If you’ve ever thumbed through the glossy pages of a lifestyle magazine, you’ve probably come across examples of Feng Shui — the process of rearranging your furniture to “optimize a room’s energy flow.”

Lately, the Western world has seemed to latch onto these ideas… especially when seeking out inspiration for interior designs.

But Feng Shui is more than the placement of furniture – it’s an ancient art.

And it happens to be taken very seriously in Chinese culture.

In fact, entire Chinese cities have been designed based on the guiding principles of Feng Shui.1
That’s because Eastern Philosophy believes it can provide the same health and happiness benefits as meditation.

Let’s dig a little bit deeper into this mysterious tradition…
feng shui | Urban Monk Nutrition

What is Feng Shui?

Feng Shui (pronounced Fung Shway) is an ancient Chinese philosophy based on the idea that people are connected to – and affected by – their environment. Feng Shui, which is literally translated as “wind-water,” was first used to identify the most suitable places to build a home or to bury the dead.2

According to Feng Shui, all things on earth — people, plants, animals, and even objects — are swirling with a type of energy called Qi (pronounced chee). While we can’t control this energy out in the world, the idea is that we can control it within our own environments.

Why Would We Want To Control This Energy?

Because Qi needs to flow harmoniously in order for us to be happy and live in line with our desires. And certain things can positively encourage this energy flow, while others have more of a negative effect.

Feng Shui divides the environment – your entire home, a specific room, your office – into manageable units that you can focus on to keep that energy flowing freely and positively.

So, How Does It Work?

It all starts with the bagua.


The bagua is the Feng Shui “energy map” that connects areas of your space to specific areas of your life.

Translated from Chinese, bagua means “eight areas”. The map is divided into 8 zones. Each of these zones corresponds with an area that’s important to one’s health & happiness and is assigned a natural element and a color.

For instance…

The 8 areas of the Bagua

  • Fame & Recognition – Fire – Red
  • Love & Marriage – Earth – Pink
  • Children & Creativity – Metal – White/Pastels
  • Helpful Friends & Travel – Metal – White/Silver/Gray
  • Journey & Career – Water – Black/Navy Blue
  • Self Wisdom & Knowledge – Earth – Blue
  • Health & Family – Wood – Green
  • Prosperity & Abundance – Wood – Purple/Red

The modern bagua – which some people prefer to use for its greater simplicity – incorporates a 9th zone which many believe creates a more workable grid for your home. It simply breaks health and family into two separate categories.

Now that you’ve seen what the bagua is made up of, you can begin to analyze your own home.

For example, if you’d like to focus on improving the energy (Qi) in your love life, you would align the area of your home with the zone for love and marriage using the bagua map.

How Do You Use the Bagua Map?

Well, you can start by focusing on a corner of your bedroom. In that corner, you might like to place “earth elements” like pottery or earthenware. You’ll also want to select special colors that fall on the pink spectrum – like reds, pinks, and burgundies.

You can also fortify the power of this area by adding the element that nourishes earth. By looking at the guide below, you’ll see that fire is the “nourisher” for earth.

The Nourisher Cycle Guide:

– Water nourishes Wood.
– Wood feeds Fire.
– Fire, when it turns to ash, creates Earth.
– Earth, as it condenses over time, turns to Metal.
– And Metal enhances the life-giving mineral properties of Water.


How Can It Benefit You?

One of the really special things about Qi Energy Flow is that it’s so much larger than Feng Shui.

Qi is the basis of the breath in yoga, meditation, and Tai Chi; and it’s the cornerstone of many alternative medicines – such as Chinese medicine, acupuncture, and Reiki (the ki in Reiki means Qi in Japanese). These alternative therapies are steeped in centuries-old traditions that believe trapped Qi can lead to disease and chronic illness.3,4

Just like these alternative therapies or meditation, the Qi life energy of your home or office is essential to your health and well-being. Clutter and disorganization are energy blocks and weigh heavily on your mind, causing you unneeded stress. But if you focus on cleanly organizing the areas of your home with reminders of your purpose, it can be incredibly empowering to both your psyche and the universe.
feng shui | Urban Monk Nutrition

5 Quick Feng Shui Tips

Here are 5 quick tips to help you improve the flow of Qi energy in your home –

1. Eliminate Clutter – Clutter can never be in harmony with Qi.
2. Cover up the TV in your bedroom – This produces conflicting energy and is seen as a relationship-killer.
3. Keep the toilet seat down – An open toilet allows good energy to drain from your home.
4. Buy plants for inside the home – Nature brings positive energy as plants clean the air, contributing to good Qi.
5. Fix anything that’s broken – Broken things represent a disregard for your home and yourself.

The Takeaway…

The wonderful thing about Feng Shui is no matter if you use it a lot or a little, you’ll be creating a sanctuary of positivity for your family. This allows space for new experiences to enter and healthy energy to flow.

In fact, taking the time to reorganize according to the principles of Feng Shui may lead to feelings of greater happiness and contentment. Try it out… you may surprise yourself with the good things you start to attract into your life.

For more health wisdom from Eastern philosophies and the Urban Monk, keep reading here:

Why You Need to Try Acupuncture
5 Ways Meditation Can Make You Happier (and improve your health!)