Living Wisdom: The Foundations of Ayurveda

The Living Wisdom: The Foundations of Ayurveda course has been created for those interested in exploring in greater depth the healing wisdom of Ayurveda and learning its practical tools – precious gifts for guiding us to living a healthy and balanced life. Our intent is to share the inspiration, philosophy, concepts, principles and practical applications of this extraordinary path of health.

In Living Wisdom, the essential knowledge of Ayurveda is presented as a structured course for experiential study and also as a reference guide for living a healthy lifestyle, now and throughout the rest of life. No prior knowledge of Ayurveda is required.

The course is suitable for many different groups of people; it offers in-depth study for lay people who want to learn Ayurveda to establish a healthy lifestyle for themselves and their families; it offers a sound foundation for yoga practitioners and teachers, and an opportunity for health professionals including herbalists and nutritionists to integrate its principles of health and longevity into their practice.


Introduction to Living Wisdom: The Foundations of Ayurveda

Welcome to Living Wisdom: The Foundations of Ayurveda! At the beginning of the course you will be introduced to the core Ayurvedic concepts and principles, and as you move on through the 21 lessons you will build on these concepts until you can see clearly how they are all connected. We hope you enjoy this course!

Lesson 1. Part 3: Summary and Quiz

In this lesson there is a summary of Lesson 1, followed by a multiple choice quiz to consolidate your learning, before moving on to Lesson 2; The Role of Meditation.

Lesson 2: Part 1: The Role of Meditation(Preview)

As we begin this transformative study of Ayurveda, we have the opportunity to integrate meditation practice into our daily life. Meditation can be enormously helpful… it can gradually give us the awareness, focus and calm needed to study and absorb all the new material, and also help us open and balance our minds so that we can realise the full potential of the amazing path of Ayurveda.

Lesson 3: Part 1. The Five Elements

The five elements of ether, air, fire, water and earth (pancha mahabhuta) represent the different qualities or densities of energy. These elements are not seen or measured by Western science, and they are not to be interpreted literally but rather as metaphors which help us to understand the universe.

Lesson 3: Part 2. The 20 Qualities

In this section we take a closer look at the 20 qualities, in their ten pairs of opposites. This is followed by experiential exercises and the lesson quiz.

Lesson 4: The Three Doshas

There are three primary bio-energetic organising principles derived from the five elements, known as doshas. Sometimes they are referred to as humours. They are known as vata, pitta and kapha, and they are present in everybody and everything and determine our constitution.

Lesson 5: Prakruti & Vikruti

According to Ayurveda, the key to health lies in the knowledge and understanding of our basic constitution, (prakruti) and how to keep it in balance through diet and lifestyle. With the knowledge and understanding of how and why we become ill, we can live a way of life that enhances our chances of health and fulfilment.

Lesson 7: The Subdoshas

As you begin to go more deeply into the study of the doshas, you will learn that each dosha has five subdoshas. These subdoshas reside in a different place in the body, and are responsible for different vital functions.

Lesson 8: The Seven Tissues and the Srotas

Ayurveda classifies the body’s physical structure into seven tissue layers or dhatus. Dhatu means ‘that which holds or supports’. The dhatus are generally listed from the least to the most complex in structure, and each one is made out of the one that precedes it.

Lesson 9: Ayurveda, the Heart and the Mind

The aim of Ayurveda, as we have studied, is not limited solely to attaining a healthy and vital body; it is a deeply spiritual path to help us experience the awareness of who we truly are.

Lesson 10: Part 1. Taste and the Healing Power of Food

In this lesson we are going to look at the role of foods and their tastes in preventative heath as well as therapeutic care. As we know, our diet plays a vital role in a healthy lifestyle, and what we eat, digest, as well as absorb is important to maintaining health, preventing disease and treating imbalances and health problems when they arise.

Lesson 11: Part 1. Understanding Herbs

Herbs from all over the globe can impart their wisdom or intelligence to us, and help balance pranic disturbances that create imbalances and health problems in mind and body; in this way they reconnect or align us with Consciousness, and this is the ultimate aim of Ayurveda.

Lesson 11: Part 3. Preparing and Administering Herbs

In this lesson we are going to discuss the ways in which you can prepare and take herbs. There are many different ways that herbs can be given; what is important is that they are absorbed into the body so that they can exert their amazing benefits. Living as we do in the West, we can combine the use of Western and Ayurvedic herbs, and we can also combine traditional and modern ways of using herbs and formulations.

Lesson 11: Part 4: Traditional Ayurvedic Formulae

This section is a guide to for you to become familiar with some of the more common traditional Ayurvedic formulae. Their constituents can vary slightly amongst manufacturers. Some of the formulae may contain references to herbs that are not in the Materia Medica chapter of this course, and the complete list of precautions for each herb in a formula is not repeated here.

Lesson 12: A Directory of Ayurvedic Herbs

Get to know the tools of your trade with monographs of 40 amazing Ayurvedic herbs. Each herb is described according to its Ayurvedic classifications, as well as its constituents, actions and indications.

Lesson 13: Health and Harmony Through the Seasons

As we deepen our understanding of Ayurveda, we can begin to see that health is not merely freedom from disease, but more a state of ease and harmony in mind, body and spirit that gives us the ability to fulfil our dreams and responsibilities, our roles and potential in life known as our dharma, and ultimately to experience the happiness and bliss of liberation (moksha).

Lesson 14: Living the Sattvic Way

Living the sattvic way is about consciously learning to enjoy this beautiful, dynamic and fleeting life, and come closer to our true nature as spiritual beings.

Lesson 17: Detoxification for Health and Healing

Just as we regularly take showers, wash our hair, brush our teeth and tend to the outside of our bodies, the internal systems of our body, most importantly our digestive system, benefit from regular cleansing and care.

Lesson 19: Part 2: Treatment of Vata

The unique balance of our doshas give us an invaluable map of our tendencies, vulnerabilities and strengths, helping us to chart our path to health and happiness.

Lesson 19: Part 3: Treatment of Pitta

The unique balance of our doshas give us an invaluable map of our tendencies, vulnerabilities and strengths, helping us to chart our path to health and happiness.

Lesson 19: Part 4: Treatment of Kapha

The unique balance of our doshas give us an invaluable map of our tendencies, vulnerabilities and strengths, helping us to chart our path to health and happiness.


Congratulations! You have completed Living Wisdom; the Foundations of Ayurveda…but what next?