Colour Psychology: In wellbeing

In my role as an applied colour psychologist I always like to explore the effect colours has in our daily lives and the activities within. Last week I had the opportunity to try out ChromaYoga in the Shoreditch based studio in London. They provide a multi-sensory environment in which you will find yourself completely immersed in a world of colour. One of the founders and highly experienced yoga teachers, Clara Baker gave an amazing experience in the colour of red. I was surprised how powerful the physical effect was; it felt almost like as if I had eaten chilli in there.

They provide classes that are designed to suit a variety of cognitive, physical and emotional needs. All based on the insight of colour psychology and colour therapy.

The therapeutic benefits, colour psychology provide has long been harnessed as part of strategy in sport.Good examples of this Research in the Journal of Athletic Training  showing that long-wave red light increases the release of melatonin – and helped female athletes sleep better. another interesting research done by Durham university on the topic how Red Enhances Human Performance in Contests When all factors are equal, red tips the balance.

(http://community.dur.ac.uk/red.advantage/index.html/wordpress/research/)

In 2013, scientists at Mid-Sweden University compared the effect of blue light with caffeine on the brain and found them both to have a positive perking-up effect. The most interesting bit? People who had been exposed to blue light scored better than their caffeinated counterparts on tests measuring accuracy. ( http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0076707)

ChromaYoga Is the first Yoga studio in bringing these elements together, It’s unlike any other yoga class. You really disconnect from the world and go into a zone with the colour, elevating the fitness and wellness to multiple levels of sensorial workouts.

They provide 5 different colour classes:

 

RED:

A fast paced and dynamic class based on the energy giving properties of red light.

Focusing on strength, flexibility and core, Red light will give you the power you need to challenge yourself whilst benefiting from increased circulation, a faster metabolism and improved mood and sleep.

About Red Light

Red light interacts with the body by penetrating the first 2mm of skin tissue, allowing it to be absorbed and increase energy generation on a cellular level.

This same mechanism is also responsible for many of the benefits of sunlight, which contains the red wavelengths as part of its spectrum. Sunlight however, comes bundled with harmful UV light, making red light extremely beneficial to our health. Some of these benefits are as follows:

The reason red light is so good or the skin, brain and muscles, is thought to be due to the effects on mitochondrial energy production. Mitochondria are small structures inside our cells which are the powerhouses of the human body. They take fat, sugar and protein from our food, combining it with oxygen to convert it into energy.

Red light is absorbed by a protein in the mitochondria called Cytochrome C Oxidase and is intricately involved in the final stages of respiration – producing energy, carbon dioxide and water.

Properly functioning mitochondria are essential for all functions of life and it is thought that red light removes an inhibitory/stress molecule called nitric oxide, therefore restoring the normal function of processing oxygen and converting it into energy. From this perspective, red light has an unique anti-stress effect and indirectly normalises energy production which enables our body to perform all of it’s normal functions optimally; from quicker cellular repair/healing to normalised collagen production.

BLUE:

A dynamic flowing class where breath is linked with movement and used to wake up the body and increase energy. Blue light is the all mighty controller of our sleep cycles and can help with boosting productivity and alleviating mood swings. These classes are great if you find it hard to wake up in the mornings or suffer from afternoon energy dips.

This open class is suitable for all levels and options will be given to those who wish to challenge themselves.

About Blue Light

One of the most common colours which affect our day to day routines is blue light. We have special receptors in our eyes which react directly to blue light, telling the brain that it’s daytime and we need to be awake. When exposed at the correct time, blue light can help elevate your mood and boost awareness, but chronic exposure to blue light at night can lower the production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep, and disrupt your circadian rhythm.

The advances in technology over the past 40 years has culminated in a influx of over exposure to blue light through laptops, smartphones, TV’s and tablets. This prolonged exposure to blue light has been scientifically proven to suppress the production of melatonin and subsequently interferes with our natural circadian rhythms. A lack of melatonin can contribute to a wealth of emotional and physical problems; from insomnia, anxiety, S.A.D and even cancer.

But this doesn’t mean that blue light is bad – on the contrary. We just need to control and regulate the times in which we are exposed to it. It is especially beneficial in the winter when the days are shorter and greyer and correct exposure to blue light can significantly help with the following:

Each Blue ChromaYoga class is held at the optimum time in the day if you suffer from any of the above issues. If you are exposed to a chronic amount of blue light (working night shifts for example), try a Red or Orange class in the evenings to get your body’s melatonin production back on track.

