There are countless articles listing the endless benefits of yoga. As someone who's read many of said articles and practised yoga casually, I didn't realise just how transformative yoga can be until I tried a class at East London studio, ChromaYoga.
The difference between ChromaYoga and all the other studios I've been to is that it's a truly immersive experience based on the benefits of colour therapy — it basically feels like you're doing yoga in a massive light box with gentle music playing and sweet scents filling the air. According to owner Nina Ryner, it's all designed to get you into a trance-like state. Ryner says, "I wanted to make ChromaYoga an immersive experience with sensory elements that could be used to essentially 'hack' your brain into accessing a level of focus that's needed to feel the emotional benefits of yoga."
Well, it worked for me. After a long workday, I dragged myself to a "Red" evening class and had my first experience of yoga as a mood-enhancer. The cocoon-like, mirror-free studio allowed me to lose myself in every pose and focus on my breathing rather than how I looked doing it, while the warm, sunset-inspired lights energised me and undid the stress-boosting effects of the harsh blue light from the phone and laptop screen I'd been staring at all day.
This type of yoga can also be used prescriptively in whatever way you feel is most beneficial. All classes are cleverly designed to give you the emotional and physical boost you need at a given time in the day. A "Blue" morning class might wake your body up with a dynamic practice and the refreshing burst of blue light while a "Pink" lunch time class might soothe the effects of a busy morning with it's gentle lights and relaxing practice.
If your 2018 self-care plan involves easing yourself into being more active, make a class at ChromaYoga your first stop of 2018.