Qigong retreat on Great Barrier Island, November 2022

Discover your power to live well: A retreat to rebalance and rejuvenate 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.

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

When: Friday 11 to Sunday 13 November 2022 (3 days/2 nights)

The last two years have been hard on us all and things are still uncertain. 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, or you want to know more about self-healing and how to boost your health, this heavenly retreat under the stars will help you to find peace and purpose.

Join qigong for health instructor, Jocelyn Watkin, on Aotea/Great Barrier Island, one of only 15 International Dark Sky Sanctuaries in the whole world. Gaze upward to the stars, move with intention, breathe the fresh sea air, immerse yourself in nature and discover your power to live well.

Yin Yang symbol with stars

Sensory, sacred Qigong (pronounced ‘chee – gong’)

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 how to improve your own health, self-healing and well-being.

Stress relief

What if you had a dimmer switch so you didn’t have to be ‘on’ or stressed most of the time? There really is such a thing and it’s within your reach. Through the mindful breathing of qigong and meditation on this retreat, you’ll learn how to dial down the stress so you can rebalance and restore yourself.

Restorative journaling

Woman thinking while holding a penImagine if you could create an island of calm within you to weather the storms of life? This tranquil isle is just waiting to be discovered by you. Through the power of restorative journaling you will build your confidence to safely navigate the storms and into sunny skies.

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.

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)

Date: Friday 11 November to Sunday 13 November 2022 (2 nights/3 days)

Venue: Aotea / Great Barrier Island, Hauraki Gulf, Auckland. Places are limited to just 10 participants.

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

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

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 movements at anytime to improve your health and well-being. Face masks will need to be worn in all group activity sessions that are indoors.
  • Organ meridian charts, which you can take home after the retreat
  • Mindful breathing and meditation to dial down the stress and create a peaceful state to rebalance and restore your mind, body and soul.
  • Restorative journaling sessions to calm and focus your mind so you can choose the way you experience life no matter how life shows up.
  • 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. Face masks will need to be worn when inside our mini bus.
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. Face masks will need to be worn.
  • 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

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.

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

How to buy a ticket to the “Discover Your Power to Live Well” retreat

 Early-bird special (until 15 July 2022)

  • $1,490 per person, double or share twin
  • $1,690 per person, single occupancy

After 15 July 2022, the price becomes:

  • $1,740 per person, double or share twin
  • $1,940 per person, single occupancy

PayPal, credit card and online banking payment options are all available. Click here to contact Jocelyn Watkin to request the payment option of your choice or phone/text her on: 027 493 9851.

Please note our cancellation policy: we do not offer refunds. However, if you cancel before 15 August 2022 we will credit your payment (less any credit card fees) towards another Kia Ora Tai Chi event or set of classes. If you cancel on the 16th August 2022 or later, you will lose any payments you have already made.

Who is the instructor?

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

She is the founder and director of Kia Ora Tai Chi and is a qualified qigong and tai chi for health instructorShe has extensive experience in teaching face-to-face or online for regular weekly classes, workshops and retreats, at 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 Stardome mini-retreat, March 2022)

More about Aotea / Great Barrier Island

View of the island from the air

Aotea/Gt Barrier Island

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 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.

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”.

At this retreat you will learn the 12 Rivers Qigong Programme. This is a series of moving qigong and tai chi exercises, which encourage you to move every part of your body. Your neck, shoulders, elbows, wrist, hips, knees, ankles, and back will all become more free as you practice. And what’s more, you’ll do this gently and slowly. There is no pushing or straining. Each time you do the exercises you will naturally move further into your range or motion, making your movements freer and your body more flexible.

The movements are co-ordinated with your breath and awareness of energy in your body. Slowing down, relaxing, deepening your breath, and gently moving your body to release tensions naturally reduces stress. You will find yourself calmer and more at ease.

Each movement massages one of your internal organs and stimulates the 12 related acupuncture meridians. These meridians flow like rivers of energy through your body, hence the name 12 Rivers Qigong.

This slowing and deepening of your breath while moving greatly improves cardio vascular health and endurance. And, it’s not only your heart that benefits from this process. Your organ health improves, too. As they become healthier you will naturally improve the health of your whole body from the inside out. It’s a bit of a different approach – improving the health and fitness of your whole body by focusing on the organs, rather than just focusing on the muscles.

The 12 Rivers Qigong Programme can give you an energy boost and help you to balance your posture, emotions and organ functions. When completed in the right sequence, the movements can have incredible health benefits for the body and mind.

What is restorative journaling?

