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Introduction to the Ayurvedic Life Sciences Mini Course | Class One

  • Yoga Vida Noho 666 Broadway New York, NY, 10012 United States (map)

Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word meaning 'life knowledge'. It is the name of the world's oldest, most comprehensive health system, which offers unique insight into creating balance among all facets of wellness — physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual — using tools such as diet, plant remedy, daily schedule and lifestyle practices, movement and yoga, meditation, breath work, color, and aromatherapy to establish harmony between body, mind, and the natural world.

According to Ayurveda, the body/mind (gifts given to you!) are interfaces which allow you to live in continual interaction with the environment that is the basis of your existence! Action taken to cultivate cooperation between mind and body and the environment yields the symptoms of health that lay the foundation for true happiness and longevity. As preventative well-care, Ayurveda is behavioral medicine at its finest, making it a science of personal responsibility — one which trains you first intellectually, then intuitively, to make intelligent decisions. Intelligent decisions are the ones that create the internal conditions for the symptoms of health to arise within you. Ayurveda’s offers a simple approach, without being simplistic; its teachings are the ultimate, practical ‘users manual’ for how to make decisions that result in efficiency, flow, and ease in your life.

This compact, six-session course will familiarize you with the principles of Ayurveda that teach how to identify the organization of your unique mind/body type, then interpret the information entering your system through your senses. The goal of this course is to provide a foundation for understanding how your physiology and psychology work together, and how to use the things you are engaging with each day, knowingly and unknowingly, through environment, society, lifestyle, and diet, as tools to cultivate the state of body and state of mind of your own choosing.

Each class will be a combination of lecture and group discussion. See class descriptions below. Classes may be taken individually or as a course. Handouts will be given and taking notes will be encouraged; light assignments (challenges!) will be given between classes. Classes are two hours and will begin promptly at 7 pm.

Full Course | $225 
Single / Drop-in Class | $40 
*25% off for all students past or present of Yoga Vida TT.
Please email for discount.

Oct 3 | History and Modern Application of Ayurveda: Five Elements + Three Doshas
Ayurveda shines in its ability to distill a host of complex inputs and circumstances (including the maladies of imbalance or disease) into an elegantly simple collection of qualitative patterns. Being able to identify qualities in all things — material and nonmaterial — will help to illuminate a clear path to creating a strategy for your decision-making to build vitality and health. In this class, we will set a foundation to approach Vedic philosophy by identifying Ayurveda's roots in Sankyha philosophy, describing the building blocks of Nature and their qualities, and how these building blocks merge to form the doshic bioenergetics used for the body/mind typing that will help make applying Ayurvedic theory practical to you. Class will end with a quiz to determine your prakriti, or constitution.

Oct 10 | Six Tastes and Diet for your Dosha
Each taste is an expression of Prana, a universal life/love/evolutionary force, through the form of elemental building blocks of Nature. When one consumes the proper amount of each taste for their particular constitution and/or to heal their imbalance, the body (including mind and consciousness) will respond with the production of healthy tissue and normal physiology. If there is too much or too little of any taste, the body is going to respond with imbalance or disease. In this class, we will explore Ayurvedic taste theory, examining the six tastes — sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent — and identifying how and when to use them to regulate digestive capacity through anabolic, metabolic, and catabolic means.

Oct 17 | Digestion and Seven Tissue Layers
Ayurveda teaches that all disturbances of the body have their root in the digestive system, the gate through which nutrients enter the tissue and travel to individual cells which maintain optimal function of the body. Understanding the digestive system is vital to improve and maintain health. In this class, we will explore the concept of digestion, unpacking the process of taking that which is not you and turning it into you, and it's major player, agni. We will examine how information from sensory inputs (i.e. nutrients) develops into the seven dhatus (tissue layers): plasma, blood, muscle, fat, bone, nervous tissue, sexual reproductive tissue, and affects immune function (your self-identification mechanism!).

Oct 24 | The Ayurvedic Clock : Tides of Life + Stages of Disease Development
The three doshas, vata, pitta, and kapha, create, organize and regulate Ma Nature’s cycles, giving rise to the rhythms of the day, season, year, lifespan, etc. They are not static; they move within the body the way tides move within nature: increasing, peaking, retreating, then rising again. Disease occurs when the tide does not retreat but continues advancing. Just as ocean floods the shore, so do the doshas rise and flood the body when factors or forces come into play that interfere with the natural rhythms of the body, preventing the phase of alleviation. This class will introduce the six stages of disease development, identifying physical and mental symptoms at each stage, and offer practical advice for alleviation of common symptoms within early stages.

Oct 31 | Food Sadhana: Yogic Diet + How to Eat
Ayurveda teaches that the types of foods one ingests have a direct effect on the body and the mind, influencing the consciousness of the consumer. In this class, we will discuss how to approach food energetically by understanding food qualities (sattva, rajas, and tamas), proper sourcing, storage, and preparation of food, touching on vegan and vegetarian vs. animal protein diets. We will discuss how to compose a plate that will support healthy digestion, and discuss why context is more important than content of a meal by learning the Upayogasamstha, or guidelines to healthy eating. More important than what you eat is how and when you eat!

Nov 7 | The Ayurvedic Clock, Part 2: Dinacharya
To maintain a healthy life free from disease, we need to follow a daily routine, or flow of ritual conduct. The Ayurvedic rishis (those who outlined the system of Ayurvedic medicine) considered a daily routine to be a stronger healing force than any other medicine! In Sanskrit, the word din means 'day' and achar means 'following'. In this class, we will learn how to sense and follow the rhythm Mother Nature sets to the day, and how to establish morning, afternoon, and evening dinacharya that honors yourself, your body and mind, and all of creation. You will discover that Ayurveda is actually a verb; it is something to be lived. Every action taken with consciousness will connect you with all that is Divine within you.