Qigong › Mimi Kuo-Deemer
Qigong is a Chinese healing practice drawing from the Taoist tradition combining posture, movement, breathing and focussed intent. The word Qigong literally means energy cultivation. It provides a wonderful complement to yoga with soft, circular movements counterpointing yoga’s more linear shapes.
Qigong for Nourishing the Heart
In addition to pumping and circulating our blood tirelessly all day long, our hearts also work to metabolise all life experience. As such, it deserves to be nurtured and appreciated. This is exactly what we will do in this qigong class! Qigong Fire element meridian forms are followed by practices that cultivate playful intentions and healing energy. All forms will be done standing, but they can also be done seated. No mat necessary! All levels of mobility welcome, these practices are accessible to all bodies.
Qigong for Healing the Heart
When beset by painful circumstances, the heart can harden and become numb. Nourishment and calm are what slowly begin to heal the heart when it’s been impacted by the difficulties of life, particularly heartache, sadness, and grief. This qigong class includes a short talk, meditation, and gentle movements to help the heart on its journey to healing. This class can be done anywhere - is demonstrated standing, but can be done seated, or is a very beautiful practice when lying down as well.
Qigong for an Awakened Heart
This qigong class helps to orientate towards the qualities of an awakened heart, and how this can help us live more fully and freely in the world. After some warmups, we practice the qigong form Fire’s celestial animal, the Chinese phoenix! Then we will close with a sunflower meditation and visualisation practice. All forms will be done standing, but they can also be done seated. No props or mat necessary!
Qigong for a Compassionate Heart
Compassion is a natural quality that begins to arise when we begin to free ourselves from the fetters that bind the heart. Qigong forms that help us embody the freedom and spaciousness of the heart will then lead into a practice that awakens our compassion. All forms will be done standing, but they can also be done seated. No mat necessary!
Qigong for Calming the Heart
In Chinese medicine and Qigong, the heart is seen as the sovereign and ruler of your body. In this gentle qigong class, we explore movements that help calm the heart and help it govern our bodily domain with care, spaciousness and ease. These gentle Qigong forms are accessible to bodies, yet are powerfully calming. This practise can be done standing, but you can also do them all seated in a chair. No mat is required.
Qigong for Anxiety
A Qigong class with gentle movements to help to calm, ground and ease anxiety. In Qigong and Chinese medicine, anxiety arises when the flow of qi, or life energy, through our organs and meridians becomes stuck, stagnant or caught in chaotic whirlpools. In this class we’ll do practices to support our qi to flow in more natural, balanced ways. When this happens, the tendencies towards restlessness, worry and fear - all things that can trigger anxiety - can gradually start to fall away. All you’ll need is some comfortable clothes and some space to stand.
Qigong Balance Series 3: Emotional Balance
The third class in the qigong balance series uses movements, mudras and visualisations to guide you through the Chinese organs and meridian systems – each of which has a related emotion. For example, the liver relates to anger, the heart to joy, the spleen to sympathy, the lungs to grief, and the kidneys to fear. When we can help support the optimal function of these organ and meridian systems, our emotions will also naturally find greater natural expression and balance. No props are needed, not even a mat!
Qigong Balance Series 2: Energetic Balance
This qigong and yoga class is fabulous for balancing our energy levels and is perfect for re-charging fatigue at any time of the day. Tapping into the flow of energy can support greater inner strength and awareness, and help you better self-regulate and maintain your energy levels throughout th day. You’ll need a mat and maybe a bolster for the end in savasana.
Qigong Balance Series 1: Structural Balance
The first class in this series explores your body’s structural capacity to balance. Movements are gentle, slow and mindful, and this qigong class is an ideal daily practice as we move through the years, to keep our balance and strength. Through yoga and qigong postures that target the feet, legs, and a concept called cross-lateral connectivity, you will discover ways to more easily and gracefully stand on one leg! This is a good series for those who don’t wish to weight bear on their arms, hands and wrists. No props are needed, not even a mat!
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
This Qigong class a version of Swimming dragon which moves through the Chinese five elements and builds strength, balance and focus. It is based on the work of Gerald Sharp and is one of Mimi's favourite qigong sequences!
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.