Vastu Shastra for Spring Cleaning

By Dr. Elizabeth Herman, PhD
April 26, 2016

As springtime continues, we often look for ways to approach the renewal of spaces in which we live. One such approach, Vastu Shastra, is the ancient Vedic science of living in harmony with our environment. Vastu is one of the oldest guides to aligning ourselves and our surroundings with nature.

As the American Institute of Vastu states, “Vastu comes from the same wisdom texts as yoga, meditation and the first medicine, Ayurveda. These texts are thousands of years old… This wisdom is timeless and pertinent in our fast-living world today. Understanding and using it can help us lead healthier, happier lives.”

It may surprise you to know that the buildings at the Retreat Center show many elements of Vastu Shastra. The campus is one of the few properties in the US that was built according to this ancient science. For example, the program halls, dining hall and lodges on Whispering Hills Road all face east. This orientation welcomes the renewing energy of the sun at the start of each day. This architecture – one of a kind in the Eastern United States – is itself worth a visit.

campus oriented East in alignment with rising sun & Vastu Shastra
The entire campus is oriented East in alignment with the rising sun

Using Vastu Shastra, the First Green Science

According to Michael and Robin Mastro’s website, Vastu “is the first ‘green’ science. Vastu helps us recognize the powerful impact that our surroundings have on us. When we properly align our environment with nature, balance occurs. Once this balance is created, stress is reduced and the frustrations and limitations in life diminish.”

While your home may already be built based on other types of designs, many of the ideas from Vastu can inform the way you use your space.

Here are some suggestions from Vastu:

• When sleeping, it is ideal to sleep with the head towards the East.
• Grow big trees to the south or west of the house.
• Placing images of the rising suns or water can bring positive energy into a room.

One of the key principles here is the purposeful use of space. This involves thoughtfully looking at our environment and our activities. How can I let my environment support my activities? How can I create space for what matters most?

 
Vastu Shastra example
This hall features Eastern orientation and emphasis on natural materials and natural lighting
 

Spring Cleaning & the Art of Letting Go

Spring cleaning is also a great time to practice the art of letting go. Marie Kondo delves into this practice in detail in her New York Times best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Spring is a great time to re-evaluate what we really need. What is cluttering up our space? What do we use? What brings us joy? Clearing out items that go unused can clear up mental space too.

 

Positive Home Energies

By clearing, cleaning and re-organizing, we create more positive surroundings. We function better and enjoy more in these environments, with which we are intimately connected. Like many practitioners, you may even find that the more peaceful and content you are, the more you like to create similar spaces! And the more you create a supportive environment for your own mind, the calmer the mind as a result.

 

Interested in learning more about programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here.

 

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