A Colourful Approach to Yoga
By Meredith Simmons
Walking into a yoga class at Chroma Yoga is a bit like walking into an art installation rather than a yoga studio. “A lot of people come in or walk past and think it’s an art gallery,” founder Nina Ryner says.
This sensation is based in part to studio founder Nina’s background in visual art, but the larger reason is that the London-based studio is taking the ideas behind light and colour therapy and applying them to yoga.
“After doing research into colour therapy and light therapy and what it could do for you physically and mentally, I thought it paired with yoga quite well,” Nina said. “Mainly, what I’m interested in is light therapy and what that can do for you physiologically.”
At Chroma Yoga, each class is a multi-sensory experience, incorporating lights and sound with each asana. Students at the studio choose between classes named after colours from the spectrum—but the colour isn’t just the name of class, it’s also the description environment that the class will be practiced in and the type of yoga being taught. Students can choose between classes named after colors from the spectrum, including Pink, a restorative class, and Chromatic, a class that incorporates circular movement.
As for sound, Nina has tied natural brain activity to the timing of movement in the class. “We have soundscapes which have frequencies in them which our brains naturally emit in different states of consciousness,” Nina said. For example, during a Vinyasa flow, the soundtrack would include peak frequency to make you feel more energetic, and at the end of class, a lower frequency sound would be played to accompany savasana.
To maintain the consistency that each class requires, Nina spent a lot of time making sure she had the right teachers in place before the studio launched. Before she opened the studio, Nina had been to classes where she was injured because a teacher did not teach how to safely get into a pose and she didn’t want to have the same fear as a studio owner.
“We spent six months going from studio to studio to really try and find teachers which aligned with the concept and our way of thinking,” Nina said. “I’m very glad that I did. Our classes are quite specific and you’ll always get a good teacher.”
Now, because of Nina’s colorful vision and dedication to high-quality teaching, Chroma Yoga is thriving, propelling the studio from first in the world to first in class.
“We are the first yoga studio in the world to do this combination and there is no one that knows how to do our combination as well, because there is a lot that goes into it,” Nina said. “We are very individual and going to be doing a lot more exciting things as we expand.”
Photos courtesy of Chroma Yoga/Stephanie Sian Smith