The Ayurvedic Studies Program, Level 1
General Program Information

The academic year is divided into three, 10-week trimesters, each followed by a break. The school year begins with a mandatory Orientation week on October 5, 2015. An Orientation schedule is sent to all enrolled students just prior to Orientation week. Classes end Friday, May 27, 2016, with oral exams beginning May 31, 2016 and graduation on Thursday, June 16, 2016. This program is limited to 45 full-time students.

The ASP 1 program includes lectures, breakout sessions, and an emphasis on practical exercises.
Students earn a total of 750 hours classroom time. Students spend approximately 25 hours per week in class (as compared to 16+ hours per week for a full university class load).

ASP 1 is an intensive time of study. Each week, students can expect to spend a minimum of 1 hour on outside assignments and homework for each hour of class time. Anticipate spending 40-50 hours per week focused on school, including class time and outside homework. This is a conservative estimate.

Classes are primarily offered Monday through Thursday, with optional clinical observation sessions on Fridays and Saturdays in the third trimester. An optional course of Ayurvedic Review is offered during the second and third trimesters.

Special Ayurvedic weekend seminars and intensives offer an in-depth study of specific areas of Ayurveda and are available at an additional fee along with a student discount. These often-requested topics include marma therapy, panchakarma, and pulse assessment. Vasant Lad’s seminars may repeat some information included in the regular curriculum, as well as have more in-depth information. Each seminar offers a free Friday evening lecture introducing the specific topic from 7 to 9 pm. (See our Seminars Page.)

The Ayurvedic Institute reserves the right to make adjustments to the curriculum without prior notification.


The Ayurvedic Studies Program 1 (ASP 1) is the foundation of the educational programs offered at The Ayurvedic Institute. Students acquire a thorough understanding of the principles and practices of Ayurveda, Sanskrit, Ayuryoga, and Anatomy and Physiology.

Graduates can apply lifestyle principles and practices to their own lives as well as those of family and friends to maintain a healthy life. They will also be able to teach the introductory theory and principles of Ayurveda to others in a community or group lecture setting. Students develop knowledge and skill through individual and progressive group work, interactive exercises, projects, presentations, and supervised practice with staff and students to develop clinical competencies. Each student is individually evaluated by faculty and the Dean of Education as being qualified prior to receiving permission to work with community clients.

Students must meet all attendance requirements, successfully complete all mandatory homework and exams, pass the oral exam at the end of the academic year, be a student in good standing, and have paid tuition in full.

Students interested in applying for the Ayurvedic Studies Program Level 2 must successfully graduate from the Ayurvedic Studies Program Level 1 and demonstrate the ability to introduce Ayurvedic principles clinically during all client consultations. The Dean of Education and the Education Curriculum Team review applications. Students must demonstrate a high level of participation, commitment, citizenship, and understanding in the classroom.

Students interested in applying for the Ayurvedic Studies Program Level 2 must successfully graduate from Ayurvedic Studies Program Level 1. The Dean of Education and the Education Curriculum Team review applications. Students must demonstrate a high level of participation, commitment, citizenship, and understanding in the classroom.

The Ayurvedic Institute’s 2015-2016 Ayurvedic Studies Program Level 1 meets or exceeds the competency requirements for the National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA) professional membership Ayurvedic Health Counselor category. (See Accreditation information.)

Certificate Options

Students may choose to participate in the Ayurvedic Studies Program Level 1 with one of the following options.

1) Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant Certificate
This category includes Ayurvedic students trained to focus on preventive healthcare as well as health promotion, with a specific emphasis on diet and lifestyle. These students pay full program tuition, attend all courses, meet all attendance and examination requirements, pass the oral exam, and successfully participate to develop competencies. Each student is evaluated by faculty and the Dean of Education as being qualified prior to receiving permission to present client cases in the third trimester Foundational Skills class. They earn an Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant certificate (ALC) and are qualified to apply for the ASP 2 program.


2) Personal Program Certificate
This category is for students wishing to learn Ayurveda for the purpose of self-healing but do not intend to become Ayurvedic practitioners. They attend all courses and meet all attendance requirements. They are exempt from exam taking and do not sit for the oral exam. They observe the presentation of client cases in the third trimester but do not present case studies. Students in this category are successful graduates, but do not have client training and are not qualified to attend the ASP 2 program other than auditing Vasant Lad’s lectures. These students pay full program tuition and earn a Personal Program Certificate (PPC).

3) Audit Ayurvedic Lectures only
Applicants wishing to audit the evening Ayurvedic Lecture Series may apply for review and approval on a session-by-session basis or for the full Trimester, provided space in the classroom is available. Students who audit the Ayurvedic Lecture Series full time receive a certificate of attendance.

For details on applications and approvals, please refer to Admissions and Registration.

