Where and how shall I study Ayurveda?
This is one of the most common questions people reach out to me about. To make it easier for you to find your path, and easier for me to help you, I thought I’d summarize a few things to take into consideration when you decide how and where you would like to learn.
I also share the path I took with you and the schools that were recommended to me over the years. I will continue to update this entry as new schools are introduced to me. Feel free to reach out with suggestions you feel should be included.
One of the reasons it might be difficult to decide on where to study is because Ayurveda originally wasn’t taught in schools the way it is today. This ancient knowledge was received in the grace of the Gods and protected carefully in mystical verses. If one actually reads the original slokas with opposing messages, they can seem very confusing. A lot of it doesn’t make sense to our modern minds and has to be explained from a teacher that understands the verses at a deep level. Some of the Vaidyas (physicians) that have learned the traditional way can even chant the entire Vedas by heart and use this in their practice to remember how to treat a patient. It was taught chest to chest, from parent to child and over a long period of time. However, to be able to apply Ayurveda in your daily life, I’ve found it helpful to learn both from the source (The Vedas directly and people who have studied them in depth) and from practitioners in the place or climate you live that actually apply the knowledge to our common problems and make it accessible and practical. I find it crucial to learn from people with actual practical experience consulting and not just a philosophical understanding of Ayurveda.
That being said, I truly believe we all have an inherent healer and teacher within. If we can get out of the way and stop sabotaging our natural healing abilities, our body knows how. By observation of your mind, body, and spirit under the supervision of experienced practitioners, you can come to understand what works for you. This is all knowledge that we all know deep within already, we just need to remember how to apply it and find tools to continue practicing it.
What would I like to use this knowledge for?
If you’re looking to improve your own health and wellbeing, I would always turn to an experienced practitioner and start working there. Someone that you trust has experience and maybe a similar path to you would be able to support you in the right direction with the first changes. An online quiz or blog can take you a bit down the path, but in the end, most of us need personal attention to really see clearly what is going on. One can have a Vata (the elements of air and space, or ether) constitution but excess Pitta because of the season of the year, what they eat, and so on. Therefore a quiz can actually be misleading and can do damage when one starts self-diagnosing with herbs and ayurvedic oils.
I first got started learning about myself in consultations, and then continued to deeper studies with teachers. Small consistent changes made a huge difference in my wellbeing and I decided early on that this is what I wanted to dive headfirst into. I shortly thereafter found my school in Varberg, Sweden, 15 minutes away from where I had grown up. Isn’t it ironic that sometimes what we’re searching far and wide for is right there in front of us, when we’re ready to see it? Through my teachers I continued to learn, took my Yoga teacher training with a focus on Ayurveda, graduated from my Ayurveda School in Sweden and several years down the line, here I am. I feel very blessed to get to share this with you.
If you feel called to work together with me in a personal consultation, jump on a call here or book your first session here.
If the answer is, I’d like to support others with this too
Then I would suggest to find a school that you feel good about, talk to them, visit them if you can and make sure that they have similar values to you. There are many ways to work with Ayurveda including as a practitioner in consultations using herbs, pulse reading and other techniques to support clients to balance, as a therapist with treatments, as an Ayurvedic cook, as a coach and as an educator through a podcast, in writing or speaking. I found it difficult to know what I wanted to do until I got started and got to try different tools out. Start with what feels right at this moment, and then take it from there. Your direction might also change down the line and that is absolutely okay.
Another thing to consider is how you best learn. I personally enjoy a classroom setting where I can ask questions, have interaction with others, and go through the studies together. However the current program I’m enrolled in is done mostly online and the way it’s set up makes it easy for me to follow and I enjoy it very much. Again, sometimes you have to jump in to experience if it works for you or not.
Below I’ve listed my favourite schools that I’ve made personal experience with and that have been recommended to me over the years.
Ayurvedaskolan i Varberg
This is where I took my very first Ayurveda training in Sweden. It was a beautiful course led by Lena Nilsson and Linda Ivansson Johansson incorporating a variety of Ayurvedic tools, home remedies, aroma thrapy, the ayurvedic treatments and a broad understanding of this vast system of medicine. I am especially grateful that I learned pulse reading here. The course is done in Swedish and in-person one weekend a month. It runs over a year with assignments in between.
Halepule in New Zealand
I did my YTT and chef training with Hale Pule when they were located on the beautiful island of Kaua’i. I’m currently enrolled in their 600 hour Ayurvedic Health Counselor program that I find very helpful and in-depth. Having spent so much time at their previous location, cooking and teaching Yoga Asana I have gotten to work closely with the team and experience how deep their integrity runs in all aspects of their life and business. Myra, the founder and Chief Inspiration Officer, has over 30 years of experience practicing Ayurveda and Yoga and teaches in an effortless way. The focus is on making authentic Ayurveda accessible and practical drawing from the source of the Vedas. With many years of experience, they’re doing an exceptional job, and I highly recommend their training.
Their in-depth program takes you deep into the spring of the wisdom of Ayurveda. It covers a tremendous amount of knowledge in an overseeable way. Live lectures and Q&A sessions are offered each month and there is a private Facebook group for students makes me feel connected to others in the process. Kelsey answers all questions swiftly over email and supports students to schedule study times and find a structure to move forward continuously. Even though I have taken a similar training in Sweden and already offer consultations, I find new gems in this program and valuable resources that have taken me further in my practice.
If you decide to enroll, use my code ”Areyouvedic" and you’ll get $50 off the application fee. It’s a beginning!
The Ayurveda College California
The college has been recommended to me by several fellow colleagues. I’ve talked to Ericka (@sundara.ayurveda) that have studied there and what she found great about the program was that they offer video lectures as well as a book to study from. Every two weeks you call a master teacher to talk about anything you need support with around your studies. You have one homework assignment and one quiz for each chapter of your studies.
Good to know is that it’s a fairly high pace program and you’re expected to finish it in less than 10 months. To do this you need to be able to invest about 5-10 hours of course work every week. It’s a more medically focused school and even though they do teach Ayurvedic psychology and spiritual philosophy, their overall approach is more simplified to help anchor the beginner in the basics.
Before I took my program in Sweden I was recommended to study with Atreya Smith, based in Europe between France and Switzerland. The first year is done online from home with obligatory weekly live lectures. The second practical part to certification is done in India with Dr. Sunil V. Joshi where the therapies are taught in the most authentic and balanced way I’ve come across. I’ve heard many good things about all levels of the program and I’m especially interested in his herbal course combining Ayurveda understanding of herbs with the use of herbs native to Europe to create choornas. The courses are based on Atreya’s books.
Dr. Vasant Lad
If you are dreaming of studying in India or dive in fulltime, Dr. Vasant Lad’s program in Albuquerque, New Mexico might be for you. They offer summer courses if you’re curious to get familiar with his teachings and also 1 and 2-year programs held partly in the US and party in India. I’ve taken one of Dr. Lad’s 5-day seminars in the UK and attended a conference with him in India can absolutely recommend visiting one of the courses if you have the chance to.
This authentic Ayurvedic hospital offers panchakarma and immersions for every need. You can also visit as a student and learn first hand from the doctors in their clinic.
If you would like to know more contact my dear collegue Emily Reed based in the UK that have spent extended time at the center the last 8 years.
I hope this has been helpful to you.
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