Course Outline: Starting Your Ayurveda Course

Welcome to Ayurveda Learning with Mekosha Ayurveda. We are ever so happy to be a part of your Ayurvedic journey.

This course has been created for those who want to understand Ayurvedic Theories & Practical Applications from experts in the field of Ayurveda.

Our panel of doctors and experts, that have contributed to make this course, are happy to answer any questions/ comments that you may have throughout the duration of this course. At the end of each chapter, is a comments section, where you can let us know what’s on your mind. Make sure to leave your email ID so we can get back to you.

So – what are you going to be learning through this course? Here is your course outline.

For those of you interested in specific parts of this course, feel free to skip ahead to the relevant chapters of your interest – the current course outline has been designed over the course of many years. It caters to beginners as well as those that are looking for more in depth topics. After taking a look at the course outline, in case you wish to know more about certain topics that are not a part of this course, or that you require additional clarity on, leave a comment and we would be ever so happy to help you in getting what you need.

Chapter 1: Introduction to Ayurveda

  • Defining Ayurveda (Ayur – life; Veda – Science)
  • Components of health: doshas, dhatus, malas, agni
  • Coordination between human body constitution and elements of the universe

1.1: Aims of Ayurveda

  • vasthasya svāsthya rakṣaṇaṃ, āturasya vikāra praśamanaṃ।
  • Literally translating to two components – health maintenance and disease treatment

1.2: Philosophy and Aims of Ayurveda

  • Role of oral traditions, Vedas, Axillary knowledge, Hindu mythology
  • Schools of Hindu philosophy: Vaisheshika, Nyaya, and Samkhya
  • Use of Shlokas to explain healing properties of herbs
  • Importance of the natural law of Karma – every action has an equal and opposite reaction, also known as the cause-effect relationship
  • Absoluteness of the universe (as a macrocosm existing in a microcosm)
  • Vikruti-Prakruti relationship
  • Modern day Ayurveda

1.3: Ayurveda and Other Forms of the Holistic Treatment System

  • Defining Naturopathy, Homeopathy, and Allopathy

1.4: Connecting the mind, body and soul

  • Significance of one’s intuition or ‘gut instinct’
  • Channeling of the mind, or Mano Vaha Srotas
  • Working of the body to align physical and sensory inputs
  • Channeling the soul, and the role of meditation

Chapter 2: Elements of the Universe

2.1: Panchamaha Bhuta Siddhanta, or the five elements of the universe

  • Akasha or ether, as the space in which living beings thrive
  • Vayu or air, associated with movement
  • Agni or Fire, associated with transformation and metabolism
  • Jala or water, associated with transportation
  • Prithvi or earth, associated with solid form

2.2: The Constitution of the body and mind, based upon these elements

  • Hearing is associated with Ether
  • Touch is associated with air, as things are perceived through skin
  • Sight is associated with fire, which discriminates between right and wrong
  • Taste is associated with water, by connecting ourselves with water energy
  • Smell is associated with the earth, which helps in relaxation

2.3: Control of the Indriyas or sense organs, in particular:

  • Vat Indriya, the organ of speech, by speaking the truth and observing silence
  • Eyes, by avoiding looks of lust
  • Ears, by avoiding parties, gossip, and music with harsh lyrics
  • Nose, by avoiding strong scents and aromas
  • Tongue, by maintaining a simple and fresh diet, and practice of fasting or Ekadashi
  • Skin, through brahmacharya or self-abstinence
  • Fixing one’s mind on their personal deity to centre attention

Chapter 3: The 3 Doshas and 20 Tattvas

3.1: Tridosha Siddhanta

  • Defining Doshas
  • The three Doshas – Vatta, Pitta and Kapha, and their importance to human health

3.2: Vata Dosha

  • Vata meaning (vayu- wind; vital energy)
  • Composition of Ether and Air
  • People and Characteristics; Irregularity

3.3: Pitta Dosha

  • Pitta meaning- transformation and heat
  • Composed of Fire and Water
  • People and Characteristics; Intensity

3.4: Kapha Dosha

  • Kapha meaning- potential growth, energy and protection
  • Composed of Water and Earth
  • People and Characteristics; Structure

3.5: Coexistence of Tridosha in one’s body

  • Working together as a team; namely managing anabolism (Kapha), catabolism (Vatta) and Metabolism (Pitta), which enable energy balance
  • Combination is unchanged throughout one’s lifetime and indicates inherent qualities

3.6: Signs of Dosha Aggravation

  • Symptoms and effects of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha Dosha imbalances

