Q&A Sunday: Feng Shui for a Yoga Teacher

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I’d love any feng shui advice you can give me. I’m a yoga teacher - it’s what I love. I would like to grow my annual income by doubling the amount of private clients I work with regularly. I’m exhausted with the myth that it’s impossible to make money as a yoga teacher! 

Hunt P., Brooklyn, NY

Hi Hunt,

What a blessing that you love your career and what you do. And yes, it is possible to make good money as a yoga teacher; I believe in you! And a little feng shui always helps, right? 🙂

Thank you for sending along your floor plan. I’ll make some basic comments on the entire plan, then focus on your bedroom. The bedroom represents you and is the best place to focus your energy.

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It’s really important to have a clean entry with a bright light. If there isn’t an ability to keep the entry area bright and as expansive as possible, do what you can. You can add lighting, use brighter bulbs, paint the area white. From your floor plan, it looks rather narrow, so it could also benefit from having a mirror on the wall, to visually and energetically open up the space. Also make sure that, since this is an apartment, the apartment door number is easy to find and clean. You can also make sure all buzzers and door bells are in working order. Since the entry is your Path in Life and Career area, this is especially important. 

Let’s move onto your bedroom area. We can echo what we are doing in your overall floor plan by activating the Path in Life area of your bedroom. Mimic what was done in the entry of the whole floor plan. For example, you can add a new light fixture and/or mirror in both of these areas. Or paint the entry of the apartment and the wall along the door wall of the bedroom white. Or do all three!

The bed is not in the ideal position, but I understand you have a window and closet that makes it difficult to relocate it. What you can do to put the bed in the commanding position is to place a mirror so that when you’re in bed you can easily see the front door.  Second, your body is in the line of qi from the door. This can cause health problems. This can be corrected by hanging a Feng Shui crystal in the line of qi, where I’ve notated it on the floor plan.

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Finally my last comment is to move your desk in command as suggested on the floor plan. You’re not in command with your current desk position. Your desk represents your career, so its location is super critical. Also, in the Recognition areas of your desk, bedroom and apartment, you can place a piece of citrine; see the circles noted on the floor plans. This will activate your prosperity energy and your fire energy in the world, so all the potential clients out there who can benefit from your services can find you!

Be sure to check out our upcoming webinar, which is geared towards wellness practitioners like yourself. You can visit the website below to get registered!

by Anjie Cho


If you’d like to learn more about feng shui check out the Mindful Design feng shui cerfication program. Laura Morris and I are launching our program in September 2018. We have a free webinar “Five Feng Shui Tools Revealed: Must-do business boosters for soulpreneurs and wellness practitioners”  coming up, too! check us out at www.mindfuldesignschool.com

Mindful Design is a new way to learn feng shui. Our a unique training program takes an holistic approach to learning the art of feng shui design. Mindful design is about becoming aware, and attentive, to the energy around you: both inner and outer qi. It is about promoting a better way of living and creating sacred spaces that support, and nourish.


Thanks for reading our "Q&A Sunday".  We will be answering questions submitted by our readers. Click here to submit any Feng Shui or Green Design questions!


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Q&A Sunday: Feng Shui for Small Spaces

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I am trying to use more basic Feng Shui tips to make my medium-sized bedroom into a sort of mini convertible studio. During the day I would fold my bed up into a mini couch and have much more open space to do yoga and other activities. Then during the night I would unfold my bed and use ceiling curtains to separate my office area from the bed area (with balanced elements on both sides of the bed). Oh and the bed lays on the ground, which I personally find most comforting. What do you think about this setup in terms of Feng Shui? I really need to have a sanctuary at home from all the intense things going on in my life.

Tenzin C., Easthampton, MA

Hi Tenzin,

Thank you for sending in your question! Your description is careful and thorough, so I can only imagine that your bedroom is laid out with as much attention. 

I’m guessing that you live in a roommate situation, so your bedroom is where you find your personal space. It sounds like your daily ritual of transforming your bed into a sofa is beneficial. Not only do you have more space for your daily activities, but you have also created a separate “daytime” space for more active applications that goes hand in hand with daytime. The visual separation with curtains of your bed from the office is also wonderful, so that active yang energy will transition into the yin sleepy time when it’s appropriate. Plus you don’t have a bed in the daytime - which can prove difficult in a studio apartment setting. Seeing the bed while working can affect your attention and motivation. Also, good job on the balanced bed elements, probably nightstands and lights

The only thing I may comment on is the bed on the ground. In feng shui, it’s ideal to have the bed off the ground, on a stable bed frame with headboard so that the air and qi can flow around you while you’re sleeping. This is good for your health. Also, if you’re prone to depression, the proximity to the floor may correspond to the low mood. However, you have described you find the bed on the ground “comforting”, so pay attention that that. If it feels correct for you, then it’s okay. Especially if you don’t have a tendency towards depression.

You mentioned that there are intense things going on in your life. I don’t know the details, but I can suggest a feng shui adjustment to lighten things up! It can be very simple, but I’ll offer two suggestions. First, bringing fresh cut flowers into the bedroom. You can collect them yourself, or get some from the store. But fresh flowers uplift the qi and bring joy. Second, purchasing a new lamp where the light shines up. A Torchiere like this one works wonderfully. Again, this lifts the energy and can balance the low bed.  

Overall, I think that you’ve done a wonderful job of creating a feng shui studio sanctuary in your bedroom. All the attention to the details and the ritual aspect provide a lot of positive energy in the space. 

by Anjie Cho


If you’d like to learn more about feng shui check out the Mindful Design feng shui cerfication program. Laura Morris and I are launching our program in September 2018. We have a free webinar “Five Feng Shui Tools Revealed: Must-do business boosters for soulpreneurs and wellness practitioners”  coming up, too! check us out at www.mindfuldesignschool.com

Mindful Design is a new way to learn feng shui. Our a unique training program takes an holistic approach to learning the art of feng shui design. Mindful design is about becoming aware, and attentive, to the energy around you: both inner and outer qi. It is about promoting a better way of living and creating sacred spaces that support, and nourish.


Thanks for reading our "Q&A Sunday".  We will be answering questions submitted by our readers. Click here to submit any Feng Shui or Green Design questions!


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Q&A Sunday: Best Feng Shui Location for an Altar or Shrine

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I read your "9 Feng Shui Things in Bedroom" and find it helpful. I'm currently remodeling my whole home. My question that I've tried to find an answer to in my books and online: Where is the best position to place an altar...what direction, and is the bedroom not a good place to have it? I am a single woman and my bedroom is in the front right section of the bagua map. 

Carolyn K., 

Hi Carolyn,

Thank you for your question, and I’m so glad you like the MindBodyGreen article, “9 Things That Should Be in Your Bedroom (According to a Feng Shui Healer)”.

Wonderful that you have an altar (or shrine) in your home. My first response would be to ask what’s most appropriate from your teachers and spiritual lineage. If there’s no specific place required, the next suggestion would be to locate it where you will use it. I’m assuming this is where you would practice meditation, so it’s a good idea to have it placed so that it works for you functionally. 

When I created my first altar, it was after I started studying and practicing BTB feng shui. My teachers taught me that, if we’d like, we could create an altar in the BTB feng shui tradition to honor the teachings and as a focal point for our attention. We were even encouraged to assemble “altar committees” in class so that we could have a special sacred place in the classroom. Here we offered an image of the teacher (a Buddha and/or Professor Lin Yun), a musical instrument, a red ribbon on a stick, saffron water, rice, and a mirror in a rice bowl.

Since I live in a small New York City apartment, I have my shrine in the living room. I’ve even included a photo of it here. If I had more space, I would like to have a separate shrine room near the rear of the home. It’s ideal if the shrine can be in a more private space. I’ve been told that the bedroom traditionally is not great, as it’s seen as disrespectful for the Buddha’s image to gaze upon our romantic activities. But remember, the mundane and functional is as important as the spiritual and transcendental. It’s up to you and your specific situation. I can only share guidelines.

I have a spiritual Buddhist shrine, but there are also secular altars that you can create. Laura Morris (together we founded the Mindful Design Feng Shui school) has a blog post about more secular altars. An image of a deity is not required... you can even have a vision board or beautiful inspiration piece of art, like from my talented friend Amy T Won. On my shrine I also have a manifestation list and my ikebana cutters. The cutters are there to remind me to "cut my thoughts" and a tool of my contemplative art practice.

Since I practice BTB feng shui, the direction is not important. However, my shrine is located in the commanding position of the living room. And when I sit to meditate, I face the shrine, so I’ve also placed a small convex mirror so that when I’m sitting, I can see behind me as well. This corrects and places me in command as I meditate. But the Buddha holds the leading seat - the seat that’s most in command.

On a final note, wherever your altar ends up, you can see what area of the feng shui bagua maps it corresponds with. Or alternatively, if you have total flexibility, you could choose the feng shui bagua map location based on your intention. For instance, the Knowledge (dark blue) area would be wonderful if you seek to deepen your self-cultivation. The center area of your home, or the Health area, would be useful to have your altar become the central focal point of your life. A shrine in the New Beginnings area might give you a sense of freshness and nowness every time you sit to practice.

As with so many aspects of BTB feng shui, the optimal placement of your altar does depend on you and your preferences. Of course it helps to observe any feng shui guidance, so I would encourage you to consider the feng shui bagua and the energy of the area when selecting your altar space. Don't forget to arrange your altar with intention as well!

by Anjie Cho


If you’d like to learn more about feng shui check out the Mindful Design Feng Shui certification program. Laura Morris and I are launching our program in September 2018. We have a free webinar “Five Feng Shui Tools Revealed: Must-Do Business Boosters for Soulpreneurs and Wellness Practitioners” coming up, too! To get on the list about it, sign up at: www.mindfuldesignschool.com.

Mindful Design is a new way to learn feng shui. Our unique training program takes an holistic approach to learning the art of feng shui design. Mindful design is about becoming aware, and attentive, to the energy around you: both inner and outer qi. It is about promoting a better way of living and creating sacred spaces that support, and nourish.


Thanks for reading our "Q&A Sunday".  We will be answering questions submitted by our readers. Click here to submit any Feng Shui or Green Design questions!


Visit the Holistic Spaces Store

Q&A Sunday: Mirrors in the Bedroom

Is it bad feng shui to put a mirror in the bedroom?

Angela M., Los Angeles, CA

Hi Angela,

I often am asked this question about mirrors in the bedroom. In BTB Feng Shui, we believe that there are no issues with having mirrors in the bedroom. In fact, we recommend mirrors in two situations. 

The first situation is if you cannot put your bed in the commanding position, located in such a way that you can clearly see the door while not being in line with the door. If this is not achievable in your bedroom, you can adjust this with the use of a mirror. I often recommend that my clients purchase a new standing mirror and position it so that when you are lying in bed, you can clearly see the door in the mirror.  The command position is absolutely critical in the bedroom because this is where you spend many YIN, or passive, time and you are more susceptible to the energies around you.  

In BTB Feng Shui, we also suggest a round or oval mirror above the bed for couples like in the photo above. The round shape symbolizes unity and wholeness within the relationship. The couple can see their reflection together within this circular shape, without any hard or sharp corners. This adjustment promotes continuity and togetherness in a relationship. Since this is above the headboard, be sure to fasten anything that goes above your head securely for safety. I would also recommend checking out our post on feng shui and headboards.

Note: There are other schools of feng shui that teach that mirrors add too much energy in the bedroom, or that mirrors should not face the bed. In BTB Feng Shui we respect and honor all other schools of feng shui. In fact, I agree that it may be startling to see your reflection while in bed in the middle of the night. If you use mirrors in the two ways I've suggested above, you can't see your own reflection while laying in bed. Remember, the goal is to create a relaxing and conscious environment that supports you and your needs.

by Anjie Cho


Thanks for reading our "Q&A Sunday".  We will be answering questions submitted by our readers. Click here to submit any Feng Shui or Green Design questions!


