School of Ayurvedic Diet & Digestion

School of Ayurvedic Diet & Digestion

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Be Transformed by Your Experience at the Joyful Belly School of Ayurveda

Get ready to experience powerful insights and an extraordinary education through interactive learning under the guidance of our distinguished teachers, hand-picked from around the globe, to provide you with an education that excels in the world of Ayurveda. We value the acquisition of Knowledge, but at Joyful Belly we believe that the application of this knowledge is most important in bringing health to yourself, your community, and your clients. Discover the innovative approach that makes Joyful Belly a torchbearer in bringing ancient healing into the modern era.

See why we are a leader in Ayurveda innovation.

Fundamentals of Ayurvedic Medicine
2 Year Counselor Training Program

A 890-hour certification course covering all Ayurvedic fundamentals so you can begin meeting with clients and educating your community as an Ayurvedic Health Counselor.
Starts Tue Aug 27.

Ayurvedic Herbalist - Clinical Strategies
1 Year Certification Training Program

The most advanced clinical training course in Ayurvedic herbs - with training in clinical herbal strategies, formulas and pharmacology from Ayurveda, Chinese, and Greek Medicine.
Starts Tue Aug 27.

Panchakarma, Marma, & Ayurveda Spa
Part Time 2 Year Ayurveda Practitioner Level Certification

A 387-hour advanced certification course to advance your training to the level of Ayurvedic practitioner. Includes Panchakarma, Ayurvedic Spa, Marma Point Therapry, Nutraceuticals, Sanskrit, and direct study from ancient texts.
Starts Thu Aug 29.

Master Ayurvedic Digestion & Nutrition
1 Year Certification Training Program

A 500-hour advanced certification course for Ayurvedic practitioners, other health & wellness professionals, and those wishing to specialize in digestion and nutrition.
Starts Oct 2024.

Education Highlights

Joyful Belly Ayurveda believes in creating the highest quality practitioners in the field through delivering the highest quality Ayurvedic education. We place high priority on academic excellence and clinical excellence, keeping client care and outcomes in the forefront of our approach. See how we do this through our educational philosophy that focuses on traditional and experiential learning as well as student and alumni support.

Teaching Philosophy

Experiential Learning
Engage in weekly body awareness, food, and herb experiments so you experience Ayurveda's impact directly and in discussions with the class.

Assignments are designed using active learning methods so students engage with and apply the knowledge to heal themselves and others. Practical exercises will help you discern the subtle cues your body uses to communicate imbalance.

Experiential learning will be accompanied by weekly case studies on advanced disease for a complete, in depth natural approach to health.

Use of multimedia makes online learning more effective than traditional in-person classroom settings, where the teacher may be more than 50 feet away from the students.

Titles and certifications mean nothing if you are an ineffective clinician. There are no shortcuts to quality education.

Our inspiring courses do not rush education. 2 years is the minimum to understand the full scope of Ayurveda. An additional 2 years is required for advanced level practice.

Our courses are more challenging, but build more confidence and results in your personal healing journey, and those of your clients.

Avoid comparing schools based on price. Instead compare clinical outcomes. Don't skimp on education. Focus on your lifetime career, not on 'geting a deal' today.

Harvard is not the cheapest school, but you can actually have a successful career and your lifetime earning potential makes it worth it.

When you graduate from Joyful Belly, you are investing in a high-quality, in-depth education, your future clinical confidence, and a lifetime of achieving your goals.

Trained Teachers
Your teachers are hand selected not only for mastery of Ayurveda, but also their effective teaching and communication skills.

All of our teachers receive ongoing pedagogy training (teacher training) customized to medical education.

We train our teachers in active learning methods and mutliple intelligences and learning styles. We've organized assignments using these pedagogy tools.

Study after study proves great teaching is essential to learning outcomes and competency.

The founder of our school graduated from Harvard, and his academic qualities infuse the whole school to a higher quality education.

Clarity & Depth
The mark of a truly great teacher is the ability to explain complex topics simply, without alot of jargon or mysticism.

Joyful Belly takes a natural, common sense approach to Ayurveda education so that people in your community can relate to your future clinical practice and engage in your services.

Patient centered care focuses on the culture of the client, not the medicine, ensuring your practice will be accessible in a cross-cultural context.

Your journey will not only be profound, it will also make sense.

