Transformation: The 60-Second Mind-Body Practice Integrating Tai Chi and Yoga to Manage Stress and Unlock Your Potential is Robert R. Abbott and Zochi Young’s entry in the long-standing tradition of self-improvement literature with strong tilt towards Eastern mysticism and its potential for enhancing individual well-being. The authors build the book around four parts with direct titles invoking with a word many of their underlying ideas and themes. The first part “Embark” covers the opening process of putting Transformation’s ideas into practice. Abbott and Young introduce readers early to another aspect of their presentation – the presence of QR codes throughout the text connect interested individuals with videos illustrating the included exercises they ask you to perform.

Young and Abbott entitle the second section of Transformation “Embrace” and it becomes clear by this point that the writers envision nothing less than a wholesale renovation of the reader’s personality. One of the canniest aspects, however, of how Young and Abbott approach their ambitions, however, is that they underplay the dramatic implications of such a direction and, instead, sustain an encouraging tone from beginning to end. The lean and pointed writing throughout Transformation bolsters their cause as well – there are no ostentatious touches marring the language and the book’s directions are readily comprehensible.

Some readers may find something a bit cliched about the authors’ interest in Eastern practices. It is certainly a common subject for non-fiction books since the mid-20th century and its popularity continues today. There is nothing cookie cutter, however, in the way Abbott and Young tackle the topic. They build their philosophy and practices around practical methodology rather than anything affected or needlessly theatrical. These qualities of their 60 second mind/body practice are reflective of both the considerable time and thought invested in this book.


It is even more impressive considering the book is scarcely over a hundred pages long. It stretches the definition of what constitutes a full length book, if it was a work of fiction it would be a novella, but it testifies to their talents they manage to cover such a significant amount of ground within these constraints. It illustrates, yet again, how thoroughly the two authors have shaped their vision for both their practice and the book. The visual content included during the book is understated and functional; there’s nothing added for purely ornamental reasons. The Eastern influenced content in this book has an individual flavor. Despite sharing the book as co-authors, Transformation speaks with a distinctive and singular voice.

The physical content of the book may prove difficult to negotiate for readers with health limitations, but they are simple overall. Transformation: The 60-Second Mind-Body Practice Integrating Tai Chi and Yoga to Manage Stress and Unlock Your Potential is an unique confluence of talents; Abbott’s long career as a marine biologist doesn’t mark him as an emissary for such ideas, but surfaces matter little. Young’s background as a teacher, wellness architect, and African futurist, among other endeavors, reinforces his credentials to expound on the ideas contained within this book. It’s a powerful text that will have value for years to come.

Jason Hillenburg