Some 16 years ago I had a workplace injury to my lower spine. The pain was often excruciating. Many times in the enduring of this injury I would often be bedridden for periods of 4-5 days at a time and I often could barely move. During this time, I refused to go under the scalpel but I did become reliant upon pain-killers – slow release morphine patches no less.
As a result of this deadly combination of events I became overweight. I could not exercise nor even walk around the block and I was often dependent upon a walking cane for mobility. Most movement and even standing for too long would cause pain and for my body to seize-up. Having previously practiced Taijiquan for some decades I could not even do preliminary exercises nor could I do the Taijiquan form itself.
Mind, abiding in the tan-tien
crown of head upright, as if suspended
tail bone hangs as if anchored downward
softened feet lay flat to the earth
shoulders, hips, ankles
from top to bottom
one straight line
connecting heaven and earth
John Hartley, Founder and Principal Instructor of Inner Health School of Taijiquan, Adelaide