The ancient Chinese practice of arranging your space for peace, harmony, and positive energy flow, feng shui has been around for centuries. While it has long been practised in the east, it is also becoming popular in the west. Feng shui translates to ‘wind and water’ and can be traced back to early Taoism. It comes from the belief in chi or our life force being affected by the balance of yin and yang energy. Chi is in everything and in feng shui, you can balance that yin and yang energy in the way you arrange a space. This includes everything from the room layout to furniture, textiles, colors, and the vibe you create in a place. When you use feng shui to create positive chi - you can attract prosperity, health, and harmonious relationships.
Main Principles of Feng Shui
Yin and Yang
Yin and yang energies are one of the most important concepts of feng shui. They are opposing energies with yin being the passive flow and yang being a more active ‘pushing’ energy. Yin is also linked to feminine energy and is associated with the quiet of nighttime and coolness. Yang on the other hand is masculine energy and is shot through with the energy of sunlight and heat. One of the main aims of feng shui is to learn to balance these complementary energies so that you bring everything into balance.
Another principle of feng shui is bringing the five elements into your space. The five elements in feng shui practice are earth, fire, wood, metal, and water. When you welcome feng shui energy into your home, the aim is to balance these five elements. You can do this through the use of material, color, and shape in the space where you want to cultivate that energy. Each element can also represent an area in your life, so if you feel like a certain area is lacking - you can encourage that by bringing the corresponding element in.
Earth - brown and yellow/flat and square shapes/areas of health and knowledge
Fire - red and orange colors / triangular shapes/area of fame and passion
Wood - green and blue colors/columns and rectangular shapes/area of family and wealth
Metal - white and metallic colors / circular and spherical shapes/area of help and children
Water - black and dark blue colors / wavy and curved shapes/area of career
Feng Shui Bagua Map
Feng shui experts will also divide the room into eight areas corresponding to the Bagua map. Each of the eight areas is linked to a certain area in your life like family, health, career, wealth, helpful people, children, knowledge, fame and partnerships, and in a similar way to the five elements, each has its own shape and color, along with its own number and season. Mapping out your space according to the feng shui Bagua map can enhance certain areas of your life. The idea is to pick a few areas that you want to improve in your life and work to strengthen those parts.
Bagua Map Colors
The Bagua map and each of the eight areas are also linked to colors and this is one way in which you can welcome that energy into your space. Here are the eight areas and their corresponding colors.
Wealth - purple
Fame - red
Family - green and blue
Children - white and metallics
Knowledge - dark blue
Career - black
Helpful people - grey and metallics
Health - brown, yellow and orange
The commanding position is another essential part of feng shui practice. The commanding position usually refers to a place that is farthest away from the door but not in complete alignment with it. The commanding position is one of the best places to be for the best flow of energy. This is where you may want to place the pieces of furniture that center the room - for example in the living room you would place your sofa in this position, or in your bedroom, you would place the bed here or in your office, you can place the desk here, and in the kitchen, you would place your stove here. This is also because the commanding position represents you and certain energies that surround you. For example, the desk can be a representation of your career and the stove can be a representation of nourishment.
Mirrors are another element that plays a big role in feng shui. Not all spaces are conducive to the rules of feng shui - for example, you may not be able to place your bed or your desk in a commanding position due to the layout of the room. In this case, you can use mirrors to help. Placing a mirror strategically so you can see the door through it can welcome the energy of safety and security. While mirrors can be useful in feng shui, they should also be treated with care. In feng shui, energy mirrors can have big water energy and should therefore not be placed too high as it may have the vibe of ‘drowning’ and affect your finances and energy.
What are the benefits of Feng Shui?
There are many benefits to bringing the practice of feng shui into your home. Living in a cramped and cluttered space with things in haphazard places can actually have a negative impact on our overall health and wellbeing - physically, mentally, and spiritually. Energy is in everything and we are all affected by the energy of a space. Feng shui is geared toward planning a space that is cohesive, clear, and here to promote the best positive energy. Feng shui is very much an act of self-service and creating an environment that encourages you to live your very best life. It is about harmony, balance, and living in flow - rather than just being an aesthetic choice it is a spiritual choice to change your environment to help change your mindset.
Feng shui energy in your home has the benefit of also just making you mindful of your surroundings. You are less likely to live in clutter and more likely to think carefully about what you bring into your space. Creating and existing in an environment that is calmer and clearer and more conducive to healthy thinking can also make you feel stronger and happier, and makes your home environment a place of rest and recharge. It can be a place where the body unwinds, the mind finds peace, and stress factors are beautifully mitigated or left at the door.