Ayurvedic Studies Program, Level 1 Course Descriptions
Ayurvedic Lectures

These courses are the foundation for the educational programs offered at The Ayurvedic Institute and provide a thorough understanding of the basic principles and practices of Ayurveda. They include philosophy, theory, and assessment and management.

The first trimester includes a series of videotape lectures by Vasant Lad facilitated by our instructors. In the second and third trimesters, Vasant Lad personally teaches his extensive understanding of the ancient texts as well as lessons on his many years of experience as an Ayurvedic physician. This course is mostly lecture format with some exercises and practicum. Material is presented from Vasant Lad’s knowledge and course textbooks.


Introduction to Ayurvedic Theory
(Video Series Facilitated by Instructor)

Introduction to Sankhya theory and the roots of Vedic philosophy.
Spirituality in daily life and the aims of life; dharma, artha, kama and moksha.
Gunas (universal qualities).
Pancha mahabhuta (the five basic elements of creation).
Doshic theory (functional principles in biological systems).
Dinacharya (daily routine).
Vata dosha (the air and ether principle), its subtypes, and the effects when increased and decreased.
Pitta dosha (the fire and water principle), its subtypes, and the effects when increased and decreased.
Kapha dosha (the earth and water principle), its subtypes, and the effects when increased and decreased.
Prakruti (constitution).
Vikruti (constitutional disorders).
The mind; manas prakruti and manas vikruti.
The concept of agni (transformation).
The six tastes and the process of digestion.
Introduction to dhatus (body tissues).
Introduction to the concept of srotas (functional systems in the body).
Introduction to ojas, tejas and prana.


Basic Principles of Ayurvedic Physiology, Health, and Imbalance
The Ayurvedic understanding and inter-relationship of the body, mind and spirit.
Structure and function of the body: the five elements, three doshas, nadis, srotamsi, vayus, etc.
Mind: antakaran (the inner equipment of mind), prana (vital air), manas (sensory mind), chitta (mind), buddhi (intellect), dhruti (retention), smruti (memory) and ahamkara (ego).
Spirit: jiva (soul), karma, samskaras, koshas (sheaths): anna (physical body), prana (vital air), mano (sensory mind), jnana (mind), vijnana (intellect), ananda (bliss sheath).
Chakra system and kundalini (vital energy).
The Ayurvedic concept of health and disease.
Prakruti and vikruti.
Models of Disease, the concept of ama
Ayurvedic concept of digestion, assimilation and elimination.
Agni (jathara agni, bhuta agni, dhatu agni, cellular agni) and the clinical assessment of agni.
Rasa (taste), virya (energy), vipaka (post-digestive effect), and prabhava.
The relationship of taste to the elements and the effect of the gunas.
Time and organ function.
Nutrition and the functional relationship between srotas, dhatu, upadhatu, dhatu mala, agni, and ojas, tejas and prana (the subtle refined essences of the tissues).
Overview of Ayurvedic etiology and pathogenesis: Nidana-panchakam.
Nidana: an in-depth look at etiological factors of imbalance.
Purva-rupa (prodromal symptoms), rupa (cardinal signs and symptoms), upashaya (therapeutic trial).
Samprapti (pathogenesis) and dosha gati.
Clinical determination of the stage of samprapti.

Opening the Doors to Ayurvedic Assessment
Methods of acquiring information: academic, direct perception, and inference
Trividha pariksha (the three-fold examination): darshana (observation), sparshana (tactile perception), prashna (questioning)
Ashtavidha pariksha (the eight-fold examination): nadi (pulse), mutra (urine), mala (feces), jihva (tongue), shabda (voice), sparsha (palpation), drig (eyes), akruti (form)
Marmas (Ayurvedic energy points)


Basic Principles of Ayurvedic Management

Using the rugna patrakam and the dosha assessment forms for prakruti / vikruti, and manas prakruti / vikruti.
Chikitsa: the Ayurvedic approach to management of imbalance and disease.
Determine prakruti (constitution).
Determine vikruti (the present altered state of doshas in the body).
Determine the cause or causes of imbalance, such as diet, lifestyle, emotional patterns, quality of relationships, genetic predisposition.
Remove the cause.
Provide the proper regimen (diet, exercise, pranayama) according to the person's prakruti, vikruti, seasons, climate, age, and so on.
Provide a detoxification procedure: either shamana (palliation) or shodana (elimination), such as panchakarma.
Provide therapies that are antagonistic to the provoked dosha or antagonistic to the imbalance, based on the principle that opposite qualities balance.
Provide rasayana (rejuvenation) for the body in general, to increase immunity, to strengthen specific organs and tissues.
Dravyaguna / rasa shastra; pancha vidhya kashaya, anupan, aushadi sevan kala
Sapta shamanam (seven palliative measures).
Shodhana (cleansing measures): purvakarma, pradhanakarma (panchakarma), paschyatakarma, rasayana.
General management of vata, pitta, kapha (utilizing appropriate lifestyle practices).
Practicum and individual cases.
With special reference to lifestyle recommendations in order to maintain and restore constitutional balance

Anatomy and Physiology

These courses provide a basic framework of anatomy and physiology that supports the ASP 1. Information is at an introductory level.

