ChromaYoga
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Chromatic


CHROMATIC

This dynamic class incorporates circular movement - transitioning from the front to the back of the mat throughout the class. Deep stretching poses are used with twists and core stability to energise and strengthen the body. 

The light in each Chromatic class moves through the spectral colours of sunrise or sunset, replicating the light that our body builds our natural circadian rhythms upon. Expect to finish on a burst of uplifting Blue light in the morning and melatonin inducing Red light in the evening.

This class is for people with a good knowledge of yoga and is not recommended for beginners.


About Light + Circadian Rhythms

Circadian rhythms describe patterns of behaviour that exist in most things that live on this planet of ours. It’s not just the higher mammals that exhibit these patterns, you’ll find it in most organisms, from plants and animals all the way down to microbes. However, we are the only species that makes a habit of living in ways that disturb our natural balance with the world around us.

Circadian comes from the Latin ‘circa', meaning ‘about’ and ‘dies’ meaning ‘day’. So, a circadian rhythm is a repeating pattern based on the natural progression of night and day. The study of circadian rhythms is chronobiology; this time from the Greek ‘chronos’, meaning ‘time’, ‘bio’ meaning ‘life’ and ‘logos’ meaning ‘discourse’ or ‘thought’. 

 
 

The obvious example of a circadian rhythm is our decision to sleep when it's dark and to do stuff during the day. On one level it’s just the practical thing to do, given that most of us require illumination to function, so darkness serves us well as the time to rest. But there’s a chemical response going on as well.

During the day, the eye gathers light information, most of which we translate into images of the external world, but the eye also gathers information about light values, in particular the amount of blue light that is present in the environment. Most of us know about the rods and cones that govern the visible side of things, but recently another cell has been found within the retina. These are called, unpromisingly, the Intrinsically Photosensitive Retinal Ganglion Cells (or ipRGC). They are sensitive to a narrow range of blue light, at a frequency of around 480 nanometres, and it's these cells that control the ability of the body to go to sleep.

Tucked safely away within the centre of our brains is the pineal gland. This was once known as the ‘third eye’ and it tells us when it’s time to go to bed. Once the amount of 480nm blue drops below a certain level, the pineal gland starts to secrete a hormone called melatonin. It doesn’t start with a rush, because then we might fall over in the street. Rather, as the amount of 480nm blue begins to fall away, the pineal gland releases corresponding levels of melatonin into our systems.

The ideal environment to start producing melatonin would be in total darkness but, as we have evolved as social beings it is unrealistic to live a life by the rise and fall of the sun. Blue light is key to the suppression of melatonin so a way to function during the dark evening hours is to use amber or red light which blocks blue light frequencies. Red, Orange and Yellow light have longer frequencies and have shown to have no impact on our bodies natural production of melatonin, thus allowing for us to go about our usual evening tasks without interfering with our sleep cycles.