In addition to Matariki this year, July is also Mindfulness Month.
Together, they make a good combination:
- Matariki is a time of remembrance, joy and peace.
- Mindfulness Month is about finding peace in the present, while raising funds to help the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand (the foundation) advocate for a brighter future for everyone in Aotoeroa/NZ
During July 2023, I will teach three mindful and restorative sessions and donate my time as a fund-raiser for the foundation. Instead of paying me for a session, I hope you will consider donating to the foundation instead.
The sessions all have connections to the three key principles of Matariki as follows:
- Remembrance: Online, Tuesday evening 11 July 2023, 6.30 – 7.15pm, by Zoom: Mindful, restorative journaling. Remembering our ancestors/tūpuna and lessons from the past can help us to reduce stress today and into the future.
- Celebrating the present: Outdoors, Friday 14 July 2023, 11am – 11.45am, Tai Chi in the Park for the official Matariki holiday. This will be held at Kauri Point Reserve in Wattle Downs, Manurewa, which is at the end of a street called “Moor Park”. Refer to map: https://goo.gl/maps/MZHeqttC5rBeL6mu9 This session will be weather-dependent. If the ground is too wet or the weather doesn’t co-operate, please look for the cancellation notice on the Kia Ora Tai Chi facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/kiaorataichi/
- Looking to the future/learning new skills: Online, Thursday evening, 20 July 2023, 6.30 – 7.15pm, by Zoom. Create a calm and centred universe within you with “Out of this World Qigong”. This date also happens to be the 54th anniversary of the moon landing (20 July 1969).
If you’d like to take part in these sessions or if you’d like to enable a friend or family member to attend, please make a donation to the foundation on my fund-raising page for Mindfulness Month: https://mindfulnessmonth.co.nz/jocelyn-watkin
My sessions usually sell for $10 – $15 per person, per session. However, any amount will be very welcome. Even just $1 will make a difference, as every bit counts.
Once you’ve made your donation, please let me know by texting me on 027 493 9851 or email me or use the contact form on the Kia Ora Tai Chi website. I will then email you the Zoom links for the two online sessions.
Of course, you can still donate even if you choose not to participate in any of the sessions.
Why am I doing this? Several years ago, I was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress (PTSD). I was fortunate to have full support and arohanui (lots of love) from my husband, family and friends, professional care from my doctor, and was able to fully recover.
Restorative journaling was a key part of my recovery. The mindful process of journaling enabled me to break the hold stress had on me and free my thoughts to plan for a better and different life.
Later, tai chi and qigong helped to complete healing process as I learned how to use both of these skills to reduce stress on a daily basis, rather than let it build up.
Here is the link to my fundraising page: https://mindfulnessmonth.co.nz/jocelyn-watkin
Whatever you decide to contribute, thank you so much for your commitment to the foundation and to all New Zealanders in need of support with their mental health. You can find out more about where the money goes in this link: https://mindfulnessmonth.co.nz/whereyourmoneygoes
There are some great resources available for free on the Mindfulness Month website. You can explore them here: https://mindfulnessmonth.co.nz/resources
If you need help and support, you can call any of the phone numbers listed here for free: https://mentalhealth.org.nz/helplines
How magical would it be to discover an ancient healing art from China, which could help you to improve your overall health and wellbeing in the modern world? Absolutely amazing.
As a qualified instructor, I offer a rare, in-depth opportunity to experience the magic of qigong (pronounced chee-gong), a rejuvenating technique involving deep, meditative breathing and flowing movements that is 1,000s of years old.
At this workshop, and through the healing power of qigong, you’ll learn how to do self-care and to nurture yourself with:
- Deep, mindful breathing to calm your mind and release tension from your body.
- Gentle yet powerful movements to restore your energy levels.
- Relaxing self-massage to soothe your aches and support your body’s healing process
Ideal for beginners.
When: Saturday 11 February 2023, 10am to 1pm (please arrive no later than 9.55am)
Where: Reremoana School hall, 15 Scotsmoor Drive, Wattle Downs, Manurewa, Auckland 2103. Refer to this map: https://goo.gl/maps/soNPiz5gexGBgF4p6
Parking: Plenty of free parking is available on the half-circle shaped driveway in front of the school.
Open to anyone aged 18+, who is seeking to rebalance and rejuvenate their body, soul and strength.
Cost: $75 per person (payable by online banking. The account number will be provided once you RSVP). Please refer to the cancellation policy below.
What to wear: Comfortable, loose clothing that is easy to move in, and flat-soled shoes. Please also bring a jersey or hoodie to keep warm when we are sitting still for some of the time.
Please bring: Water bottle and a snack
Places are limited to just 12 people.
To RSVP, or if you have questions, please text Jocelyn on 027 493 9851 or use the contact form on the website: https://www.kiaorataichi.nz/contact-us/
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 contractor (with own choreography) 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)
What is qigong?
For thousands of years the Chinese have had a secret. A secret that helps to increase longevity, a secret that assists the body to heal from injury, illness and trauma.
That secret is qigong, a deep meditative breathing exercise that connects the mind to the body and helps with overall well-being and healing.
How does qigong help your body to heal from injury, pain or illness? A number of clinical trials have confirmed that qigong is proven to increase blood oxygen saturation in your body. That alone is excellent for healing.
There are many different aspects to assist the body and mind to heal, such as:
- Medical treatments and interventions
- Sleep and rest
- A healthy diet
- Moderate exercise
- Reducing stress.
Qigong can help and support the body with all of the above.
Qigong’s deep, meditative breathing supports your parasympathetic nervous system (also called the ‘rest and digest’ system). The movements, when co-ordinated with your breath and awareness of energy can help you to slow down, relax and to release tensions in your body. This helps you to sleep well, too.
