New beginners class starts Mon 12th & Wed 14 Sept 2022

Group of older people doing tai chi. Some are seated.Kia ora and thank you for your interest in Kia Ora Tai Chi and in learning tai chi and qigong. 

What others say about Kia Ora Tai Chi classes:

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

A new beginners’ tai chi and qigong class will start In Manurewa on the evenings of Monday 12th and Wednesday 14th September 2022, 6.30 – 7.15pm.

Jocelyn Watkin and the Kia Ora Tai Chi team welcome adults of any age and ability as new beginners. 

The venue will be the Manurewa South School hall, which is located at 18 Totara Road, Manurewa. (Please refer to the map below.) The classes will be held every Monday and Wednesday evening (except for public holidays and during a break over Christmas and New Year).

If you’d like more information or to RSVP, please text or phone Jocelyn on 027 493 9851 or please use the Contact Form.

What to wear: Please wear loose comfortable clothing and bring a something warm like a hoodie, jumper, cardigan, etc. Please also wear flat-soled shoes (such as sneakers, trainers or tennis shoes). Please also wear a facemask on arrival and when talking with others. You can remove your facemask during tai chi if you wish, as long as we can all physically distance ourselves. Please also bring a bottle of drinking water.

What to expect: All of the classes begin with a sequence of easy, flowing, warm-up exercises which are low impact and gentle on your joints. These exercises are designed to improve your balance and core strength. You can do tai chi while seated, if you wish.

Then, Jocelyn and her team of instructors will guide you through a tai chi form – a series of linked postures and steps, which are also designed to strengthen your leg and core muscles and improve balance. The steps are performed in a slow, focussed manner and accompanied by deep breathing (known as qigong, which means ‘breath work’ and ‘energy work’).


  • Come along for a free class on Monday 12th and/or Wednesday 14th September 2022. You are welcome to attend both for free.
  • After 14th: Prices start from $10 to $15 per class (depending on how many classes are purchased in advance). A discount is available for those who are referred by ACC and Age Concern for the Community Group Strength and Balance Exercise programme (“Live Stronger for Longer”). You must be aged 65+ AND be referred to qualify for this discount.

Covid-19 protection requirements to attend classes:

  • High-quality face masks must be worn on arrival and when chatting to others before the class starts/after the class finishes. Some students are immuno-compromised. Everyone made a unanimous decision to continue to wear masks when coming to class to support and help those who are less fortunate with their health. This is regardless of any lesser requirements recommended by the NZ Government. If you wish, you can remove your mask during the class, as long as we can all physically distance ourselves. Please do not wear home-made fabric masks.
  • Anyone who wants to keep wearing a mask throughout the class is welcome to do so and their views/wishes are respected by others.
  • The hall will be well-ventilated as we have the doors open in ALL weathers, so please wear layered clothing to keep warm. Fortunately, warmer weather is on the way. There is a lovely outdoor deck off the hall and we do tai chi on that in the summer months.
  • Please stay at home if you have a cold or flu-like symptoms or if you or someone in your household has Covid. You are not charged for missed classes under these circumstances.
  • All instructors are vaccinated, including with two boosters.

If you’d like more information or to RSVP, please text or phone Jocelyn on 027 493 9851 or please use the Contact Form.

Participants in the evening classes are encouraged to attend on both Monday and Wednesday evenings. However, if you are committed to practicing at home then it is OK to attend just one class per week.

The above map shows the location of the evening classes in the Manurewa South School hall. The entrance to the hall and the parking is at 18 Totara Road (please don’t go to the main entrance to the school, which is on another street).

Please text or phone Jocelyn Watkin for more information about any of her classes, courses, workshops or retreats: 027 493 9851. Alternatively, please use the Contact Form to get in touch.

Tai chi is easy, fun and a really great exercise, which is good for your body and helpful at reducing stress. If you are unable to stand for very long, Jocelyn and several of her assistant instructors can also teach seated tai chi, which you can do alongside the rest of the class.


