School of Ayurvedic Diet & Digestion
Will you be taking the course?
Upon completion of this program you will be qualified to take the NAMA board certification exam for an Ayurvedic Health Counselor. You'll be ready to setup your own clinic or work alongside other health professionals, opening up a range of flexible and attractive career options.
The hands-on, convenient format of this program will teach you Ayurveda's unique approach to health so that you will excel in your future career in Ayurveda. Exercises will supplement presentations to ensure you have a firm grasp of all concepts needed to excel in your studies and career. Exercises are designed to fine-tune your clinical diagnostic skills and treatment plans based on diet, lifestyle and herbs. Your answers to these exercises will be graded and include feedback when needed to improve your acumen and competency.
This at-your-own-pace course starts in August and takes 2-3 years to complete. The course is entirely online, and does not require any travel. Students who complete the program in 3 years should expect to spend on average 5-6 hours a week in study. Students who complete the program in 2 years should expect to spend 7-9 hours a week in study.
In phase 1 of the program, you will receive presentations on all the fundamentals of Ayurveda. Phase 1 presentations will show you how to directly adapt Eastern traditions for a Western audience so your clients can understand, relate to and gain the most benefit from your services.
Students who complete 50 lessons from phase 1 are eligible to begin phase 2, the clinical mentoring phase, starting each October. In phase 2 you will begin seeing clients. Throughout the course you have the option of attending weekly live coaching calls to enhance your learning of the material.
'Fundamentals of Natural Healing' goes far beyond the basic requirements to give you a solid foundation in Ayurveda's insightful and inspiring approach to healing. The Joyful Belly School of Ayurvedic Diet & Digestion designed this program with an additional 150 hours above the minimum NAMA requirement, ensuring you receive one of the most comprehensive qualifications available and graduate with complete confidence to begin practicing.
Seasoned health professionals and dedicated enthusiasts alike will enjoy the discoveries they will make through this foundational program of Ayurvedic knowledge. By the end of this program you will be able to start your clinical practice as you:
By the end of the program you will be able to:
* Laws vary by state. Ayurveda is an unlicensed profession in the state of North Carolina. This program does not give you a license to practice medicine. A certificate of completion is given to those graduates who successfully complete the program. This program meets NAMA certification requirements for an Ayurveda Health Counselor. Please text John at 828-785-8213 if you have questions in this area.
What makes Ayurveda so powerful and unique is puts all of your signs and symptoms in perspective, into a framework that includes your whole body, mind, & spiritual life. What does this mean? Usually people make a list of problems they want to address and then try to fix them one by one. Ayurveda takes a step back, analyzes the list as a whole, and looks at how your symptoms are interrelated.
Ayurveda takes a categorical approach, grouping your health problems into meaningful patterns. This has the advantage that, instead of having 20 answers to 20 problems, Ayurveda finds 2-3 elegant solutions that address all of your problems across the board. Clients who use Ayurveda to heal their body feel less overwhelmed, and more in tune with their body and the rhythms of nature.
Another unique feature of Ayurveda is that it studies your body's reaction to foods. Not the biochemical reaction, which is Western medicine's approach, but your experience of food. In other words, Ayurveda studies how food makes you feel after you swallow it. Most Ayurveda practitioners can talk at length about how your experience of watermelon, for example, might differ from cantaloupe. Ayurveda has a rich vocabulary to help you become aware of how your body reacts to food, so you can select foods that make you feel better.
Altogether, Ayurveda's profound approach makes healing your body simple, natural and graceful - once you know how.
During the course you must attend at least 40 live coaching calls. In phase 2, you must attend at least 25 live clinical reviews. The scheduling of these calls will include options convenient for all time zones globally.
To meet NAMA certification standards, you must complete 50 clinical encounters by the end of the program. To meet these requirements, you will be asked to do 1) consultations with other students in the program, and 2) consultations with clients. You will be asked to present your clinical findings to a clinical supervisor, and in our live clinical sessions.
You will also be invited to participate in an online discussion group, so that communication with the group and teachers is always at your fingertips for the entire duration of the course. Before you start the program, you will have an opportunity to talk with our staff in an orientation so that any questions you have can be answered.
"I can soon say I am a survivor of an online course. I was very skeptical! But the content was excellent. The basic format of weekly lecture and study group meetings was brilliant. The time to discuss with fellow students was great." - Cynthia Cox (Massage Therapist, Arkansas)
A partial overview of topics includes:
In phase 2, you will meet with or observe at least 50 clients under supervision of one of our experienced practitioners to apply all of the concepts learned in the program in a real life clinical setting. Supervision will be entirely online.
Expect to be challenged, heard, valued, encouraged and supported throughout your development in the course, not only by teachers and staff, but also by other students. Each student will experience powerful and transforming growth.
Homework exercises will greatly facilitate your integration of course material by allowing you practical application of concepts, a key component to your full comprehension of this subject. Assignments and tests are graded pass/fail and are given in a supportive, non-competitive spirit of learning.
Your certificate will be awarded at the end of the program, contingent upon attendance and completion of assignments. You must complete the entire program within 3 years. For an additional fee, students can lengthen the program to four years.
