Mini retreat: Tai chi for stress and balance

An out-of-this-world mini retreat at the Stardome to learn how to relieve stress, sleep better and create a calm and centred new life with tai chi and qigong.

Date and time: Friday 17 September 2021, 1.30 – 7.45pm. Early bird price closes on 1 August 2021.

Venue: Stardome Observatory & Planetarium (This retreat is organised by Kia Ora Tai Chi, not the Stardome itself.)

Address: 670 Manukau Road, One Tree Hill Domain, Royal Oak, Auckland. Refer to map

Join Kia Ora Tai Chi in the countdown to the Spring Equinox in September, when the length of night is equal to day, and the earth is harmonised. Perfect timing for fresh beginnings.

Stress management

Can you imagine how good it would feel to escape from the black hole of stress from too many demands at work or from life in general? Absolutely, positively YES. At this mini retreat, through the booster rocket that is tai chi and deep oxygen-rich breathing (called qigong), you’ll learn how to avoid the gravitational force of stress. After the retreat, you’ll know how to rebalance your mind and body at anytime you feel stressed, wherever you are.

Work/life balance

How fantastic would it be to navigate into a new orbit where you had time and energy for  everything you want to do? Let the countdown begin to blast off to a new and balanced universe for you. You’ll learn how to use a space journal to calm and focus your mind so you can get more out of life, enjoy ‘me time’ and shine bright and warm like a sun in your own solar system.

Better sleep

Wouldn’t it be fabulous to enjoy a feeling of weightlessness and without worry as you fall into a delectable, deep slumber every night? Imagine a full night’s sleep without tossing and turning or your brain churning about everything you need to do? Don’t just daydream about it. Through guided tai chi meditation you will learn how to empty your mind and say good night to stress and anxiety so you can wake up refreshed and ready for anything, every morning.

Testimonial: “Thank you so much for your lovely tai chi classes The feeling I get is of empowerment and understanding of how we can use our body to help in our daily life.” (Caroline, January 2020

Mindfulness

How fulfilling would it be to feel mindful and connected, instead of a lone star adrift in a starless night? Infinitely satisfying. We’ll take you on a live 360-degree experience at the planetarium with an extraordinary tour of the stars, planets, constellations and our night sky. After the retreat, you’ll be able to look up on any night and feel that you and your amazing world are calm, balanced and in harmony with the entire universe.

Early bird price (closes on 1 August)

  • $159 per person (plus credit card fees, if applicable)
  • Bring a friend or family member for half price (79.50) Contact Kia Ora Tai Chi to arrange payment once you’ve bought one ticket for $159.

For online banking (without credit card), click here to contact Jocelyn Watkin of Kia Ora Tai Chi or phone/text her on: 027 493 9851

Who is the instructor?

Jocelyn Watkin helps people of all ages and abilities to reduce stress and improve their overall health, fitness and balance with tai chi and qigong.

She is the founder and director of Kia Ora Tai Chi and is a qualified, premier instructor for the international Tai Chi for Health Institute. She has extensive experience in teaching face-to-face or online for regular weekly classes, workshops and retreats, and at schools, a medical centre and a retirement village.

Jocelyn has a New Zealand Diploma of Teaching and has trained in martial arts for over 25 years, specialising solely in tai chi and qigong since 2003.

What is the Spring Equinox and why is it so important for the mini retreat?

In Aotearoa/New Zealand, the Spring Equinox for 2021 happens during mid – late September. It is when the number of daylight hours equal that of the night hours. Day and night are balanced perfectly. What this means for all living things (including us humans), is that after resting over the longer nights of winter we are now ready for more sunlight so we can burst into new life and fresh beginnings.

It is the best time to learn and develop, especially for how to become more balanced and stress-free.

Who is this mini retreat for? Numbers are limited to 12 people

It will be ideal for anyone aged 18+ who wants to bust stress, sleep better or is seeking life/work balance. High school students needing help with anxiety or wanting a way to manage stress caused by assignments and exams can attend for half price if accompanied by a full price adult.

All abilities are welcome as the tai chi and qigong can be done seated or standing.

