Ayurvedic Studies Program
The Ayurvedic Institute is the oldest Ayurvedic school in the United States and is highly respected around the world. Steeped in Vedic tradition, our Ayurvedic Studies Program (ASP), now in its 32nd year, is a full-time immersive journey into Ayurveda.
Our ASP1 graduates (first year students) graduate as certified Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultants and our ASP2 graduates (second year students) graduate as certified Ayurvedic Health Practitioners, having completed a significant number of supervised clinical hours in our on-campus clinic. Graduates of ASP2 have the option of participating in our Graduate Clinical Internship. By choosing to study here, you will have the unique opportunity to learn with Vasant Lad, BAM&S, MASc, world-renowned scholar and consummate practitioner of Ayurveda, and the rest of our distinguished faculty.
In Ayurveda, body, mind and consciousness work together in maintaining balance; they are simply viewed as different facets of one’s being. To learn balance requires an understanding of that integration. As such, our Ayurvedic Studies Program is designed to support our students in their own self-healing so they can support others in theirs. Our students often say that they have experienced powerful growth and transformation not only from an academic and professional training perspective, but also on a deeply personal level. The program is academically rigorous and the number of hours students spend inside and outside the classroom far exceed a traditional university load. This is an intensive, sacred learning journey that simultaneously includes chanting, pujas, flash cards, study groups, memorization, and both written and oral examinations. We encourage students to co-create social opportunities together and to apply what they learn in class to all aspects of their lives from their diets and daily routines to their relationships and interactions with others. It is a journey that has the support of a fabulous, very committed faculty, staff, and student body. The complete immersion into Ayurveda combined with hard work and community-mindedness allows for deep assimilation of the knowledge of Ayurveda into the mind, body, and spirit.
ASP1 and ASP2 run concurrently from October to June of each year. The academic year is divided into three, 10-week trimesters, each followed by a break. This school year commences with a mandatory orientation that begins on October 3, 2016 for ASP1 and on October 6 for ASP2. Many of our students have the opportunity to serve in our seminars and weekend intensives in a work-study arrangement or simply to participate at reduced cost; some of those opportunities take place in June and July. The Ayurvedic Institute is a National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA) member school and has been recognized as providing professional training at the professional membership level. Our Ayurvedic Studies Program, Levels 1 and 2, meet the requirements of the Ayurvedic Health Counselor and Ayurvedic Practitioner levels respectively.
We have a busy clinic on campus that is open to the public where students gain training, practice and mentorship through our Graduate Internship programs. In addition, we have unique continuing education opportunities for alumni.
- ASP Level 1
- ASP Level 2
Ayurvedic Studies Program, Level 1
The Ayurvedic Studies Program, Level 1 (ASP1), is the foundation of the educational programs offered at The Ayurvedic Institute. Students acquire a thorough understanding of the principles and practices of Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle, Sanskrit, Ayuryoga, Anatomy and Physiology, and client relationships. ASP1 is also considered a time to increase self-awareness, self-nurturance, community building, and rigorous study of Ayurvedic knowledge and practices. In each week of this program, an estimated 50-60 hours is dedicated to lecture, class, study, and practice.
There are two ways to participate in ASP1: Certificate of Completion Track or Personal Track.
1. CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION
On the Certificate Track, graduating students finish with a certificate as an Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant. ASP1’s curriculum is recognized by the National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA). ASP1 meets competencies required for professional membership at the Ayurvedic Health Counselor level. ASP1’s scope of practice is focused on assessing a generally healthy person’s constitution and basic imbalances of dosha, agni, āma and dhātu. Students will be able to create recommendations to address these imbalances using dietary, lifestyle and contemplative practices to encourage a lifestyle of balance. Students will further understand when to refer to either a licensed medical professional or a more experienced Ayurvedic practitioner for more advanced work including herbal formulations.
2. PERSONAL TRACK
This is intended for students focused on their own personal enrichment and who are not looking to develop a professional practice of Ayurveda. Personal Track students take all of the same classes as the Certificate Track students with the exception of classes oriented towards seeing clients. Personal Track students are under the same standards and guidelines for attendance but are exempt from taking the quizzes and exams. Upon graduation, these students receive a certificate of Personal Track Completion.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE SCHEDULE FOR ASP1
ASP1 includes lectures, breakout sessions, an emphasis on practice exercises, client evaluations, and oral and written examinations. Students earn 720 total hours of classroom time. In addition, anticipate approximately 720 hours of additional study, homework, and self-practice.
