Workshop: Nurture yourself with healing qigong, 11 Feb 2023

How magical would it be to discover an ancient healing art from China, which could help you to improve your overall health and wellbeing in the modern world? Absolutely amazing.

As a qualified instructor, I offer a rare, in-depth opportunity to experience the magic of qigong (pronounced chee-gong), a rejuvenating technique involving deep, meditative breathing and flowing movements that is 1,000s of years old.

At this workshop, and through the healing power of qigong, you’ll learn how to do self-care and to nurture yourself with:

  • Deep, mindful breathing to calm your mind and release tension from your body.
  • Gentle yet powerful movements to restore your energy levels.
  • Relaxing self-massage to soothe your aches and support your body’s healing process

Ideal for beginners.

When: Saturday 11 February 2023, 10am to 1pm (please arrive no later than 9.55am)

Where: Reremoana School hall, 15 Scotsmoor Drive, Wattle Downs, Manurewa, Auckland 2103. Refer to this map: https://goo.gl/maps/soNPiz5gexGBgF4p6

Parking: Plenty of free parking is available on the half-circle shaped driveway in front of the school.

Open to anyone aged 18+, who is seeking to rebalance and rejuvenate their body, soul and strength.

Cost: $75 per person (payable by online banking. The account number will be provided once you RSVP). Please refer to the cancellation policy below.

What to wear:  Comfortable, loose clothing that is easy to move in, and flat-soled shoes. Please also bring a jersey or hoodie to keep warm when we are sitting still for some of the time.

Please bring: Water bottle and a snack

Places are limited to just 12 people.

To RSVP, or if you have questions, please text Jocelyn on 027 493 9851 or use the contact form on the website: https://www.kiaorataichi.nz/contact-us/

 Who is the instructor?

Jocelyn Watkin has helped people of all ages and abilities to reduce stress and improve their overall health, fitness, balance and well-being with qigong and tai chi since 2003.

She is the founder and director of Kia Ora Tai Chi with extensive experience in teaching qigong and tai chi face-to-face or online for regular weekly classes, workshops and retreats, at schools, a medical centre and a retirement village.

She is registered as a group exercise contractor (with own choreography) with the New Zealand Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs), which is the recognised quality mark throughout Aotearoa/New Zealand. 

She is approved as a strength and balance group exercise provider with the Accident Compensation Commission and has numerous tai chi and qigong instructor qualifications. She also has a New Zealand Diploma of Teaching.

Testimonial: “I really enjoyed your style, Jocelyn. Friendly, caring, informative and non-judgemental. You made me feel relaxed and welcome. Thank you.” (Participant in the Stardome mini-retreat, March 2022)

What is qigong?

For thousands of years the Chinese have had a secret. A secret that helps to increase longevity, a secret that assists the body to heal from injury, illness and trauma.

That secret is qigong, a deep meditative breathing exercise that connects the mind to the body and helps with overall well-being and healing. 

How does qigong help your body to heal from injury, pain or illness? A number of clinical trials have confirmed that qigong is proven to increase blood oxygen saturation in your body. That alone is excellent for healing.

There are many different aspects to assist the body and mind to heal, such as:

  • Medical treatments and interventions
  • Sleep and rest
  • A healthy diet
  • Moderate exercise
  • Reducing stress.

Qigong can help and support the body with all of the above.  

Qigong’s deep, meditative breathing supports your parasympathetic nervous system (also called the ‘rest and digest’ system). The movements, when co-ordinated with your breath and awareness of energy can help you to slow down, relax and to release tensions in your body. This helps you to sleep well, too.

If your body needs energy to repair and heal from injury or illness, qigong breathing can help to increase oxygen level and flow (energy) right down to your smallest cell.

Qigong exercises will massage and stimulate internal organs, which can also help with healing.

Qigong is about releasing stress, not suppressing it.

To reduce inflammation, you need to reduce the damaging effect that constant stress has on your body. Qigong breathing can help you to let go of stress so you can settle your mind and body.

Healing is multi-faceted and we need a number of different things to help us to heal our minds and bodies and to recover from illness, injury and trauma. Qigong can support this process.

Find out more about the healing benefits of qigong:

Cancellation policy

The workshop must be paid for in full ($75 per person) to reserve your place.

All payments are non-refundable but, if you can’t attend, you can nominate a friend, colleague or family member to take your place.

Please do not attend this workshop if you have Covid or you have a cold or ‘flu-like symptoms. In this instance and if you can’t find someone else to take your place, you will be provided with a credit towards another Kia Ora Tai Chi workshop, retreat or class.

In the unlikely event that Kia Ora Tai Chi cancels the workshop, you will be refunded in full.

