“The body is relaxed, yet extended and open. Use minimum effort. Stand with the feet parallel and shoulder-width apart, the toes pointing straight ahead, the knees slighly bent, the back straight but not stiff, the abdomen relaxed. The head is held as though suspended from above. Unify the internal energy by imagining that the breath is able to flow everywhere in the body…The weight is evenly distributed on the feet. Make sure you are standing plumb erect, not leaning to the front, back, right, or left. This will allow the body’s weight to spread through the feet into the ground, favoring neither toe, heel, inside of the foot, nor outside of the foot. Maximizing contact with the ground creates a feeling of deep roots, easy balance, and abundant internal energy, qi. One feels like a tree, drawing nutrients from the soil. The posture should feel relaxed, harmonious, and natural.” (The Way of Qi Gong – Kenneth Cohen).
The Nine Points of the Foot
Evenly divide the weight of the body across the nine points of the foot. They are: heel, side or outer edge, the small ball (behind the base of the pinky toe), the large ball (behind the base of the big toe joint), and each of the five toes. Weight should be poised over the middle of the foot known as “the bubbling springs” or K1 (first accupressure point of the kidney meridian). From this point the earth energy is able to freely flow up through the feet, the legs, the torso, and up and out the head like a “bubbling geyser”. This stance is known as “Perfect Balance of the Heaven”. This means that the the perfect balance of the feet and the openness and looseness of the body harmonizes heavenly and earthly forces at the tan tien (or center of gravity for the body just below the navel where qi is stored). (“The Inner Structure of Tai Chi” by Mantak Chi and Juan Li.)