Feng Shui? That's So Yesterday. Get Ready for Vastu Shastra
I have always been fascinated with the practice of Feng Shui and then I heard about Vastu. Once I started reading about this ancient science, I couldn’t wait to learn more and share it with you.
Vastu design is having a resurgence in India and is better known there than here in the US. But anyone familiar with green building and the more recognized Feng Shui may be surprised to learn how much Vastu has in common with them.
What is Vastu?
Vastu is an ancient design philosophy from the East that stresses achieving harmony between home and body. A design philosophy that comes from ancient Indian Hindu scriptures, Vastu at its heart is the belief that one’s environment is a physical extension of the body, and that home design can affect a person’s health. As an Interior Designer, I see this with my clients over and over again.
The first principle of Vastu recommends honoring the recommended placement of the five basic elements of space, air, fire, water and earth in the home and within each room. Their assigned location is logical – based on the movement of the sun, the pattern of the wind, and specific parallels to forces and energies that exist within the human body.
The second principle asks us to draw nature into our home so that we consciously respect our interconnection and interdependence with all that naturally exists in the world. By doing this, we support the environment and also support our holistic relationship to the environment.
The third principle asks us to respect our unique identity and celebrate who we are and what we love. The concept of respect for the self.
How to Use Vastu in the Home
The idea behind Vastu is to orient rooms toward different positions of the sun at different times of the day, being mindful of the quality of the sunlight and not just the level of solar energy.
Vastu suggests the rooms be like spokes of a wheel, so that you are harmonizing your activities with the sun’s energy. With that in mind, you would orient the dining room toward the south, so that the intensity of the sun’s rays at midday assists in digestion; quieter rooms such as bedrooms should be placed to the North where the lower evening light prevails.
Beyond an affinity for natural light, the quality of materials is key. If you use wood, stone or plaster the building quality is different than if you use synthetic or toxic materials.
Vastu understands nature’s powerful connection to us. Nature lifts our spirit by connecting us to the core of our self – our essence. If you have plants in your home, not only are they beautiful to look at they help clear the air of toxins, as well as calm and de-stress. Personally, being in nature always lifts my spirits and gives me a feeling of peace. I have recently added several live plants to my home and I have noticed a difference, I feel a sense of calm I did not have before.
As you practice Vastu, you create an environment in which the ambience is inviting, loving – you feel at ease inside a Vastu home. Such a home truly nourishes and inspires your soul and whispers its word of welcome to all who enter the space.
I could write about this fascinating subject for days. I am a true believer that our surroundings profoundly affect our mood and health. I will end this post with one of my favorite quotes:
"That which we elect to surround ourselves with becomes the museum of our soul and the archive of our experiences." Thomas Jefferson