In the practice of Kundalini Yoga, as our awareness expands, it impacts every aspect of our lives. Over the years, Yogi Bhajan gave guidelines about how to keep the Kundalini flowing through the day, just by making some simple changes to our daily routine. For instance, taking cold showers, wearing white, and covering the head are habits we can develop. These habits have a tremendous impact on our consciousness and vitality.
Brushing your teeth
A dentist will tell you all the benefits of brushing your teeth to keep
your teeth and gums healthy. A yogi will agree and give you even
more reasons to brush your teeth and clear your “monkey glands”
for overall health.
During the night, your mouth turns into an incubator, warm, moist,
and cozy. In that environment, bacteria have an orgy and they
multiply like crazy. (1) The coziest spot for the bacteria are two
pockets in the throat that Yogi Bhajan called “monkey glands.”
Unless you get rid of that toxic accumulation first thing in the
morning, you will swallow it with the first sip of liquid. So, to avoid
poisoning yourself, use your toothbrush and brush way back to the
root of your tongue until you gag and cough up that disease-
producing mucous. Another benefit is that as you gag, it makes your
eyes water, which helps preserve the eyesight.
For cleaning the teeth and brushing the tongue to induce gagging,
use the following mixture of astringent powders:
- 1 part sea salt
- 2 parts potassium alum
Potassium alum is also effective for preventing gum disease. You
can keep the mixture in a re-used glass jar. Pour a little in the palm
of your hand, then wet your toothbrush and dip it in. You can finish
with your favorite toothpaste on your teeth, if you wish.
Find potassium alum at Khalsa Health Center
From Kundalini Yoga: The Flow of Eternal Power by
Shakti Parwha Kaur Khalsa.
New York: Berkeley Publishing Group, 1996.
From The Aquarian Teacher:
KRI International Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training
Textbook Level One Instructorby Yogi Bhajan, Ph.D. Third Edition.
Kundalini Research Institute, 2005.
"God gave us long hair for a purpose, and He gave it to every human because God
wants us to crown ourselves, to have all 26 parts of our skull in a situation so the
solar polarity of our skull and brain is entitled to our infinite energy. He created us
for that." -Yogi Bhajan 1/15/97
Hair grows on almost all places on the human body, and in
the science of yoga, it serves the purpose of drawing energy
into each area, and protecting it. (1) Caring for hair as a gift and
a resource is another useful yogic tool for everyday, spiritual living.
Hair serves several functions for the human being:*
• Maintains the body’s electromagnetic field, acting as antennae
for the aura.
• Hair is typically abundant where major glands function
(e.g. eyebrows, under arms), affecting hormones and the
entire electromagnetic body health.
• A man’s beard covers the pranic nerve in the chin controlled
by the moon. Without hair, the male nervous system cannot
handle this energy, while the female’s can.
• Gathers phosphorous and vitamin D from the sun.
• Concentrates solar energy at the pineal gland when worn in
a rishi knot (see Covering the Head) at the top of the head.
• Note that wearing bangs over the forehead impedes the
transmission of light to the pineal gland through the porous
bones of the forehead.
• When kept uncut, the tremendous energy and materials used
to build new protein-rich hair instead goes to the brain and
other functions of the body.
• Uncut hair encourages rising of the Kundalini energy.
Q & A With Yogi Bhajan
Question: Most Kundalini Yoga students let their hair grow.
Is this necessary?
Answer: No. You can practice with any length hair, but the hair was
the first technique to raise the Kundalini energy. When the hair is at
its natural full length and coiled over the anterior fontanel for men or
the posterior fontanel for women, it draws pranic energy into the
spine. The force of this downward positive energy causes the
Kundalini energy to rise for balance. Actually, the hair was so
important that the word for consciousness, kundalini, derives from
the kundal which means “a coil of the beloved’s hair.”
Yogic treatment of your hair ensures it will optimally serve you and
your higher purpose.
• Uncut hair collects prana and acts as a filter and shield. (2)
• Includes hair all over the body (e.g. head, legs, armpits,
• Notice how you feel when the hair reaches its natural length.
Yes, this can be a big change and take some time!
• Combing with a wooden comb (or natural bristle brush)
neutralizes the static electricity, distributes natural oils, and
keeps the hairs untangled.1
• Combing the hair down calms and soothes.
• Combing the hair up energizes and invigorates.
• Use these effects to your advantage! Comb your hair if you
need a pick-me-up or in order to relax.
• Make a habit of combing your hair for 5 minutes morning
• Prior to showering, vigorously massage oil (almond oil
recommended) into your hair and scalp.(3)
• Wrap it with a thick cloth (so you don’t mess up your clothes).
