VASTU SHASTRA BASICS
Vastu means building and shastra means science. This science of building comes from a body of knowledge known as the Vedas, which was written approximately 7,000 to 10,000 years ago in India. These ancient scriptures offer specific information that can improve a person's quality of life. Vastu shastra is a sister science to yoga; meditation; and Ayurveda, the first science of medicine. Each of these practices instructs people on how to improve the quality of their life. Vastu shastra reveals how individuals can improve and support the "body of your body," or in this case, the spa.
About 2,500 years ago, Buddhist monks carried the knowledge of vastu shastra over the mountains from India and into China, where it was adapted to the conditions of the time and became known as feng shui. The goal of vastu shastra and feng shui is the same: to bring up the level of energy, also known as chi or prana, in an environment so that people experience improvement in their lives. The difference between feng shui and vastu shastra is their methodology.
HOW iT WORKS
The human body is 70 percent water and the nervous system is electric. Vastu shastra instructs people how to align their physical bodies to two forces to experience optimal support from nature: the positive magnetic energy from the north and the solar energy from the east. When the human body is aligned to these two forces, people experience a different level of support from nature than ever before. This support influences their productivity, health, and well-being, and aides in the success of their relationships and endeavors. It is like swimming with the current of a river instead of against it. Their thinking is clearer and their emotions are more balanced; they are more productive, resilient, and able to ride the waves of change with much more grace and ease.
At a subtle level, everything within the world, including a person's physical body is made up of the same five elements – earth, air, fire, water, and space. The balance of these elements influence people's daily lives. When all five elements are in harmony, people feel wonderful. For example, try to remember the last time you took a walk in a forest, by a stream, or at the beach. That feeling that all is well in the world permeates the natural environment. According to vastu shastra, that feeling comes from the balance of each of the elements being in harmony with one another.
When a physical structure is built, the balance of these elements gets disrupted and people can feel that disruption when they walk into a physical space where that natural harmony is out of balance. Unfortunately, it can disrupt more than the feeling within that space. This imbalance can make people feel uneasy or unreceptive to the professional service provider and affect their health and thinking. It can also affect the experience clients have with the spa and the professional's work. Whenever energy gets stuck, it creates environmental stress that affects clients and the business.
When a client has tightness and pain in their body, they often go to a massage therapist, acupuncturist, or chiropractor to relieve the tension. After the treatment, they usually feel much better. In vastu shastra, the physical environment is seen as alive and responsive to eliminating the blocked energy and stress in a similar way to the physical body. In vastu shastra, the spa is considered the "body of your body." This idea is not a Western concept, but when professionals understand how the environment impacts their lives and productivity, it is worth considering.
Wherever energy gets stuck in the work environment, it will impact some aspect of the business.
In a rectangular space, energy flows efficiently and freely and does not get trapped, but in a space with missing corners or extensions, some energy will get blocked and create stress. For example, at a bend in a river where some of the water eddies, the effect of that stuck energy will be stagnant and polluted water. The same thing occurs energetically in a non-rectangular space. In the spa, wherever energy stagnates, there will be a specific influence on the success of your business.
The northwest is associated with the air element and the success of relationships and the mind. If there is a missing corner, extension, or clutter in this direction, the movement of merchandise will suffer and there will be disharmony between staff and clients. The northeast is connected to material success and growth. If there is a fire element (hot water tank, electrical panel, or furnace), missing corner, extension, or clutter in this direction, the growth of the business will be affected. Fountains placed in the northeast enliven the positive energy in the spa as this direction is the confluence of the abundant, health-giving, positive energy that comes from both north and east. According to vastu, this placement will stimulate the water element and the success of the business.
The southeast is linked to the fire element and the energy, passion, and the enthusiasm the professional has for their business. If there is an extension, missing corner, clutter, or water feature (fountain, hot water tank, toilet, or washing machine) in this direction, it will thwart the completion of transactions or affect the productivity and enthusiasm of the staff. The southwest is associated with the earth element and the stability of the professional's career, business, and life. If there is a water or fire element, missing corner, extension or clutter in this area, steady income will be affected. All of these issues cause stress to the professional and their clients. If an existing business has blocked energy in any of these mentioned areas, vastu shastra provides energetic solutions to correct these imbalances without any remodeling.
