Did you know there is a Yoga of Design? For real. Vastu is the sacred practice of design and for an interior-obsessed-yoga-loving freak like me, this is a truly awesome discovery.
I met Sherri Silverman, Ph.D., of Transcendence Design on social media. Sherri is an internationally recognized artist, writer, and Vastu sacred space design consultant. As one of the most experienced Vastu consultants and author of an acclaimed Vastu book, Vastu: Transcendental Home Design in Harmony with Nature, she is one of the world's leading authorities on Vastu.
Sherri introduced me to this aspect of yoga and Ayurveda which I'd never heard of. As I began learning about Vastu I realized that my extreme sensitivity to the aesthetics of places (sometimes jokingly called OCD) is actually just an aspect of being deeply in touch with the energy of the space. On some level, I already knew this, but to have it acknowledged by an ancient and sacred practice feels kind of revolutionary.
Sherri explains how she came to practice this ancient art and how you can incorporate it in your own home.
What is Vastu?
Vastu is the missing piece for people who are interested in inner silence, abundance, authenticity, beauty, enlightenment. It is the Yoga of Design, a sister science to yoga and meditation. It is thousands of years older than Feng Shui and part of its origin. Vastu encompasses interior design, architecture, and sacred space— and more.
How did you come to learn of this ancient practice?
I learned the first points of Vastu in the mid-1970s from Maharishi Mahesh Yogi while I was studying with him in Europe on his Vedic Studies program at Maharishi European Research University (MERU), In 1996, I received a Ph.D. in Creativity, the Arts, and the Sacred/Application of Asian Concepts, which included study of sacred space, sacred architecture, the effect of beauty, and other elements of Vastu.
I studied Feng Shui enough to see that it has some points that I find useful. I quickly realized that Vastu is more resonant for me due to Vastu's basis in the laws of nature and mechanics of creation, universal energies rather than anything arbitrary. I learned more Vastu from Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, my spiritual teacher from the Art of Living Foundation. Since Maharishi Mahesh Yogi had told me that I'd perceive errors in Vedic translations, perhaps because of increased consciousness and intuition, I read and researched all Vastu/Sthapatya Veda material I could find.
I began studying Vastu architect Dr. V. Ganapati Sthapati's books in 2002; a few years later, after corresponding by email, I was fortunate to meet and study with him. I've also studied with several Americans he has trained.
24k gold-plated Meru Chakra (3-dimensional Shri Yantra)
How did it become a profession for you?
A friend wasn’t doing well in her business and had no man in her life. I made some suggestions that we implemented. The next day there were literally two men at her doorstep, and her clients kept exclaiming over how fabulous her space felt.
A second friend heard about this and insisted I work on her home too. The next morning she excitedly told me how she had stayed up to make the changes and could really feel the difference— and that I should be helping more people with Vastu. That was 1999. I’ve been helping people worldwide ever since.
What makes Vastu so important?
Aligning with nature creates greater support, protection, and nourishment for our lives and the fulfillment of our dreams and desires. Vastu’s guidelines are the laws of nature! Which would you rather cultivate: having nature throw obstacles and resistance in your path, or having nature assist you and clear the path to your health, prosperity, and well-being?
A bookshelf Vastu
Can you give us any tips to start out?
You need a compass to make Vastu rectifications since the directions rule how a space should be used and arranged. For example, it makes a big difference where the head of your bed is. Check that now. If the head of your bed is in the east or south, that’s great. Those are the best options. If it’s in the north, you need to move it. Having your head in the north when you sleep has a negative effect: It doesn’t allow as deep rest and it ages you more quickly.
Another useful tip is to place a water feature in the northeast or north of your home or office. The water element is predominant in the northeast, so placing the power of water there gives you a big boost. Everything flows more easily. For beneficial results, water can also go in the north, but not in other sectors.
What else?!? Is there more we should know?
Lots more. Knowledge is power. Learn Vastu basics with my Vastu, the Yoga of Design level 1 course.
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