Saturday, January 25, 2014

What's with the Turban?

By Kyla Rose Maher

So you walk into a Kundalini Yoga class not knowing what to expect, and you see a lot of people with their heads covered… hats, scarves, bandanas…
OK a little weird…. 
and then you look up and the teacher is decked out in a full blown turban…
For a lot of people this can be a little disconcerting.
As many of us know, the turban’s importance can be found in just about every culture and religion, from the ancient Babylonians to western religions such as Judiaism, Christianity, and Islam, as well as Sikhism and other eastern traditions.  
But what the heck?! I didn’t come to join a religion… I just came to do some yoga!
Kundalini Yoga is not a religion.   It is universal and nondenominational. And students do not need to cover their head! Although it is not a requirement, here are some reasons why we do:
  • Covering the head enables you to command your sixth center, the Ajna Chakra. 
  • Covering the head stabilizes the cerebral matter and the 26 parts of the brain, which are interlocked with the neurological system and electromagnetic field. 
  • Covering the head creates a focus of the functional circuit of the hemispheres of the brain, and tunes the neurological system. 
  • Turbans in particular are useful for holding energy in, and for creating a meditative focus at the third eye point (brow point). 
  • Turbans provide a nice cranial adjustment. The skull is made up of tiny bones that are constantly moving even if only by micrometers and the degree to which they move impacts levels of calmness or anxiety. It literally helps “keep your head together.” 
(sourced from

I must be honest, even learning about these facts for the first time I was still hesitant to cover my head.  
I’m not going to look pretty in a turban! What will other people think? 
My apprehension to do a lot of things early on in Kundalini Yoga has actually turned out to be a complete blessing.  It’s been my experience that whenever I’m resistant to do anything in life, there is always an amazing opportunity for growth.  I just have to have  enough courage and willingness to really take a look at myself honestly.  What is it about this situation that scares me and why?  Am I attached to an idea or story that it’s time to let go of? 
If you haven’t tried covering your head, and you’re open to it, do an experiment! Try meditating with a head covering and then compare it to your experience without one.  I found that when I let go of the stories and just tried covering my head, I felt more self contained and could focus much better. And thus, the effects of Kundalini Yoga were amplified.
…and I also found out you can still look pretty in a turban :) 
See what works for you! 
Photo credit: Allison Parmakis []

About the author: Kyla Rose Maher, creator & owner of Long Time Sun Apparel  is a KRI Certified Instructor of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan® and is certified in SuperHealth, a yogic therapeutic technology for addictive behavior.  She has had the privilege of studying under many master teachers including Hari Kaur KhalsaMukta Kaur Khalsa, and Mahan Rishi Singh Khalsa.  Aside from running Long Time Sun Apparel, Kyla has been a contributing writer for the Spirit Voyage Blog and the Kundalini Yoga Boston Blog. She spent the summers of 2012-2013 teaching at the Ponderosa Tazland Festival in Germany and is currently enjoying spreading the teachings of Yogi Bhajan throughout New England along with having a blast growing with Long Time Sun Apparel.

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  1. I've been a Kundalini Yoga practitioner since Jan. 1, 2000 and recently became a certified/registered teacher in 2012. I didn't wear a turban or head covering until I was in teacher training... What a difference! It definitely deepens my awareness of and connection with energy, and it makes everything feel more stable and whole somehow. I always wear one when teaching and usually wear one when practicing. There is a noticeable difference when wearing one and not so I do my best to get my head covered! Thank you for sharing this helpful blog. Namaste'

    1. Thanks for this comment, Cecelia. It's so true! I also experience a huge difference and feel much more contained for meditating when my head is covered. Sat Nam <3 ~ Kyla