Our ASP1 Program runs from October through June with seminars and intensives offered over the summer. Our classes are designed to complement and build upon each other and are the place where you and your fellow classmates will learn both with and from each other. To foster both this continuity and community, there is a set curriculum and schedule everyone follows.
- Ayurvedic Lectures
This course is amazing in its depth and breadth! It is the foundation for ASP1. Through lecture with experiential exercises and practicum, students are provided with a thorough examination of the philosophy, principles, and practices of Ayurveda, presented directly from Vasant Lad’s knowledge and textbooks.
The first trimester includes a series of videotaped lectures by Vasant Lad facilitated by our faculty. In the second and third trimesters, Vasant Lad teaches in person his extensive understanding of the ancient texts as well as lessons drawn from his many years of experience as an Ayurvedic physician. Topics range from philosophy and Ayurvedic theory to Ayurvedic physiology, health, and balance to basic principles of Ayurvedic management, which includes students presenting cases to Vasant Lad and the class, then receiving feedback.
- Principles Of Ayurvedic Nutrition With Special Reference To The Kitchen Pharmacy
Ayurveda offers a logical approach for determining a correct diet based upon an individual’s constitution – an approach that is often quite different from the current Western definition of a balanced diet. In this course, students look at food, food selection, food combining, use of spices and seasonings and healthy eating practices through an Ayurvedic lens, and develop ways to incorporate this into their personal and professional practices. In the third trimester, students begin learning the fundamentals of Ayurvedic herbalism with a strong focus on the medicinal properties of culinary herbs and spices including their qualities, actions, effects, and applications.
- Ayuryoga For Individual Health & Healing
Ayurveda accepts and incorporates the Shad Darshan, the six systems of Indian philosophy or ways of understanding life. One of these philosophies is yoga which means union – the union of the lower self with the higher self, atman with paramatman. Traditionally, Ayurveda and yoga were practiced together. Both uphold the four aims of life as the highest achievements. Together they enhance each other and the healing of mind, body and consciousness while contributing to self-development, self-realization and overall well-being.
This course is designed to help support your relationships, integration of knowledge and overall well-being with a focus on what will assist you in this program in terms of day-to-day practices. It considers many aspects of classical yoga including a focus on lifestyle principles, practices and ethical disciplines like the yamas (austerities) and niyamas (observances), the yogic branches of karma (action) yoga, bhakti (devotion) yoga and jnana (knowledge) yoga, breathing techniques (pranayama), meditation and mudra. It is not a course on asana (postures) though there will be some guided asana incorporated into the course. By the end of the course, in addition to your own knowledge gained and personal practice, you will be able to guide clients through meditation practices. Those interested in teaching Ayuryoga to clients are encouraged to continue their education with our Ayuryoga Teacher Training elective.
- Ayurvedic Principles In Daily Life
This course first supports students with the transformational process of integrating Ayurvedic philosophy, diet, and lifestyle into their own lives and then, building upon their expanding skills and knowledge, provides an integrative, hands-on approach to advancing their clinical skills, including rapport, assessment, findings and recommendations, and basic pulse assessment, in preparation for seeing clients.
- Learning Sanskrit Through Sutras, Shastras And Sandhis
The language of Ayurveda is Sanskrit, and for thousands of years the knowledge of Ayurveda has been passed down in the form of sutras or small phrases. In the inquiring minds of students, sutras bring hidden knowledge to consciousness and therefore hold an important place in our curriculum. First year students begin a relationship with this sacred language by learning the Sanskrit alphabet, to read and write using the Devanagari script, and to memorize foundational Ayurvedic vocabulary and sutras. This course includes basic Sanskrit grammar such as the declension of nouns and conjugation of verbs in preparation for being able to read and analyze the classic texts of Ayurveda in ASP2.
- Language And Landscape Of The Body
Throughout our program students learn how to use the rays of knowledge to screen the internal organs through external observation of the body. This course offers a foundation for that knowledge providing a framework of western anatomy, physiology, and medical terminology necessary to support students in the Ayurvedic Studies Program especially in Vasant Lad’s classes. This knowledge helps students improve communication with clients and other practitioners in the health field in important and exciting ways that supports them in professional development.
