School of Ayurvedic Diet & Digestion
Ayurveda is needed in the modern world, which lacks a personal approach to food and environment. Such a personal approach helps individuals relate to food and food's effect on health. While modern medicine is on our side, the growing rate of chronic yet preventable diseases like diabetes, obesity, and IBS suggests that the medical world might need some of Ayurveda's insights for everyday health. Although Ayurveda is gaining popularity, there are sadly too few practitioners to fill this important role in society.
When you decide to become an Ayurveda practitioner, you are making a choice to serve others and help them to be healthy. You are also making an important investment with lifelong personal benefits and growth opportunities. As you consider your options, certain questions might arise. For example, what will your life be like as a practitioner? How do practitioners support themselves financially? These and other questions are frequent ones asked by applicants in Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda. The answers to these questions can help you make an informed decision about starting your Ayurveda career.
More often than not, the skepticism of family & friends challenges the authenticity of your interest in Ayurveda, rather than Ayurveda itself. If you are passionate and committed to a life of service to your clients, your skills as a practitioner will grow, and friends and family will come to recognize and appreciate your value in the community. Respect, in Ayurveda as in any other profession, must be earned by your dedication, discipline, and commitment. Most Ayurveda practitioners are called to this profession, not for practical reasons but because they feel compelled and inspired to help others. Instead of asking yourself, will I be respected, ask yourself, "How committed am I to a life of service through Ayurveda?"
When I became an Ayurveda practitioner, my parents were similarly skeptical. They wondered if Ayurveda was an appropriate use of my Harvard degree and the funds they contributed to my university education. My father, at 59, was 40lbs overweight and often complained of feeling tired. A year after studying Ayurveda, I visited my parents for several months, cooking breakfast, lunch and dinner for them. My father said he felt, "twenty years younger." He had lost weight, and didn't even realize he was on a diet. Since my father's direct experience of the benefits of Ayurveda, he has promoted Ayurveda among his friends and church community. As they say, the proof is in the pudding.
Hopefully, these considerations have shed light on your own decision to choose Ayurveda as a vocation and career. Once you've made your decision to practice Ayurveda, you'll also decide how to apply your Ayurveda knowledge within the profession itself. There are numerous options. Will you make herb formulas, provide consultations, or be a teacher? Will you commit to a single ailment like multiple sclerosis, to a part of the body such as the nervous system, or to a group of individuals such as athletes?
To decide, ask yourself how your unique skills and calling will help you serve the needs of your chosen community. With your passion, and this level of direction, you'll go far.
About the AuthorJohn Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. His online course Balance Your Ayurvedic Diet in a Week provides tools for gracefully healing with Ayurveda to thousands. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda , which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.
John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
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. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.