Ayurvedic Medicine and Yoga Training online

San Diego College of Ayurveda, California is an International online training school with some courses recognized and registered with Yoga Alliance, International Association of Yoga Therapists and National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA).

Our courses are quite affordable, and, have been divided into two paths (we call it Tracks) in order to keep up with the different student audience, and to facilitate different students who want to sample an online course, or, move onto a deeper understanding by pursuing clinical Ayurveda diplomas.

Track A programs are shorter courses, leading to certificate in Yoga Therapy , and, Ayurvedic Nutrition and so on.

Now accepting applications for Track A- 100 Hours Block 1, and, Track B -150 Hours program beginning from January 2015.

Download Block 1 Information

Track B is a three level (tier) program with certificates being awarded at every level. You start at the beginning from Block 1 (150 Hours). Then, move on to a 600 Hour Ayurveda Counselor Certification. The student then moves onto the 1100 Hour Diplomas in Ayurvedic Wellness Practitioner which is Block 3 or Level 3. We are working on Ayurvedic Block 4 which will satisfy Ayurveda Doctor requirements as mandated by NAMA. Block 4 is scheduled to be out in 2016-2017.

Note: 90% of the courses are online and does not require travel. However, those Students who cannot travel for the limited onsite instructions, maybe allowed to do an externship in their own country, or city with an alternative health practitioner, who practices Ayurveda. However, these students are evaluated on a case by case basis in order to satisfy the NAMA requirements.

Training Delivery San Diego College of Ayurveda has a unique and flexible training delivery system that uses a hybrid format of distance learning and limited onsite campus classes. Block 2 and Block 3 use a hybrid format of distance learning and limited onsite campus classes. Students attend Block 1 can be completed 100% online. (Although we prefer at least one weekend onsite workshop with us)

We offer a lot of free courses on sanskrit, bhagavad gita and community workshops at different times. SDCOA teachers often use OLI, or, OPEN LEARNING INTITIATIVEcourses by Carnegie Mellon and incorporate that in their teachings. To learn more, check the website https://oli.cmu.edu/

Most of our courses are 100% online.

A limited coures have a Hybrid Training program with online classes and limited onsite classes in Orange County, San Diego or Dallas, Texas.

Answering Service 760-690-3802, 760-705-4291.

Please use the CONTACT FORM for quicker response time.

More Questions? Read our Frequently Asked Questions FAQ.

IMPORTANT: ADMISSIONS OPEN FOR NEXT BLOCK 1 150 Hour Ayurveda Foundation program from January 2015. Last date of enrollment - December 1st 2014. Please fill out the application form for block 1.

Shorter one day workshops are available to the community and public. Focus is on Women support, Post Partum Ayurvedic Support, Wellness after surgery through food, and so on. Register for nutrition or cooking workshop now.. Please note that community workshops have no certificates or credits. They include a light vegetarian lunch for participants.

Ayurveda and Western Nutrition - Student Blog part 2


Dietary management in western nutrition follows the US food guidelines, set forth by the FDA. Nutritionists help clients these guidelines to maintain healthy eating. The diet consists of various portions from different food groups. The good groups include “protein, grains, vegetables, fruits and dairy. Modifications are made to the guideline as needed to help patients manage several diseases. For example, for patients with diabetes, modification may include changes in rations of carbohydrates to proteins, with an overall daily intake of decreased carbohydrates and increased proteins. Based on the western concepts of nutrition, calorie intake is seen as significant and as a culture facing diseases like obesity and other “food related” disorders (metabolic syndromes), lower calorie intake is usually recommended.

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Importance of Protein - Ayurveda and Western Perspectives

Over the decades, Western Nutrition has become increasingly influenced by powerful agribusinesses. Meat, dairy, and grain lobbyists have become formidable forces that have shaped food guidelines and government policies.

Even more sinister perhaps, are drug companies that work hand-in-hand with meat, egg, and dairy farms. Together, these industries have done a phenomenal job of marketing the importance of their products in the diet of every American. Therefore, the Western diet places a heavy emphasis on protein, especially in the form of animal products—fish, dairy, eggs, and meat (marketed as the only complete sources of protein) as well as carbohydrates from breads and grains. Vegetables and fruits are given secondary importance. Furthermore, the Western diet is one that is “one-size-fits-all”. There is little to no attention paid to an individual’s unique physical characteristics, state of mind, age or gender.

