Do you wish to expand your scope of practice as an Ayurvedic professional?
The level III – Doctor certification expands upon the level II – Practitioner scope of practice with extensive clinical training at the level of disease management and protocol.
Kerala Ayurveda Academy’s Ayurvedic Doctor (AD) certification program meets the competencies of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association’s competencies for Ayurvedic Doctor membership. It includes curriculum and skills training offered by leading Ayurvedic universities in India. Whether you’re a KAA alum or a graduate from another school of Ayurveda, our AD program can help you advance your scope of practice with a traditional curriculum, flexible format, plus hands-on and clinical experience. Additionally, our Ayurvedic Doctor students receive mentored guidance in their clinical specialty of choice.
Kerala Ayurveda Academy offers the authentic and traditional teachings for modern living
The level III – Ayurvedic Doctor (AD) certification program is structured to align with classic Ayurvedic texts as tools for study and reference, providing an authentic and traditional foundation.
We don’t water down our teachings – you’ll study the principles just as they are outlined in the root Vedic texts.
Classes are offered at our academy in Milpitas, CA and live streamed, formatted in convenient weekend & evening schedules. Whether you study with us in person or at home, you receive all of the same materials and academic support.
In person attendance is required for our Clinical Internship and Apprentice requirements, with multiple format options to best suit your needs.
Choosing and committing to an Ayurvedic training program is a big decision. And while you know an exciting educational adventure awaits, you may be a little nervous about how you’ll fit your Ayurvedic studies in, while finding life balance.
Finding life balance requires juggling a lot of balls (family/work/school) all at once, and if you don’t have a plan while you do it, you’re destined to drop a few along the way. To help you successfully keep all those balls in the air, we asked Kerala Ayurveda Academy students to share some of the methods they have used in finding life balance, not only in their studies, but in all aspects of life.
Ayurveda is all about balance
The main goal of Ayurveda is to bring balance to your mind, body and spirit. It encourages alignment with the circadian rhythms of nature so you are mentally and physically prepared to live your best, balanced life. The first step to success is finding life balance within yourself which requires a bit of fine tuning for your diet and lifestyle.
Have you ever gotten so busy you completely forgot to eat? Probably not, if you are of Pitta constitution, but everyone can relate to skipping a meal every now and then or eating at times that are not optimal for digestion. Keeping our mind and bodies optimally fueled and our digestion on point requires eating meals at consistent times each day, breakfast (7-9am), lunch (11am-1pm) and dinner (6-8pm).
In Ayurveda sleep is one of the three pillars of health. Throughout the day, our bodies and brains experience wear and tear. They need sleep – seven to eight hours daily – to rejuvenate. To stay in balance with our natural rhythms, Ayurveda suggests being in bed by 10pm and rising with the sun.
Be aware of the impact of the seasons on your personal body constitution and make adjustments accordingly.
Summer can be a time of Pitta Dosha aggravation . Take time to cool down and relax more often. Avoid too much heat inducing activity and embrace a little “do nothing” attitude.
Fall and winter increase Vata Dosha. During this time it’s important to balance Vata with warm, moist food and seek lifestyle activities that are grounding in nature.
Winter and spring are the Kapha Dosha season. This is a good time to lighten up the foods in your diet, amp up your exercise routine and possibly engage in an Ayurvedic cleanse.
Connect with your dharma or purpose
The Sanskrit word “dharma” translates to your soul’s purpose: your reason for being here on this earth! Connecting with that purpose can provide a great sense of satisfaction as well as energize you to great accomplishments.
Embrace your purpose and acknowledge you’ve been drawn to explore Ayurvedic study for a reason. Take time to consider why you are choosing the Ayurvedic path and what it means to you; reconnect and recommit with that purpose.
Allow your relationship to your purpose to shift, and be open to how it manifests itself. It might not look exactly how you imagined it to be, but feel confident it was destined to fit within the whole of your life.
Create new rhythms that support you
Our lives are filled with natural rhythms making us ritualistic and habitual creatures who thrive on patterns and routines. Incorporating learning into your daily rhythms can be easily accomplished if you make a plan and introduce information in digestible portions.
Here’s our top tips for healthy study rhythms:
Set aside a dedicated time to study each day. Earlier is better as your brain is fresh and distractions typically fewer, allowing for maximum information retention. If finding a full hour isn’t in your cards, then break down your study time into half hour or 15 minute increments. Just make sure whatever time element you choose, that you can devote 100% of yourself to your studies without distraction.
Read your course manuals or view lecture material during your commute if you use public transportation. Bring headphones to block out noisy distractions.