3.7: How to balance your Doshas

  • Steps on balancing vata, Pitta, and Kapha Doshas

Chapter 4: Attributes of the Universe (Gunas)

  • Defining a Guna: quality, peculiarity, attribute, tendency
  • Sattva Guna: purity, understanding, light, peace, constructive, harmony
  • Rajas Guna: change, transformation, conflict, sometimes translated as passion
  • Tamas Guna: lack of movement, darkness, ignorance
  • Quiz on Gunas

Chapter 5: The Five Koshas

  • Kosha – literally meaning ‘sheath’ or covering of Atman
  • Literally describes as the outer layers of the body
  • Annamaya Kosha / physical body forms the outer layer, formed by food and environment
  • Pranamaya Kosha is the energy body formed by subtle life forms
  • Manomaya Kosha or the mental body is composed of psyche, emotions, nervous system
  • Vijnanamaya Kosha is the wisdom body composed of intuition and consciousness
  • Anandamaya Kosha or the bliss body correlates to bliss, which can be transitory (limited elation) or eternal (unlimited feeling of supreme joy)

Chapter 6: The Dhatus

6.1: What is Dhatu?

  • Refers to several building blocks of the body, collectively known as Saptahadhatu
  • The seven Dhatus include the Rasa Dhatu (lymph), Rakta Dhatu (blood), Mamsa dhatu (muscles), Medha dhatu (fat), Asthi dhatu (bone), Majja dhatu (marrow; both bone and spinal), and Shukra dhatu (semen)

Chapter 7: The Six Rasas (Tastes) and Your Health

7.1: Role of Taste and its Impact on the Body

  • Taste, or the sanskrit word Rasa, emphasises on the experience of food and its impact
  • These affect the state of one’s balance, through mind, body and spirit

7.2: Sweet Taste

  • Comprises of Earth and Water
  • Increases kapha dosha, while balancing vata and pitta doshas
  • Plays a role in creating cooling, comforting, stabilizing, or calming effects
  • It is heavy, moist, cold, relatively difficult to digest
  • Overuse can slows digestion, decreases appetite, increases water retention, creates excessive cravings, heaviness and obesity, laziness and excessive sleep

7.3: Sour Taste

  • Comprises of Earth and Fire
  • Increases kapha and pitta doshas, while balancing vata dosha
  • Has a warming, digestive, refreshing and energizing effect, and even promotes liver functioning and a healthy bile flow
  • It is liquid, light, oily, hot
  • Positive emotions include appreciation, understanding, comprehension
  • In excess, can cause criticism, jealousy, rejection, hate, and hyperactivity

7.4: Salty Taste

  • Comprises of Water and Fire
  • Increases vata dosha, while balancing kapha and pitta doshas
  • Has a warming, digestive, appetizer, antispasmodic effect
  • It is liquid, heavy, oily, hot
  • Can stir emotions of appreciation, understanding, comprehension
  • In excess, can cause criticism, jealousy, rejection, hate, hyperactivity

7.5: Bitter Taste

  • Comprises of Ether and Air
  • Increases vata dosha, while balancing kapha and pitta doshas
  • It is cool, light, and dry
  • Positive emotions include clarity, introspection, self-awareness
  • In excess, can cause cynicism, rejection, isolation, separation, loneliness

7.6: Pungent Taste

  • Comprises of Air and Fire
  • Increases pitta and vata doshas, while balancing kapha doshas
  • Hot, dry, light, and aromatic qualities
  • Positive emotions include enthusiasm, clarity, excitement, vitality, and concentration
  • In excess, can cause irritability, aggressiveness, anger, jealousy

7.7: Astringent Taste

  • Comprises of Air and Earth
  • Increases vata dosha, while balancing kapha and pitta
  • Qualities include coldness, dryness, and heaviness
  • Positive emotions include being stable, unified, collected
  • In excess, can cause fear, anxiety, nervousness, depression, rigidity, resentment

Chapter 8: Bringing it all together (Summary)

  • The 7 chakras (Link here)
  • Defining chakras as wheels of energy throughout the body
  • Muladhara as the chakra of stability, security, and our basic needs; encompasses the first three vertebrae, the bladder, and the colon
  • Svadhisthana chakra as the creativity and sexual center; located above the pubic bone, below the navel, is responsible for our creative expression
  • Manipura chakra is a lustrous gem, extending from the navel to the breastbone; and is a source of personal power
  • Anahata as the heart chakra; located at the middle of the seven and unites the lower chakras of matter and the upper chakras of spirit; serves as a bridge between our body, mind, emotions, and spirit; and is a source of love and connection
  • Vishuddha chakra is located in the area of the throat; source of verbal expression and the ability to speak our highest truth
  • Ajna chakra is located in between the eyebrows; also referred to as the “third eye” chakra; center of intuition
  • Sahaswara chakra, also known as the ‘thousand petal lotus’; located at the crown of the head; chakra of enlightenment and spiritual connection to our higher selves, others, and to the divine
  • The mind-body connection links a person’s thoughts, feelings and behaviour to their physical symptoms

Chapter 9: Digestion and Food

9.1: How does your digestion work?

