Ayurvedic Studies Program
Highly respected around the world, The Ayurvedic Institute has been teaching Ayurveda since 1984. Steeped in Vedic tradition, our Ayurvedic Studies Program (ASP), now in its 34th year, is a full-time immersive journey into Ayurveda.
- Are you feeling called to support people on their journey of health and well-being through learning and practicing a truly holistic science?
- Are you inspired to study profound truths that transcend time and to be a bridge between that timeless wisdom and the modern world?
- Are you looking for an immersive training and educational experience?
- Are you excited about personal and social evolution including creating new communication patterns and ways of being in relationship?
- Are you wanting both Ayurvedic philosophy and hands-on clinical practice?
The Ayurvedic Studies Programs are a journey in learning, application, professional development and personal evolution. Steeped in Vedic tradition, these intensive offerings are unique full-time immersive journeys into authentic Ayurveda. They are an invitation to live what you are learning, as you learn it, with a diverse group of students, teachers and staff dedicated to the same. Being an ASP student takes intentionality and dedicated willingness to explore with ever-greater openness, compassion and awareness. We repeatedly see the importance of discipline, dedication, hard work, and a willingness to be vulnerable with each other as well as the nurturing of self and others.
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 8, 2018 for ASP1 and on October 10, 2018 for ASP2.
Our first-year students (ASP1) graduate as certified Ayurvedic Health Counselors and our second-year (ASP2) graduates are certified as Ayurvedic 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 ongoing mentorship program, which helps support you in building a practice where you live and navigating client visits. We also have an ASP1 personal track option for people to study with us for their own enrichment without the formality of tests and exams. Our curriculum meets the educational competencies established by the National Ayurvedic Medical Association and graduates are eligible to sit for the Ayurvedic Health Counselors and Ayurvedic Practitioner certification exams of the NAMA Certification Board.
ASP1 and ASP2 are academically rigorous programs and, out of respect for everyone, we ask our students to come on time, be organized, do their homework, meet deadlines and follow the policies and procedures of the school. We also ask them to be open to new experiences, deep contemplation, experiential action-based learning, deep listening, creative projects, meta-reflections on what we are making together in any given moment, and to enjoy and have fun with the complexities of the growth that we meet in the program. We provide a structure where our students can gain practical and experiential competencies and skills to live and work in this world Ayurvedically. We also encourage them to explore the philosophical and spiritual contributions to living Ayurvedically or becoming an Ayurvedic professional. This process is designed to support students while in the program and also in the personal and professional work they step into after graduating.
Our students often say that they have experienced powerful growth and transformation from this integrative process. It is a process that can be both delightful and challenging and be generative of well-being for ourselves and, because of that, for the world.
By choosing to study here, you will have the unique opportunity to learn with Vasant Lad, world-renowned teacher and consummate practitioner of Ayurveda, and the rest of our distinguished faculty. The integration of practical academic study, career preparation and evolving how we are in all forms of relationship (with ideas, food, our environment, each other, our stories of who we are and what we are capable of…) is part of what makes the Ayurvedic Studies Program so unique. When people truly step into these on-going learning opportunities, the results can be transformational.
When education and spiritual development coincide, the reason for study may be obscured until after the lessons are learned. Answering your heart’s call to Ayurveda is something we honor with the most academically rigorous and immersive Ayurvedic program available in the United States — the purpose of your education, like any other, may take time to reveal itself. We welcome you to meet us here!
The Ayurvedic Institute is a National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA) member school and ASP1 and ASP2 graduates are eligible to sit for the Ayurvedic Health Counselor and Ayurvedic Practitioner certification exams of the NAMA Certification Board.
We have a busy clinic on campus that is open to the public where students can gain training, practice and mentorship post-ASP2 through our graduate internship programs.
What Will You Do with Your Training?
While some people have a clear idea of how they want to apply what they learn here — either for themselves or as a career — we have many students who find their path emerging while they are here. We offer special topic seminars to help students prepare for the business side of running a practice, and offer mentorship programs post-graduation. We celebrate the uniqueness of all of our students and work to support them in navigating the ways in which they are called to share Ayurveda with the world.
- 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 including applied application outside of the classroom.
There are two ways to participate in ASP1
1. AYURVEDIC HEALTH COUNSELOR TRACK
This is an amazing program for people wanting to become Ayurvedic professionals focused on the profound areas of diet, lifestyle and contemplative practices to encourage a life of balance. This program includes 750 hours of classroom and supervised clinical time with additional time expected outside of class for projects, studying, practice etc. ASP1 benefits those who want to work simultaneously on their own personal evolution. ASP1’s scope of practice is focused on assessing a generally healthy person’s constitution and basic imbalances of dosha, agni, ama and dhatu and providing simple, practical, customized recommendations for clients. Students will also be able to recognize when to refer to either a licensed medical professional or a higher-level Ayurvedic Practitioner for more advanced work including herbal formulations. Many ASP1 graduates also work providing group education (such as offering lectures and seminars) or incorporate what they are learning into another field of practice. Graduates will also be able to work with other healthcare professionals to develop recommendations and implement treatments for clients with established pathologies. Graduates of the ASP1 Professional Track can apply for ASP2 which is focused on becoming an Ayurvedic Practitioner.
