Education Faculty

Vasant Lad, MASc

Ayurvedic Physician and Executive Director


Vasant Lad, MASc

Ayurvedic Physician and Executive Director

Mitesh Raichada

Executive Vice President- Servant Leader of The Ayurvedic Institute

Sneha Raichada

Director of Operations- Dean of Education; Campus Director

Nishita Shah



Ayurvedic Physician and Executive Director

Vasant Lad brings a wealth of classroom and practical experience to the United States. A native of India, he served for three years as Medical Director of the Ayurveda Hospital in Pune, India. He was Professor of Clinical Medicine at the Pune University College of Ayurvedic Medicine for 15 years. He holds a Bachelor’s of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAM&S) degree from the University of Pune and a Master’s of Ayurvedic Science (MASc) degree from Tilak Ayurved Mahavidyalaya. Vasant Lad’s academic and practical training include the study of Allopathy (Western medicine) and surgery as well as traditional Ayurveda.
Beginning in 1979, he has traveled throughout the United States sharing his knowledge of Ayurveda. In 1984 he came to Albuquerque as Director, principal instructor and founder of The Ayurvedic Institute.
The author of numerous books, Vasant Lad is respected throughout the world for his knowledge of Ayurveda. Vasant Lad has written 12 books on Ayurveda as well as hundreds of articles and other writings. With over 700,000 copies of his books in print in the US, his work has been translated into more than 20 languages.


AP, RYT-200

Karren (Sat Atma) is grateful to serve in a variety of roles (education, clinic, and operations) at the beloved Ayurvedic Institute where she graduated from the Ayurvedic Studies Program Levels 1 and 2 as an Ayurvedic Practitioner. She brings compassion, ingenuity, and delight to her work, whether it be in the classroom, clinic, or as a medical writer and strategist in the corporate boardroom. Practicing Ayurveda to unveil the inner mysteries of life and to serve all beings as an instrument of Peace are Karren’s greatest inspirations.
Karren has done extensive Yoga Teacher Trainings and holds RYT-200 certifications in Kundalini Yoga, Naam Yoga, Children’s Yoga and Yoga for Troubled Youth. She is a Level III Reiki Master.



A graduate of The Ayurvedic Institute’s Ayurvedic Studies Program Levels 1 and 2, Kusum is an Ayurvedic Practitioner, faculty member and clinic supervisor at the Ayurvedic Institute. She is also an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and has a Master’s in Clinical Psychology, and a Postmaster’s in Couple and Family Therapy from Drexel University, Philadelphia. Prior to her training as an Ayurvedic Practitioner, she worked as a Psychology Associate and Crisis Counselor at Western Maryland Health System in Maryland. Kusum is passionate about empowering and supporting others in their journey of health and wellbeing.



As a board-certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist, Vrinda Devani, MD has a passion for women’s health and empowering women towards vibrant health and living. She is a believer in unfolding the human body’s potential through a blend of complementary and allopathic medicine. She has been extremely fortunate to study Ayurveda under Dr. Vasant Lad, completing both the Ayurvedic Studies Program Levels 1 and 2, and further her studies in Ayurvedic women’s health with travels in Nepal with Dr. Sarita Shrestha. In addition to being a physician and certified Ayurvedic practitioner, she also has a love for yoga and is a certified Ayuryoga instructor.
She truly enjoys mentoring and teaching budding practitioners while also practicing integrative medicine in her own private practice. Dr. Devani has also been recognized as an expert in Ayurvedic women’s health, being invited to speak and write for various prestigious audiences.



Shannon Kelly graduated from The Ayurvedic Institute’s Ayurvedic Studies Program Levels 1 and 2 as an Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant and as an Ayurvedic Practitioner. She served as the Panchakarma Assistant in the Ayurvedic Institute’s Panchakarma Therapist Program at VIOA, and also teaches the Gurukula Program in collaboration with the VIOA. Shannon supervises the students in our campus clinic, where she also sees clients as a Senior Practitioner. Shannon is thrilled to be teaching several courses in our Ayurvedic Studies Programs. She brings humor and levity to the students and faculty alike, both in and out of the classroom.



Inspired by his father, Vasant Lad, to learn modern medicine and to integrate this form of medicine with Eastern medical disciplines, Pranav first completed his premed studies and received a B.Sc. in Biology. After receiving his Doctor of Medicine (M.D.), he decided to pursue academic medicine.

He spent several years as an assistant medical director for a medical solutions company where he trained U.S. and international medical students to pass the medical board exams. Pranav also joined a Naturopathic Medical School where he was trained to integrate Acupuncture, Homeopathy, Allopathic medicine, and mind-body medicine along with several other modalities, and received his Doctor of Naturopathy degree. Pranav continues his education in alternative medicine.

