top of page
IMG_5091 2nd (1).jpg


Qoya is based on the idea that through movement, we remember.

Image by Victoria Palacios

dancing with the divine feminine

The seed of this practice began in a woman's circle in New York City in 2009. A woman raised her hand and asked, "Everyone says I need to get out of my head and into my body and I don't even know what that means. If it's fitness, I'm in trouble because for me the gym is the worst, yoga is boring, I can never get in the right level dance class and I hurt my back pole dancing." As this woman was speaking, Rochelle Schieck heard a question under the question, "How do I move my body and live my life in a way that I feel like myself?”. 

With this question in mind, Rochelle began to teach a movement class that combined yoga, dance and sensual movement for women, shifting the focus from what it looks like to how it feels. Rochelle began to weave her experiences as a trained dancer, yoga teacher, personal trainer, energy healer and student of authentic embodied expression together through a divine feminine lens. 

This divine feminine lens in Qoya Inspired Movement has two main components; one, honor life as sacred by embracing and integrating all aspects of the human experience; and two, the movement is designed to honor and include feminine perspectives and bodies. These two principles, while grounded in respect and gratitude for the many spiritual and movement lineages that guide them, give unique emphasis and consideration to the cyclical nature of living in a woman’s body. 

These early Qoya Inspired Movement classes invited women to look at the way they were taught to be with their body and explore the opposite. Instead of focusing on how it looks, focus on how it feels. Instead of overriding your body’s signals, listen to and heed them. Instead of trying to get somewhere in the future, notice how much you can feel a sense of embodied presence right where you are. As Qoya Inspired Movement continues to grow, its resonance is expanding beyond a women’s circle into spaces for all that are called. We continue to call on movement and the cultivation of supportive spaces to nurture the unique blessings and challenges of navigating the world while tending to the archetypal feminine inside our hearts, relationships and world. 

Through Qoya Inspired Movement online videos, classes, workshops, retreats and teacher training, Qoya Inspired Movement offers each dancer space to explore their own lived experience and dance with the question of if through movement we can remember that like nature, our essence is wise, wild and free. 

Over the last 14 years, thousands of people around the world have been deeply moved by their experiences with the practice. In classes, retreats, and living rooms across the world dancers slow down enough to listen to their own bodies, access the wisdom of their bones, and reconnect with what feels true for them. We hope and trust that individuals remembering their own essence supports them to also recognize and regard the essence animating all living beings. We’ve found that when people come into a place of embodied presence, they are able to more easily access their true nature, their heart. In the midst of these dynamic times of accelerated change, our prayer is that Qoya Inspired Movement can continue to be a place where those who are called can remember their essence like nature, is wise, wild and free and that remembering can guide us collectively towards living with deeper reverence for ourselves, one another, nature, spirit and life. 

Image by Victoria Palacios

my journey exploring right relationship

DSC01525 (1).jpg

the qoya name

When I first began teaching this class in 2009 I used the name Inspired Movement, which I loved. After a few months of classes going really well and wanting to grow, I went to make a website. I soon learned the name Inspired Movement was already being used. This was my introduction to trademarking and I realized I would have to change the name of the class. This quandary of needing a new name coincided with an upcoming trip I was taking to Peru for the first time. 

Part of this trip to Peru was climbing a mountain called Salkantay. In preparation, I was introduced to the idea that when we die our bodies go back to the earth, our spirits towards the heavens and wisdom to the mountaintops. I was encouraged to bring a question about the direction of my life to the mountain I was climbing. I brought the question about my sacred work. I felt that this movement class was deeply calling me and I made a sincere prayer that offered myself to be a vessel. I said, “If you make the message clear and speak in a way that I can understand, I will do it.” 

When I reached the top of the mountain I heard the words, you are guiding people to remember they are wise, wild and free. You do this by supporting people to feel again. To feel their bodies, to feel their emotions. So many people are overwhelmed. The tendency is to numb or distract oneself away from the inconvenience of feeling. However, this feeling in the body also is how we connect to feeling our hearts and feeling the next steps on our spiritual path. It’s our ability to feel connected to one another, to nature, spirit and life. When we reconnect with feeling our bodies, we are then better able to find a sense of right relationship and resonance. We start with movement as a way to practice. And then this feeling guides us in the way we work, parent, relate, collaborate, the way we live. The feeling of our bodies is the foundation for remembering our essence and also how to live a lifestyle of reverence.

