January 2023 - The Intentions Calendar
Qigong Seasons - Winter Nourishment with Mimi Kuo-Deemer
Mimi Kuo-Deemer has created these Seasonal Qigong programmes to help you tune into your body and align yourself with Earth’s natural movements. In the Chinese calendar, there are five seasons: Spring, Summer, Late Summer, Autumn, and Winter. Each season has its own energy, or qi. When we harmonise with these energies, we can move towards living a more nourishing and balanced life.
In Chinese medicine and qigong, each of the five seasons has an associated element and an organ and meridian network that is emphasised in the practices. This cyclical qigong approach lets you delve fully into each session, allowing deep transformations to take place. In addition to the seasons, I am sharing a routine called The Art of Residing in Radiance that works with all five seasons and elements. It is an ancient, deeply powerful and healing practice that can help you live your best life and shine.
Just as the seasons change, our lives are also characterised by constant and sometimes unsettling turns. By synchronizing our bodies with the seasons and cultivating our own energy, we can flow through difficulty with more ease and grace.
Because the energy of an element is particularly strong when practiced in its corresponding season, it can be helpful to do these routines according to the season you are in. However, each session can also be done any time of year, as there are seasons of a day as well seasons of a lifetime.
Spring is a time of renewal and is associated with the Wood element. The Wood element brings forward movement after the dormancy of winter, like flowers bursting through the earth and frozen rivers beginning to flow. In the springtime, qi flow is especially active in the Wood element organs and meridians of the liver and gall bladder, which focus on growth, movement and change. This practice is great to do throughout the spring months, but can also be done any time of year. It will help you feel clear, creative, and grounded as you move through spring’s surge of energy and growth.
Summer is associated with the Fire element. The Fire element is connected with expansiveness, maturity and showing our true colours to the world, like a rose opening its petals to the sun. In the summer, qi flow is particularly sensitive in the Fire organs and meridians of the heart, small intestine, pericardium, or heart protector, and triple heater meridians, which cultivate joy, compassion and love. This practice can be done any time of year but is particularly strong in the summer months. It will help you feel the warmth, connection and openness of summer, and feed these qualities into your relationships and your daily life.
Late Summer is a unique season in qigong and is associated with the Earth element. The Earth element is associated with balance, ease and stability. In the late summer months, qi begins to particularly affect the Earth element organs and meridians of the spleen and stomach, which foster steadiness, intention and transformation. This practise can be done any time of year but is particularly helpful in the late summer months before the onset of Autumn or in the transitions between seasons, as these times are also governed by the Earth element. During times of seasonal change, these practices will help you feel centred and able to meet the many responsibilities and demands of daily life with greater mental clarity and ease.
Autumn is associated with the Metal element. The Metal element is about inspiration and letting go. In the autumn months, qi flow is notably strong through the Metal organs and meridians of the lungs and large intestine, which focus on purification, appreciation and elimination. This practice can be done any time of year but can be especially powerful in the Autumn months. It will help you do as nature does each autumn: exhale and let go of what no longer serves you, remember what you are grateful for, and nourish a deeper connection to spirit.
Winter is associated with the Water element. The Water element is about stillness, inner strength and conserving and storing energy, like a hibernating bear. In the winter months, qi flow is more easily affected in Water organs and meridians kidneys and urinary bladder, which affect how we use energy, regulate our temperatures, and manage our stress levels. This practice can be done any time of year but is particularly powerful in the winter months. It will help you replenish your energy reserves, and develop the soft, nourishing, humble strength of water.
The Art of Residing in Radiance is a practice that works with all five elements. Through gentle movements and visualizations, this session is designed to help the outer light of the world begin to abide and reside within us. As we move this light through the meridians of our body, we will invite our qi to flow more efficiently and optimally. This will let our inner radiance shine and be seen in the world and give us the tools to connect and reside in our true nature.
We hope you enjoy these practices!