The material is presented primarily from the


Western point of view and will not necessarily cover an Ayurvedic perspective. However, it is tailored to what students need to know in our Ayurvedic Studies Program.

Principles of Ayurvedic Nutrition: A Doorway to Personal Transformation
Ayurvedic Herbalism

Students gain an in-depth understanding of food, food selection, Ayurvedic principles of nutrition, nourishment, preparation, the use of spices and seasonings, healthy eating practices, and how to incorporate this into their personal and professional practices to bring health and balance.


In the 3rd trimester, students learn the fundamentals of Ayurvedic Herbalism, including qualities, actions, effects, and applications.


Ayuryoga® applies the principles and understanding of Ayurveda to the practice of yoga. Through individual practice, students gain a personal understanding of the effect yoga has on the gunas, constitutional balance, and how to restore and maintain that balance. Class participation is focused upon understanding Ayurvedic applications and is not intended as a


personal yoga routine. Students are required to and responsible for establishing personal yoga routines outside of the curriculum. Concepts taught are supportive of all Ayurvedic constitutions and students are required to learn and practice in the class sessions what is taught regardless of their prior or personal yoga preferences.

Foundational Skills

These three courses build on and integrate the knowledge and skill sets acquired in the other courses. Students learn and practice clinical skills (rapport, assessment, findings, and recommendations) in preparation for the 25 hours of supervised consultations. Students


learn to apply correctly Ayurvedic principles clinically during client consultation and to interact professionally with fellow students and staff. Skill and competence is attained through practicums, and experiential exercises.


Students learn to read, write, and recite the Sanskrit alphabet. They are introduced to and learn a limited number of sutras, and related Ayurvedic vocabulary. This introductory level course is not intended to teach Sanskrit


as a second language but does include basic Sanskrit grammar. Information is taught in a primarily academic style in which chanting may or may not be offered.

Medical Terminology

This course is designed to help the student learn to understand medical terminology by breaking it down into component parts and learning the meaning of the parts. It will assist the student in learning how to pronounce, spell,

  and define medical terms. This course encourages and increases the student’s ability to improve understanding and communication with other practitioners in the health field.

Ayurvedic Review Optional

This course provides a complete review of the contents learned in the Ayurvedic Lecture Course. Students work with the information in ways that deepen their understanding by incorporating a variety of methods including interactive dialogue, case-based exercises,

  practicums, projects, study groups, and more. Students work and interact with each other to increase their confidence, recall, and oral presentation skills in preparation for the oral exam at year’s end.
Ayuryoga® Teachers Training and Other Optional Courses

The Ayurvedic Institute usually offers our students the opportunity to complete a 200 hour Yoga Teacher Certification Course, which earns them the credits necessary to apply for a yoga teacher certificate through the Yoga Alliance (See YA Accreditation). This option is available to all current Ayurvedic Studies Program Level 1 students in good standing.


Please visit Optional Classes and Training for further information.

Ayurvedic Studies Program Level 1 Calendar

Trimester 1, Fall 2015
October 5

October 12
November 26 - 29
December 19
December 20 - January 3

ASP1, Begin Orientation
Trimester 1 Tuition Due
First Day of Class
Thanksgiving Break
Last Day of Class
Winter Break

Trimester 2, Winter 2016
January 4
January 5

March 12
March 13 - 20

Online Transfer Orientation
First day of class
Trimester 2 Tuition Due
Last day of Class
Spring Break

Trimester 3, Spring 2016
March 21

May 28
May 30
May 31 - June 3

June 6 - 15
June 16

First Day of Class
Trimester 3 Tuition Due
Last Day of Class
Memorial Day Holiday, no classes
Make-up Class Week, and/or Oral Exams begin
Oral Exams

Official last day of school is June 16 after graduation.

ASP 1 Course Hours

Class Hours

Trimester 1
Ayurvedic Lecture
Anatomy and Physiology
Ayurvedic Nutrition
Ayurvedic Foundational Skills
Medical Terminology


Trimester 2
Ayurvedic Lecture
Anatomy and Physiology
Ayurvedic Nutrition
Ayurvedic Foundational Skills
Ayurvedic Review (optional)


Trimester 3
Ayurvedic Lecture
Anatomy and Physiology
Ayurvedic Herbalism
Ayurvedic Foundational Skills
Ayurvedic Review(optional)
Clinical Observation


Rotating Shifts


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