Free summer tai chi in 2021

Always wanted to give tai chi and qigong a go? Come along to Cornwall Park for FREE Kia Ora Tai Chi sessions over January, February and March 2021. Fun for all of the family, from children to grandparents.

The sessions start on Sunday 24 January 2021, 9 – 9:45am and will happen every Sunday (9 – 9:45am) until Sunday 28 March. This includes the Sundays of Auckland Anniversary Weekend and Waitangi Weekend. Come along to enjoy relaxing tai chi under the cool of the trees. All welcome.

Location: Under the trees on the left hand side as you’re coming up Pohutukawa Drive from Greenlane Road West. (look out for the signs).

If wet: Please look for the cancellation notice on the Kia Ora Tai Chi facebook page after 4pm on the Saturday evening (the night before a Sunday session). Alternatively, contact me or the Cornwall Park Information Centre at Huia Lodge

Described as “moving meditation”, tai chi is an ancient Chinese martial art that combines mental focus and mindfulness with deliberate and relaxed movements that are gentle on the joints. Qigong is a meditative breathing programme designed to improve your breathing and wellbeing.

Summer tai chi and qigong in Cornwall Park is fun, free and suitable for all ages. You don’t need specialist clothing or equipment. Bring a water bottle, a sun hat, wear comfortable clothing and shoes, and see you there.

Find out more:

Group of people doing tai chi on the grass under the trees

Free summer tai chi and qigong in Cornwall Park

 

Better breathing, better life

Breathing – we all do it automatically: approximately 18 times per minute, 1,080 times per hour and nearly 26,000 times in a 24-hour day. You would have thought we’d got it down to a fine art?

But, what if I told you that most of us could do this breathing thing a lot better? And, by better I mean having more more energy, less anxiety, better sleep, less stress, a better posture with less back ache, and that it was a way you could quickly calm your mind when it is revved up. Of course, you don’t have to do this type of breathing for all of those 26,000 breaths. Instead, you can try it for just for a minute or two and for 2-3 times per day – it could make a huge difference in your life and health.

Tai chi is an ancient, Chinese exercise programme and martial art that involves a series of movements performed in a mindful, focussed manner and accompanied by deep breathing.

You don’t have to know tai chi to learn tai chi breathing. I can show you how to do this so you can breathe your way to better health. You will be able do this anywhere, anytime at home, at work and even on a bus or train.

Let me show you how in this short, 3-minute video.

What happens when we don’t breathe properly? Journalist, James Nestor, and a friend decided to try it for just two weeks. He said on Radio NZ National this week, “We knew it wasn’t going to be fun, but we didn’t know it was going to be a bad as it was. Within a few hours my blood pressure shot up about 20 points. That night I start snoring and I had not snored before.”

Check out the RadioNZ broadcast with James Nestor in this link.

I’ve also written about WHY tai chi breathing is so good for you and how it can help you to bust stress in just a few minutes per day. Click here to find out.

Free tai chi to boost immunity and reduce stress

FREE Tai Chi for Rehabilitation (TCR) to help you boost your immunity and reduce stress and anxiety. Dr Paul Lam of the Tai Chi for Health Institute is offering the entire TCR online learning programme free of charge.

Click on this link for Lesson one (just over one hour’s duration). We suggest you jump straight to the 48-minute point of the link below to learn the 1st two wonderful steps of TCR. After that, you can watch the rest of the video for juicy and fascinating information from Dr Lam on why and how TCR works. Subsequent lessons in the series will be available in due course.

I (Jocelyn Watkin) am a qualified, board-certified and premier instructor for the Tai Chi for Health Institute. My instructor course for TCR was with Dr Lam himself.

Note: For those of you who have learned TCR from me, you’ll see that what I’ve taught you is slightly different to what Dr Lam shows in the video clips below. That’s because the movements have evolved (by Dr Lam himself) from when his TCR video was first filmed. The “Open & Close” is now done three times, each time it is performed. The “Harmonising Yin and Yang” now has an extra twirl of the hands in it. Refer to Lesson 6 (below) for this extra twirl (called an extension).

Free lessons for Tai Chi for Rehabilitation (click on the links below)

  • Lesson 1
  • Lesson 2
  • Lesson 3
  • Lesson 4
  • Lesson 5
  • Lesson 6: with the extension (the extra twirl of the hands). Go to the time point of 22:32 in the video to view and learn this.
  • Epilogue, including Dr Paul Lam telling his own story of how he survived the horror that was The Great Famine in China, 1958 – 1962.

Park Life event cancelled

Park life logo, yellow flowers and leaves on a turquoise backgroud

Cancellation: Park Life event in Cornwall Park on Sunday 29 March. (This includes the cancellation of the four free tai chi sessions.)

Due to recent Government initiatives to contain the coronavirus (COVID-19), one of which is cancelling large scale public events and with everyone’s health and safety as utmost priority, the Cornwall Park Trust Board have regrettably cancelled the Park Life event on Sunday 29 March 2020..

We know many of you were looking forward to the day, but please know that the decision wasn’t made lightly and with everyone’s best interests in mind. Thank you for your understanding and we will keep you informed of the status of future events.

At this stage, World Tai Chi & Qigong Day on Saturday 18 April will still go ahead. Any change to this will be advised when necessary.

Here’s to doing tai chi in Cornwall Park next summer (2021)

Group of people doing tai chi under beautiful green trees

 

Tai chi – A major stress reliever

Group of people doing tai chi in a gym

The Kia Ora Tai Chi team teaching tai chi the “He Aha Te Hauora? What the Health?” Expo in Manurewa

Most of us know that exercise can help to reduce stress and boost your mood.

Tai chi is one of the best, but probably also the most underrated exercise for stress relief and improvement in your overall health. This is possibly because it doesn’t seem to fit the Western world’s obsession with the need to ‘go hard’ or, worse, the mantra of ‘no pain/no gain’.

Tai chi works for stress relief and for many other health-related issues because it combines low-impact movements with meditation for a body-mind workout.

Dee Ogilvy, who has practiced tai chi for more than 20 years and now runs her own tai chi programme, while also teaching it as a part of Missouri State University’s Employee Wellness Program, says: “tai chi’s positive effects on our mind is mostly thanks to the meditation component of the exercise”.

A small study published in Psychoneuroendocrinology reported that brief mindfulness meditation (three x 25-minute sessions) minimised psychological stress. Ogilvy notes that the effects are even greater when movement and meditation are paired together — having to be present and focus on your movements and breathing helps bring on the relaxation.

Studies have also shown that tai chi can improve the quality of your sleep, improve cardio function, and, for older adults, can have positive effects on cognitive function and memory.

Testimonial on the calming, peaceful effects of tai chi during the “He Aha Te Hauora? What the Health?” Expo at the Manurewa Leisure Centre on 21 June 2019:

“Kia Ora Tai Chi was at the Expo! Jocelyn, Pat and Jeff led us in a demonstration. Tai chi is an incredibly powerful practice for your wellbeing. When they started the energy of the room shifted to a more peaceful vibe. It was magical.” 

Testimonial from Edith of Drive Consumer Direction Counties Manukau

Note: Drive Consumer Direction Counties Manukau is a network that represents the interests of people in the Counties Manukau region who experience mental health and/or addiction challenges.

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