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Life and Work with Shanna Tabatcher

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shanna Tabatcher.

Shanna, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
In September 2016, I was diagnosed with Invasive Lobular Breast Cancer and realized at that point that I needed to make changes in my life. I already had a spiritual coaching business and was about to lead my first yoga retreat to Mexico, but I felt like something was missing. It was while moving through the grieving and healing process of cancer that I realized I was disconnected from my body. This realization leads me to a feminine embodiment practice called Qoya. In the summer of 2017, I began practicing Qoya at home by myself and I was hooked. I knew this was my path through cancer. This is what deep down my soul knew it needed. Qoya led me to connect with my body and notice exactly how I was feeling at each moment. Qoya taught me to embrace the highs and the lows and to allow myself to feel it all!

After practicing for a short time, I knew that I wanted to become a certified Qoya teacher. I had felt the power of Qoya and I wanted to bring that experience to other women. Society has taught us not to trust our bodies or our experience-Qoya is the pathway back to ourselves. Qoya holds the space for us as women to begin to trust ourselves and honoring all of our experiences. So, in late 2017, I began the certification process and became a certified Qoya teacher in spring 2018. Qoya has helped me to connect with my body in order to listen to my inner wisdom. Qoya has also created the space for me to connect with other amazing women also wanting to connect with their bodies in a more powerful way. Qoya requires no experience just the desire for deep connection.

Today, I teach Qoya most Sunday evenings in Denver. I teach because it brings me complete joy. No matter how I feel when I walk into class, I know by the end I will be rejuvenated. I have plans to continue leading retreats in the future, but I’m taking things slow. What I have learned over these last 2.5 years is to take it slow, trust and allow things to unfold. I no longer believe in the hustle!

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I think running a business always has its challenges. In the past, I would hustle and over commit myself which led to burnout. In 2019, I’m slowing things down and using Qoya to help make decisions. I’ll dance with an idea and see how it feels in my body and just allow myself to be curious about an idea before committing. Qoya is embodying the feminine and really tapping into our intuition. I now understand that my body is the best compass I have!

My advice to other women is to slow down and connect with your body because your body never lies. Stop the hustle. Stay open to the possibilities of your next best step and stop comparing yourself to others-because nothing good will come out of that! I promise.

Please tell us about your work.
I teach the feminine embodiment practice called Qoya. Qoya is movement with meaning. It’s a movement practice for women or those that identify as women. Classes are based on a theme and last 1.5 hours moving women through 13 pillars which incorporate dance, yoga and feminine movement.

Qoya was created by Rochelle Schieck and is based on the idea that “through movement, we remember. We remember as women we are wise, wild and free.” In Qoya, we stand in a circle and encourage each woman to close her eyes and connect with her body allowing the movement to be her guide. We encourage each woman to listen to what she needs in each moment, moving her body in whatever way it feels good to her. One of the mottos of Qoya is, “There’s no way to do Qoya wrong, and how you know you’re doing it right is that it feels good in your body.”

Qoya is a judgment-free space and encourages women to hold the space for themselves and each other. What sets Qoya apart from other movement practices is throughout the class women have opportunities to share with each other their intentions and what they are feeling in their bodies. This sharing helps to create awareness, trust and a powerful connection.

I am one of only three

Qoya teachers in Denver, but I hope it will continue to grow into a thriving community.

Often it feels as if the media, by and large, is only focused on the obstacles faced by women, but we feel it’s important to also look for the opportunities. In your view, are there opportunities that you see that women are particularly well positioned for?
I think women have unlimited possibilities and can make whatever opportunities they desire. I believe what stops women is their lack of belief in themselves and the constant comparison to other women. If we as women could come together and start creating a community to support each other, then the world would change!


  • $20/per Qoya Class

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