The Power of Red
Red is the color of blood–and has many healing properties. Dress up in rich, warm red, and you will feel relief from an aggravated Vata or Kapha dosha. But overdo it, and you risk raising your Pitta quotient.
Dip a toe into Ayurvedic color therapy sometime, and you will learn that Red is also the color of Rajas–one of the three ‘gunas’ or qualities identified by Ayurveda (Rajas, Tamas and Sattva). Rajas signifies ambition, action and success. The use of the color red increases the Rajas element in your being, making you more dynamic. But again, use it with caution, or it can cause burnout–read stress, heartburn, and an increased Tamas (associated with darkness and lethargy.)
But Ayurveda apart, I love red because it stimulates, excites, whets appetite and enhances enthusiasm. In fact, psychologists say red has more personal associations than any other color. We associate this color with power and passion for two reasons: evolution—where the color of blood is red, and environment, where we see traffic signals and danger signs as attention-catching symbols.
DID YOU KNOW
Red is the color of focus. It helps to improve your memory, too. Researchers at the University of British Columbia showed 600 people two sets of images: one displayed against flaming red, and other displayed against cool blue. Afterward, these subjects were asked to recall what they had seen. The results were interesting: most people remembered the red set far better, with more clarity and greater attention to detail.
Say Bye-Bye to Shy
Is your wardrobe cluttered with boring blacks and whites and greys and blues? It could be a sign of reticence, and a natural tendency to mingle with the crowd. But hey, every woman needs to be noticed: dare to step out in a bold red once in a while. You’ll look and feel like a star. That’s the power of this attention-grabbing colour.
“Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. That, or a kick-ass red lipstick,” said Gwyneth Paltrow.
Playing to win? Sport red. It is the colour of blood, so it gives you strength and stamina. And we have the studies to prove it:
“All things being equal between two figure skaters – including their actual speed on the ice – the judges will perceive a skater in red moving with greater speed than a skater in blue, and may reward the skater in red with higher marks,” says Mazyar Fallah, study author and assistant professor at the School of Kinesiology and Health Science in the university.
Red in your home
- Paint a feature wall bright red. It’s the easiest way to wake up a dull interior. Choose a wall that receives good natural light, and you’ll get the effect of a large painting in your room!
- A splash of red in a neutral-themed room creates instant drama. Imagine a pristine pure-white scheme with some tall red candles, a red lantern or two cushions in fire-engine red!
- In Feng Shui, a red front door means “welcome.” The front door is known as the “Mouth of Chi” where energy enters.
- Red works best in your kitchen and dining room: Being a hot colour, it charges and energises you. It kindles hunger and boosts digestion.
Guess why the advertising industry loves red? It catches the eye. The origins might have something to do with our primate ancestors, whose eyes were trained to locate the ripest, reddest fruit on the trees. That’s why, those logos, banners, packets and posters go all out flaunting scarlet, ruby, cherry and straight-up red!