Foundations of Āyurveda Part I – Complete Course

This multi-media course includes a combination of 51.5 hours of video presented by Dr. Welch and Dr. Svoboda, accompanying handouts, end of lesson quizzes and a course certificate. We conduct an in-depth exploration of the language and foundational principles and concepts of Āyurveda.

If you are able to fully understand and digest this course, together with Foundations of Āyurveda Part II, they are comparable to a semester of Āyurvedic in-person training. Together they provide a comprehensive, strong foundation in the principles of Āyurveda, sufficient to prepare students to incorporate more subtle Āyurveda concepts and practices into a yoga practice, an established medical practice, or to go on to pursue clinical study in Āyurveda.

You can begin this course any time you wish and take up to a year to complete it. You can complete the course on its own, or combined with our private or group tutoring. To get the most out of it you will need to take your time.

While a couple decades ago, it was hard to find any information on Āyurveda in the West at all, today we face a different challenge. There are so many  Āyurvedic educational resources that it can be daunting to find ones we trust to be accurate, authentic, and well-organized. It took years for Drs. Svoboda and Welch to obtain, assimilate, practice, and organize this knowledge in a manner that the Western mind may readily grasp. The potency of this course lies in its enlivened, organized, concise delivery of in-depth, authentic information and knowledge, based in rich experience.

Dr. Claudia Welch and Dr. Robert Svoboda combined have more than half a century of practicing and teaching Āyurveda. They have taught introductory, advanced, and clinical material. They have taught students with no prior knowledge of Āyurveda as well as advanced students and practitioners. They have taught students with no prior medical training and have taught MDs. In this course, they present material that is essential for anyone who chooses to pursue more advanced Āyurvedic studies. And you can learn at home, in your pajamas if you like, on your own schedule, without the disruptive physical, emotional and financial costs of traveling elsewhere to study.

If you have already studied Āyurveda and would just like to review certain subjects, consider taking just the parts of this course that you would like to review. All sections are available as stand-alone lessons. (Just please note that each of those stand-alone lessons is taken out of the context of the entire course, so may contain references to material presented earlier or later in the course).


Sample Video

For a little taste of what to expect before you sign up, here is a little introduction to Dr. Welch & Dr. Svoboda, recorded at the taping of this course.



This course may be a good option for you if:

  •  you are new to Āyurveda and looking to begin an in-depth study of it. Possibly you are considering eventually working with patients or adding Āyurveda to your already existing health-care practice. This is an intensive course.
  • you want to take Foundations of Āyurveda Part II. Foundations of Āyurveda Part I, or comparable education, is a prerequisite for the Foundations of Āyurveda Part II course, also taught by Dr. Welch and Dr. Svoboda.
  • you are already familiar with the learning outcomes for this course but are interested to gain new perspectives and insights on or review topics with which you are not completely comfortable. You can do this by either taking the full course, or individual lessons. We have had students who had graduated from some very fine two-year, in-person institutes and schools of Āyurveda and still reported benefit and deepening of knowledge from taking this entire course and its sequel, “Foundations of Āyurveda Part II.” Dr. Svoboda and Dr. Welch explore traditional and unique ways of approaching this material that even some seasoned practitioners find useful. Here are some quotes from students who took both this course, and Part II after attending various, reputable 2-year schools and institutes of Āyurveda:

    “I [graduated from a reputable 2-year-long school of Āyurveda]…and it was overwhelming. I thought I got it but then when I [took Foundations of Āyurveda Part I] and we learned everything we were taught [in that course], it started to click into place for me. And this time [taking Foundations of Āyurveda Part II]… doing the srotāṃsi —I didn’t quite get it [before]—I didn’t take that into my practice because I was afraid I didn’t really grasp it, but its coming into place now, and its so amazing! There’s so much more detail and its really helping me grasp it…I’m getting it now, which is so fabulous!” -Student of Foundations of Āyurveda I & II

    “I [graduated from a reputable 2-year school of Āyurveda] with a sense of things but I didn’t necessarily have them integrated into myself. [Foundations of Āyurveda I & II] are really helping me to take it more into the intuition of my body and my mind than just strictly rote learning. It’s a really good thing to reintegrate the information.” -Student of Foundations of Āyurveda I & II

    If you are more interested in improving your own personal health and daily practices than in studying Āyurveda more extensively, Dr. Welch’s Healthier Hormones course might be a better starting point – whether you are a man or a woman.