Pranav has also been a lifelong student of Sanskrit. His studies began in his youth when he learned to read and write in Devanagri in school. Throughout his childhood, he learned Sanskrit chants from his father. He has continued with extensive studies of the language and transmits a deep knowledge and appreciation of Sanskrit in the classroom.



Originally from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Axelle is a graduate of The Ayurvedic Institute’s Ayurvedic Studies Program, Levels 1 and 2. She also holds an M.S. in Foreign Service, and has worked for 10 years with overseas governments to help them achieve their education system goals.
After several years of practicing Ashtanga yoga—inspired by the close connections between yoga and Ayurveda—Axelle began to incorporate Ayurveda as a topic of study. Passionate about being of service to her community, she loves connecting with clients and friends alike through the principles and recommendations that Ayurveda has to offer.
An Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant and Ayurvedic Practitioner, Axelle works in the Ayurvedic Center for Healing, Life, and Longevity, where she is excited to accompany clients in achieving their wellness goals. She also serves as a faculty member and student clinic supervisor.


BAMS, B. Pharm

Hamsa has been an avid student of Vasant Lad, BAM&S, MASc, for over 19 years. She is a graduate of The Ayurvedic Studies Program, Levels 1 & 2. After her studies in New Mexico, Hamsa went on to study in India to further her studies of Ayurveda in a formal BAMS degree program. Hamsa has worked alongside Vasant Lad in both his city clinic and at the Vasanta Institute of Ayurveda in Pune, Maharashtra. She currently practices in both India and in her home country of Japan.
In her free time, Hamsa is a bakti yogi. She dedicates much of her free time in kirtans and diving deeper into spirituality and other sister sciences of Ayurveda. Hamsa brings a wealth of knowledge to our ASP3 students from theory all the way to clinical experience.



Originally from the beautiful country of Zambia, Bhanu began her journey of Ayurveda auditing courses at the Ayurvedic Institute along with her daughter. Before she knew it, she had not only graduated from the Ayurvedic Institute’s Ayurvedic Studies Program Levels 1 and 2, she had also gone on to complete our Gurukula and Panchakarma Programs in Pune, India. Additionally, Bhanu graduated from ­­­The Ayurvedic Institute’s 500 hour Ayuryoga program. She has served in a multitude of capacities at the Ayurvedic Institute, from our Main Office to the Herb Department. Bhanu currently brings her expertise to our community and students as a practitioner in the clinic and a faculty member.


E-RYT 200, AP

Nishita’s journey in the study of Ayurveda began when she attended the Ayurvedic Studies Program Level 1. She continued on to complete the Level 2 program as an Ayurvedic Practitioner. She feels truly blessed that Ayurveda fell into her lap at an opportune time. Prior to her studies at the Ayurvedic Institute, she attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham where she received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. She continues to be fascinated by the ways in which her Ayurvedic studies intersect with the field of Psychology.
While studying at the Ayurvedic Institute she had the great fortune to learn Ayuryoga with Vasant Lad, BAM&S, MASc. She received a 500 hour Ayuryoga certification and assisted in numerous Yoga Teacher Trainings. In her private practice, prior to joining the faculty at the Ayurvedic Institute, her work has been fueled by a passion for nutrition and yoga. Nishita also finds great beauty in language and holds a deep appreciation for Sanskrit as the mother tongue of all other languages. She is thrilled to bring her love and appreciation for these subjects into the classroom.



Dr. Susan Salvo joins The Ayurvedic Institute with an extensive background in massage therapy. Having graduated from the New Mexico School of Natural Therapeutics in Albuquerque, she has an impressive career in both practicing and teaching massage spanning four decades. Susan has led and directed numerous massage program and continuing education courses using in-person and digital formats. She currently serves in multiple capacities on national boards and committees, including the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards, the National Certification Board for Massage and Bodywork, and the Massage Therapy Foundation.
Susan is a champion for research in complementary therapies and is a trusted educator. She has written multiple textbooks integral to the massage community and authored numerous articles and presentations promoting the benefits of massage.
Outside of massage, Susan enjoys spending time with her husband, Michael, and their children. Susan is a yoga enthusiast with a dedicated practice, and is frequently found walking her dog, Duke, at sunset.


