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A Tai Chi Imagery Workbook - Spirit, Intent, and Motion

by Martin Mellish

listed in chi energy martial arts

[Image: A Tai Chi Imagery Workbook - Spirit, Intent, and Motion]

The Tai Chi Imagery Workbook by Martin Mellish is an experiential and inspirational book that you can just pick up and choose to work with individual concepts, giving both teachers and practitioners an infinite variety of imagery to enhance their skills and practice. Not only is this an ideal book for Tai Chi, but also for those who practise or teach Yoga, Pilates, dance and meditation.

It brings alive, in a user friendly way, time-honoured wisdom into modern concepts, allowing us to explore the value of imagery and imagination in our everyday lives. This is a practice which, as the author states, in western culture has long been feared, put down or regarded as just superstition. It is a chance to return to the playfulness of childhood, and use the skill of imagination in a creative and constructive way. He has embodied the true essence and spirit of an ancient tradition, applying a skilful balance between play and anatomical , structural and philosophical information. At the same time he addresses other modalities, for those who would prefer to approach the book, not just in a visual sense but, in a more tactile and kinaesthetic way. This makes it full of accessible ideas to enhance the lives of all ages and abilities.

It is also an excellent aid to teachers and those who need to get the concepts across to others who have never experience Tai Chi before, making them illuminating and fun for all generations and fitness levels. The author's practical, no messing approach to anatomy and physiology creates an accessible way for the lay person to easily grasp the essence of what is needed in order to use their body in the correct way whilst at the same time enhancing the flow of Chi or vital life force through it.

The layout of the book is divided into 3 parts:
Structure: Allows the reader to have a detailed review of imagery for the proper functioning and co-ordination of different parts of the body, while at the same time acting as an aid to learning anatomical structures. Not only does this enhance body awareness, but makes it an excellent tool for rehabilitation and working with seniors. If you have a specific health challenge, it teaches the reader how to move and use their body in the most effective or pain-free way.

Spirit: Focuses on the concept of Chi, Prana or vital life force, which some find hard to comprehend or convey to others. It incorporates issues such as letting go and the development of conscious awareness and the benefits these bring to both health and happiness, which I found the most profound chapter of the book. It also covers breath and its link to our vitality and emotional states. This section also looks into the issues of feeling and expression which emphasizes the truly holistic aspects of Tai Chi. Then he goes on to illustrate how to apply these insights to enhance all aspects of our daily life. Included is information on the importance of methods which enable us to return to, and re-establish, the fundamental rhythms both within nature and ourselves. Here the reader is also introduced to the laws of the 5 key elements used in Traditional Chinese Medicine and philosophy.

The last and final section is on Applications: Rich in ways to affect your physical environment and work creatively with the laws of physics. Rather than these laws being dry, the subject is brought alive with techniques such as working with the force of gravity, or how to increase personal power. Then it explains how to apply and work with various principles. I particularly liked how the author states how these principles can be practised twenty four hours a day, applying them whilst gardening, constructing or playing racquet sports and ball games. These can help us on a daily basis to re-enforce the life enhancing principles of relaxation, alignment, grounding and openness, while releasing habitual tensions and patterning brought on by such things as fear and poor posture.

I was sincerely delighted to be asked to review this inspiring book , because and as a Yoga , Tai Chi and Shiatsu teachers trainer myself I would be happy to recommend this book to all my students and teachers, and put in into their recommended reading list. Knowing that within its covers is a lifetime of practical and thought-provoking universal images and concepts to experience and work with.

Sue Woodd
Singing Dragon

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