This week I tried colour therapy yoga – it may sound a little gimmicky, but I was excited to give it a go. The idea is that different colour frequencies can affect our bodies and minds. Day-to-day over saturation of blue light (emitted by screens) can lead to hormonal disruption affecting sleep and mood and immersing ourselves in different light frequencies can offset this.
Yoga has really clicked for me this year. Having tried lots of different types and also taking up (almost) daily meditation, I have finally worked out what it’s about. I don’t care at all if other people in the class are ‘better’ than me and I’m no longer scared of doing it ‘wrong’; it’s a really individual practice and I’ve definitely found myself both calmer and more focused in everyday life as a result. I was really interested to see what adding a new element – light – would be like. I chose “yellow” – a class designed to increase energy and mood.
What They Say:
ChromaYoga™ is a revolutionary new approach to practising yoga. Combining light and colour therapy techniques, brain stimulating soundscapes and bespoke natural scents to creative an immersive, multi-sensory yoga experience not yet seen before.
Our classes are grounded in the latest scientific research into the effect that specific light frequencies can have on our body. ChromaYoga sets to address the imbalance in our lives by saturating ourselves in the colours we need to bring about positive change. Each ChromaYoga class is held in a ergonomically designed room bathed in a specific colour of light. The teacher guides the class through a set of sequences which correspond to the healing properties of that colour. The lighting we use is non-invasive, safe and environmentally friendly.
As well as light therapy, sound therapy is a big part of each ChromaYoga class. Taking inspiration from binaural and isochronic tones, each class is accompanied by a specially composed soundtrack which emulates the frequencies our brains emit in different states of consciousness. These sounds can promote a more calm, focused and relaxed state of mind and allow for a class without distraction whilst delivering a multi dimensional sound experience that guides the class into a fully immersive sensory state.
Collaborating with one of London’s most talented scent makers, Asakala, we have developed our own combination of essential oils to correspond with each class colour. These scents will be used in harmony with yoga poses to drive energy, aid breath work, release muscle tension and encourage relaxation.
I hardly know East London at all, but every time I go there I want to explore it a little bit more. Stepping off the tube at Old Street on a dark and chilly evening, within minutes I was on what seemed to be a secret alley packed with inviting bars, art galleries and barber shops. Everything seems to be lit with a little magic, and you’re never quite sure what will be around the next corner.
Chroma Yoga is on a cobbled street; a soft, ever-changing glow of colour emitting from the glass front. As I arrived I was shown the changing area and invited to help myself to an array of homemade aromatherapy sprays in dark brown bottles. I spritzed a little orange blossom on my face and immediately felt relaxed.
As the class before us finished up we stepped into the studio, where mats and blocks had been laid out. The class was full – about 20 people – and it felt like a cocoon. The ceiling was soft billowing material, from which a soft yet vibrant yellow light emerged. The room was filled with calming aromatherapy mist, and slightly eerie yet relaxing sounds of whales/deep sea/space(?) played in the background.
We started off the class focusing on breath, which was a key theme of this flow. Running through a series of sun salutations as a group and then at our own pace, we regularly met back in the down dog, which I actually find a restorative position now (a year ago I found it torture!).
The class moved fairly quickly through several series of balances and twists, all the while linking the breath to movement. At times we’d stop in more restorative poses and focus on deep slow breathing, during faster movements we’d continue to focus on breath, with our instructor providing clear direction throughout.
As the packed class breathed in synch, there was a sense of being somewhere other-worldly and the yellow hue and soundscape were really quite cinematic; I felt like I was in the Blade Runner at one point – doing a yoga class in a hidden room somewhere in the ruins of Las Vegas.
All sense of time disappeared and before I knew it we were nearing the end. We finished with a series of core holds, and then had a long meditation and savasana. With eyes closed, the lights were dimmed and came up again slowly. As we opened them at the very end of the session, the room was now a deep pink. It was so super calming, I would happily have spent the night there, tucked up in one of their soft blankets.
I absolutely loved this class. The light and sounds created an atmosphere that was really something else; it felt like being transported away to another place. The flow was fairly fast and would be challenging for a total beginner, but I absolutely loved it; even without the light, this is definitely one of the best yoga classes I’ve been to.
If only Chroma was local, I would be there regularly to be transported away in that small, simple magical studio.
Cost: Drop in £13. Monthly memberships from £49.
How to book: http://www.chromayoga.co.uk