Embodied Truth

an exploration of healing the female body

October 29 - November 5, 2022 | Blue Spirit, Costa Rica

You’re invited to join us for honest conversations with self and others about the journey of  womanhood through movement, ritual and community connection, held in the sacred healing space of Blue Spirit Retreat Center in Costa Rica.

Dear Qoya Family,

I’ve led over 80 Qoya Retreats. If you’re reading this, perhaps you’ve been on one or more of those journeys. Perhaps you’ve seen photos of women looking to be in radiant joy at them with luminous sunsets, ocean sprays, big smiles of satisfaction and bodies that look like they have exhaled into well-deserved relaxation.

Those moments are a blessing when they happen… and there is an essential part of the experience that doesn’t always make it to the invitation page. The part that honors the depth of reverence for meeting the intensity of our lives. The part that reminds ourselves and others that we are not gathering solely for recreation, that there is a call for healing that we are answering.

Being in a beautiful and safe environment and having meals prepared for you is a luxury in many ways for many people. It also starts to create a container that allows the vigilance of the body to soften and for the heart to be curious about what else might be possible beyond the habits and patterns of one’s daily life.

Here’s the thing. This journey is tender. As you begin to feel your body, the first interface is often grief. All the tension that was protection from pain begins to soften and tears begin to flow. It’s a bittersweet release. Then there is a liminal space of navigating what is no longer and what is not yet. We work to cultivate patience, trust and agency to stay with our intuitive sense for next steps. Insight inevitably arrives. The path forward is seen with more clarity and hope. This is when we take the pictures.

On our last day together, when we realize that we created a temporary village of support for ourselves. While we may begin to mourn that it is ending, we also commit to integrating what we can back into our world at home. From a place of nourishment, we continue to show up in service to the world from a more embodied and more honest place.

This is true for every retreat and I believe more so for this one. Let us gather together and embrace the wholeness of our journey without pressure to end up anywhere. Let’s break the world open with our honesty when trust has been earned. Let’s give our body more chances to speak and ourselves more time to listen. Let’s honor the journey we’ve been on, the moment we are right now.

With love,

Rochelle Schieck


Rochelle Schieck is the founder of Qoya. Since its inception in 2009, she has trained hundreds of Qoya teachers, taught thousands of Qoya movement classes, and led dozens of retreats in the most sacred places on earth with one intention in mind: to remember, and to help others do the same.

Qoya is designed to feel how the body and movement are a portal to remember our essence, to feel our perspective shift from going through the motions to savoring life as sacred. Qoya does this through classes, workshops, rituals, retreats/pilgrimages, teacher trainings, free videos online, a blog, and Rochelle’s book, Qoya: A Compass for Navigating an Embodied Life that is Wise, Wild and Free in hopes that all that feel the call to remember can be supported on their journey.

There are no levels to Qoya, and it is a movement that people of any age or ability level can do. It has been featured in outlets like New York Magazine, Oprah.com, The Telegraph, and Psychology Today.
“What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.”

― Muriel Rukeyser

We live in a time when our world is splitting open. You are invited to come and be held in a way that allows your truth to emerge and your heart to open alongside the world.

How many times in your life have you been in a space that was devoted to nourishing your relationship to the most intimate parts of your body? Where there was a mix of practical anatomy and physiology alongside emotional and spiritual support?

Some of us may have never had this opportunity until now. Some of us may have had it a few times, but weren’t able to fully drop in. And some of us may be committed to a world that honors the body’s wisdom.


Through movement, we will deepen our connection with our bodies. From this place of embodied presence, we will also explore the practical anatomy and physiology of the female body focusing on the ovaries, uterus, vagina, vulva and cervix.

We will also explore embodying the archetypical expression of the feminine and the roles we may have immersed ourselves in like; Teenage rebel, Naive Maiden, Mother, Nourisher, Warrior, Protector, Wild Adventurer, Mystic, Healer, Sage.

Together, we will practice normalizing the most commonly hidden aspects of our female lived experience and co-create a more honest space for our individual and collective healing in community.

Our time in Costa Rica will also coincide with Halloween, Dia de los Muertos, and take place in-between two eclipses, prompting multi-dimensional layers of reflection. With the support of movement, ritual and community, the deep introspection of this time can be a time of great healing and insight.

Our story


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For the last 12 years, Qoya has invited women to connect with themselves through movement and have an embodied experience of their essence as wise, wild and free. Qoya retreats build on this movement practice, adding rituals, community connection activities, and the pilgrimage to Costa Rica. We’ve returned to Blue Spirit retreat center every since the first Qoya retreat there in 2009 because of the sacred space they hold for transformation and a rich group experience. Many members of the Qoya community return year after year as an investment in themselves and in their feeling of connection and belonging. Whether you’ve been doing our videos online, are a Qoya teacher, attended a retreat, read the Qoya book, or feel inspired by a friend’s Qoya journey, if you feel the call, we invite you to experience the reunion with yourself and your soul family at this year’s Qoya Costa Rica retreat.

