As a frequent meditator, one type of guided session has become my favorite: color meditation. This particular practice harnesses the power of associations with different colors for various mental and emotional benefits. Whether it’s a recording that guides me to focus on a single, energizing shade, or a video that walks me through a shower of color cascading over my body, this meditation variation never fails to bring me peace of mind.
Up until now, I’ve always experienced these benefits in small doses, working in a color meditation here or there when I find the time. But I wanted to know more: What kind of effects would a more concentrated focus on color meditation have? I decided to find out by diving in to a week-long color meditation “boot camp,” practicing one guided session a day.
Throughout the week, I alternated between two Youtube videos: one that led me to imagine myself in a soothing spa, showering in a stream of color, and another that guided me to picture a ball of color as a healing presence in my body. Both yielded different results, and there were several surprises along the way.
Day 1 — Yellow: To get the week off to an energizing start, I opted to begin with meditating on the color yellow. To me, yellow signifies brightness, positivity, and all things upbeat. As I settled in to picture myself bathed in this sunshiny hue, I expected to finish the meditation feeling buoyant, ready to take on the world with unfailing optimism.
By the end of my 13-minute session, however, I instead felt a remarkable sense of tranquility — more Dalai Lama, less Tigger from Winnie the Pooh. This surprising result made me wonder if deep down, the color yellow speaks peace, not pizzazz, to my spirit.
Day 2 — Purple: For day two of my meditation journey, I chose the color of royalty, wisdom, and mystery: purple. Picturing deep amethyst rays sinking into my skin was empowering. The thought of purple as a royal color brought up images of myself as unique and capable — in a word, a queen.
Days 3 and 4 — Blue and Green: The last thing I expected during my week of color meditation was to get a raging illness. But on days three and four I found myself laid up in bed with a painful infection, waiting for antibiotics to kick in. To me, blue and green, with their peaceful undertones and connection to nature, have always seemed like the best shades for comfort and healing. I turned to these colors to see if they could alleviate some of my physical pain.
Taking 16 minutes for a color meditation on bodily healing brought me more relief than I could have guessed. As directed, I pictured a ball of sky-blue (and, on day four, vivid green) light settling into my core and radiating out restoration. Its rays reached the part of my body that needed a loving touch, as I imagined it activating nerve cells and reducing inflammation. Immersed in these soothing colors, I let go of tension, and felt much of my pain relieved.
Day 5 — White: Day five was Sunday. Due to my illness, I wasn’t able to attend church like I normally would. This seemed like the perfect time for me to meditate on white, since its purity tends to be affiliated with spirituality.
As I began to imagine myself showered with a spray of white water, however, I couldn’t help but feel a little grossed out, like I was being doused in milk or wet chalk. In an effort to redirect these thoughts, I invited myself to think instead of the water washing away the perpetual guilt I struggle with as a mom, wife, and human being in general for not living up to my (often unrealistic) standards for myself. This concept served me much better, as much-needed forgiveness washed over me.
Day 6 — Red: The morning I meditated on red, I was scheduled to give an important presentation for work. While I’ve gotten used to public speaking as a part of my job, it can still make me nervous. Red, the color of strength and confidence, made perfect sense for such an occasion.
Imagining ruby richness cascading over me, I felt not only a sense of self-assurance, but — surprisingly — sexiness. I realized how much I correlate the color red with bold lipstick, flirty dresses, and feminine mystique. Letting this feeling in, I allowed it to boost my confidence. Two hours later, my presentation was a major success.
Day 7 — Orange: Truth be told, the color orange came last in my week because it’s never been a favorite of mine. Going into a meditation on orange, I could hardly think of any qualities I associate with it. But that didn’t mean I couldn’t try.
Filling my mind with this color, my attention was drawn to images of all the beautiful orange items found in nature: I saw a patch of bright orange pumpkins in the fall, felt the flutter of a monarch butterfly’s wings, and smelled the bright tang of fresh orange zest. A deep sense of gratitude for the beauty of orange in nature washed over me.
Guided meditation narrators often say, “You can come back to this meditation any time,” and after this experiment, I’m definitely finding this to be true. After meditating on showering in colored water, I now ask myself what color to think of when showering in real life. Imagining my skin soaking up healing blue or regal purple feels like my little secret, something no one else can see, but I know is there. I’ve also become more aware of the colors in my environment, noticing each one as I take a daily walk or eat a colorful meal.
With a solid week of color meditation under my belt, I’m far from tired of the practice. Having experienced its results seven days in a row — from pain relief to calmed nerves to boosted energy — I’m inspired to keep it up.
Have you tried color meditation? Tweet us your experience @BritandCo!
(Photo via Getty)