650-Hour Ayurvedic Health Counselor Certification


Kripalu’s NAMAC-recognized 650-Hour Ayurvedic Health Counselor Certification consists of two parts: 200-Hour Foundations of Ayurveda and the 450-Hour Clinical Training in Ayurveda.

What is an Ayurvedic Health Counselor?

Become part of a vibrant and quickly growing cadre of certified Ayurveda holistic health professionals. As Ayurveda continues to gain increasing recognition as an ancient modality for health and well-being with modern appeal, people across the globe are looking beyond their doctor’s office to Ayurveda’s nature-based lifestyle approach to address health conditions and manage stress.  

As a certified Ayurvedic Health Counselor, you will learn what it takes to work with the rhythms and elements of nature and of the body, to help people find balance, restore health, discover vitality, and experience happiness. The Ayurvedic Health Counselor Certification is a clinical program designed to prepare you to work one-on-one with clients. You will become skilled in applying the theory and principles of Ayurveda to guide you and your clients to optimal health and whole-hearted living through Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle practices.  

Why Train with Us? 

For 20 years, Kripalu School of Ayurveda (KSA) has been at the forefront of Ayurveda professional certification. KSA’s reputation in the field of Ayurveda wellness is recognized and respected by providers and clients alike. Your Kripalu certification will represent a standard of excellence.

Where to Start

You begin the 650-Hour certification two-part track by taking the 200-Hour Foundations of Ayurveda training. Upon successful completion, you will then apply for entrance into the 450-Hour Clinical Training in Ayurveda, where you will learn to build a clinical practice and pursue a meaningful career in Ayurveda by using diet and lifestyle practices to improve your client’s health and well-being. Upon graduation from the 450-Hour Clinical Training in Ayurveda program, you will be Kripalu certified as a 650-hour Ayurvedic Health Counselor (AHC) and eligible to sit for NAMA’s national AHC exam.  


Take part in an integrated curriculum designed to hone your skills so you can build a thriving holistic-health practice. This training is an exciting exploration of lifestyle tools that can help you feel more connected to yourself, others, and seasonal rhythms, while giving you the confidence to bring this ancient technology to your clients, students, friends, and family. Participate in our teaching methodology, which provides a unique mix of didactic education and experiential sessions. Continue to practice the teachings in your own life through at-home study assignments and clinical practice in between sessions and discover your own natural rhythms and sources of wisdom.  

This 650-hour certification includes the following topics: 

Ayurvedic Physiological Systems, Channels, and Tissues 
Building upon the qualities, doshas and subdoshas, this program helps the Ayurvedic Health Counselor deepen their exploration of Ayurvedic anatomy and physiology, with a focus on the tissues and the channels. Tissues are the body’s building blocks, and tissue formation is dependent on balanced nutrition and healthy digestion. The channels of the body, known as srotamsi, are the connective links, pathways, and energy “rivers” between the organs. 

Optimizing Digestive Strength 
Ayurveda teaches that health begins with a well-functioning digestive system. Optimizing digestive strength from an Ayurvedic perspective means exploring how to evaluate someone’s digestive capacity, the properties of food, how to create individualized food plans, how to encourage proper movement in the digestive tract, and how food transforms into sustainable energy for the body and mind. Following the National Ayurvedic Medical Association scopes of practice, the Ayurvedic Health Counselor will show you how your spice cabinet can become your medicine cabinet by highlighting spices that enhance digestive strength, soothe excess heat, and boost appetite. 

The Daily Routine as a Preventive Practice 
Building on the daily practices learned in Foundations of Ayurveda, the Ayurvedic Health Counselor program explores how to inspire clients to implement Ayurveda into everyday life. From an Ayurvedic perspective, whole health is fostered by aligning with the natural circadian rhythms that follow the seasons, the time of day, and the time of life. We examine this through sense-care tools such as the neti pot, nasya oil, and tips on building a healthy relationship with technology. You will also learn how to build rhythm into your day, and your clients’, so that daily routines support improved vitality. 

Health Coaching Skills 
 The Ayurvedic Health Counselor program is a clinical program designed to prepare you to support individual and group clients in making sustainable shifts in lifestyle and nutrition for improved health and wellness. Students in the Ayurvedic Health Counselor program receive mentorship and supervised  practicums in developing clinical skills and conducting Ayurvedic health consultations. Learn how to assess a client's health needs and goals, listen to their concerns and questions, respond within your scope of practice, and offer recommendations for diet and lifestyle changes that follow Ayurvedic principles and work to restore balance. 

Etiology and Pathology: The Root Cause of Disease 
Ayurveda is unique because it addresses the root causes of imbalance rather than just eliminating symptoms. According to Ayurveda, every imbalance has a story of where it began, how it travels, and finally how it expresses. Using the eightfold clinical evaluation and a clinical narrative to uncover the root of an imbalance allows the opportunity to help a client achieve vitality. 

Ayurveda and the Inner Workings of the Mind 
Building on the Ayurveda and the Mind curriculum in Foundations of Ayurveda, this section dives deeper into understanding mental well-being through an Ayurvedic lens. You explore the gunas of the mind and how to support emotional balance with nourishing daily routines, food, and nervous system care. Guidelines on when it is best to refer a client to a mental-health specialist are also addressed. 

