Though I’ve known of feng shui for years, I didn’t have a firm understanding of what this energizing modality was until last week when I met with my friend and feng shui teacher-practitioner Kulwant Kaur Khalsa. Prior to this, I thought practicing feng shui required replacing large amount furniture with new age-ish fare. Not at all!
Feng shui is an ancient system of Chinese laws that govern the spatial arrangement and orientation of objects and architecture to help channel the flow or energy, or chi. Whether you live in a large house or a small studio apartment, the rules of feng shui can be of benefit!
Kulwant’s deep interest in feng shui began a few years back. A native of Mexico, she’s always been very in tune with feeling the energy of a space. After moving to New York from Oregon in 2010 with her husband, Kundalini teacher Hari Nam Singh Khalsa (who is a dear friend of mine), she began studying under feng shui specialist Roger Green. As she told me, his course was incredibly rigorous and rewarding.
Feng shui focuses on bringing five elements into balance: wood, fire, water, earth, and metal. When this is accomplished, disharmony is diminished and one can more easily prosper in health, wealth, relationships, and overall well-being. In short, Kulwant determines what must be done to better align a space based upon the resident’s date of birth, as well as the age and history of the home. As you can imagine, the time required to adjust a space can vary greatly.
Though a full feng shui treatment is more involved, Kulwant shared five things we can all do today to help the chi move more freely in our homes:
1. It’s very important that the energy flows and isn’t stagnant. Accordingly, do not collect or let things accumulate that you do not ordinarily use. (Consider function over sentiment. Only keep useful furniture. Let go of old papers.)
2. The main entrance to the home is especially important, as it announces to the world, “Welcome to Our Home” and “Welcome to Prosperity.” Thus, I would recommend keeping the area clean at all times and decorating it with plants, flowers, a wind chime, and similar welcoming elements.
3. In feng shui a dripping faucet means that your money will also drip away.
Naturally, I recommend taking care of this matter if it exists.
4. Good feng shui would also indicate that ideally we should not put the television or computer in the bedroom, as the electromagnetic fields they emit can interfere with healthy sleep patterns.
5) The dining room holds a place of importance, as this is where much of the social interaction and family harmony in the home occurs. Accordingly, the shape of the dining room table should accommodate easy communication between every person sitting at the table, which will often suggest a round-shape dining table.
I also loved a tip Kulwant told me about the stove. Using each burner on a regular basis is said to lead to prosperity. I’ve certainly been putting this into practice!!
Kulwant is off to China for a few weeks, but might do a feng shui make over of my home upon her return. I’ll blog about it!
If you have questions regarding feng shui, or would like to have Kulwant look at your New York City home, please e-mail her.
Sophie Herbert is an alignment focused yoga teacher (and perpetual student), a singer-songwriter, and a visual artist. She has lived, studied, and volunteered extensively in India; teaches yoga in Brooklyn and Manhattan; and recently released her first full-length album, "Take a Clear Look." Please visit her website at SophieHerbert.com.