COVID-19 policy

Please do not attend if you are sick or have cold or ‘flu-like symptoms.

All participants will need to respect the need for social distancing at all times during the workshop. The venue is big and there’ll be plenty of room for everyone to spread out.  The massage exercises are all self-massaging. There will not be any paired exercises or touching by others.

The hall will be well-ventilated and hand sanitiser will be provided.

We will abide by the NZ Government’s health advice and regulations as they apply at the time of the workshop.

Jocelyn (the instructor) has been fully vaccinated for Covid-19, including with a 2nd booster.

To RSVP to this workshop, or if you have questions, please text Jocelyn on 027 493 9851 or use the contact form on the website: https://www.kiaorataichi.nz/contact-us/

 

 

Free summer tai chi in Cornwall Park, Jan – March 2023

Free tai chi and qigong with me every Sunday morning (9am) and Tuesday evening (6pm) in Cornwall Park from Sunday 15 January until Tuesday 28 March 2023. All sessions are outdoors so are weather dependent.

Ideal for beginners of all ages and abilities, particularly those seeking a calming and nurturing exercise experience that is also effective for fitness and balance.

The linked postures and steps of tai chi, along with deep, meditative breathing (called qigong), are designed to improve your overall health and can also strengthen leg and core muscles.

Tai chi and qigong are good for your body as well as your mind and are helpful at reducing stress.

These 45-minute sessions in Cornwall Park and are free, fun and suitable for all ages and abilities, especially beginners. You are most welcome to invite family, friends and colleagues to join in.

Summer Tai Chi in the Park sessions are funded by the Cornwall Park Trust Board so you can all attend for free.

Here is all of the information you need:

  • Where are the sessions? In Cornwall Park about halfway up Pōhutukawa Drive and under the trees to the left of the road. (Same place as previous years).
  • Directions for those who haven’t attended before:  Drive, cycle or walk into Cornwall Park from Greenlane Road West. That entry road is called Pōhutukawa Drive. My tai chi sessions will be about halfway up Pōhutukawa Drive on the left-hand-side and under the trees. Look for me and my instructors in our red Kia Ora Tai Chi shirts. If you get to the roundabout you’ve gone past us. Refer to the park’s visitor information website for a park map: Cornwall Park visitor info 
  • Days and times: Sunday mornings at 9am (we’ll be there from 8.45am) and Tuesday evenings at 6pm (we’ll be there from 5.45pm).
  • How long are the sessions? 45 minutes
  • What to bring: Water bottle, a sun hat/sun block and wear comfy clothing and footwear.
  • If rainy or when there are high winds: Look for the cancellation notice on the Kia Ora Tai Chi Facebook page: www.facebook.com/kiaorataichi/ or text me on 027 493 9851. Or you can check with the park’s visitor centre (the Huia Lodge Discovery Hub, open 7 days from 10am – 4pm) https://cornwallpark.co.nz/contact
  • More information: https://cornwallpark.co.nz/summer-events-programme-2022-23

I would so love to see you under those lovely shady trees in the park. I will teach a number of exciting and different tai chi and qigong forms as the sessions progress and until the last one on Tuesday 28 March.

As well as my tai chi and qigong sessions, there are lots of other free activities in the park. Check out my SpinPoi session in the park on Saturday 18 February. Find out more in this link:  https://cornwallpark.co.nz/uploads/logos/Summer-Events-2002-2023-Web.pdf

Find out more

New class: A fun fusion of SpinPoi with tai chi, Oct – Dec 2022

All welcome to a special and fun series of SpinPoi classes with Jocelyn of Kia Ora Tai Chi. Thursday mornings, from 27th October to 1st December 2022, 11.45am to 12.30pm.

You’ll swing along with easy-to-learn poi movements set to music and finish with tranquil and peaceful tai chi. This is a fun exercise with a qualified instructor, which will boost fitness, strength, balance and well-being.

Attend just one class or come to them all.

Limited number of poi available. Bring your own pair of poi, if you have a set.

Venue: The Wharekai Room, Te Matariki Clendon Community Centre, 17 Palmers Road, Clendon Park, Manurewa, Auckland 2103.

Cost: $5 per person, per class

Ideal for: Seniors and beginners of any age and ability. You can do this seated, if you wish.

No need to RSVP, just come along. All welcome.

Questions? Please phone or text Jocelyn on 027 493 9851 or use the Contact Form

More info:

Four people smiling and holding poi

SpinPoi keeps your mind and body happy

Free qigong, 3rd – 7th Oct 2022

Man holding a ball of energy and standing on one leg If you’d like to stress less and live best, then the FREE Triple 5 qigong challenge is for you.