Testimonial: Jocelyn [of Kia Ora Tai Chi] makes tai chi such an enjoyable experience! She makes everyone feel welcome, no matter what age or level of experience. I love Jocelyn’s humour and her patience too. Tai chi has helped me focus on my breathing and posture. I feel invigorated after each session.” (Cynthia, February 2020)

What’s included in the mini retreat?

  • You will learn Tai Chi for Meditation, Harmony and Balance, which is powerful yet gentle on your joints. After the retreat, you’ll be able to do this tai chi at anytime to reduce stress.
  • Journaling to calm and focus your mind so you get more out of life.
  • The countdown method to mindfulness. Easy to remember whenever you need it.
  • A journal that you can take home and keep using after the retreat.
  • A live 360-degree experience at the planetarium.
  • Tea, coffee and snacks.
  • Free parking at the Stardome and in One Tree Hill Domain.
  • Meeting new friends

What others say about Kia Ora Tai Chi sessions:

“Calming”, “Keeps the body moving”, “Inspiring”, “Encouraging”, “Feel centred”, “Sleep better”, “Feel in control”, “Wonderful”, “Fabulous”, “Loved it” and “A gift”.

 

Early bird price (closes on 1 August)

  • $159 per person (plus credit card fees, if applicable)
  • Bring a friend or family member for half price (79.50) Contact Kia Ora Tai Chi to arrange payment once you’ve bought one ticket for $159.

A full refund (less any credit cards fees) is available up until 2 August if you change your mind

After 1 August:

      • $189 per person (plus credit card fees, if applicable).
      • Bring a friend or family member for half price (94.50)

For online banking (without credit card), click here to contact Jocelyn Watkin of Kia Ora Tai Chi or phone/text her on: 027 493 9851

What is tai chi and qigong and why are they so good for you?

Often described as “moving meditation”, tai chi is an ancient Chinese martial art and exercise programme that combines mental focus with deliberate, mindful steps and postures. It is sometimes referred to as “taiji” or “tai chi chuan”.

The kaupapa (underlying principle) of tai chi is Yin & Yang. These are two opposite and contrary forces in nature, which become interconnected and interdependent.  An example would be night turning to day, followed by day turning to night. They work together in harmony and one can’t exist without the other.

Tai chi uses the natural balance of Yin & Yang in all movements. E.g. where there is forward step, there is also a backward one. If you move to one side, then you will also move to the other. In doing so, your body remains equally balanced as it smoothly moves from one step to the next, which doesn’t stress your joints.

Tai chi also works in harmony with your sympathetic nervous system (the fight, flight or freeze reflex). If you’re feeling tired or down, tai chi will boost and lift you. If you’re upset or anxious, it will help you to become calmer and more tranquil.

Qigong (pronounced ‘chee – gong’) is a deep breathing exercise. It is designed to calm your mind, rejuvenate your energy and increase your oxygen flow right down to your smallest fingers and toes. It will warm your hands and feet and will help you to feel good all over your body. Find out more

 Numerous clinical trials have confirmed that tai chi taught specifically for health, which also includes deep breathing (the qigong) will improve your overall health and fitness by:

      • Decreasing stress.
      • Improving balance.
      • Increasing strength, fitness and flexibility.
      • Better breathing (more oxygen in your body).
      • Decreasing pain in your joints.
      • Helping to reduce high blood pressure.
      • Increasing your sense of well-being. 

What is journaling?

Writing in a journal (also known as journaling) can help you to process and understand what is happening in your life.

It will assist you to develop a plan of action to reduce worry, anxiety and stress and to take back the control of your thoughts and your life.

It can help you to overcome the overwhelm and create new habits to lasting change and freedom.

Jocelyn learned about the power of journaling when recovering from post traumatic stress over 20 years ago.

What will I need to bring?

      • Pen and paper or your lap top to take notes.
      • A water bottle
      • Something you’d like to eat during a short dinner break.
      • Comfortable shoes to wear (you can also do tai chi in bare feet).
      • Tai chi can be done in almost any clothing, but you are also welcome to bring a set of comfy clothes to change into if you are coming straight from work or school.

Why is the retreat on a Friday afternoon and evening and not a weekend?

