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Kundalini Yoga & What To Wear

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If you’ve ever been to a Kundalini yoga class you might have noticed the teacher and several students were dressed in all white. This is because white clothing has a special significance in the Kundalini practice.

Yogi Bhajan, the master of Kundalini yoga, believed that colors have an effect on our consciousness. White represents the seven colors and as a balance of all colors has a unique impact on the conscious and subconscious minds. He believed specifically that wearing all white clothing expands the auric radiance by at least one foot, which strengthens the identity and serves as a filter for negative influences. Wearing all white is a meditation in itself because it takes more mindfulness and care to keep white clothes clean, making the simple practice an exercise in awareness.

We ask you to wear white so that you will reflect what is outside and go within yourself – that’s what white clothes can do for you.” – Yogi Bhajan, 1975.

Yoga philosophy defines the Kundalini as a spiritual energy or life force located at the base of the spine. Kundalini asanas combined with breath exercises free energy in the body and allows it to move upward along the spine.

Kundalini differs from traditional yoga in that each exercise is performed for extended periods of 1-4 minutes to build strength and endurance. Combined with chanting to center the mind and assist with breathing, Kundalini yoga offers tremendous health benefits, especially for people who need low impact exercises and want to reduce stress.

While the importance of wearing white for kundalini yoga is for spiritual reasons, comfort is also part of its purpose for modern yogis. Kundalini involves long meditations, series of movements, and breathing exercises for creating mental and physical endurance, reducing stress, and building core strength. To improve your practice your white uniform needs to be made up of flexible, comfortable, modest white clothing that allows for freedom of movement.

Kundalini yoga clothes are probably different from what you wear for other yoga classes. Trappy tank tops shorts are perfect for a Bikram class, but you’ll feel out of place in a Kundalini setting. Try sticking to natural white fabrics, modest fitting pieces, and make sure your clothes are easy to move in. Also, make sure that your white clothing isn’t see-through or that you wear an extra layer underneath.

So what should you wear to a Kundalini yoga class?

  • Long Shirts – Peasant tops and tunics are popular favorites, but your shirt doesn’t have to be long sleeve. Short sleeves are better for arm movements. Just make sure your shirt is comfortable and functional. Casual hoodies are also ok but you might want to wear an extra layer underneath in case you get hot.
  • Flowy Pants – Make sure your womens capri leggings are of the appropriate length so they will keep you comfortable and cool.
  • Harem pants are a popular choice for that reason.
  • Lofty genie pants are almost the same as harem pants and they are also ok and can be a fun option.
  • Regular white yoga pants are also acceptable in Kundalini classes.

Any style that you find comfortable is a good option.

The Numerous Benefits of Back Stretching Poses

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‘’, also called Paschimottanasana, is a popular seated yoga pose. It is often performed at the end of yoga class when the body is more loose and able to stretch.

This seemingly simple pose has some of the most benefits out any yoga pose. In order to gain the most benefits, repeat this pose daily or as often as possible.

To perform this pose, sit up straight, with legs elongated in front of you, hands on knees. Inhale, while raising hands above you and exhale while bending forward. Keep the back straight and hold on to your toes, ankles or shins. Concentrate on the navel and breathe deeply. Stay in the pose anywhere from 1 to 3 minutes

To release, inhale, raise arms back up, exhale, bring the hands to the knees. There are three other ways to perform this pose including the dynamic back stretch, involving rocking forwards and backwards.

In another version, you can spread the legs wide apart, stretching to each knee and then to the middle (hands on toes).

According to the Yoga text, Hatha Yoga Pradipika, these benefits include:

Pranic currents rise through Sushumna

Prana, is your vital energy and Sushumna is the main pathway (nadi) through which prana can travel up to your third eye chakra. The pose stretches the whole spinal column and central nervous system through which sushumna runs, thus enabling nervous and pranic impulses to pass directly up to the higher centers.

Where there is a lot of tension in the body and mind, this pose, helps remove it by regulating the adrenal glands and the whole system. In fact, the numerous effects promote health and harmony.

The digestive Fire increases

As the energy goes upwards it activates your Manipura Chakra (third solar plexus Chakra) and releases your prana upwards. This in turn, stretches the digestive organs and tract.

The visceral organs are massaged, in particular the pancreas, spleen, kidney, liver, reproductive organs, and adrenal glands and abdominal muscles. Therefore, it is very useful in the yogic management of digestive disorders, especially diabetes, constipation, flatulence, and loss of appetite.

The body is toned

The back, shoulder, arm, and leg muscles are toned by stretching them in a relaxed manner without straining.

The abdomen becomes flat

Seated forward bend, particularly the version where you rock from laying to forward bend several times (called Dynamic Back Stretch-Gatyatmak Paschimottanasana), helps remove excess fat deposits from the abdomen and thighs.

The practioner can reduce and possibly eradicate some disorders and diseases

For example, the reproductive organs are toned and sexual disorders can be relieved. Women can utilize this asana to regulate their menstrual cycle. Alleviates high blood pressure, infertility, insomnia, and sinusitis

Stretches the spine, shoulders, hamstrings

This is what we usually know the benefit to be of Forward Seated Bend. If I am not warmed up, and even if I am, I like to engage and pull up my knee cap so I don’t pull a hamstring. Trust me, a pulled hamstring is a big downer!

If you have back injuries, asthma or diarrhea avoid this pose or consult a teacher to assist you.

To Modify:

  • sit up on a folded blanket in this pose
  • hold a strap around the feet
  • place a rolled up blanket under their knees.

The increase in energy, stomach flattening, digestion and other health benefits are enough to have me go practice Seated Forward Bend right now and I hope you do too, just remember to warm-up a bit before practicing this stretch pose!