What is the challenge? Just five minutes of qigong per day for five days in a row from Monday 3 October to Friday 7 October, 2022.

You’ll learn five calming qigong movements (one per day) from me and you’ll practice each one for five minutes per day. I’ll be with you all of the way with pre-recorded, “how to” videos and encouragement. Did I mention all of this is free?

What is qigong? It is a mindful, meditative exercise programme with deep breathing. The practice originated in China thousands of years ago and has many proven health benefits.

Who am I? I’m Jocelyn Watkin and I’m a qualified qigong instructor.

This is how the Triple 5 will work:

  • It will start on Monday 3 October and run for five consecutive days.
  • Each day, I’ll email you a link to a 5-minute YouTube video of me showing you a qigong movement, which will help you to reduce stress and improve your overall health. I’ll also upload the daily video onto the Kia Ora Tai Chi facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/kiaorataichi
  • You have a go at this qigong by following me in the video at least once that day and for at least five minutes. As the video is pre-recorded, you can watch it anytime in the 24 hours of that day and, if you wish, you can hit the replay button as often as you want.
  • Each day, you’ll respond with just one word or 1 – 2 sentences telling me how that day’s qigong felt to you. You can do this by emailing or texting me, or writing in the comment box on the Facebook post in which the video appears.
  • That’s it.

If you’re keen on the Triple 5 qigong challenge, please use the Contact Form to provide me with your email address no later than Monday 3 October so I can email you the links to each daily video.

Wait there’s more…
If you do the five minutes of qigong per day, and then email me or comment on the Kia Ora Tai Chi Facebook page with at least one word per day about your qigong experience, then I’ll put your name in a draw for a FREE one-on-one, 1-hour qigong session with me online.

What sort of qigong will you be doing? Gentle, healing qigong movements so you can stress less and live best by:

  • Clearing your head and centering your body.
  • Releasing your neck and shoulder tension.
  • Reducing strain and pain in your wrists and fingers.
  • Resting and refreshing your tired eyes.
  • Strengthening your legs and muscles.
  • Improving your balance.

Can beginners join in? Yes, absolutely. Please invite family, whānau, friends and colleagues to join in. It is free for everyone and as it is online, it doesn’t matter where you live in the world or what time zone you’re in.

Matariki Magic: New Year, New You

Matariki 2022 has finished. This mini-retreat will next be held during Matariki 2023 (June/July)

If you’d like to be notified when this or other exiting tai chi, qigong and SpinPoi events happen, please RSVP to receive our free monthly e-newsletter. Look to the right of this page and to see the “Monthly Newsletter Signup” form. Or, you can get in touch to ask for this free e-newsletter from our “Contact Us” page: https://www.kiaorataichi.nz/contact-us/

Matariki is the Māori name for the cluster of stars, which is also known as the Pleiades. It is a perfect time for reflection and for learning how to plan and prepare for a new start

If you’re ready to open your heart to the universe and embrace the life you really want then join me for an out-of-this-world mini retreat at Auckland’s awesome Stardome. June 2023 (during Matariki)

How fantastic would it be to navigate into a new orbit where you had more time to do the things you love with the people you love?

Open book with stars bursting out of it

Find your path with journaling

Can you imagine how good it would feel to know how to navigate to a new and balanced universe? Let the countdown begin!  At this mini retreat, you’ll learn how to use a journal to focus your thoughts. 

After the retreat, you’ll be able to use this journal to free yourself from uncertainty and indecision so it will be easier to make the changes you want, such as special times with your whānau and friends, or more ‘me time or to shine bright and warm like a sun in your own solar system.

Can you envisage the relief to finally escape from the black hole of doubt, anxiety and frustration? Absolutely, positively YES.

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 and regret about missed opportunities. After the retreat, you’ll know how to create a peaceful state for thinking so you can rebalance your mind and body and redirect your trajectory to the life you want – a new home “planet”.

Testimonial: “I had forgotten how delicious peacefulness is.” (Participant in the Stardome mini-retreat, March 2022)

Cute pink owl wearing a night cap, sleeping among the stars

Delectable, deep 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? Do you fancy a full night’s sleep without tossing, turning or ‘brain churning’ about how to live the life of your dreams? Don’t just daydream about it. Through guided tai chi meditation you will learn how to empty your mind and say good night to frustration and anxiety so you can wake up refreshed and ready for anything, every morning.

How fulfilling would it be to feel mindful and connected, instead of a lone star adrift in a starless night? Infinitely satisfying. You’ll be treated to a live, cosmic experience at the planetarium and a Matariki kōrero (talk) under the planetarium stars.

