Behind the sloka: customizing heat therapy according to the Ashtanga Hridayam

As an Ayurvedic enthusiast, have you ever wondered what the root texts of this ancient health science actually say? Do you wish to learn straight from the source and hear the Ayurvedic principles in their native Sanskrit?
Kerala Ayurveda Academy offers you this opportunity in our live streamed Ashtanga Hridayam series! To give you an example of what you can learn from the ancient text, we’re going behind the sloka in this article with some insight on the heat therapy.


Ayurveda states that the combined synergy and equilibrium of mind, body, and soul is the key to ultimate health and happiness. The subtle energy channels (Srotas) in our body are often blocked by metabolic toxins, called Ama, as a result of weak digestive strength or Agni. This leads to clogging of Srotas and disruption of tissue nutrition, weakening the immune system, and causing health issues. Vedic texts like the Ashtanga Hridayam focus on understanding the subtle changes in the body to identify and rekindle Agni and cleanse Ama, before the imbalance emerges as illness. This can be achieved through Panchakarma – Ayurveda’s unique mind-body purification system. Many of the fads practiced nowadays to cleanse the body are not customized and may thus lead to improper effect and can be debilitating. The Ayurvedic approach, on the other hand, is personalized, does not focus merely on diagnostic tools, but rather on the awareness and sensitivity of the individual with his body and is designed with a detailed preparatory and a rejuvenatory phase to support a safe and effective cleansing.


Eliminating Ama by Ayurvedic detoxification methods

Understanding the cause of accumulation of digestive toxins and emotional clutter, as well as ways to eliminate them, forms one of the most basic strategies in Ayurveda to improve health and positive well-being of mind, body and spirit. The mode of cleansing and elimination is highly customized and has to be devised keeping in mind the physical and emotional state of the individual. Some of the detoxification methods are straight-forward, like intake of internal medicines; others might require a more complex cleansing, like utilizing Panchakarma: the five cleansing actions. Panchakarma eliminates deep-seated metabolic toxins which are the root cause of illness.

Panchakarma offers many therapies and techniques to address the uniqueness of each individual and scenario. Svedana, or heat therapy, is one of them, and can be used in two primary ways: (1) as a single detoxification therapy, in case there is only mild accumulation of Ama, or (2) as a preparatory step in a longer Panchakarma program, to facilitate the movement metabolic wastes for later elimination using other cleansing therapies. The mode and duration of Svedana therapy will depend on the psychosomatic constitution or Prakriti and strength of the individual, season, and therapeutic benefit intended.

Svedana can be beneficial when used in the right way, for the right person at the right time. It is not always beneficial. The following passage from the revered Ayurvedic text, Ashtanga Hridayam, states the contraindications of Svedana or fomentation therapy:

Na svedayet ati-sthoola-ruksha-durbala-moorchitaan |
Stambhaneeya-kshata-ksheena-visha-madyavikarinah ||
Timira-udara-visarpa-kushta-sopha-adyaroginah |
Peeth-dugdha-dadhi-sneha-madhoon krita-virechanaan ||
Brasht-dagdha-guda-glaani-krodha-shoka-bhayaardithaan |
Kshut-trishna-kamla-paandu-mehinah pitta-peedithaan ||
Garbhinim pushpithaam suthaam mridu cha aatyayike gade |

—As.Hri.Su 17/21-24


The above verses explain in a very condensed manner that Svedana, although very efficient in removing metabolic wastes from the body, is better avoided in certain conditions like:

  • Those with improper fat metabolism
  • Those with body fluid imbalances and those who are weak
  • In a person who is experiencing light headedness or those who have consumed contaminated food or fermented beverages
  • In those with dull eyesight or are injured as it may lead to further weakening of the body 
  • In an individual suffering from accumulation of fluid in the body, infections, skin issues, bloating, stiffening of thighs, or those who have consumed milk or curd, fats and honey
  • Those who have undergone elimination therapies, who have weakened control over bowel movement, or in whom cautery is done are unfit for Svedana.
  • Svedana is also contraindicated in low mood imbalances, anger, sorrow, and fear, in those who are starved or thirsty.


In diseases related to Pitta vitiation, impacted liver health, poor iron absorption in blood, and abnormal blood glucose levels, Svedana should not be performed as heat will aggravate these conditions. In women who are pregnant, it is unfavorable for the fetus. It is also contraindicated for women postpartum and during menstruation, as it may lead to excessive bleeding.

If Svedana has to be employed in such conditions, due to the gravity of the situation, subdued methods can be used.


What study of the slokas offers to your Ayurvedic practice

The appropriate knowledge about applying the right therapy at the right time will have tremendous results, and gaining this knowledge and skill is the foundation of Ayurvedic healing. Therapies have to be customized after assessing the individual and considering precautions, do’s and don’ts, pre and aftercare, as well as management of complications if you encounter any. All of this knowledge is documented in the Vedas, though the text alone does not contain the wisdom. It is the unbroken tradition of practicing Ayurvedic Doctors, or Vaidyas, who bring the slokas to life with their expert clinical guidance, allowing the Vedic texts’ detailed translations and insight to be understood.

The Ashtanga Hridayam is the “Heart or Essence” of Ayurvedic philosophy and healing, with clear guidelines about the right way to lead life. Written in beautiful lyrical Sanskrit verses, Ashtanga Hridayam is a condensed manual for contemporary Ayurvedic healers around the world, providing unparalleled benefit in their clinical practice, as the rhythmic recitation is easier for recollection. A lot of meaning is packed into the verses of the Ashtanga Hridayam, so while translations are available, the text alone does not provide enough information for a practitioner-in-training. Expert guidance is paramount to integrating the value of the verse.


The value of Ayurveda’s cleansing wisdom

Ayurveda focuses greatly on the holistic cleansing of the body to get rid of accumulated toxins which are even more relevant today, because of our faulty lifestyle and contamination of water and air, when we often feel worn out and unusually emotional. Committing to the Ayurvedic lifestyle and cleansing procedures is the best way to revamp our health to promote a more comprehensive way of living and feeling refreshed and strengthened.

Understanding the right methods to implement the knowledge of Ayurveda can be a game changer in your path to be a healer and to be healthy. With the amount of stress we have to endure in our life today with increased pollution, a whole-body cleanse has to be included in our routine to support our metabolic function and wellness. As you delve into a deeper understanding and involvement about the potent Ayurvedic cleansing methods and its rewards, you will find yourself more attuned to your inner self, with a newfound strength. This is the secret benefit of studying the Sanskrit verse. It is truly a mind, body, spirit experience!


Studying the Ashtanga Hridayam with us

Kerala Ayurveda Academy crafted a program extracting the quintessence principles of Ashtanga Hridayam. Learning authentic teachings of the ancient Vedic texts from an expert will help you unravel the depth of the concise slokas. You will be guided through the Ashtanga Hridayam by Vaidya. Jayarajan Kodikannath (BSc, BAMS), who will illuminate the deepest aspects of the Ayurvedic principles in simplified language. Chanting the Sanskrit slokas together, the vibrant richness of the beautiful ancient verses with the healing vibrations of Ayurveda will be a blissful spiritual experience for you that will leave you energized!

The next segment of our Ashtanga Hridayam series will cover chapters 17, 18 and 19 of the text, with the clinical applications, precautions, indications, and contraindications for Panchakarma detoxification procedures including Svedana (sudation), Vamana (emesis therapy), Virechana (purgation therapy) and Vasti (enema therapies).