Clinical Mentoring & Support

Clinical Tools
Receive extensive clinical tools and apps that 1) enhance learning, and 2) provide accurate remedies at your fingertips during your clinical appointments.

Clinical Mentorship
Receive mentoring throughout your clinical practicum from experienced senior teachers that stay with you throughout the program. Grow with each appointment.

Student Clinic
Receive your own customized fully functional clinic that you can use to promote your practice, unique products and services.

Business Support

Business Training
Receive extensive business and career training.

Gain experience running your clinic and business while in the course.

Once you graduate, you are already setup for practice.

Marketing & Promotion
Receive, develop and execute your marketing plan step by step.

Receive expert 1-1 guidance from business advisors at Joyful Belly.

Homework Support

Homework Assistance
Homework assistance calls and student support ensures you are on track and confidently moving forward, while increasing your competency during each step of the course.

Accuracy Checks & Grading
Improve performance as you receive evaluations on every assignment from our team of graders.

Assignments include both multiple choice questions and written work that graders analyze and offer corrective feedback.

Your accuracy is ensured and developed every step of the way. Gaps in your understanding are identified and remedied.

This feedback will give you confidence in yourself and your knowledge.


Buddy Assignments
Frequent buddy assignments and assessment greatly enhance learning and create strong bonds in the program.

Student Chat
Student chat groups are lively, insightful, and rich with ideas. Our support staff monitors these groups so you can ask questions anytime throughout your learning process.

Together Not Self-Paced
Self-paced courses improve sales but are scientifically shown to produce poor quality clinicians and to undermine educational quality.

You can't become a clinician just by studying on your own. Self-paced and open enrollment 'by modules' don't work.

All students start at the same time and grow together as a class, while combined synchronous & asynchronous learning maximizes flexbility.

You are joining a community and you will learn from each other. Expect to make lifelong friends and colleagues.

Our students are leaders with busy lives. We DO offer flexiblity for any life events or plans you have during the school-year. Contact us for details.

Teachers Know You
Our dedicated teachers are committed to your success and will know your name. Teachers stay with you thoughout the program.

Alumni Support

Alumni Community
Our active alumni community will invite you to clinical and business reviews so students benefit from long term membership in a community.

Alumni Business Advisors
Alumni have lifetime access to business support so they remain effective as practitioners in the years after they graduate.


Pioneering Research
Your education goes far beyond the textbook. Joyful Belly is a pioneer in the Ayurveda profession.

Our leadership, expertise, and commitment to Ayurveda is best demonstrated through our many accomplishments incuding our pioneering research studies involving over 75,000 participants.

The quality of a school is measured by what it does, not what it says. We don't just teach Ayurveda, we study and develop it.

Public Service
It is essential you learn from a school with comprehensive mastery of Ayurveda and leadership in the field.

The scope of knowledge you will receive is demonstrated by the thousands of free, down to earth, practical articles we provide on the website and the many free tools we offer to the public.

Ayurveda is a grass roots health movement that is more accessible to the public because of the free content we offer.

Great schools of Ayurveda publish content and have a strong public service mission.

Innovative & Experiential
Authentic Ayurveda is not found in ancient texts, but in client health outcomes. Health is not found in theories, but lived experiences.

You will come to understand Ayurveda they way the ancient pioneers did, from the ground up, using your body as the guide.

At Joyful Belly, you will not only study what Ayurveda was, but what it will be. You have a chance to be a part of Ayurveda's development and growth.

State Licensed
State licensing is a demanding process that requires schools to operate according to best practices and stable financials. While many schools seek exemption from this process we have embraced it and thus have the legal status of a college in our state.

Food & Digestion
Joyful Belly is a renowned resource and pioneer for all subjects regarding Ayurvedic food and digestion.

Competitive Price

Association Independence
Under the guise of protecting Ayurveda, associations frequently make Ayurveda exclusive to certain religious groups, limit innovation, and prevent the advancement of Ayurveda as an integrative, cross-cultural medicine.

They exist to protect their donor schools, increase the cost of education, and do not represent clinicicians. They offer little to no benefits to our graduates.

Unlike associations, state school licensing boards conduct regular audits. State school licensing is a much better measure of quality.

Despite this, associations frequently scare students by convincing them they have authority. They have no legal authority with the government, and no impact on your ability to practice.

Employers largely ignore association membership when hiring. Instead they look at years of clinical practice and education level.

No hidden costs / travel
The cost of tuition and materials are the only costs in the program. There are no hidden costs to receiving your certification.

There is no travel required in the program.

An Interactive Online Ayurveda School

Where students all over the world come to join our community and find a seat at our table.

At Joyful Belly School of Ayurveda, you will discover your purpose through an advanced, clinically-focused Ayurvedic education. Joyful Belly is a North Carolina, State Licensed college nestled in the mountains of Southern Appalachia. As a state-licensed college, we take academia seriously and offer a rigorous curriculum that includes: Ayurvedic medicine, herbal formulation, digestive tract pathology, pulse and tongue diagnosis, tailored diet and lifestyle planning, and so much more! Our courses provide you with the solid foundation of both Ayurvedic knowledge and clinical training to legally practice Ayurveda and see clients in the United States. Our many international students are able to work within their local laws to practice Ayurveda as well. Here are just some of the reasons students choose Joyful Belly Ayurveda:

  1. Joyful Belly is renowned as the premier Ayurveda School for food and digestion, the focal point of health in Ayurveda.
  2. Our distinguished educational strategy boasts a dynamic balance of down-to-earth, practical teaching styles and an innovative, experiential learning approach that focuses on training students for clinical excellence.
  3. At Joyful Belly, we value academic rigor and student support and wellbeing with equal magnitude. We believe in a high quality education and the high quality experience of our students.
  4. Operating since 2008, we have diligently worked to develop a strategy of student and alumni support to ensure high success rates in personal clinical practices. Students receive business training and a completely functional online clinic, hosted on, upon graduation - giving you the credibility of our brand while you build your practice.
  5. Joyful Belly offers the most in-depth clinical training of any program in the West in addition to being a research institution that has published over 150 novel research studies in food and digestion (over 50 studies a year).
  6. John Immel, founder of Joyful Belly Ayurveda is a Harvard graduate and passionate teacher that brings the rigor and excellence of an Ivy League experience into the realm of Ayurvedic education, teaching students to become convergent thinkers in a clinical setting.
  7. In the passion we have to bring the practice of Ayurveda into the modern world, Joyful Belly School of Ayurveda emphasizes a professional integrative medicinal approach to appeal to a broad range of individuals and ensure maximum receptivity in both local communities and metropolitan areas alike.

How does Joyful Belly stack up in Ayurvedic higher education?

Learn what to consider and how to be discerning when choosing an Ayurveda School in the guide below, and see for yourself how Joyful Belly strives to check all the boxes.
Guide to Choosing an Ayurveda School Accreditation Legal Status of Ayurveda

Why Joyful Belly?

The Joyful Belly School of Ayurveda builds a student body, not only proficient in the knowledge of Ayurvedic healing, but also proficient in the real-life application of this knowledge. We excel at giving students the clinical training and tools needed to build a successful clinical practice.

We teach the rich foundations of traditional Ayurvedic medicine while also teaching our students to be critical, convergent thinkers in a clinical setting to bring about high quality client outcomes. We are innovative: We conduct research in the field of Ayurvedic food and herbs and are pioneers in the development of Ayurvedic diagnostic strategies and clinical programs and tools to put forth the strongest practitioners in the field.

We provide an exceptional education that also delivers an accessible and convenient online platform so students can succeed from anywhere in the world and in any walk of life. We teach in a step-by-step approach that makes the learning of even the most complex Ayurvedic concepts feel natural.

Weekly live classes give students access to distinguished teachers and practitioners in the field, bringing experience, perspective, and clarification to the curriculum in real time. Exercises outside of the classroom will supplement presentations, ensuring a firm grasp of Ayurveda's concepts and methods.

Personal mentoring sessions will fine-tune assessment & recommendation skills while building confidence as a clinical practitioner.

What Our Students are Saying

Watch Graduate Testimonials

"So happy I joined this class! it was a great combination of (1) intellectual content on ayurvedic philosophy, nutrition, physiology: (2) behavioral guidance on approaches to eating and hunger; (4) psychological exercises on how I use food to comfort, discharge emotions, and numb out emotional pain; and last but not least (5) herbs and dietary cleansing practices. I highly recommend it as a way to change how one operates in relation to overeating."

