If you found yourself perpetually ill in 2012, or having more arguments with your partner than usual, the underlying problem may not be what you were expecting. Dubai-based vaastu and feng shui expert Padmaja Yadav explains that whether or not you practice either philosophy in your home, ‘they are still part of our lives’, because they are both based in nature and the elements.
She explains that vaastu is an ancient science, concerned with creating the most architecturally and structurally harmonious buildings possible in relation to the environment. ‘Feng shui originates from vaastu, and over time in China it was altered to suit differing requirements. Both have the same purpose, but the route they take to get there is a little different,’ she notes, adding that though there are contradictions between the two, there are also ways in which they complement each other. ‘Both are catalysts in improving the quality of our lives,’ she explains.
While feng shui can be applied to an individual as well as property, vaastu concerns itself only with property and the energies within. Applying vaastu to your environment, Padmaja explains, can benefit all aspects of your life. ‘It could be anything – wealth, health, relationships… We see couples who are fighting a lot, or families with rebellious kids, while in commercial properties we see companies who have been involved in a lot of legal disputes, or fires,’ she says. ‘Anything that affects a person can be taken care of.’
Ideally, to get the most from vaastu or feng shui, Padmaja advises consulting an expert while planning your house. Yet most people in Dubai move into homes that have not been built to spec, although Padmaja explains there is a way around this. ‘We try to balance the energies in the house by using the appropriate interiors in relation to the vaastu elements (fire, air, earth, water and space), or feng shui elements (fire, water, earth, wood and metal).
We try to incorporate the right colours and textures in the right spaces. It could be fresh plants, picture frames, wall clocks, lighting, upholstery – anything. Depending on the layout of the property, we identify which direction is “strong”, and which is “weak”,’ she says. According to Padmaja, even if an area is already ‘strong’, they will try to make it more so. There is always room for improvement. For a one-bedroom home, a typical consultation visit will take around an hour and a half, during which time Padmaja discusses her suggestions with the client to make sure they are satisfied (if they aren’t it can create more negative energy, which it’s important to avoid), before putting together a report – essentially a set of instructions for re-ordering and decorating the home.
In the same way that every individual is different, each property has its own set of energies. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, so discard articles that tell you otherwise. ‘I strongly suggest that when you’re following something, you follow it exactly,’ Padmaja explains. ‘Reading a magazine and doing two or three things from feng shui, then reading an article on vaastu and doing two or three things from that, might actually end up creating a bigger mess,’ she warns.
In the same way that properties differ, so do the results. ‘With big issues, the results are magical. If a client is in a big mess, with serious problems, then the improvement is very drastic. If you have just a few issues here and there, the results are not so easy to pinpoint and observe,’ she explains.
That said, Padmaja is adamant that both feng shui and vaastu can offer life-changing improvements to people in many different ways – and no person is exempt. ‘It has nothing to do with religion – I think that’s very important to point out. It’s a science that can be practised by everyone, and it is equally effective for all,’ she adds. ‘Whether or not you practise it, it is still a part of our lives.’
Consultations from Dhs800 for a one-bedroom apartment or villa. Vaastu for Art of Living, various locations, www.vaastuforartofliving.com (056 624 5635).