Your first time walking into a Kundalini Yoga class may be like walking into an angel themed birthday party and you forgot to read the Evite. You came in wearing what you thought was the typical yogi apparel: your favorite black form fitting Lululemon pants and skintight mesh racerback tank. What you thought was normal yogi wear suddenly feels completely uncomfortable, and you have flashbacks of those dark teenage years being a self conscious mess. You feel like a loser. Judgment ensues. Where am I? What is everyone wearing on their head? Why are people wearing all white? Isn’t it past Labor Day?
Kundalini yogis are known for wearing all white clothing from head to toe. No, this is not a rebellion against the privileged folks who came up with the silly rule about not wearing white after Labor Day (let’s be real, who follows that rule anyway?). There is a science and technology behind the practice of Kundalini Yoga that extends into everyday apparel.
According to Yogi Bhajan, master of Kundalini Yoga who brought this ancient science to the West in 1969, wearing all white expands our aura for at least one extra foot around us. Why would you want to expand your aura? Because an expanded aura gives you a strong and solid identity. It helps you expel negativity and show up in the world more confidently. Don’t believe me? As a color, white is very unforgiving in terms of what it reveals on your body. White doesn’t hide anything. You are vulnerable. Try wearing white from head to toe all day and feel the inner strength you must carry when your white clothes attracts the wandering eyes of everyone around you.
Kundalini yogis are also known for wearing a head covering. Covering the head helps prevent headaches that sometimes accompanies strong energies radiating to and from the head. It also helps to focus the mind during meditation, making it easier to deeply meditate. Head coverings are traditionally worn in white but today you’ll see many people wearing head coverings in whatever color makes them feel most radiant.
These ancient teachings are respected by millions of yogis around the world yet interpreted in many different ways depending on the person’s own unique style. Here are some common threads you’ll see a Kundalini yogi wearing:
White Kurta – a kurta is a traditional top worn in India by both males and females. It is generally longer than a regular shirt, covering the midsection down to the thighs. It is still worn by many Kundalini yogis today. Those who opt for a different top can be seen wearing anything made in white cotton, from fashionable tank tops to long sleeved hoodies.
White Pants – underneath the long kurta is usually a simple
white cotton yoga pant with a comfortable, relaxed fit.
White Turban – a white turban is the traditional way you’ll see Kundalini practitioners covering their head. Often times the turban will cover the entire head to shield the crown and protect the hair. You may see many yogis today wearing turbans in bright colors and patterns, bringing a stylish edge to the traditional technology.
White Fashion Turban – many companies have catered to the trendy kundalini yogi by creating white cotton turbans with a more fashionable flare. Check out the fashion turbans made by Venius.
Chuni – a chuni is a light covering that resembles a veil, usually made of silk. It is used by women to drape around the head or shoulders. It can be wrapped around the shoulders
to let it hang like a scarf, and then draped over the head when it’s time to meditate. Fashionable and functional!
Mala beads – mala beads are a trendy form of technology and are worn by yogis across all schools of yoga. This string of 108 beads is used to anchor the mind during meditation and keep track of mantra repetitions. It is worn as a bracelet or necklace by both men and women.
Kara – some Kundalini yogis wear a steel or iron bracelet inscribed with ancient scripture or mantra. This bracelet is called a kara and it is used as an amulet for protection. Women wear the kara on the left wrist and men wear it on the right.
Whatever the style – from the more traditional kurta to the fashion forward turban – it’s no question that the radiance of Kundalini yogis is practiced and expressed from the inside out.