  • You are not ‘what you eat’, but rather ‘what you digest’
  • Ojas (an energy reserve) is the most refined by-product of digestion in the body
  • The three stage processes of digestion: mouth and upper stomach, lower stomach and small intestine, and large intestine

9.2: Stimulation of Agni

  • Agni or fire (metabolic functions in the body) peak at noon and then at midnight
  • Agni is significant for digestive functions, immunity, emotional balance

9.3: How to manage your digestion?

  • Ayurvedic tips and habits for digestion management

9.4: Understanding indigestion

  • Defining and outlining causes of indigestion
  • Reasons, symptoms and cures to indigestion

9.5: Mindful Eating

  • Practice based on the Buddhist concept of mindfulness
  • Involves habits such as eating slowly, chewing properly, listening to hunger cues etc.

9.6: What is Malas?

  • Different waste material or Malas is secreted from the body
  • Three types: Purisha (faeces), Mutra (urine), Sweda (sweat)

Chapter 10: Food as Medicine

10.1: Kitchen as a Pharmacy

  • Uses of various spices and herbs in cooking
  • Modern nutritional medicinal therapy as a preference to chemist’s drugs
  • The ‘dynamic dozen’: Turmeric, ginger, cumin, cinnamon, black cumin, fenugreek, clove, fennel, coriander, allspice, curry leaf, saffron
  • Home remedies for common ailments: Adrak, Ajvain, Amla, Dalchini, Dhaniya, Elaichi, Haldi, Hing, Lavender oil, fennel seeds

10.2: Ayurvedic Cooking Classes

  • The seven principles of Ayurvedic cooking

Chapter 11: Ayurvedic Healthy Routines

11.1: Effect of Seasons and Weather on Your Body

  • Human beings must adapt their habits according to seasonal changes
  • Climate change can affect human nature and cause stress

11.2: Dinacharya

  • Defining Dinacharya – basic Ayurvedic principles to support a healthy lifestyle
  • Ideal morning routine from 6 – 10 am
  • Optimization of time using the Dosha clock; namely, Kapha (6-10 am), Pitta (10am – 2pm), Vata (2pm – 6pm), Kapha (6pm – 10pm), Pitta (10pm – 2am), Vata (2am – 6am)
  • Importance of an evening routine for mind-body relaxation
  • Triphala – unique combination of three fruits – bibhitaki, amalaki, haritaki

11.3: Ritucharya

  • Defining Ritucharya (ritu – seasons; charya – routine)
  • Two periods of the year – Uttarayana (cold months) and Dakshinayana (warm months)
  • Different seasons – Sharath, Hemanta, Shishira, Vasanta, Grishma, Varsha

Chapter 12: Ayurveda as a Way of Life

12.1: Pillars of Wellness

  • Five pillars of wellness – rest, movement, nutrition, meditation, emotional wellbeing

12.2: Finding Focus to Maximise Productivity

  • Our mind body doshas also play a role in work and stress management
  • Emotions and energies vary as per different hours of the day
  • Your daily routine could be linked to these energy cycles for an optimal life

12.3: Benefits of Massages: Abhyanga and Shirodhara

  • Definition of Abhyanga (abhi – towards; anga – movement)
  • Abhyanga is a synchronised body massage in the direction of blood
  • Benefits of Abhyanga – pain relief, dosha balance, easing stiffness and tiredness
  • Definition of Shirodhara (shir – head; dhara – something pouring into a stream)
  • Shirodhara involves pouring warm oil or any medicinal liquid over the forehead
  • Benefits of Shirodhara – relaxes, calms and cleanses the mind and nerves

12.4: Benefits of Chanting Mantras

  • Mantras – Sanskrit phrases loaded with sound and power
  • Benefits – stimulates energy flow and its circulation
  • Examples of Mantras – Om, So’ham, Om Namo Narayana, Om Nama Shivaya etc

