Published on November 10th, 2021 | by Catherine Tingey0
How To Ground Your Feet
How To Ground Your Feet (and Become Unshakeable)
I’ve written about how to release foot fascia for stubborn hamstring tightness.
And how to ground your body on the earth.
Today I’m going to discuss the Tai Chi concept of Bubbling Spring and why I teach it to my yoga students.
There are a lot of parallels between Yoga and Tai Chi.
I’ve been at yoga for 30+ years but am a new student of Tai Chi (1.5 years).
In both traditions, feet are the foundation.
Tadasana (Mountain Pose) and Wu Chi Posture are virtually identical in terms of their alignment and micro-activations.
Both postures teach a highly energy-efficient way to stand.
In the yoga tradition, we teach to anchor the outer edges of the feet and lift the inner arches.
Sometimes teachers will cue ‘press the inner and outer corners’ of the heels down.
Tai Chi takes it even further.
Mantak Chia describes in The Inner Structure of Tai Chi, 9 points to ground the feet.
For our purposes, we’re only going to focus on Bubbling Spring, also called Kidney-1 in acupuncture.
Bubbling Spring has both material and metaphysical dimensions.
Beginning Tai Chi students are told to drop their weight into Bubbling Spring to improve balance and connection to the Earth.
I have also been taught to anchor the outer and inner forefoot and lift Bubbling Spring.
As you can see, there is some difference of opinion as to how to ‘activate’ this point.
Metaphysically, Bubbling Spring is considered an energetic gate to earth energy (chi, prana).
“On the energetic level, the Bubbling Spring represents the gate that either permits or inhibits the “Earth Chi” from rising up and entering the body. Once again the prime factor here is balance. If the balance is good, the foot relaxes and the energy is permitted to flow into the body. If the balance is poor and the foot is tense, then the energy is blocked.” -The Tai Chi Effect
HOW TO FIND BUBBLING SPRING
Stand up and roll out your feet. Use a chair or wall for balance. You can use a tennis ball, yoga tune-up ball, or lacrosse ball. This is an important step to activate proprioception in our feet! Do not ignore this step.
Place ball at Bubbling Spring under one foot, shift weight into that foot, and press a few times.
Repeat other side.
Now your feet are activated/awake!
Find Tadasana. Emphasize relaxing on your exhalations! Allow all tension to DRAIN from the body.
With soft knees, shift weight to your Right Foot.
Try pressing or lifting the Bubbling Spring point. Feel which you prefer.
Repeat Left Foot.
Now begin to VERY slowly shift weight from Right to Left. Close eyes if tolerated.
Feel into your feet!
Do this outside barefoot, ideally next to a wise old tree!
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