Upgrade your life with a level I Ayurvedic training

We’re living in a very interesting time on our planet. On one end of our human curiosity, we are exploring genomes and life forms on other planets. Meanwhile, we are still trying to understand the inner workings of our minds and bodies. What is the right food to eat? What is the best exercise and lifestyle for longevity? How do we find quality information, and make sense of what is seemingly contradictory? The questions are endless concerning our well-being, and that of our planet. This makes the ancient holistic science of Ayurveda more relevant than ever before.


 Why become an Ayurvedic Counselor?

Meet our Academy Director, Vaidya. Jayarajan Kodikannath (BSc, BAMS) to learn about the AWC journey


Kerala Ayurveda Academy conducts training in Ayurveda for both self help and professional applications. Our first level of certification is the Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor program, a 625-hour, 1-year program. It is a comprehensive training in all aspects of foundational principles for living, for the self and others. We’ve been conducting this program for over a decade, enhancing its format and curriculum to match the growing needs of our pioneering Ayurvedic community in the West.


Learning from the core of your being

Imagine a body of knowledge which you learn not just with your brain, but in your body as well. Ayurveda is a living science, which means its knowledge is not based on theory alone, but actual life experience – mind, body and spirit. It means “the science of life,” and is a science beyond just human health. Ayurveda encompasses the entire universe – for everything is connected according to Ayurveda. This kind of learning is transformational! The validation of this: at each graduation ceremony, the family members of our graduates often express how they have experienced a positive shift in their entire family’s life as a result of the student’s course work. Ayurveda empowers individuals to learn from the inside out, to become the healthy change, and this unlocks unlimited potential to make a difference in the world.


the journey includes
  • Core Ayurvedic principles for cultivating a holistic view of the world
  • Diet, herbs and lifestyle practices
  • Personalization for well-being through individual constitution
  • Self-assessment and self-care tools
  • Deepened sense of life purpose
  • Clinical encounter training for coaching others in a preventive health lifestyle


What makes Kerala Ayurveda Academy unique

We are now celebrating our 75th anniversary at Kerala Ayurveda! Joining our Family is to become a part of one of the largest Ayurvedic networks on the globe. Since our inception on the banks of the Periyar River in Kerala, India – the birthplace of Ayurveda – we have grown into an industry leader in high quality, traditional Ayurvedic herbal products, healing centers, research and education. Touching almost a million lives globally, our mission is no smaller than to support a global shift towards sustainable, mind-body-spirit living.

Our team members are all graduates of the AWC program and passionate about Ayurveda. We are committed to supporting the future generations of Ayurvedic professionals, in conventional healing practices and beyond. We’re redefining health care.  While our programs like the AWC certification enable individuals to open a wellness, client-based practice, the opportunity is truly only limited by your imagination! Many of our alumni combine their knowledge of Ayurveda with other career paths and community solutions, carving unique niches as educators, product retailers, writers, chefs, web designers and more. Ayurveda is a universal science, which enables you to carve out a holistic career path involving all of your unique skills and background.


Learn more and start building your future

View our latest informational webinar on the AWC program

Meet some of our team and learn more about this transformational learning journey! Visit our AWC program page to find a link to the latest webinar, or join the upcoming one.



Connect with our Enrollment Advisors to start building your future

If you are wondering how to fit Ayurvedic study into your life for your unique goals, our Admissions team is happy to connect with you. Our Enrollment Advisors are available for one-on-one sessions to support you in planning your learning journey. Complete our contact form and we’ll be in touch!




Updates on COVID-19 management at Kerala Ayurveda

Our new normal is constantly evolving as the COVID-19 pandemic still affects many of us daily. At Kerala Ayurveda, we want to assure you that we are continuing to focus on the health and wellness of our community.


Updates to our programs

To maintain the health and safety of our students and clients, we have implemented the following strategies to our services and programs:

  • We have cancelled all our in-person wellness appointments through end of September. Online consultations are available.
  • We are adapting in-class courses and workshops to live streaming format through December 31, 2020.
  • Programs which require in-class attendance for practical learning are being rescheduled.


Schedule Changes

AWC Practical Immersions

The next available 4-Day Practical Immersion will welcome Spring 2019 and Fall 2019 students whose sessions were canceled.


Assessment and Pulse Diagnosis

Oct 10-12, 2020 – live streamed only


Panchakarma Practicums

For Panchakarma Technician and Ayurvedic Doctor students:

PKT 321: Nov 13-15, 2020 – live streamed only
PKT 322: Jan 29-31, 2021
PKT 323: Mar 19-21, 2021


We know that this has been a difficult time for all. We appreciate your patience and understanding in our new age of uncertainty. We hope that you are safe and healthy.


Vedic formulation study: 25% of an Ayurvedic practitioner’s skill set

Jivaka was Buddha’s personal Ayurvedic physician or Vaidya. He was a disciple of the great Sage Atreya. Legend goes that Atreya sent his students to the forest to look for a plant that does not have any medicinal value.

Jivaka took a while and came back disappointed and empty handed. To Sage Atreya’s delight, Jivaka asserted that he couldn’t find any such plant! This was a revelation of earth’s healing capacity. Jivaka’s learning was now complete and he went on to be a model healer.


A quarter of Ayurvedic practice lies in effectively using herbal formulations

Indeed, Ayurveda believes that everything in nature has healing properties. Then what is the Ayurvedic remedy for back pain? For anxiety? For hyperacidity? If you are an Ayurvedic professional, you know that these are just symptoms and you need to delve into underlying causes before selecting and combining herbs and formulations for creating an individualized protocol; an expertise that is of paramount importance in your practice. In the modern world we often seek symptomatic relief, and while alleviating symptoms is one of your goals, your real quest is to address the root cause and entire pathology of diseases.

Ayurvedic heritage comprises a rich Vedic tradition of herbal formulations. Why do you need to study them? According to the root text, Ashtanga Hridayam, 25% of the efficacy of clinical success in a treatment plan depends upon the choice of herbs and formulations. Ayurveda is a vast ocean of knowledge. Ayurvedic training in Vedic formulations would help you cut through that complexity and make you confident in your practice and ability to heal.


What are Vedic formulations?

Ayurvedic formulations could be herbs or herb blends, classical formulations from root texts or modern proprietary formulations which are patented by a company. Vedic formulations are made exactly as per recipes given in ancient Ayurvedic texts. They are referenced in different clinical contexts and are comprehensive and robust.

There are myriad herbs and formulations enumerated in ancient texts like Ashtanga Hridayam, Bhaishajyaratnavali (translated as ‘an array of gemstones of Ayurvedic formulations’), Sahasrayogam (literally meaning ‘a thousand formulations’) and Bhava Prakasha. There are also various formats available including herbal ghee or Ghritam, fermented Arishtam, decoctions or Kwatham, tablets or Gulika, oils or Thailam, powders or Churna and Jam consistency preparations or Lehyam.

The formulations are documented in a beautiful poetic format in Sanskrit. In all Vedic formulations, the first few lines are the ingredients, followed by the process of manufacture and finally, indications of use. It is important to note that the whole is different from the sum of parts; you can’t assess a formulation or assume efficacy by looking at individual ingredients. There is synergy, correcting and enhancing, augmenting and balancing involved. For instance, Indukantham Gritham does not aggravate Pitta though it contains Panchakola. There could also be one name for many herbs and one has to examine the context carefully in ancient texts.


How does Ayurvedic training in formulations help?

With appropriate recommendations of Ayurvedic herbs and formulations you can have impressive results in various health conditions. But how can you learn about the most commonly used and effective ones documented in classical texts? How can you get skilled in selecting and recommending them? What is their clinical application? How can you choose formulations for different ailments at different stages when one size doesn’t fit all in Ayurveda? Every assessment is unique and requires addressing specific indications, the form and dosage, context for administering, specific indication, and the right adjuvant. There is also the question of what precautions you should take in recommending them, what are the do’s and don’ts, and how you can counter any complications.