When I came down from the mountain, I heard a tour guide say the word Qoya and felt a deep resonance. He pointed to the ancient ruins in front of us as he shared, “And this is where the Qoya would bathe.” I said, “The who?” He said, “The Qoya.” I felt like a hummingbird drawn to a nectar-filled flower. I learned that Qoya meant Queen in Quechua. The name Qoya goes back to the times of the Inca. The Inca were the Kings and the Qoya were the Queens. Queen here refers to a wisdom keeper, an embodiment of the feminine expression of consciousness. Quechua is a vibrational language similar to Sanskrit. Sanskrit is the language that several ancient yogic texts are written in. For example, if you were to say, “Tadasana” in Sanskrit, tadasana means mountain and when you speak it the vibration of tadasana is like that of a mountain. Similarly with Qoya, when I say the word, I feel the vibration of its meaning. The word Qoya carries a living energy and a transmission that describes the heart of this work, to lead with love. 

I launched my new website in 2010 and was able to trademark Qoya in the category of movement. My intention was to continue doing what I loved. My journey teaching took me all over the world, leading dozens of retreats, training hundreds of teachers and leading thousands of classes. I felt the spirit of the work carrying me as it grew.

Image by Kelly Sikkema
asking permission

I started to experience questions and concerns about using the name Qoya. For the last few years, I brought this inquiry into my heart, into conversations with mentors and listening to people with varied perspectives. One, exploring the conditioning of being raised in a colonizing culture and wanting to reconcile the energy of acknowledging my own privilege to be in a white body and any aspects of myself that felt entitled to use or take a word from a culture other than my own. Holding this with the co-occurring reality of feeling like the name was an answer to a prayer that was received, a gift. To try to untangle the knots of my own concern and desire to be in right relationship, I requested the opportunity to speak with the Q’ero Paqo Elders for advice and counsel on the best next steps. Q’ero Paqos are the spiritual teachers of the path of nature mysticism of which I have been a student now for 14 years to share with them the story above that I have shared with you to listen to their perspective. 

The Paqos response was similar to their teachings, an invitation to expand beyond the individual into the bigger awareness of the collective and our inherent interconnection with one another and mother nature. They said, “The first thing you need to realize is that you are not special. You did not receive a unique message when climbing the mountain. Mother Nature will tell everyone the same message in a way that they can hear it. Reconnect with the earth. Honor the feminine and integrate the feminine. How? By honoring the spirit of Mother Earth back into your heart. This is not a unique message you received. This is the medicine of this time. People from all over the world travel to Peru to ask for personal healing and for direction in their lives just like you. The difference is you did something about it. Congratulations, you can hear mountains.” 

The context of the Q’ero culture is one of open-heartedness, acceptance and trust in nature and life. As a culture, they are deeply committed to spreading their wisdom to the world and grateful to those who learn from them and share what they’ve learned for the greater good of humanity. I was grateful for their perspective and also felt the need to dig deeper inside myself. 


sacred reciprocity inquiry

I felt the need to honor the complexity and subtext of this situation. I want to acknowledge that while the practice of Qoya Inspired Movement has been spiritually inspired, it also operates as a business, a place where there is financial energy exchange. The essence of the teaching of class is movement based, something that emerged from my life of growing up as a dancer, being a yoga teacher for 20 years and my own path of personal growth. The energetic transmission of the class, the spirit of Qoya is the deeper heart that inspires me on a daily basis. My intention is to be in a place of right relationship, honoring the harmful culturally appropriative patterns and not unconsciously perpetuate them and also not collapse into guilt and shame in a way that I freeze from being able to share the enormous blessing I have received from my lived experiences. 

From my understanding of the Q’ero culture and the Paqo path, which is to live as a bridge to Mother Nature, there is one rule. The rule is Ayni. Ayni can be described as sacred reciprocity or sacred exchange where the harmonious flow of energy is giving and receiving in a way that honors the flow of life.

I have received immense gifts from my time in Peru and from my many years of study with the Q’ero. I received the inspiration to follow the path of my sacred work and I received the teachings to call on the healing forces of nature that offered me the capacity to hold space for transformation. Because of my travels to and with their culture, my life has gotten immensely better. Now, the question I am holding is how can their lives also tangibly benefit from their exchange with me? 

If cultural appropriation is defined as the adoption or exploitation of one culture by a dominant culture for the dominant culture’s benefit, can cultural appreciation be described as an opportunity for all cultures involved to benefit? I acknowledge the discernment that is required to clearly see the roles that privilege and power dynamics may be at play to avoid unconscious appropriation. 