Woman lying down and writing in a diary

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

Restorative journaling will help you to develop a plan of action for almost any situation. 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)

How to buy a ticket to the “Discover Your Power to Live Well” retreat

Early-bird special (until 15 July 2022)

  • $1,490 per person, double or share twin
  • $1,690 per person, single occupancy

After 15 July 2022, the price becomes:

  • $1,740 per person, double or share twin
  • $1,940 per person, single occupancy

PayPal, credit card and online banking payment options are available.

Click here to contact Jocelyn Watkin to request the payment option of your choice or phone/text her on: 027 493 9851.

What is your cancellation policy?

We do not offer refunds. However, if you cancel before 15 August 2022 we will credit your payment (less any credit card fees) towards another Kia Ora Tai Chi event or set of classes. If you cancel on the 16th August 2022 or later, you will lose any payments you have already made.

Shortly after the 16th August, we will need to confirm and pay for the accommodation and retreat activities on Great Barrier Island. To do this, we need a minimum number of committed people.

If for any reason we need to cancel the retreat before the 11th November (for example, if there is another lockdown or we are unable to attract a minimum number of attendees) you will be refunded in full. If you have any questions, please contact Jocelyn Watkin of Kia Ora Tai Chi.

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 booster. All participants at this mini-retreat will 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

 

Matariki Magic: New Year, New You

Thanks for your interest in this event. Due to ongoing Omicron transmission in the Auckland community over winter, this event has been postponed to June 2023.

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: Postponed to 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:

Buy a ticket to this Matariki Magic mini-retreat at the Stardome (Numbers are limited to 10 people).

    • Early-bird special (until 21 May 2022) : $179 per person using PayPal or a credit card (plus credit card fees, if applicable). After 21 May, the price becomes $209 per person. Please click on the “Buy Now” button below. You do not need a PayPal account to pay by credit card as you can sign in/check out as a guest.




  • Bring a friend or family member for a early-bird, half price ticket of $89.50. Contact Kia Ora Tai Chi to arrange the ‘bring a friend’ ticket once you’ve bought one ticket for $179 (using the “Buy Now” button above).
  • For online banking (without a credit card), to buy an early-bird ticket @ $179 with or without a ‘bring a friend” early-bird ticket @ $89.50, click here to contact Jocelyn Watkin of Kia Ora Tai Chi or phone/text her on: 027 493 9851.

Please note: we do not offer refunds. However, if you cancel before 1 June 2022 we will credit your payment (less any credit card fees) towards another Kia Ora Tai Chi event or set of classes. If you cancel on the 1st June 2022 or later, you will lose any payments you have already made.

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 and is a qualified, premier instructor for the international Tai Chi for Health Institute. 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 Stardome mini-retreat, 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.

Buy a ticket to this Matariki Magic mini-retreat at the Stardome (Numbers are limited to 10 people)

  • Early-bird special: $179 per person (until 21 May 2022) using PayPal or a credit card (plus credit card fees, if applicable). After 21 May the price becomes $209 per person. Please click on the “Buy Now” button below. You do not need a PayPal account to pay by credit card as you can sign in/check out as a guest.



  • Bring a friend or family member for an early-bird, half price ticket of $89.50. Contact Kia Ora Tai Chi to arrange the ‘bring a friend’ ticket once you’ve bought one ticket for $179 (using the “Buy Now” button above).
  • For online banking (without a credit card): To buy an early-bird ticket @ $179 with or without a ‘bring a friend” early-bird ticket @ $89.50, click here to contact Jocelyn Watkin of Kia Ora Tai Chi or phone/text her on: 027 493 9851.

Please note: we do not offer refunds. However, if you cancel before 1st June 2022 we will credit your payment (less any credit card fees) towards another Kia Ora Tai Chi event or set of classes. If you cancel on the 1st June 2022 or later, you will lose any payments you have already made.

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 cancellation policy?

Please note: we do not offer refunds. However, if you cancel before 1st June 2022 we will credit your payment (less any credit card fees) towards another Kia Ora Tai Chi event or set of classes. If you cancel on the 1st June 2022 or later, you will lose any payments you have already made.

On the 1st June, we will need to confirm and pay for the meeting room at the Stardome. To do this, we need a minimum number of committed people.

If for any reason we need to cancel the retreat before the 17th June (for example, if there is another lockdown) you will be refunded in full. If you have any questions, please contact Jocelyn Watkin of Kia Ora Tai Chi.

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 a booster. 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

 

Free tai chi in Cornwall Park

Free tai chi and qigong with me every Sunday morning (9am) and Tuesday evening (6pm) in Cornwall Park until Tuesday 29 March 2022. Weather dependent and you’ll need to bring your “My Vaccine Pass”.

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.