Guiding the Client in Meditation and Pranayama 
In this course, you explore meditation and breathing practices to reduce stress and support the client in developing resiliency. Discover the science behind how breath affects the mind and the nervous system and learn accessible meditation practices to support inner exploration. 

Textbooks and Materials

In addition to the complimentary manual students receive on the first day of training, the following texts are required for this training. 

  • The Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook: A Seasonal Guide to Eating and Living Well, Kate O’Donnell
  • The Everyday Ayurveda Guide to Self-Care, Kate O'Donnell
  • Ayurveda and the Mind, David Frawley
  • Textbook of Ayurveda, Volume 1: Fundamental Principles, Vasant Lad
  • Textbook of Ayurveda, Volume 2: A Complete Guide to Clinical Assessment, Vasant Lad
  • Astanga Hrdayam (3-volume set)
  • Advanced Pulse Reading Course, by Dr. John Douillard (Link will be sent for special student rate upon completion of Foundations of Ayurveda)
  • Pranayama for Restoring Vitality Audio Course by Larissa Carlson (Discount code will be made available after course starts) 

Dates and Costs

To apply to Foundations of Ayurveda, click here. Once you successfully complete this 200-Hour training, you will apply for the 450-Hour Clinical Training in Ayurveda program by contacting Kripalu Schools at kripaluschools@kripalu.org. With each program acceptance letter, you will be eligible to sign up for that specific upcoming training below once open for registration.

Daily Schedule

When you train with the Kripalu Schools, you benefit from a unique immersion experience, both online and in our beautiful retreat center setting in the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts. Throughout the training you will develop tools to cultivate health, create community, and encourage a quest for knowledge. When staying on campus, we offer a variety of accommodation options to support your experience and budget needs, ranging from dormitories to private rooms.

Student and Faculty Testimonials

Kripalu Staff Erin Casperson

Director of the Kripalu School of Ayurveda

Faculty Margrit Mikulis, ND

My medical practice was enhanced after studying Ayurveda at Kripalu, because I acquired another lens in which to view the...

Student Mike E.

Kripalu Yoga Teacher Training was the highlight of my life. The methodology at Kripalu truly makes you a teacher!

Frequently Asked Questions


Is the curriculum different for the online versus the campus training? 
There is no difference in the curriculum. However, there is additional one-on-one mentoring with Kripalu Faculty made available to our students taking the training online. 

What will I need to take an online training? 
Online classes are held via Zoom video calls, and students must have access to a reliable internet connection and a computer or tablet to support active participation in an online classroom (e.g. computer, webcam, computer mic and speakers, and Zoom app). Word processing capabilities are also required. 

How will the trainings be shared? 
All sessions of the training will be held by Zoom video call. Links, passwords, and more information will be shared once you are registered in the training. 

Are online programs live or delivered asynchronously by recording? 
Online programs are taught live and students are expected to be present and participate during Zoom video calls. Recordings of classes will also be saved in an online video library for students to review when studying. 


How are hybrid trainings conducted? 
Students enrolled in hybrid trainings complete a portion of the program online and a portion of the program on campus. Online classes are held via Zoom video calls, and students must have access to a reliable internet connection and a computer or tablet to support active participation in an online classroom (e.g. computer, webcam, computer mic and speakers, and Zoom app). Word processing capabilities are also required. Please refer to the Online Trainings FAQ section for additional information regarding the virtual classroom, and the On Campus Trainings FAQ section for additional information regarding on campus 


What should I do to prepare for my training? 
Your days will be full when you arrive at Kripalu. Since you will be practicing yoga  each morning, we recommend that you begin a gentle yoga practice if you are not doing so already. It is also suggested to begin to get into a rhythm similar to that of the daily schedule listed below in order to get acclimated to student life at Kripalu prior to your arrival, paying particular attention to waking, meals and bedtimes. 

6:30–7:30 am Sadhana (This is mainly yoga, pranayama, and meditation.) 
7:30–8:30 am Silent Breakfast 
8:30 am–12:00 pm Program Session 
12:00–2:00 pm Lunch 
2:00–6:00 pm Program Session 
7:00–9:00 pm Occasional Program Session 

Be sure to look for a letter in your email inbox six weeks prior to the start of the program with a list of required readings  and written homework assignments. 

Will I have an opportunity to participate in yoga classes and other activities during the training? 
The training schedule is very full; however, there is some time to participate in the midday Kripalu R&R and evening programs. You will generally have a break every day from 12:00–2:00 pm. In addition, you will have some evenings free. 

What are my housing options? 
Kripalu offers accommodations ranging from dormitories with a shared hall bath to private rooms with a private bath. Prices vary depending upon the accommodations selected. Find out more information about accommodations here, or call 413.448.3152. Early registration is recommended, as some housing fills up quickly. 


