Teaching Breathing and Listening

Excited and humbled that my “ASAM89: Qi Gong and Embodied Learning” class will learn from master teacher Phoeun You. My students/co-learners are learning and facilitating some foundational qi gong moves. Drawing from Phoeun’s decades-long experience teaching and counseling, he will coach them on facilitating with compassion, reflection, and awareness in the context of social inequities.

Title: “Teaching Breathing and Listening”

Zoom Session 1: Tools and guiding principles

Zoom Session 2: Reflecting on teaching and Q & A

Some student posts after session 1:

“When I started to reflect on the conversation with Phoeun I immediately thought of his contagious personality. Usually it is really hard to feel connected through a zoom call, but I genuinely felt everything he said, and wanted to talk to him more. Also, his ability to extract a lesson from seemingly simple daily occurrences. The story he told about the taxi driver up-charging him really stuck with me. The capacity he has to stay present and think about his emotions in relation to his actions is so inspiring. The reminder to breathe and take a step to think about your feelings is so invaluable.”

“As I reflect on our conversation with Phoeun, I really appreciate the kindness that radiates from him. Even through zoom, it is obvious that he is extremely caring of the people he shares space with. For example, after we did our opening circle, he requested that some of our classmates changed locations so he could see them during our conversation. This small request indicates that Phoeun is mindful of the space he takes and respects the space that other presences require. As a student who is very hesitant when participating in class and who sometimes has trouble navigating large group settings because I become self conscious about my presence, I especially appreciated this moment because it showed that everyone is welcome in the space, even when passively participating just by being present.”

“As I reflect on our conversation, the image of butterflies flying in the blue sky comes to mind. I see Phoeun as a butterfly, transcending space and joining our class as a member. A main message that stuck with me is the importance of responding to situations instead of reacting to them. I find that often I react to situations with strong emotions that tend to fuel negative feelings. Since our conversation with Phoeun, I have practiced implementing responding to situations instead of reacting to them. For example, my car’s air conditioning broke, and I had an hour long drive ahead of me in the hot sun. Instead of speeding recklessly, I responded by taking deep breathes, and lowering the windows of the car. I took sips of water, listened to music, and tried focusing on the wind. I eventually made it home safe and sound. Thank you Phoeun for helping me get through challenging times with your teachings.”

Reimagining safety after a mass shooting

I struggled with feeling numb and helpless after the mass shooting in my neighborhood in Monterey Park. After talking with members of International Women’s Network Against Militarism, their framework of “genuine security” inspired me to write this piece that combines contemplation with their call for a feminist and intersectional reimagining of security

“As the news of the mass shooting in Monterey Park unfolded, my heart sank as I recognized the building behind the yellow crime scene tape. I am a longtime resident of Monterey Park and a college professor. My students and I tutored participants of the the adult literacy program at the public library not too far from the site of the mass shooting for over ten years. …As I wait to hear if Julian, the Lees and others are alive, my heart hurts. I yearn for us to ask, reflect, and act upon deeper questions. Mr. Tran acquired assault weapons meant for a battlefield and used them in a dance studio. … I want us to notice how war, gendered violence and militarization impact our daily lives.”

#GenuineSecurity#pitzercollege https://www.lionsroar.com/reimagining-safety-after-a…/

Free and Drop-In: Beginning Qi Gong

ALL SESSIONS MOVED TO YOGA STUDIO (2nd Floor Gold Student Center)

You are invited to learn beginning qi gong moves such as qi shower. It is open to the public and no experience is necessary.

Qi Gong (pronounced chi gong) is often translated as “skillful working with life-force energy,” and it is one of the most widely practiced forms of exercise in the world, with an estimated 80-100 million people practicing daily. Qi Gong links breath, movement, and mental intention and stems from traditional Chinese medicine. An ancient moving meditation form that involves a complex knowledge system, it is now practiced on every continent and in a variety of social, cultural, and environmental contexts—including college campuses. For some, practicing qi gong is relaxing and fosters calm alertness. For others, practicing qi gong reminds and reinforces that all beings are interconnected, with no one or thing left out.

We will be practicing on unceded Tongvan territory.

Members of ASAM89: Qi Gong & Embodied Learning with Dr. Yep will be facilitating the beginning qi gong.

It is offered in the spirit of generosity. It should be noted that practicing qi gong is NOT a substitute for medical advice or treatment.

Dr. Yep has practiced qi gong for almost 30 years. Her teachers were Paul Li and Dr. Bingkun Hu who learned from Da Yen/Wild Goose lineage holder Yang Mei Jun.

The: 11/17: Self-Care for Caregivers: Explore the Benefits of Qi Gong

Are you a caregiver? Join me , Ms. Liu, and AARP-CA for a free event this Thursday: “Self-Care for Caregivers: Explore the Benefits of Qi Gong” 

QiGong, a meditative practice of gentle stretching, movement and breathing, has shown the potential to lower stress and anxiety.
For caregivers, finding time for self-care can be very difficult, and yet it is so necessary for promoting overall well-being and to avoid stress and burnout. Professor Kathy Yep, a certified mindfulness facilitator and a practitioner of Dayan Qi Gong, will engage in a conversation with AARP California volunteer and caregiver Lily Liu about the importance of caring for yourself as a caregiver and the benefits of meditative practices like Qi Gong. Dr. Yep will also provide a short demonstration of qigong’s gentle, flowing movements and breathing technique. 

Please do not opt out of event-related emails, as you will be emailed a link to join the class via Zoom prior to the event. 

For more information, contact AARP California at caaarp@aarp.org

About the Speakers: 
Professor Yep teaches Asian American Studies at Pitzer College of the Claremont Colleges. Ms. Liu cares for her 90-year-old mother and is writing a book about her experiences as a 1.5-generation immigrant family caregiver.
#mindfulness #event