Free summer tai chi in Cornwall Park, Jan – March 2023

Free tai chi and qigong with me every Sunday morning (9am) and Tuesday evening (6pm) in Cornwall Park from Sunday 15 January until Tuesday 28 March 2023. All sessions are outdoors so are weather dependent.

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.

These 45-minute sessions in Cornwall Park and are free, fun and suitable for all ages and abilities, especially beginners. You are most welcome to invite family, friends and colleagues to join in.

Summer Tai Chi in the Park sessions are funded by the Cornwall Park Trust Board so you can all attend for free.

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: 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
  • More information: https://cornwallpark.co.nz/summer-events-programme-2022-23

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 28 March.

As well as my tai chi and qigong sessions, there are lots of other free activities in the park. Check out my SpinPoi session in the park on Saturday 18 February. Find out more in this link:  https://cornwallpark.co.nz/uploads/logos/Summer-Events-2002-2023-Web.pdf

Find out more

Fabulous tai chi and qigong retreat, Vanuatu, May 2023

Sunset over a calm lagoon

Can you imagine doing tai chi and qigong in this tranquil paradise? This is our magical retreat location at sunset. Wow.

Vanuatu Retreat: Stress Less and Live Best with Kia Ora Tai Chi

Date: Saturday 20 to Saturday 27 May 2023

Where: Paradise Cove Resort, Vanuatu

How good would it feel to learn soothing, health-boosting tai chi and qigong on a beautiful South Pacific island? Absolute heaven! This retreat is for you if you want to tap into the legendary health benefits of tai chi and qigong so you can take home that heavenly feeling.

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)

You can discover the secrets to having more energy and less stress by joining me, (Jocelyn Watkin), for eight days/seven nights in the tropical paradise of Vanuatu. You’ll learn easy and flowing tai chi and qigong to help you to:

Woman taking a deep breath on a beach at sunset

  • revitalise your health and spirits
  • calm your mind
  • tap into the Chinese 5-Element Qigong to balance and harmonise your mind and body so you get even more amazing health benefits.
  • learn special techniques and skills that really work to feel more energised, less tired and to make 2023 and beyond your best years ever.

 

There’ll be plenty of “you time” to re-discover your inner paradise, too. Visualise this – after a short flight from New Zealand (just over three hours) you could be:

  • soaking up the sun on the powdery white sands
  • bathing or snorkelling in the turquoise waters of the lagoon
  • lolling in a shaded hammock, swaying in the fragrant island breeze that gently sighs through the palm trees.

Hammock slung between shady trees on a white sand beach

One of the hammocks at Paradise Cove Resort. The perfect place for reading or maybe a somnolent snooze?

And, that’s just the arrival day!  You can do more of this on other days. Imagine your first full day:

  • Wake up to a tropical continental breakfast with yummy cereals, toasted breads, melt-in-your-mouth croissants, fresh juices and a platter of delicious tropical fruits. (Vegetarian, vegan, gluten free or lactose free diets can be catered for)
  • After breakfast, relax and enjoy health-giving, stress-busting tai chi and qigong in a shady, thatched beach fare. You’ll be with a small group of other learners and led by a fully-qualified instructor. Yep, that’s me (Jocelyn Watkin).
  • The afternoon is free to:
    • Explore the island.
    • Chill out in the on-site swimming pool or the lagoon with its private coral beach.
    • Check out the fantastic snorkelling by wading into the soothing lagoon waters. Or, maybe take an exhilarating leap from the jetty?
    • Take a relaxing zzzz in your own deluxe villa with its delightful mix of Melanesian architecture and European style. Each villa is set in a lush tropical garden and there are just 10 villas in total to ensure peace and quiet.
    • Lounge with a good book in a deck chair under the palm trees or maybe while gently swaying in a hammock.
  • Late afternoon, you can saunter into the on-site bar and restaurant (The Nakamal) for a cool drink of deliciousness and lazily watch the sun go down.
  • You can choose to be on your own or in the company of like-minded others for the afternoons and evenings.
  • Delectable and scrumptious lunches, dinners and snacks can be purchased at the on-site Nakamal. Or, you can choose to prepare and cook your own meals in your own villa’s kitchenette. (Please bring or buy your own ingredients).
  • After gazing at sunsets and later the millions of stars twinkling overhead, you can amble back to your comfy, private villa and sink into a blissful sleep, lulled by the soft whisper of the lagoon waters.

Sunset sky reflected in the calm waters of a tropical lagoon

Fabulous sunsets at Paradise Cove Resort

Sounds divine! Tell me more

This retreat is for you if you are any of the following:

  • Working or retired.
  • Are sick of feeling tired or at the end of your tether and want relief that really works.
  • Curious about the stress relief and other amazing health and energising benefits of tai chi and qigong that you’ve heard about and want to sample these for yourself.

