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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.
Rachel rises at 6 AM and has finished training by around 7:30 AM. She spends 15 minutes doing 'constructive rest', followed by a few minutes spent drinking pu erh tea whilst she reads The Tai Chi Classics.
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.
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
You are attempting to form new habits. You are attempting a new way of life. That will require time and persistence and daily application.
Monday - Friday (morning) - 90 minutes
Every day Rachel practices: balls, grips & massage, ba duan jin/reeling silk exercises/moving qigong or stretches & joint work, leg stretches and Long Yang form (regular & mirrored).
Alternate days: small san sau or silk arms, chin na applications or shuai jiao applications.
Rachel staggers these across the week: double pushing hands, da lu, penetrating defences, knife drills, 2-person cane drill (regular & mirrored), pushing peng exercise, small stick drills.
Monday (before class) - 30-40 minutes
On a Monday evening Rachel practices: stick/sword drills, sabre form (regular & mirrored), jian form (regular & mirrored), pao chui (regular & mirrored).
Tuesday - Friday (late afternoon) - 30 minutes
After work Rachel practices: pao chui (regular & mirrored), psoas exercises, yoga or core strength exercises, constructive rest.
Rachel practices: balls, grips & massage, reeling silk exercises, leg stretches, Long Yang form (regular & mirrored), pao chui (regular & mirrored), sabre form (regular & mirrored), walking stick form (regular & mirrored), 3-tier wallbag, silk arms, shuai jiao applications, yoga, cardio work, constructive rest and a long walk in the countryside.
Rachel practices: balls, grips & massage, moving qigong, leg stretches, Long Yang form (regular & mirrored), pao chui (regular & mirrored), walking stick form (regular & mirrored), jian form (regular & mirrored), 3-tier wallbag, pre-emptive measures, sword/stick drills, shuai jiao applications, core strength exercises, cardio work constructive rest and a long walk in the countryside.
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 quarterly boot camps.
For 2 hours every Monday night Rachel teaches tai chi for health and tai chi for fitness.
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.
18 April 1995
Last updated 07 November 2018