• Let sit for an hour or two then wash your hair as usual.
• For an extra treat, mix yogurt and a fragrance in with the oil
before massaging your hair.
• Expose your hair, head, and skull to the sun at least once a
* Summarized from Yogi Bhajan, Ph.D. The Aquarian Teacher:
KRI International Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training Textbook
Level One Instructor. Third Edition. Kundalini Research Institute, 2005.
(1) From Kundalini Yoga: Unlock Your Inner Potential through Life-Changing
Exercise by Shakta Kaur Khalsa. New York: Dorling Kindersley, 2001.
(2) From The Aquarian Teacher: KRI International Kundalini Yoga Teacher T
raining Textbook Level One Instructor by Yogi Bhajan, Ph.D. Third Edition.
Kundalini Research Institute, 2005.
(3) From Kundalini Yoga: The Flow of Eternal Power by Shakti Parwha Kaur Khalsa.
New York: Berkeley Publishing Group, 1996.
The purpose of sleep is to allow the body and the mind to rest,
recuperate, regenerate – and do some self-healing. You should
wake up rested, refreshed, and alert, ready to face the day.
Do you? (1)
There are four phases of sleep:
Often this stage is equal to tossing, turning, and worrying. It’s a
big waste of time and energy.
Light dream or “reverie” stage
It is said that whatever adventures you experience dreaming take
ten times more energy than if they happened while awake.
Deep, dreamless sleep, breath is slow and steady
This is the only stage that rejuvenates and recharges. According
to the yogis, this stage lasts for two and a half hours.
Many yogis believed that if the three unnecessary
(and draining) stages of sleep are reduced or eliminated,
then you would need a lot less time in bed. When your breath
is not slow and steady, as occurs in the dream stages, sleep can
actually tear down your nervous system. Most of us take a little
while to get into and out of the deep sleep state. From a yogic
perspective, five and a half hours can, in fact, be sufficient in
place of the eight or ten hours we often think is needed.
Preparing Your Sleeping Space
Adjusting your bedroom is the perfect place to begin restful sleep.
• Get the firmest mattress that works for you, in order to
support your spine and let your nervous system relax.
• Orient your bed east-west to cut across the earth’s
north-south magnetic field. Your personal energy can get
overpowered if it is in the same orientation as the earth’s
magnetic field. You wake up tired and grouchy.
• Consider having inspirational music or affirmations
continuously playing in your bedroom, especially while you
sleep. You can keep the volume very low (barely audible)
and it will still affect your subconscious.
Preparing for Sleep
Follow these suggestions in the hour or so before bedtime.
• Make sure you’ve sweated and laughed already that day.
If not, go on a walk before bedtime (and laugh during it!).
• Avoid a heavy meal just before bedtime.
• Brush your teeth (see Brushing Your Teeth section).
• Brush your hair down and, if long, braid it so it stays neat
and tidy through the night (see Hair Care and Function
• Drink a glass or two of water. Dehydration can disturb the
sleeping mind. It’s okay if you have to wake up to go to the
• Wash your feet in cold water to get your nervous system
ready for relaxation (see Hydrotherapy section)
• Do a few Kundalini Yoga exercises like Life-nerve stretch,
Bridge pose, and Shoulder stand
• Practice the “How to Conquer Sleep” kriya in the Sadhana
• Read something inspirational, meditate, and/or say your
• Foot massage… ahhhhhhh.
Falling Asleep (2)
Complete these steps as you are lying in bed. As soon as the
breath becomes regular and slow, you will have a chance to go
quickly through the preliminary stages of sleep and almost
immediately reach the deep dreamless sleep state, avoiding the
energy-draining dream stage altogether.
• Take all your worries, concerns, ideas, and problems, wrap
them up in a package, and put them on a shelf in your
mind labeled G.O.D. You’ll be amazed at how many are gone,
solved, or improved by the time you wake up.
• Set your mental timer to wake you up in the morning.
Yes, your subconscious mind has a great sense of time and
will respond to your directive.
• Lie on your stomach, turn your head so your right cheek is
on the pillow. This automatically opens your left nostril to
bring in the cooling, soothing, calming energy.
• Do long, deep breathing through both nostrils.
• Block your right nostril with your hand and continue long,
deep breathing through the left nostril.
• Once you feel drowsy, turn over onto your back, side, or
your preferred sleeping position.
• Continue long, deep breathing until asleep.
