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The Colors of Ayurveda

Updated: Mar 18, 2023


Colors affect our well-being and act through the subtle body of our emotions and mind. Each color has individual energetics and vibrates at different frequencies, interacting with our body energies, such as our auric fields and chakras.


Some colors are harmonious for one person, while others are disturbing for another. In Yoga and Ayurveda, the movement of the mind and emotions are gauged by three energetics known as the gunas:


Sattvic- (balance, peace, happiness): White, gold violets, and blues.

Rajasic- (stimulating and promoting activity): Yellow, orange, purple, and reds.

Tamasic- (promotes dullness and heaviness): Dark browns, blacks, and greys.


In general, sattvic colors create calmness and balance. In contrast, rajasic colors can create imbalance, especially for Vata and Pitta, and dark colors are tamasic and create heavy and dark emotions increasing Kapha.


The practice of Chromotherapy, “Color therapy,” infuses colors and their energies as healing modalities that have a significant role in how people respond to time spent in a particular space or room.


Vata Dosha – Air & Ether Elements, and Vata is sharp, clear, cold, light, dry, & airy.

Good: Warm colors such as oranges, golds, and yellows bring vitality and grounding.

Avoids: Blacks, greys, and neon decrease vitality and aggravate the nervous system.


Pitta Dosha – Fire & Water Elements, and Pitta is hot, moist, sharp, and in excess, dry.

Good: Cooling and calming colors; blues, white, silver, pastels, and neutrals are balancing.

Avoid: Warm or bright colors, which increase heat, impatience, and anger.


Kapha Dosha – Earth & Water Elements and Kapha are cool, moist, smooth, dense, and heavy.

Good: Bright colors like red, orange, yellow, and contrasting colors foster mental flexibility and balance.

Avoids: Light colors, white, silver, and pink, increase Kapha, and deep dark colors are heavy and increasing.


Below is additional information on each color:

Black

Properties: Cold, dark, dry, heavy

Doshic effects: can aggravate all three doshas; therefore, its use is individualized.

Its use can connect us to the darker energies of the mind and is tamasic.


Blue

Properties: Cold, dry

Doshic effects: balances pitta, aggravates Vata and Kapha.

Promotes contemplation and meditation. It is cooling benefits eyes and vision and is Sattvic.


Brown

Properties: Neutral in temperature and moisture

Doshic effect: can balance all three doshas when not overused.

It promotes groundedness, but overuse creates hardness, darkness, and Tamasic nature.


Gold

Properties: Warm, neutral in moisture content

Doshic effects: balances Vata and Kapha and has a neutral impact on pitta.

Increases Ojas (internal strength and endurance), harmonizes the mind, soothes the heart, and is sattvic.


Green

Properties: Moist, neutral in temperature

Doshic effects: balances all three doshas.

It decreases nerve pain and fever, tonifies the liver and spleen, helping regulate weight.

Orange

Properties: Warm, dry

Doshic effects: balances Vata and Kapha, is neutral to pitta.

Increases illumination, intelligence, and creativity, promotes energy, and is sattvic.


Red

Properties: Hot, dry, stimulating

Doshic effects: best for Kapha; aggravates pitta, and pinks are balancing for Vata.

Pure red is aggressive and rajasic, whereas mild reds increase vitality and joy and are Rajasic.

Violet & Purple (a mix of blue and red)

Properties: Violet: Cool, dry / Purple: Warm, dry

Doshic effects: depend upon the balance of the colors.

Violet has more blue, and its coolness benefits pitta, and Purple is redder and benefits Vata and Kapha.


White

Properties: Cool, moist

Doshic effects: best for pitta and Kapha, but its use can aggravate Vata.

It soothes the nerves, helps with pain, calms emotions, increases perception, and is sattvic.


Yellow

Properties: Warm, moist

Doshic effects: balances Vata and Kapha; aggravates pitta in excess.

Lively increases joy, perception, activity, and movement but hyperactivity for Vata and is Rajasic.


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