Yes, this is a real Qoya dancer in Costa Rica!

On this retreat, you will:

+ daily experiential learning around female anatomy, archetypes, and energetic systems

+ trauma informed, emotionally permissive container to support your journey inwards

+ connect to self, other, nature, and spirit with reverence through ceremony and ritual

+ embodiment practices and encouragement to trust your body’s wisdom

+ support of your healing journey with nourishing daily Qoya movement, food, connection, and rest


With this sample schedule below, you can easily see how you can have an active and energizing retreat, a restorative and replenishing retreat, or a mix of both. There are many offerings and also spaciousness to practice choosing what feels right in your body each day. In addition to our itinerary, Blue Spirit has several offerings for free time such as horseback riding, zip lining, and spa appointments. 



6:00pm: Delicious Dinner
7:45pm: Opening Ceremony

Tentative Daily Schedule (subject to change)

7am: Optional Sunrise Activities
8:00-9:00 Bountiful Breakfast
9:30am-12pm: Qoya Class with Rochelle Schieck
12pm-2pm: Lovely Lunch and time to rest
2pm-5pm: Afternoon Adventure or Optional Workshops
5pm-6pm: Optional Sunset Activities
6:30pm-7:30pm: Delicious Dinner
8pm-10pm: Evening Ceremonies


NOVEMBER 5, 2022: Departure

8am – 10am: Bountiful Breakfast
Blessings for your next adventure


I sometimes reflect on the seed that Qoya planted in my being over half a decade ago and how it served as a catalyst for me into the world of sacred pelvic healing. Both of these practices invite reverence to the felt sensation of truth in the body. Weaving Qoya and Holistic Women’s Pelvic Health has been a dream of mine since the conception of my sacred work. This retreat is a divine amalgamation of these two profound practices.

For anyone who has spent an extended time with Qoya embodiment, you know that the simple act of tuning in can create infinite change in the body, mind, and spirit. This act of noticing gives us the power to embody the change we seek. But it is not always an easy road to be present with what we find in that embodiment. There is a shadow to this sacred work– grief, rage, intensity are a part of the journey of reclamation. What would it feel like to be held in the wholly human experience of female embodiment?

Root medicine, or pelvic medicine, is based on the idea that to embody the expansive qualities of our female lived experience, we must also create a grounded, earthly foundation of safety within ourselves. Matshona Dhliwayo says “It is in the roots, not the branches, that a tree’s greatest strength lies.”

I invite you to take a moment and notice, how would your relationship to womanhood shift when you connect with your physical root, to your sacred center, to your pelvic bowl?

With love,

Sydney Zwicker


Sydney Zwicker is a bodyworker and women’s health mentor based in Denver, Colorado. Her intention is to give clients and students the tools to journey into wholeness. She believes there is no one way, nor right way, to heal. It’s a little bit of this, a little bit of that, and a whole lot of courage.

Her passion is to be a catalyst in shedding the stigma of the female-lived experience. Through embodiment practices, such as Qoya, Holistic Pelvic Care, and Women’s Health Massage, Sydney offers clients the tools to reclaim their personal essence and embody their truth.


There are two places in this world where I feel fully alive – in the birth room and on the dance floor. For me, these are both sacred spaces where Spirit offers me the opportunity to drop more deeply into my body, tap into my creative life force energy, and discover my connection with the Divine.

As a dancer, movement has proved to be both a powerful medicine helping me stay grounded and present in my body, and a way to connect with my creativity and sacred flow. This is why I love Qoya. In Qoya, we are invited to move our bodies as a way to move energy, to think less and feel more, and to be really present to what our bodies are telling us. In practicing Qoya, I’ve developed a deeper, richer relationship with my own body, a relationship that is healing and precious to me.

As a doula, I have felt the pure love and light that floods the room when the veil lifts and a new soul enters. I have held sacred space for women as they journey from maiden to mother, engaging in the radical creative act of growing, birthing, and sustaining a new life. I have witnessed many inspiring, heart-expanding births – and I have witnessed births that were unnecessarily traumatic. Both types of experiences fuel my work as a maternity care consumer advocate, policy expert, and coach for expectant parents. I believe that birth (your own and your child’s) is a life experience that you will always hold in your body. My work is to raise consciousness around birth, and to help birthing people have the most positive, empowering experience possible. Qoya is one of the ways I have found to achieve this.

Qoya reminds us that, at our essence, we are Wise, Wild, and Free, and we move our bodies as a way to reclaim and deepen the connection to this essential truth. In the birth room, accessing our Wise, Wild, and Free nature is key to unlocking the mysteries of birth. At this moment, all around the world there are birth workers encouraging women to drop into their bodies and tap into their power as creators by honoring the Wisdom of the body, surrendering to the Wild, untamed nature of labor, and feeling Free to follow the primal urges of their birthing bodies.