All of our tai chi classes are approved with the BIG TICK  for the Community Group Strength and Balance Programme so you can “Live Stronger for Longer”.

What is tai chi? Described as “moving meditation”, tai chi is an ancient Chinese martial art that combines mental focus with deliberate and relaxed movements. Regular practice of tai chi can help improve strength, health and balance, reduce stress and lower blood pressure.  Read more about the health benefits of tai chi.

Please text or phone Jocelyn to RSVP or for more information: 027 493 9851. Alternatively, please use the Contact Form to get in touch.

Healing qigong retreat on Gt Barrier Island, 2023

Red and white spring blossoms against a bright blue sky.

Are you ready to blossom into good health?

This retreat in 2023 will be a rare, in-depth opportunity to experience the healing power of qigong, which is an ancient, restorative art of deep meditative breathing and flowing movements. Please get in touch to register your interest for 2023.

You’ll learn how to nurture yourself with qigong so you can improve your overall health and wellbeing, release tension, calm your mind and stimulate energy flow (qi) throughout your body.

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

Where: Aotea / Great Barrier Island, Hauraki Gulf, Auckland

When: TBA in 2023. It will be 3 days/2 nights. Places limited to just 10 participants.

The island is one of only 15 International Dark Sky Sanctuaries in the whole world. As well as the healing qigong, you’ll be awed by the universe in a live, stargazing, dark sky experience, navigate a stellar new path with cosmic journaling and be invigorated by the fresh sea airremote beaches and the remarkable bush and bird life.

Bush-clad hills and blue seas

Beautiful and enchanting Aotea/Great Barrier Island

If you’ve ever wanted to visit this remote sanctuary, now is your chance. Together, with qigong for health instructor, Jocelyn Watkin, you’ll feel the nurturing flow of qigong, be uplifted by the stars above and the natural beauty around you.

Testimonial: “The 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)

What’s included in this retreat:

  • Several immersive sessions to learn the movements and about the healing power of qigong and tai chi. After the retreat, you’ll be able to do these meditative and nurturing movements at anytime to improve your health and well-being. (Refer further below to learn more about qigong.)
  • Mindful breathing and meditation to dial down the stress so you can rebalance, restore yourself and look forward to a freer life.
  • Guided, cosmic journaling to focus on what you want from life and to choose the way you want to experience it, no matter what else happens. (Refer further below to learn more about cosmic journaling.)
  • A journal that you can take home and keep using after the retreat.
  • A live, stargazing, dark sky experience with a local guide. For the best viewing, this will take place before the moon rises. You’ll be able to lean back in your comfortable moon chair, have constellations drawn in the sky while you enjoy a cup of hot chocolate or herbal tea and be wowed with fascinating astronomical facts. You’ll be able to look through a powerful telescope to get up-close and personal with special stars and deep sky objects. After the retreat, you’ll be able to stargaze on any night and feel deeply connected, calm and in harmony with the entire universe.

Group of people looking up at the stars

A Dark Sky Sanctuary viewing experience with a local guide

  • Tai chi and qigong in the moonlight with the soothing lunar light upon us.
  • A guided, scenic tour of the island’s remote beaches, bush and bird life, including a short walk up Windy Canyon, with its wind-funnel shaped rock formations and stunning views.

Funnel-shaped rocks formations amongst mountainous bush

Windy Canyon

  • Return premium flights with Barrier Air (Auckland – Claris (the airport on Gt Barrier) – Auckland); approx 35 minutes each way and with amazing views of the island and the Hauraki Gulf. Barrier Air operates from the Air New Zealand domestic terminal at Auckland Airport in Mangere. Face masks will need to be worn on the flights.

View of landing strip from the air

About to land at Claris Airport, Gt Barrier Island

  • Airport transfers on Great Barrier Island.
  • Two nights’ accommodation in modern, fully self-contained studio units and villas at Sunset Waterfront Lodge. Every one of these has its own kitchen as well as bathroom facilities. Private double, twin and single accommodation options are all available.
  • Meeting new and like-minded friends

Please note: For the health of everyone, face masks may need to be worn during all indoor group sessions on the retreat and on our mini bus while on the island.