This online course consists of 11 lessons, each containing one or more videos of Dr. Welch and Dr. Svoboda teaching, a lesson handout and an end of lesson quiz. There is also a course discussion forum where you can discuss your learning with fellow students. (Kindly note that this course used to be named, “Advanced Introduction to Beginning Āyurveda.“)

Lesson 1 – Introduction

Learning Objectives:

1. Know and understand the definition of Āyurveda.

2. Know the definition of dinacaryā

3. Know and have an introductory understanding of how exercise, falling in love, focus, rest, and eating well can all be used to support learning new information.

Lesson 2 – Philosophy of Āyurveda: 4 Aims & Stages of Life, & Sāṃkhya Philosophy

Learning Objectives:

1. Have an introductory understanding of the philosophical foundation of Āyurveda, including the 4 Aims and Stages of Life (dharma, artha, kāmamokṣa/brahmacaryā, gṛhastha, vanavāsa or vānaprasthasaṃnyāsa

2. List and have an introductory understanding of the main elements of sāṃkhya philosophy: (avyaktipuruṣaprakṛtimahadbuddhiahaṃkārasattva: 5 sense faculties + 5 faculties of action + mind; rajas; tamas: 5 tanmātras—sound/śabda, touch/sparśa, form/rūpa, taste/rasa, odor/gandha associated with the 5 elements/mahābhūtas—space/ākāśa, air/vāyu, fire/agni, water/āpas and earth/pṛthvī).

Lesson 3 – The 5 Elements & 20 Guṇas

Learning Objectives:

1. List and have an introductory understanding of the 5 elements/mahābhūtas—space/ākāśa, air/vāyu, fire/agni, water/āpas and earth/pṛthvī).

2. List the 10 pairs of guṇas, in English and Sanskrit.

Lesson 4 – Tridoṣic Theory

Learning Objectives:

1. Be familiar with tridoṣic theory: Have an introductory understanding of the relationship between microcosmic and macrocosmic relationship between the triadic octaves of reality: anila, sūrya, soma vs. prāṇa, tejas, ojas, vs. vāta, pitta, kapha–tridoṣic theory.

2. List the times of day and age associated with each doṣa.

3. List the elements associated with each doṣa and each of the 6 tastes.

Lesson 5 – Vāta: The Mobile Force, Corresponding Sites & Subtypes

Learning Objectives:

1. List the guṇas (qualities) of vāta.

2. Know the main sites of vāta accumulation in the body.

3. List the main functions of vāta.

4. Know the general causes of vāta imbalance.

5. Know the 5 subtypes of vāta and their main sites, functions and directions of their movements (for vāta).

6. Know the main therapeutic site for vāta.

Lesson 6 – Pitta: The Transformational Force, Corresponding Sites & Subtypes

Learning Objectives:

1. List the guṇas (qualities) of pitta.

2. Know the main sites of pitta accumulation in the body.

3. List the main functions of pitta.

4. Know the general causes of pitta imbalance.

5. Know the 5 subtypes of pitta and their main sites, and functions.

6. Know the main therapeutic site for pitta.

Lesson 7 – Kapha: The Stabilizing Force, Corresponding Sites & Subtypes

Learning Objectives:

1. List the guṇas (qualities) of kapha.

2. Know the main sites of kapha accumulation in the body.

3. List the main functions of kapha.

4. Know the general causes of kapha imbalance.

5. Know the 5 subtypes of kapha and their main sites, and functions.

6. Know the main therapeutic site for kapha.

Lesson 8 – Prakṛti: Your Ayurvedic Constitution

Learning Objectives:

1. Know and understand the meaning of prakṛti and the 7 main categories of prakṛti.

2. Be able to determine probable physical prakṛti.

3. Be able to list etiological factors that affect prakṛti.

Lesson 9 – Vikṛti: Current Condition

Learning Objectives:

1. Be able to define vikṛti.

2. Be able to determine probable vikṛti.

3. Be able to list etiological factors that affect vikṛti.

Lesson 10 – Agni & Āma

Learning Objectives:

1. Define agni.

2. List the qualities and functions of agni.

3. List at least 10 signs of healthy agni.

4. List at least 10 indications that agni is impaired.

5. Name the 4 clinical classifications of agni and understand their probable physiological effects.

6. Define āma and understand how it is formed.

7. List possible causes of āma formation, symptoms associated with the presence of āma and possible remedies.

Lesson 11 – A Look at How Doṣas can Aggravate Each Other; Gentle Pacification Techniques; Dinacaryā

Learning Objectives:

1. Understand how the doṣas “push” or provoke each other.

2. Define śamana.

3. List and describe the sapta (7) śamana (doṣa-palliative) techniques: (thirst, wind bath, sun bath, dīpana, pācana, hunger, exercise).

4. Be familiar with the basic components of dinacaryā.


By the end of this course, if you have kept up with the memorization and study needed to assimilate what is taught, you will be familiar with the following principles:

  • The salient points of the philosophies that pervade Āyurveda, including the four aims and stages of life and sāṃkhya philosophy.
  • The five tattvas or mahābhūtas (elements)
  • The twenty guṇas (qualities)
  • The three doṣas
  • The fifteen subdoṣas
  • Causes of disorder in the doṣas and subdoṣas
  • Possible options to resolve the disorders
  • Understanding and determining prakṛti (your Āyurvedic constitution)
  • Understanding, determining, and resolving vikṛti (your current condition)
  • Agni—the digestive fire
  • Āma—morbid material in the body: how it arises and can be resolved
  • Śamana: Gentle ways to restore balance to health
  • Dinacaryā: Healthy daily routines
  • Khavaiguṇya – Defective spaces in the body

When can I begin this course?

Anytime. Now. Tomorrow. The next day. Anytime that is convenient for you.

How long will it take me to do the whole course?

We estimate that it will take 51.5 hours to go through the entire course and material one time but it may take more. We highly recommend you take your time with the material, and review it as much as you need to feel very comfortable with it, before moving on to Foundations of Āyurveda Part II. Students who have taken this course report benefiting from listening to the lessons and reviewing the material multiple times. You will have access to the course for one year from the time you register.

How much does it cost?

$755 USD

How long will I have access to the course?

For one year. You can extend access to it for another year for 50% off the original price.

What if I have questions?

If you have questions about course content as you go along and would like support, there are a few options:

  • you can try posting your questions on the course discussion forum, where you can discuss your learning with fellow students. The link to the discussion forum for each course appears in the right hand column on the course page and all the lessons for that course.
  • you can sign up for a tutoring option
  • If you have other questions, feel free to contact us.
  • If you need technical support with the website or course, please contact our webmasters at Barn2 Media by emailing

Are there any required textbooks?

No. You can go through this course without any outside textbook, but we do recommend having Dr. Vasant Lad’s Textbook of Ayurveda, Volume 1: Fundamental Principles of Ayurveda for a reference and supplement. Throughout our lessons we suggest recommended readings from this book. The purposes of these readings are both to increase understanding of the subject matter, and to provide additional perspectives on and approaches to the material. By reading various texts and authors, we can become clearer on what material is so standard that everybody agrees on it and perceives it roughly the same way, and what material is subject to varied interpretations or lends itself to varied approaches. It is helpful to keep in mind that models of disease and health are not reality. They are simply sincere attempts at describing reality. Therefore some models, approaches, or perspectives are more elegant representations of reality than others for each possible situation, condition or disease.