If your body needs energy to repair and heal from injury or illness, qigong breathing can help to increase oxygen level and flow (energy) right down to your smallest cell.
Qigong exercises will massage and stimulate internal organs, which can also help with healing.
Qigong is about releasing stress, not suppressing it.
To reduce inflammation, you need to reduce the damaging effect that constant stress has on your body. Qigong breathing can help you to let go of stress so you can settle your mind and body.
Healing is multi-faceted and we need a number of different things to help us to heal our minds and bodies and to recover from illness, injury and trauma. Qigong can support this process.
Find out more about the healing benefits of qigong:
The workshop must be paid for in full ($75 per person) to reserve your place.
All payments are non-refundable but, if you can’t attend, you can nominate a friend, colleague or family member to take your place.
Please do not attend this workshop if you have Covid or you have a cold or ‘flu-like symptoms. In this instance and if you can’t find someone else to take your place, you will be provided with a credit towards another Kia Ora Tai Chi workshop, retreat or class.
In the unlikely event that Kia Ora Tai Chi cancels the workshop, you will be refunded in full.
Please do not attend if you are sick or have cold or ‘flu-like symptoms.
All participants will need to respect the need for social distancing at all times during the workshop. The venue is big and there’ll be plenty of room for everyone to spread out. The massage exercises are all self-massaging. There will not be any paired exercises or touching by others.
The hall will be well-ventilated and hand sanitiser will be provided.
We will abide by the NZ Government’s health advice and regulations as they apply at the time of the workshop.
Jocelyn (the instructor) has been fully vaccinated for Covid-19, including with a 2nd booster.
To RSVP to this workshop, or if you have questions, please text Jocelyn on 027 493 9851 or use the contact form on the website: https://www.kiaorataichi.nz/contact-us/
It’s a night club, but there’s no dancing or happiness. The ‘No Sleep Club’ is no fun at all. It feels like you are stuck at the Hotel California – “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave”. [Lyrics by The Eagles, 1977]
However, Dr Giresh Kanji has discovered five keys, any of which will open the door to the escape route.
After decades of research, literature searches and clinical trials, Dr Kanji identified the following activities (the keys) to escape insomnia. These also help with depression and anxiety, which are often closely related to insomnia:
- Tai chi
- Meditative breathing
- Exercise that is at least slightly rigorous
There were no surprises for me to discover that tai chi is in the Top 5. Nearly all of my students (and me) comment on how much better they sleep after a tai chi class.
Note: not one of the five activities includes medication or hospital visits.
You don’t have to do all of the activities listed above, just pick one and get started. Fortunately, with tai chi you can win the trifecta as the first three activities listed above are packaged together when you learn tai chi. If you’re doing tai chi in our humid January and February weather, you might even get something close to sauna conditions, too. 🙂 Click here to try a special tai chi breathing exercise with me. It takes less than a minute to learn.
Find out more about why and how these five activities [habits] work by watching this TV interview with Dr Kanji. It is just under 5 minutes duration. Or you can clilck on this link: https://youtu.be/F8GIgJ3fM7M
Dr Kanji has written a book called: “Brain Connections: How to sleep better, worry less and feel happier” where he explores the role of childhood trauma, stress, and the links between stress-related symptoms and fatigue, concentration and dementia. He outlines the five habits [activities] that reduce the activity of the stress brain and improve insomnia, anxiety and depression. Click here to learn more about this book or to buy it.
Dr Kanji is a New Zealander and a graduate of the Otago Medical School. His is a musculoskeletal pain specialist and researcher. He explored the sensory amplification of pain in his PhD including the role of the human stress response.
Dr Giresh Kanji
He is an honorary Senior Lecturer at Auckland University, the chairperson of the NZ Pain Foundation and editor of Australasian Musculoskeletal Medicine. To find out more about him: https://gireshkanji.com/dr-giresh-kanji
Find out more:
Note: This is a post from July 2019
If you want to get fitter without puffing, feel healthier and live stronger for longer, then tai chi can help you.
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 “taster sessions” on Monday 29th and Wednesday 31st July 2019, in Manurewa.
To RSVP or to ask questions about the classes, please use the Contact Form
After the free sessions, we encourage anyone who can attend AT LEAST once per week to enrol in a new tai chi class for beginners, which will start on Monday 5th and Wednesday 7th August 2019, 6.30 – 7.15pm.
Cost of classes: The classes on the 29th and 31st of July 2019 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
- finding it easier to go up and down stairs
- improved breathing, with less wheezing or feeling like they’ve ‘run out of breath’
- 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
- feeling better all over and less stressed
- toned muscles.
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 my 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 29th and 31st July 2019 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.
A Kia Ora Tai Chi class
Please note: This is a post from February 2019:
Free tai chi classes for beginners on Monday 11 February and Wednesday 13 February 2019, 6.30 – 7.15pm in Manurewa.
There is lots of free parking. Click here for more information and a map.
After the free classes, a new beginners class will start on Monday 18 and Wednesday 20 February 2019. Same time and same place.
Tai chi is enjoyable, easy on your joints, flowing and will help you increase your fitness, reduce stress, improve your balance and stay stronger for longer. It is ideal for complete beginners and suitable for adults of any age and high school students. Seated tai chi is also available.
Come along and give it a try with a friendly bunch of people at a great venue.
Classes are taught by Jocelyn Watkin, a fully-qualified, premier instructor with the Tai Chi for Health Institute. She is supported by a team of assistant instructors, who are also qualified.
Find out more on what to wear and what to expect at the classes.
To RSVP please text or phone the instructor, Jocelyn Watkin on 027 493 9851 or use the Contact Form
All of these Tai Chi for Health classes are approved with the BIG TICK for ACC and Age Concerns’ Community Group Strength and Balance Programme so you can stay “Stronger for Longer”