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

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) 

What’s not included:

  • Meals: All of the accommodation units are fully self-contained with kitchens to prepare and cook your own meals. You can BYO or buy provisions from the general store next door to our accommodation, which also has fresh coffee and yummy breakfast, lunch and dinners for those who prefer to eat out.
  • A meal package can be purchased before our retreat for those who’d like meals to be included. Pricing TBA.
  • Alcohol and drinks. You can BYO or buy from the café/general store next door to our accommodation.
  • Souvenirs and gifts
  • Transport to and from Auckland Airport
  • Parking at Auckland Airport
  • Personal, medical or trip cancellation insurance
  • Medical services
  • Items for personal use
  • Laundry
  • Face masks, please bring several.
  • Hand sanitiser for personal use outside of the group sessions.

How good would it feel to finally be on the right path to the life and health you want? Very liberating! Unleash your power to live well at this restorative retreat on the island sanctuary of Aotea/Great Barrier.

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 (with own choreography) contractor 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)

More about Aotea / Great Barrier Island

View of the island from the air

This idyllic island stands at the entrance to the Hauraki Gulf and is just a short 35-minute flight from Auckland Airport.

It protects the inner waters of the gulf from storms in the Pacific Ocean. Hence, Captain Cook gave the island its European name, Great Barrier. It is the perfect place to create your own protective inner barrier against the storms of life.

Māori named the island Aotea, meaning white cloud (ao = cloud, tea = white), as it appears in the distance like a white cloud on the horizon.

The isle has stunning natural beauty. Due to being relatively remote and with a small population, it has remained unspoiled and a haven for native birds and plants.

The entire island was awarded International Dark Sky Sanctuary status in 2017, one of only 15 in the world. It truly is heaven under the stars.

Who is this retreat for? 

It is for anyone aged 18+ who is seeking ways to improve their own health, self-healing and well-being with qigong and tai chi and/or wants to de-stress and have a better life/work balance.

Many of us have revised what we now want from life but are not sure where to start or how to make this happen. If you feel a little lost, flat or frustrated with not knowing what steps to take, this retreat will help you to find peace and purpose

Ideal for beginners as well as advanced tai chi and qigong students.

Testimonial: Jocelyn 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)

Our accommodation: Sunset Waterfront Lodge at Tryphena

You’ll be able to relax in your own comfy and private villa or unit, which is fully self-contained with kitchen and bathroom facilities. Loll on your deck or patio listening to bird song and the sound of the sea. Bed linen and towels are all provided.

The lodge is aptly named. You can take a short stroll across the lawn to watch the sun set and breathe in the fresh sea air.

Double, twin share and single accommodation options are all available.

Our qigong, tai chi and journaling sessions will be held in a specially-designed and private marquee on site, which is surrounded by natural bush. If you peep through the ancient pōhutukawa trees you’ll be rewarded with glimpses of the sea.

The next door Mulberry Grove General Store and Café has all you need for groceries, fresh fruit and vegetables, wine, souvenirs and other essentials like fresh coffee daily, along with meals to dine in or takeaway. 

What is qigong and tai chi?

For thousands of years the Chinese have had a secret. A secret that has allowed them to treat illness in its earliest stages, a secret that enables athletes to perform amazing, seemingly superhuman feats of strength and agility; a secret that promises a long and healthy life to those who understand and regularly practice it. That secret is a deep, meditative breathing exercise called qigong (pronounced ‘chee – gong’).

In Chinese, the word “qigong” is made up of two characters: ‘Qi’ = air, breath and life energy; and ‘gong’ = working hard to develop a high skill level. Therefore, qigong means: ‘the skill of getting more breath, energy and life’.

Qigong is designed to calm your mind, rejuvenate your energy, boost your health and strengthen your bodyOne of the ways it does this is to increase your oxygen flow right down to your smallest fingers and toes. It will warm you and will help you to feel good all over.

