The Wisdom of Ayurveda: Fundamental Concepts & Practical Applications

  • MindBody Studies
  • By
  • Wednesdays, April 21, 28, May 5, 12, 19, 26, June 2, 9 @ 7 pm - 9 pm ET

About the Course

This eight-module course offers immersion into a way of seeing the world from which you will never return. The ancient science of Ayurveda explains the ecosystem of our body-minds in the world around us, using concepts that have survived through millenia because they work.

Using observable concepts in Nature, Ayurveda introduces methods for understanding our lives, improving our health, and anchoring our mind. Through rituals of day-night, moons, and seasons, we can rediscover how jumping onto the carousel of the earth’s cycles can heal the body and mind.

Your body is your laboratory. We will experiment with oils, water, fruits, fire, herbs, music, mantra, smells, stones, and touch to engage our awareness, drop the judgment and move into discovery. Dr. Bhaswati Bhattacharya guides a course through the fundamental concepts of Ayurveda and introduces practical applications for you to prove to yourself how well it can work in your own life, wherever you are.

We begin with a discussion of embodying Ayurveda philosophy into our modern world. As a system that understands life and good living, Ayurveda pre-dates all other concepts of medicine, seamlessly interfacing all sciences in explaining wellness and disease. History bends when we confront continuously practiced wisdom that works and pre-dates scientific wisdom. How we precipitated from energy into matter is described by Sankhya philosophy and coincides with quantum physics and entanglement theory. As embodied bioelectric machines, we exist between mind-body-soul and the senses (prasanna-atma-indriya) which connect us to living. The concept of dosha unifies our existence with our purpose (dharma) of life.
What’s your dosha, baby? We will travel through translations of dosha and discover why Sanskrit is the language to use if we are to find awareness and true meanings of dosha. From body functions to mental tendencies to foods and weather patterns, doshas are everywhere. You will evermore see the world with a dosha filter, and you will effortlessly increase your health vocabulary to include non-translatable Sanskrit terms. What is Dosha?
The beginning of all imbalances is due to unmanaged vata trapped in the body. We will explore how this happens, how the environment affects our personal vata, how the urges (vega) in the body work, and how we really are an ecosystem floating around in our environment. We will talk about practical tools for balancing vata and begin to witness healing in the cohort of participants. Bring your voice, yoga, food choices, exercise routines, herbs, oils, and warm water to class. Within orthodox Hinduism, Lakshmi has been domesticated and her powers have often been appropriated for selfish and material gain. We will look to Lakshmi’s autonomous, sovereign and earth-based roots within the Shakta tradition in order to more fully understand what she offers to those on the spiritual path. We will see how and why Lakshmi is the original matriarch, who sustains harmony, balance and peace on earth. Lakshmi’s connection to early Goddesses like the Yakshis and the Lajja Gauris will be presented to further our understanding of the greater cosmic field of Lakshmi.
What happens when you get your cellular ducks in order? The biochemical factory that is You depends on you making the right hormones and enzymes at the right time in the right place. Clock genes help regular our inner pharmacist so it can dispense what you need when you need it. What affects your clock genes? The ancient daily routines aligned our doshas, dhatus, body and mind to make us harmonious in our inner and outer spaces. We will discuss the practical aspects of setting up a daily routine (dinacharya), and witness the power of shifting into practices that your grandmother taught you. You will learn to use the ancient methods of understanding evidence (pramana) to justify for yourself whether these subtle changes in routine shift your world.
What did you eat yesterday, and why? The power of your choices of food determine how much strength, energy and mental alignment you manifest. Food sciences today are confused, retracting their forceful recommendations every few years with confusing opposing evidence. With no consistency and scanty science, the food industry has bullied the modern world for nearly a century with food products, non-nutritive titillators and made us slaves to our unenlightened tongues. Meanwhile, in the villages of the world where chefs know how to prepare real foods from real crops and luscious gardens, good life is defined by feeding the belly properly. Realize the science of what to eat, how, when, with whom, where, and why, called āhara. The six tastes (rasa) are deeply connected with our digestive preferences, capacity, and ability to transform gifts of the earth called fresh food and bioagriculture, into our tissues and energy. Step away from processed foods, preparation tools that add subtle confusion to the body, and non-nourishing choices. Shifting from modern nutrition and ever-changing diets into grounded āhara will engage your body-mind in both ancient and contemporary tools of the good life.
You are a ball of fire. Harness it, and watch powerful dreams manifest. The digestive fires (jathar-agni) of the body transform all you take in, into all you are, at the gut level, then in the tissues, cells and subtle levels. Take in preservatives and dyes, and watch your body move into a preserved, dying state. Undigested food (aama) is partly about the food, but mostly about your digestive fire. The subtle core of your being knows how to digest both chemical and energetic food, but you must modulate when to feed it, and when to slow down. Ayurveda whispers for you to light your fires and kindle them strongly. We will discuss the power of fasting and light foods (langhana), the use of specific foods to light the fire and burn away bloating and indigestion, and how to monitor your body. Ayurveda provides a deep understanding of the tissues (dhatu) and the channels (srotas) of the body, focusing on function more than structure, and how they break down with disease. Ayurveda shows us again and again that balance in the main channel of the body, the gut, resolves diseases. The beginning of disease (roga nidana) occurs when you become divided between mind and gut.
The advent of calendars and clocks helped us move away from our inner clocks. Deep inward attunement occurs when we find our inner alignment with the cycles of nature, the day-night cycle, the lunar 28-day rhythm, and the spin around the sun each year that creates the seasons. Ancient calendars used these cycles, and the field of astronomy today most accurately predicts our address in the universe across time. Rather than isolating your life from your place in the larger ecosystem, find your balance on the spinning globe by gently tuning into these rhythms. We will explore the cyclic (ṛtu) nature of this world, and experience how to rebalance the doshas and our mental, emotional and bodily troubles by moving with the fluid nature of sound and light on Earth, to re-inhabit our bodies anew. Learn how to eat, exercise, and clean the gut with the cycles of the earth to fortify the native energy cycles of your whole being and bring back the power of your intuition.
Herbs and foods connected to the earth reconnect us with a biomagnetic force that is just being discovered by modern sciences. We will discuss a handful of readily-available herbs that you can use to transform your ailments. Fresh foods and fabulous, time-tested herbal formulations understand how to align the complex chemistry of our bodies to build strength and vitality. Just as the chemicals that we use to treat our bodies should be aligned with biomagnetic forces found in the earth, sound and light form the basis of many of the non-pharmaceutic treatment modalities of Ayurveda. By choosing raga-cikitsa (melodies that work like neurolinguistic programming) through our sense of sound, we can shift our neurochemistry. By choosing crystals and light through our sense of sight, we can shift our biochemistry. When we realize that Ayurveda understood the interaction of nature with our bodies and used it to release, repair, and rejuvenate, we can use modalities such as panchakarma, dance (natya), movement arts (kalaripayattu, yoga), and mantra (the power of focused chanting) to access lasting health. Ayurveda reminds us to take back our right to authentic healing of our whole body, without side effects.

