I’ve been discovering everything I can about Feng Shui, and helping others do the same for over 14 years, and I’ve been discovering the joys and challenges of doing and teaching yoga for over 7 years. The thing that strikes me about both of these ancient, and thoroughly modern day practices is how well they go together.
The Merrium-Webster dictionary defines yoga as “a Hindu philosophy that teaches a person to experience inner peace by controlling the body and mind.” When you get right down to it, Yoga is like Feng Shui for your Body; and Feng Shui is like Yoga for your Home. The difference is that the inner peace we seek through yoga, through the active participation of the body through movement and breath, is applied to the home by controlling, or supporting our surroundings based on the placement of rooms, the elements of the bagua, the 9 life areas, etc. The common result of both Yoga and Feng Shui is inner peace, and Feng Shui, just like yoga, is always evolving for the individual. There is always another level for us to shift out of and into. Feng Shui and Yoga also share another thing in common. They don’t ever end, because they are essentially a lifestyle choice.
Through the physical action of asana, we learn to quiet the mind and allow a sense of peace to pervade every area of our body. We say in yoga that we learn to practice this peace on and off our mat. How we handle the stress of driving in bumper to bumper traffic or a busy schedule with no gaps or breaks can become our”yoga” of the day. It all begins with the breath and with awareness.
The way that we can apply this same principle to our homes is simple, but requires a re-envisioning of a typical flowing yoga sequence. We begin with a moment of silence and a connection to the breath and our intention process. During a flow practice, we typically move the body gently at first to stoke the inner fire with twists, with breath-connected movement and action that resembles a wave. In our homes, we start at the front door. How does the house breath? Does it take a “breath” that fills the home evenly? Or does it take a breath like a smoker with asthma?
In yoga, we learn about our body’s chakras or energy centers. According to Wikipedia, “Chakras are part of the subtle body, not the physical body, and as such are the meeting points of the subtle (non-physical) energy channels, called nadiis. Nadiis are channels in the subtle body through which the life force (prana), or vital energy moves.” With this in mind, it is good to point out that Feng Shui is also a subtle energy system, and it thrives on chi as its vital energy. Chi is a life force energy that meanders throughout nature, and when we build homes, it filters in and around our homes as well.
Using Feng Shui, our ultimate goal is to create a sense of balance in all areas of our lives. We want our careers to be balanced with our health, our family and all our personal relationships. We want adequate financial abundance to balance with our creativity and passions, and we want our sense of well-being to balance with the flame of our reputation. Understanding and discovering the yoga of your home is a way of combining Feng Shui principles with yogic wisdom to create a common ground that unites these two ancient practices and philosophies, and gives us endless opportunities to evolve and manifest the life of our dreams!