The Langota

What is a Langota?

The Langota is a very traditional piece of Vedic clothing, worn like underwear. In India, people have been wearing this since the Vedic period (more than 5,000 years ago). All the yogis and Rishis were wearing the Langota during their yoga practice, meditation and austerity.
 
The Langota has two straps and a “tail” which goes between the legs. The triangular section at the back is to support the pelvis. The pictures below give a step by step instruction on how to wear the langota. Although traditionally worn as underwear, you may find it more comfortable to wear it over your normal underwear for yoga practice. It is mainly worn for the supportive benefits during practice, as described below.
 

Wearing the Langota

Precautions whilst tying the Langota – Do not tie the straps so much that the skin is pulling or painful, it should be to the comfort of the wearer but tight enough to give good support.
 
1.   Take the Langota and put it against your pelvis/lower back area with the long edge of the triangle against your back.
2.   Then hold the two straps from the hips and bring them together in front of you.
3.   Hold the straps with one hand and with the other bring the “tail” up between the legs and thread under the straps and hold it up under the chin.
4.   Thread the straps to form a half knot.
5.   Pull the straps tightly in as shown above
6.   Whilst still holding the straps bring the left hand round to rest on the left hip and bring the right hand around the body to meet with the left hand. Cross the straps over and pass the right hand around the body once more tying the straps in front of the left hip.

7.   Release the “tail” from under the chin and pull down over the straps to tighten it between the legs.

8.   Pull the “tail” through the legs so it is folded back on itself, and bring it up to the straps at the back. Whilst doing this it is important for men to make sure that the genitals are balanced.

9.   Thread the “tail” through the straps, tightening it again, and then wrap the excess length of the “tail” around the straps, maintaining the tightness all the time.
Final view of fitted langota from the back
Final view of fitted langota from the front

 

Benefits:

The pelvis area serves as the junction between the top and bottom sections of the body. When the Langota is worn and tied tightly it supports the nervous system, the spine and all the internal organs. In this way it prevents bone and organ displacement and strain on the nerves during physical exercise or yoga practice.
 
It enables the energy to flow correctly and in the right proportions throughout the body. The prana is concentrated so as to flow from the base chakra up to the crown chakra, due to the Langota’s tightness, instead of being dispersed through the body.
 
Traditionally worn to help awaken Kundalini power.
 
The langota helps to stop displacement of the intestines during yoga practice and heavy manual work. It helps to prevent hernias and hydrocele in men.
 
Provides energy, strength and stamina during exercise or yoga practise. The difference can easily be felt when practising yoga for a few weeks without wearing the Langota and then a few weeks with.
 
If it is worn everyday for a long period of time the temperature of the genital area is raised by one degree, in this condition sperm cannot survive easily so sperm count will decrease. However if the person wants to have a child the Langota should not be worn for the whole life. In practical life, in India, I have seen many people who have been wearing Langota for their entire life but have many children. If only worn during exercise or for up nine hours a day, it will not have any adverse effect on sperm count. In the case of existing low sperm count it should not be worn for more than three hours a day.
 

Contraindications:

  1. In the case of aggravated eczema around the waist or in the groin the Langota should not be worn.
  2. In the case of hydrocele, fluid retention in the testicles, where the size of the testicles becomes uneven, the Langota can be worn but should be tied to the comfort of the individual and both testicles must be level and balanced.
  3. In the case syphilis and gonorrhea or other STDs it should not be worn.
  4. In the case of hydrocele surgery, pelvic injury or surgery and fractured femur it should not be worn.
  5. In the case of intestinal hernia it should be worn carefully.
  6. During pregnancy it should not be worn.

Women and Langota:

Although the Indian tradition does not mention that women were wearing the Langota, in some traditional epics there are descriptions regarding yoginis, saddhawi and austeric women who were wearing Langota. Although occasionally some yogini are seen wearing the Langota in India today, it was most likely not described in the ancient texts because exercise or yoga practice was done most often by men. According to the anatomical structure and physiological benefits however, both men and women can gain benefit from wearing it.