- Would I fit in at The Ayurvedic Institute?
Our students come from many different states, countries, and circumstances. They have practiced many professions: physicians, nurses, soldiers, yoga teachers, business executives, parents, artists, massage therapists, chefs, lawyers… and the list goes on! Students’ ages range from early 20s to mid-80s. The one thing the students of our diverse student body have in common is a desire to learn authentic Ayurveda.
- Going back to school is a big commitment. Is your school accredited?
The Ayurvedic Institute is the oldest school for studying Ayurveda in the United States and is one of the most widely respected schools for studying Ayurveda in the world. We are licensed by The New Mexico Department of Higher Education (Post-Secondary Institution License Number 108). We are certified by the US Department of Veteran Affairs and the US Government’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program.
Our curriculum meets the educational competencies established by the National Ayurvedic Medical Association, and graduates are eligible to sit for the Ayurvedic Health Counselor and Ayurvedic Practitioner certification exams of the NAMA Certification Board.
- If I have studied in another Ayurvedic program, can I still apply for ASP?
Absolutely. We welcome transfer students. A common question from applicants is how to know which level to apply for — ASP1 or ASP2. We have a placement test that is designed to determine which level would be most appropriate. Most frequently, people test into ASP1 because there is so much in our ASP1 program that they aren't yet familiar with. Their previous training helps support them tremendously though and that's consistent whether they place into ASP1 or ASP2
- How long is the program?
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.
- Are there prerequisites for the Ayurvedic Studies Program?
All applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent. We also find that a background in western anatomy and physiology and medical terminology help support people in their time here. So does some background in philosophy, yoga, self-reflective practices, and recent practice with memorization and creating strong study habits. This is an academically rigorous program that takes readiness and commitment. We are happy to recommend some exercises and reading assignments if you are excited to start preparing now.
- How full is the schedule?
Our Ayurvedic Studies Programs are intense and immersive. The number of hours students spend inside and outside the classroom far exceeds a traditional university load or even a full-time job. Learning here is a journey that simultaneously includes chanting, pujas, flash cards, study groups, memorization, clinical skills, and both written and oral examinations. Though the schedule can feel very full for many people, we encourage students to 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.
In addition to weekly class projects, journals, creative assignments and study groups, we have found that our most successful students are those who read and review material in the textbooks before and after class lectures. Many students also find it helpful to prepare for their final oral exam throughout the academic year by reviewing the study guide on a week-by-week basis. In addition, we expect people to be continuously practicing with the frameworks, daily routines, and new life insights to which they are exposed while here, making it a very full schedule!
- I understand the Ayurvedic Institute keeps the spirituality of Ayurveda intact. Do I have to belong to a specific religion to attend?
We value diversity and welcome and respect students from every faith and background, and honor the many faces of the divine. We regularly have students who are a part of Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu communities and more, including students who do not identify with any particular faith or spiritual community. At The Ayurvedic Institute, we encourage you to bring your whole self, full identity, traditions, complex communities, questioning mind, compassion, faith practices, spiritual experience, personal connection to and understanding of truth. It may be helpful to know that The Ayurvedic Institute does not teach religion. The term spirituality can mean many things to people and encompasses infinite traditions and practices that support us along our path.
As it is said in the Rig Veda (book I, hymn CLXIV, verse 46), ekam sat viprāha bahudhā vadanti, that is, “truth is one, though the sages know it by many names”. That’s how we approach the learning we embark on here and encourage each to find their own authentic way to connect with the sacred. We do engage in chants or prayers and other practices that come from Vedic traditions. Students are welcome to participate in these or to contribute to and respect the space in other ways. We are happy to explore what that might look like for you specifically!
- In addition to Vasant Lad, MASc, who are the faculty?
Our distinguished faculty members have decades of combined experience in Ayurveda. Many of them are alumni of The Ayurvedic Institute, and as such have significant time studying with Vasant Lad. In addition, they bring a wealth of personal experience and outside education and training. Please see our website’s faculty page to learn more about our instructors and clinicians. They’re fabulous!
- What do students do when they graduate?
The Ayurvedic Institute alumni go on to do amazing things! They provide Ayurvedic consultations including using yoga, nutrition, herbs, and lifestyle in their own clinics or in partnership with others. Some are published authors of books on Ayurveda and Ayurvedic nutrition. Others provide Ayurvedic coaching and training for corporations. Some provide Ayurvedic seminars to spiritual organizations. Others have founded very successful Ayurvedic product companies. Many graduates are massage therapists, herbalists, acupuncturists, chiropractors, MDs, and other healthcare practitioners who incorporate Ayurveda into their practices. The paths are as diverse as our students themselves. All of our alumni leave with invaluable tools of self-healing and a practice that enrich their lives and the lives of others.
