Foundations of Āyurveda Part II – Complete Course

About this course

In this multi-media course, Dr. Robert Svoboda and Dr. Claudia Welch explore Āyurvedic perspectives on how our bodies and minds are structured, organized, nourished and operate, and how to cultivate diagnostic ability. We pick up where Foundations of Āyurveda Part I left off, applying the language and  concepts we learned there in practical, tangible ways. Foundations of Āyurveda Part II provides an in-depth exploration of the intermediate principles of Āyurveda, such that both students new to, and practiced in Āyurveda can find them enlivened, expanded, or reinforced.

If you are able to fully understand and digest this course, together with Foundations of Āyurveda Part I, they are comparable to a semester of Āyurvedic in-person training and provide a comprehensive, strong foundation in the principles of Āyurveda. Completion of both courses prepares students to incorporate Āyurveda into a yoga practice, an established medical practice, or to go on to learn to apply them clinically.

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 video on this page gives you a brief insight into their long journeys and varied experiences). 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 would like to use our Foundations of Ayurveda courses as part of your education towards NAMA or other certification, the option available is to take our Foundations courses and then go on to complete your other requirements through an institution we’ve partnered with that will accept our credits as transfer credits. If you would like a list of these partner institutions, kindly contact us. We’ve listed more information on licensing and certification possibilities here.

You can begin this course any time you wish and take up to a year to complete it. (For options for longer access, see “How long will it take me to do the whole course & how long will I have access to it?” in the FAQs below). You will have indefinite access to live Q&As with Drs. Welch & SvobodaYou 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.

Sample Video

Drs. Svoboda and Welch answer the question, “When you learned Āyurveda, was it as condensed and concise as the information you present in this course?”

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 (coming soon). 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.


Foundations of Āyurveda Part I or equivalent education. If you are not sure whether or not you have equivalent education, you can click on the green, “Course Structure” tab on the Foundations of Āyurveda Part I course page to see what it covers. If you are not completely comfortable with that material, we suggest either taking that entire course or just the lessons you feel you could use to review. We strongly recommend you be very comfortable with all the Foundations of Āyurveda Part I material before taking this course.


This course may be a good option for you if:

  •  you have completed Foundations of Āyurveda Part I— or equivalent education– and  want to continue in-depth study of Āyurveda. This is an intensive course and, as with Foundations I, to get the most out of it you will need to take your time.
  • you are already familiar with the learning outcomes for this course. It may still be quite beneficial to review topics you are not completely comfortable with or gain new perspectives and insights. 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 course. 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 have taken this course:

    “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

    “[This course] is helpful. [In my previous training in a reputable 2-year institute of Āyurveda] we did have to …know the mūla, mārga and mukhas [of the srotāṃsi] by heart–that was part of our curriculum—but I think what’s really particularly nice is how much time [in Foundations of Āyurveda Part II] we take to explore the different avenues and, for me, there’s a lot of questions or places I get to explore: Even just knowing, for example ..that there are a lot of srotāṃsi —these are just 13 of them.  Exploring and playing with the concepts –which I think that you two [Dr. Svoboda and Dr. Welch] are particularly strong at…taking the basics but allowing it to expand and go beyond that. That’s what I really appreciate. So thank you.” –Student of Foundations of Āyurveda II

    …it was fun to listen to Drs. Welch and Svoboda share their extensive knowledge in such a straightforward and sensible way for the past few months. I feel like I’ve come to know them through these courses [Foundations of Ayurveda Parts I & II], and I look forward to the time when I can study with them in person. Thanks, again. Michelle Ryan – Chesterfield, MA

“… the knowledge shared is extremely approachable and dense, in such a warm and elegant style of communication that one gets hooked. Adorable teachers.” –Barbara, on the the stand-alone lesson Foundations Of Āyurveda Part Ii, Lesson 2 – Āyurvedic Anatomy & Physiology; Agni (Part Ii): 13 Types Of Agni