Students who take this course will:

  • see the world using ancient concepts of vata, pitta, and kapha.
  • develop observational skills that help attune the  Self/consciousness to ecosystems around the mind, senses, body, and soul.
  • use algorithms for cultivating a personalized daily routine (dinacharya) that is conscious of the science of clock genes and the rituals of sun & moon (agni-soumya).
  • harness tools that humans have used for 10,000 years to practice wholeness (hita), harmony (su-kha), and vitality (ojas), such as ahara (food practices), vihara (lifestyle), and dozens of medicinal preparations (aushadham).
  • understand dis-ease (vikara) as imbalance in an ecosystem that can be rebalanced
  • ground in the five pillars of ayurvedic self-care, and gain practical tools for shifting out of imbalance

About Bhaswati Bhattacharya

Bhaswati Bhattacharya is a board-certified physician-scientist-educator trained in family medicine and preventive medicine. Her research focuses on integrating the wisdom and science of authentic traditional medicines, such as Ayurveda into health care. She serves as Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at Weill-Cornell Medical College. She holds an MD in biomedicine and PhDs in pharmacology-neuroscience and Ayurveda and a Masters in Public Health. She is a Fulbright Specialist in Global Public Health. Her book Everyday Ayurveda is a national bestseller published by Penguin Random House.

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  • Member Only Content
    Unlimited access to premium articles, special podcast series, and other member only content.
  • EPTV Streaming Video Service
    Access to EPTV Original Series and our video library of over 250+ hours of lectures, talks and workshops.
  • Wisdom School Courses
    Access to 60+ on-demand courses plus two new courses every month.