Increase Focus › Mimi Kuo-Deemer
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.
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.
Swimming Dragon Qigong
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!
Take a Break: Yoga & Qigong Part3: Renew and Revive
The third in our work break series includes deep twists and standing poses to energise and get the blood moving again In qigong, it’s believed that energy flows where intention goes (yi dao, qi dao). This active practice combining yoga and qigong will revive and renew your body’s circulation and prana/qi flow. It’s a great one to do if you’ve been at at the desk and want a more active break, or as a morning practice to do before work. Clothing by Rumi X. "
Take a Break: Yoga & Qigong Part2: Focus + Clarity
The second in our series to provide a constructive break during work or study. These Yoga and Qigong practices all provide you with renewed clarity, and will help clear the cobwebs, also focus on clear alignment through the spine and limbs. It’s great to bring a mental focus and concentration back into the body when we're too in our heads. With some precision in our alignment as well as intentional practices from qigong such as ‘clearing the cobwebs’ (one of my favourites!), we can move forward with our day more embodied awareness and presence.
Take a Break: Yoga & Qigong Part1: Exhale + Sooth
Take a short break from studies or your work. Much of our body’s tension is muscular, but actually, what the muscles and our body crave when we feel tight is deep, satisfying breaths.This short practice releases tension by focusing on exhaling fully and uses Burmese qigong, chest and shoulder openings and forward folds to calm and sooth the mind. Perfect for taking a break to release tension during the day, but also great after a hard day's work. Clothing by Rumi X.
Cultivating Our Inner Light
A beautiful flow to open the heart, warm the back and still the mind. In the Yoga Sutra, the busy mind is described as quieting down through a number of ways: lengthening the breath, concentration on objects, or on experiences in deep sleep or dream states. It is also suggested that the mind can be quieted by concentration on the ever-present source of light that is believed to dwell inside the human heart. This light grows brighter when we do practices – like polishing a jewel that begins to shine and reflects the light all around it. We’ll look at ways to work with sunlight and moonlight in this fluid vinyasa-based sequence, and help awaken the source of light within each of us.
New Year Refreshing Sequence
Moving Meditation: Qigong Basics 2
This second part of the Qigong basics series is aimed at purifying and cleansing the qi in the body. The qi, like any transportation system, can often be stuck, stagnant, overactive or diseased. These practices work to cleanse the body of toxic qi and fill it with healthy, vibrant qi. You finish feeling as though you have had a good internal wash that leaves you feeling more purified and nourished.
Moving Meditation:Qigong Basics1
This first part of the QiGong basics series focuses on standing meditation and breathing practices, both central to the qigong tradition. QiGong is a Chinese energy practice that works with the principle of “xing ming shuang xiu” ”“ meaning “the spirit and body are equally refined and cultivated.” It is designed to bring the qi, or life energy, into the body and encourage it to flow without blockage. Founded on the virtues of trust, integrity, wisdom, and compassion, QiGong practices help create a feeling of inner and outer peace, energy, and wellbeing.
Kapala Bhati Breath