Why Do Yoga Teacher Training Students Wear a Yellow and White Uniform?
In 1969, a master yogi named Swami Vishnudevananda created the first yoga teacher training in the West. Spurred by a vision of training generations of yogic peace ambassadors, he mapped out a curriculum from all he had learned from his guru, Swami Sivananda.
Since then, the Sivananda Yoga Teacher Training Course (TTC) has graduated more than 43,000 people and is regularly offered at our centers and ashrams around the world.
At the opening ceremony for each TTC, students are presented with a uniform: a yellow t-shirt and white pants.
While wearing the uniform is not mandatory for much of the day, there are a few daily activities during which students are required to wear yellow and white, including:
- Yoga philosophy class
- Meditation and scripture study class
The yellow and white hold a special meaning for the students and teachers. In the Sivananda Yoga tradition, wearing the color yellow represents the quest for truth and knowledge on the spiritual path. And while yellow carries the vibration of knowledge, white brings the vibration of purity. In yoga, purity refers to the personal development that you can achieve by transforming negative qualities into positive ones, gaining a true sense of self in the process.
For some portions of the Yoga Teacher Training, during which students receive knowledge from the swamis and senior teachers of the lineage, these carefully chosen colors are worn to enhance the inner learning process. By wearing yellow and white, you invite more positive energy into the experience at a subtle level.
During the rest of the day, including asana class, karma yoga, free time, and meals, students can wear their own favorite clothes and colors. But many still choose to remain in their uniforms for their convenience or personal preference.
Often Sivananda Yoga teachers also relate to the energetic experience of being part of something bigger than themselves. The uniform symbolizes a common thread between thousands of yoga teachers from around the world who have embarked on the adventure of yogic living — spreading peace, health, and joy throughout the world.