Randolph, MA

"All the instructors are sooo responsive and helpful in this program. They really listen to the students suggestions and very graciously and thoughtfully always find a way to achieve the needs of the students. Thanks so much!"

Other Health / Wellness Professional - Lakeville , PA

"Your experience shines so brightly in this class and I so appreciate it/you!"

Pittsburgh, PA

"The Dosha composition quiz is one of the most comprehensive tests you can find on the internet and the website has a huge collection of recipes for all the seasons. The recipes are nourishing, tasty and leave you satisfied."


"I have been "self-studying" ayurveda for about 7 years now, and my very first introduction to it (I had never heard of it before!) was when my yoga teacher told me to "go to" Since then I have been reading as much as I can, subscribe to your mailing list, and browse through the many recipes. I would like to now go a step further in my journey, and begin to help OTHERS find wellness through ayurveda. The Joyful Belly site has been so helpful in my own journey, that I am interested in furthering my education through the school."

Boscobel, IL

"After listening to the Enzyme Deficiencies lecture I made up the banana, lime and coconut water smoothie for my elderly client who is always complaining about dry mouth. Her doctors have tried prescribing her everything under the sun. She reported today that she LOVES the smoothie and how much it's helping her mouth! THANK YOU John Joseph Immel for sharing your knowledge and this course! I cringe at the stuff they have her taking for her digestive issues and she's so frustrated because nothing is helping her."

Ayurvedic Healer -

"Since starting this course I have significantly changed my eating habits and choice of foods."

Yoga Studio Owner - Saint cloud, FL

"John did a wonderful job in presenting completely new concepts to a varied group of students, answering questions patiently and clearly. I felt like a whole new world opened up for me, one in which my body can and will be healthy. It is attainable more easily than I initially believed. It brought back the knowledge of wholeness which can so easily slip further and further into the background with our busy lives and non-supportive patterns we find ourselves in. John's teachings about balance also reminded me that the responsibility to heal myself is in my own lap, no excuses!"

Asheville, NC

""Each time you dip a white cloth in dye, it becomes more saturated with the color of the dye." I've been letting that soak in. Joyful Belly Ayurveda has been a potent brew - I will certainly be digesting all that has been offered here for some time to come, and unpacking the theory in real time with clinical experience. There's a lot of sick people out there. Are y'all ready to get to work? What's on the horizon for you all?"

Stockton, CA

"Dear John,

My friend asked me what online school is like, I responded and said I think it depends on the teachers because despite having never met my teachers or the other students, I never feel as if I'm alone. With whatever concern we have we're heard, and we're heard quickly.

Much gratitude to this wonderful program you've created."

Ayurvedic Healer -

"Iíve been doing really well actually since MID.

I started doing some classes in m home on basic stuff like kitchari and transitioning to fall, the doshas, the importance of digestive health from an ayurbedic perspective etc.

People have really seemed to take an interest. Iíve had over 50 people between my classes over the last 4 months alone.

Iím also teaching an online course based on Yogahealerís model and have 10ípeoe enrolled in that longer course.

Iím loving my foundation I got at joyful belly and am very grateful for what you gave to me."

Ayurvedic Healer - Los angeles, CA

"Yes! I throughly enjoyed the Ayurveda Workshop and look forward to more. The material was relevant and comprehensive to my goals. I found the material concrete and practical. I think you are skilled and informative regarding Ayurvedic teachings. I am thankful to have people like yourself commited to helping and teacing this fine medicine. I have already pasted the information to others to come to learn more. Thank you and we will meet again..."

Massage Therapist - Gloucester,

"I would like just to leave my comment regarding the class given just now. The live consultation was amazing, full of new information and the thought process was very useful! I have been loving all the classes, but I would like to stand out this class today and share my gratitude with Jessica, it really made a big difference for me today."

Dubai, DUBAI

"Hey John! I just want to thank you again for the really awesome class yesterday. You really helped put things in a great perspective for me, and it's truly opened up a whole new level of healing and being for me. Thank you so much! You are very inspirational, motivating and grounding!"

Massage Therapist - Asheville, NC

"Thank you! All! I feel that the wealth of knowledge I have seen here is huge and feel that this is more of a beginning than a parting. I feel that this is a forum and platform for collaboration and much more shared knowledge."

Ayurvedic Healer - South miami, FL
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