A 6-Week Training Program for Practitioners

Next Session: July 16 – August 26, 2020

Early Bird Application Deadline: May 4, 2020


Live and study with practicing physicians at an authentic treatment center surrounded by nature in Ayurveda’s homeland

The Clinical Ayurveda Internship at Vaidyagrama Healing Village is an opportunity for advanced students of Ayurveda to immerse in a multi-faceted learning experience right in the heart of India’s village life. You will spend 6 weeks living, learning, and practicing Ayurveda supported by a team of dedicated physicians, therapists and practitioners devoted to the heart and science of this ancient healing system.

We believe that Ayurveda is truly learned in the experiential mode. Hence at Vaidyagrama, our endeavor is to make learning a 24-hours-a-day relaxed learning experience rather than a limited classroom experience. You will become one of the family, engaged in every aspect of community life, learning from senior and junior physicians via classroom teaching, herb walks, medicine making, and service in the surrounding community.

The term “gurukula” means clan or family of the teacher, and it implies a particular relationship between the student and teacher based on personal trust and faith in the learning process itself. Being in the presence of the teacher is primary, not reaching specific defined outcomes.

The tradition of Ayurveda is deeply rooted in this style of education, which can create new opportunities for growth and evolution for the student on multiple levels of being. For those accustomed to a more linear learning style, however, the unpredictable nature of learning this way can feel somewhat unsettling. It requires trust and reliance on the flow of the process.

Vaidyagrama pathway

Topics of Study

Housed in a robust panchakarma treatment center attracting a diverse patient population, the Clinical Internship program offers the opportunity to deepen your knowledge of a wide variety of topics relevant to the science and art of Ayurveda. 

Our curriculum includes the following components:

  • Ancient Texts of Ayurveda: study of selected chapters from the Astanga Hrdayam
  • Patient Care: observation of senior physicians with residential panchakarma patients
  • Herbology
  • Medicine Making
  • Basic Panchakarma Theory & Therapies
  • Cooking for Health & Healing
  • Organic Gardening & Permaculture
  • Seva (Free Medical Camp, Village Meal Program, temple service, and other service opportunities)

Special Educational Focus

Each session of the Clinical Internship has a different special educational focus during the final week of instruction. This year, our focus will be on pregnancy care, or Prasooti Tantra. In the last week of the program, the lectures and practical instruction will focus on pre-conception, ante-natal and post-natal care of the child-bearing woman.

We will cover preparation for pregnancy, including panchakarma procedures, specific vasti recipes, as well as appropriate yoga practices. In the ante-natal period we will address the importance of abhyanga, yoni pichu, bhadra ksheerapakam and other specific treatments. For the postpartum new mother, we will address soothika snanam, pelvic exercises, abhyanga, abdomen wrapping, and other traditional practices. 

Continuing Education Credits

Students who complete the program will receive 28 “Topics in Ayurveda” continuing education/PACE credits from NAMA (National Ayurvedic Medical Association – USA).

Program Format

Pooja lampEach day will include a variety of learning opportunities including discussion, lecture, experiential learning, demonstration, and personal practice. Students will have group classes as well as paired/individual teaching or clinical observation.

Our classroom component will be anchored by an exploration of the ancient texts of Ayurveda, chiefly the Astanga Hrdayam. One of our senior physicians will guide the students through chosen chapters, providing interpretation and relevant clinical examples from personal experience.

Students will also learn the basic theory behind panchakarma treatment, including the primary “karmas” or actions, and the rationale for the most common hands-on therapies conducted at Vaidyagrama hospital.

In addition to classroom learning, students will rotate through several experiential learning components. Each student will be assigned to 2-4 patients and will be involved in their care throughout the patients’ admission. Students will visit the patients with their physicians on rounds, assist in making the medicine for those patients, study the herbs involved in those preparations, and learn the purpose and actions of their therapies.

Medical campOutside of patient care, students will also learn aspects of organic gardening and permaculture as carried out in Vaidyagrama’s extensive herb and vegetable gardens. There will be cooking lessons focused on preparing sattvic, fresh, vegetarian meals.

Students will also be encouraged and supported to develop their own dinacharya, or daily personal care routine, to integrate what they are learning into their own lived experience. This may include practicing Agni Hotra fire ceremony, Hatha yoga, pranayama and body care.

Our emphasis is on experiential learning designed to expose students to the broad scope of Ayurveda and what is possible in Ayurveda treatment. This program does not equip students to perform panchakarma therapies, nor to prescribe herbal formulations, which require more extensive specific training than the breadth of this program allows.

