What to wear for kundalini yoga
A friend of mine, having just done her first kundalini class online with me, and seeing me dressed in white, was concerned about whether she was wearing appropriate clothes for kundalini yoga. And it occurred to me that other people may be wondering about this too.
First and foremost, wear whatever is comfortable for you for yoga. And this applies to online or studio classes. Wear something you feel good in. It's important to be comfortable, allow the body to move easily in the postures, so nothing too restricting like jeans. You also want to allow the body to breathe easily, so natural fibres are preferable. So something a little loose, or something stretchy that you can easily move in, and something that feels good on your skin and isn't scratchy, itchy or makes you sweat more than you would normally. Cotton, linen, wool, etc are good options for fabrics.
Whilst not too restricting is good, also too loose can be an issue because you might find yourself in downward dog and your tshirt has fallen all the way up into your armpits exposing your belly. Thinking about how clothes may move on your body as you're moving into different postures is helpful. Think - if I'm upside down, what will this piece of clothing be likely to do? Or if you're bending from the hips - will your clothing ride up, or perhaps down over your bum? For this reason I particularly like high waisted leggings or trousers - no accidental underwear showage.
And now colour. All colours emit light at different frequencies, which creates that particular colour. The level of that frequency or vibration corresponds to our 7 (or 8) main chakras (or glands - which secrete hormones and other substances) in our body, which go up our spine. Different colours will make you feel different things, and this may also vary on the day. You can ask yourself, for example, if you're feeling drawn to wearing red on a particular day - why? It corresponds to the root chakra at the base of the spine which connects to feelings of security, stability, grounded, centredness, home, belonging (which relate to what's secreted in the rectum). It could be that something inside is needing to ground and centre yourself. For yoga - think, what is it that I'm wanting to connect with, what am I feeling, what is it that I'm wanting to get out of this class? And wear the corresponding colour(s).
Why white? Well white is the highest frequency vibration in the colour spectrum and it incorporates all the colours within it. It emits light, rather than absorbing it, which is what black does. It corresponds to the highest chakras - your crown chakra and aura. It's for intuition, for knowing beyond what is rational, for spirituality. It connects you deeply to yourself, and to others and the universe.
Kundalini yoga teachers wear white because our role as teachers is to give you an experience of yourself. To support you in connecting with your deepest and highest self, and to support that journey of self-discovery. In wearing white we are representing to you, your highest self. We are that mirror image for you, so that you are able to project externally what is inside you. When you see a teacher like this, it encourages you to go further, deeper, and connect with yourself. You can only do that with real trust in the teacher. The teacher wearing white helps you to develop that trust.
Finally...why the turban? All across the world, covering the head is a common practice. It is where our crown chakra resides - and as such it is our most sensitive part of our bodies. It is how we connect with what is beyond us, how we develop intuition and deep wisdom. Covering the head protects us from other people's energies and helps to keep our energies within us. Its why people may cover their heads when praying on meditating.
There's no requirement to wear white as a student. But you may see people wearing white, or partial white, as a way of demonstrating their commitment and devotion to the practice and to themselves and their journey. Above all, wear what makes you feel good, makes you feel comfortable, brings you to a place of relaxation and trust in yourself. In doing this, you will go deeper in your yoga practice, and connect more fully with yourself.