You’ll discover more about ngā whetū (the stars), ngā aorangi (the planets) and the rich traditions of Matariki from a Māori perspective. You’ll be enthralled by the many stories written in our night skies passed down from generation to generation.

After the retreat, you’ll be able to look up on any night and feel deeply connected, calm and in harmony with the entire universe.

Yin and Yang symbol made of stars, the sun and the moon

Testimonial: “The mini-retreat was awesome, very informative and helpful. The presentation was carefully thought through on how to achieve the peace and calm needed in our daily lives.” (Participant in the Stardome mini-retreat, March 2022)

Date and time: TBA, June 2023.

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

Places are limited to just 10 participants.

Please get in touch if you’d like to kōrero (talk more) about this mini retreat.

Watch this short video to discover more about the Matariki Magic mini-retreat on Friday 17 June:

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. She has extensive experience in teaching face-to-face or online for classes, workshops and retreats, as well as in schools, a medical centre and a retirement village.

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

Testimonial: “I really enjoyed your style, Jocelyn. Friendly, caring, informative and non-judgemental. You made me feel relaxed and welcome. Thank you.” (Participant in the “How to Create Your Own Calm and Centred Universe” retreat at Auckland’s Stardome, March 2022)

What is Matariki?

Matariki is the Māori name for the cluster of stars, which is also known as the Pleiades. It is a perfect time for reflection and for learning how to plan and prepare for a new start

This star cluster rises in midwinter and according to the Maramataka (Māori lunar calendar), its appearance brings the old lunar year to a close and heralds the start of a new one. Hence, Matariki is associated with the Māori New Year. Iwi (tribes) across New Zealand understand and celebrate Matariki in different ways and at different times.

Cultural traditions also vary but the key themes of Matariki include:

  • Remembering and acknowledging the past, including our tipuna/ancestors.
  • Celebrating life and connections to whānau/family and community.
  • Sharing knowledge and learning/also preparing for the year ahead and the future.

Matariki is visible to the naked eye from most parts of the world, and has many different names. In English, it is called the Pleiades (its ancient Greek name) or the Seven Sisters. The Hawaiian name is Makali‘i, or ‘eyes of royalty’, and in Japan it is Subaru, meaning ‘gathered together’.

Who is this mini retreat for? 

It will be ideal for anyone aged 18+ who is seeking a new start and better life/work balance. High school students younger than 18, who want guidance on ways to consider future options and help to reduce stress during the school year 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, create a peaceful state for thinking and to rebalance both your mind and body.
  • Journaling to calm and focus your mind so you make the changes you want to 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.
  • live, cosmic experience at the planetarium.
  • Tea, coffee and snacks.
  • Free parking at the Stardome and/or in One Tree Hill Domain.
  • Meeting new friends

Testimonial: “Jocelyn is very well prepared and organised. What she talked about was well explained and easy to understand. She is personable and caring.” (Participant in the Stardome mini-retreat, March 2022)

Please get in touch if you have questions or to RSVP.

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. Although opposites, 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?

What if there really was a magic wand to re-write your past, your present and future?

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

Using your pen as a ‘magic wand’ will assist you to develop a plan of action. You will reduce frustration and anxiety, free yourself from uncertainty and indecision and 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 nearly 25 years ago.

Testimonial: “Jocelyn was very relatable because quite often what was being taught had been used by her in real life.” (Participant in the Stardome mini-retreat, March 2022)

What will I need to bring?

      • A mask that is easy and comfortable to wear for the duration of this mini-retreat (nearly 7 hours), including for the planetarium show. Short outdoor breaks will be provided during the day for those wanting to remove their masks for a few moments.
      • Pen and paper or your lap top to take notes.
      • A filled water bottle
      • Something you’d like to eat during the short dinner break at around 6.30pm.
      • Comfortable, flat shoes for tai chi.
      • A hoodie, cardigan, jacket or similar warm clothing as there may be the chance to do the tai chi sessions outside, if it is not raining or too windy. In addition, the planetarium is air-conditioned, which could feel overly cold to some.
      • Tai chi can be done in almost any clothing but is best in something loose-fitting and casual. You are welcome to bring a set of comfy clothes to change into if you are coming straight from work.

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

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 this Matariki Magic mini retreat? With a 1.45pm start time, those working will only need a half-day of leave.

Please get in touch if you have questions.

What is your COVID-19 policy?

We will abide by the NZ Government’s health advice and regulations at the time of the retreat and also those required by the management of the Stardome Observatory & Planetarium. Jocelyn has been fully vaccinated for Covid-19, including with two boosters. It is likely that all participants in this mini-retreat will need to wear a mask for all of the indoor sessions. Hand sanitiser will be provided.

Participant numbers are limited to 10 people.

“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