I found the course engaging and insightful, I have learnt a lot from it and the interaction between Dr Welch and Dr Svoboda made the experience all the more enriching. I have taken detailed notes and I feel I still need to digest some of the information. But their words touched me deeply and it is evident that they come from a place of extensive experience, deep wisdom and spiritual growth. The course reveals much more than what can be read in the books and has something for both professional healers and Ayurveda amateurs. Thank you! Svetlana (Bulgaria)

This course is a very rich exploration of Ayurveda, and both the content and teachers are a real joy to engage with.
I’ve studied Ayurveda in New Zealand and in India, but Doctor Welch and Doctor Svoboda bring a particular combination of skill, aliveness, and creativity to their offering that I haven’t encountered elsewhere.
I appreciate the respect they have for the integrity of the classical teachings, the useful and practical ways they have understood and/or refined various conceptual models, their consistent generosity in sharing their wisdom and considerable experience, and the deep regard they have for Ayurveda.
This is a wonderful course, and I highly and happily recommend it to anyone seeking a deeper dive into Ayurveda. Kirstie Cleary, New Zealand

I was new to Āyurveda [before taking Foundations of Āyurveda Part 1] and [in Foundations of Āyurveda Part II] things are really solidifying because there’s more application…. Before it was the basic concepts, but [in Part II] we’re talking about how they work in the different channels and different dhātus, [etc. ] so for me that solidifies what we learned [in Foundations I] because it’s the application where I can begin to really begin to grasp things rather just being ideas and concepts. So I really appreciate that.” -Student of Foundations of Āyurveda I & II

Incredibly helpful and informative as well as enjoyable. I am using the information to supplement my acupuncture practice. The diagnostic tools were very helpful. -Student of Foundations of Āyurveda I & II

…with a background in Sociology and Mental Health, I love how the Dr’s relate the content to current issues and mental patterns. It also really allowed for me to fully appreciate Samprapti for the first time in my studies. I loved how we got inside each of the stages of disease, each with its own personality, and yet presented with the understanding that life can occur outside of this sequence. Dr.s. Welch and Svoboda are never afraid to go off the beaten path in making these concepts relevant and profound. -Patrick Hodge (previous graduate of a 200-hr program before taking this course)

If you are more interested in improving your own personal health and daily practices than in studying Āyurveda more extensively, Dr. Welch’s online Women’s Health & Hormones Part I, Hormonal Balance & Stagnation course might be a better starting point – whether you are a man or a woman.


This 51.6 hour online course includes:

  • 7 lessons, each containing one or more videos of Dr. Welch and Dr. Svoboda teaching
  • accompanying handouts
  • end of lesson quizzes
  • a final exam
  • a certificate of completion
  • live Q&A sessions
  • You will have access to this course for one year from registration, with (paid) options to extend your access. You will have access to the Q&A sessions indefinitely.

Lesson 1 – Introduction: Cultivating Subtle Perception (1.1 hrs)

  1. Orient ourselves to where we are and through what terrain we will navigate in this intermediate course
  2. Be introduced to the Daoist concept of neiguan, and explore how it relates to diagnosis
  3. Consider the importance of learning the language and concepts of Āyurveda in cultivating neiguan

Lesson 2 – Āyurvedic Anatomy & Physiology; Agni (Part II): 13 Types of Agni (5 hrs)

  1. List the thirteen main types of agni (digestive and transformational fires)
    1. Briefly review the functions of jahara agni and it’s sites: stomach (ST) & small intestine (SI)
    2. 5 bhūta agnis (one for each element: nabhasa/ ākāśa =ether, vāyu=air, tejas=fire, āpas=water, pthvī =earth)
    3. The seven dhātu agnis
  2. Be introduced to the concepts of pithara, pīlu, kloma & jatru agnis and other lesser-known agnis

Lesson 3 – Āyurvedic Anatomy & Physiology; The Dūyas: Dhātus & Malas (16 hrs)


