Rachel's routine

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Full time job

Rachel has worked a 37.5 hour week since leaving university. Every day she commutes for at least 16 miles.
As part of her job Rachel also has public speaking engagements, yet she manages to fit in an extensive daily training schedule.

Twice daily training

Every day Rachel practices her taijiquan, qigong etc. She follows the traditional model of training in the morning when she wakes up, and then again after work.
The early session prepares Rachel's body and mind for the day ahead. The later practice is quite short and serves to release tension accumulated through driving, standing and sitting throughout the day.
Rachel feels composed and at ease after her day of work.

Morning spa

Rachel rises at 6:00 AM and has finished training by around 7:45 AM. A protein shake, fresh fruit and an invigorating shower finish things off nicely.
The morning has been productive, unhurried, rejuvenating, fun and pleasant.

A lady of tai chi

Every morning Rachel arrives at work by 9 AM feeling refreshed, clear-headed, exercised and relaxed.

We learn by doing. If you desire to master the principles you are studying, do something about them. Apply these rules at every opportunity. If you don't, you will forget them quickly. Only knowledge that is used sticks in your mind.

You are attempting to form new habits. You are attempting a new way of life. That will require time and persistence and daily application.

(Dale Carnegie)


Every day Rachel practices...


  1. Balls, grips

  2. Massage

  3. Moving qigong or ba duan jin or reeling silk exercises or stretches & joint work

  4. Leg stretches (set 1 or 2)


  1. Long Yang (round form version) (regular & mirrored) (30+ minutes)

  2. Pao chui form (regular & mirrored)

If she gets time, Rachel does some of her evening drills after form practice.

After work

Rachel adheres to the traditional taijiquan method of practicing twice a day.
After work, she practices a series of short drills designed to promote familiarity and muscle memory. None of the drills take very long and require short bursts of concentration.

Cool down:

  1. Taoist Yoga (set 1, 2 or 3) or core strength (set 1, 2 or 3) or psoas exercise

  2. Constructive rest

  3. Reading

2-3 times a week:

  1. Small san sau (regular & mirrored)

  2. Silk arms (regular & mirrored)

  3. 3-tier wallbag

Once a week:

  1. Chin na applications (set 1, 2 & 3) (solo) (regular & mirrored)

  2. Da lu (solo) (regular & mirrored)

  3. Double pushing hands (solo) (regular & mirrored)

  4. Knife drills (regular & mirrored)

  5. Penetrating defences (regular & mirrored)

  6. Pre-emptive measures (regular & mirrored)

  7. Pushing peng exercise

  8. Shuai jiao applications (solo) (set 1 & 2) (regular & mirrored)

  9. Small stick drills (regular & mirrored)

Once the training is over, Rachel spends 15 minutes doing 'constructive rest', followed by a quiet time spent drinking pu erh tea whilst she reads The Tai Chi Classics and other recommended texts.


On a weekend Rachel practices her weapons forms and drills in the park.


  1. Walking stick form (regular & mirrored)

  2. Sabre form (regular & mirrored)

  3. Jian form (regular & mirrored)


  1. Stick drills (set 1, 2 or 3) (regular & mirrored)

  2. 2-person cane (solo) (regular & mirrored)

  3. Sword drills (regular & mirrored)

Partner work

Rachel undertakes short partnered training sessions with Sifu Waller on an evening and has her practice corrected each weekend.

Workshops and boot camp

Rachel attends Sifu Waller's workshops most weeks and the boot camps.

Teaching commitment

For 2 hours every Monday night Rachel teaches tai chi for health and tai chi for fitness.

Before bed

Rachel aims to read books from the recommended reading list for at least 30 minutes each night before going to bed. She typically manages to get at least 8 hours sleep per night.

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Page created 18 April 1995
Last updated 03 April 2019