Teacher: John Immel
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 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. 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 recently published, "Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food" with co-author Natalie Immel.
Teacher: Mary Thompson
Mary Thompson is an experienced educator and a heart-centered mentor to Ayurvedic practitioners. Having taught Ayurveda for over twenty years, she continues to find joy in supporting her students and clients to explore new realizations and adopt self-care practices that result in greater satisfaction in day-to-day life.
Her interest in Ayurveda began as she sought to find answers to her own health challenges. Once she found Ayurveda, she wanted to introduce these principles to others in need of greater health and happiness. At the time she was working with school-aged children and recognized that so many of their challenges were created by their diets and lifestyles. As soon as she completed her studies, she dived into teaching others and bringing these ancient principles to her clients, friends, family, students, and community- really to anyone who would listen.
Never far from the classroom, she now collaborates with a number of schools and programs, preparing curriculum and teaching. Starting a new career as she approaches 60 is exciting to her and she finds fulfillment with her work and her life.
She lives in the Sierras with her husband and teenage son.
Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist, Ayurvedic Practitioner
Teacher: Vanashree Belgamwar
Vanashree holds a BAMS degree (Bachelor's of Ayurvedic medicine and surgery) from the Maharashtra university of health sciences, India. She has also been extensively trained in Nadi Pariksha (Ayurvedic Pulse diagnosis). She has been practicing Ayurveda since 2012. Her goal has always been to globalize Ayurveda so people all over the world can benefit by this ancient science. Vanashree taught Ayurvedic pulse diagnosis at the Minnesota Institute of Ayurveda and also hosts workshops around the twin cities on various topics on Ayurveda. She is the owner of Vanashree Ayurveda LLC and also has a Youtube channel that educates people on how Ayurveda can help to live a healthy lifestyle.
Teacher: Susan Bass
Susan Bass is an Ayurvedic Practitioner and Ayurvedic Yoga Therapist. She has been training people in the Vedic traditions for over 16 years. Susan has taught Ayurveda at OHSU Medical School, University of Portland School of Nursing, Nike International and International Association of Yoga Therapy.
AP, E-RYT 500, Adjunct Faculty, NUNM
Teacher: Jessica Vellela
Vd. Jessica Vellela, BAMS, is the first American-born woman to become a Vaidya (Ayurvedic physician) and practice independently in India. Based on her unique experience, Jessica strongly supports medical pluralism and promotes Ayurveda as a first line of healthcare in America. She is the founder of AyurvedaFirst and the American Journal of Ayurveda which focus on preventative healthcare and disease management. Jessica has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Trailblazers in Yoga and Ayurveda by Spirituality and Health Magazine in 2015. She participated as an expert in the Ayurveda Summit 2015, appeared on KSFR public radio (Santa Fe, NM) and has written numerous articles. Since 2011, Jessica conducted over two dozen educational training programs, workshops, cooking demonstrations and information sessions on Ayurveda.
Teacher: Jeremy Anderson
Jeremy began her practice, Annapurna Ayurveda, at the Conscious Living Rejuvenation Center in Reno. She worked in collaboration with a Naturopath, specializing in Pancha Karma, from '05 to '07. In 2007, Jeremy and her growing family moved to Crestone, Colorado, where she ultimately opened a healing center, Ancient Arts Wellness Center. The Ancient Arts Wellness Center was home to Jeremy's practice, Annapurna Ayurveda, as well as the Ancient Arts Midwifery, the Ancient Arts Apothecary, and a massage therapy practice. This healing center was a beautiful collaboration of sacred healing modalities and gifted healers.
Teacher: Natalie Immel
Natalie Immel received her 600 hour certification in Ayurveda at the Asheville School of Massage and Yoga, and received her 500 hour certification through the Master Ayurvedic Nutrition and Digestion Program at Joyful Belly Ayurveda. She specializes in cleansing and detoxification therapies, and is well versed in western nutrition. She earned her undergraduate degree in Religious Studies at Vassar College where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa with honors. Natalie used the principles of Ayurveda to heal from severe anorexia which at one time left her hospitalized. She now offers her insights to help other young women find freedom from eating disorders. Natalie is fluent in Swedish. She enjoys quilting, her prayer life, discovering new recipes and experimenting with health food.
Natalie's published works include Explore Your Hunger.