  1. List the sapta dhātus (seven bodily tissues) in English and Sanskrit
  2. Understand the main functions of the 7 dhātus
  3. Memorize and understand the definition of the sapta (7) dhātus, their associated upadhātus (secondary tissues) and malas (wastes)
  4. Recognize signs, symptoms and possible causes of vitiated dhātus
  5. Recognize symptoms associated with the entry of each doa into each dhātu
  6. Recognize the signs and clinical significance of dhātu sāra
  7. Understand the role of agni in the transformation of raw elements (tattvas or bhūtas) into āhāra rasa, āhāra rasa into first rasa dhātu and then, successively, the rest of the dhātus
  8. Understand the concept of dhātu vddhi, dhātu kaya and dhātu duṣṭi and why they develop
  9. Memorize and understand The Three laws of Nutrition as related to dhātu formation


  1. List the three malas: urine, feces & sweat

Lesson 4 – Āyurvedic Anatomy & Physiology: Physical Srotāṃsi (14.9 hrs)

Bāhya Srotāṃsi

  1. Be able to list the nine bāhya srotāṃsi shared by men and women
  2. Be able to list the 3 bāhya srotāṃsi unique to women

Abhyantara Srotāṃsi

  1. Be able to list and understand (as much as we can) the accepted mūla, mārga and mukha of the 13 abhyantara srotāṃsi shared by men and women
  2. Be able to list the 3 abhyantara srotāṃsi unique to women (1 ārtavavāhasrotas & 2 stanyavāhasrotāṃsi)
  3. Recognize signs, symptoms, and possible causes of vitiated srotāṃsi
  4. Understand the four states of disturbed flow of srotāṃsi

Lesson 5 – Āyurvedic Anatomy & Physiology of the Mind (4.9 hrs)


  1. Be able to list and understand (as much as we can) the mūla, mārga and mukha of the manovāhasrotas—the channel system of the mind
  2. Recognize signs, symptoms, and possible causes of vitiated manovāhasrotas
  3. Understand how we might be able to influence the manovāhasrotas
  4. Have an introductory understanding of the associations with the iā and pigala channels

Sattva, Rajas, Tamas, Ojas, Tejas, Prāṇa & Śakti

  1. Review sattva, rajas, tamas ojas, tejas, & prāa in the context of mental health
  2. Have a basic understanding of the concept of śakti related to mental health


  1. Have an introductory understanding of the kośas in the context of mental health

Lesson 6 – Dravya, Karma, Vipāka, Prabhāva & Review of Rasa & Vīrya (2.4 hrs)

  1. List and understand the ṣad rasa (6 tastes), vīrya (energetics), vipāka (post-digestive effect), and prabhāva (special effects) of dravya (substances)
  2. Have a general understanding of the relative strength of rasa, vīrya, vipāka, and prabhāva

Lesson 7 – Saṃprāpti (5.4 hrs)

  1. Have a basic understanding of the six stages of saṃprāpti (pathogenesis) (good to know both the Sanskrit and English names of the stages)
  2. Be introduced to the concept of rūgna bala roga bala
  3. Have an understanding of when and why śamana (gentle doṣa-palliative procedures) or śodhana (forcible expulsion of doa from the body) is indicated in treatment in the different stages of saṃprāpti

Recommended Books:

  • Volume 1 Textbook of Āyurveda, Fundamental Principles, by Dr. Vasant Lad, M.A.Sc. (Note about page numbers and chapter names: In 2010, this book went through a revision in format. Despite the resulting changes to page numbers, chapter numbers and titles, Dr. Lad’s book was not printed as a new edition. We refer to the page and chapter numbers and chapter titles as they appear in the 2010 revision. If you have an older copy (older versions don’t have “Volume 1” printed on the side of the book) the correct page number generally occurs a few pages later than the 2010 version. You can also use the index to find the corresponding page number/s).
  • Volume 2 Textbook of Āyurveda, A Complete Guide to Clinical Assessment, by Dr. Vasant Lad, M.A.Sc.

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 thirteen types of agni (digestive and transformational fires)

The seven dhātus (bodily tissues), and their associated upadhātus (secondary tissues) and malas (wastes)

The main functions of the seven dhātus

The fundamentals of how each dhātu is created, nourished and transformed

Symptoms associated with the entry of each doṣa into each dhātu

The srotāṃsi (physiological channels) of the body and mind

The signs and symptoms of vitiated srotāṃsi and possible causes of vitiation

Ayurvedic psychology: understanding various perspectives on how the mind and body affect each other

Rasa (taste), vīrya (energetics), vipāka (post-digestive effect), and prabhāva (special effects) of dravya (substances)

The six stages of saṃprāpti (pathogenesis)

The difference between śamana (gentle doṣa-palliative procedures) and śodhana (forcible expulsion of doṣa from the body) in the resolution of disorders


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 & how long will I have access to it?