 Daily Schedule

Medical camp villagersThis program is intensive and immersive in nature. Each day will be filled with a variety of learning experiences, yet the precise content, curriculum and structure will depend partly on the patients who are in residence at that time and other variable influences. 

Classes will be held Monday through Friday and some Saturdays, with most Sundays free for rest, integration, and excursions to experience the surrounding areas.

The sample class day outlined below provides a sense of the intensity and variety of a typical day in our program. It is just an example, and some days will vary considerably from this model.

Sample Day

5-6amPersonal Self-care Dinacharya in your room
6:15-7:15Agni Hotra Fire Ceremony, Group Prayers & Pranayama
8amBREAKFAST
8:30-9:30Rounding with doctors on patient visits
10am-12pmAncient Texts: Lecture and discussion
OR  Panchakarma Foundations: Observation of treatments
12:30-1:30LUNCH
2-3pmHerbology: Plant walk with doctors in herb garden
OR Medicine-making for assigned patient
3-4pmGroup Satsang with physicians and patients
4-5pmOrganic Gardening Project
5-6pmHatha Yoga Class
6:15-7:15Agni Hotra & Group Prayers
7:30-8:30pmDINNER & Integration Discussion

Vaidyagrama is a dynamic place, and engaging in learning here requires flexibility and a willingness to go with the flow. While the information provided here is intended to give you as clear a sense as possible of what you can expect, you must be ready to experience the unexpected!

Our Team

Physician Team

Dr. Ramdas
Dr. Ramadas

Hailing from Trichur, the cultural capital of Kerala in southern India, Dr. A. R. Ramadas is the medical director of the first hospital block of Vaidyagrama. He is also a founding member of Punarnava Ayurveda Trust. He inherits a strong family line of Ayurveda practitioners, serving the sick for more than half a century.

Dr. Ramadas completed his B.A.M.S. (Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery) from Ayurveda College in Coimbatore, Tamilnadu, then underwent 3 years’ training in Nethra Chikitsa/Ophthalmology under the guidance of Manakunnath Gopalan Vaidyar. He then trained under the well-known pediatrician C.N.S. Gangadharan Vaidyar. He also has an M.S. Psychotherapy and Counseling from Institute of Behavioral and Management Sciences in Chittur, Andhra Pradesh. In 1992, he joined as consultant physician in his family firm Rajendra Pharmacy and R.P.M. Ayurvedic Nursing Home, which he headed for a while. He managed the first overseas center of Punarnava in Vietnam in 2007.

In more than 3 decades of practice, he has treated over 50,000 patients from various parts of India and abroad for conditions relating to neuro-musculo-skeletal, endocrine, skin, gastro-intestinal, respiratory, cardiac, psychiatric and reproductive health systems. One of his patients describes him as “a soft and kind soul, full of compassion and an inborn healing ability.”


Dr. Harikrishnan
Dr. Harikrishnan

Dr. Harikrishnan has carried on the traditions of his Ayurveda lineage that has its origin in Kerala. Since 1934, his family has been actively engaged in looking after the health needs of the community through Ayurveda. He is is a medical director at Vaidyagrama and one of the Founding Members of Punarnava Ayurveda Trust.

After completing his graduation in Ayurveda Medicine from Coimbatore Ayurveda College in Coimbatore, India, in the year 1991, he underwent training for a year in Pediatrics with C.N.S. Gangadharan Vaidyar. In 1992 he joined his family firm Arogyodayam Vaidyasala, as a consulting Physician in the Palakkad branch in Kerala.

In the last several years, his dedication and commitment to all round health has seen him build up a successful practice, treating innumerable patients in and around Palakkad district, as well as from other cities/countries. The major ailments that he has been working with are inflammatory diseases of the joints, arthritis, sinusitis, gastric problems, neurological complaints, skin diseases, respiratory problems, children’s problems, women’s health issues and problems relating to old age.


Dr. Ramanandan
Dr. Ramanandan

Dr. Ramanandan belongs to a traditional family of Ayurveda physicians in Kerala. He is an alumnus of Ayurveda College, Coimbatore. This is the only college of Ayurveda that follows the gurukula system (the teacher and the students stay in the same campus during the course). He took his degree in Ayurvedacharya (bachelor of Ayurveda medicine and surgery) in 1994.

Dr. Ramanandan then practiced for a year under Ayurvedasiromany Sri. Narayanan Vaidyar of Aryavaidyodayam Vaidyasala, Ottappalam. Kerala. He also practiced under Dr. E.K. Vidyananandan, retired senior specialist, Government Ayurveda Research Institute for Mental Diseases, Kottakkal, Kerala, India. In 1996 he started an Ayurveda hospital and Ayurveda medicine manufacturing unit called Thulasi Ayurveda Chikitsalayam, Alanallur. He became the Medical Director of Vaidyagrama Cluster II in 2014.