My commitment is to right relationship and expression of gratitude for all that I received. In the midst of this inquiry, I was asked to join the board of the Wiraqocha Foundation, established in 1996 for the preservation of indigenous wisdom of the Q’ero. In a board meeting, there was an announcement that a grant that the Wiraqocha Foundation had been depending on needed to delay its funding. I felt a clear call inside my body that this was an incredible opportunity to invite the Qoya Community to come into a place of right relationship and fundraise the money needed. It was an ambitious $65,000 and we set out to do it. 

In the midst of the fundraiser, we were about halfway and I started to feel overwhelmed with fear and disappointment that we wouldn’t be able to meet the goal. When working with the Q’ero Paqos online and asking for support on any particular issue, the first question is often, “Did you make an offering?” I did the practice that I learned from the Q’ero to make a Haywariquy, often referred to as a despacho in Spanish or in English a nature offering. I brought it to the top of the waterfall and called on the healing forces of nature to support this prayer. As the strength of the water received and spread the prayer, I felt a renewed sense of faith to continue walking the path. Soon after, a beloved member of the Qoya Community reached out to share that her family has a foundation that is dedicated specifically to supporting indigenous communities. She acknowledged how her life has been touched by the practices of Qoya and making nature offerings and it would be an honor to make a private donation to reach our goal. Collectively, with over 294 donors from the Qoya community, over a dozen donated auction items, and over 30 special events and classes, we raised $34,567 on our Chuffed fundraising platform and an additional $38,000 in private donations coming to a total of $72,567.

With that money so many of the Q’ero Community’s requests were able to be answered. They wanted a space to gather to be able to weave and also to sell their weavings and a place to offer their healings. Because of Covid, there was an opening of a space inside of Cusco and the Wiraqocha Foundation supported the opening of the Hatun Q’eros Cultural Center. This has become a hub for the Paqo community to be able to sell their weavings, offer healings and gather. 


You can explore purchasing their weavings here or booking a healing session online here. If you are in Peru, please come visit! 

Qoya Inspired Movement is committed to ongoing partnership and support of the Q’ero people and their teaching through contributions to the Wiraqocha Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)3 educational and charitable organization. Together with the Wiraqocha Foundation, Qoya Inspired Movement offers opportunities to learn directly with the Q'ero elders and is committed to supporting projects led by the Q’ero people’s vision. We are rooting into the exploration of how reciprocal cultural sharing can happen in a way that honors different cultural legacies alongside their interconnection, with hopes for a more harmonious future.


I am committed to amplifying the voices and teachings of the Q'ero and am collaborating with the Wiraqocha Foundation to offer monthly teachings where 100% of the proceeds go directly to the projects they determine are the most important to their community. Learn more and join one of our upcoming events here.

evolving into Qoya inspired movement

With this new website launching in 2024, I have also chosen to integrate the journey I’ve been on alongside all those where we have been dancing together to weave the original name of the class Inspired Movement with Qoya. The official name of this work is now Qoya Inspired Movement. The energy of Qoya is the spark that inspires our movement. With gratitude for receiving the opportunity to have a formal ceremony with the Q’ero Paqos to ask for their permission and blessing, we continue to do this work, weaving the heart of our experiences together one dance at a time. 


I also asked the Q’ero Paqos to share with me how they each would describe Qoya. Below is the evolution of my understanding beyond Qoya meaning Queen to Qoya being an expression of feminine energy that is essential for wholeness.

They shared, “Qoya is the feminine power on the path of balance and connection. The energy of Qoya is that of a sacred compliment, a sacred balance of the divine feminine to the divine masculine. It is a divine calling many receive to work with the power of the feminine to bring balance to the world. When we work with the divine feminine power in Qoya, in these times, we are only the instruments. To nourish the feminine wisdom in each of us, we need to receive the healing power of the feminine from nature. This is the medicine of our time. The energy of Qoya does not ask for rigid perfection. Instead, Qoya requests your sincerity, your presence, and your connection to life. When the divine says ‘be connected,’ you need to be connected hour to hour, day to day, week to week. It is hard work to stay with the sensation of being connected to the earth and spirit. It is not easy to deal with the feminine side and will be challenging for those who are called on this journey. Each person will need great support. You will receive the support you need by staying connected to nature and spirit.”

These words above express the foundational teaching I share from their tradition, which is the encouragement to deepen one’s personal relationship with nature. The central practice I share from studying with the Q’ero is of making a Haywariquy, also called a despacho in Spanish or a gratitude or nature offering in English. 