Set small, attainable goals such as reading a certain number of pages per day/week or viewing a specific number of minutes/hours of lecture. The same goes for larger assignments and projects. Don’t procrastinate, just get started and whittle away the larger tasks in a manageable way. And… don’t forget to reward yourself when your goals are accomplished!
Get to know your fellow students and join networking groups. Many of our students form groups within their cohort to stay in touch. It’s helpful to communicate with people who can relate to your situation. These groups also offer a wealth of additional information, resources and accountability.
Schedule a monthly check in with your Student Mentor. Use this time to brainstorm on the best protocol for your rogi consultations, discuss special projects and gain ideas on how to carry forward with your new found knowledge after graduation.
Read your materials before class. This will help you to better retain lecture information and pre-formulate questions to expand on learning.
Set and communicate new expectations and boundaries with people in your life
Strong relationships with your partner, children, family and friends are important. They will be impacted by the changes in your life, but there is nothing to fear. If you’re on a positive growth path, the positivity can spread to them as well.
Open an upfront dialogue with people in your life
Be clear with your friends/family about the impact your studies will have on your time and attention for them. Engage in an open and honest conversation as to how you can work together to navigate obstacles, set boundaries and meet expectations.
Share your Ayurvedic wisdom with those that surround you
Invite people into this new and exciting part of your life! The discussion will make them feel included in your journey and give you practice in framing information for future rogi discussions. It may even warm them up to volunteering as part of your clinical case studies. Just be mindful of reading your audience during this process so as not to put people and their personal health on the spot.
Don’t forget to include your boss and coworkers in the discussions
Make sure people in your workplace are aware of times when you need to attend classes and internships. Request any needed leave well in advance and clearly mark your calendar so all are aware of when you’ll be unavailable. Share your Ayurvedic knowledge, if appropriate. Consider your “work family” as an audience for a wellness discussion, yoga session or guided breathwork/meditation.
Rejuvenation and self care
When life gets busy, there’s one person that is often forgotten. You! Self-care is important to ensure you perform at your best, stay energized and focused.
Actually schedule your self-care
Schedule some mental self-care into your calendar, even if it’s a 5 minute date for a little breath work, gratitude journaling or meditation. Mental wellbeing is key to minimizing stress and anxiety, increasing your positivity, building confidence and helping you avoid burnout. And don’t forget your body. Make sure to get plenty of rest, make time for exercise and keep your body fueled consistently with wholesome, energizing meals. Schedule all the aforementioned if you find that you otherwise miss them.
Prioritize and make shifts
Take a look at your to-do list. Being busy doesn’t always equal being productive. Are you spending too much time on what feels urgent and not enough time on what is important? Realize it’s OK to say “no” sometimes. Let the important things be your priorities and forget about the rest, for now.
Slow your roll
Avoid multitasking and take a quality over quantity approach. Give each aspect of your life it’s full, deserved attention. When you multitask you may feel like you’re getting more accomplished but in fact, it can impact your memory, result in mistakes and actually eat up more of your time as your brain resets to follow each task.
In finding life balance, we must consider the life we have and those that surround us and then make adjustments that will allow us to personally grow, fulfill our dharma and find happiness. The first steps of an educational journey are often the hardest, but if we take them with confidence and a little planning, we’ll easily complete our journey to success.
Students of Ayurveda and Yoga are often drawn to the study of the Sanskrit – the ancient and slightly mystical mother language of the celebrated verses chanted during class or meditation. But where did this profound language come from, and what exactly does it have to offer an Ayurvedic practitioner today?
The origin of Sanskrit
Before you can understand the value of Sanskrit as a modern-day practitioner, it is important to be aware of its relevance in the history of Ayurveda, which is a product of the Vedic period of the Indian subcontinent. Sanskrit is an old Indo-Aryan language in which some of the most ancient documents known today, the Vedas were composed. It originated in the second millennium BCE. In the Indus Valley Civilization, where the natives were most likely earlier cousins of the Vedic people, a rudimentary form of Sanskrit was spoken with some Dravidian elements. The civilization began sometime around 6,000 BCE, and spread as far as the borders of modern-day Iran. The Indus culture was probably succeeded by the early Vedic culture around 2,000 BCE with Sanskrit as the principal language of communication, at least among the elite and ruling classes of the society. From the earliest verses found in the Vedas, we understand that Sanskrit had already evolved into a full-fledged language by the time they were composed.
