Before I became an Ayurvedic practitioner, I was simply a person practicing Ayurveda. Once I experienced the power of Ayurveda, I wanted others to experience it too. I felt a deep calling pulling me back to school to study it further. But I had little information about the educational programs available and whether it would truly be plausible to redirect my life and forge a new career in this lesser-known field.
Perhaps you are now where I was then, and since hindsight is 20/20, my advice is: GO FOR IT! It may very well turn out to be the best decision of your life. Let me help you with the first step...
When I started researching schools, a quick google search brought up several programs. One was the Southern California University of Health Sciences in Whittier, California. Because it was the closest school geographically to me, I registered for their upcoming open house. And I’m so glad I did.
There are many reasons why I wholeheartedly endorse the SCUHS Ayurveda Practitioner program. But to save you time, I managed to distill the reasons down to the top 3 that are important factors to consider in making a decision to enroll in any course of study:
Hands down, this is the number one reason this program is worth every penny. When I signed up I wasn’t aware of the caliber of the faculty. But, as I met each faculty member, I seriously wondered why this wasn’t a major marketing point of the school’s program. Throughout the program, I had the honor of learning directly from five very experienced Ayurvedic doctors, all trained extensively in India. Each of them has an impressive array of qualifications and decades of experience in clinical practice, yet they are enthusiastic and very approachable as teachers. The best thing about learning from so many different teachers is the exposure students get to varying approaches and applications of Ayurveda in practice. Dr. Anu (Anupama Kizhakkeveettil) is the Director of the program and also teaches courses and practices Ayurveda at the SCUHS health clinic. She is one of the most passionate and driven people I have ever met with an undying commitment to spreading authentic knowledge of Ayurveda. She has developed a comprehensive program that is based on the curriculum taught in Ayurveda schools in India. The program is compliant with the standards set forth by the National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA). After graduation new practitioners can become recognized NAMA professional members, and soon Ayurveda will be a licensed profession.
The clinical internship, to me, is the bread and butter of the program. Knowing theory and concepts is indeed important, but the clinical internship builds the confidence of students to interact with people from all walks of life that are seeking Ayurveda for a wide range of ailments. SCUHS has a very busy Health Clinic that offers chiropractic, acupuncture, massage and Ayurveda at reduced rates for the community. From the second term of the first year Ayurveda students begin clinical rounds. Working under the direction and supervision of an Ayurvedic doctor, students are trained early on to conduct patient intakes, prakriti assessments and administer therapeutic body treatments. The setting is fast-paced which gives students ample opportunity for hands-on practice. With these learning opportunities under their belts students leave the program with strong clinical aptitude and confidence.
As a working mom just getting back on my feet after maternity leave, I was concerned that I may not find a program that would fit into my schedule. Serendipitously, as if the program was designed specifically for me, the schedule worked out perfectly: one weekend per month (in-person) and one evening per week (in a live online class). Although the schedule is designed for working people, it is still rigorous and comprehensive. This is definitely a program designed for those who are serious about practicing Ayurveda. Completion of the first year results in an Ayurveda Wellness Educator certification, and the second year in an Ayurveda Practitioner certification. The second year requires completion of many more clinical hours, a thesis project with an esteemed research professor in India, and several case studies. The program is not easy but it offers so many practical tools for living a healthy, balanced life. You learn how to become the healthiest version of yourself in mind, body and soul. In the process you are given tools that can help others. With these tools you realize the power you have to transform lives. Once you graduate you can’t help but make it your mission to spread these tools to as many people as possible.
These are the three main reasons why I encourage anyone seeking to study Ayurveda to consider the program at the Southern California University of Health Sciences. I highly recommend it for those who are serious about pursuing a career in Ayurveda. SCUHS also offers a 200-hour Yoga Teacher-Training certification program and a Licensed Massage Therapist program. Many students are able to complete these programs in conjunction with the Ayurveda program, making them more competitive in these overlapping fields once they graduate. The tuition is also reasonable, around $16K for the two-year program. I also had the opportunity to complete a 4-month post-graduate clinical internship to gain more experience. The faculty is continuing to build and strengthen the program every year by offering new treatments and herbs in the clinic and new internship and hands-on opportunities both here and in India.
Enrollment for the SCUHS 2017 Ayurveda program is now open, so click here for more information.
I’m happy to personally answer any questions you may have about the SCUHS program or studying Ayurveda in general. Please feel free to reach out directly to me. I’m looking forward to hearing more about how you became passionate about Ayurveda!
To learn more about our Ayurvedic affiliate program that helps practitioners like Naomi build their emerging practice, please contact us for an application and more information!
Churnams are single dravyas that are finely ground and strained through a fine sieve. The result is a fine light powder that easily absorbs. Single churnams are combined to make traditional formulations. Churnams are the main components for kashayas, kwathams, arishtams, lehams, oils, and ghritams. Some churnams are produced for internal use while others are for external use only. There are five aqueous extracts known as the pañca kaṣāya.
The application of herbal oil is the heart of Ayurvedic treatment. Oiling the body is a great way to keep the skin soft, supple and beautiful. Herbal oil massage offers great benefits; it normalizes vata and pitta, increases immunity, strengthens bones and muscles, nourishes skin cells, increases longevity, improves the quality of vision, speech, and sleep. It is simply anti-aging.
Arya Vaidya Sala (AVS) classical Ayurvedic oils are made from sesame, coconut, castor or mustard oil
Rasayana therapy enriches rasa with nutrients to help one attain longevity, memory, intelligence, health, youthfulness, the excellence of luster, complexion and voice, optimum development of the physique and sense organs, mastery over phonetics, respectability, and brilliance.
Chyavanaprasam builds strength, immunity and rejuvenates.
Brahma Rasayana improves intelligence, memory, immune power, and bad cholesterol.