We led the world with tai chi on 24 April 2021

We all had a fantastic time at World Tai Chi & Qigong Day on Saturday 24 April 2021

It’s not every day that we get the chance to lead the whole planet in a tai chi and qigong session. Due to our geographical position, Aotearoa/New Zealand was first on 24th April to celebrate World Tai Chi & Qigong Day. (Qigong is pronounced ‘chee – gong’.)

On the last Saturday in April, tens of thousands of people in 100s of cities across the planet join together to celebrate the tranquility and harmony that is tai chi and qigong. Every session starts at 10am local time in each country.

At 10am NZ time on 24th April, we began this world-wide wave of peace, goodwill and aroha. We opened our arms to welcome others into a global tai chi whānau,

Group of people doing tai chi under a tree in a park

World Tai Chi & Qigong Day 2021 in Cornwall Park

The event was suitable for all ages and abilities. Beginners we made to feel very welcome. Event details:

  • When: Saturday 24 April 2021, 10 – 10.45am. Please arrive from 9.40am onwards and be ready to start at 10am
  • Where: Cornwall Park, our usual summer tai chi spot under the trees on the left hand side as you’re coming up Pohutukawa Drive from Greenlane Road West. (look for the signs).
  • What to wear and bring: Wear comfortable clothing and shoes, bring a water bottle and a sun hat.

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

Check out the video of our 2019 World Tai Chi & Qigong Day celebration in Cornwall Park: https://youtu.be/Io-TbyB-fFw

Find out more:

Two men, each balanced on one leg while pointing a wooden walking stick.

After the event, Barry (in red shirt) and Goliath stayed on to practice their tai chi cane form

New beginners class to de-stress and calm your mind, Feb 2020

Please note: This is a post from February 2020.

If the year already feels likes it is passing in a blur, then tai chi could be for you. At Kia Ora Tai Chi, we can teach you techniques that will help slow things down, relieve and release stress, while increasing your fitness and well-being.

If this sounds like something you want then the team at Kia Ora Tai Chi would love to hear from you. We are looking for adults of any age and ability, who are keen to make a regular commitment to learning tai chi.

To find out if tai chi is for you, please come along to one or both of the free sessions on Monday 17th and Wednesday 19th February, 2020, 6.30-7.15pm, in Manurewa.

To RSVP or to ask questions about the classes, please use the Contact Form

Learning these proven tai chi techniques to clear and calm your mind won’t happen overnight. After the free sessions, you’ll need to make a commitment to attend classes once per week.

Cost of classes: The classes on the 17th and 19th February 2020 are FREE. After that, prices start from $9.50 per class. 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+ to be referred.

What to wear: Please wear loose comfortable clothing and flat-soled shoes (such as sneakers, trainers or tennis shoes). Please also bring a drinking bottle of water.

Here at Kia Ora Tai Chi, we are all constantly amazed at the health improvements that our students tell us about once they attend our classes on a regular basis:

  • sleeping better at night
  • feeling better all over and less stressed
  • improved breathing, with less wheezing or feeling like they’ve ‘run out of breath’
  • finding it easier to go up and down stairs
  • playing with their children or grandchildren for longer without getting tired
  • lowering their high blood pressure
  • feeling more flexible and moving better with less aches and pains
  • better balance/less falls
  • toned muscles.

Zebra with stripes falling off. The zebra is saying "I think it is stress"

Learn how to reduce stress with tai chi

There have been hundreds of clinical studies over many years that confirm the health benefits of tai chi, especially for the Tai Chi for Health programmes that we teach at Kia Ora Tai Chi. You can read more about these clinical studies here.

One aspect consistent across all studies and trials is that none of these benefits happen overnight or after just one class. The trials take place over several weeks, sometimes several months, and the people being studied do tai chi at least 2 -3 times per week. 

Most of our students attend at least one class per week, often two, and several practice between each class.

We are now looking for a group of new beginners who accept that their health and well-being is worth a regular commitment to tai chi.

Find out more about Kia Ora Tai Chi classes, how to get to the venue, and what to expect.

Discover more health benefits from tai chi.

Want to know even more about tai chi? Click here

Please RSVP for the free classes on the 17th and 19th February 2020 by using the Contact Form. You are welcome to attend one one or both of these classes.

Come along and say kia ora. We’d love to see you. We’re a friendly bunch at a great venue that has lots of free parking.

Group of people doing tai chi. Some are seated while doing tai chi.

A Kia Ora Tai Chi class

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.

Discover more:

Free tai chi at Cornwall Park’s “Park Life” event, March 2019


This is a post from March 2019.

Kia Ora Tai Chi has partnered with Cornwall Park to offer four FREE tai chi lessons at their Park Life event, which will be held on Saturday 30 March, 2019, 11am – 4pm.  (If wet, the event will be held on Saturday 6 April).

