If you like your exercise served with a heaping dose of New Agey-ness, Qoya may be just the thing for you. From the slogan—Qoya is Wild, Wise and Free—to the name itself (“Qoya is a Quechan word for Queen, a female manifestation of higher consciousness,” says the program’s website…what’s Quehcan? Oh, just an indigenous language used by shamans in the Andean region of South America), almost everything about this exercise program, developed by dancer and yogi Rochelle Schieck, makes me want to laugh it off (or fear I’d be handed a hand-mirror upon entering a class). And yet…I’m also a little intrigued.
The program is apparently an amalgamation of yoga, dance and “the pleasure found in sensual movement.” It combines strength, balance, flexibility and endurance training with a “unique empowering approach that … helps women enjoy and revel in their feminine bodies,” according to the Qoya website, which also notes that the floors of Qoya classrooms are decorated with rose petals and lit by candles, and instructions are given through images and metaphors such as “move your spine from side to side like kelp moves, gently swaying on the bottom of the ocean.”
Currently, regular Qoya classes are only held in New York City, so I guess I have some time to work on my kelp impersonation. Schieck also teaches Qoya retreats (upcoming retreats are scheduled in Woodstock NY, India and Costa Rica); keeps a “movement-based blog” of Qoya strategies and tips; has published a Qoya e-book; and is working on an online Qoya course.
Have any of you NYC-based readers tried Qoya? What did you think?
Photo via Qoya Facebook page.