(1) From Kundalini Yoga: The Flow of Eternal Power by Shakti Parwha Kaur Khalsa.
New York: Berkeley Publishing Group, 1996.
(2) From The Aquarian Teacher: KRI International Kundalini Yoga Teacher
Training Textbook Level One Instructor by Yogi Bhajan, Ph.D. Third Edition.
Kundalini Research Institute, 2005.
"It's better than a morning cup of coffee."
~ Upma Kaur, Española, New Mexico, USA
"I feel revitalized in my whole body and my chakras are more in
balance. I can't imagine not starting my day with it."
~ Shiv Anter Kaur, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
One of the most essential steps in the preparation for morning
sadhana and good health is a cold shower. Yes, cold. (1) The
process is called hydrotherapy orishnaan. There’s a lot more to
it than just getting outwardly clean.
In just a few minutes you can open your capillaries,
increase your circulation, wake up and strengthen your
entire nervous system.
When the cold water hits your body, all the blood rushes to the
organs. The blood moves in order to protect the organs and keep
them warm. This is an automatic self-defense mechanism.
As the blood moves inward, it flushes the capillary system. In this
way, the capillary system of the body gets a powerful work-out.
According to Yogi Bhajan, cold showers open the capillaries and
clear toxins at the deepest level of the body.
Cold showers stimulate the body in a way that can vastly improve
circulation and flush the organs clean. This, in turn, keeps your
skin radiant and the blood chemistry young and healthy. It also
stimulates healthy secretions from the glandular system and
strengthens the nervous system.
“When the marrow in the blood does not have the faculty to
change itself, then it cannot be changed. The only last chance
is that you can transplant it. That’s why people who do not
take cold showers have arthritis, bone problems, marrow
problems and artery problems. Every problem in the body
is a result of your capillaries not opening and not getting
flushed every day. Your glandular system is the guardian
of your whole system.”
-Yogi Bhajan, July 31, 1996
Follow these steps for the first victory of each day:
• Massage your body with a small amount of oil. Almond
oil is highly recommended. It contains lots of minerals. You
won’t be greasy after the shower. When wet, the oil gets
absorbed by the skin.
• Wear cotton shorts or boxers that cover your thighs.
Make sure they are loose, in order to create an air pocket
around the thighs. Avoid skin tight, polyester athletic shorts.
The shorts protect the femur bone which controls the
calcium-magnesium balance in the body.
• Get the cold water flowing. Move in and out of the
water several times, constantly massaging your body until
the water no longer feels cold (really!).
• Feel free to do a victory shout (Wahe Guru!) or use
another mantra like Ang Sang Wahe Guru
(God is in every part of me).
• Start with the extremities – feet and hands, arms and legs.
• Go slowly if you have high blood pressure or problems
with the sciatic nerve.
Women should note the following:
• Make sure to massage the breasts to increase circulation to
that area and clean out toxins.
• Don’t take cold showers while menstruating.
• While pregnant, give the baby a cold shower for no longer
than three minutes and stop altogether after the seventh
• Dry off briskly with a rough towel to make the body shine.
Don’t you already feel invigorated, just by reading this description?
A cold shower can also be a little intimidating. It can help to make
sure the bathroom is warm (use a space heater or run hot water
to get it steamy). If you really can’t take a full cold shower,
at least wash your hands, elbows, face, ears, and feet with
cold water. Above all, be kind to yourself.
Someone asked Yogi Bhajan about taking a hot shower first, then
ending with cold water. He replied, “That is like eating a lot of junk
food and then having a healthy meal.” If you really love hot
showers, wonderful. Take them at night or another time for bathing
your skin and hair. The morning shower is for your circulation and
stimulation of your nervous and glandular system.
Do not take a cold shower if you have a fever, rheumatism,
or heart disease.
“When you take a cold shower, the blood from inside hits
the outside to cover the attack. In that fast moment, it opens
the capillaries. When the capillaries are open, they feed your
glands and when your glandular system is well-fed, it secretes.
The chemistry of your blood becomes perfect. That gives you
the capacity to act, think, know; and it gives you grit, stamina.” -
Yogi Bhajan, July 30, 1996
* Summarized from Kundalini Yoga: The Flow of Eternal Power
by Shakti Parwha Kaur Khalsa. New York: Berkeley Publishing Group, 1996.
COVERING THE HEAD
During a class of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan®,
chances are the teacher and many of the students will have their
heads covered with a scarf, hat, or turban.
