Battersea-bound Yue Float is a riverside wellness centre where you can ‘get to know yue’. Housing all the latest gadgets including sensory deprivation tanks, infrared saunas, Yūgenial CBD, massage chairs and an Anja Light, this progressive oasis is all about #MakingTimeForYue – exploring your inner sanctum through a synergy of the latest advances in mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing.
What is an Anja Light?
Similar to a visual version of Binaural Beats, the theory behind the Anja Light system is that LED lights flicker at specific frequencies to entrain the user’s brainwaves into a range of trance states (altered states of consciousness). Training in this manner applies similar principles to Neurofeedback and exercises the brain like a muscle.
You can alter the settings on the light to foster anything within the range of a light relaxing trance, to a deeply meditative journey, as the brain’s normal waking (beta) state shifts to either a relaxed (alpha) state, or meditative (theta) state. You can also choose the length of time you’d like the treatment to last, booking in anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour.
Did you know that cells communicate using lightwaves?
Cells communicate through their own language of chemical signals. Different compounds such as hormones and neurotransmitters act like commands and phrases, giving cells information about the surrounding environment, or creating a cascade of chain reactions. Also known as Biophoton communication, cells can talk using light frequencies, and although still poorly understood, a growing body of evidence suggests that the molecular machinery of life both emits and absorbs photons.
What do you have to do?
Just lie there. The light is placed above your head and you’ll be given headphones to wear, playing an accompanying set of binaural beats depending on your chosen setting. Whilst your eyes are closed, you’ll be able to see some of the colours and patterns produced by the light through your eyelids.
To get the most out of your session, it is recommended that you avoid large or heavy meals, along with any caffeine, nicotine or other stimulants, so that you can fully relax. Yue will not permit you to use the light under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
During the session, try to keep your eyes closed and don’t force anything. If you’re struggling to relax then use different meditation and breathing techniques such as counting or focusing on the breath.
What are the benefits of the Anja Light?
According to Yue float: ‘whether you are new to meditation or have been practicing for some time, the Anja light is a powerful tool designed for you to take your practice to new, unexplored levels. A completely individual and immersive experience, the Anja light is designed to activate the Pineal Gland, allowing you to see vivid colours and kaleidoscopic patterns. Use for a one off experience or regularly as a tool to reset and find your balance… Users of the light have enjoyed benefits including clarity of mind and emotions, reduction in anxiety and stress, a better sense of connection with a larger reality, increased creativity and improved quality of sleep.’
Some users have also anecdotally reported increased connection to intuition, the experience of their thoughts floating away in meditation, visions, and out of body or astral projection experiences. As a tool that is designed to enhance the practice of regular meditation, the reported benefits are undoubtedly similar. How often you use the light is up to you, but the more you use it, the more experiences you open yourself up to. ‘When experiencing internal change from your sessions, take time out to let those changes happen fully, before using the light again’.
What is the Prya Light pad?
Yue also offer a Prya light to be used alongside the Anja. A pad that you place on your chest, it is said to produce ‘a healing surplulsed magnetic field and IR light at delta 2Hz, schumann 8 Hz, and gamma 40Hz frequencies. The six 3W 850nm LEDs penetrate about 6cm into the body.’
The ‘surpulsing’ of light is believed to strengthen the effects, whilst keeping the IR heat comfortable, and encourage stressed areas of the body to begin the process of self-healing. ‘Placing a glass of water on the pad for five minutes or longer structures the water, and a similar effect occurs within the body… the pad also interferes with, and therefore reduces, radio-frequency EMFs from phones and wifi in the environment…The Prya Light pad was developed by Guy Harriman in early 2017, and works individually with each person. Sometimes it can take a week or two for an old pattern held in the body to start to shift, especially if it is buried deep in the unconscious mind. So be patient, and observe the signals from your body when using the pad’.
What is the Pineal Gland?