Student discounts are provided to encourage your learning & discovery from the moment you register. A limited number of work study positions are available to qualified students to reduce tuition.
|"This was a great feat to turn strangers into friends over the internet. This has been an amazing group of people to listen and learn from. The course has made me dig deep. John your ability to keep me on task and make me laugh is amazing. Gratitude to all." - Sheryl Edsall (Yoga Studio Owner, New Jersey)|
John studied Ayurveda under Dr. Vasant Lad and is specialized 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. 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 he could help others. He sought a way introduce Ayurveda to his Appalachian mountain home and the broader American public. This was the genesis of Joyful Belly. Using ingredients familiar from his childhood, John created Joyful Belly to recast Ayurveda in the context of our American food traditions. Joyful Belly proves Ayurveda is accessible and necessary for everyday health & wellness. His simple, practical and familiar approach has helped thousands on their journey to health.
John's love of life, his commitment to the health & dignity of the person, and his humanitarian pursuit of inexpensive health care comes from his Catholic roots and identity. His creativity in the kitchen, and absolute dedication to the epicurean delight of eating come from his Italian heritage. He is fluent in Bengali and French, and enjoys studying Sanskrit & Arabic. In addition to his passion for Ayurveda, John enjoys spending time with his family and studying scripture, two activities which he believes are essential to any health and wellness counselor. He is a member of NAMA, the National Ayurvedic Medical Association.
Teaching has been a vocation for me since a very young age, and I have taught at various institutions from Harvard University to my home town. As a student of six languages, I am heavily invested in developing my communication and presentation skills, a core skill of any good teacher. Despite my ability to speak as an authority on the topic of Ayurveda & digestion, I approach the student teacher relationship as a colleague and facilitator, equal to my students, without any illusions of personal grandeur. My approach is not didactic, but inspirational and engaging. I enjoy asking questions as much as giving answers, and recognize that leadership often means giving you the space and freedom you need to draw your own conclusions, with guidance. As much as I love narrating a good story to an audience, I also strive learn from my students, and await full of suspense to hear your insights about Ayurveda!
On a more emotional level, I place a great deal of emphasis on empathy in every interaction I have with my students and my clients. The fundamental skill of empathy is the ability to walk in another's shoes. As a empathetic person, I always strive to appreciate and learn from your perspective and vantage point. I want to know you, and what makes you the person that you are.
Yet, the most important quality and teaching skill I possess is neither language nor empathy. Instead, it is my enthusiasm for Ayurveda, and for you. I am eager to give myself fully and passionately to the learning process. This enthusiasm is the true source of my confidence. Why am I so enthusiastic? Where does the boundless energy I offer for teaching 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 and grow. 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!
"These were so helpful. Even as a practitioner this was not something that I had a lot of experience coming into the class and the things I discovered during these exercises were amazing." - Marilyn Parker (Ayurvedic Practitioner, Florida)
"I loved the course, especially the development of felt senses, practical experiences offered, and herbal remedies. I was amazed by my experiences. John, you have a fabulous way of getting folks like me to think differently and I am deeply grateful for what I have learned from you." - Susan Buck (Student, Connecticut)
"I have gotten so much out of this. I feel a bit emotional about it coming to an end! I'd love to stay in touch and keep learning from all the wise folk here" - Bel Steer (Yoga Instructor, Australia)
"I have really loved my experience in this program and have learned so much that I can take with me anywhere. I feel honored to have been a part of this program and there are so many amazing practitioners and aspiring practitioners here. I'm really excited for more learning! John, you have really brought heart and meaning to ayurveda in this program. It shows that you really love it and care." - Kate Empey (Student, Utah)
"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." - Andrea Karahalios (Yoga Instructor, Florida)
I'm grateful for the experience and feel that I am coming away with a deeper understanding of Ayurveda. I hope to continue with this path. - Ashley David (Herbalist, West Virginia)
Ayurveda is still an unlicensed field in most U.S. states. Even those of who have practitioner status through NAMA are still only educators in the eyes of the law. Only a qualified, licensed medical doctor can diagnose, prescribe or treat disease. Legally, you will be able listen to people's health concerns and educate them on the Ayurvedic perspective and approach to those concerns including diet, lifestyle and herbs. Please seek legal advice if you have questions about your scope of practice after graduating.
We understand that life events may prevent you, from time to time, completing assignments on time and have a policy to accommodate you. Extensions are granted on a case by case basis.
Students from all professional and cultural backgrounds are encouraged to apply.
Currently, we are accepting applications for the 2018 program. The self paced phase 1 will begin in August. There is no deadline for application, however we expect the program will be filled to capacity, and applications are considered on a first come, first served basis.
Equipment Requirement: Students must have a laptop or a desktop computer, a webcam, a headset, and, a reliable internet access with internet speeds upto 3.1 Mbps - 6 Mbps to participate in the distant learning online course. This will help the student keep up with class communications and access to research and study resources. In addition, students must have basic computer skills including word processing. Students do not need to buy or download any software. However, students may be required to download a FREE APP to login to live classes via their computer, smartphone or tablet.
Will you be taking the course?