Members Login



Find a Product:

Learn More
About Ayurveda
Materials – Books
About the Vaidyas
“Must Read” FAQs
About Us
Contact Us

Email Address:

For more information regarding Ayurveda and Amrita Veda's comprehensive products
and services, please
sign up for our Amrita Veda Connections Newsletter

Copyright, Agreements, and Disclaimers

Hosting by SteadyServe.Net
Dynamic Content by

Vastu as Yoga Design
by Sherri Silverman

Vastu is India’s spiritually based system of architecture, design, and sacred space. It is both architecture and the art of how to honor and fill the space enclosed within that form. Vastu aligns our architectural spaces with the beneficial effects of subtle laws of nature and earth and cosmic energies. Vastu works with prana, or universal life energy, to enhance the freshness, vitality, and life-supporting qualities of our environment. Vastu is the yoga of design, which enables us to live in harmony, balance and wholeness. Like meditation and yoga, Vastu is a part of our planetary heritage: it is universal and belongs to all of us.

Vastu design requires beauty, comfort and practicality; the use of natural materials; and attunement with nature through the honoring of the five elements and the nine directions. The Sanskrit word “Vastu” is translated as “energy,” “the space that fills that form or dwelling,” and “substance that… exists eternally.” “Vaastu” refers to the humanly built forms that are filled with that space energy. Vastu views a building as a living entity that harmoniously supports our lives. It has the potential to revolutionize lives by creating buildings that, as living organisms, fully support our health, growth, and happiness instead of being the cause of many of our problems, as we see with today’s “sick buildings.”

Vastu creates homes in which prana (subtle, sparkly, universal life energy, what in the Chinese system is called ch’i) flows freely and there are no structural elements that predispose us to illness or problems in life. Even existing health problems ease up and can clear from being in buildings constructed according to true Vastu. There are aspects of Vastu that can be applied to rectify energetic imbalances in existing homes, although building a new house according to Vastu principles produces a much more powerfully nourishing environment.

The main blueprint for Vastu homes is the Vastu Purusha Mandala, a square or rectangular grid pattern with a minimum of nine sections representing the nine directions of north, south, east, west, northeast, northwest, southeast, southwest, and the center. Each direction has properties which can facilitate transforming any space into one that feels and looks better, that is more supportive of fulfilling our desires for peace, prosperity, health, and happiness.

Vastu recognizes five elements of creation that, when honored and balanced, enhance the flow of prana within a home or other building. Honoring nature is always a sacred acknowledgement. It’s clear that respect and care of our natural environment is a sacred contract – we have all seen the result of ignoring this. The five elements are space, air, fire, water, and earth. Space is the subtlest of the five elements; earth is the most dense. It is traditionally understood from Taitiriya Upanishad that each element emerges in turn from the previous, less dense element, which is how material form develops out of the unmanifest space.

Each of these five elements is energetically associated with a particular direction. These concentrated, specialized energies are predominant in specific different sectors of the Vastu Purusha Mandala. By honoring the various elements and their primal energies, greater ease in life is achieved.

EARTH: bhumi or prithivi
The earth element is associated with the southwest, the best choice for the master bedroom. Earth is a solid, dense, and grounded element in its effect. We all need a physical basis or foundation to survive in this world. Plants, trees, soil, rocks, and mountains represent the earth element.

WATER: jala
Northeast is the direction where the energy waves of water element collect. This makes it the best placement for indoor and outdoor water features: swimming pools, fountains, ponds, waterfalls, and aquariums. Water is a metaphor for pure consciousness in the Vedic tradition.

FIRE: agni
The fire element is predominant in the southeast, so it is the best placement for kitchens, fireplaces, computers, and electrical equipment. Digestion in the body and transformation are also the realm of Agni. Light fires or candles in the southeast.

AIR: vayu
The air element is most lively in the northwest. Put fans, wind streamers, mobiles, wind chimes, or air purifiers here. Movement is associated with air element. Practice pranayama breath techniques, preferably with windows open enough to bring fresh air into the room.

SPACE: akasha
This element is directly linked to sound and silence. Akasha is the expansiveness in the center of the architectural form and in the center of each room. This is called the Brahmasthan; honor it in each area by keeping it clean and open. Don’t put heavy objects here.

Go by all the rules but neglect to create a beautiful building, and it is not fully Vastu; aesthetics must be satisfied as well. Without the element of beauty, the structure is not complete. Vastu encourages you to imitate Nature and divine Creation by beautifying your own spaces.

Although the best results come from building according to Vastu, the guidelines can be used to enhance existing spaces. Color, placement, honoring of the directions and the five elements, aesthetics, and the use of yantras (Vedic sacred geometry) are some of the factors a Vastu consultant will consider.

Sherri Silverman, Ph.D., is an artist and Vastu consultant who works with clients nationally and internationally on their homes, gardens, and businesses. More information, yantras, and a free 21-page yantra guidebook PDF can be found at Sherri’s Vastu book, The Transcendental Home: Vastu, the Yoga of Design, will be published in fall 2007 by Gibbs Smith Publishers.

Copyright 2006 Sherri Silverman

(Back to Learning Center Home)

Contact Information
PO Box 720283
San Diego, CA 92172

phone: 858.437.4433

Products found herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
Such products are not intended to diagnose, treat or prevent any disease.