Healing qigong retreat on Gt Barrier Island, 2023

Red and white spring blossoms against a bright blue sky.

Are you ready to blossom into good health?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bush-clad hills and blue seas

Beautiful and enchanting Aotea/Great Barrier Island

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

Testimonial: “The retreat was awesome, very informative and helpful. The presentation was carefully thought through on how to achieve the peace and calm needed in our daily lives.” (Participant in the Stardome mini-retreat, March 2022)

What’s included in this retreat:

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

Group of people looking up at the stars

A Dark Sky Sanctuary viewing experience with a local guide

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

Funnel-shaped rocks formations amongst mountainous bush

Windy Canyon

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

View of landing strip from the air

About to land at Claris Airport, Gt Barrier Island

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

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

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

Testimonial: “Jocelyn is very well prepared and organised. What she talked about was well explained and easy to understand. She is personable and caring.” (Participant in the Stardome mini-retreat, March 2022) 

What’s not included:

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

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

Who is the instructor?

Jocelyn Watkin has helped people of all ages and abilities to reduce stress and improve their overall health, fitness, balance and well-being with qigong and tai chi since 2003.

She is the founder and director of Kia Ora Tai Chi with extensive experience in teaching qigong and tai chi face-to-face or online for regular weekly classes, workshops and retreats, at schools, a medical centre and a retirement village.

She is registered as a group exercise (with own choreography) contractor with the New Zealand Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs), which is the recognised quality mark throughout Aotearoa/New Zealand.  She is approved as a strength and balance group exercise provider with the Accident Compensation Commission and has numerous tai chi and qigong instructor qualifications. She also has a New Zealand Diploma of Teaching.

Testimonial: “I really enjoyed your style, Jocelyn. Friendly, caring, informative and non-judgemental. You made me feel relaxed and welcome. Thank you.” (Participant in the Stardome mini-retreat, March 2022)

More about Aotea / Great Barrier Island

View of the island from the air

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

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

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

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

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

Who is this retreat for? 

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

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

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

Testimonial: Jocelyn makes tai chi such an enjoyable experience! She makes everyone feel welcome, no matter what age or level of experience. I love Jocelyn’s humour and her patience too. Tai chi has helped me focus on my breathing and posture. I feel invigorated after each session.” (Cynthia, February 2020)

Our accommodation: Sunset Waterfront Lodge at Tryphena

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

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

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

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

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

What is qigong and tai chi?

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

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

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

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

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

What is cosmic journaling?

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

Cosmic journaling will help you to develop a plan of what you want for your future self. You will reduce frustration and anxiety, free yourself from uncertainty and indecision and take back the control of your thoughts and your life.

It can help you to overcome the overwhelm and create a plan for lasting change and freedom.

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

Testimonial: “Jocelyn was very relatable because quite often what was being taught had been used by her in real life.” (Participant in the Stardome mini-retreat, March 2022)

What is your COVID-19 policy?

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

Places are limited to just 10 participants

“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet.
Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.
And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do an
succeed at.
It matters that you don’t just give up.” 
– Professor Stephen Hawking

Matariki Magic: New Year, New You

This event will be held during Matariki in 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: 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

 

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

Tai chi with me anytime online

Woman smiling in red shirt with tai chi posters in the background

Jocelyn teaches you from her online tai chi studio

Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could learn tai chi from me without having to leave home? Totally awesome and now you can do more than just dream about it.

My new online course, called “Tai Chi for Strength, Balance and Mobility”, has received an enthusiastic thumbs up from ‘guinea pigs’ who ‘test drove’ it.

It is now available for all of you so you can learn at any time that suits you, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week and anywhere you have computer, tablet or mobile phone.

This course has six modules, each designed to be comfortably completed within one week. However, you can take longer if you like. There are easy-to-read articles and how-to videos where I show you the movements step-by-step and share the secrets of tai chi. It will be like I am right there in your home with you.

I am a qualified, premier instructor for the Tai Chi for Health Institute. Find out why I can help you learn tai chi that is safe, easy-to-learn and effectivehttps://www.kiaorataichi.nz/about-us/

The course is ideal for anyone who:

  • is worried about their balance or who wants to help a family member or friend to improve their balance.
  • wants to get fitter and stronger.
  • needs a helping hand to manage and reduce stress.
  • would love a good night’s sleep.
  • is curious about tai chi and how it works for strength, balance and mobility.
  • is an instructor teaching tai chi for fall prevention or strength & balance classes

One participant said of the course: “The special breathing I learned has helped me de-stress and calm down. It feels like a weight off my chest and shoulders”.

Can you imagine how blissful it would be to fall into a deep slumber almost as soon as your head hits the pillow? During this course, you’ll learn calming meditative breathing that you can use anywhere and anytime you feel stressed or worried, especially just before you go to bed. Click here if you’re looking for sweet dreams

Wouldn’t it be a relief to help a friend or family member improve their balance so you no longer worry about them having a fall and getting hurt? It sure would. Click here to help that special someone to stand tall and with good balance.

How amazing would it be if you could live stronger for longer? Totally! You’ll have access to the videos and articles for at least six months so you can regularly practice and build more strength and balance. Click here if you want to become more mobile and for years longer.

Sabine, a qualified Tai Chi for Health instructor recommends this courseThank you Jocelyn, for a very enjoyable course. I loved the step-by-step approach and I could feel the improvement of my core strength, breathing and posture. Safety was top priority through the whole course and it was achieved with very clear and easy instructions. Overall, a wonderful experience.

All this and more with my new Tai Chi for Strength, Balance and Mobility course… and you won’t have to go out on a wintry wet night to learn it. You can participate in the privacy and warmth of your own home.

For just $99 you’ll receive:

  • The full online course of six sessions, with supporting articles and how-to learning videos, which are delivered to your email inbox once per week.
  • Additional resources of a practice journal and checklist.
  • Access to a client portal where you can ask questions and share experiences each week.

If you want to live stronger for longer with better strength, balance and mobility, please enroll using this link: https://navigatinghealthcare.co.nz/programs/#Tai-Chi-for-Strength-Balance-Mobility

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