The 45-minute sessions in Cornwall Park are free, fun and suitable for all ages and abilities, especially beginners. Feel free to invite family, friends and colleagues to join in. The sessions are outside and there’s a whole park for us to spread out in.

To attend these classes, everyone will need to present their My Vaccine Pass on arrival and scan the Cornwall Park QR code. Masks are encouraged while you interact with me or other participants at the start, but are not required during the class as physical distancing will be in place. If you feel more comfortable wearing a mask for the whole time, I support your decision.

Summer Tai Chi in the Park sessions are covered by Cornwall Park’s health and safety requirements, including their conditions of entry. I have been hired by the park’s management to provide these classes as part of their official programme of events.

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: your My Vaccine Pass, a mask, 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
  • What happens if Omicron numbers get higher? The tai chi sessions can take place at all current red, orange and green ‘traffic light settings’. Changes may be required with the tai chi sessions if the settings are changed by the government. Updates will be available on the Cornwall Park website or on the Kia Ora Tai Chi facebook page: www.facebook.com/kiaorataichi/
  • More information: https://cornwallpark.co.nz/whats-on/tai-chi-2 

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 29 March.

Find out more

 

Mini retreat: Tai chi for stress and balance, March 2022

An out-of-this-world mini retreat at the Stardome to learn how to relieve stress, sleep better and create a calm and centred new life with tai chi and qigong.

Date and time: Friday 25 March 2022, 1.30 – 7.45pm.

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

A “My Vaccine Pass” will be required by everyone attending.

Join Kia Ora Tai Chi during the time of the Autumn Equinox in March, when the length of a day shortens to become equal to that of night, and the earth is harmonised. Perfect timing to rest and reflect.

Stress management

Can you imagine how good it would feel to escape from the black hole of stress from too many demands at work or from life in general? Absolutely, positively YES. At this mini retreat, 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. After the retreat, you’ll know how to rebalance your mind and body at anytime you feel stressed, wherever you are.

Work/life balance

How fantastic would it be to navigate into a new orbit where you had time and energy for everything you want to do? Let the countdown begin to blast off to a new and balanced universe for you. You’ll learn how to use a space journal to calm and focus your mind so you can get more out of life, enjoy ‘me time’ and shine bright and warm like a sun in your own solar system.

Better 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? Imagine a full night’s sleep without tossing and turning or your brain churning about everything you need to do? Don’t just daydream about it. Through guided tai chi meditation you will learn how to empty your mind and say good night to stress and anxiety so you can wake up refreshed and ready for anything, every morning.

Testimonial: “Thank you so much for your lovely tai chi classes The feeling I get is of empowerment and understanding of how we can use our body to help in our daily life.” (Caroline, January 2020

Mindfulness

How fulfilling would it be to feel mindful and connected, instead of a lone star adrift in a starless night? Infinitely satisfying. We’ll take you on a live 360-degree experience at the planetarium with an extraordinary tour of the stars, planets, constellations and our night sky. After the retreat, you’ll be able to look up on any night and feel that you and your amazing world are calm, balanced and in harmony with the entire universe.

Buy a ticket to this out-of-this world mini-retreat at the Stardome (numbers limited to 12 people) You will need to be doubly vaccinated to attend this event.

  • $189 per person using PayPal or a credit card (plus credit card fees, if applicable). Please click on the “Buy Now” button below. You do not need a PayPal account to pay by credit card as you can sign in/check out as a guest.



  • Bring a friend or family member for half price (94.50). Contact Kia Ora Tai Chi to arrange the ‘bring a friend’ ticket once you’ve bought one ticket for $189 (using the “Buy Now” button above).
  • For online banking (without a credit card), buy a full price ticket (@ $189) with or without a ‘bring a friend ticket” (@ $94.50), click here to contact Jocelyn Watkin of Kia Ora Tai Chi or phone/text her on: 027 493 9851.

Please note: we do not offer refunds. However, if you cancel before 5th November 2021 we will credit your payment (less any credit card fees) towards another Kia Ora Tai Chi event or set of classes. If you cancel on the 5th November 2021 or later, you will lose any payments you have already made.

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 and is a qualified, premier instructor for the international Tai Chi for Health Institute. She has extensive experience in teaching face-to-face or online for regular weekly classes, workshops and retreats, at schools, a medical centre and a retirement village.

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

What is the Autumn Equinox and why is it so important for the mini retreat?

In Aotearoa/New Zealand, the Autumn Equinox for 2022 happens during mid – late March. It is when the number of daylight hours equal that of the night hours. e.g. Day and night are balanced perfectly. What this means for all living things (including us humans), is that after the energy of the long, hot summer we can now enjoy cooler days. We are getting ready to nourish our minds and bodies with the fruits of the autumn harvest and to prepare ourselves for winter.

