Vastu – Harmonious Home Decor Tips from Ancient India!
Just as we have relationships with other people, we also have a relationship with our environment. We are all connected to each other and to the universe at the same time. Our environments are an extension of ourselves, and we feel better and function more efficiently when we are in harmony with our environment. When your house is in order, the “outer” part of yourself, then you can focus your attention to your inner world. The spiritual journey really is an exploration of both the inner and the outer.
Ayurveda comes from the Vedic texts of India. In this same philosophy, there is a “science of architecture” known as vastu. The word vastu means “a dwelling or site.” Vastu is a blend of science and spirituality that gives us guidelines for enhancing our environments so we can create a space where we can live and work happily and productively. When we are happy with where we spend our time, our relationships with the people we spend our time with will be better, too!
Vastu has actually been around a lot longer than feng shui, and is believed to be the inspiration for it.
Both Ayurveda and vastu are based on the idea that the five elements (air, space, fire, water, and earth) are within us and all around us. In Vedic symbolism, the square represents the cosmos; it is the perfect form.
To be more in tune with nature and its intelligence, bring nature indoors wherever possible. Besides plants and trees, items that are made naturally are also recommended. For example, clay pots, cotton rugs, woven baskets, shells, and fresh flowers all help to remind us of our connection with nature. Desktop fountains help to bring in the element of water. Scented candles bring in the element of fire. Open some windows in the morning to let in fresh air.
It’s always nice to have an area set aside in your home for quiet and meditation. In India, these are called “Puja” rooms, or prayer rooms. This is a place where you can just relax and find inner peace. Additionally, within each room of your home, it is good to have a small area set aside to remind you of your connection with the Divine. This can be a shelf filled with figurines or spiritual sayings, an altar, or a special painting. Use whatever it is that is meaningful for you.
Clutter in your environment creates clutter in your mind. You can’t think as clearly or function as efficiently as you could in an orderly environment. Vastu recommends that clutter be kept to a minimum. Closet doors and bathroom doors should remain closed at all times. Keep drawers and cupboards closed as well to avoid a feeling of clutter. Keep hallways clear so you can move about freely.
Books represent knowledge and are a wonderful addition to the home. Keep books neatly arranged, and honor their presence. When books are accessible and easy to find, they are more likely to be read.
Photographs of family help to personalize your space. Displaying pictures that remind you of loved ones and happy memories will bring good energy to a room. Artwork that your children make for you is also good to have around.
Rather than using chemicals, which contain toxins or unpleasant odors, vastu recommends that we use natural products to clean our environments and our bodies. Clothing made of natural fabrics is better for our skin than synthetic blends. Wonderful organic products for the bathroom, such as lotions, scrubs, and oils, are now readily available
Aromatherapy, balancing fragrances:
Create a space where you can sit outdoors and enjoy nature. Get a comfortable chair where you can relax in the evening air after a long day at work. Hang a bird feeder outside your kitchen window. Plant flowers that attract butterflies and other wildlife. Start an herb garden that you can use when cooking. Put a pool, pond, or fountain in the northeast corner of your yard so you can reap the benefits of the element of water.
Above all, make your home comfortable. Fill it with things that you love and that are meaningful to you. This is a place where you should want to be, a place that reflects who you are.