RECIPES, FOOD RESEARCH,
& AYURVEDA TOOLS
In 2008, the Joyful Belly School of Ayurveda began bringing tasty, healthy Ayurvedic recipes to dinner tables across the world.
Founded by Ayurvedic Practitioner, John Immel, Joyful Belly translates this ancient medical science into easy-to-understand and practical terms that can be used in every-day life.
As a result of these efforts, our website has developed into a vast hub of Ayurvedic resources, from recipes and ingredients to online clinical tools and novel research.
We chose to make the vast majority of this information free to allow as many people as possible to reap the health and wellness benefits of Ayurveda.
To see the foods and recipes that are healthy for your body type, start with the free body type quiz.
Our recipes are designed to support digestion, correct imbalances, and restore health and wellness, one meal at a time.
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Enroll in the Leading Ayurveda School
for Diet & Digestion
The Joyful Belly School of Ayurveda launched in 2008, with an aim to make practical, client-focused Ayurvedic education accessible via modern technology.
We focus on delivering high quality education leading to clinical excellence.
Our teaching style is practical and comprehensive - offering students clear explanations of traditional Ayurvedic concepts integrated with modern medical knowledge.
In addition to training students in Ayurveda, we also build our students' confidence adn knowledge of clinical business development and administration.
Are you interested in studying Ayurveda to support your health, your family or your community?
Check out our Guide to Choosing the Right Ayurveda School.
See our certification courses.
Clinical Tools for Practitioners
Use Joyful Belly to create a diet for your client simply and easily.
Your clients will have access to a huge selection of tasty recipes.
Ask your clients to send you their body map to facilitate your intake process.
PRACTICAL, DOWN TO EARTH
Joyful Belly's mission is wholesomeness and the fullness of life for all.
We serve this purpose by nurturing the body, beautifully and naturally made in the image of God.
Our techniques include the practical food, diet & lifestyle principles of Ayurveda.
Expect to find simple explanations, delicious recipes, and insightful ideas for your daily life throughout the website. But Ayurveda isn't just practical, it is also spiritual.
Here are our spiritual values:
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.
Ayurveda's practical, rational, and nurturing approach to health is embodied, stable, and fruitful.
Even as Ayurveda was helping me physically, I realized my spiritual life was lacking this stability and embodiment.
Ayurveda inspired my return to the Catholic church which has been essential to my development as an Ayurvedic practitioner - as a
caretaker of life.
Ayurveda has truly given me a unique opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus was always breaking bread and healing people. At Joyful Belly, we aim to do the same."
-John Immel (our Founder)
Meet Our Teachers
About John Immel
Founder of Joyful Belly
Drawing on years of research and clinical experience specializing in digestive disorders,
John Immel directs the Joyful Belly School of Ayurvedic Diet & Digestion
He is the founder of Joyful Belly, an educational Ayurvedic health care website, and oversees the Joyful Belly Clinic.
John specializes in the advanced treatment of digestive tract pathology.
He holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
He first discovered Ayurveda while working on a public health project in Bangladesh.
He received his Ayurveda training and certification in 2008.
John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel.
After witnessing Ayurveda's compelling efficiency and practical ease in treatment of his own digestive disorder, John was convinced others could benefit.
He sought a way to introduce Ayurveda to the broader American public and make it more culturally accessible.
This was the genesis of Joyful Belly.
Using ingredients familiar from his childhood, John created thousands of Ayurvedic recipes for the average American.
Joyful Belly proves Ayurveda is a practical way to improve everyday health & wellness.
His simple, direct and familiar approach has helped thousands on their journey to health.
John's Ayurveda accomplishments include:
- As a prolific writer, John has authored 1000s of novel integrative, experiential articles on specific Ayurvedic topics
- He has introduced new models for Ayurvedic pathogenesis (samprapti) and a dictionary of common pathogenesis flowcharts
- John has formalized Ayurveda's theory of medicine as biocharacteristics, so that it can be evaluated by the scientific community
- Created a vast database with over 150,000 cross references to help the public filter food by disease, ingredients, and herbs on the right biocharacteristics
- Provided diet tools to the public to make recipe and ingredient selection easier
- Collation of 75,000 quiz profiles to report statistics on 1,000 different imbalances, frequently not tracked by Western medicine
- Conducted group study food research on the pharmacological effects of over 100 herbs and ingredients, providing the results of these to the public.
- Developed technology that generates a complete Ayurveda body map and chart for clients
Unlike other traditions, Ayurveda practitioners have to be great teachers so that clients can learn how to self-heal.
As a teacher, I strive not only to communicate the basic principles of Ayurveda,
but to bring Ayurveda to life by sharing my personal healing journey,
and the healing I have personally experienced as a practitioner.
When I am at my best, you will find that my presentations are rich with anecdotes.
Despite the seriousness of the topic, you will find I maintain a sense of humor as we discuss the blood and guts of health.
This humor often comes at my own expense, which I hope you will enjoy!
I place a great deal of emphasis on assessment in the interactions I have with my students and my clients.
The fundamental skills of assessment are the ability to listen, ask pointed questions, and provide clear analysis that gets down to essentials.
I have a zeal for gettings down to the roots of the problem.
Yet, the most important quality and teaching skill I possess is neither language nor analysis.
Instead, it is my enthusiasm for Ayurveda, and for you.
I am eager to give myself fully and passionately to your learning process.
This enthusiasm is the true source of my confidence.
Why am I so enthusiastic? Where does the boundless energy I offer to teach others how to heal come from?
The bottomless well of energy I bring to our discussions springs from my great faith in each and every individual's capacity to learn, grow and improve their quality of life.
Teaching is therefore a true celebration for me.
This great hope I've invested in teaching is something I will never give up on, which means I will never give up on you!
While my clinical practice spans a range of health problems, my clinical focus is in:
- Functional digestive disorders especially those due to eating disorders
- Improving enzyme production & absorption.
- My clients say I have a razor sharp mind for emotional health
John's Personal Background
John is married to Natalie Immel, also an Ayurveda practitioner, and a father of six (4 girls and 2 boys).
His family is located in the Southern Appalachians of Asheville, NC,
where they live in a cozy cottage home close to downtown that is perfect for keeping a large family together.
His entire yard is an herb garden with fruit trees - which he affectionately calls God's garden.
His garden also shelters several bunnies and one ground hog.
Early mornings he can be found studying Medieval scholastic philosophy.
As a Catholic, John brings a unique perspective to Ayurveda.
Jesus' primary ministry was to feed and heal the sick.
His ministry is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.
John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots,
and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church.
He is fluent in Bengali and French, and enjoys studying Sanskrit, Arabic, and more recently, Swedish.
In addition to his passion for Ayurveda, John enjoys spending time with his family and praying,
two activities which he believes are essential to any health and wellness counselor.
Faith and family come first in John's life.
He also enjoys soccer, frisbee, cooking and dancing in the kitchen with his wife & kids.
John grew up on the East End of Long Island, and spent much of his childhood in commercial fishing
with his beloved father on the bays of the South Shore.