Mimi Kuo-Deemer's Yoga Classes
Meditation: Intimacy with Being Here
In this mindfulness-based meditation, we will cultivate the intimacy of being here – continually present and awake. Sounds good, right? The problem is, we’re usually anywhere BUT here. Usually we are caught up in various stories, or contracted around our own set of problems. This is what the Buddha described as the I, ME, MINE condition. When we train our minds to recognise this happening, we can shift this state. When this happens, experience can open up again. We hear sounds around us, breath moving, body sensing and feeling. We can suddenly be here again, in the intimacy of things; awake to the miracle of being alive.
Yoga is a practice about seeing more clearly. In Sankrit this is known as vidya – seeing through the avidya and maya – the misunderstandings, ignorance, delusions and illusions of the world to the truth of what is within and all around us. To support this process, I’ve developed a concept and practice called Yoga 3D. The Three D’s stand for Decelerate (slow down when you’re going unnecessarily fast); Deaggrevate (soften what is tight, tense or makes you aggrevated) and Disentangle (simply and disentangle from anything unnecessary complex). We’ll theme these ideas through an active flow!
Qigong and Restorative Yoga: Finding Ease
Third in the series, Qigong and Restorative Yoga focuses on finding ease. This class opens the chest and shoulders. Often, ease eludes us because we feel tension, we feel stuck in our bodies. The qigong class starts with a qigong practice which fosters ease through tension release and heart-opening. We will then do some gentle restorative yoga practices to finish. You'll need a yoga bolster or sofa cushion, and a blanket for the restorative yoga.
Qigong and Restorative Yoga: Finding Balance
This is the second class in the three-part series, Qigong and Restorative Yoga. The first part of this class is a qigong elemental practice that will help balance the Chinese Five Elements of Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water in your constitution. We will then do some quieting restorative practices to finish. You’ll want to have a yoga bolster or sofa cushion and a blanket.
Qigong and Restorative Yoga: Finding Harmony
Finding Harmony is the first of three classes in the series of Qigong and Restorative Yoga. It focuses on harmonising breath, body movement and the balance of yin and yang. It can be hard to find harmony in our lives of conflicting needs and priorities. Class starts with active qigong and then go on to a relaxing restorative yoga class. Ideally, have a yoga bolster and two blankets. Alternatively, you can also use a sofa cushion and two bed pillows.
Swimming Dragon Qigong
Gentle Yoga to Nourish and Support Series: (5) Effortless Ease
In this final class of this series of yoga/qi-gong moves to nourish, support and revitalise the body and mind, we orientate our practice toward effortless ease. In Chinese this is a concept known as wuwei, or effortless effort. It is something we cannot strive toward but rather a quality that arises spontaneously through steady cultivation and practice. As such, we will take the ideas of rooting, rising, aligning and balancing and see what is possible in working with the fluid flow of effortless ease.
Gentle Yoga to Nourish and Support Series: (4) The Yin/Yang Balance
With this class we take the ideas of rooting and feeling our body aligned between the skies above and earth below into a more full balance of yin and yang. This session will build a combination of strength and softness in the arms and hands and upper and lower body. When the energies of yin and yang come into balance in our bodies, it is known as the Tai Chi Axis.
Gentle Yoga to Nourish and Support Series: (3) Between Heaven & Earth
Building on the last class’s focus on rooting to rise, this yoga qi-gong class builds a combination of strength and softness in the arms and hands and upper and lower body. Bring energy upward from stable roots to the spine. We will work to lengthen it and feel how our bodies can become a healthy and nourished axis between heaven and earth.
Gentle Yoga to Nourish and Support Series: (2) Rooting to Rise
In Chinese, there is a saying ‘gen shen di gu’, which means when the roots and deep the foundations are strong. From Moving with the Breath, we shift the focus to rooting firmly down in the earth and allowing our bodies to rise from this firm root up toward the sky. We will practice some more dynamic standing poses after an initial warm-up we practiced in class #1 to feel this connection more fully in our body.
Gentle Yoga to Nourish and Support Series: (1) Breathe and Move
Start to move with your breath in this beginners yoga class. Feel supported, nourished and revitalised. This first class in this series begins with finding the breath, so the body and breath move together in simple sequences that help condition our respiratory and circulatory systems. This will allow you to feel more invigorated yet also relaxed, clear and calm. As well as being an accessible starting place for many students, this yoga class is also a nourishing standalone class for when you need to calm jangled nerves and return strong and grounded to your breath.
The Jewel of the Lotus Heart - Yoga,Qigong and Mindfulness
In Tibetan, there’s a mantra known as Om mani padme Om, or Hail the jewel in the lotus heart. The mantra suggests that through our practices, we can begin to polish a jewel that resides inside the lotus petals of our heart. When this polished jewel begins to reflect radiant light in all directions, we begin to awaken our innate qualities of wisdom and compassion. This mindfully paced gentle practice will integrate vinyasa yoga, qigong and mindfulness practices that can help the jewel of our lotus heart shine.
Harmonising Effort and Ease – Yoga, Qigong and Mindfulness Meditation
The Buddha emphsised using right effort in our actions and intentions in meditation and life. This practice looks at how we can approach strength building practices, especially in the legs, using right effort so that we create more space for awareness and less reactivity. We’ll also explore the idea in qigong of using intention, not force – or yong yi, buyong l – and apply it through a blend of yoga and qigong forms to explore how we can harmonise effort and ease.
Turning Toward Awareness: Yoga, Qigong & Mindfulness
Feel centred, grounded and start to fine tune your awareness with this gentle and beautiful fusion of yoga, qigong and mindfulness class with a focus on twists and forward folds. With a gentle start, working with mindful movement, this is a practice exploring how we might work with twists as a way to discover greater ease and space in our physical, mental and emotional experience of being human. With twists, we are invited to curve our awareness inward and we grant ourselves space to learn to respond to whatever experiences arise. From this, we allow ourselves time to build better resources to meet the business of our outward lives.
Vinyasa on the Soft Side of Life
This well-rounded full body stretch, gentle yoga class has a focus on luscious side bends. Side bends are a fabulous way to move the whole body. They help open space in the lungs and respiratory muscles but are also highly therapeutic for the spine, back, and core. When these areas are less tense and more free, maybe you might feel that you can slide into that precious soft side of life. Although the class is gentle, you may find the moves tough!
Mindfulness Meditation on the Elements
This beautiful, simple meditation class focuses on mindfulness of the body as experienced through our elemental constitutions of earth, fire water and air, space and consciousness. The Buddha taught about elemental practices as a way to train attention but also to wake up the fluidity of our changing experience. Just as the elements of the natural world dance in an ongoing interconnectedness and ongoing state of change, we can also begin to become aware of our body and our experience of it through the elements with us and all around us. Enjoy! Clothing by Rumi X.
Morning Practice: Fluidity and Flow
This morning yoga and qigong class is focused on circular, smooth movements through the body and joints to set you up for the day. With some beautifully awakening qigong forms such as variations of swimming dragon followed by active sun salute variations and fluid movements through standing poses. Enjoy waking up all your senses in this awakening flow!
Morning Practice: Awaken with the Elements
This morning flow class focuses on a connection to the natural elements. It is an awakening yoga practice with some qigong. The ancient yogis, Buddhists and Daoist sages believed that we are made of the elements of the natural world. This practice will help us awaken to this connection within ourselves to the elemental world around us. It’s very much like a shorter version of my morning practices, integrating yoga and qigong into mindful movements that help me harmonise my inner body with the outer world. This has a bit of everything – abdominals, hip work, backbends, twists, forward folds and arm balances. Enjoy!