Restore yourself with journaling and candlelight tai chi

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

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

What is restorative journaling?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cost per session

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

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

How to RSVP

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yin Yang symbol with heart shape

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

 

 

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

 

Restorative tai chi and qigong by candlelight – try it with me

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

Can you imagine how blissful it would be to fall into a deep slumber each night almost as soon as your head hits the pillow? Totally amazing! During tai chi and qigong by candlelight, you’ll learn calming meditative breathing so you can feel settled, relaxed and tranquil when you go to bed.

I offer two different, guided lessons online for this restorative and healing experience on consecutive Monday nights. Both classes involve gentle and effective movement, tailored breathing exercises, relaxation and mindfulness practices.

Join one or both sessions, which you will attend live and online from your own home. You can even wear your pyjamas if you wish, so you can be ready to slip into bed as soon as the session ends.

In the mornings after these sessions, you should wake up feeling renewed, refreshed and ready for the week ahead

Monday 22 November 2021, evening, 7.30 – 8.30pm
Release stress and anxiety and re-balance your world with candlelit 5-Element Qigong. You will learn this ancient Chinese breathing exercise based on the five universal elements (earth, metal, water, wood and fire). The calming qigong movements will soothe your mind and body to restore peace and harmony within you. This guided session is an ideal way to let go of your worries and unwind so you can fall into a blissful slumber.

Monday 29 November 2021, evening, 7.30 – 8.30pm
Let your senses soften in the candlelight so you can slow down and relax your mind and muscles. You’ll feel your stress melt away with the gentle and restorative movements of tai chi and qigong. Your breath will become slower and deeper during this guided session of relaxation and meditation. You’ll be calm, tranquil and ready for bed and a rejuvenating night of sleep.

Cost per session

  • Attend one session: $15 per person, per session
  • Attend two sessions: $10 per person, per session (i.e. $20 for both sessions)

Video recordings for each session you attend will be available at no extra charge, which you can replay as often as you need.

How to RSVP
Please contact me no later than Friday 19 November 2021 to arrange payment (online banking or PayPal) and to receive the Zoom link(s) to attend one or both of these candlelit sessions. You can get in touch using the contact form on my website, email me on kiaorataichi@gmail.com or phone/text me on 027 493 9851

More about me (Jocelyn Watkin)
I am qualified tai chi and qigong instructor. During lockdowns over the last 18 months, I have perfected techniques for teaching online, which have included doing tai chi and qigong while seated and also lying down. My students all comment that my lessons have helped them to cope with life and lockdowns as they feel relaxed and calm afterwards, which relieves stress and helps them to sleep.

I am a board-certified and premier instructor for the international Tai Chi for Health Institute and am the founder and director of Kia Ora Tai Chi. I have been learning about and enjoying the health benefits of tai chi and qigong since 2003.

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

How to RSVP
Please contact me no later than Friday 19 November 2021 to arrange payment (online banking or PayPal) and to receive the Zoom link(s) to attend one or both of these candlelit sessions. You can get in touch using the contact form on my website, email me on kiaorataichi@gmail.com or phone/text me on 027 493 9851

Reducing your risk of dementia

Dementia patients in a housing complex in Hameln, Germany.Due to our ageing population, Aotearoa/NZ’s rates of dementia are surging.

There is some very good news though. A recent study by the University of Auckland says we can limit this surge by managing 12 risk factors.

How much difference will these 12 factors make?  Absolutely massive!! Almost half (47.7%) of NZ’s overall cases of dementia are considered preventable. Read that again: “ALMOST HALF”.  Wow.

Keen to hear more, I tuned into Kathryn Ryan (of RNZ’s Nine to Noon programme) on Tuesday 27 July to hear her interview with Dr Etuini Ma’u. Dr Ma’u is a a senior lecturer in Psychological Medicine at the University of Auckland and the co-author of the study. He is also a consultant psychogeriatrician for the Waikato District Health Board.

The 12 factors are:

  • physical inactivity
  • hearing loss
  • less education
  • hypertension
  • obesity
  • alcohol
  • traumatic brain injury
  • smoking
  • depression
  • social isolation
  • diabetes
  • air pollution

The critical importance of these factors varies among the most prevalent ethnic groups in NZ: Māori, Pasifika, Asian (which includes Indian in the study) and Pākehā/European. For more detail about the study and definitions of the risk factors: read more here

Also significant, is that while the symptoms of dementia are noticeable only in older age, in the 20 years beforehand the brain is already changing in the person who will develop dementia.

