According to Ayurveda, an ancient holistic health practice from India, matter is composed of a combination of the elements ether, air, fire, water, and earth. To live in health and harmony, we need to keep the elements in our bodies balanced based on the foods we eat, the impressions we take in, and our overall lifestyles. One technique to keep in balance is through chromotherapy, or color therapy. Colors, like all matter, contain different amounts of the elements. They also contain different gradations of light. Our mental, emotional, and physical states can be strongly influenced by the colors around us – what we wear and what we see. Color therapy is a long term process. By changing the colors we surround ourselves with, we can gradually improve our health.
Some colors are in goodness (sattva). They keep the mind peaceful, and stimulate spiritual growth. Pastels are sattvic, as are gold, green, blue, violet, saffron, and white. Monks often wear saffron or white – both sattvic colors.
Other colors are in passion (raja) and in excess can ignite anger, agitation, and other passionate feelings. They are bright and flashy, and include red, orange, dark yellow, and purple.
Colors in darkness (tama) breed inertia, and dullness. They interfere with spiritual growth. Brown and black are considered tamasic.
Gold is the most sattvic color, and is good for all body types. It increases ojas (an energy source in our bodies), and thus improves immunity. Gold can increase intelligence and stabilize the mind.
People of a vata nature (air/ether) can stay balanced by surrounding themselves with orange, yellow, green, gold, brown and purple. Too much white can cause anxiety in people of vata nature. People of pitta nature (fire) stay balanced with gold, blue, white, brown, and violet, and should reduce contact with fiery colors like reds and oranges. People of kapha nature (earth and water) do best with red, orange, yellow, green, gold, blue, white, purple, and violet. If you do not know your Ayurvedic nature, you can ask a practitioner, or look online or in an Ayurvedic book to take a self diagnostic test.
Once you discover which colors will keep you balanced, you can alter the colors in your wardrobe and environment. Alternatively, you can do color meditation. Pick a color best suited for you (when in doubt choose gold, as gold is healthy for all body types). Find a focal point of that color 3-5 feet in front of you. Your focal point can be in nature (snow for white, grass for green, sky for blue, etc) or manmade. Close your eyes and breathe deeply for 5-10 minutes. Open your eyes, continue breathing deeply, and focus on the color in front of you for an additional 5-10 minutes. Finally, close your eyes, and breathe deeply for 2-3 minutes.
If you visit your local Hare Krishna temple, or certain other spiritual centers, your eyes will feast upon a variety of inspiring colors in the form of flowers, paintings, and decorations that uplift the mind and spirit. Spiritual life is full of vibrant colors that bring happiness and life to the spirit.