Jun 26, 2018 | By Emma Griffin
Apr 17, 2017
In my role as senior editor of the Active team it can feel like a day doesn’t go by without coming across yet another new yoga class. And so, it takes some serious style and substance to stand out and catch our eye, happily ChromaYoga has both in spades.
ChromaYoga successfully combines the ancient practices of colour therapy and yoga in a modern, tech-savvy studio based in Shoreditch, London. Started by creative industry veteran Nina Ryner and experienced yoga teacher Clara Baker, ChromaYoga is leading the way in sensorial workouts.
Along with its therapeutic benefits, colour psychology has long been harnessed as part of strategy in sport. ChromaYoga stands alone in bringing these elements together, elevating the fitness and wellness benefits on multiple levels.
Classes on offer are designed to suit a variety of cognitive, physical and emotional needs. I chose the signature, 90 minute ‘Pink’ class – a restorative session using gentle stretching poses and breath work combined with guided self acupressure techniques. The addition of essential oils, relaxing sound, no mirrors and the immersive pink light followed by a ‘melatonin rich’ cherry juice left me feeling like my mind and body had effectively been re-set… And that my usual yoga studio may no longer suffice.
Founder Nina Ryner gave me an insight into her inspiration behind starting ChromaYoga:
How did Chroma Yoga come about?
ChromaYoga was born out of a mixture of frustrations I have with the current fitness/wellness industry as well as London in general. I felt like the studios I was going to were not speaking to me – they were either too commercial and cheesy or too new age/stuck in the 90’s. I was enjoying how yoga made me feel but I was really dissatisfied with the environment with which it was being held in.
My background is in art direction/fashion/film/events, so I’m a very visual person and constantly thinking of new or experiential ideas. ChromaYoga was just one of those ideas which I thought there was a huge gap in the market for. So once I had the concept worked out, I started to work with my friend Clara Baker, who is a yoga teacher and acupuncturist, to make sure that the format of the classes remained genuine to their roots whilst still feeling modern and forward thinking.
What do you think your clients are seeking when they come to a Chroma Yoga class?
There’s nowhere that offers the kind of experience we do, so I think many people who come to ChromaYoga are looking to be involved in something new and innovative. Over the past 5-10 years London has increasingly started to lose its individuality and excitement and it’s more difficult to live here now due to how expensive it has become, with people having to work harder than ever before to get by. Our multi-sensory environment and modern attitudes towards wellbeing are designed to combat the day-to-day stresses that are all too common with living in a hectic city.
How do you think wellness and exercise will evolve for Millennials’ increasing demands?
I think technology and wellness can work in harmony together to help modernise the current wellness/exercise market. Millennials are more health conscious than any generation and I think as long as they’re being offered something innovative that they can relate to, rather than being sold the same repackaged ideas – it will satisfy demand.
What inspired your slick, editorial style aesthetic?
Representation is really important to me. I think there are too many brands which just peddle the same imagery of white, slender, Eurocentric women doing handstands on beaches or praying by a waterfall somewhere – that market is very much catered for and I wanted to create something which spoke to people who don’t relate to that.
I’ve done a lot of art direction and photoshoots with my friend and photographer Stephanie Sian Smith so we both really get each other’s artistic visions. I wanted the ChromaYoga imagery to be completely removed from what you’d usually associate with a yoga studio whilst still capturing movement, strength and, of course, the colour.
Have you spotted any active-wear trends in the studio?
We encourage our clients to wear colourful active-wear in the studio as, not only is it in keeping with our concept but our lights also change the colour of everyone’s clothing!
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