Methods of Covering
Yogi Bhajan taught us that the hair is alive and has an energy
function. We are training ourselves to be aware of and master our
subtle energies and so he recommends covering the head and hair
with a cotton cloth or wrapped turban.*
Wearing a head covering 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. The
whole head is to be covered, not just the crown chakra.
Turbans as Technology
Head coverings of any kind are useful for a meditative
practice. Turbans in particular are useful for holding
energy in, and for creating a meditative focus at the
third eye point (brow point). In addition, the turban
provides a nice cranial adjustment. Some teachers
wear a turban or head covering for these yogic
The skull is made up of tiny bones that are
constantly moving even if only by micromillimeters
and the degree to which they move impacts levels
of calmness or anxiety. Covering the head provides
a sense of containment and focus while practicing
yoga or while doing work that requires clarity of
thought. It literally helps "keep your head together."*
The benefit of wearing a turban is that when you wrap
the 5 to 7 layers of cloth, you cover the temples, which
prevents any variance or movement in the different parts
of the skull. A turban automatically gives you a cranial
self-adjustment. You can pay for a cranial adjustment,
or you can tie a turban for free!
“The time has come not to search for God,
but to be God. Time is not to worship God,
but to trust and dwell in the working God."
How you dress is a personal choice. When you choose to
dress with grace, dignity, modesty, and elegance, it can
become a tool for your own consciousness to exalt yourself
and create an effective projection.
Expand Your Aura
Each day, you can expand your aura, and increase your
openness and neutrality by wearing dignified clothes that
Wearing the color white expands your aura and
creates a powerful interface between you and your
environments. The spectrum of light energy that
makes up the color white contains the energies of
all colors. By wearing white, all the colors are available
to support and enhance the aura and the eight chakras.
Natural fibers act as energy conduits. The fibers interact
with your surroundings to conduct prana inward and filter
out negative or chaotic energy.
Yogi Bhajan on Wearing White
We wear white because it's a simple scientific fact that
every piece of matter or material has a foot and a half
aura. Every animal has a three and a half foot aura.
Every human has a nine foot aura. And if we wear
cotton and we wear white, this color therapy gives
us one extra foot of aura.
I trust my students will behave right. But in case they
behave like animals, they will still have a margin, an
edge. That is what it's all about. You have to wear a
natural fiber and you have to wear white. It's a pure
color therapy and it's called auric color therapy.
[From Beads of Truth, Spring 1981]
We adopted this color because of our background and
to support our development. 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.
When you are totally dressed in white, the entire
face reflects it, and then it is very difficult to
become intimate. Wearing white demands that
the other person deal with you on a higher level,
because that person has to concentrate himself in
order to advance.
The most difficult thing on this planet is to wear white top
to bottom; but it is also the greatest therapy. Some
people think we are laying a trip. We are not laying a
trip on anyone. We wear yellow. We wear blue. We
know these colors, and we know their reaction. Sit in
your own living room with a yellow house turban on
—and then a white house turban. You will find the
difference. Colors create an uncontrollable action in
your subconscious mind of inspiration, productivity
and expansion. Colors have an excessive effect on
consciousness. We wanted to develop a very fast,
progressive, spiritual and technical method of all the
colors, so we have adopted the one color of the seven
colors, which is white. To you, white is just one color,
but to me it is the total balance of seven colors.
[Summer 1975, published in I Am a Woman, p. 156.]
© The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan
What you choose to wear should be based on your
personal experience. Because it’s real to you. Not
because someone else thinks you should do it, or
you want to look a certain way to gain attention, or
to put on an act.
It is a privilege to always look good, and to always look
royal. Look good because you are good. Look royal
because you are royal in your consciousness. Let your
Projection and Impact
Elegant, white dress makes you visible to people. It
gives you impact and projection. The only way you can
connect to someone so that they can remember you is
if you impact them with your projection. Dressing in
white can expand your projection and your energy,
much, much bigger than when you dress like everyone
else. When your style of dress is a reflection of
your own commitment to your inner reality, it
creates a subtle communication with other people.
The impact and projection says to someone,
“This person is different. I’ve got to talk to this
person. Maybe this person can help me.” (2)
We want to serve others. We want to be able to protect
others. How can you serve or protect if other people
don’t even know you’re there? You have to be visible.
That requires courage. It requires that you be secure
in your self and that you enjoy who you are in relation
to your higher self. Then you can serve and protect from
(1) From The Aquarian Teacher: KRI International Kundalini Yoga T
eacher Training Textbook Level One Instructor by Yogi Bhajan, Ph.D.
Third Edition. Kundalini Research Institute, 2005.
(2) Adapted from a video interview with Guruka Singh Khalsa.