Since there are so many formulations and you can’t learn about every possible unique case to anticipate them, expert clinical guidance throughout your journey can make all the difference in honing your skill set. In addition to book study, clinical case studies and mentoring are valuable methods of learning.


Selecting a formulation

For formulation selection, you need to tap into how you create a protocol in the first place. Let us say a client comes to you with constipation and you refer to a list which says Abhyarishtam and Gandharvahasthadi Kwatham are good formulations; that is a very small part of the picture and could get you into trouble without a comprehensive assessment. You assess clients based on the Trividha Pareeksha; three tools of questioning (Prashana), observing (Darshana) and touch (Sparshana) with methods like pulse assessment). There are also the eight and ten step assessments in understanding imbalances. You then go onto creating a protocol.

The most important factor for selecting a formulation is its relevance in the current stage of pathology of disease or Vyadhiavastha. For instance if there is pain in the feet, while you trace the client’s history, you need to know the nature of the pain today; is it sharp, burning, does it involve numbness, what factors aggravate and ease it (and associated conditions and expressions)? You need to assess the client’s current status of Agni (metabolic and digestive fire) and Ama (stagnation), Dosha (energy principals) and Srotas (channels or systems) impacted, stage of disease or Samprapti, what signs and symptoms they present with and your objective is to prevent the chance of recurrence.

Vedic texts have very clear guidelines about herbs and formulations that address every possible pathway of diseases or Samprapti to give sustainable outcomes. Samprapti is the journey of pathology from the initial reason to full blown expression of a disease due to depletion and degeneration or stagnation and accumulation. This determines the formulation and format you use; planning how you get rid of Ama, manage Agni, balance aggravated doshas, clear, repair and recoup channels, rejuvenate the mind-body system of the individual, enhance physical strength and immunity and help them prevent future diseases.

Scenario: Ayurvedic formulations for immunity

Immunity or Vyadhikshamatwam according to Ayurveda is a very comprehensive and balanced expression of your health. The text Charaka Samhita defines it as the ability of the body to overcome any disease process and resist not merely pathogens but all diseases. It is your core balancing ability, your shield and strength (Bala) which can be equated with Ojas or the supreme glow of health of all your tissues. It is compromised in every disease process that Ayurvedic herbs and formulations work to reverse. While anyone accustomed to the Western over-the-counter approach to remedies might think they can simply follow an indication like “immunity” and find an array of appropriate products accomplishing the same thing, Ayurveda offers many formulations which support this indication but for different unique conditions, with varying additional indications. To this point, here are two examples of immune boosting formulations.


Indukantham Ghritham

Indukantham Ghritam is a Vedic formulation in Sahasrayogam which is very popular in enhancing overall Ojas or Immunity and reducing Vata aggravation. It is a Ghritam comprising 18 herbs; Dashamoola, Putika, Devadaru, Saindhava and Panchakola. Indukantham Ghritam can help in various disease pathologies. It enhances Agni, burns Ama, clears channels, balances Vata, helps with digestion, assimilation and nourishment and prevents degeneration and immune loss.


Indications for use:
  • Aggravated disorders (Vatamaya)
  • Degenerative disorders including degenerative lung disorders (Kshaya)
  • Abdominal enlargements like hepatomegaly (Mahodara)
  • Mesenteric spasms and abnormal growths (Gulma)
  • Inflammatory gut disorders (Soola)
  • Intermittent fevers or recurrent inflammations (Nimnonnatha Jwara)
  • Enhancing immune strength (Balavardhanam)



Cyavanprash is a very famous jam preparation or Lehyam from Ashtanga Hridayam. The chant in Sanskrit follows the same beautiful poetic format of all Ayurvedic formulations. Cyavanprash is a universal Rasayana or rejuvenator to prevent health problems and enhance the immune system. It is named after Sage Cyavana and Prasha implies that which can be eaten like a Jam. The story is that Sage Cyavana wanted to be restored to his youth, vigor and vitality and get rid of age related problems. Ashwini Kumaras or Vaidyas of the Divine world created this formulation to treat his debilities and bring him back to youthfulness.


The recipe is outlined followed by the fascinating manufacturing process and the indications of use; how it supports different systems and disorders. Amalaki is the main ingredient; a decoction of the coarse powder form of the first 36 herbs in the quantities specified is made; 500 whole Amalaki tied in a loose bolus (using a muslin cloth) are hung in the decoction while it is boiling so they get cooked inside. The decoction is boiled till it gets to one fourth volume and the essence of Amalaki is infused as a result. Once the bolus is taken out the Amalaki is soft and well cooked; seeds are removed and the pulp is crushed and fried in sesame oil and cultured cow’s ghee. The decoction is filtered to remove residue and fried Amalaki paste is added into it and cooked. Inspitated sugar cane juice is now added and the formulation cooked further till it reaches a jam consistency and falls like a thread in a spatula. It is cooled and raw unfiltered honey and the other ingredients added; they are mixed and stored in an airtight container, porcelain jars or dark glass or stone jars. Once Cyavanprash is filled; a bit of cultured cow’s ghee or honey is poured on top before the top is sealed and these work as a natural preservative. Cyavanprash can now be stored for a long time.

The dosage of use depends on the context. On a regular basis a full tsp to tbsp can be taken once or twice a day in milk or water.


Indications for use:
  • Respiratory ailments like cough, asthma, wheezing
  • Fever or inflammation
  • Emaciation, depletion of tissues
  • Heart disorders
  • Diseases due to aggravated Vata and with imbalanced Rakta Dhatu, gout, varicose veins, some stages of rheumatoid arthritis, deep vein thrombosis
  • Urinary and reproductive system disorders
  • Voice issues
  • For children and elderly that are debilitated after an accident or injury
  • Improve mental faculty and memory
  • Enhance skin radiance
  • Strengthen the overall immune system
  • Prevention of disease and promoting longevity.
  • Help Vata move in its own direction and Tridosha pacifying
  • Enhance sexual vigor
  • Support sense organs
  • Aid digestive enhancement
  • Rasayana or rejuvenating tonic, antioxidant and adaptogenic


Cyavanprash is given as a Rasayana in Panchakarma in higher quantities and used in Kutipraveshika, the ultimate anti-aging protocol in Ayurveda. The whole recipe is powerful for different channels (Pranavaha Srotas, Shukravaha Srotas, Raktavaha Srotas, Annavaha Srotas, Manovaha Srotas and Mutravaha Srotas). More simply: Cyavanprash contains Amalaki which has a high dose of Vitamin C; and the richness, essence and range of application is lost.


Both Indukantham Ghritham and Cyavanprash support immunity, though their application will only be appropriate with the right case, at the right time and in the right form.


Learn more in our Vedic Formulations series + free sample class

Kerala Ayurveda Academy’s Vedic Formulations series launching September 2020 is designed to address the vast amount of formulation knowledge required of practitioners. It follows the same format in classical texts for studying important herbs and Vedic formulations. You can read a variety of material on the Vedic formulations including professional certification materials, the Vedic texts and their translations, though it is a time consuming method of learning. This course sums everything up with clear clinical guidance. Each session is centered around an indication theme, such as Ama, Constipation and Preventive Health – our premier class topics. The class format will include chanting the formulation in Sanskrit, the English translation, understanding its story, ingredients, method of preparation and use. Real case studies are utilized to provide in-depth learning of clinical applications.