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 Professional Track students with the exception of classes oriented towards seeing clients (tuition is adjusted for this accordingly.) Personal Track students are under the same standards and guidelines for attendance. They do not receive assessments; for example, they do not take exams or receive grades. Upon graduation, these students receive a Certificate of Personal Track Completion.
Our ASP1 program runs from October through June. Our classes are designed to complement and build upon each other and are the place where you and your classmates will learn both with and from each other. To foster continuity and community there is a set curriculum and schedule everyone follows.
EXAMPLE ASP1 COURSE
Ayurvedic Evening Lectures
This course is the cornerstone of ASP1 and has incredible breadth and depth! Through lecture with accompanying exercises and practicum, students are provided with a thorough examination of the philosophy, principles, and practices of Ayurveda. It is a time of deep exploration into the key concepts of Ayurveda. Students explore the relational aspect of Ayurveda: between body, mind and spirit, seasons, locale and time cycles, bhutas (elements), gunas (qualities), tridosha (combinations and permutations of the five great elements), prakruti (individual constitution) and vikruti (a state of imbalance), dhatus (tissues). Simultaneously, they develop an appreciation for and better understanding of the core concepts of Ayurveda, through the ancient roots of the shad darshan (seven Indian philosophical systems) with special reference to Sankhya philosophy and its influence on Ayurvedic thought. Students study doshas (vata, pitta, kapha), sub-doshas, and dhatus (tissue), agni (digestive fire) and ama (toxicity), ojas (cellular immunity), tejas (cellular digestion), prana (cellular respiration), chakras (subtle energy centers), koshtas (subtle sheaths of the body), srotamsi (bodily channels) (including their mula, marga, mukha) and their relationships with each other and to body, mind and spirit.
The course invites inquiry into one’s relationship with self, fellow classmates, clients, teachers, and the material itself. Students learn to identify potential hetu (cause), prodromal symptoms and cardinal signs of disease, distinguish between the six stages of samprapti (disease pathogenesis), develop clinical skills in trividha and ashtavidha pariksha, (the three- and eight-fold examinations used in Ayurveda including analyzing lines and attributes of the face, tongue, nose, lips, nails and eyes), vyadhi gatika (the movement of disease in the body), khavaigunya (defective spaces where disease can develop), and more. Students also learn beginning pulse diagnosis and client case presentation. 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.
Please see our Academic Catalog for full descriptions of all 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 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, ama, gati, and srotas. Graduates of ASP2 are able to create recommendations using dietary, lifestyle and contemplative practices along with customized herbal protocols and Ayurvedic treatments to encourage healing and a lifestyle in balance with nature. They will also be able to work with other healthcare professionals to develop recommendations and implement treatments for clients with established pathologies.
This program includes 845 hours of classroom and supervised clinical time with additional time expected outside of class for projects, studying, practice etc. Like ASP1, ASP2’s schedule is intensive. Students are expected to engage in personal practice outside of the classroom while also attending all of their classes and participating in study groups with others. Clinical practice may include Saturday shifts. The cumulative schedule is much fuller than a typical university load or full-time job. Our ASP2 program runs from October through June. 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. Classes are concurrent with practicing in the student clinic.
EXAMPLE ASP2 COURSE
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. On Mondays and Thursdays students observe and assist Vasant Lad in a clinical intake and follow-up with two to four clients who have come to The Ayurvedic Institute for panchakarma. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, Vasant Lad’s lectures will cover the Ayurvedic assessment, understanding and management of many common disorders. Gurukula class is the Ayurvedic equivalent of shadowing a medical doctor on rounds and greatly broadens students, clinical exposure.
In addition, observing Vasant Lad will deepen your understanding of his distinct knowledge and approach to client assessment, and chikitsa, the foundation of The Ayurvedic Institute’s curriculum and standards. Students study the 12 major srotas; ojas, tejas , prana; the endocrine system as related to majja and mano vaha srotas; women and children’s health; rasayana chikitsa and the Ayurvedic approach to emergencies and first aid management. They analyze Vasant Lad’s approach to entering the heart of a client; assessing and working with imbalances of the srotas (and topics listed above) using pariksha, herbal formulation, and chikitsa in the context of panchakarma. They also use the case history and client presentation of selected PK clients and work up the assessment of that client as though that person had come for a clinical appointment in our on-campus clinic. Students further increase their clinical experience and confidence by observing and assisting Vasant Lad with pulse reading, palpation, percussion and blood pressure and occasionally with the explanation of a particular pranayama, meditation or other recommendation. Students learn how to approach pariksha, formulation and chikitsa, etiology, prodromal and cardinal signs and symptoms, dosha gati and the samprapti of many common disorders. They gain familiarity with allopathic terms and descriptions and viewpoints for these disorders in order to effectively and responsibly communicate and integrate with medical professionals.
Please see our Academic Catalog for full descriptions of all courses.
Feeling the pulse is an art. Awareness should be passive and one should let that awareness act upon the mind… to use a machine as a diagnostic tool is alright to quantify perception, but to qualify perception requires the sensitivity of the human fingers. Use the tips of the fingers to feel the nature or gati of the pulse and bear in mind the three basic pulses.
– Vasant Lad, BAM&S, MASc