Dr. Ramanandan was the convenor of the International Ayurveda Conference on “Where Science Meets Consciousness” which was held in Vaidyagrama in December 2015 in which more than 600 delegates, including 150 international delegates, participated. Dr. Ramanandan is another Founding Member of Punarnava Ayurveda Trust.


Dr. Harikumar
Dr. Harikumar

Dr. Harikumar belongs to an orthodox Brahmin family from Kerala. He graduated from the Ayurveda College in Coimbatore India in 1990. After graduation, he trained with Vaidyamadhom Cheriya Narayana Namboodiri for 1 year; and then with Panchakarma Vidagdhan Ashtamoorthy Namboodiri for 6 years.

Dr.Harikumar has more than 3 decades of experience as an Ayurveda practitioner and is especially well versed in preparing medicines as also in rendering the panchakarma treatments.

Dr.Harikumar has been at Vaidyagrama since 2013.

Dr. Harikumar is the Medical Director of the  Vaidyagrama Cluster that began functioning in November 2019.


Dr. Ramkumar
Dr. Ramkumar

Ramkumar is a student of Ayurveda and other traditional Indian knowledge systems. Over the last 2 decades, he has given talks and conducted workshops in the Americas, Africa, Europe, Australia and many parts of Asia, promoting health, happiness and contentment.

Ramkumar is a Founder-Director of the Punarnava group in Coimbatore, who are committed to “Authentic Ayurveda for Universal Well Being.” Punarnava Ayurveda is currently engaged in the creation of vaidyagrama – an experimental green self-sustaining authentic Ayurveda healing community on the outskirts of Coimbatore in South India. (www.vaidyagrama.com)


Other Educators

Sanjeev Kumar
Sanjeev Kumar

Sanjeev hails from Palakkad, Kerala, and has spent several years doing research on organic farming methods. With diplomas in dairy management, engineering, and fire/safety, his role at Vaidyagrama includes establishing traditional farming methods free of chemicals and fertilizers.

His background includes working as a managing director in an outpatient Ayurveda clinic with his wife, Dr. Sreeji.

He has also worked extensively to help expand the indigenous Indian cattle breeds and reduce the use of modern medicines on cows.


Program Coordinators

Our program is supported by a team of Program Coordinators, who will serve as student liaisons throughout the application process as well as on-site during the Internship. Each is a trained Ayurveda Practitioner in their home country with client experience, as well as an educator skilled at sharing Ayurveda with a variety of audiences.


Jennifer Ayres, AP, CMT

Jennifer Ayres is an Ayurvedic practitioner, teacher, and mentor specializing in women’s health.  She has additional training as a massage therapist, Ayurvedic postpartum doula, EMT, and Pranic healer. She is a former lead faculty member of The Ayurvedic Institute in New Mexico, USA, where she had the privilege of working with the world-renowned Vasant Lad, B.A.M.S. Jennifer was introduced to Ancient Vedic studies by the exalted Swami Vidyadhishananda in 2000. In 2004 she completed her Ayurveda Practitioner certification with Dr. Vasant Lad. In 2011 she joined the faculty at The Ayurvedic Institute as a teacher, curriculum developer, and clinical supervisor. Currently she serves as co-founder and faculty member of the Ayurveda Academy at Integral Yoga Institute in New York, NY. She offers one-on-one consultations, workshops, and practitioner mentoring both nationally and internationally.


Emily Glaser, RN, BSN

Emily Glaser holds a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing with a specialization in Neuroscience and Hospice. Interested in world medicine she worked internationally in China and Nepal with Global Volunteer Network, Cambodia with Angkor Hospital for Children and Tanzania with St. Lucia Nursing Home. After Emily quenched her thirst for world travel she graduated with a degree in Culinary Arts and started her journey into the deep and profound science of Ayurveda. In 2009, Emily had the great honor to study under Dr. Vasant Lad at The Ayurvedic Institute, USA. Shortly after, she spent 6 months at Vaidyagrama where she furthered her study of Ayurveda and Panchakarma therapy. Emily has been a student of Indian Astrology for 10 years in the lineage of Hart de Fouw, under the tutelage of Penny Farrow. Emily teaches internationally and carries a deep and profound respect for the vedic sciences.


