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Vastu is latest Indian rage in the West

First yoga and meditation mesmerised the West. Now it's the turn of vastu, with stores here showcasing a new book whose author spent 12 years in India studying Vedic sciences.

Kathleen Cox's "The Power of Vastu Living: Welcoming Your Soul Into Your Home and Workspace," is the second she has authored on the subject.

"I believe I am a messenger and I am doing my best to spread the word," Cox said about vastu. Cox describes vastu as organising your home or workspace to improve your well-being and says it is vital in these times, especially in the West.

"Our lives have become so fragmented," she says "that we need to find a way to rediscover our balance, to re-centre ourselves, and to rediscover our connection to what really matters."

Cox studied Vedic sciences, such as yoga and ayurveda, for nearly a decade and studied vastu for over three years.

Cox explains these sciences are all inter-connected. "While yoga and ayurveda focus on our body to increase our well-being, vastu works on the external environment in which we live and work to achieve this same goal.

Cox also believes that vastu, like all valid sciences, is logical and was meant to evolve over time. "No science is static," she says. In her own adaptation for the West, Cox has substituted the use of ayurveda in place of astrology.

"Vastu is not-a-one-size-fits-all science, and ayurveda works as well as astrology. Ayurveda also has practical benefits that are easier for Westerners to grasp and appreciate."

So how does one practice vastu? Cox says that first a person's ayurvedic constitution is determined, which allows specific needs to be addressed. Then three vastu principles are followed.

The first principle asks one to respect the rhythms that govern the universe by honouring the five basic elements that exist in all creation.

"We try to honour the assigned location of each element in our home or workplace. By doing this, we end up aligning our own biorhythms with the universal rhythms. We live in sync with the rhythms that flow through each daily cycle."

The second principle asks us to draw the world of nature into our home and workspace. Nature is calming and its presence in the home reminds us that everything that exists is interconnected.

The third vastu principle asks us to celebrate our own identity and willingly put it on display. "We too are divine," Cox says, "and we must learn that the respect that we offer nature should extend to our self as well. We must take care of ourselves and appreciate who we are and what we love."

By following these three principles, we create environments that are supportive and welcoming. Our home and workspace increase our inner-harmony.

While setting up a home or workspace so that it is properly aligned with the elements can be difficult, Cox explains that one can fix problems that may arise when the elements are not in their correct location through the use of healthy colours or through the therapeutic use of nature.

"Vastu is very forgiving. The Vedic scholars who developed this great science understood that we mortals are imperfect," says Cox, who also runs Web site www.vastuliving.com

"Only homes for the deities are ever perfect in vastu. So if we can fix our home or workspace so that it is 51 percent vastu-correct, we're on the winning side. We reap the benefits. We feel better, we work better, and we are in a much better position to achieve our goals-whatever they are."

















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