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AAA Feng Shui and Yoga
P.O. Box 32861
Phoenix, Arizona, 85064



Garden of the Month

Joy Abrams' peacock, Frack, symbolizes what Abrams expects from her yard: "Spiritual birth."

Feng shui brings serenity of ages to Phoenix yard

When Joy Abrams' yoga students leave classes in her backyard teahouse, many sit on the wooden step for an hour before leaving.

Their bodies, balanced by an hour of breathing and stretching, bask in the Asian-inspired harmony of the back yard of her 30-year old rambling ranch within walking distance of the Arizona Biltmore resort.

Abrams understands. The peace in her back yard is by design. Certified by the Feng Shui Institute of America, she has purposely turned her yard into an ancient art form designed to soothe the soul.

Feng shui is a philosophy with its roots in the rotation of the seasons and the relationship of five natural elements: wood, metal, air, earth and water.

The qi - pronounced chee - is the energy that drives these forces and must flow freely to be balanced. Feng shui teaches that those who occupy an environment where the energy is balanced and flowing freely will realize the benefit of this improved energy state in their personal lives.

Feng shui principles applied to landscaping include where to place foliage, what color flowers to plant, and which direction buildings should face to create the most beneficial flow of energy.

In Abrams' yard a pine tree is pruned into triangles shapes, a symbol representing fire. Metal is round; so are many of the bushes and fountains. Anything green, or rectangular, is wood. Water is simply water.

In Feng Shui, triangular shapes like the shrubs above represent fire. Other plants are round, the shape representing metal.

The garden meanders, avoiding any straight lines in plants or pathways. This, Abrams explains, is because straight lines cause energy to escape quickly. With windings lines, energy comes and stays.

Wind chimes, placed on a new plum tree, attract energy. Trees outline the yard, hugging both the house and teahouse.

"In ancient China, a house was to be in the belly on the dragon," said Abrams, who operates AAA Feng Shui in Phoenix. "I've created the belly."

One of the yard's most important elements is not a plant, but rather a peacock. Named Frack, the peacock symbolizes what Abrams expects from her yard:

"Spiritual birth. This yard is just good for my soul. My yard is really my sacred space."

Yoga instructor Joy Abrams applied more than basic gardening principles in turning the back yard of her Biltmore neighborhood ranch house into a rejuvenating retreat. She incorporated an ancient philosophy of life. Visit her yard for TGL's Garden of the Month.

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Phone 602-791-5223

Story Karen Fernau/Arizona Republic and Photos by Christine Keith/Arizona Republic - Wednesday March 1, 2000.



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