If you know me, you know that I’ve been on a bit of a yoga kick lately. I’ve always enjoyed it, but with my recent heel issues, I needed to find something I could do regularly that wasn’t very high-impact. I’ve noticed that people who love yoga really, really LOVE it — and there are many good reasons why (increased strength and flexibility, stress relief, etc.). There are few physical activities that leave me as invigorated as a hot yoga class, and I have definitely noticed gains in my upper-body strength. It certainly takes a few sessions to get used to the heat, but I did learn a few tricks — don’t wipe off your sweat (gross, but it’s cooling your body), hydrate well throughout the day, and always take a break if you need to. I also learned not to eat spicy trail mix before my class … the hard way.
This past weekend, a few friends and I attended the Orlando Art and Wellness Expo, which was held at Artegon Marketplace (the old Festival Bay Mall). I’m happy that they finally found a use for the mall space, after years of it being somewhat deserted. I’ve lived in Orlando long enough to semi-miss the oddball aspects of that mall, including the Vans skate park. I think at one point they were going to build a literal surf park in the middle of the mall, but that plan totally wiped out (pun intended; I do apologize).
This new incarnation of the mall seems to be doing fairly well. The space is filled with metal cubicles housing local artists and an assortment of interesting wares. Some of the things I saw included a beef jerky store, a raw honey shop, and a store featuring just robot-related items. There’s a borderline scary-looking rope course in the middle of the mall, and you have to be wary of children (and some adults) zooming by on fuzzy motorized animal scooters (Ben would not let me rent one). Right next to the marketplace’s HUGE Bass Pro Shops store is a “community center” (a big, empty room), where we took our color therapy yoga class.
The idea behind color therapy yoga is that different colors can invoke healing for certain energy sources of the body. Very New-Agey. This chart will probably explain it better than I could.
I was lucky enough to go with a group of friends, so I got to see the different color therapy glasses in action. I picked the Indigo color, because Indigo was my favorite Rainbow Brite character, and I thought the darker color would be less conducive to migraines. Also, mental clarity is always something I need more of, right? My friends all chose different colors, so we had a quite an assortment among the group.
My indigo glasses were shockingly dark. The florescent lights in the room looked more like black lights when I wore them, creating a rave-like effect. I’m not sure how my chakras reacted to the color therapy; I’m pretty sure I lost any of the Zen-like feelings later in the day when I got impossibly hangry. I think my third eye was focused on the food court. However, our instructor was pretty good, even though it was hard to hear her over the mall crowds and live music nearby. She led us through a series of mostly gentle poses. Admittedly, I am used to a bit more of a challenge in yoga, but the stretching was greatly appreciated.
The best part of wearing dark glasses during yoga was that I couldn’t really tell what anyone else was doing. While competition is frowned upon in yoga, sometimes you simply can’t help but notice that the person next to you has twisted herself into an elegant pretzel while you’re struggling not to faceplant on the mat.
Overall, I did enjoy the experience, and would try it again if the opportunity presents itself. Artegon is pretty cool, too, at least as a low-key break from the jam-packed outlet mall next door.
Has anyone else tried color therapy yoga? What color would you choose?