Ayurvedic Foundation Course (AFC)
The AFC is a pre-requisite course for the Ayurveda Diet & Lifestyle Counsellor (ADLC) program. This foundation program will set the stage and prepare you to understand the fundamental principles of Ayurveda.
You will learn the overview of
- Ayurvedic Concepts and Terminologies
- Panchmahabhuta (PMB) which is the basis for Ayurveda
- The Functional Principles of Vata, Pitta and Kapha
- The concept of Agni (Digestive fire) and its relationship to Dhatu (Tissue), Mala (Waste), Ama (Toxin formation) and Srotas (Channels)
- Prakriti (Body Constitution) and Vikriti (Deviation)
- Ayurvedic Nutrition and 6 Taste (Shadrasa)
- Role of Mind in Ayurveda (Manasa Roga)
Ayurvedic Foundation Workshop (AFW)
This AWF foundation workshop is the starting point for understanding Ayurveda. This will set the stage for you to continue with the ADLC (Ayurvedic Diet and Lifestyle Counsellor) program if you so wish.
The AFW program is designed to give you an overview of all the basic fundamental principles of Ayurveda and how to apply these principles in your day to day life. According to Ayurveda each of us has a unique body constitution (Prakriti) and a “one-solution-fits-all” will not work. For example, what is good for a Vata-body type may not necessarily be good for the Kapha body type. All herbs are neither good nor bad, they all are dependent on various factors. Eg garlic has excellent healing properties but is not necessarily good for a Pitta-body type and can cause more harm if consumed by a Pitta aggravated body.
Overview of Ayurvedic Concepts and Terminologies
This is an incredibly important foundation topic for learning Ayurveda or Yoga. When learning these two ancient sciences you must understand the contextual meaning of a word otherwise it can be misunderstood. English language is highly limiting and does not have words to express key Sanskrit texts which can lead to misinterpretation. For example, Dhatu is an important substance to consider, when discussing doshas. In many English translated books, the word Dhatu is translated as “body tissues” which does not express the true meaning of dhatu and its role in body’s function and nourishment. Dhatu means “that which holds that body together” and is a field for dosha to function. Ayurveda discusses 7 dhatu and when we use English term of “body tissue”, it is misrepresented from a modern perspective and gives the impression that Ayurveda claims to have only 7 body tissues which is not the case. Similarly the word Panchamahabuta (PMB) is referred to as 5 Elements in many English translation when again it limits its explanation. This can lead to criticism since modern Chemistry acknowledges 118 Chemical elements in its periodic table. Therefore, understanding the basic Ayurvedic Concepts and Terminologies will set the groundwork for any lay person to understand Ayurveda and how to apply its principles. You will also appreciate that you do not need to know Sanskrit or be of Indian Origin to learn Ayurveda. Finally, this segment will give you the basic understanding to apply Ayurveda in any cultural setting.
Note: For the purpose of providing the course outline we translate some words simplistically. However, you will have a deeper understanding once you complete this workshop
Panchamahabutha (5 States or Existence) and Dosha (Vata, Pitta, Kapha)
The Panchamahabutas (5 States or Existence), the Dosha (Vata Pitta and Kapha) and their attributes (gunas) are the building blocks of Ayurveda and form the foundation of Ayurvedic principles. Ayurveda sees everything from the perspective of guna (qualities or properties) and only when you see through the lenses of Ayurveda will you be able to understand the broader picture of Ayurveda. You will learn these basic principles first and how to apply them from and Ayurvedic perspective. Whether you are looking at the world from a Newtonian perspective or Quantum perspective this will concept of PMB and VPK will help you see the Universe (macrocosm) and your body (microcosm) in its entirety
Prakriti and Vikriti – An Overview
Body types are a unique concept in Ayurveda is known as Prakriti which is formed at birth. Everyone is unique and you have your own unique Prakriti which will then determine what type of diet, herb, lifestyle or treatment is best for you. You will learn an overview and importance of Prakriti analysis and its significance.
Dhatu (Tissue) and Mala (Excretion) and Srota (Channels), Ama (Toxin)
These concepts are inter-related in the formation and maintenance of a healthy body. Malas are not waste but are substance that play an important role in understanding what is happening to your body.
Agni (Digestive Fire), Ama (Undigested food)
According to Ayurveda digestion is the key to health. Food is transformed into nutrients only when the digestion is at its peak. You will learn the basic concept of the 13 types of digestion (Jatharagni, Dhatwagni, Bhutagni) and how they play a role in nourishing the body.
Ayurvedic Nutrition (Ahara) and 6 Taste (Shadrasa)
Ayurvedic Nutrition is not about calorie counting or nutrients and is not just limited to food and water intake. According to Ayurveda, ahara is that which you consume into your body and includes food, breath, emotions and sensory perception. All these factors play a vital role in the nourishment of the body apart from agni. Ayurveda states that if your agni is not in a balanced state, then whatever you consume it will not necessarily nourish your body. In this section you will learn the difference between Ayurvedic nutrition and conventional nutrition and the need to customise nutrition based on several factors.
Ayurveda and the Mind and Lifestyle
It is only recently that modern medicine has started to accept that mind plays a role in the person’s health. According to Ashtaga Hrdayam (a classical text on Ayurveda), there are 2 foundations of disease. They are the body and the mind (AH Su 1:21). It further goes on to state that qualities such as Rajas and Tamas are 2 Manasa Dosha (dosha of the mind) which can affect the body.