Unfortunately, we were unable to book the meeting room at the Stardome for a weekend date at this time of year. However, a vital part of what you will learn at the mini-retreat is how to make time for the activities you most want to do and for the people you love. Scheduling the retreat on what is traditionally a work day is a perfect first step for you to arrange time off for something worthwhile. You would make time for health care, as in a doctor or dental appointment, so why not for Tai Chi for Health? With a 1.30pm start time, those working will only need a half-day of leave.

What is the cancellation policy?

A full refund (less any credit cards fees) is available up until 2 August if you change your mind. There will be no refunds after that date as we will need to confirm and pay for the meeting room at the Stardome. To do this, we need a minimum number of committed people.

If for any reason we need to cancel the retreat before 17 September (for example, if there is another lockdown) you will be refunded in full. If you have any questions, please contact Jocelyn.

What is your COVID-19 policy?

All surfaces will be cleaned prior to the retreat and hand sanitiser will be provided. We will abide by the NZ Government’s health advice and regulations. Jocelyn has been fully vaccinated for Covid-19.

“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet.
Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.
And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.
It matters that you don’t just give up.”
– Professor Stephen Hawking

Celebrate Matariki with free tai chi and qigong 

Join in with the Kia Ora Tai Chi team for a free tai chi and qigong session to celebrate Matariki and the wonderful Māori New Year.

Have fun, breathe better and make new friends with 5-Element Qigong, which is a meditative breathing programme to harmonise your mind and body. This is a great chance for a new and healthier you for the New Year.

You will also learn the beautiful and flowing Hikitia te Hā (“uplifting breathing”, also known as Māori Tai Chi).

Ideal for beginners of all ages and abilities. The whole session can easily be done while standing, seated or a mixture of both.

When: Saturday 3 July 2021, 2 – 3pm, please arrive from 1.45pm onward
Where: The theatre building, Nathan Homestead, 70 Hill Road, Manurewa, Auckland. There is plenty of free parking at this venue, which is close to the motorway. Refer to this map
RSVP: Yes please, as places are limited to just 16 people. Please email or text/phone me: 027 493 9851 to reserve your spot. (Note: there is a limit of two people per booking)
Cost: Free (A big thank you to Nathan Homestead and Auckland Council for providing the venue at no charge).

Click here to learn more about tai chi and qigong

Matariki is the Māori name for the cluster of stars also known as the Pleiades. It rises in midwinter and is the start of a new year in the Southern Hemisphere.

In 2021, Matariki will be observed Aotearoa/New Zealand between 19 June to 11 July.

More about Matariki

Find out more about the Kia Ora Tai Chi team.

Tai chi with me anytime online

Woman smiling in red shirt with tai chi posters in the background

Jocelyn teaches you from her online tai chi studio

Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could learn tai chi from me without having to leave home? Totally awesome and now you can do more than just dream about it.

My new online course, called “Tai Chi for Strength, Balance and Mobility”, has received an enthusiastic thumbs up from ‘guinea pigs’ who tested it over April and May. It is now available for all of you so you can learn from me at any time that suits you, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week and anywhere you have computer, tablet or mobile phone.

This course has six modules, each designed to be comfortably completed within one week. However, you can take longer if you like. There are easy-to-read articles and how-to videos where I show you the movements step-by-step and share the secrets of tai chi. It will be like I am right there in your home with you.

The course is ideal for anyone who:

  • is worried about their balance or who wants to help a family member or friend to improve their balance.
  • wants to get fitter and stronger.
  • needs a helping hand to manage and reduce stress.
  • would love a good night’s sleep.
  • is curious about tai chi and how it works for strength, balance and mobility.
  • is an instructor teaching tai chi for fall prevention or strength & balance classes

One participant said of the course: “The special breathing I learned has helped me de-stress and calm down. It feels like a weight off my chest and shoulders”.

Can you imagine how blissful it would be to fall into a deep slumber almost as soon as your head hits the pillow? During this course, you’ll learn calming meditative breathing that you can use anywhere and anytime you feel stressed or worried, especially just before you go to bed. Click here if you’re looking for sweet dreams

Wouldn’t it be a relief to help a friend or family member improve their balance so you no longer worry about them having a fall and getting hurt? It sure would. Click here to help that special someone to stand tall and with good balance.

