By Ellae Elinwood
Book Review by Anton Borja
It was bound to happen. With the proliferation of how-to books available in the market and with a growing interest in Chinese medical arts, Tai Chi and Qigong would soon be subjects worthy of their own how-to book. From the Everything book series comes The Everything Tai Chi and Qigong Book, by Ellae Elinwood. Written primarily for potential and new students of tai chi and qigong, this book surprisingly has quite a lot to offer to upper level students as well.
Just as the namesake implies, this book seems to cover almost everything a student would want to know about these martial arts. Of course, in 270 pages the book can really only skim the surface of these profound topics, but it does provide a springboard for the average user to delve into what many consider mysterious subjects.
The book starts with a basic overview of the Chinese philosophy and history behind tai chi and qigong. It then spends a significant amount of time answering questions a student interested in starting practice might have, including how tai chi and qigong benefit health, what to look for in an instructor, how to find an instructor, how to warm up before practice and how to practice. There are also chapters devoted to tai chi with sex and pregnancy, tai chi for kids and tai chi for seniors.
If there is a problem with this book it would have to be the lack of pictures dedicated to the practices. Traditional books on martial arts are filled with pictures sequencing a practice step-by-step. This book would benefit from a few more pictures and less written explanation of the poses.
For anyone interested in beginning a practice or finding out more about taichi or qigong, The Everything Tai Chi and Qigong Book is a good place to get started. For more experienced practitioners this is a good book to have around and leave on your coffee table. You are certain to get valuable tips to better your practice every time you open it.