The Stress Less, Live Best Retreat is ideal for beginners as well as tai chi and/or qigong students who want to grow and develop their knowledge.

You need to be aged 18+ to participate.

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

What’s happening, when and where?

  • Saturday 20 to Saturday 27 May 2023, at Vanuatu.
  • 8 days/7 nights at the intimate Paradise Cove Resort, which has just five 1-bedroom and five 2-bedroom villas.
  • 4 sessions of health-giving, energising qigong and tai chi with a qualified instructor. Each session will be for 3 hours and numbers will be limited to a maximum of 14 participants.
  • All of this is just a short flight from Auckland to Port Vila, Vanuatu.

Prices are all in $NZ (New Zealand dollars):

Those who were registered for the May 2020 retreat at Vanuatu will have received an email with the price of your 2023 retreat package, flights and accommodation.

New registrations (all in $NZ)

  • 1-bedroom villa: $2,900* per person, share twin (note: there is only one queen-sized bed in the 1-bedroom villas so this accommodation is better suited to a solo traveller or a couple). Plus: return airfare and any PayPal and credit card fees.
  • 1-bedroom villa, single occupancy: $2,900 + $590 (single supplement) = $3,490*. Plus: return airfare and any PayPal and credit card fees
  • 2-bedroom villa: $3,200* per person, share twin. Plus: return airfare and any PayPal and credit card fees.
  • 2-bedroom villa, single occupancy: $3,200 + $590 (single supplement) = $3,790*. Plus: return airfare and any PayPal and credit card fees.
  • A payment plan can be arranged on request.
  • Payment will be made to Kia Ora Tai Chi, by online banking from a New Zealand bank account (without surcharge) or by PayPal, MasterCard or Visa, which will incur a surcharge of 3.5% to 4%.
  • Please arrange and pay for your own return airfare to Vanuatu. i.e. through your own travel agent or online with Air Vanuatu. Note: your travel agent or Air Vanuatu could charge credit card fees.

*Until paid in full by the participant, events beyond our control such as currency exchange rate fluctuations, pandemics, changes in airline ticket prices and surcharges, or changes in the costs of services or facilities may result in variations to the estimated price.

Payment instalment plan

All payments, (except for return flights to Vanuatu) will be made to Kia Ora Tai Chi. Please pay:

  • A deposit of $500 per person ASAP to reserve your place on the retreat until paid in full. This amount is non-refundable.
  • By 1st February 2023: Payment of the final balance remaining, per person.
  • 80% of all payments (not including the deposit) will be refunded (less any PayPal and/or credit card fees) if you cancel before 1st February 2023.
  • 50% of all payments (not including the deposit) will be refunded (less any PayPal and/or credit card fees) if you cancel between 1st – 28th February 2023.
  • On or after 1st March 2023, all payments become non-refundable.
  • In special circumstances a refund or partial refund may be offered after 1st March 2023. Please refer to the 2022/2023 Kia Ora Tai Chi Tours and Retreats Terms and Conditions for the full cancellation policy. This can be requested using the contact form on the Kia Ora Tai Chi website: https://www.kiaorataichi.nz/contact-us/.

Flights to/from Vanuatu: Air Vanuatu is the only airline that flies direct from Auckland to Port Vila and ONLY on Wednesdays and Saturdays. If you are flying from Auckland, please book these flights with Air Vanuatu:

  • To Vanuatu: Saturday 20 May, 2023: Leaving Auckland International Airport at 13.10, arriving at Bauerfield International Airport, Port Vila, at 14.25 (3 hours, 15 minutes flying time)
  • From Vanuatu: Saturday 27 May, 2023: Leaving Bauerfield International Airport (Port Vila) at 7am, arriving Auckland International Airport at 12.10pm (3 hours, 10 minutes flying time)

 What is included in the price (once paid in full)?

  • Transfers to/from Paradise Cove Resort from/to Bauerfield International Airport, Port Vila, if travelling on the same Air Vanuatu flights from and to Auckland as listed above. (To Vanuatu on Saturday 20 May and from Vanuatu on Saturday 27 May).
  • 7 nights’ accommodation in a luxurious villa at Paradise Cove Resort.
  • 7 luscious, tropical breakfasts at Paradise Cove Resort.
  • Four 3-hour group sessions of in-depth tai chi and qigong with a focus on how to reduce stress and live best. Small group (maximum of 14 participants).
  • Snorkelling gear, reef shoes, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards.
  • Mountain bikes to explore the area.
  • Wi-Fi in the restaurant area at Paradise Cove Resort.

