Walking into a café recently, I was asked by a waitress where I wanted to sit. As I looked around the small formica tables and plain steel chairs, I spied a couple of sofas facing the windows. As I sank into one of these comfy sofas decorated with brightly coloured cushions of red, orange and yellow, I knew why I had chosen this option. Being surrounded by these colours lifted my spirits and left me feeling contented and centred.
While travelling in India I loved being surrounded by an array of vivid colours. In Rajasthan men wore turbans in mesmerising colours of saffron and orange, while women wore bright silk saris in hues of rich purple and pink. It reminded me that March is the month when Hindus celebrate the colour festival of Holi. It is celebrated with much enthusiasm and gaiety on the full moon day in the month.
Known by several names in different places the spirit of Holi remains the same across the world. In India, the entire country takes on a festive spirit as everyone prepares for this popular event. Piles of cornstarch powders in an array of rich colours can be seen on roadside stalls. Innovative designs of water guns and water balloons are also on sale to drench everyone in colour.
Holi marks the arrival of spring, the season of hope and joy. With the gloom of winter over, Holi promises bright summer days ahead. Crops ripen while flowers bloom filling the surrounds in fragrant colour. Women start cooking traditional dishes for their family and relatives.
Seen as an expression of love, Holi is popular among tourists and can be celebrated by people of all cultures and religions. During the festival street vendors may offer you a little Bhang Lassi to help you enjoy the festivities and enhance your state of ecstasy.
The importance of colour was recognized by the ancient Egyptians who wore coloured stones as amulets to ward off evil or improve their health. Others used huge halls of colour where people entered and were bathed in light that was filtered through coloured glass windows.
Colour can affect our sense of well-being by altering the state of our emotions. It has the power to uplift our spirits and heal our bodies. It also changes our perceptions as to how we view surroundings. While lighter colours can be used to create more space in a room, wearing darker colours can make us appear slimmer. Magenta is said to strengthen contact with your life purpose. Pink is known to heal grief and sadness. Yellow and orange are thought to radiate warmth, joy and happiness, while green and blue are associated with harmony and serenity.
While not all colours mean the same for each person or culture, why does colour play a major role in the way we feel?
Colour can influence the flow of energy in our bodies. Each of the seven chakras or spinning vortices of energy in the body is stimulated by a certain colour. Meditating on each of these colours in turn can bring about the physical, emotional or mental balance associated with that chakra.
- The root chakra is stimulated by the colour red. This is the chakra associated with balancing life’s basic needs.
- Orange is the colour that stimulates the sacral chakra, the centre associated with creativity, warmth and sexuality.
- Yellow affects the solar plexus chakra, the power centre of the body, associated with fire and heat.
- Green is the colour of the heart chakra, representing love. Often associated with nature, green is seen as harmonious.
- Blue stimulates the throat chakra, representing truth and self-expression. Seen as a spiritual colour, blue is associated with serenity.
- Indigo stimulates the third eye chakra and controls the pineal gland, representing wisdom and psychic ability.
- Violet stimulates the crown chakra which represents the highest state of consciousness. Purple and violet are colours of transformation which can bring about spiritual insights.
Healing with colour addresses the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual functions of the body. Because energy follows thought, where the mind goes, the energy flows. By concentrating on a healing colour through visualization, the energy of that colour will be projected by your thoughts. The energy in your body will start to vibrate with your chosen healing colour. Find the colour that resonates for you.
In my book, Chasing Marigolds, I include one of my favourite meditations using the healing power of colour. I love to share any insights that work for me so I hope you enjoy it.
“Relax and close your eyes. Visualise your favourite colour. See this colour like a vapour in front of you, washing over you.
Everywhere you look this healing colour is surrounding you. Sense the presence of this colour when it brushes against your skin. Touch the colour, feel it, soft, warm, radiant, flowing and wrapping all around you, embracing you.
Imagine the fragrance of this colour wafting past your nose and you sense its smell. Absorb the colour allowing it to seep into the pores of your skin.
Enjoy this sensation of totally absorbing the colour through your skin. This colour has healing qualities.
Allow the colour to heal every part of you, each organ, nerve, cell, muscle in your body is now healed.
Enjoy the power of this colour while your whole body is lovingly nourished and nurtured. Now visualise your own body lying on the floor, radiating the energy of this colour totally renewed and energised. “Om shanti