46 actual hours;  51.6 university hours; 46 NAMA (TIA) hours (while 46 NAMA hours are listed on your certificate because that’s how many the hours would be according to NAMA calculations, NAMA never gives more than 28 credit hours for a course, because that is the maximum # of hours allowed per cycle)

The students that took this course live, completed it over the course of two fairly intensive weeks. We estimate that it will take about 52 hours to go through the entire course and material once, but it may take more time. We each enjoy our own pace, process and timing for information to be digested and transformed into knowledge. Many students find it helps to review the lessons again and again, allowing time for digestion, assimilation, absorption and integration. We highly recommend you take your time with the material, and review it as much as you need to feel very comfortable with it. This may mean carving out about 10-20 hours a month to devote to the lessons.

You will have access to the course for one year from the time you register. Most students find this quite sufficient. However, at the end of the year, you will be given an option to  extend your access either for another year for 50% off the original price, or for $50 per extra month of access. If you feel you might need significantly more time to complete and assimilate the course, there is also an option to take up to seven years to complete it by–instead of registering for this full course– taking the seven lessons, successively, from the, “A la carte topics” choice in the menu when you hover over, “Foundations of Ayurveda I” in the, “Online Courses” drop-down menu of this website. That way you would have one year access to each of the seven lessons of this full course.

Please see, “Course Structure” above, for the length of the individual lessons.

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 or 50 USD per month extension. If it has been longer than six months since your course expired, you may retake it for 50% off the original price and have one year’s renewed access from the time of that payment.

What if I have questions on course content? Will I have live access to Drs. Welch & Svoboda?

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

  • Q&A: We plan to offer two live Q&A calls per year with Drs. Welch and Svoboda, exclusively for alumni of our online courses co-taught by both doctors: “Foundations of Ayurveda Part I“, “Part II”, “The Planets” and, “Pratyāhāra: Turning Awareness Within, and post them on our Q&A page.Once you are a registered student of one of these courses, you will receive emails letting you know when live calls are scheduled, how to join them, and be invited to submit questions on course content. If you are not an alumnus of any of those courses, you are still welcome to listen to or share these sessions, but you may find them a bit confusing, as they relate to material covered in those courses.
  • Student discussion forum: 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.
  • Tutoring: you can sign up for a tutoring option with one of our tutors.

What if I need technical support?

Once you are a registered student, we let you know who to contact if you need technical support with the website or course.

Can I download the lessons?

No. This is a streamable video course.

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.

Are there quizzes?

Yes. There is a quiz at the end of each of the 7 lessons. After quiz #7, 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.

Could I just take one lesson without taking the entire course?

Yes. You can take any lesson from Foundations of Ayurveda Parts I or II as a stand-alone course. You can click on the, “Course Structure” menu bar to see what is covered in each lesson and then register for any single lesson a la carte. You would have access to the lesson for one year.

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. It can be helpful to hear things more than once (or twice or multiple times) in order to absorb and assimilate the foundational principles of Ayurveda more deeply, and to hear more than one perspective on them.

Where can I find answers to questions about the legality of practicing Ayurveda, about certification, or NAMA issues?

This course is worth 46 NAMA (TIA) hours but, while 46 NAMA hours are listed on your certificate because that’s how many the hours would be according to NAMA calculations, NAMA never gives more than 28 credit hours for a course, because that is the maximum # of hours allowed per cycle.

For information on NAMA, legal requirements and our courses, kindly see

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?

We do not offer refunds for online courses. We have tried to provide clear descriptions of our courses; please review this information before purchasing.

Is there an option for financing?

US residents can use the PayPal finance option to pay, when purchasing 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 choose 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 zero-interest rate, please remember to pay what you can at the end of the 6 months.

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