In 2017 I’ve tried to be more versatile with the types of training methods I use. As opposed to solely focusing on weight training with the occasional cardio session, I decided to try a host of exercises classes across London, including pilates, hot yoga (bikram), CrossFit, bootcamps, tabata training and martial arts, to name a few. This list also included a new-age form yoga called ChromaYoga™.
ChromaYoga™ set out to revolutionize yoga as we know it by bridging the gap between latest research with multi-sensory input and implementation within the confines of a yoga class. The rationale behind this is to further enhance the experience and benefits that can be achieved through the yoga practice.
My intrigue into the blend of tradition and cutting-edge research led me to the ‘one of a kind’ (at the time of writing this article) studio in Shoreditch, the origins of the practice. It was time to see what the fuss was about and where the next breakaway was coming from with regards to a practice which many believe dates back to the pre-vedic period in India, over 3,500 years ago.
The studio breaks its classes down into different color gradations based on the individual’s needs. Some classes are designed to boost energy and vitality, whereas others can be far more calming and the necessary antidote after a stressful day at work.
Below are some examples of the classes that are ran at ChromaYoga™, take a look and find out which suits your needs:
Chroma Yoga: Blue
This class is designed to improve energy levels throughout the day.
Our eyes have receptors which respond to blue light exposure, signalling it’s daytime and time to wake up.
When your eyes are exposed to this blue light at the correct times it can improve mood and energy longevity. However chronic blue light exposure – which many are now susceptible to due to laptop and phone usage – leads to suppressed melatonin secretion leading to a host of health issues ranging from insomnia to cancer (1).
This shouldn’t mean we need to demonize blue light, just control and regulate our exposure at the right times so we’re reaping the health benefits as opposed to falling victim of incorrect, chronic exposure to blue light. This is something the Blue class aims to address with their practice.
Chroma Yoga: Red
Exposure to red light is powerful enough to breach the first 2mm of skin, this has a beneficial impact as it’s capable of stimulating energy at a cellular level.
We gain a similar response from the sun, however this exposure needs to be monitored and
capped due to the damaging effects of the UV rays it comes partnered with. This is likely one of the reasons we’re more energetic in the summer months, however if sun exposure is excessive, our energy quickly becomes depleted.
Red light may lead to enhanced alertness; reduced inflammation; reduced swelling and a boosted metabolism.
The science ‘under the hood’ of these benefits is linked to the body’s mitochondria: tiny sub-elements nested within the body cells referred to as the’power-house’as they’re responsible for converting macro-nutrients into energy. Exposure to the red light may up-regulate this process as it engages with an enzyme called Cytochrome C Oxidase.
Chroma Yoga: Pink
Exposure to pink light is believed to have a calming effect on the body. Therefore this class is more suited for someone in need of stress relief as opposed to its energetic counter-part: the blue class.
The pink light exposure combined with props, essential oils and carefully chosen sound frequencies create an environment engineered to provide the perfect oasis to all over-worked London city workers!
This deep state of relaxation helps to reset the parasympathetic nervous system which can cause damage to the body when it’s immersed for too long in a stressful environment, due to elevated amounts of the stress hormone cortisol.
Chroma Yoga: Chromatic
If you’re keen to get the complete 360 ChromaYoga™
experience, then I recommend giving their chromatic class a try.
This 1 hour class is designed to run through the spectral colors from sunrise all the way through to sunset. As such it is a demanding and, at times, high-energy class.
The class was designed based on the earths rotation and our light exposure throughout the course of a 24 hour day.
This cycle of night and day in relation to the body is called the ‘circadian rhythm’ and whether you’re aware of it or not it’s a key factor that orchestrates our biological processes. Our instinct to sleep whilst it’s dark is an example of the circadian
rhythm at work.
This workout really delivers. It’s comes with the synergistic benefits of both a stretch class combined with a core strengthening class. This along with the intelligent sensory input that compliments each phase of movement leaves you feeling energized once the class is over.
For my information on classes and the science behind ChromaYoga™ be sure to visit their website: http://www.chromayoga.co.uk.
1. Eva S. Schernhammer et al. Night-Shift Work and Risk of Colorectal Cancer in the Nurses’ Health Study. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Volume 95, Issue 11, 4 June 2003, Pages 825–828.
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