Panini, a fourth century Sanskrit scholar, popularized the language with his systematic treatise, Ashtadhyayi. His inspiration made Sanskrit the preeminent Indian language of learning and literature for two millennia. The 14 sounds of the Maheswara Sutra are the most ancient known Sanskrit alphabet sequence. More than just alphabetical sounds, the Maheswara Sutra is a powerful mantra, and the vibrations of its utterance are known to have healing powers. The sounds of the alphabet are said to have originated from Lord Siva’s Damru, or drum, during the universe’s creation.
What makes Sanskrit unique amongst the ancient languages
Sanskrit is considered the mother of all languages with an influence as vast and deep as its spiritual associations. It belongs to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European family, and the oldest form is the Vedic Sanskrit. In India and Southeast Asia, the language enjoys a status similar to that of Latin and Greek in the western world. Literary researchers have identified Sanskrit as originating from the same source as Latin, Greek, and Persian. However, Sanskrit has its own wonderful structure. With exquisitely refined grammatical forms and verb roots, it is considered more “perfect” and copious than its counterparts. In its native Devanagari script, Sanskrit is known as Samskrta, which translates to “most refined.”
Sanskrit exerted a great deal of influence on all languages and cultures of the Indian subcontinent as well as beyond. The vocabularies of many Indian languages are heavily Sanskritized as a result. It is largely used today as a ceremonial language and in Hindu rituals due to its integral part of Hindu tradition and philosophy. Sanskrit language has also enriched many European languages, including English, and possibly many western philosophies. Modern Indian scholars of Sanskrit culture have often remarked that many of the new concepts of nuclear physics or modern psychology are easy for them to grasp, since they correspond exactly to familiar notions of Sanskrit terminology! Its versatility and power of expression can be appreciated by the fact that this language has 65 words to describe various forms of Earth, and over 250 words alone to describe rainfall.
Sanskrit’s connection with Ayurveda
Sanskrit is regarded as the language mother of all the universe, an explosive source of endless knowledge. The four Vedas, which document the knowledge of the Vedic period, are composed entirely in Sanskrit language. Ayurvedic knowledge is contained in the Upaveda of Atharva Veda. The ancient Ayurvedic philosophy, formulae, suggestions, herbs, herbal formulations, treatment methods, lifestyle management protocol and all medical instructions were first written down in Sanskrit. Since Ayurveda is codified using Sanskrit, a good knowledge of this language is crucial to properly understand the Ayurvedic texts.
Both Ayurveda and Sanskrit can touch you in a metaphysical way. A Sloka, or Sutra is the poetic form of the language used in the Ayurvedic root textbooks. Any form of Ayurvedic knowledge is a direct or indirect translation from the original Sanskrit verse. Learning Sanskrit language and Ayurveda together allows the student to truly embrace the best of both worlds: studying the source of nourishment and fullness of life in Sanskrit likewise offers the deepest possible access to Ayurveda’s wisdom. The ancient language embodies the principles behind Ayurveda, in its structure, sound and vibrations.
The value of Sanskrit knowledge for western practitioners of Ayurveda
A basic knowledge of Sanskrit is essential for understanding the essence of Ayurveda. It enriches the understanding of the classical textbooks as well as the commentaries. Ayurveda’s mind-body science has a rich heritage, and this ancient language is a direct route to get there. Sanskrit is also a verbal cleanser of the mind, enabling a practitioner to embody the balanced state from which he or she can best support the health of others.
A knowledge of Sanskrit benefits a Western Ayurvedic practitioner in the following ways:
Provides access for studying the root texts of Ayurvedic philosophy
Improves sense of learning Ayurveda and ability to follow lectures
Creates an overall more authentic learning experience
Deepens understanding of a Sutra’s more complex meaning
Aids in comprehension of the Mantras while doing meditation
Makes the learning process much easier
Enhances memory and retention with the power of the syllables
Helps the student make “quantum leaps” and learn more than initially expected
Calms the mind while learning the Sanskrit sutras
Enriches the learning experience with healing vibration
A letter from Kerala Ayurveda Academy Director, Dr. (Vaidya) Jayarajan Kodikannath:
It’s with great pleasure I announce the launch of Kerala Ayurveda Academy’s third level Ayurvedic Doctor certification program, open to students from all Ayurvedic schools. It’s a 2.5-year program with 2,500 hours of learning, including both in-class and live streamed training hours, clinical internship, projects and a clinical specialty. The prerequisite for this program is a level II certification or equivalent, and the first session begins this August 24.
The Ayurvedic Doctor (AD) program is a culmination of our academy’s strong desire to create confident, advanced clinicians of Ayurveda, capable of helping people with the complex health concerns in this modern world. Our mission is to preserve the authenticity of Ayurveda in the U.S., which is why the curriculum of this program is carefully designed to align with the World Health Organization’s benchmarks for Ayurvedic training, as well as the curriculum for the Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS) degree in India. To satisfy the unique standards here in the U.S., this program matches the competencies from the National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA) for Ayurvedic Doctor professional membership. It is also approved by California state’s Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education.