What programs do I have to take to complete the 650-Hour Ayurvedic Health Counselor Certification? 
The 650-Hour Ayurvedic Health Counselor Certification is a two-part track that first requires you to successfully complete Part 1: 200-Hour Foundations of Ayurveda. Upon successful completion of this first part of the 650-Hour track, you will apply for Part 2: 450-Hour Clinical Training in Ayurveda.  If accepted into Part 2, you are eligible to enroll and upon successful completion of Part 2, you will receive your 650-Hour certification.  

After completing Kripalu’s 650-Hour Ayurvedic Health Counselor (AHC) Certification, am I eligible to sit for the Ayurveda national certification exam? 
Yes, Kripalu is a NAMAC-recognized school, and our AHC graduates can take the National Ayurvedic Medical Association Certification Board exam. According to their website, “Obtaining a NAMACB certification means that the candidate has demonstrated the entry-level competencies for his/her category of practice by completing a NAMA-approved course of study and passing a rigorous certification exam, and is engaged in ongoing training as a professional through continuing education and other activities.” Kripalu School of Ayurveda graduates make up the highest amount of AHC national exam test takers nationally and have a higher-than-national-average pass rate of 80 percent.  

Are the Kripalu School of Ayurveda (KSA) trainings academically rigorous? 
Yes. Ayurveda is an ancient system of healing and preventive health that requires a good deal of study and commitment in order to become competent in the science and art of the practice. Sessions are taught by distinguished faculty, and there are also required reading and homework assignments between each of the modules. 

What kind of academic support will I receive from the KSA? 
Every KSA program has supervised study and review sessions led by a KSA faculty member to help you integrate course content. KSA staff is available for support and provides feedback and mentoring for each homework assignment. KSA staff is also available to meet for virtual office hours. 

Is this training in panchakarma and Ayurvedic massage? 
No. Panchakarma is a series of detoxifying cleansing practices that restore proper functioning to the body. Because these practices have become widely known in this country as Ayurvedic spa services, many people might associate them with training as an Ayurvedic Health Counselor. In most states, in order to offer Ayurvedic body treatments, you must be a licensed massage therapist.

Will there be a graduation that my family and friends can attend? 
There will be a formal graduation ceremony and celebration for graduates at the completion of the two-part Ayurvedic Health Counselor Certification track. Currently, due to COVID-19 protocols, family and friends are not able to attend KSA graduation ceremonies. 

Is financial assistance available? 
Kripalu Schools are committed to supporting individuals interested in enhancing their life and realizing their full potential through yoga, yoga therapy, Ayurveda, and mindful outdoor leadership regardless of background or financial status. Scholarships are made possible by the generous support of Kripalu’s patrons and donors; and financial assistance is offered when funding is available.  

Currently, there are no scholarships available for the Ayurvedic Health Counselor program. 


Admissions to the programs are determined on a rolling basis. Given high program demand, a maximum number of students per training, and limited housing availability, we strongly recommend that applicants submit applications as soon as possible (two–six months prior to the program start).

Admissions to the programs are determined on a rolling basis. Given high program demand, a maximum number of students per training, and limited housing availability, we strongly recommend that applicants submit applications as soon as possible (two to six months prior to the program start). 

Historically, trainings have filled about one month in advance. We rely on information provided in the application to make informed decisions about your capacity to fully participate in and benefit from all aspects of the program. Please answer the questions honestly and completely. The Kripalu Schools do not discriminate in admissions, administration, or educational policies with regard to race, ethnic origin, gender, age, sexual orientation, creed, or religion. 

Ayurvedic Health Counselor’s Part 2 (450-Hour Clinical Training in Ayurveda) Application Process 

  • Review information on program dates, costs, faculty, curricula, certification criteria, and general information about Kripalu on our website. 
  • Complete the appropriate application for the program for which you are applying in its entirety, including the short-answer questions.
    • If you have waited at least a year to continue in the Ayurvedic Health Counselor track after completing Foundations of Ayurveda, you will need to reapply to the Kripalu School of Ayurveda, which you can do by filling out this form
    • If you have taken a program equivalent to Kripalu’s Foundations of Ayurveda at another school, and now are seeking credit transfer and admission into Kripalu’s Ayurvedic Health Counselor track, you will need to fill out the Kripalu School of Ayurveda application form and provide an official copy of your transcript to kripaluschools@kripalu.org.
  • Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Kripalu reserves the right to require a phone interview or request that you supplement your application, if needed, in order to arrive at an informed admissions decision. (Students who complete Foundations of Ayurveda and who wait more than 2 years before applying for the second part of the Ayurvedic Health Counselor track’s Clinical Training in Ayurveda will need to take and pass an entrance exam to ensure necessary content retention. Students seeking enrollment who completed their Foundations of Yoga equivalent training at another school will need to take the same entrance exam to ensure content knowledge.)
  • You will be notified of your admissions decision via email within two to four weeks of receipt of your application. If you do not have an email address, we will send your admissions decision by regular mail and call you to inform you of your status.
  • Programs often reach maximum capacity. If you are accepted in a training, and the course you are interested in is full, you may register for the waitlist by contacting kripaluschools@kripalu.org.
  • If you are accepted into the second part of the 650-Hour Ayurvedic Health Counselor program’s Clinical Training in Ayurveda, you will be given instructions on how to register in your acceptance letter.

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