Meditation has always been regarded as a valuable technique to relax and focus the mind, and the history behind it is long and widespread. When you picture meditation, you're probably seeing someone sitting in an easy seated position, their fingers forming circles on their knees, chanting "om"- and often wearing some form of head-covering, a turban, hat, or scarf, perhaps.
In many cultures, it is common to cover the head while practicing meditation or in prayer in a sacred space. In Yoga, this is usually attributed to the idea that our bodies, including our hair, have a certain energy. Wearing a (usually white) hat, scarf, or turban allows one clearer focus on the 6th energy centre, ajna, the third eye chakra as well as help redirect energy from the Crown chakra.
The teachings of Kundalini yoga in particular, value the practice of head-covering. Simply put, those who practice Kundalini, teach that a coil of healing energy sits at the base of the spine and with practice and chanting, this energy flows up the spine to the Crown Chakra, and with the right signals, rains this sense of well-being down upon the individual.
Whether you follow Kundalini yoga or not, the practice of covering your head can help you feel more 'contained', allowing you to stay focused on your inner self- which is of course the main goal of meditation and yoga in the first place. Focusing on the 'mind's eye', helps turn your vision inward.
The benefits of wearing a white toque, in Canada especially, extend beyond meditation. In the colder months, it helps keep you warm in drafty studios or on the way to class. During the summer, a head-covering can keep your hair out of your face, sweat off your brow, and the sun from baking down on your scalp.
How head-covering fits into your practice is up to you, but it's certainly worth trying. When you're looking for meditation hats online, we hope you try our super soft bamboo toques, available in a variety of shades including traditional white, and dozens of other colours!