As you may know, Kerala Ayurveda Academy was established in 2006 and has grown from one 500-hour certification program to now three levels of professional certification, the specialty Panchakarma certification, plus several continuing education workshops. This growth is a sign that we are, as a community, fulfilling the deeper mission – to spread awareness of Ayurveda and help positively shift the lives of more people.
Coming from India and representing an Ayurvedic lineage, I have witnessed the profound healing potential of Ayurveda – not just in my two and a half decades of practice as an Ayurvedic Doctor, but throughout my entire life. Growing up, herbal medicine and Panchakarma was not an alternative choice, but just a way of life. It has been my personal mission to share the traditional teachings of Ayurveda with the world: train high quality professionals of Ayurveda in traditional Indian medicine, and transmit the most comprehensive, holistic and personalized healing methodologies.
It is my hope that the addition of our level III AD program will support the continued learning of those who wish to reach their full potential as Ayurvedic professionals with advanced clinical training, at the highest level of certification here in the U.S.
For those of you who are ready and qualified, we invite you to apply to our first AD program beginning this August. Our online application launches this Friday, February 8.
Namaste~ Dr. (Vaidya) Jayarajan Kodikannath
Vice President & Academy Director
Kerala Ayurveda USA
Ayurveda is a 5,000 year-old system and still thriving today. Why? It works!
If you’re already a student of Ayurveda, you know first-hand how this profound health science improves your life. But for those of us just starting to crack its surface and contemplating diving deeper into study, the ancient wisdom might seem vast & intimidating.
You may be wondering – what does it accomplish? What makes it special?
Here are some of the reasons
1. A health system born from Nature
With an Ayurvedic approach, there’s no guessing games when it comes to ethos and philosophy – you know your approach to health is rooted in Nature’s elements and principles, and your solutions will help you to better align with Nature. Ayurveda translates to “the science” (or wisdom, knowledge) of “life” – and this applies to all the life, as we know it, in our Universe.
2. Finally – a broad roadmap to sustainable living
When we align ourselves with Nature, we develop an innate sense of what is sustainable. “Sustainable” is a buzzword we’ve all heard by now, but what does it really mean? According to Ayurveda, anything that taxes the system – that counters the support of life – is unsustainable. We don’t strive for perfection in Ayurveda (for that can cause more stress!), but we do learn to evolve our daily lifestyles and orient ourselves towards the choices which best support all aspects of our lives – physical, mental, emotional health. The result is lasting solutions instead of short term, quick fixes.
3. Self-empowered health building – own it, live it, love it
Ayurveda provides the tools we need to understand what is health and what can we do to support it. We learn what we can do every day and what decisions we are constantly making which impact our health. Ayurveda calls each and every one of us to take back our power and claim our ability to manifest a healthy life. This doesn’t mean we don’t seek guidance or expert advice – quite the opposite! Ayurveda acknowledges that this is a learning path, and we must honestly admit when we face limitations and take the self-loving steps needed to find support. With the tools of Ayurveda, we can truly take charge of our health.
4. Recognition of individual power
Ayurveda helps us learn that what is unsustainable for our minds is also unsustainable in our bodies, which is likely to be unsustainable for our community, for our city, for the planet, and so on. Ayurveda calls each and every one of us to action as empowered proponents of our own individual health, and recognizes that taking care of the self is not selfish – it is also taking care of the whole!
5. Total personalization in health
In Ayurveda, there is no one-size-fits-all model. We’re not saying you’re unique to make you feel good – we’re saying it because you actually are! Ayurveda recognizes that humans all have a unique mind-body constitution, and outlines the three basic types of these constitutions which exist: the Triodshas, or Vata-Pitta-Kapha. Ayurvedic study teaches us the nature of these qualities and how to recognize them, so we can uncover how they are manifested in ourselves and define our unique needs.
6. Self-love for your unique mind and body
With Ayurveda’s personalized health system, we learn constitutional qualities or not good are bad – they simply are. We are relieved of self-judgment due to comparing ourselves to others who are different. For example: do you have trouble keeping weight off and have a high amountof Kapha in your constitution? Your inability to lose weight can be partially due to your constitution, not simply an imbalance or flaw. On the slip side: have you always been tremendously thin and could never put weight on? Vata-dominant constitutions are naturally slender and do not absorb weight easily. You can’t change your constitution, but Ayurveda can help you understand what it is, why it’s occurring and how you can manage it best.