ARRANGING A RETAIL AREA FROM SCRATCH
Whether the professional is building from scratch or moving into a pre-existing structure, they want a location where there are north- and east-facing doors and windows to bring in the beneficial solar and magnetic energy, along with the ultraviolet light that comes from these directions. The confluence of these positive, life-supporting energies encourages good health, prosperity, and the success of the business.
Doors and windows in the south and west drain income and create extra expense. When there is an abundance of misplaced doors or windows, the spa may make a good income, but money moves out quickly with unexpected expenditures. If professionals are looking to remodel, rather than build from scratch, they should look for a rectangular space so energy moves freely without obstruction. Too many extensions or cuts can create added stress.
The northwest works best for retail areas and displaying products because the energy moves very quickly and enhances sales. The sales counter should be in the southwest area and should be set up so that the salesperson faces north or east and can also see the entrance to the spa. According to vastu shastra, facing north supports the brain's ability to do more analytical tasks and facing east supports more creative ventures. This configuration is optimal in vastu shastra, but many other factors, including the size and layout of the business, are also taken into consideration to enhance success. Larger plants and heavier objects should be placed in the southwest to support the stability of the business. Plants are beneficial in a spa as research shows they give off oxygen and reduce toxins and electromagnetic frequencies.1
An important element in the success of a spa is the quality of light. It has an influence on health, mood, and motivation. Good lighting increases staff well-being, productivity, and retail sales.2 Installing full-spectrum lighting throughout the spa's retail area gives the most natural, true-to-life color source. A good source of light is especially important for staff and clients during shorter winter days.
Good ventilation and air quality is especially essential in any health-related business. Clean air should circulate freely throughout the entire space. Good air quality supports health and well-being. In vastu shastra, any imbalance within a space that creates stress is necessary to address. For example, add an air filtration system to reduce the impact of seasonal allergens and mold in the environment. If the spa is in an older building, filtrating the air is vital.
ARRANGING A RETAIL AREA FOR ALREADY- ESTABLISHED SPAS
Vastu shastra offers energetic solutions to every potential or existing environmental imbalance or challenge. For example, if a professional finds that the placement of their spa's doors and windows are not aligned to the cardinal directions, they can remedy that situation through vastu shastra. These corrections can be made using ancient technology in the design of sacred geometric forms known as yantras. Yantras are symbols that are the physical representation of sounds, or mantras, and are part of Vedic knowledge. Sanskrit, the language that the Vedas were written in, is one of the oldest root languages known to man. Root languages form the base for all other languages.
Sanskrit is the only known language where sound and form are the same, meaning that the physical designs or symbols of yantras emit a frequency and have an influence on the professional's physical environment as well their physiology.
There are thousands of yantras, from the symbol many know for the word "om" to the shree yantra, which is considered the most powerful and auspicious symbol known to man. In vastu shastra, directional yantras are used that have been specifically designed to set up energetic boundaries and correct deficiencies that can affect the success of a business. These yantras either block negative energy or attract positive energy in a variety of ways. There are yantras to balance a structure that is not aligned to the cardinal directions, nullify the influence of a misplaced electrical box, and many more. In attracting the positive, missing energy of the direction, these geometric forms, set up a frequency where they support the business and all its endeavors. The change is palpable.
1 Burchett, M., Tarran, J., & Trophy, F. (2007). Potted Plants Improve Indoor Environmental Quality. Horticultural Australia.
2 Veitch, J. A. (1994). Full Spectrum Lighting Effects on Performance, Mood and Health.
Robin Mastro, M.A., is an award-winning author, practitioner, speaker, and teacher of Vedic knowledge specializing in vastu shastra. Her unique take on vastu shastra has taken her to Egypt, India, and Bali to experience and learn how ancient cultures create sacred space. Along with her husband, Michael, Robin's work has been featured in print and television worldwide. Together, the Mastros have written three award-winning books about how stress impedes success and fulfillment: "Altars of Power and Grace," "The Way of Vastu," and "Making Room for Mr. Right." Their three books on vastu have been recognized with awards
Michael Mastro, a graduate architect from the University of Washington, has been honored with numerous awards, including platinum rating for the first designed and built green home using vastu shastra in the United States. Along with his wife and business partner, Robin, he founded Vastu Creations and The American Institute of Vastu. He has been a featured speaker at the United Nations Enlightenment Society, presented vastu shastra on the Doctor Oz Show, and has also been named one of the Top 100 Trailblazers in Yoga and Ayurveda in the World.