Course outline

This 2 week course held at Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dhanwantari Ashram, Neyyar Dam is an introduction to Ayurveda, the Science of Life, an ancient Indian holistic approach to achieving and maintaining good health.

The purpose of the course is to give a beginners understanding of the principles of Ayurveda such that one can adjust one's own lifestyle, and share beneficial information with family, friends, colleagues, for improved health.

The course will cover not only the main principle of Tridosha (one's natural state of being and imbalances) and simple therapeutic medicinal and massage treatments, but will also look at preventative lifestyle where consideration is given to one's age, the seasons, climate etc. Students are also expected to participate in the daily ashram schedule including meditation, chanting, selfless service, asana and pranayama.

The course is conducted in English with many Sanskrit terms.
The course content does not necessarily reflect the teachings and views of the International Yoga Vedanta Centres (ISYVC)

The Teachers

Dr L. Mahadevan BAMS, MD - belongs to a family tradition of Ayurvedic practitioners. He is based at the Sri Sarada Ayurvedic Hospital, established by his grandfather. He is well known for his in depth knowledge of the principles of Ayurveda and his engaging teaching style. He is conducting research on clinical neurology and panchakarma and has published eight books on Ayurveda including 'Ayurveda for Beginners'.

Dr K. Chidambaram BAMS - practices at the Sri Sarada Ayurvedic Hospital. Apart from clinical medicine Dr Chidambaram has given lecture demonstrations on traditional methods of preparation of ancient Indian medicines and food preparation.


Dr Vishnu - resident doctor at Sivananda Institute of Health (SIH), Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dhanwantari Ashram, Neyyar Dam. He is responsible for the day to day care of the patients at the SIH. He is also the coordinator and teacher for AWC and other Ayurveda programmes.



  • Introduction to Ayurveda
  • General history of Ayurveda
  • Fundamental principles of Ayurveda
  • Tridosha theory
  • Tridosha theory in relation to day, age and digestion
  • Introduction to Dhatu
  • Agni
  • Understanding prakruti, i.e., mind body constitution
  • Preventive life
  • Seasonal routine
  • Daily routine
  • Dietetics in Ayurveda
  • Concept of Shad rasa (Six taste theory)
  • Concept of Gunas
  • Treatment principles
  • Introduction to Panchakarma
  • Introduction to Massage therapy
  • Ayurvedic dry massage
  • Ayurvedic oil massage
  • Nasya
  • Concept of mind in Ayurveda
  • Preparation of home remedies
  • Fundamentals of yoga
  • Basic yogasanas, Surya namaskar
  • Ayurvedic cooking
  • Ayurvedic home remedy food preparations
  • Lehya, taila preparation, etc.

The text book, 'Ayurveda for Beginners' by Dr L. Mahadevan is included in the course fee.

Practical sessions in:

  • Ayurvedic cooking
  • Preparation of home remedies
  • Ayurvedic massage - basic points

Yoga - through the satsangs, asana / pranayama classes and karma yoga, participants on the course will be introduced to the spiritual teachings of H.H. Swami Sivananda and Swami Vishnudevananda.


Daily Schedule

05:20 hrs Wake up
06:00 hrs Satsang
07:30 hrs Tea
08:00 hrs Asana, pranayama class
10:00 hrs Brunch
11:00 hrs Karma yoga
12:00 hrs Ayurveda lecture
13:30 hrs Tea
14:00 hrs Ayurveda lecture
16:00 hrs Ayurveda workshop / practicals
18:00 hrs Dinner
20:00 hrs Satsang
22:00 hrs Lights out

Attendance of the entire daily schedule is mandatory.

There are no days off during the course of the program, however there will be a field trip providing opportunity to experience some of the surrounding area and local culture.

Definition of Terms

  • Satsang: Satsang consists of silent meditation, chanting and a talk or reading on the philosophy of yoga and Vedanta. It will help you develop a strong and steady meditation practice.
  • Asana class: There are usually both beginners and intermediate classes running at the ashram. For those with no experience or experience from another school are recommended to join the beginners classes where the basic pranayama, sun salutation, and the twelve basic postures are taught in a systematic step by step manner.
  • Pranayama: Basic practice of kapalabhati, anuloma viloma (alternate nostril breathing).
  • Karma yoga: Karma yoga is the practice of selfless service which helps guests to feel part of the ashram. You are expected to do up to one hour of selfless service per day within ashram.
  • Chanting (kirtan): Opens the heart and purifies the mind. Correct pronunciation of Sanskrit and a devotional attitude is important.
  • Meditation: Guideline to meditation. Benefits of meditation. The use of mantras and mantra initiation.
  • Brunch/Dinner: Simple Indian style vegetarian meals.

Course Dates and Donations

For a list of upcoming course dates and donations click here.


Accommodation is simple, mainly dormitory space. A small number of shared twin rooms with private bathroom are available at Neyyar Dam. We cannot guarantee twin room bookings. Those requiring twin rooms should book early. Separate dormitory space for men and ladies. Tent space is available. Please bring your own tent. Bathroom facilities are with cold water only.

Single accommodation is not available.

Two sheets, a pillow, pillowcases and mosquito net are provided.

Click here for a description of accommodation.


See How to Register for instructions on applying and paying for courses and programmes.

Dates and donations are subject to change without notice. For all programs, guests are subject to the suggested donation in effect at the time of final payment.

To maintain the spiritual atmosphere we ask all ashram guests to comply with the ashram rules. Kindly refer to the Ashram rules and guidelines for more information. The ashram reserves the right of admission and students may be asked to leave if their behaviour goes against the ashrams rules and teachings.

Refund Policy

If you cancel your registration before the stat of the course we will refund your original payment less an administration fee of US $150.

For a no show, no refund will be issued.

Once the course starts, if you decide to leave within 5 days, we will refund your original payment less an administration fee of US $450. After 5 days no refunds will be issued.

Students leaving the course before completion are required to return all teaching materials and uniforms.

What to Bring

Comfortable clothes, sandals, toiletries, personal items, meditation shawl for cool evenings, yoga asana mat or pad, meditation cushion, notebooks, pens, towels and a torch.

These items can usually be purchased in the ashram boutique.

Two uniforms and the text book, 'Ayurveda for Beginners' by Dr Mahadevan, are included in the course donation.


Foreign Nationals are required to bring their original passport with a valid visa for India.

Further Sivananda Courses

Ayurveda Wellness Course participants may be interested in the Fasting and Detoxification Program and the Yoga Teachers' Training Course (TTC).

Upcoming Events

Panchakarma Detoxification Programme


  • 01 Jul – 15 Jul 2017

More Info

Sadhana Mandalam

Sadhana Mandalam

  • 01 Aug - 10 Sep 2017

More Info