Ashtanga Hridayam

Dietary Guidelines and the Impact of Foods on the Mind-Body

The Ashtanga Hridayam, the “Heart or Essence of all the Eight Branches of Ayurveda,” is one of the fundamental ancient root texts of Ayurveda. Today, the Ashtanga Hridayam continues to serve as a root source for Ayurvedic philosophy and protocol, providing clear guidelines in all aspects of health.

As an Ayurveda student, practitioner or enthusiast, you know how important it is to use the authentic teachings of the ancient Vedic texts. During this course you will be carefully guided in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of the content of this text. This course will particularly focus on properties of food ingredients and how they affect our digestive tracts. The components of healing herbs and how they can be utilized to improve general health and well being. We will also examine the importance of  food combining and preservation as an integral part of maintaining good health.


Who should take this course

No Prerequisite

This course is open to all students, be it your first time studying Ayurveda or if you are a practicing professional!

  • Ayurvedic enthusiasts may build a strong foundation for authentic Ayurvedic study
  • Ayurvedic students can deepen their knowledge
  • Ayurvedic professionals will become truly outstanding in the field!


Learning Objectives

  • Uncover the deepest meaning behind the Ayurvedic principles as outlined in the root ancient text by Vedic scholar, Dr. Vaidya Jayarajan
  • Experience the richness and healing power of the ancient Sanskrit verses
  • Build an authentic foundation of traditional Ayurvedic knowledge
  • Learn guidelines for food and fluid intake and the results of improper eating, including the concept of Ama, gut disorders and toxicity
  • Understand the genesis, elemental composition and qualities of natural ingredients, as well as their impact on Rasa, Veerya, Vipaka, Prabhava and Vichitrapratyayarabdha
  • Discover the concept of six tastes: their origins, functions in the mind-body system and the taste attributes of common natural ingredients



Program Details

Next Session Dates

Sep 5, 12, 19, 26
Oct 3, 10, 17, 24, 31
Nov 7, 5, 14, 28 (skip Nov 21)
Dec 5, 12, 19



Chapter 8 – Matrasitiyam

  • Food guidelines
  • The concept of Ama, or toxins
  • Gut disorders due to improper eating and their remedies
  • Toxicity from improper eating
  • Guidelines for fluid intake


Chapter 9 – Dravyadivijnaniyam

  • Genesis and elemental composition of various natural ingredients
  • Qualities of natural ingredients and their actions on the mind-body system including Rasa, Veerya, Vipaka, Prabhava and Vichitrapratyayarabdha


Chapter 10 – Rasabhediyam

  • Origins of the six tastes and their qualities
  • The functions of the tastes in the mind-body system
  • Taste attributes of common natural ingredients and taste combinations



Meet the Instructor

Meet Dr. Vaidya Jayarajan Kodikannath (BSc, BAMS), Ayurvedic scholar and clinician


Previous Class Recordings

Visit the earlier chapters of the Ashtanga Hridayam

Please note: It is not required to complete previous parts of the Ashtanga Hridayam series to join an upcoming class; students are welcome to pop into the series at any time. NAMA PACE credits are not available for students who study archived class recording materials for this course.


Parts 1-5 – $75 each
The Quest for Longevity: Foundational Principles of Ayurveda
Daily Regimen for Health and Longevity
Seasonal Regimen and Guidelines for Disease Prevention
Ayurvedic Principles of Nutrition
Properties of Food Ingredients & Healing Herbs


Part 6 – $150
Natural Medicinal Ingredients, Food Combining & Preserving

Save 50% on Part 6 if purchased when you sign up for the upcoming live class!


For registration assistance or to purchase Ashtanga Hridayam class recordings, contact Student Support
1 (888) 275-9103 x20




Dr Jay’s words are like sitting in a Gurukul, listening to an Upanishad, from a Rishi. They are so inspiring. So blessed.


Dr. Jay is able to breathe in an incredible liveliness into any the classroom experience. What I really enjoy about his classes is his unique ability to show the same subject matter from many different angles: if you don’t see the subject from one side (due to your own particular way of perceiving things), he will find a way to illuminate for you from the other side.


Dr. J is a true Vaidya. What makes him an especially effective teacher is that he takes great effort to bridge the obvious cultural divide that exists between India an North America. It’s tough, but he does it with ease!