Imagine having access to this rich heritage and knowledge in your practice. This Ayurvedic training is one-of-a-kind in our industry and open to students and practitioners from all schools, taught by a Master Vaidya – Kerala Ayurveda Academy’s Director, Vaidya. Jayarajan Kodikannath.  It is open to everyone globally to enrich their Vedic knowledge, and can be used by students in training and Vaidyas alike. This is a continuing education module: a deep dive into the science of Vedic formulations, so you can implement formulation selection with conviction and confidence.

As Ayurvedic healers, you are constantly learning, augmenting your skills and it is indeed an honor to be part of the healing journey of the world.

Loka Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu
May all beings be well and happy…


Watch the free sample class

Vedic Formulations: Clinical Applications


What to expect:

  • Study Ayurvedic formulations straight from the root Vedic texts with a master teacher
  • Learn how to chant the Sanskrit formulations for Indukantham Ghritham and Cyavanprash
  • Explore the ingredients, method of preparation, indications, dosage, adjuvants and specific state of Samprapti where each Vedic formulation is most effective
  • Review clinical applications of Indukantham Ghritham and Cyavanprash
  • Understand any precautions and remedies for complications with Vedic formulation usage
  • Meet the instructor and learn more about our upcoming series


Learn more

How Ayurveda can enhance your Yoga practice and teachings

Ayurveda and Yoga: sister sciences that work best together

Ayurveda or the “Science of Life” is a 5,000 year old medical practice from India, a Complementary and Alternative Practice1  recognized by WHO2 in the U.S. It is a traditional holistic science of mind-body-spirit wellness which is preventative in nature and it helps in managing ailments through addressing the root cause of disorders. Ayurveda uses various tools in disease management such as herbs, therapies like Panchakarma bodywork, and Yoga. Yoga has become a household name in the West to enhance fitness, reduce stress and cultivate inner peace. Traditionally, it is a form of Sadhana, or spiritual practice for the purpose of self-realization. Yoga is not perceived in the West to address ailments per se, and this is largely due to the fact it is practiced separately from Ayurveda. Yoga in a therapeutic context is essentially Ayurvedic in nature.

In the words of Dr. David Frawley, esteemed scholar of Ayurveda, Yoga and Vedanta and director of the American Institute of Vedic Studies:

Using Ayurveda along with Yoga helps us gain complete harmony and balance in body and mind so that we can discover our true Self that is one with all. All Yoga teachers should learn the fundamentals of Ayurveda and all Yoga students should seek Ayurvedic guidance to enhance their Yoga practice.

Ayurveda and Yoga are sister sciences that have evolved from the Vedas, part of the same ancient healing tradition with common goals of preserving our health and raising consciousness. If you’re a Yoga student, teacher or practitioner, you may be wondering how Ayurvedic study can strengthen your Yoga offering.


Ayurveda for Yoga instructors and therapists

The study of Ayurveda for Yoga can enhance your practice, make it more comprehensive and attractive for your clients. It can also enrich your own personal journey of holistic and spiritual healing.


A framework for understanding clients


Body constitution and imbalances

Ayurveda involves the study of Doshas or energy principles formed from the combination of Panchamahabhutas (the five great elements).

Vata (ether and air) is the principle of movement
Pitta (fire and water) is the principle of transformation
Kapha (water and earth) is the principle of cohesion

Every client is unique and their Prakriti, or body constitution is the combination of Doshas they are born with and remains unchanged; this governs their structure, function, affinities and tendencies. Vikriti or imbalances occur when Doshas go out of balance. A knowledge of Doshas gives you an idea of what kind of routine, diet, Yoga, exercise and other practices support an individual’s health.


Orientations of the mind

There are three orientations of the mind, or Gunas:

Sattva (balanced, clear)
Rajas (ambitious and restless)
Tamas (dull and lethargic)

Yoga and Ayurveda both emphasize cultivating Sattva to meditate, improve mental acuity and manage emotional and psychological disorders. Ayurvedic Yoga uses the knowledge of Prakriti, Vikriti and Gunas as a wonderful framework to understand a client’s unique requirements, challenges so you can better assist them. In the case of chronic ailments in particular, knowing how to deal with imbalances is important.

For example, a Vata-dominant individual might overdo exercise because of restlessness and present with osteoarthritis. Meanwhile, a Pitta-dominant individual may go overboard on a competitive sport and develop plantar fasciitis. The study of Ayurveda helps in understanding their tendencies to offer more tailored Yoga suggestions for healing.


Applications of the Tridoshas for Ayurvedic Yoga practice

Here is an outline of Ayurvedic Yoga to suit different Doshas.



Body type: quick, spacey, fickle, creative, enjoy movement
Imbalances: dryness, anxiety, constipation, lumbago, insomnia

Yoga recommendations:

  • Regular, slow, warming, grounding, restorative, at less than capacity
  • Few poses held for longer duration (though they may crave a faster pace)
  • Tree Pose, Mountain pose, floor sequences, seated forward bends, gentle backward bends, twisting to kindle Agni and longer Savasana


Pranayama recommendations:
Abdominal breathing, full yogic breathing, alternate nostril breathing
Benefits: focus, calming the CNS, strengthening the lower spinal region, pelvic floor and colon which are the seat of Vata, stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system



Body type: driven, ambitious, courageous, perfectionists
Imbalances: anger, irritability, inflammation, hyperacidity

Yoga asana recommendations:

  • Slow gentle movements with spinal twists (with care during backbends or spinal compression poses) and forward bends Meditative, slow sun salutations
  • May be drawn to intense practices like Ashtanga, Vinyasa or Hot Yoga, but need to be less competitive
  • Preferably done before sunrise or in the evening


Pranayama recommendations:
Sheetali, Brahmari, longer exhalation than inhalation and Chandra Bhedana followed by alternate nostril breathing
Benefits: cooling, relaxing, calming


Kapha dosha

Body type: Relaxed, laid back, steady, loving, and nurturing.
Imbalances: Stagnation, congestion, obesity, lethargy, depression.

Yoga asana recommendations

  • Energetic practice though they may prefer a gentle Yin Class.
  • Switching around the routine
  • Warmer and faster class, stimulating respiration and inducing sweat like sun salutations, standing and inverted poses


Pranayama recommendations:
Kapalabhati, Bhastrika and Surya Bhedana followed by Nadi Shodhana – alternate nostril breathing
Benefits: stimulates Agni (digestive and metabolic fire). Kapha can stagnate and accumulate and needs awakening and shaking up


Customizing Yoga Classes

Yoga can be adapted for clients in one-on-one sessions or in themed classes based on the framework of Prakriti, Vikriti and Gunas. In group classes, you can customize suggestions based on the season, offer suggestions and prompts in consideration of constitutional differences, and discuss contraindications for imbalances. While observing and assisting clients, you can incorporate these guidelines more specifically and make modifications around the room.

As you begin to apply Ayurveda to Yoga practice, you’ll begin to ask questions such as: does a Pranayama stoke the Agni? Does an Asana energize, settle or strengthen the body. Is it heating or cooling? Can it be done sitting, standing; does it need to be held longer?

Every Asana cannot be practiced in the same way by each client because of their unique needs. For example, sun salutations may need to be done in a slow and meditative fashion by to pacify Vata. Meanwhile, those need pacification of Kapha will benefit from a fast, almost aerobic way flow. Pawanmuktasana could involve rotating ankles while holding the pose for someone who has a lot of Rajas (restlessness).


Aligning your practice with natural rhythms

During different seasons, times of the day and stages of life, various Doshas dominate. Changing your Yoga practice to align with nature, with daily circadian rhythms, seasonal rhythms and for different age groups is a powerful way to restore health.