In classes, retreats and teacher training, I offer consistent invitations to explore listening to and honoring Mother Nature. While this is a universal teaching that spans across time and culture, it was through the generosity of the Q’ero people, lineage and culture that was the catalyst for my own remembering and I am deeply grateful. For those who wish to learn more in depth about the sacred practices of the Q’ero Paqo Lineage and Tradition, I am committed to offering the Qoya Inspired Movement Community opportunities to study directly with the Q’ero Paqos and also inviting people to explore the courses offered by the Wiraqocha Foundation which are all led by the Paqos themselves.

The heart of Qoya Inspired Movement is the path of exploring how through movement, we can remember our essence. We can remember that like nature, our essence is wise, wild and free. I will strongly encourage and support those that are called to study and learn more about the practices and traditions to learn directly from the Q’ero themselves. We have partnered with the Wiraqocha Foundation and Global Paqo School to offer a Qoya Cohort, where people in the community can learn directly from the Q’ero Paqos themselves via zoom and then explore Qoya Inspired Movement as a way to integrate the lessons through the body. I am also committed to creating opportunities to learn directly with the Paqos in retreats in Costa Rica, Peru and supporting them as they travel and teach internationally. You can learn more about upcoming classes here.

Qoya inspired movement as a bridge between cultures

In August of 2023, I had the honor to share Qoya Inspired Movement as part of a seminar exploring Embodying Ancient Wisdom with the Ñust’a Paqos and Elizabeth Jenkins, the founder of the Wiraqocha Foundation. After the sessions with our Indigenous Elders, I would lead embodiment practices as an invitation to explore and feel the living energy and wisdom inside their bodies as a way to integrate their experience.

IMG_4666 (1).jpeg

Elizabeth Jenkins, founder of the Wiraqocha Foundation, who has been teaching alongside the Paqos for over 35 years shared, “Rochelle’s work with Qoya is genius. Her Qoya Inspired Movement class is the missing piece of the puzzle as to how to translate this rich tradition of the heart to Western educated people. To shift our worldview, we have to come out of our heads and into our hearts and bodies. Qoya Inspired Movement helps us come back into our embodied experience and most importantly, into our hearts, and through the heart is the only way to learn this tradition.”

I’m honored to be here. I’m honored you’re here. I look forward to continuing to dance together on the path of learning, growth and commitment to right relationship in every aspect of our lives. 


nourishing balance

honoring connection

sacred compliment


divine feminine

sincerity of heart

embodied presence


 reverence for nature

embodied wholeness

Dear Qoya Community,

There is a feeling of resonance when we reconnect to our hearts, bodies, spirits and nature. It could be described as harmony, flow, integration, coherence, peace, presence or love. And while this idea may sound simple, it’s not always easy to attain to maintain. The resistance to the vulnerability of embodiment is a real force. The cultural conditioning to over intellectualize our lives and disconnect from our bodies, hearts and spirits is fierce. We honor the courage it takes to embrace the embodied experience of a fully-feeling human heart. We also humble ourselves to make offerings to the earth and spirit to open ourselves to receive support and guidance.


Qoya Inspired Movement is a structure designed to reflect the capacity of the dancer to meet their moment and take their life as a dance partner. The results for many of us are equal parts grief and gratitude. It is a lot to hold the dynamic paradoxes of this time. We dance to shake off our delusions, to call in our dreams, to activate our capacity to act for social good.  And every day we dance, we ask the physical sensation of truth in the body to be our guide.


There are moments after the storm where a rainbow appears. There are intensities of fire that are calmed by rain. And there are bodies who have been numb and disconnected for a very long time that awaken to their life force again. 


The possibility of a soul being able to honor their cycle of transformation is why I offer Qoya. 


This video is an invitation for you to feel what I am speaking about here in your body.

With gratitude,




Come back to your body, release stagnant energy, ground yourself in the present moment and have more fun with these movement rituals.

free videos

Infuse your day with movement to remember your wise, wild and free essence. Come as you are and leave as more of who you are!


Commit to living a Lifestyle of Reverence Everyday by joining our global community to deepen connection to self, other, nature and spirit.

lore membership

Deepen your personal experience with Qoya to bring the tools and practices of embodied reverence to your community.

teacher training

MEET  Rochelle Schieck


Hello! I’m Rochelle and this is a picture of me sitting next to the creek where I live in upstate New York. Before I teach a class, I often come by this creek and listen for inspiration. There are billions of ways to remember our essence. It can be in simple moments with nature like this. It can be when we are caught up in the contagious laughter of a child. When we embrace someone we love who loves us right back. It can be when we feel fulfillment for work we have done in the world. And I believe it can also be when we dance. I invite you to join me in remembering our wise, wild and free essence through movement.

bottom of page