Feng shui design is also visually beneficial to a space. These layouts have been carefully considered for centuries and they are designed to be beautiful, simple, and made with wellness and harmony in mind. This is bound to have a knock-on effect on how you feel in that space. When we have a well-tailored and organized space, we are more likely to keep it that way and not let things pile up. Feng shui can also help us remove stagnant or bad energy from space. Bad energy can lower the vibrations of a room and prevents us from fully embracing our flow and feeling nurtured and ready to shine within that space. Feng shui practice can also help with protection, and success, and encourage healthy relationships within that space to bloom.
Limitations of Feng Shui
Feng shui is a glorious way to refresh your space and your head space by proxy. However, it’s important to remember that feng shui isn’t designed to be a fix-it solution. There are limits to how much change feng shui can bring alone and without your own active input. But change starts at home and promotes peaceful and ancient positive energy into your environment, this can truly shift your mind and bring flow to all angles of your life.
Feng Shui in the Bedroom
Welcoming feng shui energy into your bedroom can kickstart many amazing side effects. From helping to awaken passion to nurturing bonds and even just encouraging an environment of sweet sleep and rest, you can do so much with feng shui in that space. Rest and romance are the two elements you may want to promote in the bedroom so remove anything that doesn’t deliver. Any workout equipment, stacks of books you aren’t reading, or anything that adds clutter or represents the eyes of others (photographs, etc) should all be shown the door. Other elements of feng shui that you can bring to the bedroom include placing the bed in a commanding position, clearing out the space under the bed, having a headboard, having two nightstands for balance, considering the lighting, and using colour and textiles to represent the elements.
Feng Shui in the Living Room
The living room is often the social heart of your home and the place where you may choose to rest and recharge. Furniture position in the living room is hugely important and it’s recommended to place the sofa in a commanding position so you have a clear view of who is coming and going through the door. Placing chairs close to walls (while still allowing space to breathe) also lends an empowering vibe and adds energetic support. If you have a fireplace, life should be centered around this too. Welcoming the elements in terms of materials and colors and having plants in the space can also add positive flow and harmony to the space.
Feng Shui in the Kitchen
The kitchen is where we nourish ourselves and so here too, feng shui plays a major role. One of the most important elements in a feng shui kitchen is to keep clutter under control. It’s easy for cupboards and storage spaces to stack up clutter but this will get in the way of a good flow. In feng shui - space can also mean opportunity so a minimal approach can be a glorious way of opening the doors of possibility. You should also remove broken cooking appliances or items you don’t use.
Feng Shui in the Bathroom
A feng shui bathroom should encourage the energy of cleansing, resting, and restoring your physical and mental health. Bathrooms often get a negative stance in feng shui because of the water element representing finances and that energy literally ‘going down the drain’ but there are ways to make your bathroom beautiful and nurturing and encourage the ease of positive energy. Of course one of the main things you want to do energetically in your bathroom is to conserve water as this preservation of precious energy can spill out into the rest of your life. Keep the bathroom door closed when not in use and close the toilet lid to stop energy escaping. Welcome plants into the space to balance out that water flow issue and get rid of any products or cosmetics that aren’t bringing joy or use into your life.
Feng Shui in the Office
Feng shui in the home office can also encourage productivity, help with stress levels, and bring the flow of wealth into your world. One of the most important elements in the home office is to place the desk in a commanding position and to consider the placement of water elements in this room. Water elements or water images should be placed lower than the nose otherwise you may feel like you are drowning under your workload or your responsibilities. Plants and wood will also help to welcome wealth, prosperity, growth, luck, and grounding.
What are the basic rules of feng shui?
The basic rules of feng shui are all about balancing energy. You want to have a good harmony of yin and yang energy in the space and to weave in items, colors, and design techniques that represent each of the five elements. The five elements are water, fire, earth, wood, and metal.
What does feng shui literally mean?
Feng shui literally translates to wind and water. Both of these elements are considered to be good luck and full of positive flow in Chinese culture - which is where feng shui can be traced back. It is linked to the Taoist idea of balancing our lives with nature.
What is feng shui and what is its purpose?
Feng shui is an ancient Chinese practice in which we arrange our spaces and environments in such a way that we promote balance, and harmony, and live at one with nature. This is based on the belief that our surroundings have an impact on our physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.
What are the benefits of following feng shui?
There are many benefits that come with following feng shui practice. Not only can it help us to create an environment that feels calm and peaceful but it can also help balance our own chi and encourage a happy, positive, and energized attitude towards life. Feng shui can help our spaces stay protected and create prosperous energy.