 Yes, I’m in. Sign me up

View from the shady trees and out over the turquoise lagoon

The glorious Paradise Cove Resort

What is NOT included in the price?

  • Return air fares to/from Vanuatu
  • All meals (other than breakfast at Paradise Cove Resort)
  • Note: Paradise Cove has a bar and restaurant on site (The Nakamal) where you can buy your own delicious lunches, dinners, snacks and drinks. The chefs aim for the best blend of Melanesian and Mediterranean cuisine. They can provide special dietary meals, such as vegetarian, vegan, gluten free or lactose free. Should you want to prepare your own meals, you can bring your own ingredients or buy locally as there is a kitchenette in your villa. This has tea/coffee facilities, fridge, freezer, gas stove and a microwave.
  • Sunset drinks and all alcohol.
  • All other drinks (other than the juice that is served with breakfast)
  • Any additional activities and tours while in Vanuatu, including a possible group outing.
  • Personal travel insurance (compulsory). Please ensure your travel insurance includes cover if you are diagnosed with Covid-19 before, during travel and during the retreat.
  • All personal items, such as laundry, souvenirs and shopping, etc
  • Credit card surcharges when paying the price of the retreat.
  • Any Visitor Visa fees that apply.

Visa entry requirements

Currently, (since September 2022) Vanuatu Government requirements, citizens from New Zealand, Australia and UK (and many other countries as listed by the government), can obtain a Visitor Visa on arrival providing you meet the conditions on entry for the visitor visa. For more information, please check the Vanuatu Government’s website on their visa requirements: https://immigration.gov.vu/index.php/visa-unit/visitors-visa

Please note that visa requirements may change before May 2023. We will advise up-to-date requirements closer to the departure date, but it is the responsibility of the retreat participant to check and follow visa entry requirements and to ensure your passport is valid. Your passport must have at least six months validity, from your last day in Vanuatu.

I’m all good with that. I want to RSVP.

Comfy cane chairs and tables in an open-sided tropical, thatched-roof building

The Nakamal restaurant and bar at Paradise Cove Resort

What is Vanuatu like? Vanuatu is a string of island pearls glistening in the South Pacific. It is between three to 3.5 hours flying time from Auckland but years away from the stress of everyday life. The name Vanuatu means “Our Land Forever” in many of the local Melanesian languages. The capital, largest city and commercial centre is Port Vila, which is on the island of Éfaté.

Aerial view of turquoise lagoon waters with coral reef, white sandy beach and shady trees

Fantastic snorkelling at Paradise Cove Resort

What sort of paradise will we be staying at? Paradise Cove Resort is a lush tropical paradise on the South shore of Mele Bay, which is about 15 minutes drive from Port Vila. Your accommodation will be a self-contained, gloriously-private and luxurious villa. The beach and fringing reef at the resort has a rich variety of marine life. This means fantastic snorkelling straight from the beach or off the jetty. The resort also has a swimming pool.

Weather in VanuatuIn May, the average temperatures are balmy and range from 21 to 28°C, which will be a welcome relief from the rain and cold of New Zealand at that time. Should you need it, the villas have air conditioning in the bedrooms and a ceiling fan in main part of the villa.

Vanuatu sounds ‘vantastic’!  I’m ready to go.

 

More about the qigong and tai chi sessions on Vanuatu

Person doing tai chi on the beach at sunset. One hand appears to capture the sun just as it is setting.According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), everything in the universe, including us humans, is made by five elements: earth, metal, water, wood and fire.

You will learn the 5-Element Qigong at this retreat. It appears simple but it is a powerful exercise and breathing programme that harmonises those five elements within you. It is especially effective for increasing energy levels, improving health and managing stress.

“Qi” (pronounced ‘chee’) is the life energy inside a person that circulates throughout the body to provide inner strength and maintain good health. The word can also mean “life force”, “breath” or “oxygen”.  According to TCM, the stronger qi you have, the healthier and stronger you are.

“Gong” translates as “method”, “skill of” or “exercise”. Qigong is a skilled exercise which will help you to get more oxygen and life energy.

At the retreat, you will also learn a unique set of tai chi movements that are designed to relax, refresh and revitalise you.

Qigong and tai chi are natural exercises that are in harmony with nature. They are good for your body as well as your mind, and are helpful at reducing stress. There are no pills, no jabs and we don’t tell you what you can or can’t eat or drink.

