Since I’m going to be a kundalini yoga teacher, I decided to finally do an experiment and cover my head all day and see what happens. It was very interesting, I felt more calm and it seemed people were more open with me about what was going on for them. I also learned a lit about myself and how much I still worry how others will judge me. Here are some of the reasons Yogi’s and many religions around the world cover their heads.
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.”
Question: Is it important to wear a head covering during sadhana?
Yogi Bhajan: “During sadhana, be sure to cover your head with a non-static, natural cloth like cotton, and keep the hair up. The hair regulates the inflow of sun energy into the body system. To let the solar energy flow without obstruction, let the hair grow to its full natural length, and take good care of it. If this is done, the amount of energy that goes downward from the Seventh Chakra increases tremendously.”
The kundalini energy is activated by the radiant force of the solar plexus and moves upward in response to the solar energy coming down. This balances the body energy and maninains the total equilibrium. If the hair is down, unkept, or uncovered so that it is electrically imbalanced, this natural process of raising the kundalini energy will be impeded.
Kundalini Hair Care
In India, a Rishi is known as a wise one who coils his or her hair up on the crown of the head during the day to energize the brain cells, and then combs it down at night. A ‘rishi knot’ energizes your magnetic field (aura) and stimulates the pineal gland in the center of your brain.
“This activation of your pineal results in a secretion that is central to the development of higher intellectual functioning, as well as higher spiritual perception” (Yogi Bhajan). During the day, the hair absorbs solar energy, but at night it absorbs lunar energy. Keeping the hair up during the day and down at night aids in this process. Braiding your hair down at night will help your electromagnetic field balance out from the day.
Loose scattered hair can develop split ends. Instead of trimming them and losing your “antennas”, Yogi Bhajan recommends applying a small amount of almond oil to your hair overnight so that it can be absorbed before you wash it the next morning. Keeping your hair coiled on your crown and protected with a head covering during the day will help your antennas heal. If you have long hair, see if your experience is different when it is clean and coiled at your crown, or down and loose.
One year after Winter Solstice, Yogi Bhajan was sitting in one of his students living room with wet hair, he explained that he was drying it before putting it up in order to avoid a headache. When you put your hair up wet, it will tend to shrink and tighten a bit and even break as it dries. A better idea is to occasionally take the time to sit in the sun and allow your clean, wet hair to dry naturally and absorb some extra vitamin D. Yogis recommend shampooing the hair every 72 hours (or more frequently if the scalp sweats a great deal). It can also be beneficial to wash your hair after being upset to help process emotions. My Acupunturist Melissa Wilson also recommended not washing the hair in the evening as it is said to be hard on the nervous system.
Yogis also recommend using a wooden comb or brush for combing your hair as it gives a lot of circulation and stimulation to the scalp, and the wood does not create static electricity, which causes a loss of the hair’s energy to the brain. You will find that, if you comb your hair and scalp front to back, back to front, and then to the right and left several times, it will refresh you, no matter how long your hair is. All the tiredness of your day will be gone.
For women, it is said that using this technique to comb your hair twice a day can help maintain youth, a healthy menstrual cycle, and good eyesight.
If you are bald or balding, the lack of hair energy can be counteracted with more meditation. If you are finding some silver strands in your hair, be aware that the silver or white color increases the vitamins and energy flow to compensate for aging. For better brain health as you age, try to keep your hair as natural and healthy as you can.
Tagore’s Hair Story
Yogi Bhajan told a story about When Rabindranath Tagore, the great poet who found God within himself, tried to meet a friend on a steamer ship, the friend didn’t recognize him and so wrote him a letter. “We were on the same steamer, but I didn’t find you.”
Tagore said, “I was there.” His friend said, “I understand you are now a God-realized man, and I would like to know what your first action was when you became aware of the Oneness in all?” Tagore said, “When I realized the Oneness of all, I threw my shaving kit into the ocean. I gave up my ego and surrendered to nature. I wanted to live in the form that my Creator has given me.” When humans allow their hair to grow, they are welcoming the maturity, the responsibility of being fully-grown, and fully powerful. That is why you will find grace and calmness in a person with uncut hair from birth, if it is kept well. The Creator has a definite reason for giving you hair.