- Interpersonal And Client Communication
According to Ayurveda, every individual is a total, unique expression of consciousness, a living book, and profound healing and transformation is possible when we read that book. In this course, students learn interpersonal communication skills that assist them in compassionately, professionally and ethically communicating with each other and with clients. Students will observe professional Ayurvedic practitioners during class time to gain a wide perspective on the process of both questioning and conveying diet and lifestyle concepts and practices to clients.
- Introduction To Clinical Consultations
Bringing together the theory, communication and assessment skills gained throughout the first two trimesters, students work together in teams under the guidance of our professional clinical supervisors to begin seeing clients and making diet and lifestyle recommendations at our on-campus Ayurvedic Center for Healing, Life and Longevity.
- Ayuryoga Teacher Training (Elective Course)
This Yoga Teacher Training elective is for full-time ASP1 students who want to integrate yoga and Ayurveda, and for students who are existing yoga teachers looking to expand their scope of practice in a way that incorporates what they are learning about Ayurveda. Building upon the courses offered during ASP1, this elective course focuses on working with clients in a way that is tailored from an Ayurvedic perspective. This Yoga Teacher Training blends classical asana, pranayama, mudra, and meditation practices following Ayurvedic principles. An Ayuryoga Teacher can make recommendations based on the prakruti/vikruti paradigm, season, etc. This course is an additional fee.
EXAMPLES OF ASP1 COURSES
Ayurvedic Studies Program, Level 2
The second year of the Ayurvedic Studies Program builds upon ASP1 with an emphasis on increasing depth and breadth of knowledge and application in a clinical setting. Graduates of ASP2 leave with a Certificate of Ayurvedic Practitioner. ASP2’s curriculum is recognized by the National Ayurvedic Medical Association. ASP2 meet competencies required for professional membership at the Ayurvedic Practitioner level. Graduates are competent in a scope of practice that includes being able to assess an individual’s unique constitution and elements of physiological imbalance according to dosha, agni, āma, gati, and srotas. Graduates of ASP2 are able to create recommendations using dietary, lifestyle and contemplative practices along with herbal protocols and Ayurvedic treatments that include external basti, lepa and marma therapy to encourage healing and a lifestyle in balance with nature. Graduates of ASP2 also understand the need to refer to either a licensed medical professional or a higher level Ayurvedic practitioner for more advanced work including a refined understanding of the disease and advanced herbal, cleansing or treatment protocols.
ASP2 includes lectures, breakout sessions, and an emphasis on practical exercises and supervised clinical consultations. Students earn 780 total hours of classroom and supervised clinical consultation time in class and in our on-campus clinic. Classes and clinical rotations are typically scheduled for Monday through Saturday. In addition to class and clinic hours, we anticipate approximately 780 hours of study groups, homework, self-practice, and study.
Our ASP2 Program runs from October through June with electives being offered over the summer. Our courses and clinic rotations are designed to complement and build upon each other. To foster both continuity and community, there is a set curriculum and schedule that everyone follows. Classes are concurrent with practicing in the student clinic.
- Gurukula: Vasant Lad Client Consultations And Lectures
In this amazing, client-centered course, students observe Vasant Lad consulting with panchakarma (PK) clients to learn the art and science behind his assessments, findings, and recommendations. Vasant Lad personally teaches based on his extensive understanding of the ancient texts as well as his many years of experience as an Ayurvedic physician. He works with each client uniquely, applying his knowledge and experience in each consultation, and follows these consultations with lecture and practice.
- The Art Of Nadi Vijnanam
For an Ayurvedic practitioner, pulse opens the doors of deeper perception. In this course students deepen their clinical understanding of the qualities and layers of the pulse through lecture, hands-on practicum, and consistent practice outside of the classroom.
- Classical Texts: Reading And Interpretation
This course introduces the major and minor classical texts of Ayurveda. Students will become familiar with the organization and division of classical Ayurvedic literature, the major resources and proclivities of the dominant texts, and the unique perspectives of their respective authors. In addition, this course will introduce students to the classical methods of inquiry and understanding with reference to clinical application.
