7 WAYS TO VASTU YOUR HOME
Has anybody been watching “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo” on Netflix? Well, as I’ve been quoted saying, “I don’t know how to Netflix,” so I haven’t as of yet! But having read the book and heard the chatter around the show, AND having just moved house and done a whole lot of sorting recently, I thought it might be fun to talk about the Ayurvedic approach to keeping home.
Vastu Shastra is the ancient Vedic science of home design, originating from the same Vedic civilisation that brought us Ayurveda and yoga all those thousands of years ago (I know — we think we’re so advanced, and look what they were up to!). It is based on the concept of Vastu, translated from Sanskrit as “to inhabit.” Vastu is the yoga of design, bringing balance and harmony into our lives. Whilst many of its teachings center around the aspect and architecture of your home, including which rooms should be placed where or used for what, there are also various, easier to achieve principles that can be incorporated into your home, just like with Chinese Feng Shui.
Vastu revolves around five elements, earth, air, fire, water and space, and works with these elements to enhance Prana (life-force energy) in a home. Each element corresponds to a direction, helping to determine how to arrange each object within your space.
Vastu Shastra believes that because our day starts and ends in our home, creating a positive atmosphere and bringing in harmony is incredibly important to our wellbeing of mind, body and spirit. Keep reading for some ways to integrate this discipline into your house or flat.
1. PLACE TINKLING BELLS AT THE ENTRANCE OF YOUR HOME
The sweet sound of tinkling is believed to shatter negative energies, allowing positive energy to flow into the house. It’s also a charming greeting for your arrival and for any of your guests. The Feng Shui equivalent to this are wind chimes at the entrance. You can optimise the chimes you choose — whether metal, wood or ceramic, depending on where your front door faces, or choose a simple cardboard and bronze wind chime as I have.
2. MOVE YOUR BEDROOM MIRROR
Vastu believes that a mirror opposite the bed collects stress and therefore the stress is reflected right back at you. If you aren’t able to remove the mirror, e.g. if it’s attached to a wardrobe or door, simply place a piece of fabric over it or a beautiful screen before you go to sleep at night so you can’t see your reflection.
3. BE SELECTIVE WITH PLANTS
Do not grow any thorny or spikey plants like cacti in or out of the house — these are said to bring negative energy. Think about it, if you are afraid to touch it or it hurts to brush past it, it shouldn’t be anywhere near your home! Opt for succulents instead — they are just as cute and require minimal watering but need plenty of light and air flow. They usually have rounded fleshy leaves, which are noted for symbolising abundance and positivity. If you must have spiky plants or cacti in the home, use them as a defense system near back doors or large windows.
4. ATTRACT PROSPERITY
Just as in Feng Shui, Vastu believes in the power of Money Plants, evergreen succulents with fleshy, rounded leaves, also known as Jade Plants. Vastu believes that, when placed in the northern part of the house, these will lead to an increase in personal wealth and add to the charm of the room. They are easy to maintain and can help with air purifying too. But before you run to rearrange the North side of your home, have a look at this guide to help you pinpoint exactly what Vastu means by “northern part.” A small water fountain in your garden is said to help encourage wealth as well — I’ve just popped a small solar-panelled water pump feature in my pond for £12 and I’ve seen that people have been using them in bird baths or any container with water for a reasonably priced way to add the sounds of nature If you don’t have a garden or fountains aren’t really your thing, keeping an aquarium with fish is a wonderful alternative, as this encourages wealth and a calm atmosphere.
5. INVEST IN A NAMEPLATE FOR YOUR DOOR
Nameplates on doors announcing the family name or name of the principal residents of the house is a common practice in the West as well as in the East, and if you don’t have one you might want to consider it. Nameplates on the door are believed to act as magnets for new opportunities in life. By placing a nameplate on your door, new opportunities can trace you easily and present themselves to you.
6. DECLUTTER UNDER YOUR BED
Intuitively, we all know that clutter brings stress, but Vastu tells us that clutter under your bed — and even neat underbed storage — represents everything that is weighing you down. In order to move forward with your life, it’s best not to keep anything under your bed at all, or if you can’t afford to pass on that storage space, keep objects there that have the peaceful energy you are looking for in a bedroom — e.g. spare bedding, towels and blankets, rather than shoes and party dresses!
7. COLOUR WITH CARE
According to Vastu, privileging white and light colours is best, but bright colours — especially warm tones — should also find their place in your home, as they bring with them positive energy and happiness. As with everything else in Vastu, orientation interplays with which colours you should choose for specific parts of your house, e.g. red and yellow in the southern area and green to the North, so check a chart like this before breaking out the paint pots!