Tai chi students often ask for books or DVDs to learn more about this art. As a starting point, I would recommend beginners to read the following book:
Tai Chi for Health by Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei & Master Liming Yue
This book includes a bit of everything: tai chi principles, philosophy behind the art, many exercises explained in detail (warm-ups, silk reeling exercises, side step exercises, 18 form chen style tai chi, and testimonials of senior tai chi practitioners about their tai chi journey.)
You can find this book in the Tai Chi Centre shop. Click here. In the shop, you can also find chen style DVDs.
There are also many interesting tai chi books and magazines that you can access or buy online. Here is an example: www.tai-chi.com (International tai chi magazine with an online shop for tai chi books/ DVDs)
You can also subscribe to our blog to receive updates and abstracts of interesting tai chi articles with a link to the original, so that you can read about tai chi.
However, in order to start grasping the tai chi concepts, practice is much more important than reading. While doing tai chi, integrating body and mind will be one of the most essential things you will do.
In the West, we are often in our minds and sometimes we forget that we have a body. In tai chi, we aim at becoming more familiarised with our bodies, so that our mind is only a part of ourselves, not everything. This is why I would recommend beginners to give priority to practising the tai chi moves, standing or breathing exercises. Once a student starts feeling their body and integrating some of the moves, they will be able to understand any tai chi book much better.