Learning is key to so many aspects of life, regardless of our age. Vastu, the yoga of design, offers knowledge that can improve our learning and ability to focus.
Vastu originated in ancient India as the ideal architecture and design system based on the laws of nature, with the intent of providing optimal support and enhancement for all aspects of life. Vastu honors the environment and its inhabitants and uses natural materials. It is part of the origin of Feng Shui and thousands of years older.
The ideal placement of the study area in a home is in the northeast sector, which is vibrationally suited to knowledge and settling down of the mind. Keep this area quiet and orderly, clean and fresh. It’s hard to think with piles of clutter distracting and clouding the mind, so do not allow them in your desk area if you want to think clearly.
Provide good light that is as natural as you can. Fluorescent lights are known to make people tired, lower their immune systems, and generally create harsh, depressing lighting. The perfect option is the illumination of natural sunlight or what are called full spectrum lightbulbs; these are available in incandescent bulbs at most natural foods stores and online.
If you’re investing in LED lights, choose ones that give the most natural, full spectrum light. For greater clarity of mind and happiness, use natural lighting. Having some fresh air in the desk area is also a good idea.
Using natural materials in the study area will bring benefit. A wood or bamboo chair with natural fiber cushions such as cotton, linen, wool, and silk are ideal.
Toxic materials that off-gas will cloud your mind and make it harder to function. Be sure to have a good match between the height of the chair and the table surface of your desk, keyboard, and computer screen so that there is no strain upon the student.
The direction that you face makes a difference in your ability to learn. The science of neurophysiology reveals that the orientation makes a difference in how the neurons in your brain fire. Face east, northeast, or north at your desk or in your reading chair in order to have the healthiest, most coherent brainwave activity.
Facing south or west is more tiring, and your focus will be diminished. Likewise, facing directly into a wall restricts creative thinking and can feel oppressive. Face out into the room for a feeling of greater expansion and less like you’ve been cramped into a tiny prison and forced to study. It’s best to face into the room or look out a window, rather than having the wall a few inches from your face.
Similarly, your head’s direction when you sleep makes a difference in how rested you will be in the morning. There are brainwave changes that take place depending on the direction our head points when we sleep.
Being well-rested is important if you want your memory and cognitive skills to be at their best. Vastu recommends having your head in the east when you sleep for nourished brainwave activity, or in the south, which is healing.
Sleeping with your head in the north impacts the quality of your sleep due to the effect of the earth’s electromagnetic grid. You will not get as deep a rest sleeping with your head’s orientation to the north. Your body and brain will even age more quickly, which is certainly not useful for anyone interested in enhancing learning and improving their ability to focus.
Children and adults alike need private space that is well organized, personal, and has a good flow. The young son and daughter of Newport, Rhode Island clients loved the changes in their bedrooms that were made after their initial Vastu consultation. The main suggestion was to move the head of the beds, which had originally been poorly placed in the north.
The main point to remember when designing children’s rooms is to listen closely to the children. Trust their interests and intuition and their feedback on their experience. Denying their experience because it does not match yours weakens their belief in themselves and their ability to be relaxed and focused in their studies and all areas of life.
Desks and study areas are well-placed in the northeast of the home. Everyone should face east, northeast, or north for the best brainwave activity when studying.
Sometimes having your desk face a window can create eyestrain and headaches, especially if you are facing south, due to too much glare. Facing directly into a wall can restrict your creativity; a better choice is to face into the room, which creates a more expansive feeling.
Don’t skimp on the size of the desk. Having too little desktop space can make you feel overwhelmed with no place to put anything— constant pressure.
You need space for your computer system and for writing by hand. Only keep those books, supplies, entertainment, and papers in your study that truly fit and are conducive to the room’s purpose, and keep them organized. Lighting should be glare-free and adequate for working without eyestrain.
If you feel hesitant about using what may seem like a foreign system like Vastu, keep in mind the scientific and experiential benefits. A new body of knowledge may have keys to alleviate long-standing issues and help you have greater ease and success in life.
The skeptical husband of one of my clients, who got angry every time she brought up her desire to use Vastu in their home, completely shifted his view after we made some changes in their study. He really experienced how the use of basic Vastu principles opened up the space, and now he loves the feel of the room.
He told her, “I’ve really got to hand it to you. Vastu works! I didn’t want to go in the study before, and now it is my favorite room in the house.” All we did was move existing furniture into a different configuration and relocate one bookshelf to the hallway.
Originally, a tall, heavy filing cabinet was in the northeast corner of the room, which was poorly placed and felt oppressive, since the northeast should be kept more light and open. An armchair located in the northwest did not allow the owners to feel at ease for very long, since the quality of movement is strong in the northwest sector of an architectural space. As the clients said, the room was uninviting.
We moved the filing cabinet from the northeast to the northwest of the room and immediately felt the difference. The armchair, which is much lighter and lower than the filing cabinet, ended up in the northeast. The computer remained in the southeast, which is good placement for anything electrical.
These few tips can make a difference in your life as they have for others, so try them out in your home. To learn more about Vastu, visit the author’s website Transcendence Design.
As an educator, Sherri Silverman, PhD, has taught and designed curricula and study materials for all grade levels from first grade poetry classes to graduate level art history. She also taught meditation and stress management techniques for decades.
She is one of the world’s leading Vastu experts and the author of the 2007 book Vastu: Transcendental Home Design in Harmony with Nature. In addition to Vastu design consultations, she offers Vastu courses and rectification tools, available through her website, Transcendence Design