This is what you’ll learn at the Stress Less and Live Best Retreat:

  • 5-Element Qigong and tai chi for better health and rejuvenation. This will be easy-to-learn and is especially effective for improving overall well-being and to release stress and anxiety.
  • How to calm and clear your mind so you can learn how to relax and feel refreshed and revitalised.
  • How to breathe your way to better health.
  • How to use qigong and tai chi to feel more energised, bust stress and live best once you return home.

Here’s a ‘sneak preview’ of some of the qigong you’ll learn in Vanuatu. This lovely movement is called “Palm tree swaying in the breeze”:

 I need to Stress Less and Live Best.  Count me in.

Retreat leader and qigong & tai chi 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.

Testimonial: “We think you are a great teacher and inspire the people you are working with.” (Ken and Ann, February 2020)

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.

Jocelyn invites you to join her in paradise to learn specially-designed, stress-busting tai chi and qigong to help you to live calmer, stronger and healthier.

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)

Covid-19 requirements

All participants will need to abide by Air Vanuatu and the Vanuatu Government’s health advice and regulations as they apply in May 2023. There are also additional requirements, which have been set by Kia Ora Tai Chi, operators of facilities and services for the retreat in Vanuatu. The current requirements (since September 2022) include the following.

  • If you are Covid-19 positive before you leave your home country, you will not be able to attend this retreat until you test negative.
  • Any participant who tests positive for COVID-19 while in Vanuatu (or who develops symptoms of COVID-19 and cannot get tested) is required to isolate for seven days or until a negative test. You will not be able to join in with any retreat activities during your isolation period or socialise with other retreat participants.
  • Isolation can be undertaken in hotels and resorts of your choosing and at your own cost.
  • Medical care should be sought if there are any danger signs or if symptoms have not improved within 5 days.
  • You will need to pay all medical expenses in Vanuatu for any ailments and injuries, including COVID-19.
  • A negative RAT test is required 24 hours before departure from your own country (this can be your own test; it does not need to be supervised).
  • There is no requirement for international travellers to Vanuatu to quarantine or be tested upon arrival if there are no symptoms and there has been no recent exposure to COVID-19.
  • Full vaccination against Covid-19 is encouraged but not required.
  • Wearing of face masks is encouraged on flights, during travel and at Vanuatu airport but not required.
  • All participants at this retreat may be required to wear a mask for all indoor retreat sessions and also when on shared transport in Vanuatu with other retreat participants, unless an official mask exemption is provided.
  • Please be aware these requirements could change on or before your arrival in Vanuatu and all travellers and retreat participants must abide by the laws, rules and requirements that apply at that time.

Jocelyn Watkin and any assistant instructors at this retreat have been fully vaccinated for Covid-19, including with a 2nd booster.

Cancellation Policy on payments made by participants:

  • The deposit of $500 per person is non-refundable.
  • 80% of all payments (not including the deposit) will be refunded (less any PayPal and/or credit card fees) if you cancel before 1st February 2023.
  • 50% of all payments (not including the deposit) will be refunded (less any PayPal and/or credit card fees) if you cancel between 1st – 28th February 2023.
  • On or after 1st March 2023, all payments become non-refundable

Please refer to the 2022/2023 Kia Ora Tai Chi Tours and Retreats Terms and Conditions for the full cancellation policy. This can be requested using the contact form on the Kia Ora Tai Chi website: https://www.kiaorataichi.nz/contact-us/.

To find out more or to sign up for the Stress Less, Live Best Retreat in Vanuatu in 2023, please use the contact form on the Kia Ora Tai Chi website: https://www.kiaorataichi.nz/contact-us/.

“To be comfortable in the cold, keep moving; to be comfortable in the heat, hold still; to be comfortable in the world, stay calm and clear.”

(Extract from Chapter 34 of the “Dao de Jing” by Laozi (aka: “Tao te Ching” by Lao Tzu). Translated by Ursula K Le Guin.)

Woman slumped at a work desk with a dream cloud above her head of palm trees, sunshine and jandals

Stress relieving tai chi and qigong on a tropical island. Don’t just dream about it.

I invite you to join me in paradise:

New class: A fun fusion of SpinPoi with tai chi, Oct – Dec 2022

All welcome to a special and fun series of SpinPoi classes with Jocelyn of Kia Ora Tai Chi. Thursday mornings, from 27th October to 1st December 2022, 11.45am to 12.30pm.

You’ll swing along with easy-to-learn poi movements set to music and finish with tranquil and peaceful tai chi. This is a fun exercise with a qualified instructor, which will boost fitness, strength, balance and well-being.

Attend just one class or come to them all.

Limited number of poi available. Bring your own pair of poi, if you have a set.