What if I need more help?

We have two options for this. One is private, one-on-one tutoring. The other is to join a group Q&Q call. There are benefits to either option.

Will we have live access to Dr. Welch or Dr. Svoboda?

They might – on the rare occasion – throw a surprise Q&A call, to which students of the course would be invited.

Are there quizzes?

Yes. There is a quiz at the end of each of the 11 lessons. After quiz #11, there is a final exam. They are not tricky questions. In fact, they are decidedly un-tricky. All quiz questions cover the stated objectives listed for each section. There is a final exam for those who successfully complete all the lessons. All passing grades are 80%.

Can I have a certificate of completion?

Yes. Once you have successfully completed the course, quizzes and exams, you will have the option to print out a certificate that will include your name, the name of the course and the number of course hours. (If you purchase and complete an individual lesson, you will also have the option to print out a certificate for that lesson). Please download, save and print out your certificate before your access to the course expires. Even if you don’t want it now, you might want it later. If you don’t download your certificate before your access to the course expires, you can request it in the future but we may no longer have access to it and, if we do, it takes some fiddling and time to get one for and to you, so there will be a $50 administration fee for this service.

Is it legal to practice Āyurveda?

Laws differ, not only from country to country, but often between states, provinces, or other localities. We are not able to provide you information about the laws where you reside. Each of us needs to educate ourselves about the laws that apply in our own location, and determine if and how Āyurveda can be practiced legally and safely there. If you are a citizen of the United States (US), there is currently no licensure in any state within the US. Please see the website National Āyurvedic Medical Association (NAMA) for more information relevant to the US. .

Does this course—or its individual lessons—count towards educational requirements for becoming an Āyurvedic professional?

Within the United States (US), the (short) answer is, “yes.” (Read on for important elaboration on this). We are unable to answer this question relevant to countries other than the US.

Āyurveda is not currently licensed in the US. Therefore, the only thing you are legally required to do is to be aware of federal and local regulations that may apply to you, and practice (or not) accordingly. There is, however, a US organization—National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA)—that has been working since 1998 to implement licensure for Āyurvedic professionals. Towards this end, NAMA has designated, and set requirements for, three levels of Āyurvedic professionals, in order of increasing educational requirements and scope of practice: Āyurvedic Health Counselor, Āyurvedic Practitioner, and Āyurvedic Doctor. NAMA standards seem to have set the standards by which students of Āyurveda now often attempt to abide. If you wish to comply to NAMA standards, this information will be pertinent to you.

Both Āyurvedic Foundations Parts I and II—in their entirety—are approved by NAMA as programs that count towards the educational requirements for all three of NAMA’s professional levels. If you want to receive NAMA credits, you will need to upload your certificate of completion into your NAMA account, and fill out a course evaluation on NAMA’s website.

Individual lessons within these courses could be used to count towards your educational requirements, however, you would be required to complete more paperwork through NAMA and there would be an additional fee for NAMA to process the paperwork.

For more information about the NAMA defined professional levels, educational requirements, or NAMA requirements, please consult NAMA.

Dr. Claudia is an Organizational Member of NAMA, is an approved provider of Peripheral / Supporting Programs (possibly a confusing title, since these programs would not be peripheral to your education).

I am already a NAMA-certified Āyurvedic professional. Can I get NAMA CEU credits (called, “PACE” credits) for this course or its individual lessons?


Both Āyurvedic Foundations Parts I and II—in their entirety—are approved by NAMA as both Peripheral / Supporting Programs, and as NAMA PACE (Professional Āyurvedic Continuing Education) courses, that provide NAMA professionals with NAMA approved CEUs without additional fees. If you want to receive NAMA credits, you will need to upload your certificate of completion into your NAMA account, and fill out a course evaluation on NAMA’s website.