Barring an overriding imbalance, Vata suggestions can be used in Vata season which is fall and early winter. Avoid stimulating Yoga like backbends and inversions after 10pm which is the Pitta time, but they’re great during spring, a predominantly Kapha season!

Kapha dominates during childhood, Pitta during youth and Vata in old age. Many people today are living to older ages, with degenerative disorders resulting from stress and inflammation on the rise. Ayurvedic Yoga can improve the quality of longevity with strengthening, reducing stress, improving immunity and ensuring clients stay supple, flexible and injury free.


Therapeutic benefits and disease management

Ayurveda explores the benefits of different types of breathwork, Asana and sequences in relationship to diseases.

The knowledge of Ayurveda helps in addressing a wide range of illnesses and concerns that clients come with and Ayurvedic Yoga suggestions are so much more pertinent coming from a qualified Ayurvedic consultant.

For example:

  • If a client has hyperacidity or Crohn’s disease, Ayurvedic Yoga would involve avoiding hot yoga, midday yoga or heating asanas like sun salutations. Besides a customized regimen, you could advise lowering stress, avoiding late nights, sour and spicy food and suggest simple herbs and therapies.
  • For an elderly woman who has constipation, anxiety and lumbago, an assessment would likely reveal Vata imbalance (in the Vata phase of life). Guidelines for her would involve a Vata-pacifying regimen.


Offer Ayurvedic education and consultations

Yogis tend to be interested in holistic healing and self help. Topics like nutrition, daily rituals and lifestyle suggestions based on Ayurvedic guidelines are great introductions. You can enhance your existing classes with Ayurvedic elements, or design new specialty workshops. With a level I Ayurvedic certification, you could expand your offerings to include assessments, and consultations and comprehensive guidelines on health and wellness. With the addition of Ayurveda into your offerings, you’re destined to grow your clientele, build a robust practice and carve out a specialty niche!


Enhance your own wellbeing and deepen your bond with the Vedas

The study of Ayurveda can help you transform your own personal, emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing. You can’t give from an empty cup, and self-care is where any healer’s journey begins. By deepening your exploration of the Vedas, you’ll discover new avenues for self development you couldn’t have imagined previously. Ayurveda expands the dimension of Yoga, allowing Yoga to truly shine in its full potential – as will you!


What does Ayurvedic certification involve?

Yoga already uses Ayurvedic principles of Chakras and Nadis in studying anatomy and physiology. It focuses on elevating Prana or life force, kindling and balancing Agni (digestive and metabolic fire) and regulating Nadis and Srotas (or channels) with the use of Asanas, Mantras, Bandhas and the eight limbs of Yoga including meditation.

Most students of Yoga are introduced to additional Ayurvedic concepts such as Gunas and Doshas at the certification level for teacher training, though they aren’t always confident enough to apply Ayurveda to their Yoga practice.  An Ayurvedic certification will help you deepen your knowledge, feel empowered to combine the sister sciences and discover a new level of personal and professional potential. You’ll learn how to help yourself as well as your clients nourish the mind & body, both on and off the mat.

A level I certification enables an Ayurvedic Counselor to:

  • Learn the fundamental principles of Ayurveda
  • Take the history of clients
  • Assess individual mind-body constitution (Prakriti)
  • Suggest dietary changes
  • Recommend daily and seasonal routines
  • Work withthe elements and Doshas to bring general balance
  • Use basic herbs, meditation, Yoga and Pranayama in the context of different Doshas
  • Offer cooking classes, simple nutrition tips, talk or write about Ayurvedic concepts


Level II Ayurvedic Practitioners have the advanced skill of disease management for more advanced conditions, tapping into diverse assessment tools and an extensive knowledge of herbs, therapies and formulations.

Ayurveda and Yoga are part of the same ancient healing system to balance energy, understand the nature of imbalances, cravings, aversions and gain an awareness of the self. As Dr. David Frawley explains, “Ayurvedic thought extends the principles of Yoga philosophy into how the body and mind work in order to bring them to optimal function and harmony.” Ayurvedic training is a beautiful way to understand why Yoga is practiced in a particular way, the intention behind postures and techniques, sequences and breath work for different physical and mental needs, aligning with natural rhythms, avoiding injury, enhancing health, encouraging an individualized and holistic practice, improving one’s nutrition, lifestyle and overall quality of life.

Wishing you well in your Yoga practice and journey~

Om Sahanavavatu Sahanaubhunaktu Saha Veeryam karavavahai
Tejaswi navadhitamastu maa vidvisavahai Om Shanti Shanti Shantihi

Om, may we all be protected together, may we be nourished together, may we work together with great energy, may our intellect be sharpened and there be no hostility amongst us, may there be peace in all dimensions.


  1. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health
  2. WHO (World Health Organization):
    Contribution in the Global Acceptance of Ayurveda 
    Benchmarks for Training in Traditional and Complementary Medicine 

Free Webinar: Ayurvedic Wisdom for Global Health

with Vaidya. Jayarajan Kodikannath, BSc, BAMS, Kerala Ayurveda USA Director


In this webinar, we overview:
  • The impact of unsustainable practices on nature’s system
  • Staying calm and minimizing panic, stress and mental disturbance
  • Natural tips for immunity strength
  • Daily regimen for optimum self care
  • Community building for a sustainable future


The global health crisis we are experiencing with COVID-19 necessitates extra care at this time for ourselves, each other and the planet. In this webinar, we will share the ancient Ayurvedic practices for strengthening the system, preserving balance and bringing much needed peace during a stressful time.


Learn more in our free educational webinar!

This webinar was conducted on March 14, 2020. You can now view the webinar recording.

View Webinar

12 tips for Ayurvedic professionals on how to operate during the pandemic

We are living through a unique and surreal time with the COVID-19 pandemic, grappling with a number of challenges, both personally and professionally. Someday, we will look back at how we navigated these waters. What impact do we wish to make?


This may be a defining and inspiring moment for us as Ayurvedic professionals. For now, a lot of us are worried about the future as it has been two months of managing what is a new normal?, being sheltered in place, introspecting, finding new ways of working, and connecting. As health and wellness specialists, we know that every problem also presents an opportunity, and we can tap into our Sattva. What are some concrete steps we can take?


Our heritage and mission

We are holistic healers operating from the lineage of a 5,000-year-old Vedic science which has stood the test of time, diseases and previous pandemics. Our mission is to make the world a healthier place with greater self-awareness, and we have an important role to play in reviving this traditional practice at a poignant time.


Pioneers in sustainability and adaptability

Ayurvedic professionals have a variety of practices. You may have an ongoing practice with existing clients, or be involved with an integrative wellness practice with other medical professionals, Yoga and Marma therapists. You might be a business owner, have a health resort, spa or beauty spa, or work in the manufacture and distribution of herbal products. Some of us are focused on marketing and writing, education, offering seminars or perhaps have a full-fledged academy like KAA. Some of you are students or practicing Ayurveda for yourself and our family.

Most of you overlap amongst these roles and backgrounds, for as Ayurvedic professionals we are pioneering a new way of living: one which bridges gaps between personal and professional, work and home life – mind, body and spirt. Ayurveda offers the world hope for the future, as well as a framework for the present. Take heart and deep breaths – we got this!

The end of our ever-expanding space
Is unknown even to the divine
Just as the worth of gifting health and healing
Is limitless for humankind



Ayurveda is the answer everyone is looking for

Whatever be the nature of our practice, we often have to educate people about Ayurveda and inspire them to attend to their wellbeing. As the world grinds to a halt during this pandemic, a new focus for many is on staying healthy. While modern medicine races to find a cure and vaccine for COVID-19, people do realize that prevention is better than a cure (that is yet to be found), and naturally are concerned about their immunity. People are also minimizing services like going to the doctor because they don’t want to be exposed to contagions.

