Colorists, interior designers and other experts know how to influence moods and attitudinal state by the colors that surround people at work, at home or at play. I was reminded of the power of color at yesterday’s Anusara yoga class.
Before class, we were all buzzing about the energy we feel in Seattle Yoga Arts’ new venue (shown above).
The studio is vibrant, alive with heart-warming hues: reds, oranges, pinks, mustard yellows, and purple accents. The playful interior offers a huge (and welcome) contrast to the original studio a few blocks north. While this energizing palette may not be optimal for inspiring meditation or contemplation, it fires our asanas. An appropriate choice for Anusara’s heart-centered philosophy.
As one color expert writes,
…Red suggests the very ebb and flow of life. It is the most viscerally alive hue, the symbolic color of the heart, strong-willed and expressing strong emotions. It may command us to stop but at the same time encourages movement. Physiologically, red is a call to the adrenaline glands to get the body and senses activated.
—Leatrice Eiseman, Color: Messages and Meanings
Driving home, still pondering the impact of color, I recalled two starkly different office environments from earlier in my career, back in my Silicon Valley days.
Apple’s colorful, carefully designed office environments were a playful but energizing contrast to HP’s drab office spaces and linoleum floors. HP’s office always made me think of a house that was functional, but unloved. Although separated by only 2 miles, they were oceans apart in terms of corporate culture and design sensibilities. Apple’s environment stimulated my brain and inspired me to do my best; HP’s depressed me into a low-energy, dull and plodding state — one I couldn’t wait to leave.