Ivy Ingram, MA, AP

Ivy Ingram is an Ayurveda practitioner and yoga teacher with a master’s degree in counseling psychology. She received her Ayurveda certification from Dr. Vasant Lad after a 2-year clinical training program at the Ayurvedic Institute in New Mexico, USA. She has also served as a faculty member at the Ayurvedic Institute. In 2011, she spent 6 months at Vaidyagrama deepening her understanding of Ayurveda. She is also a certified advanced Hatha yoga teacher and has taught yoga in a variety of health care settings. She teaches and consults with clients online and in Durham, North Carolina, USA.


What Our Students Say

Studying at Vaidyagrama was much more than just a course. Learning Ayurveda while also embracing and cultivating the disciple of a traditional Ayurvedic lifestyle, was a complete experience. The daily routine of rising early, morning and evening Agni Hotra and prayers, eating Ayurvedic food, satsangs, interacting with patients and being a member of the Ayurvedic community put all the Ayurvedic teachings into practice.

Learning traditionally with the doctors from the ancient texts encouraged me to enquire deeper into my Ayurvedic knowledge and understanding. The Doctors and therapists shared their knowledge generously with such dedication, and gave ample time to explain and answer questions.

My experience studying at Vaidyagrama was one that remains in my thoughts and heart daily. The Vaidyagrama community welcomes everyone as part of the family with incredible love and unity. If you are a student of Ayurveda looking for a traditional, authentic place of study to further your knowledge then I would highly recommend Vaidyagrama. 

~ Alicia Hay, Adv Dip. Ayurveda, BSc Sports Science & Nutrition, Australia

Admission Criteria

The Clinical Ayurveda Internship is designed for individuals who have already studied Ayurveda in a structured academic program for at least a year, so they can readily integrate the experiences and information included in this program.

Successful applicants will have completed a professional Ayurveda training equivalent to 600-1000 contact hours. While exceptions may be considered on a case-by-case basis, the expectation is that all students will already have at least an introductory clinical level of knowledge of Ayurveda. Exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

In addition, applicants must show a certain level of personal maturity and a readiness to thrive in our less-structured style of learning. They must be able to adapt to changing circumstances without attachment to personal expectations. They must show an appreciation for the needs of their fellow students and the larger community of which we are part.


Application Process

The application process consists of the following 3 steps: 

  1. Submission of a written application including:
    • Application form
    • 1 academic letter of recommendation 
    • Video statement of interest 
    • $50 non-refundable application fee
  2. Personal interview with a Program Coordinator via video-teleconference (after acceptance of written application) 
  3. Payment of a non-refundable deposit to hold your spot (after full acceptance into the program)

Written Application

The written application allows us to gather relevant information about your background and intentions for participating in the program. Please take some time with the questions, as we are interested to know more about you to ensure a good fit with our unique immersive environment.

You must also submit one letter of recommendation from an academic teacher/professor or a supervisor/mentor who has been involved in your Ayurveda education thus far. We also request a brief video statement of interest, in which you tell us in your own words why you are interested in our program. The non-refundable USD$50 application fee covers the expenses incurred to review each application. 

Download the written application form and instructions for submission here: 

Personal Interview

After your application has been reviewed and conditionally approved, our Program Coordinators will contact you to schedule a video-conference interview (via Skype or Zoom). This is a required step in order to be considered for the program. In the written application, you will be asked to indicate what days/times you can be available for the interview.

The interview is an opportunity for us to get to know you beyond your written materials, to understand your learning priorities, and to make sure we will be able to meet your needs during the program.

Deposit

Upon acceptance into the program, you must submit a USD$500 deposit to hold your spot. All final balances must be paid by June 30, 2020.

Application Calendar

We have a rolling admissions process. We will review applications as they are received and schedule interviews accordingly.

  • Early Bird Application Deadline: May 4, 2020
  • Final Application Deadline: June 5, 2020
  • Full Balance Due: June 30, 2020 (June 1 for Early Bird Discount)

Program Cost

USD $5995 for 6 week program

Early Bird Price: USD $4995 

(Must submit written application by May 4, 2020)


What’s Included in Program Cost
  • All hours of classroom instruction, observation, and hands-on training
  • Double accommodations with western-style bathroom for 6 weeks
  • 3 simple vegetarian meals each day for 6 weeks in residence at Vaidyagrama
  • Field trips to visit medicine manufacturing unit, local temples, village medical camp, etc.
  • Selected volumes of English translations of the ancient texts of Ayurveda (yours to take home with you)
  • Airport transfer from/to Coimbatore Airport in Tamil Nadu at beginning and end of program
What’s Not Included in Program Cost
  • Airfare to Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India
  • International visa fees or other personal travel-associated expenses
  • Optional local weekend excursions
  • Any food purchased off-site on field trips or shopping excursions

Questions?

Please feel free to contact us. We will do our best to answer any questions you may have.