With more time on hand, they are interested in holistic health, on how to manage stress, and how natural means can be used to do so. When we talk about trends in COVID-19, individualized medicine comes to mind to determine how and why one person is vulnerable to the disease and presents with certain symptoms compared to another. Also, with studies on pre-existing conditions and how COVID-19 leads to hyper-inflammation and the cytokine storm, causing rapid deterioration in symptoms, the link between lifestyle disorders, inflammation and susceptibility to diseases is being revisited. Ayurveda’s forte is the area of holistic, preventative, individualized health with a focus on lifestyle based interventions.

Ayurveda also focuses on our connection to community, and this is another insight we have now: how important our interdependence is in health. We also recognize that we are an extension of nature but have been very destructive as a species. As we are indoors, nature is healing and we need to recommit to sustainability to promote the health of our planet.


The Ministry of AYUSH in India that governs Ayurveda and other forms of traditional medicine has set up a task force to kick-start clinical trials on some Ayurvedic herbs which can be used to boost the immune system and control COVID-19 at different stages. In an article in the New Indian Express, the Ayurvedic Hospital Management Association (AHMA, India) acknowledged the loss of business in resorts and spas but noted the silver lining to this: the attention to immunity measures with clients from all over the globe enquiring about possibilities in Ayurveda.

Ours is indeed one of the foremost health systems that is as comprehensive in prevention as it is in the management of diseases and in being an all-encompassing Science of Life. Ayurveda offers the answers everyone is looking for. Ayurveda survived 5,000 years of cultural, economic and political shifts because it’s both timeless and adaptable. You can operate confidently from that framework!


What and how – can we adapt to the new paradigm?

A pandemic can make or break people. There are many positive transformative actions we can take during this time to enhance our work, skillset and our own health. Here’s are top 12 suggestions.


1. Commit to self-care

On flights adults are told to wear their own oxygen masks before helping their kids. The same is true for Ayurvedic professionals and those in the healthcare sector but sadly, health providers have a tendency to neglect ourselves. Just resetting that intention to take care of ourselves helps, as Vaidya. Jayarajan Kodikannath, Kerala Ayurveda Academy Director says, “You can only give what you have.” This is a good time to introspect on our own healing journey, increase our Sattva and do what we recommend to our clients: attend to the three pillars of Aahar, Vihar, Nidra and align with the rhythms of Dinacharya and Ritucharya, do some Yoga, Pranayama, exercise and meditation, take appropriate herbs, maybe do a mild Shodhana and at the very least start daily Abhyanga. Take care of yourself like you are your own client! Studies indicate it takes a 40 day cycle to change habits, so set those health goals you have been meaning to and effect long term changes.


2. Conduct online consultations

We can continue to see our clients through online platforms like Vsee and In fact, it’s a great time to proactively follow up as they may have more time for consultations or to attend to their health in general, and some may be anxious and need the support. While the Sparshana assessments like pulse diagnosis can’t be done online, remember the level I Counselor scope of practice: Darshana and Prashana (visually viewing, assessing and most importantly, questioning). You can also devised and revise protocols. It is good to use HIPAA compliant online tools; while Ayurveda is not a licensed practice yet in USA, we should be ahead of the curve and make sure our practice is ready.


3. Improve your home office and work from home ethic

As NAMA President, Margrit Mikulis advises, “implement a remote working environment.” Set up a home office if you don’t have one. Stick to a routine as you work from home, managing time, adhering to work hours, taking breaks and truly ending at a set time. In a study of 2,500 remote workers by the online brand development agency, Buffer in 2019, it was discovered that loneliness is one of the top challenges resulting in decreased motivation and productivity. Make sure to continue networking and connecting with people.


4. Plan your year ahead strategy

Whatever is the nature of your practice, this is a great time to plan or revisit your strategy. Here are some questions to help you get started:

  • What is your core competence (e.g. is it innovation, cost leadership, relationship building) and how can that be a niche in Ayurveda?
  • What is the vision and value proposition of your business?
  • Where do you plan to be in 5 and 10 years?
  • How will you get there?
  • What do you offer in terms of products and services?
  • What are the legalities in your state; is it a Health Freedom state or not, and what are those implications?
  • What capabilities and finances do you need to achieve your goals and how do you plan to acquire them?
  • Who is your target audience and who are your competitors?
  • What do you need to do this year to set yourself up for success towards your 5 and 10 year plan?
  • What’s your contingency plan?


5. Update your technology skills

Business capabilities include IT systems, logistics and automation and social distancing has made that a priority for us. How do we work remotely, teleconference and stay digitally connected with colleagues and customers? What technologies does our office need and how do we efficiently maintain records? It’s a good idea to explore solutions relevant to your business, network with friends and colleagues for more information on how they operate, maybe do an online course and read up to update your technological skills. Here is a quick start guide about strategies for secure remote work and a look at best practices in preparing infrastructure.


6. Develop your brand and website

For many of us: websites can be challenging. If you have put your website and branding on the back burner, get to them! Even if you already have one, refreshing web content improves its rank and performance. Some questions to ask yourself:

  • How does your brand reflect your core values?
  • Does it create a good impression and stand out?
  • How does it flow into the overall experience of your clients?
  • Does it gel with your strategy, positioning and messaging across platforms?
  • Does it show you care?

To effect change, simple updates like font, headers, imagery, graphics can do wonders. Adding blog content, a live chat feature or a newsletter portal can enhance your engagement and lead generation. While you’re at it, make sure links to your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google and other social media pages are included.


7. Create content for blogging and media

Educate, inform and inspire. We need to spread awareness of Ayurveda to build business. Online content attracts and converts your potential clients. Chances are, you need more of it, and the world is more ready for it than ever. This is a great time to explore your content strategy, including networking with fellow writers and online event hosts if you need help. If you’re planning your book, what better time than this to start organizing your thoughts! Starting with the common buzzwords like immunity, Dinacharya, cleansing, inflammation, Yoga and Ayurveda or nutrition. There are so many topics people are Googling for advice and you have the answers.


8. Do more with social media

Social media is a huge part of our marketing strategy and how we present ourselves and share ideas. What is your presence on different platforms? Do you have a strategy? Whether you’re going live with health counseling, hosting a watch party, an event or sharing an article, the way to optimize our message is something you can experiment with now. With more and more people online now, this is a great opportunity to be visible.


9. Offer free, paid or donation classes

A lot of people are offering free classes right now on topics like nutrition, cooking, Yoga, Pranayama, Dinacharya and different aspects of Ayurveda. Free classes help people in need and is part of our Dharma. They also generate new leads and cultivate loyal clientele. You could generate a new revenue stream via paid classes or modules like cleansing, nutrition and lifestyle tips. Be strategic and offer what people want and what supports your services. Don’t forget you can help others help others! Raise money for a cause from your proceeds, or give people the option to make a voluntary donation to, say a service for raising money for PPE for frontline health care workers.


10. Continue your education

If you need help in any area of your business, like technology, marketing, social media, market research, or administration, look online. Many institutes and YouTubers offer free classes that may have always wanted to take.

There may be requirements for your Ayurvedic certification or professional membership like NAMA or Yoga Alliance which you can catch up on, or perhaps you want to join for the first time. Investigate what’s required and which online courses now might help you fulfill the obligations (our Continuing Education programs are all NAMA PACE-approved). It’s always helpful to review material. KAA Certification Alumni: remember you have continued access to weekly virtual classes. Contact for access details!


11. Network! Connect, hold study groups, chat groups and forums

Connection is vital in this time for bridging the gaps and innovating together. You may want to set up study groups to complete classes or just connect informally in chat groups and forums to exchange ideas, cases and articles.

