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

Please note: This is a post from February 2020.

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

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

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

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

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

Cost of classes: The classes on the 17th and 19th February 2020 are FREE. After that, prices start from $9.50 per class. A discount is available for those who are referred by ACC and Age Concern for the Community Group Strength and Balance Exercise programme (“Live Stronger for Longer”). You must be aged 65+ to be referred.

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

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

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

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

Learn how to reduce stress with tai chi

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

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

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

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

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

Discover more health benefits from tai chi.

Want to know even more about tai chi? Click here

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

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

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

A Kia Ora Tai Chi class

Tai chi – A major stress reliever

Group of people doing tai chi in a gym

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Testimonial from Edith of Drive Consumer Direction Counties Manukau

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

Discover more:

Tai chi is the perfect fit for fitness

Love tai chi for fun and fitness

People often ask whether tai chi can help with fitness. When I say “YES” they ask how is this possible when you don’t ‘huff and puff’ while doing tai chi?

Puffing and the ‘blood, sweat and tears’ approach to exercise is mainly propaganda from the gyms touting for business. Fortunately, there is better news for those who don’t fancy working up a sweat or can’t?

The team at “Trust Me I’m a Doctor” (BBC TV) set off to the University of Birmingham to answer the question on whether something so slow and graceful as tai chi could really give you the benefits of a more vigorous workout.

For this clinical trial, they worked with volunteers aged 65 – 75 to compare tai chi with Zumba Gold. The results (released in October 2018) surprised them: The tai chi group showed similar benefits to those in the Zumba group, with improvements in blood pressure and vessel flexibility.

You can find out more and WHY in this link:

Numerous other studies and clinical trials have shown that tai chi improves muscular strength, flexibility, fitness, immunity, relieves pain and improves the quality of life. If you’d like to know more about this and how/why tai chi works then chick out this information from Dr Paul Lam and the Tai Chi for Health Institute:

Dr Lam says that, “Hour for hour, practising a Tai Chi for Health programme is probably the most effective exercise to improve health and well-being“. To find more about the Tai Chi for Health programmes that I teach click here.

Find out more about Kia Ora Tai Chi classes.

Kia Ora Tai Chi for fitness and for health. Fun, too.

International Day for the Older Person 2018

Note: This event has now passed as has the International Day for the Older Person that was held on Tuesday 1 October, 2019.

Announcing a special tai chi event to celebrate International Day for the Older Person on Monday 1 October, 2018, 10am – 12 noon.

I will give a short talk on tai chi’s fascinating history and why tai chi is so good for health, strength, fitness, balance and flexibility, particularly for anyone over the age of 60.

After the talk and a short break for morning tea, you’ll get the opportunity to try tai chi for yourself. I will teach a brief section of Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention. It is ideal for beginners and can be done seated or standing. Of course, you don’t have to have arthritis to benefit from this Tai Chi for Health Programme.

Can anyone attend? Yes, all are welcome and especially anyone who is aged 60+. Places are limited so please RSVP.

When: Monday 1 October 2018, 10am – 12 noon

Where: Te Ngakau Waiora Mercy Spirituality Centre,104 The Drive, Epsom, Auckland 1023. Refer to map.

Cost to attend: $15 per person, which includes morning tea. Please pay on the day. Free, off-road parking on site.

RSVP: Te Ngakau Waiora Mercy Spirituality Centre, Phone: (09) 638 6238; Email:

If you have ever wondered about tai chi or about the questions below, then this event is for you:

  • How can something done in slow-motion be good for health, fitness, strength and flexibility?
  • I’ve heard that tai chi can help someone to improve their balance and avoid falls. Is this possible?
  • What is tai chi, taiji and tai chi chuan?
  • Is tai chi a philosophy, an exercise programme or a martial art?
  • Tai chi is known to be good for people aged 60+. Why is this?
  • Can tai chi be used for self-defence?
  • What is the difference between yoga and tai chi?

Click here to find out more about this event.

Click here to find out more about me (Jocelyn Watkin).

Photo of Jocelyn, wearing a red shirt and doing the tai chi formal greeting

I look forward to meeting you on Monday 1 October 2018

Free summer tai chi in Cornwall Park, 2017 – 2018

Please note: These sessions finished in February 2018.

Contact us to find out about sessions in summer 2022.

Always wanted to give tai chi a go? Come along to Cornwall Park for my FREE tai chi sessions over January and February 2018 and enjoy doing tai chi under the cool of the trees. Or,  just sit and watch if you’d prefer.

Starting Sunday 7 January at 9-10am, the sessions will be every Tuesday (6-7pm) and Sunday (9-10am) in January and February (including Auckland Anniversary Weekend, Waitangi Weekend and Waitangi Day). Classes are approximately 45 mins. Fun for all of the family, from children to grandparents.

Location: Under the trees or on the Rangitoto Steps (stone steps) between the new café and Pohutukawa Drive (look out for the signs). If wet, in the big gazebo near to the new café.

Described as “moving meditation”, tai chi is an ancient Chinese martial art that combines mental focus and mindfulness with deliberate and relaxed movements that are gentle on the joints.

Summer tai chi in Cornwall Park is fun, free and suitable for all ages. You don’t need special clothes, shoes or equipment. Bring a water bottle, a sun hat and come as you are.

Find out more: