• Warrior Monk

Warrior Monk Conversations 018: Vastu Shastra—Yoga for the Home with Michael Mastro

Updated: Aug 1, 2020

This episode’s conversation is about yoga for the home or the very ancient science of Vastu Shastra where I talk with Michael Mastro, one of the foremost practitioners of yoga for the home.

Vastu is a sister science to Ayurveda and Jyotisha. Michael further shares how these three sciences aim at balancing the five elements—earth, water, fire, air, and space. Michael also talks about how Vastu is also all about living in harmony with nature, in your environment, and how energy gets stuck if things aren't organized in our environment.

Michael Mastro and his wife Robin founded the American Institute of Vastu.

Read more about Michael Mastro and his work here: https://www.vastucreations.com

Intro and Outro Music: Hearts on Fire by Immersive Music

Connect with me for inspiring and educational content on Instagram.com/warriormonk, Facebook.com/thewarriormonk, and Twitter.com/warriormonkiam

Read more about the Warrior Monk mission here: www.thewarriormonk.com

The repository of Warrior Monk Conversations podcast episodes are found here: https://www.thewarriormonk.me


Warrior Monk Conversations 018: Vastu Shastra—Yoga for the Home with Michael Mastro

Welcome to Warrior Monk Conversations, a treasure trove of inspirational discussions in personal and professional development.

I am Poonacha Machaiah. Join me on this journey where I have immersive conversations with the most thought-provoking leaders and everyday heroes from our communities to inspire, educate, and empower you to build resilience and reach your highest potential. Join me on this mission to create a positive societal shift to the compassionate transformation of humankind.

Michael Mastro is one of the foremost practitioners, scholars, and teachers of Vastu Shastra in North America. Vastu is “Yoga for Home” and originated in India 7,000-10,000 years ago. Vastu comes from the same wisdom texts as yoga, meditation, Vedic Astrology, Ayurveda, and the first of science of medicine.

He was a teacher of Transcendental Meditation in 1970-1993. He was a designer for Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (The Beatles Guru), in early 1970’s, a scholar of the Manasara, a major Vedic text of Vastu. His Honorary Masters in Vedic Science is from Nagar Academy, Noida, India. Over 30 years, he's been consulting people worldwide to achieve success through Vastu. He also designed and built the first Microsoft building and several other buildings for Boeing according to Vastu tenets.

Poonacha: Okay, friends, I'm extremely honored and privileged to have a dear friend, Michael Mastro, with us this morning. I've known Michael over the years, Namaskar, and obviously, through the Chopra Center with Deepak, and it's indeed a privilege because this is the right time for him to share his knowledge and wisdom on what he calls “Yoga for the Home” or the very ancient science of Vastu Shastra, and let me give you a little bit of a background on Michael before we kind of get into it.

So just very quick. There's so much to talk about, but I want to do a quick intro so we can set the stage why he is the person when it comes to--he and his wife, Robin, actually, who are really the people who founded the American Institute of Vastu, and then, as quick background, he was introduced to meditation in 1968. He's a teacher of Transcendental Meditation, with his holiness, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, in 1970-1993. He has a degree in architecture. He was the designer for Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and he designed this, and I think, I guess, a building in Rishikesh?

Michael: Yes.

Poonacha: He has Honorary Masters in Vedic Science, 30 years of consulting worldwide in Vastu shastra. He's a scholar of Manasara, a major Vedic text of Vastu, and, on and on, but he also was--designed buildings for Microsoft. In fact, Bill Gates’ office, when you designed it, Southwest corner facing East, I guess, and then Boeing, Intel, and even the World Bank.

So it's indeed a privilege, Sir, to have you this morning.

Michael: Thanks so much for this opportunity. I really appreciate it.

Poonacha: So let's kind of really dig deep in, I think, and unpack a lot of things in these unprecedented times.

Michael: Yes.

Poonacha: Work, home, everything is now converging, and one of the things people have been reaching out to me and asking is that, “Poonacha, how can we make our work, our home now a sanctum?” Right? “How do we raise the energy? What can we do?” We, today, we're all tight corners, and some people are alone. There are two kinds of extremes: some people, the whole family are living together, and some people are living alone.

Michael: Sure.

Poonacha: What can we do energetically to maximize our wellbeing?

Michael: Yes. Well, there are some really simple things, but let me give just a little foundation first.

Poonacha: Absolutely.

Michael: So, many of your listeners may or may not know that Vastu is a sister science to Ayurveda and Jyotish or Vedic Astrology, and all three of these sciences aim at balancing the five elements---earth, water, fire, air and space. Everything is made of energy, our bodies and our buildings, and they're both made of those five elements, and whenever one or more of those five elements is out of balance, then we feel some dis-ease in the body. It could be, whenever the five elements are out of balance in the world, nature finds a way to reboot, or creating an event that will restore that natural balance.

Poonacha: Like right now, what's happening right now. Right?

Michael: Yes, that's what we're experiencing right now.

Poonacha: Right.

Michael: And it's not outside, just outside, we're experiencing in our bodies and in our homes with our families or if we live alone. So, it's giving us time to reset ourselves and find out what's really important for us and reset our environment. So, basically, Ayurveda is all about balancing the five elements in the body, so, and they give certain remedies and all those different things to balance those five elements, and Vastu takes it a step further to balance the five elements in the body, of your body, which is your home, your office, and so each of the five elements, when we look at our home, is associated with a specific direction and in some specific aspect of our life.

So if you divide your house into four quadrants, the Northeast would be the water element. Water has to do with growth in your life---financial growth, and spiritual growth, and so that's something we're all looking at right now. So we're not earning maybe the money that we could have been earning, and we're also looking at our spiritual growth. This is creating a spiritual crisis for most people, and so--yes, so the Northeast is all about the water element and growth.

Southeast is agni, the fire alignment, and it has to do with your energy, whether you’re feeling--your energy is low, your prana is low, or your prana is high, your vitality, and it's also about your immune system. So this whole situation has put us into a situation where we're, all of a sudden, we maybe not thought so much about boosting our immune system. I've been telling my astrology clients for months to boost their immune system because we could see planetarily that this was coming, so, but basically, yeah, so if that fire element is out of bounds for some reason, your vitality is low, your immune system is low, and you could be more susceptible to viruses, etc.

Southwest area of your home has to do with the earth element, whether we feel grounded or not, or we feel stressed out and not grounded, and earth element has to do with how we support ourselves, in our physical body, and how we support ourselves and our family. Again, our career. So here, we're forced to think about our career. Do we want to go in a different direction when the new normal comes about in a few months? Or do we find other ways to work that are more efficient? Like we're doing right now and doing things online rather than getting in a car and driving an hour or two to a job and coming home and missing all that precious time with our family.

So, and then, the Northwest is associated with the air element. The air element has to do with the quality of our thoughts, our consciousness, the quality of our speech, the quality of our actions. So if the air element is out of balance, then there's some disharmony, some stress in our thoughts, our speech, and our actions. What happens, it stresses out our relationships. So now we're put in the situation, and many of us, living in a home with our family, and we used to go out into the world, and then come back, but now it's concentrated. So we really have this, you know, our family is a reflection of ourselves, and so we're constantly in this mode of recycling these reflections, whereas we used to have diversions, and some people are still finding diversions on Netflix, etc. (both laugh) So that's the air element.

And then the very center of your home is really this ether or space element. Earth, water, fire, and air come out of that space element. So any imbalances in the center can affect every area of our life, basically.

Poonacha: Uh-huh.

Michael: So just--what we do in Vastu, we look to see where energy is getting stuck and how we can get that energy to move again. It's the same principle of Feng Shui, only Vastu goes about it a little differently. Vastu is about 10,000 years old, and Feng Shui came about about 2,500 years ago, and

Poonacha: Was there a migration of, from Vastu, from India going across to China, like kalari did in martial arts, you know? Kung fu was an extract or a derivative of kalari.

Michael: Yes, yes. So, about 7-10,000, or about 2500 years ago, Buddhist monks took the knowledge of Vastu over the mountains, from India to China, and they adapted that, that science to their local, cultural, and climatic conditions at a time, and so there was some sandstorms from the East, and some Mongols were invading from the North, so they changed some of the basic principles of Vastu, but anyway, the idea is the same---to keep energy flowing, just like Ayurveda wants to keep the energy flowing in our body.

Because wherever that energy gets stuck, I know Dr. Suhas was talking about the channels getting clogged or the marma points getting, you know, energy getting stuck there, or the meridians, if you're talking about Chinese acupuncture. We have to keep the energy moving, or we feel low prana, low energy, and that leads to depression and all the mental things that people are really concerned about right now. A lot of people are having a lot of stress in their mind and their body because of all this situation that we're in, a lot of fear.

So, back to the simple things. So how does energy get stuck? Well, there's about seven different ways. We'll just kind of touch on most of them, but I'm going to talk about the things that you could do right now, today, to move some stuck energy. So energy can get stuck if your house is not aligned to the cardinal directions, if you're not--if you look on Google Maps, and you're not aligned to the longitude and latitude lines, because that distorts the energy field within the house and it affects our thinking and our decision making. There are ways to energetically correct anything I'm talking about. You don't have to pick up your house and turn it or anything like that. (Poonacha laughs)

So the second way energy gets stuck has to do with the shape of your house or your office or your--the room that you're living in. If in a rectangular shape, energy flows very efficiently, no energy gets stuck, but if there are missing corners or extension, the garage sticks out, or the breakfast nook sticks out, then it creates missing corners, and just like a stream is flowing, if when there's a bend in the stream, some of that water eddies and creates some stress and pollution in the river. So shape is very important.

Placement of things within your house, like toilets, stoves, furnaces--we talked about water element being in the Northeast. If you have a stove there, it's like burning money. If you have a toilet in the Southeast, that's water reducing fire that affects your immune system and your vitality. If you have a stove or a toilet or any other fire element--water element in the Southwest, it reduces Earth and affects our ability to be grounded and support ourselves in our family. So air and fire are friendly, so you can have water or fire in the air element, but space element is affected by fire and water too, so central heating, things like that, can disturb that balance.

The other thing that can create stuck energy is if you don't have a lot of windows or openings to the North and the East, then you don't get that life force energy from the Sun or the magnetic energy from the North Pole. Those two forces of nature affect every cell in our being, and in fact Vastu is about aligning our physical body to those forces of nature, and we'll talk about the direction you sleep and the direction you face when you're working or doing something creative, in a minute, and how that can create stress if you're not in alignment or working in harmony with nature.

Vastu is also all about living in harmony with nature, in your environment. Ayurveda is about, as you talked to Dr. Suhas, about aligning your daily schedule to the forces of nature. So basically, the next way energy gets stuck is things that aren't organized in your environment, and that's what we can do right now without even looking at the other Vastu free features.

If you have clutter or things you haven't used in a long time or that aren't organized in the Northeast, that's going to affect your prosperity, your spiritual growth, and it's actually the circulatory system within your body. If you have things in the Southeast that are disorganized, that can affect your health and your energy level, your vitality. If you have things that are in the Southwest, the garage is cluttered or whatever, a closet, something like that, then that will affect your ability to earn a living and move on with your career, finding new ways to work if your job’s not there anymore, and if you have clutter in the Northwest, that affects the mind and emotions and your relationships within your house.

That may be--a lot of people may want to start there since that's, you know, there’s depression and, you know, they say that a lot of people get married during a crisis, or they get divorced. So it's definitely a time to look at the stress in your relationships and what you could do in your environment to improve that energy flow so that stress gets reduced, and then, in the center, in the attic or in the basement or in the center of your house, if there's a closet that's disorganized, that would affect everything. So, you know, just getting more organized, we have this great gift or opportunity to kind of clear things up in our environment.

Poonacha: This is really important because this is, really, this is for the first time, we do have the time. We are hitting a reset. So, let us even take a few moments today after this conversation to really maybe use your compass on your phone and really figure out--we'll obviously have directions and links, but also one of the things I want to touch on before I lost that thought was that Michael has a website called Vastu Creations, right? vastucreations.com.

Michael: Yes.

Poonacha: You can send him an email. He does online advising and consultations. It's really easy. So you don't have to really think that you have to, you know, uproot your house. There are also a lot of different techniques which can be done online. So I really recommend people to do that.

Michael: Yeah. Again, everything is made of energy. You know, your feet are planted on the floor, and we think it's solid, but we know if we put it under a powerful microscope, it's made of atoms, protons, and neutrons, and God particles, and those God particles are made of earth, water, fire, and space. And so if we can manipulate that energy at a subtle level, just like many of you meditate, and you go to a very subtle level in your meditation and all of a sudden, you get this thought about, this very creative thought that--to solve some problem that you've been working on.

So manipulating energy at a very subtle level, we can get that stuck energy to start moving in our environment. It's just like, when you're feeling tired or pain in the body, you go to someone who understands how energy flows in the body, like a chiropractor, or you're getting a marma treatment, or you go to an acupuncturist. They know where that energy gets stuck, and they place a needle there to move that energy, and what we do in Vastu, is we place a Yantra there, which is a physical representation of a mantra or sound, and that, specifically, is designed to move that stuck energy, but getting organized would be a big step towards that. The rest, Vastu has a remedy for every situation.

Poonacha: So I want to just maybe pause for a second

Michael: Sure.

Poonacha: and just go into like, there's so much of wisdom, when i--these last four weeks, I really, got me to tap into my innate being, right? I come from a very small part of India called Coorg or Kodagu, which is, you know, I would say, it's “Scotland of India”, a very beautiful place. I'm looking at all the ancient rituals and practices we had, of lighting the lamp and washing the feet before entering the home.

Michael: Yes. Oh, yes.

Poonacha: I talked to Suhas yesterday. All these practices though, today, in the Western world, I would say, “oh, man, this is so antiquated,” but now, when I go back, I'm actually reenergized that there was so much of free medicine.

Michael: Yes.

Poonacha: Right? And this--especially, when I look at Vastu Shastra, it's from the Atharva Veda, right? And these are derivatives from Atharva Veda.

Michael: Yes, it is.

Poonacha: So, do you want to give a little bit of a breakdown of Vastu, Ayurveda? You also are a Jyotish astrologer.

Michael: Yes.

Poonacha: How does it all kind of come together? And then we can get into the directions of sleeping and how to perform better and things like that.

Michael: Great. Yeah, I mean, this is just what I love about these three sister sciences. They're so interconnected and intertwined, and really to improve healing for people, it's good to look at a holistic approach and, and you're familiar with Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary.

Poonacha: Yeah.

Michael: We did a kind of a double blind study on about 30 of her patients and--who were not progressing. They were stuck in their healing process, and we added the astrology and added the Vastu. I would go to their apartment or house, and I would look at their chart and see where the energy is getting stuck, the planetary stress that they are under and the stuck energy in the house, and so we added these things, and lo and behold, they took off in their healing process. So, it was--and we got to present that on Dr. Oz as well.

But basically, what it is is your apartment or house or office is a reflection of your astrology chart. So, each area of your house is represented by a particular planet. When we're born, all the planets and stars are embedded in the sky in a certain way to create certain challenges for us to grow at certain points in our life. It--grow, open our hearts, have more compassion, and help other people, be in service. Everything is designed for that. People are always looking for their life purpose, and it comes in many forms, but the basis is to be more connected to other people. We are all connected, and somehow, through our ego, we feel separate, and these planets are designed to create these little challenges to help us grow.

And so, we naturally gravitate towards certain floor plans of apartment or a house or an office, during these planetary periods, that supports whatever the planets are trying to teach us at that time. For a long time, I would do somebody's chart and look at their floor plan of their house, and they're exactly the same, and I was (Poonacha chuckles), so, you know, I'm constantly being humbled by the amazing science that Vastu and Jyotish and Ayurveda are, and then you can see, even in the floor plan, the doshas, you know, the dosha imbalances, and that leads to, you know, your ayurvedic remedies.

So a three-pronged approach I think is really, really important, and--yeah, basically, if you divide the house again, by those four quadrants, or you could even say nine spaces, the Northeast is that water element. So what's water related to in Ayurveda is the Kapha, and then the Southeast is the fire, that's the Pitta, and the Southwest is earth and mostly earth that's mostly Kapha, and Northwest is Vata, the air element.

So, if you are mostly a Vata disposition and say you're sleeping in the Northwest area of your house, that aggravates your Vata dosha, or if you're Pitta and you're mostly sleeping or spending a lot of time in the Southeast part of your house, that will aggravate. Now, those two doshas, if they are spending more time in the Southwest, that will balance their dosha type, whereas Kapha, he can be in the Southeast. He can be, more time, in the Northwest.

So it's--so these, these are so interconnected, and as I was saying before, each of the planets is associated with the different parts of the house. North direction has to do with mercury, and Mercury is trying to teach our mind not just to pick things apart, be critical. We can analyze but bring things together. So many, many of us, you know, part of depression is picking on yourself, ‘I'm not worthy. I'm not good enough,’ and Mercury is trying to teach us, ‘yes! Trust! You are good enough. Bring things together. Bring people together. Bring the parts of yourself together.’

And then, in the Northeast, you have Jupiter. Jupiter's teaching you to grow and expand spiritually and go deep in your meditation, and then, yeah, it's all about expansion. And then, East is the Sun. Sun is giving you that vitality. It's giving you that--it shines light on your consciousness. It gives you that feeling of I'm, ‘I am good enough.’ And then, Southeast is Venus. Venus gives you that compassion, that love. It opens your heart. It's teaching you not to be stuck in yourself. And then, the South is Mars. Mars, you know, some of the--these planets all have two sides. They can make you very aggressive and get argumentative, increase your Pitta in the body, or they can give you drive, ambition, passion, and to be creative.

And then, Southwest is Rahu. Rahu is that--it's the planetary node of the moon. In everybody's life, there are--is an eclipse at, sometimes. Some darkness comes, and these eclipses can be very much associated to every event that's happening in the world. I mean, the eclipse in December really helped ignite this situation that we're in right now. And then, in the West, we have Saturn. Saturn is the greatest teacher--and these are all related to your chakras as well.

Poonacha: Right.

Michael: So, Saturn is the base chakra, and it's teaching you to be grounded and to be disciplined and to follow the rules, and Saturn is in Capricorn in its own sign, and what does that say? It says, “go to your room. Take time out.” Saturn was in Jupiter bef--in Sagittarius, that was expansion. Now, it's in Capricorn. So, we have to take time out and see what's really important in our lives, our family, our-- people we love. When we leave this world, the only thing we take with us is our love and our consciousness.

Poonacha: Yes.

Michael: This fine, just a garment, it’s, you know, all the money we made, all the things we did, you know, that's temporary.

Poonacha: Absolutely right, Sir. Absolutely right.

Michael: Well, the last planet is Moon. Moon is in the Northwest, and that's mind, emotions, trea--teaching you to trust your intuition, and, again, it gives you healthy relationships and things like that.

Poonacha: If you have to give us two areas, let’s focus on, one is sleep.

Michael: Yes.

Poonacha: Which I think a lot of people are struggling with.

Michael: Yes.

Poonacha: Everybody is feeling unsettled. From anxiety, they say this--the supermoon and things like that, a lot of things happening planetarily.

Michael: Yes.

Poonacha: So, how do we help people sleep better? The second area would be, people are working at home, how do we help them to be more productive, more energized at work? At home?

Michael: Okay. Great. Great. And again, Vastu is about aligning yourself to the two forces of nature, the magnetic energy from the North and the solar energy from the East. So, when I go to Microsoft or Intel or Amazon to help people be more productive, we look first at the direction they're facing when they're working.

So, I've been involved in many double blind studies where we'll take 100 kids, similar IQ, hooked them up to EEG machines to measure their brainwaves and have them study the same materials and take the same test. We divide them into four groups. One group will face North, one will face East, one will face South, and one will face West. And what we find is that the kids that face North and East do about 20% better on the test. The kids that faced South and West, they have trouble focusing, they don't have the same stamina, the same creativity. So something about the solar and the magnetic energy support that creativity and focus.

Now, another part of the test that's really interesting is, the kids that faced North did better on the math, the analytical part of the test. Something about magnetic energy supports the left brain activity. And then, the kids that did better on the creative part of the test were facing East. Something about the solar energy supports the right brain activity.

So if you have an opportunity to look at your desk at home, now that we're working at home, a lot of us, or we're doing anything creative at home, playing music, doing art, because a lot of us are, are, you know, have time on our hands to do those creative things that we wanted to do, try to face those directions. If it's a creative project, try to face East. If it's a more analytical, accounting kind of thing, go for the North. So, that's one thing we look at, and elements to Vastu issues in the office to get the energy that stuck to start moving.

So for sleep, and that this is hugely important, so I'd say almost every client that I come across, at some points in their life, they have these sleep issues, and you can look at their chart and see why, you know, that Sun is moving through the sixth or eighth, through the twelfth house, and it's agitating them, giving them a lot of mental activity when they should be shutting down. But, basically, the direction you sleep has a lot to do with the quality of how rested you feel when you wake up, whether you feel refreshed or ‘oh, my God, I'm so tired or groggy.’

So, there, again, have been a lot of double blind studies in hospitals where they take 50 patients recovering from similar surgery, and they also hook them up to EEG machine. They're measuring their REM states, the critical factor in sleep. So they have 50 patients---25 will have their headboards to the North, feet pointing South; 25 will have their headboards to the South, feet pointing North.

And what they find in three days is, the patients with their headboard to the South and feet pointing North are sleeping more deeply, have less complications from the surgery, recovering much quicker, and they have more REM states and longer REM states. The patients with their headboards to the North are not sleeping as well. They have less REM states and shorter REM states.

And--the reason is, positive magnetic energy comes from the North, and our body is like a magnet. The positive polarity is in our head. So if we're sleeping with our headboard to the North, it's like bringing two positive ends to--

Poonacha: It’s repelling.

Michael: Yeah, they repel.

Poonacha: Right.

Michael: The blood flow, circulation, digestion, and over time, it's gonna affect your health because you're not naturally throwing off that stress while you're sleeping because your mind is really going and you're very agitated and things like that. So, that's the simple thing that you can do per Vastu, and ayurvedically, there're so many different things. I'm--you were talking about these ancient rituals that come from your homeland.

Poonacha: Right.

Michael: And one thing Suhas has touched on is that I was taught very early when I started meditating, is, when you wake up in the morning, you roll over to your right side. This opens up your left nostril, or your left nadi, and that--the left nostril is associated with all the creative, spiritual things in your life, and the right nostril is associated with eating and more, you know, other kinds of issue--different types of activities. But just starting the day with that left nostril predominant can improve the whole quality of the day. And then, when you get out of bed, you step onto the floor with your right foot. This aligns your buyer rhythms so that you're actually, your day’s, again, started off on the right foot, basically. (both chuckle)

Poonacha: Beautiful!

Michael: And there're so many Vastu--Ayurvedic rituals that have been handed down mostly by grandmothers, and, you know, a lot of this beautiful science has been lost, but it's, again, aligning yourself to these forces.

Poonacha: And I guess this has given us an opportunity to share the wisdom from teachers like you, ‘cause you guys, you, I would say, with Suhas, you, and Dr. Chopra are, I guess, a few other people, have worked directly with this holiness, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

Michael: Yes.

Poonacha: So, can you just tell us what is that moment, working so closely with Maharishi, what is that moment or time that you would like to recall when you were like, ‘wow! This is--these are some of the moments which are priceless.’

Michael: I feel so fortunate, and I'm sure Dr. Suhas and Deepak too, and too, as well. I mean, I was just a young--I was, you know, still in my teens, a young architect and I was just walking down the street in Berkeley, and somebody said somebody was giving a lecture upstairs. I went upstairs, and there's Maharishi in a room with about 10 people, just talking. Afterwards, I just wanted to say hi and how valuable the wisdom that he was teaching was to me, and he said, “yes, I want you to come to Rishikesh and work on a design for me,” and, you know, it didn't happen for a couple years, but I got there. (both chuckle) And then I was sitting at his feet, you know, for many hours at a time. I would actually fall asleep at certain points because he could go for, you know, all day, all night. (Poonacha chuckles)

He was describing certain architectural environments, and as he would describe those environments, it basically became like a hologram, a three dimensional form where you could actually smell and taste and touch that whole environment, and he was talking about Vastu, and we didn't use those words back then, you know. We didn't--I didn't know what Vastu was, but he was talking about Vastu without even naming it, about aligning these buildings to a certain direction and the length and the width and the proportions and the colors and, you know, just the whole thing, but when he described that, I felt like I was really there. And so, it was so easy from that cognition of his imparted words that I could design these buildings, and then when I look back at it now, this was perfect Vastu.

Poonacha: Right. So there was like a transmission happening, like a 3D.

Michael: Yeah.

Poonacha: Like you have 3D models zooming into the structure.

Michael: I think Deepak and many of us who have been with some mas--master get this what's called the sankalpa. It's like you get this wisdom on a very, very deep level, and it's only to help other people. It's not for any other reason. So I feel very fortunate in that way.

Poonacha: Beautiful. Moving to the next topic, I want to kind of maybe talk about people, and everybody has home. Some of them, they didn't, obviously, build it themselves. They're living in apartments. I know it's still possible for them to do things, reach out to you online, get some advice.

Michael: Sure.

Poonacha: You have this whole principle of how positive energy flows from the Northeast and settles in the Southwest.

Michael: Yes.

Poonacha: And it's really important to understand this flow.

Michael: Yes.

Poonacha: And if things are stuck, let's say an L-shaped and they can do things with the placement of yantras, how can people do it today? Can they reach out to you? And then, can they do it remotely?

Michael: Yes. So interestingly enough, about half of my business has always been online.

Poonacha: Right.

Michael: People from Mongolia and India and all over the world, send me just a little sketch, something simple, on a napkin or a piece of paper, they take a picture with their phone, and they send it to me. And from that, I can see where the energy is getting stuck, prescribe what's needed, and send that with instructions to wherever they are in the world. And this works just as good as me coming in person. I missed that personal contact, but now, I do it on Zoom or FaceTime as well.

Poonacha: Right.

Michael: So you can even walk through your house, you can kind of show me things. Some people, you know, it's very difficult for them to make a little sketch, and in this way, I can actually sketch it when we walk around the house. So, I do this every day for people all over the world, and they can just contact me, and we can set it up and get amazing results before improving the energy flow.

Poonacha: So you don't have to move your toilet. You don't have to remove your kitchen. So,

Michael: No.

Poonacha: You touched about yantra. So for people who don't know what yantra is, you got visually to show something or just exactly what--so it's actually a small device. It's actually a three dimensional rendering of a mantra, basically.

Michael: Yeah, exactly. So these yantras are made of the five elements, and Einstein had this quote, and I won't quote it correctly, but I’ll just say, basically, everything is made of energy, and if you can create a form where the energy is the way you want it to be, it will attract that type of energy in your environment. So, that's basically what a yantra does. It's made up of the five elements. So, triangle pointing down is the water element. Triangle forming up is the fire element. Square is the earth element. Circle is the air element. Dot in the middle is the space element.

So all of these yantras, maybe 100 different mantras, that we use in Vastu to move stuck energy have these shapes within them and certain colors associated with a particular planet in a direction and a certain mantra as well to activate that energy that’s stuck. Toilets in the Northeast, that's water, but it's impure water, so this can be like flushing money down the toilet. (chuckles)

Poonacha: Right.

Michael: So, again, there's a specific yantra you place in a certain way to move that stuck energy, and I'm, you know, again, humbled by this knowledge that it works. Time and time again, I, you know, I, sometimes I just think, ‘wow! This is really working?’ and then you see it happen for people, and it's just humbling and amazing, you know.

Poonacha: I'm also going to do a follow up with your wife, Robin Mastro, on sacred altars, and you also have two books, The Way of Vastu and the Altars of Power and Grace.

Michael: Yeah.

Poonacha: So I will send a link to people. So I think what’s--

Michael: Mr. Right, too. She has this other book called Making Room for Mr. Right, which is using the power of the Vedas to create more love in your life, whether you're alone or you're in a relationship or whatever, or attracting the relationship.

Poonacha: Beautiful. So, if you have a few more minutes, I want to kind of cover a couple of things. One is--

Michael: Sure.

Poonacha: I want to first of all summarize some of the wisdom you shared. So one is, if you want--if you are doing work which is analytical/mathematical, face the North, right?

Michael: Yes.

Poonacha: Accounting, finance. If you want to get an inspiration of creativity, face the East, right?

Michael: Yes.

Poonacha: And if you--for sleep, which really--is to have your headboard facing the South, right?

Michael: Any direction but North. I share it when I, I—

Poonacha: Okay.

Michael: So if your house is not aligned to the cardinal directions, you don't want to face--you wan--don't want your headboard to the Northwest, to the North, or to the Northeast. Any other direction will--

Poonacha: is okay

Michael: will be okay. Now, if you have specific health challenges, South is the best.

Poonacha: Okay, South is the best. Perfect!

Michael: That magnetic energy field.

Poonacha: Great. So, I know--I also want to kind of--you have three principle, the one third, one third, one third principle.

Michael: Yes.

Poonacha: Can you touch on that?

Michael: Yes.

Poonacha: Because I think that is really profound.

Michael: Yes.

Poonacha: Maybe we should do that, and then after that, what I would love for you to do, if you don't mind, Sir, is to do a five-minute meditation to heal the planet. We’ll be walking all the elements, and I love when you chant. So, that'll be beautiful.

Michael: We'll do it. So, basically, what's really needed in this time is to reduce stress, and Jyotish was created or astrology was created as a roadmap to your happiness, to a perfect health, to reduce the stress in your life, and as well as Vastu and Ayurveda, and so, one-third is whatever we can do to reduce the stress in our mind and our body, through your Ayurveda, through drinking lots of water, warm water in these times, and eating fresh food, and exercise, and, you know, vigorous exercise, even going for a 15-minute walk, and then pranayam. So important. Dr. Suhas talked yesterday about the vigorous breathing, you know, (demonstrates). This cleans out the nostrils and the channels, you know, doing this a few times, is called bellows breath, and then there's Kapalabhati, which is another one, but also the Nadi Sho---breathing out the left nostril, breathing in the left nostril, bringing out the right nostril, in the left nostril.

So, whenever you are depressed or angry, you can change the whole way you feel by changing the way you breathe. When we're in fear and anxiety, our breath is very shallow and not rhythmic. And when we start to breathe rhythmically through these ancient breathing exerci--that one's called Nadi Sho or alternate nostril breathing--we're balancing the left and the right hemisphere in the brain. No matter what mood you're in, whether you're depressed or whether you're angry, you can calm down just by doing this about nine rounds of out-in, out-in. And it's so amazing. So, you know, yoga, all those things, you can do for the mind and the body.

Vastu is the second one. Thirty percent is your environment. Whatever you can do to improve that energy flow in your environment, and it could be just clearing the clutter, but, in Vastu, we can look at all the other ways that energy is getting stuck and getting it to move without any remodeling that it will create more stress or/and more expense. So, we don't need more expense right now. And also, we have a relationship with our environment. Some people don't like where they live, but they can't change it. So, changing the way you look at your environment, do some things that make it beautiful and bring joy to you, just by adding some flowers or--so, moving water in the Northeast actually brings up the prosperity.

Just adding some things, moving water in the Northeast, a little Himalayan salt lamp that associated with a fire element in the Southeast, a plant in the Southwest that grounding that energy, some wind chimes or something that creates sound in the Northwest---all of these things will support the five elements, and get some energy flowing in your environment, and start to have this relationship with your environment.

I can walk in a house, no matter how cluttered it is, how bad the Vastu is, I can tell when people love their space, and when you love your space, it loves you back. So,

Poonacha: Beautiful.

Michael: Very, very important. And then, the last third is, again,

Poonacha: So, just a quick thing, just--before you do the last third.

Michael: Sure.

Poonacha: I want to ask you one question which always--

Michael: Sure.

Poonacha: On EMF. So, I know Vastu looks at even different things like pipes underground will flow of, you know, all the different things, and EMF do--we are bombarded with EMF. What are your thoughts? Are there remedies for EMF from a Vastu perspective?

Michael: I’m glad you asked me this, but it's a whole other talk, but

Poonacha: Okay, sorry. (chuckles)

Michael: I want to--I want to keep it short.

Poonacha: Okay.

Michael: My feeling is, yes, EMF affects us, and I have so many clients over the last many, many years, some are more sensitive to it than others. I've been watching a block away. They've been working on the top of the YMCA. It’s just like a block away, and I got to think, ‘oh, they're putting in a new HVAC system or something like that.’ And then I woke up one morning, and I thought, ‘no, I think I know what they're doing,’ and I went to talk to them. It's a huge 5G transformer that they're putting up there.

So, basically, 5G is this situation where it has to be closer to you. Before, you had a cell tower. It could be two miles away. It was giving you the 4G. Now, with the 5G, it all has to be closer. So, you can go on certain websites and find how close this 5G is to you. But, basically, we've done so many studies where you take a blood sample before, and then you stand in front of a smart meter, or you're on your cell phone for so many minutes, and you can see the cells in the blood, they're kind of separate before, and then they get really clumped together, which is a sign of cancer or disruption of the DNA in the bloodstream.

So, it affects us. It actually reduces--it disrupts the immune system. So, there are all these conspiracy theories, but I think there might be something to it. That--okay, 5G started in Wuhan, and that's where the coronavirus started. In 1918, we introduced radio waves. That's when the Spanish Flu came about. In 2003, is when we went to 3G, and then we had the--not the swine flu but the one before that, and then, in 2009, we had 4G, and then we had the swine flu.

So, tha--it's just one piece of many things that are going on that are breaking down our immune system, but we are electromagnetic beings. We have iron in our blood, so we are affected by these electromagnetic frequencies, and our body is adaptable, you know. We're trying to adapt to the change. Water is one of the best tools we have, drinking more water than you think you should.

But, on our website, vastucreations.com, we have what's called a EMF protection plug, 5G protection plug. So, basically, it has this paramagnetic material in it, and when you plug it in the wall, it neutralizes the EMF in your house and creates a protective bubble around the house to protect you from the 5G coming outside. Then we have pendants that you wear that also contain the paramagnetic material, and when you go out into the, you know, to outside, it’ll protect you from the 5G outside. And then, you know, there are other things that you can put on your cell phone, etc, that--basically, we're not reducing the EMFs. The meter will still show ‘oh yes, you have a lot of EMFs. It could be dangerous for you.’ It's neutralizing the effect of the EMFs so that the body can handle it more.

In fact, through muscle testing in different ways, you can see that the body actually gets energized after you come in contact with this paramagnetic material. It makes you stronger rather than weaker. So, yes, 5G is important. In Vastu and Ayurveda, they talk about Earth energies, underground streams, underground channels, fault lines, and now, in the modern times, we have all these pipes coming towards our house, the power, the sewer, the storm, all of that brings radiation. Where those radiation lines cross, this--if we're spending a lot of time there, like a bed, which often is the case, it does affect our immune system, and affects our sleep, and affects our digestion, affects depression, etc.

Poonacha: But also, I think we're talking about the oxidative stress, which is basically, which is what we're faced with EMFs.

Michael: Yes.

Poonacha: I think walking bare feet, connecting with nature,

Michael: Yes.

Poonacha: The human body is like a battery, right? So when you have oxidative stress, discharging it with the negative ions in the earth is really--so, walking bare feet, it's actually beautiful, and if you can do that for 20-30 minutes, animals don't get inflammation, humans do.

Michael: Yeah.

Poonacha: I think the pet or the pets of humans do get inflammation. (chuckles)

Michael: If we watch the, you know, how animals behave, we could learn a lot ,and then,

Poonacha: Right.

Michael: And I can't say that I have done the barefoot walking my whole life, but I have in the last three weeks. Every morning, I go out on my lawn, and I walk, and then I go hug a tree. I don't do it in 10-15 minutes or 30 minutes. I walk for five minutes. Even if it's raining, it feels really invigorating. It's dark out. Nobody can see me. (chuckles)

Poonacha: Right.

Michael: And then, I go hug a tree across the street.

Poonacha: You know, I think--we have done some research on this. We actually co-founded a company called Innerspace, with the goal of the guys founded earthing movement, Clint over and team, and there's a lot of research which talks about how grounding is really, really important.

Michael: Yeah.

Poonacha: So, going back at third point, which is--I interrupted in your, I don’t want that.

Michael: Yeah. No problem. So, there's planetary stress. Again, these planets are set up to create these events or these challenges in your life for you to grow. Otherwise, you know, if everything was perfect, you know, we wouldn't grow, evolve, and open our hearts and have more compassion. So, there are remedies, just like there are remedies for Vastu or remedies for Ayurveda, to kind of move more gracefully through these planetary periods.

You can picture there's--this is an analogy. There's a bus of life, and we're moving down the road, and there's lots of bumps in the road. Those are the planetary challenges. If our planets are strong, the tires are full of air, and we will not feel those bumps as much, but if our planets, for some reason, are weak, and they need to be strengthened through these remedies, then we're going to feel, you know, it's going to go “kathump”, “kathump, “kathump,” and we're going to really feel all those bumps and not move more gracefully. We'll be reacting instead of responding to all these different situations.

So, astrology really teaches us, when you know your chart, when you see the bigger picture, you can say, “oh, that's why I got that tax on it” or “that's why I've had so many relationships that don't work out” or “that's why I have all these health issues”. You have these certain patterns that are set up by the planets, and once you understand how the planets affect you, it's like knowledge is power---you can overcome, you become mindful. And this whole situation is teaching us to slow down, be mindful, watch our thoughts. We really have never had a chance to watch our thoughts as much as we do now. It's such a gift, such a beautiful opportunity, and we can see, where's our mind going? What are we putting into our minds?

Suhas was talking about movies, Netflix, and, you know, all the different medi--social media. We don't want to just clear the clutter in our house. We want to clear the clutter in our mind and our body through Ayurveda and being aware of where our thoughts are going, you know, replacing thoughts that are negative with gratitude.

I wake up, and my wife and I, we look at each other every morning, and we say three things, and that's three things that we're grateful for, and it could be anything in the moment, and then before we go to bed, we also say three things.

Poonacha: Absolutely.

Michael: And it just kind of sets the rhythm for your dreams and sets the rhythm for your day.

Poonacha: And this is so much to be grateful for, and I am grateful to you, Sir, today, for this amazing

Michael: I thank you too for this opportunity.

Poonacha: and enlightening session. So I would, I would request you to maybe do a three to five-minute meditation.

Michael: Yeah. Let’s do it!

Poonacha: Let's--yeah. If we can invoke, since you have the lineage, invoke the five elements so we can bring healing to this planet.

Michael: Let's do it. Okay, let's just close our eyes. Sit comfortably. Spine is erect. Shoulders relaxed. Take a deep breath in (breathes in deeply), and let go all the cares of the day (breathes out). Take another deep breath in, hold it, and as you breathe out, become aware of your flesh and bones. These are part of the earth element, and just by bringing your awareness to your flesh and bones, you can bring the earth element into balance. Feel that stability that comes when the earth element is in balance---we feel very grounded, very stable, able to withstand all the challenges that life brings us our way, including this lockdown.

Take another deep breath in. As you breathe out, become aware of the blood flowing through your veins. Our body is about 80% fluids, and just by bringing your awareness to the fluids in the body, we can bring in the water element into balance. Feel that flexibility, that fluidity, that comes when that water element is in balance in the body. You're much more able to navigate the challenges of life if you are flexible and not rigid.

Once again, take another deep breath in, and as you breathe out, become aware of the warmth in your body. The warmth and the light of the sun helps everything on this planet, including your physical body to grow and evolve. Without that warmth and the light of the sun, nothing would be growing. Just by bringing your awareness to that warmth in the body, you can bring the fire element into balance. Feel that vitality, that energy, that comes when that fire element is in balance in the body. You feel very alive, very creative, able to solve all the challenges that life brings your way.

Once again, take another deep breath in, and as you breathe out, become aware of the breath moving out of your lungs. The surface of the Earth is covered by about a mile radius of air, the same air that we breathe in and out. Just by bringing your awareness to your breath, you can bring that air element into balance. Feel that harmony that comes when that air element is in balance. The thoughts, the speech, your actions become more harmonious to deal with all the challenges that you have in your life so that you can respond instead of react.

Once again, take another deep breath in, and as you breathe out, become aware of the space in your mind. All the planets and stars are embedded in space, the same space that's in your mind. Just by bringing your awareness to that space in the mind and the body, you can anchor yourself in the present moment when that space element is in balance. We spend most of our time thinking about things that happened in the past, regretting things in the past, or planning things for the future, feeling anxious about the future, especially right now.

So, just become aware of that space element. Be here right now, in this moment. Just be here. That's where your joy and love abides, in this moment, not in the past, not in the future, right here. Bring a big, big smile to your face and feel that joy. Smile all the way through your body. In your heart, in your head, in your body, feel that joy.

Now, become aware of who is actually perceiving in this moment. It's not your body---your body's not eternal. It's not your mind---thoughts come and go. They are not eternal. It is the eternal light of consciousness within you. It is perceiving in this moment and all moments throughout time. Become aware of that light of consciousness as a point in the center of your chest, brighter than a thousand suns, radiating, expanding.

Allow that light of consciousness to radiate and expand and fill your entire dwelling, and if there are other people in your dwelling, family, etc, allow your light to connect with those other lights of beings in your environment. Allow your light of consciousness as you expand more and more to feel the city that you're in, the state, the country. Allow your light of consciousness to expand more and more to the continent that you're on.

Allow your light of consciousness to spill out into the oceans and cover the entire surface of this earth, and connect with all the other lights of the other beings on this planet---animals and humans. In truth, we are all one light, one energy. We are all connected by the five elements. We all walk on the same planet Earth. We all drink the same water, feel the same light, and the same sun, breathe the same air, and exist in the same space. And because we are all connected, one light, one energy, whenever anything on this planet is harmed, we all feel it.

So, in light of that, I'd like all of us to donate a portion of the piece from this meditation to help heal the planet, and I'm going to do a short chant for peace on the planet, and before you open your eyes, I'm going to chant a healing mantra, the most powerful healing mantra on the planet. So, just keep the eyes closed, bring a big smile to your face, and I'm going to start.

OM Sahana Vavatu

Sahanau Bhunaktu

Saha Viryam Karavavahai

Tejasvi Navaditamastu

Ma Vidvishavahai

OM Shanti Shanti Shantihi

Om Tryambakam Yajamahe

Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam

Urvarukamiva Bandhanan

Mrityor Mukshiya Maamritat

Take a deep breath in. Become aware of your body and surroundings. Bring your attention to the palms of your hands and rub them back and forth. Create some warmth, some friction. Bring the palms of your hands to your eyes and feel that warmth. Relax the hands in prayer position. Again, bring a big, big smile to your face, and gradually, slowly, in your own time, you can open your eyes.

Poonacha: Thank you, Sir. Namasté.

Michael: Namasté.

Poonacha: This is indeed a beautiful morning and evening. You know, one thing which you said, the environment is alive.

Michael: Yes.

Poonacha: Everything is living. It is--we should live in gratitude and in deep connection to all the sentient beings.

Michael: Yes, yes.

Poonacha: Anything we harm, it's a ripple effect somewhere else. So, let us live in joy, compassion, or is it karuna?

Michael: Yeah.

Poonacha: You know, in Sanskrit, karuna---live in compassion.

Michael: Yes, karuna.

Poonacha: And let us--you know, there's nothing more I can say. You know, I would say, the master has spoken. So, I would love--once again, I think this has given me a great opportunity to share healing and joy. We're all connected to my family who’s in India, in Coorg, and in all parts of the world, friends. This is a great opportunity for us to share wisdom. I mean, people like Michael Mastro or the wisdom teachers, Suhas, and a lot of other people, everybody who’s been so generous with their time.

And once again, if you have any questions, I'm going to post the link. Go to vastucreations.com. It’s always accessible. So, once again, thank you so much, and let us, together, raise the vibration. Namasté.

Michael: Namasté.

Imagine a world where no one ever feels helpless or hopeless. Join me on the Warrior Monk mission to create a positive shift through the compassionate transformation of humankind.

Warrior Monk Conversations 018: Vastu Shastra---Yoga for the Home with Michael Mastro

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