Q&A Sunday: When You Cannot Move Your Bed

How does one deal with a space (such as a small NYC apartment) where moving the bed or having two nightstands is not possible?

Sacha J., New York City, NY

In feng shui, the most ideal layout of the bed would be such that there is space on both sides of the bed with nightstands and lamps on each side of the bed. Your bed location is one of the most important things to consider in feng shui philosophy, because it's where you spend many YIN, or passive, hours sleeping. So where your bed is placed greatly affects you when you are most susceptible to influence.  

So, why does it matter if you have some open space on both sides of your bed? When your bed is pushed up next to the wall, the person sleeping on the closed side of the bed may feel constrained or trapped by life. Also, the side of the body that's facing the wall has less energy (chi) flowing around it, so it may become weaker. If you sleep alone, you also may have the issues with the side of the body facing the wall.  

What can we do about it? Well of course, the ideal situation is to change the location of the bed. If that's not possible, as Sacha suggests, you can try to safely and securely fasten a large mirror on the wall. This would be the wall the bed is pushed up against. The mirror will expand the space next to the bed to help alleviate the feng shui and energetic blocks. Now, I know this is going to bring up another question I often get asked: Isn't it bad feng shui to put a mirror in the bedroom? No, it depends! And in this case it's okay, as long as you make sure it is securely attached to the wall so the occupants feel safe. Take a look at this Q&A Sunday answer for insight around when mirrors in the bedroom are okay.

Thanks for your question, Sacha.

by Anjie Cho


Thanks for reading our "Q&A Sunday".  We will be answering questions submitted by our readers. Click here to submit any Feng Shui or Green Design questions!


9 Amazeballs Ways to Fit In All Your Teen Needs in the Bedroom

featured this month on Houzz by Eva Byrne 

A teen bedroom is a place of refuge, a private retreat from family life. You’ll need to provide somewhere to sleep, somewhere to study and somewhere to store clothes. With clever planning, you can accommodate these needs in even the tiniest of spaces. Think in terms of a ship’s cabin to squeeze the most out of every available centimetre.

8. Max the make-up

A teen girl will always appreciate even the tiniest of dressing tables. Your bathroom will thank you, too, with one less demand on its use.

Slip a narrow table within the run of wardrobes, perhaps near the window to maximise that all-important light. Add strong artificial light for night-time use, and, of course, a large mirror. A drawer beneath the dressing table would be handy for lotions and potions.

...read full article


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Q&A Sunday: What is the Best Art for the Bedroom?

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What is the best art to hang in the bedroom?

Magalie R., Los Angeles, CA

Hi Magalie,

Thanks for your question! I remember when you asked if it was good feng shui to have a painting of water in the bedroom. This one seems to be a follow up, as you're wondering what is the best art to hang in the bedroom

There are many times that I go into a single person’s bedroom and see art of single people, or the person's pet. While this is totally fine, usually the single person is looking to meet a partner. In feng shui we would say that by having images of single people you are giving the universe the message that you want to be alone. Now sometimes I see a lot of photos of the pet(s) as well. This may indicate that the single person has no room for a partner as the pet has filled up that spot.

If you want a partner (or already have one), feng shui encourages you to have things in pairs. So images in pairs whether it be people, or two things that are similar but not necessarily identical, give the universe the message that you’re ready to have a partnership that’s balanced and equal with another person. I'm not just talking about image of couples, but perhaps two similar pieces of art in similar frames.

In addition, the bedroom is a place of rest and relaxation. Any artwork that is tranquil and nurturing in color and subject matter is ideal, especially if you have trouble sleeping. Pale, muted or dark blues, greens, pinks and purples in art can create a restful mood in a bedroom. If you want to bring in a little more spice and passion, add red artwork to bring in some fire energy.

If there is a particular piece of art you are looking to add to your bedroom, please feel free to submit it for the next Q&A Sunday!

by Anjie Cho


Thanks for reading our "Q&A Sunday" (formerly “Question of the Month”).  We will be answering questions submitted by our readers.  Click here to submit any Feng Shui or Green Design questions!


