Vastu isn’t reserved for scholars of Indian philosophy or
those who can afford a consultant. You can apply the principles in
your own home with a basic understanding of the tenets, a good
vastu book, and a compass. Be sensitive to your
surroundings, trust your intuition, and follow these rules from
Kathleen Cox’s book Vastu Living:
Observe three principles. Honor the five elements in the
five directions of your space; acknowledge nature by incorporating
natural elements into your environment; surround yourself with
items you love and that reflect your personality.
Use the vastu purusha mandala. as a placement guide
for your house and for individual rooms.
Determine your ayurvedic temperament. (see
help you find your ayurvedic type: pitta, kapha or vata) . Factor
in that information when you’re deciding where to place your bed
and how to arrange your desk.
Choose spaces for sleeping and working that won’t aggravate your
constitution. For instance, someone with a kapha (earth/water)
constitution would sleep better in the west or northwest than in
the watery northeast.
In general, keep the north and east areas of a room light and
open. The south and west areas of a space are appropriate for
heavy furniture and other big items.
Try not to cover the center of a room with furniture, since
in vastu this is literally the heart of the space.
When you encounter a problem with the flow in your space,
find ways to appease that area’s element to achieve balance. For
instance, if your kitchen is in the northwest (air) rather than in
the southeast (fire), paint the kitchen a cool blue.
Don’t be afraid to tinker. Play around with your
arrangements and make changes bit by bit, waiting to see how each
feels to you. Ultimately, you’ll find a way to make even a flawed
Navigating with Vastu
Vastu divides living spaces into nine sections, each with
Air element. Air, like wind, has the quality of indecisiveness or
constant motion, making the northwest well suited for impermanent
activity: guest bedroom, TV room, dining room, bathroom.
Darkness, the unknown. A front door that opens into the west will
bring the calm of the night hours. Good for bedrooms, living rooms,
Earth element. Associated with wisdom and emotional strength, the
southeast corner of a room should contain the heaviest and largest
pieces of furniture. This direction works well for living rooms,
master bedrooms, and storage.
Health and wealth. Despite these positive associations, you should
not sleep with your head to the north because the earth’s magnetic
energy will interfere with the body’s electric fields. A good
setting for bedroom, living room.
Space (ether) element. This is the heart of the structure and a
space for spiritual energy, which collects here and then radiates
outward in every direction. This area should be as open and
spacious as possible in the house as a whole and within individual
Cycle of life and death, responsibility. This is an area of duty,
responsibility, and justice overseen by Yarna, the god of death.
It’s a good spot for a bathroom or a bedroom.
Water element. Water is associated with serenity and depth, so this
is the best spot to locate a tranquility zone, meditation center,
Light, inspiration. This is the realm of enlightenment and renewal
because it is the first to receive the sun’s rays in the morning.
Recommended for a front door, bedroom, studio, or dining
Fire element. Fire is the element of both spiritual and physical
transformation. In modern times, fire relates to electrical
equipment, making this a good part of the house for kitchen
appliances, computers, TVs, or stereos.
This information is compiled from Vastu
Living by Kathleen Cox. (Marlowe, 2000)