The Nine Points of the Feet
“The human structure is like a tree. The feet are the roots, the torso and legs are the trunk, and the arms are the branches. The inner foundation of Tai Chi is the life force; the outer foundation is the feet. The feet support the body’s entire weight, and at the same time they connect with the earth force. In Taoism the feet are considered the ground wire of the body.
“A chair or table is most stable when its weight is equally supported by all four legs. Similarly, a person is most stable when the weight is evenly divided over the nine points of the foot. These nine points are the heel, the outer edge, the small ball, the large ball, and each of the five toes.
“In Tai Chi we take great care to place these nine points evenly in contact with the ground each time we step and shift weight; thus the weight is poised over the middle of the foot, a point known as Bubbling Springs. This point is so named because when we align the body’s weight over this point, the earth energy seems to freely flow up into the body, just like a bubbling geyser.”
-From The Inner Structure of Tai Chi by Mantak Chia