Venue: The Wharekai Room, Te Matariki Clendon Community Centre, 17 Palmers Road, Clendon Park, Manurewa, Auckland 2103.

Cost: $5 per person, per class

Ideal for: Seniors and beginners of any age and ability. You can do this seated, if you wish.

No need to RSVP, just come along. All welcome.

Questions? Please phone or text Jocelyn on 027 493 9851 or use the Contact Form

More info:

Four people smiling and holding poi

SpinPoi keeps your mind and body happy

New beginners class starts Mon 12th & Wed 14 Sept 2022

Group of older people doing tai chi. Some are seated.Kia ora and thank you for your interest in Kia Ora Tai Chi and in learning tai chi and qigong. 

What others say about Kia Ora Tai Chi classes:

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

A new beginners’ tai chi and qigong class will start In Manurewa on the evenings of Monday 12th and Wednesday 14th September 2022, 6.30 – 7.15pm.

Jocelyn Watkin and the Kia Ora Tai Chi team welcome adults of any age and ability as new beginners. 

The venue will be the Manurewa South School hall, which is located at 18 Totara Road, Manurewa. (Please refer to the map below.) The classes will be held every Monday and Wednesday evening (except for public holidays and during a break over Christmas and New Year).

If you’d like more information or to RSVP, please text or phone Jocelyn on 027 493 9851 or please use the Contact Form.

What to wear: Please wear loose comfortable clothing and bring a something warm like a hoodie, jumper, cardigan, etc. Please also wear flat-soled shoes (such as sneakers, trainers or tennis shoes). Please also wear a facemask on arrival and when talking with others. You can remove your facemask during tai chi if you wish, as long as we can all physically distance ourselves. Please also bring a bottle of drinking water.

What to expect: All of the classes begin with a sequence of easy, flowing, warm-up exercises which are low impact and gentle on your joints. These exercises are designed to improve your balance and core strength. You can do tai chi while seated, if you wish.

Then, Jocelyn and her team of instructors will guide you through a tai chi form – a series of linked postures and steps, which are also designed to strengthen your leg and core muscles and improve balance. The steps are performed in a slow, focussed manner and accompanied by deep breathing (known as qigong, which means ‘breath work’ and ‘energy work’).

Price:

  • Come along for a free class on Monday 12th and/or Wednesday 14th September 2022. You are welcome to attend both for free.
  • After 14th: Prices start from $10 to $15 per class (depending on how many classes are purchased in advance). 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+ AND be referred to qualify for this discount.

Covid-19 protection requirements to attend classes:

  • High-quality face masks must be worn on arrival and when chatting to others before the class starts/after the class finishes. Some students are immuno-compromised. Everyone made a unanimous decision to continue to wear masks when coming to class to support and help those who are less fortunate with their health. This is regardless of any lesser requirements recommended by the NZ Government. If you wish, you can remove your mask during the class, as long as we can all physically distance ourselves. Please do not wear home-made fabric masks.
  • Anyone who wants to keep wearing a mask throughout the class is welcome to do so and their views/wishes are respected by others.
  • The hall will be well-ventilated as we have the doors open in ALL weathers, so please wear layered clothing to keep warm. Fortunately, warmer weather is on the way. There is a lovely outdoor deck off the hall and we do tai chi on that in the summer months.
  • Please stay at home if you have a cold or flu-like symptoms or if you or someone in your household has Covid. You are not charged for missed classes under these circumstances.
  • All instructors are vaccinated, including with two boosters.

If you’d like more information or to RSVP, please text or phone Jocelyn on 027 493 9851 or please use the Contact Form.

Participants in the evening classes are encouraged to attend on both Monday and Wednesday evenings. However, if you are committed to practicing at home then it is OK to attend just one class per week.

The above map shows the location of the evening classes in the Manurewa South School hall. The entrance to the hall and the parking is at 18 Totara Road (please don’t go to the main entrance to the school, which is on another street).

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.

Tai chi is easy, fun and a really great exercise, which is good for your body and helpful at reducing stress. If you are unable to stand for very long, Jocelyn and several of her assistant instructors can also teach seated tai chi, which you can do alongside the rest of the class.

 

All of our tai chi classes are approved with the BIG TICK  for the Community Group Strength and Balance Programme so you can “Live Stronger for Longer”.

What is tai chi? Described as “moving meditation”, tai chi is an ancient Chinese martial art that combines mental focus with deliberate and relaxed movements. Regular practice of tai chi can help improve strength, health and balance, reduce stress and lower blood pressure.  Read more about the health benefits of tai chi.

Please text or phone Jocelyn to RSVP or for more information: 027 493 9851. Alternatively, please use the Contact Form to get in touch.

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