7. Increased understanding of others and improved relationships
Ayurveda recognizes that humans express not only their physical body, but also their personality in direct relationship to their Doshas. For this reason we call it a “mind-body” constitution. Recognizing what is a constitutional trait of our friends, family and coworkers can be the key to finding peace in your relationships. For example: does it bug you every time your friend forgets to call you back or mixes up the dates of your plans? You may begin to take this personally if it’s a recurring pattern; but, upon discovering your friend has a Vata-predominant constitution, you may realize it’s not personal – it’s a constitutional trait that your friend probably has a lot of trouble controlling. Instead of becoming resentful, you’ll find that giving that particular friend extra reminders and double confirming plans helps to keep your relationship functioning smoothly. If your friend learns your constitutional nature, then you both can exchange this type of loving consideration and look out for each other’s needs.
8. Better collaboration and work performance
Work relationships are influenced by our constitutional balances just as much as our personal relationships. That Vata friend who is forgetful but you now have learned to forgive – does that also sound like a coworker who’s missing appointments or deadlines, or not staying focused during conversations? What about that Pitta-dominant coworker who is always on top of things and can become impatient with the Vata-dominant coworker? Ayurveda opens us up to understanding the key constitutional differences and how we can modify our expectations and behavior to collaborate optimally.
9. A simple definition of disease
Understanding constitution is one of the first steps we take when we study Ayurveda. Perhaps after identifying your Pitta-dominant coworker, you’re still scratching your head and wondering if their passive aggressive emails are also “just their constitution”? In Ayurveda there is constitution, and then there is imbalance, or disease. “Dosha” is defined as “that which can go out of balance,” so Ayurveda recognizes within its own terminology that imbalance is a constant part of living – and also provides us the framework for understanding what can be done to restore balance. Our unique mind-body constitution makes us prone to particular imbalances more than others, but a skilled Ayurvedic practitioner will be able to clearly discern between the two.
10. The roadmap to living seasonally
We know to dress for the weather and what’s in season when we visit the farmer’s market, but for some people, their relationship with “seasonal” health ends there. Ayurveda explains the what and how of seasons – what elements constitute each unique season, how they manifest and when to detect seasonal shifts, plus how seasonal qualities affect the Doshas in our minds and bodies. You begin to understand why you prefer certain seasons and what you can do to balance your system when seasonal changes begin to throw you off balance. While you may not have access to a perfectly local and seasonal source of food, Ayurveda can support you in choosing foods based on their elemental qualities, so you can still eat seasonally on an energetic level. Seasonal is not limited to just nutrition, and Ayurveda provides a host of tools for seasonal balancing through exercise, relaxation, bodywork and lifestyle routines.
12. Approach health preventatively
The golden beauty of Ayurveda is perhaps in its ability to actually prevent disease. The Ayurvedic system looks at disease as a progression, with several stages of imbalance that occur prior to a disease manifests that is detectable by conventional testing. For example, diabetes has a total of 20 stages of development according to Ayurveda – yes, 20! Living an Ayurvedic lifestyle helps to prevent disease from ever manifesting, and health care by a trained Ayurvedic practitioner allows health seekers an opportunity to detect budding illness in the earliest stages.
13. Find solutions to some those seemingly mysterious, chronic health issues
A holistic, preventive approach to health means imbalance is targeted at the root issue rather than treating symptoms and providing band aids for deeper problems. Through thorough assessment of an individual’s unique constitution, family and medical history, an all-encompassing approach is taken that takes into account mental, physical and emotional aspects to imbalances. Assessment techniques also scan for subtle disease levels using tools such as pulse diagnosis, which can detect imbalances that conventional tests may miss.
14. Light the path of your new professional destiny
Studying Ayurveda is a healing journey that impacts our individual health, relationships and career, even leading to an exciting new career development. Health professionals from all backgrounds are discovering the power of Ayurveda and enhancing their practice with its wisdom – medical practitioners, nutritionists, Yoga instructors, physical therapists, nurse practitioners, acupuncturists, massage therapists, estheticians, beauty product therapists, counselors, life coaches and more. Even more professionals from diverse backgrounds are feeling called to a career change and diving into the study of holistic health. (Ready to make a change? Check out our 9 ways to build a career with Ayurveda for some inspiration).
15. Discover an inspiring life philosophy
Ayurveda is not a religion or a spiritual system, though its elegant, all-encompassing philosophy can inspire a deep sense of grounding and connectivity. Furthermore, Ayurveda – just like other ancient, holistic health systems – is more relevant now than ever in supporting the healing of individuals as well as our planet. It feels good to be a part of the solution!