Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth yoga, fitness, & nutrition courses, when you sign up for Outside+.
Walk into any Kundalini Yoga class and you’ll likely see many students with white scarves and turbans tied around their heads. Head coverings are worn as an expression of faith in many religious and spiritual traditions, including Islam, Christianity and Sikhism. Kundalini Yoga, a practice rooted in Sikh Dharma, borrows certain traditions from this faith, such as chanting mantra, early morning sadhana (practice), not cutting body hair, and wearing turbans, among other things. Head coverings in Kundalini Yoga are entirely optional, but here’s why you might consider wearing one.
1. Covering the head focuses the energy at the third eye.
Yogi Bhajan, the father of Kundalini Yoga in the West, emphasized the importance of head coverings during practice as a means to focus and contain your energy and clarify your thoughts, creating a meditative focus at your third eye or Ajna Chakra.
2. A snugly-tied turban creates a natural cranial adjustment.
According to the technology of Kundalini, a tightly tied turban stabilizes the many tiny bones in the skull, which affect our neurological system and electromagnetic field. Proponents claim that a light pressure on the cranium provides a sense of calm and wellbeing.
3. A turban can symbolize your devotion to your practice.
Rituals like covering your head and sitting facing an altar or sacred space, may help set the stage for a deeper practice by signaling a transition from the physical to spiritual world. I find that when I settle down in front of my altar covered with images of gurus and departed loved ones, light incense, anoint my wrists with essential oils, and cover my head, I am preparing my body and mind to relax and enter my practice with joy and reverence.
Why wear white?
Yogi Bhajan claimed that your aura extends nine feet around your body, but the color white extends your aura by an extra foot, providing more protection from harmful energy and projects your positive energy out to inspire others and attract prosperity into your life.
Read also A Beginner’s Guide to Kundalini Yoga.
4 Ways to Cover Your Head
The simplest option, a headband can be easily slipped over your head before your practice. It can still provide enough tension to focus energy at the arcline, an important energy center in Kundalini Yoga. If you choose a wide one, it will cover the crown as well.
Popular with men, a beanie keeps your crown covered with ease. Pop on this cute, crocheted number in your yoga bag, and pull out for class or for your home practice.
A great entry point to the turban, this is a good choice for those who want to try out a turban, but don’t know how to tie one or just want the ease of a head covering to throw on while on the mat.
A tightly wrapped turban is the classic choice used for generations. There are so many ways to tie one, from a relaxed “householder” style to the more traditional Sikh style. This long, wide, super soft cotton scarf from Sage Moon can also be tossed over the shoulders for a makeshift wrap or simply draped over the head during meditation.