The key message of all this is reassuring: there is something (in fact several somethings) we can do right now to reduce our risk. Start by reading the points in the study:

Talk over options to manage your health and your hearing with your doctor and/or health professional.

Group of people doing tai chi. Some seated

A Kia Ora Tai Chi class

Keep up with physical activity and, of course, tai chi counts. The WHO guidelines used in the study define “inactive” as those who do LESS than 30 minutes a day for at least five days per week. As well as attending tai chi classes, tai chi is an exercise you can easily continue for the other days in the week as it can be done anywhere, anytime (at home, at work, in the park) and doesn’t require expensive equipment or clothing.

The people who attend Kia Ora Tai Chi classes are wonderfully social and welcoming. Several of my students who live alone have mentioned that they love the chance to have a natter and meet new friends in my classes.

Another student who had a recent blockage in her ear (causing a temporary hearing loss) mentioned how challenging it rapidly became for her, even when going about her usual tasks in the community with people she knew. She said conversation was difficult and she understood how being deaf can isolate someone very quickly. Fortunately, issues with her ear were soon fixed.

If you have a hearing aid, wear it. If you feel you might have a hearing loss, get it checked. Most of all, try to be aware that others maybe deaf or hard of hearing and find ways to communicate with and include them.

The number of New Zealanders with dementia is forecast to more than double within 30 years. However, if half of these cases are preventable by reducing the key risk factors, there is a good opportunity for healthier and fitter senior years for many of us.

Thank you Dr Ma’u and the team for the valuable work and research.

Read more about the study:

Find out more about tai chi.

Beginners tai chi class starts early August 2021

Woman doing tai chi on a beach at sunset

Kia ora and thank you for your interest in Kia Ora Tai Chi and in learning tai chi and qigong. 

Due to demand, the beginners’ tai chi and qigong evening classes are now full. A new beginners evening tai chi and qigong class will start in 2022, possibly in February.

If you’d like to be placed on the priority waiting list for next year, please text or phone Jocelyn Watkin: 027 493 9851. Alternatively, please use the Contact Form to get in touch.

In the meantime, there are still three very good opportunities to learn tai chi with Kia Ora Tai Chi.

  1. Learn tai chi online

The Tai Chi for Strength, Balance and Mobility online course has been designed and developed by Jocelyn (of Kia Ora Tai Chi) and can be completed at any time that suits you. You can learn at your own time and pace as the course is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week and anywhere you have a computer, tablet, mobile phone or data capable big screen TV.

It is ideal for beginners and also for tai chi instructors who teach strength and balance classes. Check it out.

2. For those who prefer a face-to-face opportunity to learn tai chi

Silhouette of a person gazing in wonder at the universe with a Yin/Yang symbol in the stars

Half-day tai chi retreat to relieve stress, sleep better and create a calm and centred universe for you

Come along to Kia Ora Tai Chi’s out-of-this-world mini retreat at the Stardome to learn how to relieve stress, sleep better and create a calm and centred universe for you with tai chi and qigong.

Date and time: Friday 17 September 2021, 1.30 – 7.45pm.

Venue: Stardome Observatory & PlanetariumOne Tree Hill Domain. (This retreat is designed and organised by Jocelyn (of Kia Ora Tai Chi), not the Stardome itself.) Discover more about this mini-retreat: https://www.kiaorataichi.nz/stardome-retreat/

 

3Free classes on Thursday mornings, any age and ability

Four seated people doing tai chi. One is seated in a wheelchair and another in a shiny, red mobility scooter

Tai chi at Turuki on Thursday mornings, with co-instructor Aria

With co-instructor Aria, Jocelyn also offers a tai chi class on Thursday mornings, which accepts beginners at any time and of any age and ability. These classes are free and are held from 10 – 10.45am at Turuki Health Care in Mangere No need to RSVP, just come along.  Click here to find out more.

Please text or phone Jocelyn Watkin for more information about any of her classes, courses, workshops or retreats: 027 493 9851. Alternatively, please use the Contact Form to get in touch.