Connecting with other professionals can be done collaboratively. In Ayurveda, we trust in the abundance of the universe and support each other, knowing there’s no true competition. Consider gaps in your strategy and who can help you. You can explore synergies that may generate business later, work on research and referrals and new partnerships. Opportunities will evolve as we all redefine ourselves.


12. Offer your service

A lot of people are not going to doctors for fear of contracting any contagious disease at this time, COVID-19 or anything that may reduce their immunity. A lifestyle-based science can help them. For simple health issues, we could suggest changes in diet, lifestyle and home remedies. I started offering a free one hour a weekday service. One of my clients with arrhythmia said her doctor had said it was harmless. She showed all signs of aggravated Vata, panic and fear. We are not diagnosing or treating illnesses, but we can do simple Ayurvedic assessments in such cases; sometimes, even just talking it out helps the individual, and simple suggestions like forming a routine; three regular, warm, unctuous meals; hydrating, oleation and Yogic breathing, alternate nostril breathing can make a lot of difference. We have to be careful to ensure that anyone with respiratory or other symptoms do consult their primary care.


Coming out of anxiety and into possibility

Life moves in the direction of growth and progress. Innovation and adaption through the tips above is one way forward. As we introspect and take stock, we can draw strength from the ground we have already covered and tap into the resilience of our spirit.


What if your business is impacted?

It is a tough time financially for a lot of people but there are many ways to innovate and keep your business afloat. Small businesses like spas or manufacturers of herbal products may be hit the hardest and can look to the government for replacement of income. We may still have rent, overheads and have employees who work for us. While some can apply for unemployment, others need to study whether they are eligible under the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act). There is a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that has been established to help employers replace income and avoid future layoffs. The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low interest loans and the Treasury Department is deferring the deadline for annual tax payments by 90 days. Research and enquiry can help you plan for supporting your employees and keeping your business afloat.


Using Sattvavajaya  and invoking the legendary Healer

No one is immune from anxiety. Yet we know how to overcome adversity with Sattva, with the positive, pure, truthful quality of consciousness. The best tip for everyone at this time is to be kind and loving, and remember the words which inspire us. Chanting affirmations daily is a tried and true method for maintaining a high vibration and calm attitude.

Here are two beautiful ancient chants for this time:

Om Asatoma Sadgamaya,Tamasoma Jyotirgamaya,
Mrityorma Amritamgamaya, Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi

Om, lead me from the unreal (transitory material existence) to the real (Eternal Self); from darkness (of ignorance) to light (of wisdom, truth and spiritual knowledge); from the fear of death to the knowledge of immortality. Om Peace, peace, peace!


Namami Dhanwanthari Aadi Devam, Surasura Vandit Paada Padmam,
Loke Jara Rugbhay Mrityu Naasham, Daataaram Eesham Vividhaushadhinaam

I surrender to Lord Dhanvantari, requesting your grace. Please give me your blessing and remedies to heal the ailing. Your grace is valued by all, the Devas and Asuras for freedom from disease.


Let us set the intention to be strong and invoke Lord Dhanvantari whom we bow to for everyone’s wellbeing. To tap into our transcendental selves… and to be part of the world’s healing journey.



Updates on COVID-19 management at Kerala Ayurveda

As news of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) issue evolves, we would like to assure you that we at Kerala Ayurveda Academy continue to focus on the health and wellness of our students, clients and staff To that end, we have made changes to our services and programs. We are following directives and suggestions from the World Health Organization, the federal Centers for Disease Control, and the California Department of Public Health to prevent and mitigate the threat of illness.


Service and program updates


Please note that all formerly scheduled in-class sessions are now being held online via live streaming. You will receive access details from Student Support. If you have any questions, please contact


All consultations are being held online via our Vsee virtual appointment system. If you would like to reschedule an existing appointment or schedule a new one, please visit our Wellness Center website and complete the appointment request form.

Apothecary & Herb Orders

We are shipping all Ayurvedic product and herb orders. You can order from our new online Apothecary at keralaayurveda. store. Please note: our Wellness Center Apothecary team does not fulfill these orders. Contact the Help Desk for assistance with online orders. For orders requiring special assistance from our Wellness Team, please submit order requests using our online herb order form.


Safety practices

Please practice smart and healthy hygiene measures at all times, including:

  • Frequent and thorough hand washing (for at least twenty seconds)
  • Practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette (sneeze/cough into a tissue and then dispose of the tissue)


The following links provide useful information regarding COVID-19:


Finally, we remind you that communication is key.  If you have questions, concerns or comments please feel free to reach out to us at any time. 




Reasons to study Panchakarma to enhance your career

Since ancient times, Panchakarma or “five actions” therapy has been used in traditional Indian medicine as an intervention of the disease process. Panchakarma includes various bodywork techniques, client-customized oils and special diets, with each program fully customized for the individual based on their unique constitution and health conditions. As the demand for Panchakarma therapies increases, more health professionals are equally interested in learning how to perform them.


Panchakarma’s role in the healing process

Panchakarma is a purification process of the total mind-body system. The first step of these therapies is to detoxify: eliminate accumulated toxins, wastes and blocked channels creating the imbalance. The second step is to rejuvenate: restore and strengthen the system for optimal functionality. It is the combination of these two steps which makes Panchakarma especially effective.

For complex diseases, Panchakarma may be essential to prevent disease from advancing or spreading, and in some cases, can restore the system to a healthy state. For mild imbalances, Panchakarma may be utilized as a preventative measure to prevent disease. For this reason, Panchakarma offers a versatile approach to both disease prevention and management.


The scope of practice of a Panchakarma Technician

As Ayurveda gains popularity amongst wellness seekers, the professional Ayurvedic community continues to increase standards of education and competency. According to the standards of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA), Ayurvedic professionals must be introduced to Panchakarma at the first level of study, with more advanced requirements at at level II and level III. The three levels of professional Ayurvedic practice equip the practitioner to offer an assessment and protocol, with the ability to recommend some Panchakarma therapies at level I, or design a complete Panchakarma program at levels II and III. Implementation of the Panchakarma program requires specialty training as a Panchakarma Technician. Kerala Ayurveda Academy offers all four certifications.


Why study Panchakarma?

The decision to advance as an Ayurvedic professional is a personal choice with several considerations. For some, implementation of the Panchakarma protocol as a technician is the end goal; for others, increased knowledge and well-roundedness as a practitioner is desired.

Licensed healthcare practitioners & healers from all backgrounds can apply their Panchakarma knowledge to enhance their current practice.

Ayurvedic professionals, massage therapists, bodyworkers and estheticians may enhance their treatments, services and products.

Ayurvedic professionals may open Panchakarma centers, wellness centers, spas or resorts offering Ayurvedic body therapies.

Entrepreneurs may develop Ayurvedic products for Panchakarma therapies.


Here are some of the reasons we see knowledge of Panchakarma theory and practice as useful to the Ayurvedic professional in the West.


Health seekers are increasingly searching for natural and traditional solutions

With chronic illness and planetary toxicity at alarming rates, increasing numbers of health seekers are searching for natural and sustainable solutions. According to a survey by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health,  38% of Americans currently use some form of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, which encompasses a variety of holistic modalities including Ayurveda.1 Traditional practices like Ayurveda are primed to support this increasing demand. Panchakarma is one of the most effective natural methods for eliminating toxins, targeting the root of chronic illness and supporting individuals of all ages. This is all achieved without invasive surgery, damaging or compromising the system.


