The following is a presentation of email interviews of heads of Ayurveda schools and colleges.
Each respondent answered the following set of questions:
1. Why did you start the school?
2. How would you characterize the program?
3. Over the years, how has it changed?
4. What gifts and insights have you received through this experience?
5. What do you see in the future?
The schools appear in alphabetical order:
Academy of Ayurvedic Studies
Alandi Ayurveda Gurukula
(The) Ayurvedic Institute
California College of Ayurveda
Florida College of Integrative Health
International Vedic Institute School of Ayurveda
Kripalu School of Ayurveda
Mt. Madonna Institute College of Ayurveda
New World Ayurveda
New Jersey Institute of Ayurveda
Rocky Mountain Institute of Yoga and Ayurveda
Sai Ayurvedic College & Ayurvedic Wellness Center
Vedika Global Institute
Wellpark College of Natural Therapies
To help you find one near you, this list is organized by location (country, state)
Netherlands: Academy of Ayurvedic Studies, Amsterdam
New Zealand: Wellpark College of Natural Therapies
California: California College of Ayurveda, in Cerritos, Cupertino, Grass Valley
Dhanvantari School, Monterey
Mt. Madonna Institute College of Ayurveda, Watsonville
Vedika Global Institute, Berkeley
Colorado: Alandi Ayurveda Gurukula, Boulder
New World Ayurveda, Denver
Rocky Mountain Institute of Yoga and Ayurveda, Boulder
Florida: Florida College of Integrative Health, Sarasota
Sai Ayurvedic College & Ayurvedic Wellness Center. Miami
Illinois: Bhavana Institute, Chicago
Massachusetts: Kripalu School of Ayurveda, Stockbridge
New Jersey: New Jersey Institute of Ayurveda, Montclair
New Mexico: The Ayurvedic Institute, Albuquerque
New York: Dinacharya Institute, New York City
North Carolina: Wise Earth School, Chandler
Ohio: International Vedic Institute School of Ayurveda
Virginia: Dhanvantari School
Wisconsin: Kanyakumari Ayurveda, Milwaukee
Academy of Ayurvedic Studies, The Netherlands
Interview with Coen Van der Kroon, Founder, Director
The Academy of Ayurvedic Studies, The Netherlands, was founded in 2004 as a subdivision of the European Institute of Vedic Studies in France. This initiative came after a two-year period of teaching at another ayurvedic school in the Netherlands. My background (an MA in Classics with my thesis on the comparison between ancient Greek and Ayurvedic medicine), led me to set up a school with a more academic framework. In that way I felt Ayurveda could be served best, by providing students with a thorough curriculum with high standard course material and as many contact hours as possible given the fact that it is a part-time training over five years. At the same time, my wish was for a school to be a place of transformation and healing, not just a place of technical learning. Inspired by both my academic background and the atmosphere of healing and transformation that I experienced in my two years of study at the Ayurvedic Institute under Dr. Vasant Lad, I founded the Academy of Ayurvedic Studies. The school has grown into a small institute with almost 15 people on the teaching staff as well as many visiting teachers.
The Academy of Ayurvedic Studies offers several programs and courses (all part time). Courses include: Sanskrit, Ayurvedic Nutrition Diploma, Jyotish Training, Anatomy & Physiology Diploma, Ayurvedic Massage Diploma, Nutrition & Lifestyle Diploma, an upcoming Ayurvedic Yoga Teacher Training and a five-year Ayurvedic Practitioner Professional Training. In this last program of 1150 contact hours, the intellectual and scientific aspect as well as the intuitive and transformational aspect of the students is being addressed. Obligatory subjects include: Philosophy, Sanskrit, Ayurvedic Yoga, Sutra singing, Dravyaguna, Samprapti, Chikitsa, and internships both in India and at our modest school clinic. We regularly invite international Ayurveda experts to enrich the study experience with short seminars. Our school could be characterized as a personal, intimate, and yet an international place of learning, healing and transformation in the field of Ayurveda and Yoga.
What gifts and insights have you received through this experience? and 5. What do you see in the future?
Directing the Academy of Ayurvedic Studies has been a positive but challenging experience. I have seen a community come into existence, a group of human beings committed to Ayurveda and its sister sciences in a way that honors the deeper qualities of life represented by those same sciences. The process of an expanding institute – a living organism of teachers, students and staff – has been rewarding to watch, although sometimes difficult to manage. It taught me that 'good relations' – in the deepest sense as described by Native Americans – between everyone involved, are very important. It also taught me that Ayurveda dances through the whole process as a living entity, an inspiring deva, with her very own plans and time schedules! And last but not least, that life is love and love is life, the true core of Ayurveda – simple and straightforward, but sometimes so challenging to our complex personalities.
My vision for our school is that it will develop into a professional institute, while keeping its feel of family and intimacy, since only in such an environment can the soul blossom. Science is not worth a penny without a soul, and hence this combination is important for Ayurveda to keep blossoming, growing and expanding. Professionalising the school will be an ongoing challenging process in the European field of developments, with many more rules and regulations to come. Good spirit and an Ayurvedic profession taught and practiced with integrity, will be key to steering this process in Europe and elsewhere in an ever positive direction.