Most of us hear the word chakra bandied about with regularity these days. From kundalini yoga on YouTube to guided meditation apps, the word chakra is omnipresent. Many readers will be aware though, that this concept is nothing new. As a matter of fact, the word is as old as time. However, before I dive into chakra definition and this month’s chakra colour indigo, bear with me for being a little pedantic. My Indian roots won’t allow otherwise! I know everyone says ‘shaakrah’ and this is widely accepted in the West. Heck, I’m even guilty of slipping to make myself understood, but it is not a ‘shaakrah’! Think Peppermint Patty’s Chuck for Charlie Brown and ‘chuckrah’ as a whole and you’ve nailed it.
Any smugness aside, in Sanskrit and ancient Vedic texts, chakra means ‘wheel’. Think of it as an energy centre — essentially a rotating wheel that is a force of flow and vitality in your physical body. Imagine the nervous system as a network of energy lines (nadis in Sanskrit) crossing each other in certain key points or centres of force. These centres are chakras. The most powerful are major chakras of which there are seven to twelve, depending on which school of thought one follows. There are numerous minor chakras with their own specific functions. Seven is a great place to begin and widely cited within various healing modalities, along with corresponding colours.
Like the expansive chakra system, colour is energy that surrounds us in every aspect of our lives. Our auras and bodies are no different. Colour is wired into the very fibre of our being and, likewise, our environment, planet and universe. So it makes sense that the colour of our homes or food affects us in different ways. Each chakra is associated with colour and while fairly consistent, even these vary according to various philosophies. As designers at Serenvida, we use every hue, tint, shade, tone and value of colour in our work, but also focus on 14 key colours based on our holistic learning, mentors and experience.
While it’s key to have a basic grounding in specific colours for the chakras, the more you delve into these energy centres and the effects of colour on your body and space,
the more you will open up to the possibilities of colour overlapping according to need and purpose. That comes with time, learning, evolution of practice and intuition. Yet the foundations still hold true. With that grounding established, we arrive now at our colour highlight: indigo.
Indigo is associated with the brow or ‘ajna’ chakra: the central point between your eyebrows. It is a prominent colour in the first place, a dye plant of such potency and depth that it is highly valued around the globe. Can you imagine a pair of denims without indigo, after all? Indigo and the brow chakra are associated with intuition, clarity, intelligence, trust and focus. It is also a deep and mysterious colour: contemplative. Aesthetically, combined with orange or gold, the resulting bold contrast can be either creative and boldly focused or regal, respectively. Indigo is much loved when paired classically with white as in nautical stripes, or in an ombre wall as I have in my conservatory, reflecting the seaside locale. It is, however, also wildly alluring in today’s popular moody, dark schemes. When we work with the indigo energy at Serenvida, we actually take in other related dark, rich blues including pthalo, cobalt, ultramarine, Prussian and more variants. Lupin and delphinium blues that edge into violet fall into this category, while Valspar Paint UK’s Turkish Tile is a particular favourite.
Get a feel for indigo and its brethren in the following indigo chapter of our colour collaboration with www.christinetaylor.photos You’ll witness just how powerful these deep, dark hues are, employed in manifold ways and spaces.
With a strong instinct for colour and over 20 years of combined design experience (design, styling, design writing, design store), Kate Wilding and Manisha Harkins launched Serenvida Ltd, their intuitive colour and design consultancy. Both are trained textile designers who have exhibited at New Designers London and, more recently, at the Cardiff Festival of Wellbeing. They love to use the specific energy of colour to encourage positive living. Qualified in colour therapy and energy practices, they’ll guide your colour choices for a space, whether office, home or garden shed. Serenvida provides colour remedies suited to a client’s needs, happily bridging the gap between design and intuition in the process. Write to them at firstname.lastname@example.org for corporate or individual consultations and more.
Words: Manisha Harkins of Serenvida Ltd.