Health seekers are also tired of bandaids and want deeper, long lasting results

Ayurveda is a way of life designed to achieve harmony of mind, body and spirit. Its first goal is to preserve the health of the healthy, with the second goal being to manage the imbalances of the sick. From an Ayurvedic perspective, there are two steps towards reaching optimal health before living with an illness would be an outcome, though this the reality for millions of people who haven’t found solutions to their imbalances. Most are not just sick, but sick of being sick. Lifestyle and diet changes alone are not enough for some of these individuals, as they require a deeper intervention.

Panchakarma exists specifically to target the deepest roots, untangle the systemic imbalance and offer the chance to live a healthy life. With some lifestyle modifications afterwards, some individuals may be able to live without any reoccurrence of the imbalance.  The financial investment is for so much more than the Panchakarma therapy or program itself: it’s for a lifetime of health.


Advanced training in Ayurvedic modalities allows you to improve overall effectiveness and operate independently

In a traditional Ayurvedic healing complex, the Ayurvedic Doctor is a unique role, separate from the Panchakarma Technician. These roles are clearly defined in the scopes of practice currently followed in the U.S. as stipulated by NAMA, though nothing stops an individual from studying or assuming both roles. Knowledge of Panchakarma implementation will enhance the ability of a Counselor (AHC – level I) to recommend therapies within their scope of practice. For Practitioners (AP – level II) or Ayurvedic Doctors (AD – level III), it will assist their ability to design complete Panchakarma programs.

For Ayurvedic professionals in the West, a well-rounded education offers the widest toolkit for assisting client demand. It also helps an individual stand out in the field, opening up the most opportunity for professional advancement.


Healing interventions which target the root cause of illness are the medicine of the future

Whether you wish to run your own Ayurvedic center, partner with other practitioners, or integrate with other modalities, Panchakarma offers a vital role in the satisfaction of your clients. Its potential for healing is the answer to so many complaints of today’s health seekers: that everything they have tried isn’t working, or the side effects are unpleasant, that they cannot afford ongoing medical bills and medications, and that they are tired of living each day with illness.

In addition to seeing clients, advanced Ayurvedic practitioners may have an increasing opportunity to consult with integrative and allopathic practices. It is our goal at Kerala Ayurveda to spread awareness of this health science and bridge the gap between tradition and modern medicine. It’s our commitment to preserve and promote the traditional Ayurvedic methodologies, and we are hopeful for the future of natural solutions like Panchakarma. In addition to empowering the health practitioners of tomorrow, we look forward to curbing the tide of chronic illness and improving quality of life for many.



1. “The Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the United States,” The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH).

An Ayurvedic journey of a lifetime: India Immersion 2020

At Kerala Ayurveda, we have a phrase for what happens when our Immersion participants enter the gateway of Ayurveda in India for the first time: they have a “heart experience.”


Do you remember the first time you touched the soil and roots of a plant you ate, and connected with its wisdom? Perhaps in the harvest season, you look forward to visiting a favorite orchard for picking fresh fruit. If you’re lucky, maybe you have a garden of your own and enjoy the medicinal benefits of what you grow on a daily basis. This connection to the source of life is a heartfelt vibration, and the underlying current of our upcoming India Immersion 2020: Journey to the Heart of Ayurveda and Yoga.

Ayurveda’s principles as a life science are universal, which makes them relevant and adaptable to wellness seekers and practitioners everywhere. We call it the “common sense science” for this reason, for we all contain the mechanism and intelligence to heal within us. This awareness is the first step of the healing process – connecting with the inner Vaidya. In the west, we are searching for answers to chronic lifestyle illnesses. Ayurveda tells us: we can find the mechanism within! To guide this process, Ayurveda provides an elegant framework for understanding and supporting the inner healer. The ancient people of India who documented the Vedic texts, including Ayurveda, lived and breathed this science every day. Many of our trip participants feel they are “coming home” during their visit to India. For immersing themselves in a culture who fully embraces a holistic health science is an initiation for the heart – the true seat of consciousness.

As Ayurveda is a 5,000 year-old tradition, it manifests in the everyday customs of the Indian people. Every ritual of daily life represents a fluid relationship and understanding of nature. For participants who are familiar with Ayurveda’s principles, your heart experience will bring to life the principles and ingredients you have studied. If you’re new to Ayurveda, our Immersion offers the best foundational introduction possible to the science of life!


For the first time in 2020, we’re inviting India Immersion participants to tour India from north to south!

The journey begins with the breathtaking sites and cultural gems of the north, including Delhi, Agra, Rishikesh, Haridwar and Jaipur. You’ll behold the magnificent architecture with in-depth city tours and visit the lifeline of India: the sacred Ganges River, which enters the plains from the northern Himalayan Mountains.


An insider’s pass to Ayurveda’s full spectrum practice at Kerala Ayurveda Limited

After seven days of sightseeing, our India Immersion heads south and arrives at Kerala Ayurveda’s Health Village in Cochin, Kerala. Here you’ll be introduced to authentic Ayurveda in India with an insider’s pass to Kerala Ayurveda Limited’s healing services, gardens and product manufacturing process.


Study the herbs up close with an Ayurvedic master Vaidya

You’ll be guided by our Trip Leader, Vaidya Jayarajan Kodikannath – an Ayurvedic scholar, clinician and our academy director. In this rare opportunity, you can learn about the healing herbs documented in the Vedas in a hands-on botanical tour. Our factory will open its doors to show you how we produce the traditional Ayurvedic formulations and products, from seed to shelf.


Observe Ayurvedic therapies up close

Ayurveda is practiced as fully-fledged medical system, and we bring our India Immersion participants right into the healing sessions! You’ll have the unique chance to see special techniques practiced only in India during special therapy demos and support Kerala Ayurveda’s doctors in consultation camps.


The natural wonders of Kerala

Then we’ll hit the road to discover the natural wonders of the Kerala countryside! From the summits of Periyar National Park, you’ll view miles of surrounding nature – where the spices of the Vedas grow wild. In the Western Ghats mountains, you can connect with the soul of Kerala, known by its people as “God’s Country.” It is thanks to these majestic peaks that Ayurveda has been preserved for thousands of years and practiced continuously by the local people, protected from outside influence.


Cruise the Kerala backwaters in traditional houseboat style

The backwaters of Kerala offer one of the most enchanting sights of the region. You’ll view this natural phenomenon in style – by traditional houseboat – gliding through the network of canals, lagoons and lakes. We stay on the shores of Vembanad Lake with every India Immersion group, the largest lake in Kerala. Migratory species of birds come through the area seasonally, filling  the atmosphere with their song.


Enter the heart of healing – award-winning AyurvedaGram resort

The trip concludes with a personalized Ayurvedic Yoga retreat, workshops and cultural festivities at award-winning AyurvedaGram Heritage Wellness Centre – among the top five Ayurvedic health resorts in the country. The lush medicinal gardens and antique Kerala homes compose a classical healing complex – a serene ambiance to elevate the soul.

Your stay at AyurvedaGram includes a Complete Rejuvenation Package including an Ayurvedic Doctor consultation, personalized Ayurvedic bodywork therapies, herbal formulations if required, daily Yoga, meditation and Pranayama (breathwork). AyurvedaGram’s dining establishment is an exclusive vegetarian restaurant famous for its Kerala-style preparations and other South Indian delicacies. In this heart of healing, you’ll experience the power of Ayurveda and Yoga as they were traditionally practiced for thousands of years – an immersive mind-body-spirit approach .


We designed our India Immersion to offer all levels of knowledge an opportunity to witness firsthand the holistic soul of India. It is a rich cultural heritage we are proud to uphold at Kerala Ayurveda. Is your heart calling you the Vedas’ birthplace?