Color Therapy: Perspectives from Ayurveda
Do you spend a lot of time considering the colors of your clothing, walls, and other interior components? Do pastel-colored walls make you feel at ease, and do you reach for that white sundress on a hot summer day because your brain somehow connects it to a cooling sensation?
"Our relationship with color has evolved alongside our cultures, religions, and lives,” says color therapy expert Walaa Al Muhaiteeb.
Color has long been thought by artists and interior designers to have a significant impact on moods, sentiments, and emotions. Given that the psychological impacts of color alone affect can up to 90% of instantaneous judgments, it is important to understand how colors may impact your mood, emotions and life in general. Here, we share the Ayurvedic perspective.
Colors and the Doshas:
In Ayurveda, we believe in the philosophy of “like increases like”. Therefore, you must Choose colors that balance your dosha rather than enhancing it. For instance, if you have a fiery pitta personality type and paint your entire house bright yellow and red, it can intensify and aggravate your Pitta dosha. The same holds true for earth tones for kapha and deep purples for vata.
Vata (Ether + Air)
Choose: Warm hues like oranges, golds, and yellows energize and ground Vatas.
Reject: Blacks and greys decrease vitality. Neons and excessively bright colors aggravate the nervous system.
Pitta (Fire + Water)
Choose: Cooling and calming hues are balancing for the Pitta fire, including pastels, white, silver, and neutrals.
Reject: Too warm or bright colors. These increase heat, impatience and anger.
Choose: Bright hues that contrast with one another, such as red, orange, and yellow, encourage mental flexibility and equilibrium.
Reject: Too many sweet or light colors such as white, silver, pink and baby blues increase Kapha. Deep dark colors are also heavy and increase Kapha.
Colors and the Gunas:
Sattva: White, gold and blue represent sattva gunas. They symbolize harmony with nature, peace and purity.
Rajas: Shades of red, green and violet represent the rajas guna. While red is infamously associated with anger, Wearing rajasic colors can increase stimulation in the aura. Depending on your constitution, some may cause you to feel more anxious or disturbed.
Tamasa: These colors are gloomy, bland, and murky. Too many tamasic hues, such as browns, blacks, and greys, make one feel heavy and lifeless within. They are beneficial in moderation but harmful in excess.
Additional tips to manage the gunas:
While the use of color is often based on personal preference and opinion, it is interesting to consider how colors may be used to create a desired mood or feeling in an environment. The next time you are considering painting your walls, changing your bedspread, or purchasing a new outfit, take into account the Ayurvedic perspective on colors and their effects. What color do you want to wear today?