12.5: Physiotherapy

  • Physiotherapy is a plant-based medication system
  • It relies on herbs including Dandelion root and Rosemary

12.6: Tongue Cleaning Exercises

  • Performing the exercise correctly
  • Benefits – flushing out toxins, enhancement of taste, stimulating internal organs, ensures overall digestive health

12.7: Organising your home as per Vastu Shastra

  • Role of directions, colours and numbering when organising your house

12.8: Interaction of the Human Body with Materials

  • Copper, Brass, Silverware, Bronze, Gold, Clay

12.9: A Healthy Skincare Routine

  • Skin types defined by Vata, Pitta, and Kapha Doshas
  • Ayurvedic herbs for glowing skin
  • Tips for internal and external skincare
  • Detoxification of the body

Chapter 13: Ayurvedic Treatments and Ailments for Doctors and Patients

13.1: 18 Disciplines of Ayurveda Specialisation

  • Ayurveda siddhanta
  • Sharira rachana
  • Dravya guna vigyan
  • Bhaishajya kalpana
  • Prasuti tantra
  • Kayachikitsa
  • Shalya tantra
  • Manasa roga
  • Sangaharana
  • Ayurveda samhita
  • Sharira kriya
  • Rasa shastra
  • Kaumarabhritya
  • Swasthavritta
  • Raga nidana
  • Shalakya tantra
  • Agada tantra
  • Panchakarma

13.2: Know Your Body: The Different Sorts of Pareeksha

  • Rogi, Ashta Sthana, Dasavidha Pareeksha

13.3: Panchakarma

  • There are 5 Basic Shoshanas or cleansing Methods
  • Vargana or Emisis therapy
  • Virechan or Purgation therapy
  • Nasya or Nasal administration
  • Rakta Moksha, or blood cleaning / purification

13.3: Purva Karma

  • Stages of Purnakarma: Snehana, Svedana, Sarvang or Ekang Abhyang, Shirodhara ayurveda, Karna Purana

13.4: Marma Therapy

  • History and the hidden science behind Marma
  • Defining Marma therapy
  • Benefits of stimulating marma points: disease prevention, minimal invasiveness, enhancement of well-being and awareness, increased skin care awareness, improved respiratory function
  • Common facial marma points (8 in total)

13.5: How to Pick the Correct Doctor and Nurse as per Ayurveda

  • Qualities of a good doctor: Dakshar, Shastra, Drishtakarma, Suchi
  • Qualities of a good nurse: Anurakta, Suchi, Daksha, Budhiman

Chapter 14: Meditation and Relaxation

14.1: Relaxation and Exercise

  • Relaxation is defined as the state of not performing mental or physical activity;
  • Beneficial relaxation exercises – Chi Kung, Jin Ji Du Lin, Hug a Tree, Nari Shodhama Pranayama

14.2: Significance of Meditation

  • Meditation – defined as training one’s mind to induce it to consciousness;
  • Meditation as per your Dosha type: Japa meditation (Vata), meditation on the breath (Pitta), walking meditation (Kapha)

Chapter 15: Yoga and Karma

15.1: Philosophy of Yoga

  • The wheel of karma stresses upon how all actions – physical, verbal, or mental – create an impact on the mind
  • The wheel has three components: Vritti, Samskara, Chakra
  • The four types of karma: Prarabdha or mature karma, Sanchita or stored karma, agami or forthcoming karma, varthamana or present karma
  • The four paths of yoga: karma, bhakti, jnana, raja yoga
  • The eight limbs of yoga (Ashtanga): Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi
  • Self relief techniques in yoga: breath focus, body scan, guided imagery, mindfulness meditation, stretching
  • Benefits of Yoga: strength, flexibility, reduction of stress, anxiety, and depression

15.2: Yoga in Practice: Kriyas and Asanas

  • Kriyas: Popular Ayurvedic technique used in body cleansing
  • Pranayama: Breathing exercises
  • Benefits of Pranayamas
  • Asanas: Types of stretching and bodily postures
  • Surya Namaskar or the ‘sun salutation’, and it’s techniques and benefits
  • List of Asanas: For vata, pitta and kapha doshas

Chapter 16: Ayurveda and Sleep

16.1: Understanding your Sleep

  • Enhancement of Ojas, or energy, as the master coordinator of the mind, body or soul
  • Problems of sleep deprivation – obesity, high blood pressure, frequent infection rates

16.2: Getting your Body Right

  • Stop snoring, improve breathing rates and posture

16.3: Get your Mind Right

  • Set up an evening right, calm a restless mind, practice mind relaxation techniques

16.4: Get your Physical Condition Right

  • Create a restful environment, stay away from electronic devices, ensure that your environment is cool, clean, calm and peaceful.