Any variation of the Western diet that touts a novel approach to nutrition usually ends up in retrospect, as being labeled a crazy fad diet of yesteryear. Such diets push their own agendas, present skewed arguments and interpretations of science, and hawk their own dietary supplements, videos, and recipe books. At first, such diets are phenomenally successful. They create miraculous results for the small segment of society that can afford to buy into their philosophy and purchase their products. But this fame is short-lived as these diets’ serious scientific flaws are discovered--causing their failure, and rapid downfall. They quickly fade into obsolescence as they are deserted by even the most loyal devotees.

The final indignity dealt to these once-elite diets can be seen when their literature remains unclaimed at the bottom of the bin marked “FREE” at any neighborhood garage sale.

Ayurvedic Nutrition, on the other hand, is highly individualized. It takes into account the fact that each person has a specific prakruti, vikruti, personality, and distinct level of spiritual awareness. In addition to these factors, age, regionality, and season also function as modifiers of the Ayurvedic diet.

The tenets of Western diet have been pushed deeply into the collective psyche of the American people, starting with the introduction of the Food Pyramid at a young age. The modern twist of the pyramid, “My Plate” is hardly different in its dogmatic approach. Therefore, it is very difficult to convince the average Western diet that massive protein intake and animal products are not necessary for good health. However, as Ayurvedic Practitioners, we must take this challenge upon ourselves to change these ways of thinking by becoming tireless in our repetition of the eternal truths behind Ayurvedic principles and Vedic philosophy.

By Aparna Dandekar, D.O.

Ayurvedic Diet Principles Differ from Western Nutrition

In terms of differences, Western nutrition is focused on the mechanical composition of food and classifying those components. The emphasis is the amount of energy needed from a mechanical standpoint to combust food and is applied as a standard to how much energy the body will derive from food. The componentization of food starts at the macro to micro level and includes the derivation of very subtle components and their application toward disease and health. The effect of food is considered to be uniform for each individual regardless of additives and preparation.

Ayurveda, by contrast, is focused on the composition of foods from the cosmological and the effect of that food on all levels of the body including the various digestive affects, inner state, and physical manifestations. The componentization of food is derived from the taste of the food and its effects on the body instead of externalization in a lab. The environment, individual impact, and preparation is of vital importance to the effect of the food itself.

Since the emphasis of these two perspectives is so different, there can be challenges when presenting Ayurvedic Nutrition to Westerners who know nothing but Western nutrition. One of the challenges is the simple acceptance of the model itself. Telling Vata-types to eat a heavier grounding foods that may be very sattvic, grounding, and Vata-reducing is hard to accept when the Western nutrition mindset typically says that fats are not great for health. This requires a delicate, but intentional presentation of Ayurveda concepts in a way that educates, but doesn’t overwhelm. One can’t argue with results.

Another challenge that arises is the patience and motivation necessary to follow a food based Ayurveda Nutrition path than the almost prescription model of nutrition in the West. This is an extension of the magic potion mentality prevalent in Western thought that one can take a pill, not make any lifestyle evaluation or changes, and still achieve health.

By contrast, the Ayurveda nutrition model can be seen as more difficult because it asks that not only you examine what you eat and evaluate its impact, but that you must look at its preparation and the environment in which it is consumed. One of the keys to attending to this is to start slowly with the suggested changes so as to not overwhelm and let the results build and motivate (and create trust) as you continue to add additional changes.

Rishi Forrester
Ayurveda and Holistic Herbs Practitioner
(AWP Block 2 Student)

Ayurvedic and Western Nutrition

As I meditate on the many differences between Western Nutrition and Ayurvedic nutrition, I am overwhelmed at the numbers. The difference that is impacting me the most right now is the difference in living and lifeless food. In western nutrition the focus on calories and nutrients relies on over processed over packaged “food” that contains no familiarity to the food this product used to be. If you go to the grocery stores you can see “whole grain” cereals or breads.

Where is the whole grain after it has been genetically modified, harvested months or years in advance, bleached, processed, enriched, colored, molded and made into “low calorie”? The same can be said of fruits and legumes canned, of homogenized, pasteurized milks and juices, dessert yogurt! The list obviously goes on and on. Parents are routinely feeding their children breakfast cereals and chicken fingers. The point is the food is dead. Western nutrition may have ways of adding nutrients back into a box of chocolate cereal for your kids, but at the end of the day it is still empty calories, where is the Rasa? The nourishment? How can we expect to receive satiation from lifeless food?

Leah Jones
SDCOA 500 HR Course

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