It is the perfect time for reflection and to learn how to become more balanced and stress-free.

Who is this mini retreat for? 

It will be ideal for anyone aged 18+ who wants to bust stress, sleep better or is seeking life/work balance. High school students needing help with anxiety or wanting a way 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.
  • Journaling to calm and focus your mind so you 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.
  • A live 360-degree experience at the planetarium.
  • Tea, coffee and snacks.
  • Free parking at the Stardome and in One Tree Hill Domain.
  • Meeting new friends

What others say about Kia Ora Tai Chi sessions:

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

Buy a ticket to this out-of-this world mini-retreat at the Stardome (numbers limited to 12 people) You will need to be doubly vaccinated to attend this event.

  • $189 per person using PayPal or a credit card (plus credit card fees, if applicable). Please click on the “Buy Now” button below. You do not need a PayPal account to pay by credit card as you can sign in/check out as a guest.



  • Bring a friend or family member for half price (94.50). Contact Kia Ora Tai Chi to arrange the ‘bring a friend’ ticket once you’ve bought one ticket for $189 (using the “Buy Now” button above).
  • For online banking (without a credit card), buy a full price ticket (@ $189) with or without a ‘bring a friend ticket” (@ $94.50), click here to contact Jocelyn Watkin of Kia Ora Tai Chi or phone/text her on: 027 493 9851.

Please note: we do not offer refunds. However, if you cancel before 1st March 2022 we will credit your payment (less any credit card fees) towards another Kia Ora Tai Chi event or set of classes. If you cancel on the 1st March 2022 or later, you will lose any payments you have already made.

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. 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?

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

It will assist you to develop a plan of action to reduce worry, anxiety and stress and to 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 over 20 years ago.

What will I need to bring?

      • Pen and paper or your lap top to take notes.
      • A water bottle
      • Something you’d like to eat during a short dinner break.
      • Comfortable shoes to wear for tai chi (you can also do tai chi in bare feet).
      • Tai chi can be done in almost any clothing, but you are also 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 Tai Chi for Health? With a 1.30pm start time, those working will only need a half-day of leave.

What is the cancellation policy?

We do not offer refunds. However, if you cancel before 1st March 2022 we will credit your payment (less any credit card fees) towards another Kia Ora Tai Chi event or set of classes. If you cancel on the 1st March 2022 or later, you will lose any payments you have already made.

On the 1st March we will need to confirm and pay for the meeting room at the Stardome. To do this, we need a minimum number of committed people.

If for any reason we need to cancel the retreat before 25th March (for example, if there is another lockdown) you will be refunded in full. If you have any questions, please contact Jocelyn Watkin of Kia Ora Tai Chi.

What is your COVID-19 policy?

Jocelyn has been doubly vaccinated for Covid-19. All participants in this mini retreat will need to provide proof that they are also doubly vaccinated against Covid-19 (i.e. With a “My Vaccine Pass”). All surfaces will be cleaned prior to the retreat and hand sanitiser will be provided. We will abide by the NZ Government’s health advice and regulations.

Attendance numbers are limited to 12 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

Celebrate Matariki with free tai chi and qigong 

Join in with the Kia Ora Tai Chi team for a free tai chi and qigong session to celebrate Matariki and the wonderful Māori New Year.

Have fun, breathe better and make new friends with 5-Element Qigong, which is a meditative breathing programme to harmonise your mind and body. This is a great chance for a new and healthier you for the New Year.

You will also learn the beautiful and flowing Hikitia te Hā (“uplifting breathing”, also known as Māori Tai Chi).

Ideal for beginners of all ages and abilities. The whole session can easily be done while standing, seated or a mixture of both.

When: Saturday 3 July 2021, 2 – 3pm, please arrive from 1.45pm onward
Where: The theatre building, Nathan Homestead, 70 Hill Road, Manurewa, Auckland. There is plenty of free parking at this venue, which is close to the motorway. Refer to this map
RSVP: Yes please, as places are limited to just 16 people. Please email or text/phone me: 027 493 9851 to reserve your spot. (Note: there is a limit of two people per booking)
Cost: Free (A big thank you to Nathan Homestead and Auckland Council for providing the venue at no charge).

Click here to learn more about tai chi and qigong

Matariki is the Māori name for the cluster of stars also known as the Pleiades. It rises in midwinter and is the start of a new year in the Southern Hemisphere.

In 2021, Matariki will be observed Aotearoa/New Zealand between 19 June to 11 July.

More about Matariki

Find out more about the Kia Ora Tai Chi team.