How amazing would it be if you could live stronger for longer? Totally! You’ll have access to the videos and articles for at least six months so you can regularly practice and build more strength and balance. Click here if you want to become more mobile and for years longer.

Sabine, a qualified Tai Chi for Health instructor recommends this courseThank you Jocelyn, for a very enjoyable course. I loved the step-by-step approach and I could feel the improvement of my core strength, breathing and posture. Safety was top priority through the whole course and it was achieved with very clear and easy instructions. Overall, a wonderful experience.

All this and more with my new Tai Chi for Strength, Balance and Mobility course… and you won’t have to go out on a wintry wet night to learn it. You can participate in the privacy and warmth of your own home.

For just $99 you’ll receive:

  • The full online course of six sessions, with supporting articles and how-to learning videos, which are delivered to your email inbox once per week.
  • Additional resources of a practice journal and checklist.
  • Access to a client portal where you can ask questions and share experiences each week.

If you want to live stronger for longer with better strength, balance and mobility, please enroll using this link: https://navigatinghealthcare.co.nz/programs/#Tai-Chi-for-Strength-Balance-Mobility

What is the point of seated tai chi?

What I love about seated tai chi is that enables all to enjoy the health and wellness benefits from tai chi, regardless of ability, age, size, shape or whether you have an illness or injury.

Often described as “moving meditation”, tai chi is an ancient Chinese martial art that combines mental focus with deliberate and relaxed movements that are gentle on your joints.

It is sometimes referred to as “taiji” or “tai chi chuan”. You can find out more about tai chi here.

The term ‘gentle’ does not mean ineffective. Seated tai chi can be an incredibly good fitness routine to strengthen your core muscles and your back.

I am a board-certified and premier instructor for Tai Chi for Health Institute. I am qualified to teach a number of Tai Chi for Health programmes, including Seated Tai Chi for Arthritis (TCA). Click on this link to learn more about me and the Kia Ora Tai Chi team

There have been numerous clinical trials and studies that confirm the health benefits of TCA, such as:

  • Improved health and well-being
  • Greater strength and flexibility
  • Better balance
  • Relieving pain and reducing stress
  • Improved sleep

Give Seated TCA a try for yourself, whether at home or in the office. You’ll be able to learn it in eight easy steps in the video below, which I’ve made just for you.

 

 

 

International Day for the Older Person 2018

Note: This event has now passed as has the International Day for the Older Person that was held on Tuesday 1 October, 2019.

Announcing a special tai chi event to celebrate International Day for the Older Person on Monday 1 October, 2018, 10am – 12 noon.

I will give a short talk on tai chi’s fascinating history and why tai chi is so good for health, strength, fitness, balance and flexibility, particularly for anyone over the age of 60.

After the talk and a short break for morning tea, you’ll get the opportunity to try tai chi for yourself. I will teach a brief section of Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention. It is ideal for beginners and can be done seated or standing. Of course, you don’t have to have arthritis to benefit from this Tai Chi for Health Programme.

Can anyone attend? Yes, all are welcome and especially anyone who is aged 60+. Places are limited so please RSVP.

When: Monday 1 October 2018, 10am – 12 noon

Where: Te Ngakau Waiora Mercy Spirituality Centre,104 The Drive, Epsom, Auckland 1023. Refer to map.

Cost to attend: $15 per person, which includes morning tea. Please pay on the day. Free, off-road parking on site.

RSVP: Te Ngakau Waiora Mercy Spirituality Centre, Phone: (09) 638 6238; Email: info@mercyspiritualitycentre.org.nz

If you have ever wondered about tai chi or about the questions below, then this event is for you:

  • How can something done in slow-motion be good for health, fitness, strength and flexibility?
  • I’ve heard that tai chi can help someone to improve their balance and avoid falls. Is this possible?
  • What is tai chi, taiji and tai chi chuan?
  • Is tai chi a philosophy, an exercise programme or a martial art?
  • Tai chi is known to be good for people aged 60+. Why is this?
  • Can tai chi be used for self-defence?
  • What is the difference between yoga and tai chi?

Click here to find out more about this event.

Click here to find out more about me (Jocelyn Watkin).

Photo of Jocelyn, wearing a red shirt and doing the tai chi formal greeting

I look forward to meeting you on Monday 1 October 2018