What Does an Ayurvedic Health Counselor Do?

Kripalu School of Ayurveda

One of the most frequently asked questions in the Kripalu School of Ayurveda (KSA) is, “What can I do with an Ayurvedic Health Counselor Certification?”

And my answer is always, “You can do as much as your imagination allows you to.”

The reality is that there is no single, clear path, as opposed to graduating from nursing school, when your next steps would be well defined. Ayurveda practice is a burgeoning profession; the National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA) is forging the way in professional licensure, by establishing scopes of practice and board exams and rolling out accreditation for Ayurvedic schools.

Here’s what my path looked like as a graduate of KSA: I started my career providing consultations out of my home and at a local yoga studio, and leading workshops on topics such as Introduction to Ayurveda and Surviving the Stress of the Holiday Season. I spent two years as the KSA Intern here at Kripalu, and then segued into the Academic Coordinator position before becoming the Dean of the School. What I love most about my job as Dean is celebrating our alumni and all the incredible work they’re doing in their communities, spreading the transformative wisdom and practices of Ayurveda.

Here’s a look at where some of our alumni have taken their Ayurvedic training.

Clients and Classes

Kelly Rich lives in Portland, Maine, and sees clients in person or via Skype. I am inspired by how she crafts incredibly creative retreats that include yoga, Ayurveda, and tarot. If you live in Maine, don’t miss her outdoor yoga classes at Bug Light Park in South Portland during the warm months.

Ayurveda for Animals

Laurie Dohmen and Kris August are veterinarians who incorporate Ayurveda and other holistic modalities into their lives and the lives of their animals and animal patients. I was so excited when they attended the School, and as a dog lover, I am thrilled that they are spreading Ayurveda to our furry friends. Read more about their work here.

Training and Writing

Our friends to the north are also sharing the wisdom of Ayurveda. Mona Warner leads 200- and 300-hour yoga teacher trainings in Kingston, Ontario, and provides Ayurvedic consultations to individuals and families. She teaches weekly Ayurveda Yoga classes and published her first book, Ayurvedic Yoga: 3 Approaches to Teaching Ayurvedic Yoga. She offers annual retreats and lots of free stuff on her website, so you don’t have to go to Canada to learn from Mona.

Ayurvedic Diet and Cooking

Claudia Gukeisen, an Ayurvedic Health Counselor and 500-hour yoga teacher, also studied Ayurvedic nutrition and culinary arts, and now offers private cooking classes and diet and lifestyle consultations through Izlind Integrative Wellness in Rhinebeck, New York, and the Center for Health and Healing in Mount Kisco, New York. She and her husband are developing an app that allows Ayurvedic practitioners to upload treatment plans, so their clients have easy access to them at all times.

Ayurvedic Psychology

It makes perfect sense for a mental-health practitioner to have a comprehensive understanding of the mind-body connection through the lens of Ayurveda. Ayurvedic Health Counselor and Harvard-affiliated psychiatrist Marni Chanoff provides integrative mental-health care in Boston. I had the pleasure of seeing Marni present at the NAMA Conference in April, and she is phenomenal.

Collaborative Offerings

Caryn O’Hara resides in Charleston, South Carolina, and is working to spread Ayurveda through workshops, retreats, and publications. I love how Caryn collaborates with other leaders in the field to create community workshops and retreats, and participates in Charleston events like the annual Wine and Food Festival.

Ayurveda International

KSA attracts a global studentship. If you find yourself across the pond, make your way to Charlotte Bell's Nourish.Hq, a homestead farm and Bhakti Yoga retreat center in North Yorkshire, to savor organic food and participate in seasonal yoga and Ayurveda retreats. Charlotte provides Ayurvedic consultations that focus on living in rhythm with the seasons. Stefka Regelous harvests roses in Bulgaria’s Rose Valley to distill into rose water and other organic products. Lisa Sommer lives in Switzerland, where she offers Ayurvedic lifestyle consultations and teaches yoga.

We have lots more graduates who are doing lots more amazing things—taking people on trips to India, writing cookbooks, providing Ayurvedic bodywork, creating Ayurvedic skin-care products … the list goes on. Ayurveda is a calling, and the possibilities are endless.

Find out more about the Kripalu School of Ayurveda.

Erin Casperson is the Dean of the Kripalu School of Ayurveda, an Ayurvedic Health Counselor, and a 500-hour Kripalu Yoga teacher.

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