Is qigong the same as tai chi? No, tai chi is a subset of the much older practice of qigong. Often described as “moving meditation”, tai chi is a Chinese martial art and exercise programme that combines mental focus with deliberate, mindful steps and postures. It is very gentle on your joints. It is sometimes referred to as “taiji” or “tai chi chuan”.

How magical would it be to have the key for greater health and wellness? Absolutely, you too can enter this enchanted place. At this retreat, you’ll learn the ancient art of qigong so you can unlock the knowledge on self-healing, nurturing and how to improve your own health, and well-being

What is cosmic journaling?

Writing or drawing in a journal (also known as journaling) can help you to process and understand what is happening in your life and what you want for your future. You don’t need to write in sentences if you don’t want to. You can also draw, mind map or doodle, if you wish.

Cosmic journaling will help you to develop a plan of what you want for your future self. 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 a plan for lasting change and freedom.

Jocelyn learned about the power of journaling when recovering from post traumatic stress nearly 25 years ago. It enabled her to break the power stress had on her and also freed her thoughts to plan for a better and different life.

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 is your COVID-19 policy?

We will abide by the NZ Government’s health advice and regulations as they apply in November and also those required by the operators of facilities and services for the retreat on Aotea/Great Barrier Island. Jocelyn has been fully vaccinated for Covid-19, including with a 2nd booster. All participants at this mini-retreat may need to wear a mask for all indoor group sessions and also when on shared transport, including flights. Hand sanitiser will be provided for group sessions.

Places are limited to just 10 participants

“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 an
succeed at.
It matters that you don’t just give up.” 
– Professor Stephen Hawking

Online learning: Nurture yourself with healing qigong

Nurture yourself with healing qigong so you can blossom with good health.

Qigong (pronounced ‘chee – gong’) is an ancient, Chinese exercise programme of deep, meditative breathing and flowing movements.

This is your opportunity to learn qigong in an interactive, online series of three sessions, which have been designed to improve your overall health and wellbeing, release tension, calm your mind and stimulate energy flow (qi) throughout your body.

Each session will include:

  • Quietening your mind
  • Comfortable ways to align your posture to allow free movement of healing qi (energy flow) throughout your body.
  • Deep, mindful breathing to stimulate your qi and influence your body.
  • Gentle physical exercise
  • Qi and energy awareness exercises
  • Tranquil meditation and contemplation
  • Explanations, discussion and guidance with Jocelyn

Session 1, Online, Thursday 21 July, 6.30pm: Playing with waves, relaxing and calming breathing combined with gentle movements to feel the qi (flow of energy) in your body

Session 2: Online, Thursday 28 July, 6.30pm: Swimming dragon in the mist, graceful yet powerful movements to cultivate more qi and to tap into the energy that surrounds us.

Session 3: Online, Thursday 4 August, 6.30pm: Enter the flow, learning to form a ball of energy and to guide it to help soothe your body and support its healing process.

Pricing for “Nurture yourself with healing qigong” (all in $NZ):

  • Session 1: $20 per person, including the video replay
  • Sessions 1 & 2: $15 per person, per session for a total of $30, including the video replays.
  • Sessions 1, 2 & 3: $13 per person, per session, for a total of $39, including the video replays.

Jocelyn’s evening class students in Manurewa can choose to use 1, 2 or 3 of their prepaid class fees instead of making an additional payment.

PayPal, credit card and online banking options are all available. Note: payment by credit card and PayPal will attract a processing fee of up to 3%. Please use the form on the “Contact Us” page to request the payment option of your choice. We’ll reply with all you need to know to easily arrange your payment.

Are you looking for an in-depth opportunity to learn more qigong? I offer a rare 3-day/2-night retreat experience on the healing power of qigong.

Red and white blossoms against a bright blue sky

Are you ready to blossom into better health?

Where: Aotea / Great Barrier Island, Hauraki Gulf, Auckland

When: Friday 11 to Sunday 13 November 2022 (3 days/2 nights). Places limited to just 10 participants.

