Workshop with ‘Play Pen’

Rakesh asked me to accompany him to the workshop that Mahesh Dattani, playwirght, but more importantly ‘faithful student’ of Rakesh, had requested him to organise.
Mahesh was convinced that Tai Chi, with its emphasis on focus and co-ordination of breath, mind and energy would greatly benefit people who are into theatre.
After the preliminary talk, Rakesh led the group through the basics of posture, emptying the mind, the walk and its benefits, Stroking the Bird’s Tail, the martial element of how to escape locks using the opponent’s energy and, the most effective clincher, the energy push. There were no doubting Thomases in the efficacy of the power of energy after that.
We concluded the evening with a demonstration of Form 24.
All through the evening Rakesh kept underscoring the specific benefits that Tai Chi would bring to the group in their chosen field, theatre. He demonstrated how the quality of breath could affect the quality of voice and the delivery of dialogues.
For me it was an education, a training in helping newcomers to follow the unusual movements.


  1. I have wanted to learn Tai Chi for a very very long time.I thank Mr.Mahesh Dattani for according us this opportunity through PLAYPEN-MUMBAI.
    Mr.Rakesh Menon took us through an introductory repertoire wherein he taught us about total focus,breathing and centering of the mind.The movements were calming yet strenous enough to give us a full body workout and great mental focus.
    I have watched people practising Tai-Chi on my various trips to Singapore and Japan and was always mesmerised by the slow deliberate movements of this art.
    I absolutely loved it!

    1. Sharmila, you’ve absolutely hit the nail with your observation of body and mind working in tandem.

      Hope you will be able to take it further.

      1. thnk u Sharmila for posting up ur thots on ur xperience on Tai chi…I am happy u enjoyed d workshop…yes grt thankz to Mahesh for organising it…I am happy tht I managed to show u or educate u ppl on this magical art & am glad u al took in & are also plannin to do it on a regular basis….I am always thr for it…we wl work on it…til thn kp up d practc tht u hav done in d wrkshop…al d best..Mother Nature blsssss

  2. Thank you Rakesh, Abha and Raksha for coming to my group’s meeting and conducting a demo session of Tai Chi. Needless to say it was very very illuminating to the students. Much of theatre relies on connecting with the “guts” or more specifically the Tan Tien. The four years I have been learning from Rakesh has helped me with so many problems I have had with my movement, posture and general gastro-intestinal debility. More importantly I can extend a lot of Tai Chi’s core principles to my actor training programs. I do hope more theatre practitioners, dancers and singers take to Tai Chi! This morning my Form 24 felt so good because I could feel the flow of chi in my movements! Thank you Tai Chi, but above all thank you Rakesh for being so patient and persistent with us! Truly it is your exalted spirit or “guru tattwa” that inspires us!

    1. Thank you Mahesh, it was a great experience for us as well, especially me as this was just my second demo workshop, the first being the Chembur Festival one.

      Your group was so wonderfully focused and responsive, perhaps because as actors they already had a ‘gut connect’. I also hope more people take to Tai Chi
      because it is a life skill and an entire life’s journey.

      Here’s to more workshops and many more people gettingfirst hand experience of Rakesh’s exceptional spirit.

    2. thnkz Mahesh for al d inputs & ur personal thots in it…but frankly speaking its ur practc which has impacted positively in ur growth…whtever I told u to practc u took it up seriously & u hv seen the results….kp it up long way to go Mahesh, even for me… d best Mother Nature blssssss

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