If you think that the only distance learning course programs you can find are for Information Technologies or training to be a mechanic, but feel called to do something to help people in other ways, you are in luck! You can start your journey to becoming a practitioner of Ayurveda through several distance learning course options.

Ayurveda distance learning course programs are slowly starting to crop up nationally. Ayurveda is a healing science from India and translates to mean, “The Science of Life”. It has been practiced for over 5,000 years and takes a holistic approach to healing the body. Ayurvedic theory states that the key to vitality and well-being include building a healthy metabolic system, attaining good digestion, and proper excretion. Focus is also on exercise, which includes yoga and meditation.

Ayurveda believes that health and disease are the end result of our interactions with the world, such as thoughts, beliefs and feelings, which all determine our actions. Actions we take that are harmonious with our inner nature will garner health, whereas actions that are not harmonious with our inner nature will cause disease. Therefore, Ayurveda holds the belief that health will be abundant when we are living within the true nature of our spirit.

The National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA) is the national entity that lists Ayurvedic schools as being recognized as teaching institutes that offer a quality education. There are currently 18 schools listed with NAMA, and 5 of them advertise with the website as offering distance learning course programs. A few more do not advertise distance learning course programs on the NAMA site, but state they offer it on their private websites.

Most Ayurvedic Schools offer three levels of programs, with the first two levels, theory of Ayurveda, being distance learning course options. The third level is clinical internship, so necessitate a physical presence. Those looking to just gain knowledge of Ayurveda to enhance their career, or find out if Ayurveda is a good career choice for them, may find that the first two levels are sufficient. Those who decide that they want to practice Ayurveda professionally will need to complete level 3, which consists of clinical internship hours. You may be able to arrange to do those with an Ayurveda practitioner near you, so the best thing to do is check with the school whose distance learning course program you are planning to attend.

In general, your distance learning course program for level 1 will include study of healing through herbs, diet, aromatherapy, color, sound and other lifestyle changes. Meditation and yoga are also two areas of study with which you will become familiar. In general, this is a good option for those who are looking to integrate Ayurvedic knowledge with their current massage or yoga certification, or those with other health care degrees.

Level 2 will be a distance learning course program that will delve further into things such as diagnostics and disease management. Once you have completed Level 2 you will have gone as far as you can in terms of distance learning options, as Level 3 will require physical participation. This means that you cannot practice as an Ayurvedic practitioner until you have completed the 3rd level.

For those who already have their undergraduate degree, you can use the distance online course programs to obtain your Masters degree in Ayurveda. If you complete Levels 1 and 2, you will be eligible to apply for your Master’s through Hindu University of America, which is an International Hindu Vedic University. Again, you will still not be able to practice as an Ayurvedic practitioner until you complete your clinical internship. This may, however, be a great option for those looking to add that level of mastery to enhance their existing careers in natural healing.

For more information, please visit the National Ayurvedic Medical Association website: http://ayurvedanama.org/