by Jaime Fleres-mizejewski
Beginning January 10, 2017, The Mothership will be offering Qoya classes each Tuesday evening from 6 to 730. We invited Jaime Fleres-Mizejewski, our new resident qoya teacher, to tell us a little more about the practice.
What is Qoya?
Qoya is movement with meaning. Qoya is movement as medicine.
Qoya is a women’s practice based on a simple idea that through movement we can explore and express all aspects of ourselves—body, mind, emotions, and soul—we can honor the whole truth of who we are, and we can connect deeply to ourselves and to other women in sacred and safe space.
Qoya is a combination of yoga, dance, and feminine sensual movement, and it is so much more than that. One way to describe qoya is that it is part “best wedding reception you’ve ever been to” and part “deepest most transformational yoga, meditation, <insert your path of connection> experience you’ve had.”
Really, to know what qoya is, you’ve got to experience it for yourself.
What do you do in a Qoya class?
Each qoya class is 75 to 90 minutes long (workshops are usually 2-3 hours). In each class, the teacher introduces qoya and the unique theme for class. A theme might be something like “accessing your inner wisdom,” “speaking your truth,” “connecting to the wild within,” etc. You are invited to dance with this theme and/or explore whatever feels most resonant for you that day. We set sacred space by each drawing a goddess card and talking to another woman about how we relate to it.
Then, beginning to move our bodies simply, we connect to our breath and set an intention for class. We continue by circling through each part of our body, opening our heart and our hips, and moving through some simple flowing yoga sequences. We then explore the opposite of the theme through a free dance, in which we honor the shadow. We release and transmute any heavy or undesired energy by shaking our bodies. We have a little fun with simple choreography and then free dance the full expression of the theme we are exploring. Next, we cool down with some stretching and final relaxation. In our classes at the Mothership, we will also have a chance to do some written reflection and exploration.
Each qoya class is set to great music and facilitates great connection both to your inner world and the women in our circle.
What should I know if I am new to Qoya?
Qoya focuses more and more on how movement feels and how our bodies want to move and express in the moment, and less and less on how our movement looks, or whether or not we are doing it “right.” The most important thing to know about qoya is that you cannot do qoya wrong. The way you know you are doing it right is if it feels good, if it feels true, in your body. Much of a qoya class is guided movement, but always with the encouragement to do what feels good in your own body.
If you are curious about qoya, come give it a try. It is a really fun and accessible practice. You don’t have to be a dancer or a yogini or have anything but a desire to connect with and honor your body, heart, emotions, and soul.
Is this practice safe for pregnancy and postpartum?
Yes, this practice is considered safe for healthy women who are pregnant and those more than 6-8 weeks past giving birth, as supported by your provider. The encouragement in qoya is to always listen to your body and follow its wisdom, so modifications and adjustments to your practice are encouraged to make the practice work for you, based on where you are in your childbearing season and how you are feeling.
Qoya is an amazing way to connect with yourself, with your baby, and with other women through pregnancy, postpartum, and motherhood.
What if I am not pregnant or a new mother?
All adult women are encouraged to attend our qoya classes. Whether you are wanting to connect to your body and its wisdom outside the childbearing season, are just thinking about getting pregnant, are in the early months and years of motherhood, or your children are older, you are welcome in our class. We all have wisdom to share and to be gained through this practice of movement as medicine.
Who is the qoya teacher at The Mothership?
Our resident qoya teacher is Jaime Fleres-Mizejewski. She is a mother and founder of Santosha Birth and Wellness, a holistic wellness business for women in the childbearing season and beyond. Besides qoya, Jaime is trained as a birth doula, and offers placenta encapsulation, flower essence consultations and healing work, writing support, and more.
How do I sign up or learn more?
You can sign up on our classes page. Drop-ins are also welcome. Your first class is free and classes are $15 thereafter.
To learn more about Jaime and her offerings, please visit www.SantoshaMama.com. You can email Jaime with any questions you have at Jaime@SantoshaMama.com.
To learn more about qoya and access free movement videos please visit www.qoya.love.