It is said that when you allow your hair to grow to its full length and coil it on the crown of the head, the sun energy, pranic life force, is drawn down the spine. To counteract that downward movement, the Kundalini life energy rises to create balance.
In Yogi Bhajan’s words, “Your hair is not there by mistake. It has a definite purpose, which saints will discover and other men will laugh at.”
Falling or prematurely graying hair is a sign of too much heat, or excess metabolic rate, in the head. To keep your hair healthy, avoid anything that promotes heat, inflammation, or extreme intensity and stress. Engage in cooling activities, such as moonlight walks by the lake, and eat cooling foods like cucumber, celery, spearmint and melon.
Ayurveda offers several herbs that help keep hair healthy. Bringraj (Eclipta alba) is a master tonic for the hair. Bringraj is an herb that cools the metabolism, so it offsets the heat problem. Use 2-3 grams per day in capsules. Chinese medicine has a related remedy, Han Lian Cao (Eclipta prostrata), that also cools the body and treats premature graying of the hair. Use up to 5 grams per day as capsules or tea. Amla fruit (Emblica officinalis) is a famous Ayurvedic herb, and one of the most useful medicines in the Indian pharmacopoeia. It is considered to be one of the strongest rejuvenatives. It is an exceptionally rich source of vitamin C. Amla is the frontline anti-inflammatory herb, and is used for a wide variety of inflammatory conditions. It is considered to be the prime general herb to treat premature gray hair. Amla is the basis for the famous Ayurvedic rejuvenative jam, ” chyavanprash.” As a long term, slow acting remedy for chronic inflammation, use 1-2 grams per day in capsules. Known for centuries in Asia, brahmi (Centella asiatica) stimulates the growth of hair and nails, increases blood supply to the skin and increases protein growth (keratinization) in the skin and hair. Brew brahmi as a tea and drink 2-3 cups per day.He shou wu root (Polygonum multiflorum), a Chinese tonic, is considered a superior medicine according to traditional Chinese medicine. Traditional Chinese medicine uses the root to treat premature aging, weakness, premature hair loss and graying and impotence. Brew a tea and take 2-3 cups per day. Saw palmetto berry helps male pattern baldness. The biological process that contributes to saw palmetto’s effect in prostate health is a key factor in male pattern baldness. The drug Propecia works through the same mechanism, so this is not surprising. Many nutrients benefit hair health. Silica keeps the hair strong. It’s common in food plants, or you can take it as a supplement. Use 3-4 grams of silicon dioxide daily. An assortment of minerals make up the hair tissue. Usually a daily multimineral tablet will strengthen the hair. Mineral rich herbs include nettles, oat straw and horsetail. Use any or all of these as tea in as much quantity as you like- they are all like food. And protein is critical for strong, beautiful hair. Make sure you are getting enough. Oiling the hair daily is a basic yoga lifestyle practice. Air tattva (vayu) is the nervous system, and, of course, resides in the brain, so vayu tends to collect in the head. Air is the main element that causes disturbed sleep. Controlling vayu will reduce that overactive mind that plagues us when we most want to slumber. At bedtime, apply a little oil to your scalp. Ayurveda suggests a drop of castor oil for this, but it’s a little messy. Almond works well. The anterior fontanel is the best spot.
Oil is the main general remedy for controlling the air tattva. To keep your mind on track through the day, use cooling oils for daily scalp care, including coconut and ghee. Sesame and almond are also good general choices for keeping the scalp soft and moist. Hair oils are usually made form cooling herbs. Use prepared Ayurvedic hair oil made from amla fruit, brahmi leaf or bringraj. Buttermilk head massage is a traditional treatment used to treat dry hair, dandruff and hair loss. We all want our days to be filled with energy and happiness.
I will be posting a video on how to tie your head wrap soon!