The tai chi sessions will be:

  • 11 – 11.45am: Tai chi for beginners – Learn easy, flowing steps of this ancient Chinese martial art. Low impact, fun, family-friendly and ideal for all age groups. (Note: This will be the same tai chi that we taught at the “Summer Tai Chi in Cornwall Park” sessions.)
  • 12 – 12.45pm: Yang-style tai chi – Join in to do the 24-step and combined 42-step forms.  It is fun to watch or jump in and have a go in the spirit of “Let’s play tai chi together”.
  • 2 – 2.45pm: Tai chi as moving meditation – Learn how to relax and de-stress with special tai chi movements. Once learned you can do these anytime, anywhere. Gentle on your joints and ideal for beginners of all ages.
  • 3 – 3.45pm: Tai chi for beginners – Learn easy, flowing steps of this ancient Chinese martial art. Low impact, fun, family-friendly and ideal for all age groups. (Note: This will be a repeat of the 11 – 11.45am session.)

Location: Same as for “Summer Tai Chi in Cornwall Park”. Under the big trees on the left-hand-side of Pohutukawa Drive (as you come up from Greenlane Road). Look for the tai chi signs and the Kia Ora Tai Chi team wearing red shirts.

What to wear:

  • Comfy clothes and shoes
  • A sun hat, sun block and insect repellent
  • Bring a sweatshirt or jacket in case of cool weather. Please bring a water bottle, too.

No need to RSVP. Just come along and join in with your friends and family. A big thank you to the Cornwall Park Trust Board for funding these sessions so everyone can enjoy learning tai chi for free.


Get that summery feeling back with tai chi in Cornwall Park

More about Park Life
This is a free event celebrating nature, exploration and all the things you can experience in the park, which will be closed for motorised traffic.  With no cars, you will be able to freely roam the 425 acres of land while discovering activities, games, performances, food and more that will be spread throughout the park!

When: Saturday 30 March, 2019, 11am – 4pm

Bring your friends, whānau, a picnic, and your walking shoes for a free fun-filled day in the park.

Find out more:

Tai chi workshop to reduce stress and increase fitness, March 2019

People doing tai chiNote: This workshop has taken place.  Contact Kia Ora Tai Chi to find out when the next workshop will be.

Worried about stress or your health? Struggling to find time to keep fit? Sign up for a tai chi workshop which will help you.

In just three hours, you’ll learn how you can reduce stress and increase your strength and fitness. Tai chi can be done at work, at home and almost anywhere. You won’t need fancy shoes, special clothes or any equipment.

At the workshop, you’ll be taught a very special form of tai chi called: Tai Chi for Arthritis (TCA). It is safer and easier to learn than other tai chi programmes. Clinical and medical studies confirm that TCA helps to relieve stress and pain, reduce falls, increase strength and improve the quality of life.

You don’t have to have arthritis to feel the health benefits of this amazing programme. But, if you do have arthritis, it is more likely you can do this type of tai chi than any other. Dr Paul Lam, of the Tai Chi for Health Institute, developed this programme with the help of a team of medical and tai chi experts. Come along to have a go for yourself.

Your instructor will be Jocelyn Watkin.

This workshop is open to anyone, even if you’ve never tried tai chi before and is ideal for high school students and adults of any age, who are any of the following:

  • First time beginners.
  • Need to get fitter and/or stronger.
  • Feel stressed or worried about their general health.
  • Curious about tai chi.
  • Are missing Jocelyn’s Summer Tai Chi in Cornwall Park session and are keen to learn more tai chi.
  • Jocelyn’s current students (those who attend her evening classes at Clayton Park School), who want to incorporate more depth into their practice of TCA.

You won’t be on your feet for the whole 3-hour workshop. There will be the chance to rest and sit down several times to listen and learn about the medical background to TCA, why it works and also to watch a demonstration. You can also do tai chi while seated at any stage.

When: Sunday 3 March, 2019: 9.30am – 12.30pm

Venue: The Mercy Spirituality Centre, 104 The Drive, Epsom, which has free parking on site.  Refer to map.

Price: $40 per person, payable before the workshop.

Please register/RSVP by Tuesday 26 February, 2019: send a text or phone text or phone the instructor, Jocelyn Watkin on 027 493 9851 or use the Contact Form

Places are limited to no more than 14 participants

Cancellation policy: Full refund if you cancel by 26 February 2019.  50% refund if you cancel between 27 Feb to 1st March. No refunds after 1st March.

This workshop is for you if you want to learn how to reduce stress and to improve your flexibility and balance and to increase muscular strength and fitness with tai chi.

Find out more