Open, Empty, and…bare?

When people new to yoga ask me how they should approach their first class, I often say, “Come open, empty, and bare.” I didn’t make that phrase up, by the way. I don’t even know where I first heard it, but I love it. So, what exactly does it mean?

1. Come to class open to what is truly happening in the moment. Not last week, not what might be in store for you next month. In the moment, noticing whatever arises—any physical aches and pains (or even places that are more flexible or stronger than you thought possible) and any emotional ups and downs—without judgment and with a kind and light heart.

2.  Come to class empty of any preconceived notions—about what you can and can’t do, about what yoga is or isn’t, and even about who you are in the company of other practitioners. Simply be ready to embody your experience and explore what you’re feeling at any given moment. In a more practical way, coming to class empty means don’t eat for at least 90 minutes before you get on your mat.

3.  And come to class bare. Bare footed, that is. Unless you have peripheral neuropathy (in that case, leave your socks on!), doing your practice with bare feet helps you feel steadier and more confident. Naturally we hope you’ll feel safe and nurtured enough at the Courageous Women’s yoga classes to stand naked in the unknowing. Not literally, of course. What that yoga-speak really means is that when you come to the mat with an open mind—stripped of any should’s and shouldn’ts that clutter it—and stay in the present moment, it’s easier to be ok with not knowing what’s next.

When you come to the mat open, empty, and bare and practice in the company of other amazing women just like yourself, magic happens!

Can’t wait for all of us to come to the mat!