Move into Calm › 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.
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.
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.
Metta: Care for Ourselves and Care for Others
Featuring moon rather than sun salutes, this more nourishing practice is a beautifully nurturing slow flow and a nourishing sequence for the heart and soul. Great for when your body needs a little extra support, but you'd like to keep your movement practice. The human heart circulates the most oxygen rich supply of blood to itself first before it moves it out to the rest of the body. As humans we can also learn to care for our own bodies and experience, and use this care as a springboard to cultivate greater care for others and the world. “It is not arrogant or egotistical to feel good inside. You had nothing to do with it. It's simply the honest response to clearly perceived Reality.” – Erich Schiffmann
Any time you need to calm and nourish yourself, try these 5 types of breathing that lead to Embryonic Respiration, and then finish with a simple, gentle yet potent practice called Inner Nourishment. In China, this practice has been done since the Ming Dynasty. Believed to strengthen all internal organs, it has strong affect on digestion and respiration, menstruation, fatigue and heart disease.
Winter Warmers: Yoga and Qigong for the Inner Fire" part I: kindling the fire
Yoga and QiGong for kindling the inner fire. Movement and circulation for warming the body in the cooler months. With Sun Salutations and twists for firing the spirit up. This class will do the trick for any time you feel like you need a little extra fire in your life and is perfect for morning time.
Winter Warmers Yoga and Qigong: Spirit Warming 3 Settling the Spirit
This yoga and Qigong class is perfect for when you've had a frantic day and you need to settle your spirit. It's gentle mainly floor-based, so is great for the evenings to settle into the evening and to de-tangle your nerves and settle your spirit so that you can get stoked about the next thing... bed?!