- In addition to an amazing education, are there any special full-time student benefits?
We actually offer quite a few. For example, one is the opportunity to have one personal health consultation a year with Vasant Lad. This is a very special opportunity! People often come away from these consultations with deep insights, reassurances, customized herbal formulas, and clearer direction about their health and well-being. There are also opportunities to have follow-up visits in our on-campus clinic. We offer students significant discounts in our store and on supplemental courses that are not part of the ASP curriculum such as seminars and intensives, access to course recordings, and more. Please see our Student Handbook for more details.
- How do people pay for school? Can I work while I’m taking the program?
Our students pay for their education in a variety of ways. For example, they may save up income from previous jobs, take out private loans, generate income over the summer between ASP1 and ASP2 or use their VA GI bill benefits. We have found that Ayurvedic Studies Program students find it very challenging to work during the school year (and, when they try, they often say they wish they hadn’t.) We recommend they don’t. Many of our students change their lives dramatically to come here and so want to get the most out of their experience. This requires a commitment to practicing what they are learning in class both on and off campus, and the time to actually digest what they are learning.
Students are expected to be on campus five or more days a week (sometimes on the weekends) and also getting together with study groups and working on projects outside of class. Schedules are complex and vary from trimester to trimester, making a set work schedule a challenge. That said, we do try to help support students financially by offering work-study assignments. Work-study opportunities are available and offered to the entire student body. Work-study earnings are used as a credit toward tuition fees and have no cash value. Work-study positions are seen as supplemental and do not cover the cost of tuition.
- Who can I contact for more information or to schedule a tour?
We are here to answer all your questions and welcome your communication! We can tailor a tour to your specific interests as well. Please call the Student Services Coordinator at (505) 291-9698, ext. 126 or click on the link at right to email anytime to get the conversation started.
Ayurvedic Studies Certificate Programs FAQs
- What continuing education do you offer?
We are thrilled to offer a number of opportunities for continuing education and professional development for experienced practitioners and those looking for personal enrichment. Visit our Continuing Education page for more details. We also have alumni-specific opportunities to which people can opt-in. Plus there are our intensive programs for practitioners and for people wanting to become panchakarma therapists that run at Vasant Lad's facility in Pune, the Vasanta Institute of Ayurveda.
- Can I become certified in Ayurveda from a distance?
While we do offer continuing education courses in Ayurveda that people can do from a distance or with low residency (for example webinars or in-person weekend seminars) these are considered personal enrichment and professional enhancement courses. They are not designed for you to attend and then set up a professional practice around that topic. To become certified as an Ayurvedic professional, take a look at our Ayurvedic Studies Program, which takes place at The Ayurvedic Institute’s Albuquerque campus and includes a rich depth of classes, supervised clinical practice and a chance to become part of an amazing community. This full-time hands-on immersive program takes place for approximately nine months of each year. We do have students who return to their homes during the summer months and during breaks in the school year and come back again in the fall.
- What can I expect during a seminar or intensive?
You can expect to learn from Vasant Lad and the Ayurvedic community in gleaning new insights into specific topics of Ayurveda. Many who participate for the first time are surprised to learn that Vasant Lad is himself teaching the entire weekend and all but a couple of sections of the weeklong intensives. It’s an amazing gift! Vasant Lad’s seminar and intensive topics change each year, so check our website often for updates and more information. You will receive a certificate of completion for your participation if you have attended 100% of the course.
- How do I register for a seminar, webinar, or intensive?
It’s easy! Pick your seminars from our website, register online or call our office to register at (505) 291-9698, ext. 0. Full payment is due at time of registration.
- Are there any prerequisites?
For most of our offerings there are no prerequisites, you can just sign up, but there may be some offerings that do require particular knowledge or experience or that build upon each other. Please check our website for information regarding a particular course’s prerequisites before you register or contact our Student Services Coordinator at (505) 291-9698, Ext. 126 or click on the link at lef to email.
- If I become a member, do I get discounts on seminars, webinars, and intensives?
Yes! In fact, becoming a member for just $35 or $60 for international addresses gets you a whole year of 10% discounts on all our seminars, webinars, and intensives PLUS discounts on products in our store and quarterly issues of Ayurveda Today!
- Can I receive CEUS?
Our seminars and intensives are approved by The National Ayurvedic Medical Association’s (NAMA) PACE CEUs. We also work with many credentialing and professional bodies and are happy to submit paperwork on your behalf. Please contact our Student Services Coordinator for more information: (505) 291-9698, Ext. 126 or click on the email link at left.