Restore yourself with journaling and candlelight tai chi

Candlelight tai chi and qigong is back by popular demand in May 2022. It comes with optional extra sessions of restorative journaling.

Wouldn’t it feel great to have a dimmer switch for stress? Imagine the relief to be able to dial down your stress levels just as you would with a harsh light? Absolutely! With healing, candlelit tai chi and qigong, you’ll learn how to slow down, let go of anxiety and sink into deep relaxation with gentle movements. It will be just like having your very own dimmer switch.

What is restorative journaling?

Wouldn’t it be amazing to have a magic wand to re-write how you feel about your past and draw out a future you envision? Definitely, we’d all like a wand like that.

With restorative journaling to relieve and reduce stress, your pen becomes your magic wand to:

  • reflect on your past, whether years ago or just yesterday and to consider how you respond to stress (this session will be held online on Thursday 12 May at 7.30pm)
  • contemplate your future and how to reduce stress in the time ahead (this session will be held online on Thursday 19 May at 7.30pm).

At both sessions you can draw or do mind mapping if you prefer that over writing. Any of these or a combination of them can help you to process and understand what is happening in your life. This makes it easier to make the right changes for less stress in the future.

We’ve all been through difficult and challenging times over the last two years. Journaling can help you to let go of all that stress and frustration and consider the future life you now want.

Combined with meditative breathing (qigong) to calm and settle your mind, journaling becomes even more restorative. By releasing tension in both your body and your mind you can focus more easily, which helps you to think more clearly on what you want for the future.

I offer three different guided sessions online on consecutive Thursday nights in May 2022, for this complete restorative and healing experience. All sessions involve gentle and effective movement, tailored breathing exercises, relaxation and mindfulness practices. In addition, the two journaling sessions offer you the chance to ‘wave your magic wand’ with restorative journaling.

Choose one, two or all three sessions, which you attend live and online from your own home. Replays will be available.

Thursday 5 May 2022, evening, 7.30 – 8.30pm: Candlelight tai chi and qigong (This session has now finished. A replay is available at $10. Please contact me to request this)

Let your senses soften in the candlelight so you can slow down and relax your mind and muscles. You’ll feel your stress melt away with the gentle and restorative movements of tai chi and qigong. Your breath will become slower and deeper during this guided session of relaxation and meditation. Wear your pyjamas if you wish. Once we finish, you’ll be tranquil and ready for bed and a rejuvenating night of sleep

Thursday 12 May 2022, evening, 7.30 – 8.30pm: Restorative journaling, part 1 (Please RSVP by 6pm on Wed 11 May)

Release tension and relax from the ‘busy-ness’ of your life with meditative and mindful breathing (qigong), which will help open your heart and mind. I’ll then guide you on a reflective, journaling odyssey that will enhance your understanding of what is happening in your life. You will observe and note your thoughts and reactions by writing, drawing, doodling and/or mind mapping– whatever feels the most comfortable to you. There is no critique or judgement at any time and you will not be required to share what you have noted.

Thursday 19 May 2022, evening, 7.30 – 8.30pm, Restorative journaling, part 2 (Please RSVP by 6pm on Wed 18 May)

Soothe your mind and body with meditative, mindful breathing (qigong) to create an open-hearted space of discovery. You’ll then continue Part 2 of your guided, journaling odyssey with me. You’ll be exploring your thoughts, feelings and sensations of what you want for your future self.

As with Part 1, you will observe and note your thoughts and reactions by writing, drawing, doodling and/or mind mapping – whatever feels the most comfortable to you. There is no critique or judgement at any time and you will not be required to share what you have noted.

Cost per session

  • Attend one session: $20 per person
  • Attend two sessions: $17.50 per person, per session (i.e. $35 per person for both sessions)
  • Request a recorded replay of any session: $10 per person, per session ($30 per person if you request replays for all three sessions)

Online (video) replays for each session will be available at no extra charge to those who attend that session, which you can re-watch as often as you want, whenever you want.

How to RSVP

Please contact me no later than 6pm on the Wednesday before each session to arrange payment (online banking or PayPal) and to receive the Zoom link(s) to attend your selected sessions. You can get in touch using the contact form on my website, email me on or phone/text me on 027 493 9851

More about me (Jocelyn Watkin)
I am qualified tai chi and qigong instructor. During lockdowns at various times in the last two years, I perfected techniques for teaching online. Participants comment that my lessons have helped them to cope with life and lockdowns as they feel relaxed and calm afterwards, which relieves stress and helps them to sleep.

I learned about the power of journaling when struggling with post traumatic stress some years ago. Fortunately, I was able to get professional help at that time, which included restorative journaling. With that and health-boosting tai chi, I was able to make a full and long-lasting recovery.

Testimonial: “Jocelyn is very relatable because quite often what was being taught had been used by her in real life.”(Participant at a tai chi, qigong and journaling mini-retreat, March 2022)

I am a qualified journalist and also a board-certified and premier instructor for the international Tai Chi for Health Institute. I founded Kia Ora Tai Chi so I could teach others about the healing health benefits of tai chi and qigong.

Click here to find out more about me, my experience and qualifications.

Unable to attend on Thursday evenings? Prefer to learn in-person rather than online? Then, Matariki Magic: New Year, New You is for you.

Matariki Magic: New Year, New You On the afternoon and evening of Friday 17 June 2022, 1.45 – 8.15pm

Join me at Auckland’s awesome Stardome for a fully immersive tai chi, qigong and restorative journaling mini-retreat. If you’re ready to open your heart to the universe and embrace the life you really want then this out-of-this-world mini retreat will be a magical experience.

At this mini-retreat on Friday 17 June 2022 (during Matariki), you’ll learn how to navigate yourself into a new orbit where you have more time to do the things you love with the people you love? Start the countdown to this experience here:

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

Yin Yang symbol with heart shape

Love your health, love your heart, love life, love tai chi



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:

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