YELLOW:

A flowing class where breath is linked with movement and used to wake up the body and increase energy. Yellow light is used in conjunction with twists and opening postures to aid digestion and alleviate mood swings. Our morning classes finish with a burst of blue light to set you up for the rest of the day whereas our evening yellow classes end with gentle orange light to promote a good night’s sleep.

This open class is suitable for all levels and options will be given to those who wish to challenge themselves.

About Yellow Light

Yellow light has many similar properties to Red and Orange in that it’s warm colour and promotes a healthy sleep cycle. It’s deep, rich tone stimulates an emotional response by simulating the effect of sunset/sunrise and in this case, it is the strongest colour psychologically.  Yellow is rousing, cheerful and optimistic and boosts self-esteem and confidence.

Yellow light has been shown to aid a variety of skin issues and is widely used within the beauty industry for its ability in successfully treating wrinkles and reducing the appearance of redness.

ORANGE:

Building strength and flexibility are just some of the positive gains from a regular yoga practise. But we believe that knowledge in the foundations of how to get there are just as important.

These workshop-style classes focus heavily on correct alignment and our experienced teachers will show you how to develop your yoga practise to a point where you can reach poses safely and accurately. So whether it’s handstands, backbends, increasing flexibility or simply improving your technique – Orange will help guide your progression into your desired pose.

These classes are recommended for beginners but are open to all levels as options will be given to those who wish to challenge themselves.

About Orange Light

We use a very specific wavelength of Orange light, which has shown very similar results to the use of red light and therefore the two colours have many shared benefits. Orange light does not penetrate the skin as deep as red light does but there are many positive physical as well mentally stimulating results from the use of orange light.

Not only is orange light recommended for rebalancing your sleep cycle, it stimulates the cognitive part of the brain, reduces anxiety and promotes youthful, healthy skin by balancing collagen production.

The reason orange light is so good or the skin, brain and muscles, is thought to be due to the effects on mitochondrial energy production. Mitochondria are small structures inside our cells which are the powerhouses of the human body. They take fat, sugar and protein from our food, combining it with oxygen to convert it into energy.

This same mechanism is also responsible for many of the benefits of sunlight, which contains the orange wavelengths as part of its spectrum. Sunlight however, comes bundled with harmful UV light, making orange light extremely beneficial to our health. Some of these benefits are as follows:

  • Increases productivity and alertness
  • Reduces anxiety and stress
  • Promotes a healthy sleep cycle and aids insomnia
  • Soothes inflamed muscular tissue
  • Increases metabolism and accelerates weight loss
  • Promotes youthful, healthy skin by balancing collagen production
  • Corrects hormonal imbalances in both men and women

Orange light is absorbed by a protein in the mitochondria called Cytochrome C Oxidase and is intricately involved in the final stages of respiration – producing energy, carbon dioxide and water.

Properly functioning mitochondria are essential for all functions of life and it is thought that orange light removes and inhibitory/stress molecule called nitric oxide, therefore restoring the normal function of processing oxygen and converting it into energy. From this perspective, orange light has an unique anti-stress effect and indirectly normalises energy production which enables our body to perform all of it’s normal functions optimally; from quicker cellular repair/healing to normalised collagen production.

 

PINK:

A restorative class like no other. Our signature Pink class uses gentle stretching poses and breath work combined with expert techniques in the fields of acupressure, myofascial release and acupuncture. Essential oils and relaxing sound frequencies are included to balance and rejuvenate the body.

Using the warm and soothing tones of Pink, these classes are designed to leave you feeling refreshed, relaxed and completely rebalanced in mind and body.

A restorative class like no other. Our signature Pink class uses gentle stretching poses and breath work combined with expert techniques in the fields of acupressure, myofascial release and acupuncture. Essential oils and relaxing sound frequencies are included to balance and rejuvenate the body.

Using the warm and soothing tones of Pink, these classes are designed to leave you feeling refreshed, relaxed and completely rebalanced in mind and body.

 

If you are interested to know more about the impact of colour on our moods, feelings, and behavior, or want to know more about colour psychology and the effect of the electro-magnetic radiation of light on human mood and behavior, which is a universal, psychophysical reaction, which is not as heavily influenced by culture, age and gender (contrary to popular belief).

If you like to know how you can use this knowledge in your business to evoke customer responses or fulfill specific consumer needs, please do get in touch.

Colour plays a powerful role on your customer’s emotions, and their purchasing decisions.

Colour is an incredibly powerful phenomenon used to influence us every day of our lives. Simple changes in color, can lead to big changes in sales, conversion rates, your health and your wellbeing.

Grace Boicel.

Country Design Manager & CMF Consultant
OMUUS Ltd.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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