Even without NAMA PACE approval, NAMA professionals can use all of Dr. Welch’s other courses (including the stand-alone lessons) for NAMA PACE credits in either of the following two ways:

  1. No fee method: You can use the hours from Dr. Welch’s courses without additional NAMA fees by applying the course hours to the NAMA category called “Other Topics in Wellness”. You will need to submit your certificate of course completion, which we provide to you upon completion of the course, and fill out a course evaluation on NAMA’s website. However, only up to 30% of your PACE credit requirements can be filled this way.
  2. Nominal NAMA fee required: If you want to use Dr. Welch’s courses that are not yet NAMA-approved PACE programs, to count for your PACE credit requirements in the category of “Topics in Āyurveda,” you will need to submit your certificate of course completion, (that we provide to you upon completion of the course), fill out a course evaluation on NAMA’s website, and pay NAMA a processing fee. (This fee was $25 in 2016. You will need to inquire what their current fee is.)

I am already familiar with a lot of the learning objectives of this course. Can I take one individual lesson instead of the entire course?

Yes. You can purchase and complete any of the individual lessons.

However we invite you to consider that even Āyurvedic Health Counselors and Āyurvedic Practitioners who have graduated from reputable 2-year, full-time programs and have been in active practices, report learning a lot from taking this entire course. The reason for this is in part the vastness and profundity of Āyurveda which takes time to absorb and assimilate, and it is in part the education, experience, and wisdom of Drs Svoboda and Welch. Either Dr. Svoboda or Dr. Welch, on their own provide a level of excellence in teaching that few have attained. Together, the richness and synergy of their combined teaching is especially rare and may yield fresh insight to topics with which you are already familiar.

How long is each individual lesson?

Lesson 1:  1.6 hrs

Lesson 2:  5 hrs

Lesson 3:  2.9 hrs

Lesson 4:  2.8 hrs

Lesson 5:  8.8 hrs

Lesson 6:  4.8 hrs

Lesson 7:  5.6 hrs

Lesson 8:  4.7 hrs

Lesson 9:  2.3 hrs

Lesson 10:  2.8 hrs

Lesson 11:  6.8 hrs

Does this course fulfill the requirements for CEUs for licensed health care practitioners that are not Ayurvedic professionals?

At this time we are not pre-approved CEU providers for health care professions other than the field of Āyurveda. However, you will have your certificate of completion, which will provide the title of the course, your name, and course hours. This may or may not be sufficient for the organization requiring your CEUs. We encourage you to contact your organization to determine what we could do to support you getting CEU credits for Dr. Welch’s programs. If there is additional documentation that you need, we’d be happy to support you with this for a nominal fee. What that nominal fee would be, depends on the documentation you would need. Please contact our office if you have any questions about this.

What is your refund policy?

Because we have a small store and a small staff, we do not accept returns, nor do we offer refunds or credit for  returned items. This includes our online courses. However, we have tried to give clear descriptions of the courses on the course pages available before purchase so, if you have questions about whether the course will be right for you, it might be good to carefully review that information and let us know if you have questions or concerns before you register for the course.

Is there an option for financing?

Yes. You can use the PayPal finance option to pay, when you purchase the course. The PayPal finance option has 0 payments and 0 interest if you pay within 6 months (subject to PayPal credit approval). Beyond 6 months, there would be a 19.99 % interest rate. To chose this option, when you go through the checkout line you will reach the PayPal page where you can choose to pay via your own credit card, via your PayPal account, or via PayPal Credit. Choose PayPal credit. If you haven’t done this before, PayPal will ask some questions to check your credit before approving. Once approved, your transaction will go through and you will have access to the course without needing to pay anything for 6 months. However, to get the 0 interest rate, please remember to pay what you can at the end of the 6 months.

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