The Pineal Gland is a small, pea-shaped gland in the brain. It’s function isn’t fully understood, but researchers do know that it produces and regulates some hormones, including melatonin, which plays a role in regulating sleep patterns (light-sensitive circadian rhythms).
In many spiritual circles, it is believed that the Pineal Gland represents the ‘third eye’ and is also responsible for endogenous DMT production (one of the largest producers is also actually the lungs – hence the popularity of breath-work). Historically and philosophically, figures such as Descartes believed the Pineal Gland to be ‘the seat of the soul’.
Is the Anja Light scientifically proven?
In short, no. There is no solid evidence or randomised, placebo-controlled trials to backup the light or its claims. However that is not to say that it does not have some effects.
The invention is relatively modern, and whilst it is difficult to approve of something that has not really been tested or standardised, the process is still similar to meditation, for which there is a pre-existing base of research. It’s also difficult to quantitatively investigate the psycho-spiritual nature of treatments aimed at intangible elements such as altered-states of consciousness.
As the Anja seems relatively safe with next to no side effects, it’s not something I’d hesitate to recommend, regardless of its scientific standards. But the variable pricing / value and physiological claims should be taken with a generous pinch of salt.
Is the Anja Light safe?
You should always let your facility know of any health conditions or medications that you are taking, before using the Anja Light. The device is not safe for those with epilepsy or prone to seizures. The Anja light does not permanently change your brain chemistry in any way, so there are no side effects. Your brainwaves will quickly return to their normal state after the session, although any deeply spiritual experiences may remain with you.
UVA exposure from daylight is 100 times stronger than that produced by the Anja. The time of exposure is also greatly reduced compared with the average laptop or computer exposure. No significant amount of blue light reaches the retina (and I highly recommend always having your laptop and phone screen set to ‘night mode’), and it will not hurt or damage your eyes.
Who invented the Anja Light?
The Anja Light was developed by Guy Harriman, an ex-software engineer who worked with Steve Jobs in Silicon Valley. After leaving the US, he wrote a book on the ‘power of failure’, trained as a Buddhist monk in Thailand, and was inspired to build the first Anja prototype in 2014.
My experiences with the Anja Light
Intrigued by the niche of people that seem to enjoy the treatment, as evidenced by the plethora of reaction videos on youtube, and keen to upgrade a permanently pretty poor meditation practice, I gave the Anja a go after discovering it via Yue Float.
Having experimented with a few different settings, a few different ways, my go-to is probably ‘DMT mode’, which encourages deeper states, for a period of at least 30 minutes to an hour. As someone that struggles not to force things, it’s easier to sink into the process when you give yourself a longer length of time.
Unlike Kundalini yoga or breath-work, I’ve not personally had any out-there, out of body experiences from using the Anja light; But as with the sensory deprivation tanks and IR saunas, I did come away feeling incredibly serene and reset.
According to Reddit, those with some programming experience can make their own Anja lights, for a fraction of the cost. The reasoning is predominantly believed to be to attain a DMT-like experience, without the need for psychedelics. So whilst I didn’t experience an opening of my third eye from the Anja, any past DMT-like experiences would tell me that such an aim wouldn’t be my go-to for something ‘relaxing’. And simply enjoying a meditative light and sound-show for a few minutes was probably preferable.
Neurofeedback is something that should be practiced and applied to every day life, and not just during the time that’s carved out for a meditative treatment, it’s about training yourself to actively relax and self-regulate, instead of getting caught up in an endless cycle of stress. My only real criticism of the Anja therefore, would be that it’s quite passive, and whilst its useful to be able to condition yourself to relax using external stimuli, it’s more useful to train yourself to be able to practice active relaxation on the go.
As with the Sensate, the gadget certainly isn’t mandatory when it comes to meditating and traversing the astral planes, but it can facilitate the experience, as well as making it more enjoyable. The most important thing is to find a practice that entices you to actually do it, and the gently entertaining nature of the Anja makes it a strong contender.
Cover Art by Sara Shakeel