Whether birthing a baby, a book, a business, a work of art, or a new idea, your limitless power as a creator is within you. Through movement, we remember.

With love,

Élan Vital


Élan Vital has been a birth worker for 20+ years. She founded Choices in Childbirth, an organization dedicated to educating expectant parents about birth and affecting change on the local, statewide, and federal levels in the U.S. You can also see her in the groundbreaking documentary, “The Business of Being Born.” Today, she offers coaching for new and expectant parents (and those who would like to be parents!) and teaches training programs for birth workers to support them in reimagining birth as a process that respects the humanity of all parents and babies. You can learn more about her coaching and programs at www.elanvital.love.

Teacher Training


If you are currently pursuing Qoya Teacher Training, the second step of our training, Initiation Teacher Training ($600), will be offered at this retreat. In this training, you’ll learn the basics of how to lead another person through a Qoya class to prepare you for our third level of teacher training, the Intensive. 

Optional Initiation Teacher Training meets 8:30-9:30am Monday-Friday and 2:00-4:00pm Tuesday and Thursday.

You must complete the Intro to Qoya online teacher training ($250) prior to the Costa Rica Retreat if you wish to take the Initiation training.


This retreat will be held at Blue Spirit, one of the foremost world-class yoga and meditation retreat centers in Costa Rica. Located in Nosara, the center is perched on a hilltop overlooking the Pacific Ocean and a three-mile white sand beach that is protected as a turtle refuge. The pristine nature, subtropical climate, dedicated staff, and the healing energy of the center provides an extraordinary setting for spiritual transformation, personal growth, and environmental sustainability.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to new restrictions from the Costa Rica government, Blue Spirit is only allowing fully vaccinated guests.

Click on each image below to explore the amenities for each room.

All pricing is per person for a single occupancy room, and payment plans are available through August 15th, 2022. If you have friends or family you wish to room with, please contact us directly for double-occupancy pricing.


While our time together often inspires healing and can be therapeutic, it is not therapy. It’s important to have a strong group container with a clear understanding of our community agreements. I ask each person applying to attend to connect for a 15-minute session to confirm that we are clear on the agreements of this container. I’m also inspired to offer as a bonus, a private personal session with me to do a gratitude ceremony, energy healing, or personalized movement ritual. We will also have a monthly call leading up to the retreat.


If you’re approved to enroll after your call, we’ll send you a registration form to pay, and you’ll also be required to sign our event policies and communications agreement in order to attend.


applications and room requests will processed in the order in which they're received.

CANCELLATION POLICY: If you need to cancel for any reason (including COVID-19 travel restrictions) and we can find a person to take your spot, we will refund the amount paid minus a $250 administration fee. If we cannot find a person to take your spot, there are no refunds; however, you can transfer your paid spot to someone else, so you can send a friend or family member to the retreat in your place.

We will also hold your tuition as a course credit for a future retreat minus any housing expenses we incur. If you would be placed in financial distress in the event that you need to cancel without a refund, we encourage you not to register and to wait until closer to the retreat to register so that you may be more sure of your plans and current travel restrictions.


Have a question that isn’t covered here? Contact us at info@qoya.love, and a member of Team Qoya will support you.

Blue Spirit requires that each guest either shows a negative Covid test (Laboratory Certified Antigen or PCR test, no older than 72 hours) or proof of having received full Covid vaccination, at least 15 days prior to arrival. You can learn more about their COVID-19 safety protocols here: https://bluespiritcostarica.com/retreats/covid-19-protocols/

It starts with dinner at 6pm on the 29th, and ends at 9am on the 5th. We recommend that you arrive around 4pm on the 26th to have time to settle in before dinner.

We recommend that you fly into Liberia, and book a shuttle through Blue Spirit, which costs $60 (not included in your retreat tuition): http://www.bluespiritcostarica.com/shuttle-reservations

No – you will need to book a room nearby and arrive at Blue Spirit on the 26th.

Yes – contact us directly to register your partner and make payment for their cost of room and board. You may stay with them in most single occupancy rooms as well as the double occupancy. Please email us at info@qoya.love to book. We may add special activities for partners if there is enough demand.

In order to ensure a good experience for everyone who attends the retreat, we want to make sure everyone who attends is willing to participate in a safe and sacred space, honoring our communication agreements. 

If you’re not able to attend the retreat, there are no refunds regardless of the reason. We are happy to hold your tuition as a credit towards a future retreat.

If you don’t feel comfortable with this, please don’t sign up. You can get good travel insurance that covers Covid cancellations or wait until the last minute to register and attend to lessen your risk. However, as a small company, we can’t cover refunds in the event of an act of nature, like a global pandemic.

Any questions we haven’t covered here? Email us at info@qoya.love.