16.5: Sleeping Disorders and Ayurveda

  • Stress has a drastic effect on sleep quality
  • Common sleep disorders including insomnia (sleeplessness), disturbed sleep (repeatedly waking up), or feeling tired irrespective of sufficient sleep
  • Insomnia or Anidra in Ayurveda is a condition of sleeplessness or disturbed sleep quality
  • Ayurvedic herbs can be used for better sleep

16.6: Ayurveda and Dreams

  • Dreams can be categorised as per Dosha
  • Vata dreams are characterised by excessive movement
  • Pitta dreams are characterised by intensity and focus
  • Kapha dreams are characterised by emotions such as love, lust, satisfaction of desire, material and emotional attachment

Chapter 17: How to Deal with Coronavirus Using Ayurveda

17.1: How can Ayurveda protect you against coronavirus?

  • Beneficial effects of Ayurveda against the virus

17.2: Healthy Ayurvedic practices against the virus

  • Drinking Shadanga paniya powder, Agastya Haritaki (5 grams), Arsenicum album 30

17.3: Coronavirus Precautions

  • Sanitizing hands at regular intervals, social distancing and isolation

17.4: Boosting Immunity Through Ayurveda

  • Ayurvedic herbs, citrus fruits, tea (lemon, ginger, lemon honey and mint)

Chapter 18: Deeper Insights Into Ayurveda

18.1: Supporting Women’s Health

  • Knowing your body through Ayurveda based on Dosha type
  • Characteristics of women depending on Dosha type
  • Greying hair in women can be cured by Bhingraj olive oil, in addition to a healthy diet
  • Anaemia can be treated through iron-rich food
  • Acne and obesity can be treated by a balanced diet, regular workout routine, and ayurvedic home remedies
  • Menopausal problems can be solved through calcium rich foods
  • Menstruation cycles can be maintained through following a healthy lifestyle (home-cooked food, avoiding alcohol, warm showers, plenty of liquids etc)

18.2: Ayurveda and Parenting

  • Ayurveda recommends various parenting tools to apply to children

18.3: Ayurveda and Sexual Health

  • Due importance should be given to Brahmacharya for sexual and physical health
  • Vata, Pitta and Kapha lovers vary in their personality and characteristics
  • Ayurveda also recommends tips for a healthy sexual life

18.4: Intermittent Fasting

  • Fasting is called Pratyahara (Pratya: against, Hara: taken into the body)
  • We should not only avoid harmful substances but choose what goes into our body
  • Fasting has numerous benefits including resting of the digestive tract, speeding up energy levels, improving healing practices, etc

18.5: Music and Ayurveda

  • Svanah means sound or tone in sanskrit
  • Early background dates back to indian rishis, who discovered the rag chikitsa
  • Music has various benefits for physical and mental ailments
  • Music should be listened to as per dosha levels

18.6: Healing with Crystals

  • There are 9 gems in Ayurveda with different effects on the mind
  • Gemstones enable therapeutic strengthening and healthy functioning
  • Specific gemstones can help with certain diseases, chronic infections, and cosmic vibrations
  • There are different energetically aligned stones as per dosha

18.7: Ayurveda and Astrology

  • Ayurveda originates as a part of vedic traditions
  • Astrological star signs can be mapped to one of the three doshas

Start your Ayurveda learning journey with Chapter 1 here.

Article By:

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Dr. Maneesh S

Ayurveda Doctor

Dr. Maneesh S is an authority in the field of traditional style of Ayurvedic treatment. With over 10 years of expertise and a proven track record of classical style of treatment his work has immensely benefited several people all over India and the world. He mastered the Ayurvedic method of treatment from the renowned Pankajakasthuri Ayurveda Medical College, Trivandrum. His experience includes working with Somatheeram Resorts, Club Mahindra Resorts and as a Dubai Healthcare City licensed Consultant Physician. He has also traveled extensively across the length and breadth of the Indian subcontinent collecting medicinal plants to replenish his extensive organic infusions. He has treated patients with chronic and complicated diseases as well as delivered lectures on Ayurveda, partaken in discussions and seminars pertaining to the propagation of various treatment modalities cited in the Ayurveda texts. With his extensive knowledge on various subjects like Sanskrit, Vedas, Mythology, ancient Indian Culture and Classical arts etc., he is considered to be one of the best in the industry.

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