In the ANYA system there are many techniques that can be used to help tease apart how we as individuals go about creating a calm mind and strong body. One of the core techniques or unconscious utilities is called Emptying. Emptying is associated with the hips, specifically the flesh between the naval and the pubic bone. Activating the breath and a firm yet soft push energy at this area of flesh stabilizes the hips, grounds us and reduces strain and pain in often over taxed areas of the body like the neck and shoulders. Once you are in regular long term practice of the Empty it can become a gateway not only to physical strength and stability but to focused concentration, moving through anxiousness and feeling deeper into the subtle elements of our unique yet shared human experience.
The empty is accomplished by pushing the flesh of the low abdomen through your insides towards the Sacrum on an exhalation. The area meant to be emptied is demarcated by creating an upside down triangle with the hands, Triangle Mudra. Connect left and right thumbs and index fingers together then place this small triangle just under naval with thumbs in line with naval and index finger pads on pubic bone pointing south. The Sacrum, the five fused vertebrae just south of the lumbar curve offer a mirror or bony target for you to empty towards. When practicing your empty allow there to be a sense of softness or freedom in the hips even as you work vigorously to empty completely and stabilize the hips.
Lay on your back with arms down along your sides on the floor with or without a mat or padding. Bend legs, place feet flat on floor with heals in line with hips or with bent legs- calfs resting on chair-knees over hips. Take a few natural breaths yielding the weight into the floor. Take Triangle Mudra as described above. Begin focusing on emptying the triangle very gently, almost sighing (exhale) it towards the floor for eight breaths. Let the hands gently push the flesh towards the floor. Keep the Sacrum grounded and stabilized. Once those eight breaths are completed, intensify the work by doing eight more breaths with a vigorous, even sudden exhale push at the triangle to completely empty. For this Strong Empty lift the elbows from off the floor bringing them in line with wrist and hands. Allow the hips to be stable yet released here with all the effort at the hands and the triangle. Try to empty a little more each exhale while softening the jaw and unclenching the buttocks, back and/or groin especially if you notice pain, hardness or tension in those areas. Having completed eight strong empties, release the intensity and do eight gentle emptying breaths. Almost done. Now, Echo or notice the swirl of sensations that might be coming up anywhere in your body. After ten to fifteen seconds of noticing, Rest. Stay at rest for 30 seconds or ten minutes, whatever you want and time allows.
This short sequence can be deceptively challenging and deeply restful at the same time. Try it at waking, before going to sleep or anytime you have a few minutes and want to ground and be a little clearer.
Until next time.