MPT, E-RYT 200, AP

Sneha currently serves as the Dean of Education at the Ayurvedic Institute. She started in the healing arts by completing her Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy. She is a graduate of The Ayurvedic Institute’s Ayurvedic Studies Program Levels 1 and 2 as an Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant and Ayurvedic Practitioner, then furthered her Ayurvedic Studies with six months of study in India. She gained her Yoga Teacher Certification and began teaching yoga and providing Ayurvedic consultations within her private business in Texas. She also holds a Reiki III Certification.
Sneha shares her enthusiasm and inspiration about Ayurveda in the classroom and the clinic with the students as an instructor and clinic supervisor, as well as in the Panchakarma Department with clients. She continues to practice through integration of Physical Therapy, Yoga, and Ayurveda in the clinic as a Senior Practitioner and in her private practice.

Mitesh Raichada


Mitesh is a graduate of The Ayurvedic Institute’s Ayurvedic Studies Program Levels 1 and 2, and is an Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant and Ayurvedic Practitioner. He studied at the Tatvagnan Vidyapeet in Bombay, India, which revealed to him the joy of learning and the importance of self-inquiry. He has also had the privilege of studying Jyotish under Hart deFouw. He holds a Reiki Level I Certification.
Mitesh brings his great passion and love for Ayurveda, and his compassion and insight in relating to others in the classroom, in the clinic as a senior practitioner and supervisor, as well as in his private practice. Mitesh also has extensive business operations experience and infuses this work with principles from Ayurveda. He is dedicated to creating successful, thriving businesses by integrating wellness models into the core of their operations.



Sebastian Urrea was born and raised in a Colombian family in Massachusetts. He graduated from Tufts University in Boston with a degree in Sociology and Music. After working in human resources for several years, he traveled to India to study yoga, which is where he discovered Ayurveda and his deep passion for it and all of the Vedic sciences.
After his experience in India, he went to study Ayurveda with Alakananda Ma at Alandi Ayurveda Gurukula in Boulder, CO and is a graduate of their four-year Master Ayurvedic Practitioner program. He is also a graduate of the American Academy of Vedic Art and Science, where he studied Vedic Astrology and continues to study under Sam Geppi. He is fluent in Spanish and still enjoys writing and playing music in his spare time.
Sebastian brings a wealth of knowledge in Ayurveda and its sister sciences to our classroom, and is excited to share this ancient wisdom with his students.



Luscha provides student counseling for Ayurvedic Studies Program Levels 1 & 2 students as well as counseling for the community in the Ayurvedic Institute Center for Healing, Life and Longevity. She served as a therapist in the Ayurvedic Institute’s Panchakarma department for 16 years, giving abhyanga, shirodhara and color therapy. She has also taught Yoga, Applied Skills and Emotional Healing from an Ayurvedic Perspective. Luscha brings a wealth of experience and perspective to her work, both with clients and in the classroom.
Luscha is a licensed counselor (LPCC). She graduated from Southwestern College in Santa Fe, NM in 2004. She also holds a massage license (LMT). Her Ayurvedic studies include the Ayurvedic Studies Program Levels 1 and 2 at the Ayurvedic Institute as well as the Jyotish Trilogy with Hart deFouw. She has been working at the Ayurvedic Institute since 1995.



David Yoss is a graduate of The Ayurvedic Institute’s Ayurvedic Studies Program, Levels 1 and 2, as well as the Gurukula program in Pune, India. He is an Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant and Ayurvedic Practitioner. Enjoying the study of the different cultures of the world, he graduated from Dartmouth College with a degree in Anthropology.
David has been teaching at the Ayurvedic Institute for more than 5 years and has taught an extensive range of topics there, including Yoga, Nutrition, Sanskrit, Herbology, Herbal Preparations, Lifestyle Practices, and Clinical Practice. He also teaches Yoga and Meditation at Sani Yoga in Albuquerque, New Mexico where he co-leads their Teacher Training Program. He was a Master Teacher at the Tantric Alchemy Institute in Costa Rica, where he co-led their 300-hour Yoga Teacher Training. David loves to teach, share and help people gain knowledge which can lead to their self-empowerment. He is currently teaching Sanskrit and AyurYoga at the Ayurvedic Institute as well as supervising in the student clinic. He is known to use stories and humorous anecdotes to create an authentic and fun learning environment.

Dhruve Devani


Dhruve Devani is a graduate of The Ayurvedic Institute’s Ayurvedic Studies Program, Levels 1 and 2, and is an Ayurvedic Practitioner and an Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant.  Additionally, Dhruve graduated from ­­­The Ayurvedic Institute’s 500 hour AyurYoga program.  Prior to his studies at the Ayurvedic Institute, he spent two years in India where he studied eastern and western philosophy in a traditional ashram environment.  Dhruve also attended The University of Texas at Austin where he received a Bachelor of Arts I Economics.