Spring Clean Your Bedroom, Any Time of the Year

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When our homes were heated solely by coal, oil and/or wood and we lit our nights by candle and lantern, the first hint of spring’s warmer days marked a time to air things out and clean things up. Today our climate-controlled homes don’t require a sunny day to flush out the dirt and soot accumulated throughout the winter. That doesn’t mean, however, that we should skip the tradition of spring cleaning. In fact, a good, thorough cleaning doesn’t even have to wait for spring! Here are helpful tips to freshen up your bedroom any time of the year.

Bedding

Start your spring-inspired cleaning by stripping the bed. Nearly everything except foam pillows can be laundered. Read labels, of course, before you start the wash and be sure to follow the directions. To lightly scent and soften the fabrics of your bedding, combine a drop of tea tree oil with a cup of white vinegar or ½ cup of Epsom salt. Add that the mixture to the wash. If the weather cooperates, dry your quilts, blankets, and pillows outside. As long as it’s not too damp or too cold, using Mother Nature’s drying system is the way to go! If you like to switch up your bedding to match the season, give your seasonal blankets and sheets some outdoor air time also. 

Flip it

If you have a coil mattress, this is a good time to flip it. These mattresses can wear unevenly, so flipping and/or rotating your mattress can help prolong its life. Bring in the vacuum cleaner too. Before you get busy cleaning the floor, run the vacuum’s brush over your mattress. 

Weed your drawers

Clutter can make even the cleanest of spaces look untidy. Your spring cleaning day is a good time to cut the excess. Go through your closets and dresser with a fair and even hand. If you haven’t worn something this season, it’s time to let it go. Donate your discarded items or hit up Pinterest for crafting ideas. You’d be amazed at the beautiful rugs, throws and other crafts you can make with that old, well-worn t-shirt you’re about to toss!

Go bare bones

If your nightstand boasts more covered space than visible table top, it’s time to organize. Grab a funky basket and create your pamper station. This is the place to keep your hand lotion, the book you're currently reading, and anything else you want in close reach to your bed. This basket, a lamp, a clock if you’ve got one, and a box of tissues is all your nightstand needs. 

Let the sunshine in

You probably already have an attack plan for the windows. You’re going to grab your favorite natural cleaner and wipe down the panes of glass with a soft cloth (inside and out!). Your deep clean isn’t done, though. Dust and vacuum the blinds and drapes. Read the cleaning instruction on those curtains. If you can, toss those in the wash too, and add them to the laundry air drying outside! 

Shake it out

If your bedroom features area rugs, take them outdoors and shake them out. Let them air outdoors while you put the vacuum through its paces back inside. Make sure you get under the bed and in the corners. 

Bonus boost

Seasonal changes and deep cleaning days are ideal to swap out your accessories for a new look. Change up throw pillows, switch the pictures hanging on your walls and roll in a new area rug for a different take on accent color.

by Anjie Cho


Feng Shui Tweaks For Every Room In Your Home

featured today on MindBodyGreen by Anjie Cho

  image credit: Maja Topcagic via  MindBodyGreen

image credit: Maja Topcagic via MindBodyGreen

Feng shui is about more than just moving around furniture or creating a "Zen"-looking home. Feng shui gives us tools to reduce stress, improve our well-being, and invite joy into our lives.

Similar to meditationthe practice of feng shui is deeply steeped in mindfulness, in slowing down and noticing the details in your life so that you can truly experience the present moment. The words "feng shui" are Chinese and translate to "wind" and "water." Wind is our breath, and humans are almost 60 percent water. Wind and water are vital elements for life, as is feng shui! Historically, feng shui has roots in Taoism and Buddhism. However, elements of feng shui are palpable in every culture across time. For instance, these days we can all feel the difference between a New York City apartment and a quiet hidden cabin in the forest, and we understand that our surroundings greatly affect our energy.

By connecting with the spaces around us, we can begin to further relate to and celebrate our outer and inner worlds. Feng shui says that we are interconnected with everyone and everything is alive, that there can be magic in making your bed every morning, gazing out the window, or walking through a doorway.

...read full article

by Anjie Cho