!
*Perfectly Imperfect – Having a beautiful soul doesn’t mean you are pure, it is being able to consistently come back with a heart full of love and compassion, despite your human imperfections. In this class we celebrated ourselves as perfectly imperfect, recognising and accepting all our flaws as part of the wondrous whole being that we are. “Just be yourself. Let people see the real, imperfect, flawed, quirky, weird, beautiful, magical person that you are”. Mandy Hale
*Embrace the Light – This class coincided with the Spring Equinox, the first day of Spring and the last of the 2019 Supermoons. There was light all around and we awoke our souls to it. “Live by the sun and love by the moon, for you must live in the light to embrace the shadows it so perfectly casts. Becca Lea
*Celebrate – “The more you celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate” Oprah Winfrey. This week coincided nicely with my birthday – 43 journeys around the sun – I was in celebratory mood! We danced to celebrate so many more aspects of our lives.
* Embrace the Unknown – By replacing fear of the unknown with curiosity, we open ourselves up to an infinite stream of possibility. We danced for faith and trust in the unknown, understanding that we cannot predict the future and to believe that we are stepping into anything other than the unknown is a simply a veil of illusion. Uncertainty can be so uncomfortable but consider that when nothing is certain anything is possible!
If you are interested in Qoya but not sure that it is for you, I am creating an Introduction to Qoya class – please come and try and then you will know whether or not it is for you! Please email me for details. I teach regular Qoya classes locally and you are more than welcome to come to any of these, just send me an email to save you a mat space. Classes are £10 per session. You need no prior experience in Qoya, Yoga or Dance. Regular classes are:
Every Thursday Morning 9.10-10.30 @ Parkstone Yacht Club, Poole
Every Friday Morning 9.30-11.00 @ The Yoga Studio, Poole
Monthly in the New Forest – please contact me @ firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Lastly these quotes are so apt for any Qoya dancer – if they resonate with you then it is a sign to come and try a class. Remember there is no way that you can do anything wrong in Qoya and the way you know you are doing it right is that it feels good!
“’Finding yourself’ is not really how it works. You aren’t a ten dollar bill in last winter’s coat pocket. You are also not lost. Your true self is right there, buried under cultural conditioning, other people’s opinions, and inaccurate conclusions you drew as a kid that became your beliefs about who you are. ‘Finding yourself’ is actually returning to yourself. An unlearning, an excavation, a remembering who you were before the world got it’s hands on you.” Emily McDowell.
“I am SPIRIT and I am SEXUAL. I am WILD and I am GROUNDED. I am STILL and I am ALIVE. I am FIERCE and I am SOFT. I am STRONG and I am VULNERABLE. I am a MAMMA and I am FREE. I have NEEDS and I am INDEPENDENT. I am SHADOW and I am LOVE. I AM WOMAN. I AM WOMAN. I AM WOMAN. SO PROUD TO BE WOMAN.We think that we have to choose. The parts of who we are. So it can all fit into a tidy package. But if we take some, and reject the rest… We reject parts of who we are And we don’t get to be fully whole. Or fully FREE. Own it all beauties. Own it all and be proud.” Nicky Clinch
For me, Qoya is a continued journey of love and learning. You come to class as you are and leave as so much MORE of who you truly are. Every session lights up my soul and I feel utterly privileged to be able to teach this beautiful practice.