Ayurveda Overseas Study Program

One of my greatest passions in life is the search for wisdom, and it is for this reason I have been drawn to Ayurveda for over 25 years. The classical texts of Ayurveda contain a vast body of knowledge based on a perennial philosophy that provides for deep insights into the nature of health and healing. Rather than simply being a stale body of book knowledge, Ayurveda is based on the empirical observations of a living tradition. It is for this reason that I have always been drawn to traditional Ayurveda, and the embodiment of an authentic lineage, rather than the Western-style academic training of modern Ayurveda.

My first experience with such a lineage was in Coimbatore, south India, where I studied with a student of the late Shree Poomully Neelakandan Namboodiripad, a highly regarded expert in Ayurveda, as well as yoga, music, literature, and the martial arts (kalaripayattu). After returning to North America in 1997 and establishing my clinical practice, I became friends with my herbalist colleague Alan Tillotson, and through him was introduced to the 800 year old Bajracharya lineage of Kathmandu. Since that time I have worked closely with the Bajracharya lineage, helping to edit texts such as Ayurveda in Nepal, and using many of the traditional, hand-made remedies prepared in Nepal in my clinical practice.

In the spring of 2017 I took a group of students on a five week program to study Ayurveda in Nepal. Here they were introduced to the esteemed Madhu Bajracharya Bajracharya and other local practitioners, learning practical techniques in diagnosis and treatment. Students also learned how to make several important medical preparations such as Chyavanprash and the purification of sulfur according to the classical tradition. It was an amazing and hugely impactful experience for all, and shortly we will post some video testimonials, but in the meantime, you can also view some of the photos on our website, and check out a brief video introducing some of our teachers:

After I completed this training in Nepal, I headed south to Kerala to meet with practitioners and staff at a traditional Ayurveda hospital offering pancha karma therapy. I met with the chief physician, Vaidya Unnikrishnan, who like my earlier teacher in Coimbatore, was a direct student of the late Shree Poomully Neelakandan Namboodiripad. Like the Bajracharya lineage in Nepal, this traditional lineage of Ayurveda in Kerala extends several hundred years into the past, and contains within it a vast body of practical wisdom. Different from the Bajracharya lineage, who are experts in pharmacy and the preparation of rasa aushadha (alchemical medications), the physicians in Kerala specialize in pancha karma.

In September of 2019, I will be taking a select group of no more than 16 students each to Nepal and Kerala to study from these two living traditions of Ayurveda. These are not manufactured experiences to make money, but an introduction to the two oldest living traditions of Ayurveda. First we will travel to Kathmandu for five weeks of training, and then continue on to Kerala for an additional five weeks, for a total of ten weeks of training.

Interested students can apply for either or both programs. More details will be coming soon, but in the meantime please register your interest and secure your spot for the 2019 trip.

A few weeks prior to the Ayurveda Overseas Study Program, I will also be taking a select group of students to visit Mount Kailash, accompanied by a hereditary brahmin priest to conduct the appropriate rituals. If you’re interested in this program please fill out the application form.