How magical would it be to have the key to even greater health and wellness with qigong? Absolutely, you too can enter this enchanted place.

This retreat is for anyone aged 18+ who is seeking to vastly improve their own health, self-healing and well-being and/or wants to de-stress and have a better life/work balance.

Find out more:

Free healing qigong session, Thurs 14 July 2022

Are you wanting to boost your overall health and well-being? If you feel a little lost, flat or frustrated with not knowing what steps to take or if you’re keen to know more about self-healing, please join me to learn one of the secrets of qigong. (Pronounced chee-gong.)

Login for a free, online 30-minute session with me (on Zoom) on Thursday evening, 14 July 2022 at 6.30pm, so you can learn a simple, natural and instinctive qigong practice to help you with healing and to boost your health. Beginners are welcome.

Afterwards, you’ll be able to do this qigong exercise at any time, any place to feel calmer, reduce discomfort and pain and to help you to sleep.

Please contact me no later than Wednesday 13 July to receive the Zoom link to attend. You can get in touch using the contact form on my website or phone/text me on 027 493 9851.

Who is the instructor? Jocelyn Watkin is the founder, director and lead instructor of Kia Ora Tai Chi. She has trained and qualified in taiji, tai chi and qigong since 2003. You can find out more about her here:

What is the secret of 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.

One of the main reasons people want to learn qigong is that it helps with overall well-being and healing. Fortunately, those of us in Western counties now have access to this secret.

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.

(Clinical trial:,may%20have%20useful%20therapeutic%20value. )

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.

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.

If you’d like to learn one of the secrets of qigong, I’d like to teach you online on Thursday 14 July at 6.30pm in a free, 30-minute session. You will learn a simple, natural and instinctive qigong practice to help you with healing, to release stress and to boost your health.

Please get in touch no later than Wednesday 13 July to receive the Zoom link to attend by using the contact form on my website or phone/text me on 027 493 9851. Beginners are welcome.

Are you looking for more in-depth qigong? All welcome to attend my self-healing qigong retreat on Great Barrier Island, November 2022. It is called, “Discover your power to live well”:

This is a retreat to rebalance and rejuvenate your body, soul and strength with sensory, sacred qigong and restorative journaling.

This retreat is for anyone aged 18+ who is seeking ways to improve their own health, self-healing and well-being and/or wants to de-stress and have a better life/work balance. Find out more:


Tai chi and qigong can boost immunity

Human figure holding a Yin/Yang ball with radiating lines pulsing outwardsLatest evidence suggests that both tai chi and qigong have a positive impact on immune system functioning and inflammatory responses.

The worldwide Covid-19 pandemic has driven more research into medical interventions and options that improve immunity and recovery.

The quest has been wide-ranging and has included the effect that tai chi and qigong have on our immune responses.

During 2020, a group of medical specialists and researchers from hospitals in Sydney and Seoul and also from the Harvard, Stamford and Sydney Medical Schools collaborated on a systematic review and meta-analysis of 19 full-text randomized controlled trials (RCTs) for tai chi and qigong. These 19 RCTs involved 1,686 participants in total.

The conclusion: Current evidence indicates that practising tai chi and qigong has a positive impact on immune system functioning and inflammatory responses. Read more:

Please bear in mind that these RCTs required people to practice tai chi or qigong at least twice per week and for at least several weeks. The positive effect on your health and wellbeing from tai chi and qigong can’t happen if you only try it once or twice and then stop. You need to practice regularly. There are very few things in this world that work with just one dose.

Please also note that while the review confirmed tai chi and qigong have a positive impact on immune system functioning and inflammatory responses, it did NOT prove that these activities prevent you from catching Covid-19 or other diseases.

Additional activities that can help you to boost your immunity levels are:

  • Maintaining a healthy diet
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Keeping hydrated, especially in summer and also when exercising
  • Minimising stress

If you have any concerns about Covid-19 or other health matters, please talk to your doctor and other fully-qualified medical professionals.