- Dravya Guna Shastra
Drawing from both classic and modern sources, students are exposed to the correct, appropriate, effective, safe, ethical and legal use of a selection of Ayurvedic herbs, including their qualities, actions, effects, applications, indications, contraindications, toxicity and proper dosage. Students also learn essential processes of preparation and survey a wide variety of traditional and modern formulations and compounds.
- Clinical Examination Of Srotamsi
This course will focus on developing the art of perception in the student practitioner while exploring and practicing the methodical assessment techniques of dhatus (tissues) and srotas (bodily channels) utilized in our on-campus Ayurvedic Center of Health, Healing and Longevity.
- Chanting Sanskrit Sutras
Building on the reading, writing and grammar competency gained in ASP1, this course will continue to foster Sanskrit reading and comprehension skills and impart practical methodologies for memorization of essential Ayurvedic sutras. Class time is divided between the reading and translation of passages from classical texts, as well as the oral transmission of sutras through chanting.
- Shamana Therapies
This course offers hands-on practicum in treatment and assessment modalities with an emphasis on shamana, therapeutic techniques that involve gently palliating the doshas in clients. Students learn a variety of therapies including lepas, external bastis and shirodhāra, many of which can be further practiced with clients in our on campus Ayurvedic Center for Healing, Life and Longevity. Students are also introduced to a limited number of panchakarma therapies.
- Marma Chikitsa As A Path To Inner Pharmacy
Marmani, vital energy points on the body, are valuable tools in both the assessment and management of imbalances in the body, mind, and consciousness. Through a combination of lecture and guided, hands-on practicum students learn how to incorporate marma chikitsa (therapy) into their Ayurvedic practice.
- Ayurvedic Case Studies
In this course, the instructor presents a range of case studies. These case studies exemplify aspects of various diseases and disease differentiation. Though this course, students will refine their ability to have a discriminating eye while reviewing cases prior to their consultation, as well as refining how they are able to listen to the client and their concerns. Students will gain a more refined ability to follow the thread of imbalance through an Ayurvedic lens, allowing them greater specificity and insight into the recommendations for that person.
- Integrated Approach To Ayurvedic Pathophysiology
This course is an introduction to classical pathologies from an Ayurvedic perspective, supplemented by discussions about allopathic models of disease and standard of care for the selected imbalances.
- Ayurvedic Life Cycles
This course explores the physiological, mental and emotional changes that accompany the natural cycles of human life, with an emphasis on female reproductive health and children’s medicine.
- Introduction To Ayurvedic Jyotish
This course is an introduction to Jyotisha (Vedic astrology) as a tool for indicating a person’s constitution and health from an Ayurvedic perspective. This ten-week course is meant to provide students with a basic familiarity of the North Indian astrological chart so that they can refer clients to professional Jyotish consultants for more in-depth evaluation.
- Ayuryoga For Client’s Health And Healing
Second year students build upon the foundation established in first year with continued exploration of yoga philosophy and guided practices. Students explore the many different styles of yoga they may encounter when working with clients and why it’s helpful to know about them. They will also expand their scope of practice to include teaching pranayama as part of a larger Ayurvedic protocol that helps clients establish balance, improve digestion and ease specific conditions covered elsewhere in the second year clinical curriculum. Those interested in teaching Ayuryoga asana to clients are encouraged to continue their education with our elective Ayuryoga Teacher Training program.
- Student Clinic
Student clinic consists of supervised Ayurvedic consultations and teaches the correct application of Ayurvedic principles with the ability to establish trust, credibility, and rapport with the client. Students progressively apply the principles and skills learned in other courses, gaining confidence in their Ayurvedic lifestyle consultations. They develop the ability to manage multiple factors such as initial examination, report of findings, recommendations and follow up. All clinic sessions include grand rounds where clinical staff facilitates group discussion for a more in-depth understanding of cases.
- Ayuryoga Teacher Training (Elective Course)
This Yoga Teacher Training is optional for full-time students of ASP2. It builds upon the Ayuryoga Teacher Training in ASP1 and their ASP2 curriculum. This elective course includes further practice, assignments, and instruction in Ayuryoga, focused on working with Ayuryoga clients in a clinical setting. This yoga teacher training blends classical asana (postures) and sequences, pranayama, mudra, and meditation recommendations with protocols tailored to their prakruti, vikruti, season, etc. This course is an additional fee.