The California College of Ayurveda (CCA) offers the most comprehensive curriculum in the field of Ayurvedic Medicine in the West. CCA is the first established, and longest-running, private Ayurvedic educational program in California, and is approved by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) as prescribed by the standards set forth in the Education Code. CCA is the premier educator for individuals seeking to make a difference in the world through a career restoring the natural balance of body, mind and spirit with the wisdom of Ayurveda.
Quality education is the foundation of preparation. Our founder, Dr. Marc Halpern, is a Western pioneer of Ayurvedic Medicine. He is also a Founding Director of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association and the California Association of Ayurvedic Medicine.
CCA brings the healing wisdom of Ayurveda to the West. In addition to providing students with training in the fundamental principles and practices of Ayurveda, our students study disease management and receive the clinical training necessary to become successful in practice. In order to achieve these goals, our training program is offered in four levels at several locations – plus live internet and distance learning in the convenience of your own home (see learn ayurveda online). When you are ready to make Ayurveda your life’s work, CCA can help you turn your Ayurvedic passion into a successful profession.
CCA is a State Approved Ayurvedic educational program, as prescribed by the Education Code.
Ayurveda, which literally means "The Science of Life," is the healing science from India. It has been practiced for over 5,000 years by millions of individuals to assist the body in journeying back to optimal health. Ayurveda views health and disease as the end result of how we interact with the world, in terms of our beliefs, perceptions, thoughts, and feelings, which then ultimately determine our actions. Actions in harmony with our inner nature create health, while those dis-harmonious with our inner nature create disease. Health comes when we live in harmony with our true nature as spirit.
Ayurveda allows us to get a glimpse of our individual true nature and to find the best ways to live a life of balance. It provides holistic understanding and healing to people on all levels: physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Ayurveda uses a multitude of healing modalities including herbs, diet, colors, aromas, sound, lifestyle recommendations, panchakarma, meditation, and yoga. More and more people are discovering that these ancient principles are easily applicable to modern life and that they have the power to create health and contentment.
|Ayurveda Introductory Articles|
|Ayurveda Intermediate Articles|
|Ayurveda Clinical Articles|
"The only formal and elaborate training program in Ayurveda in America is being offered by the California College of Ayurveda."
Praful Patel - President of the International Ayurveda Foundation
Dr. Marc Halpern, D.C.,C.A.S.,P.K.S., (Ayurvedacharya) is one of the pioneers of Ayurveda in the West and is considered to be a pre-eminent practitioner and teacher of Ayurveda in the United States. He is one of the few Westerners ever recognized in both the United States and in India as an authority on the subject of Ayurvedic Medicine and was awarded the All India Award for Best Ayurvedic Physician. A pillar in the development of the profession in the United States, he is the co-founder of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association for which he served as Chairman of the National Committee on Ayurvedic Education from its inception in 2000 until 2005. He is also a co-founder of the California Association of Ayurvedic Medicine. A Doctor of Chiropractic with post-graduate certification in Holistic Medicine, Dr. Halpern has studied with many noted teachers from India and the United States.
Dr. Halpern is a contributing writer to several popular books on Ayurveda and holistic medicine and has written two textbooks on Ayurveda. He has published articles in almost every major journal and magazine of Yoga or Ayurveda, and in 2005 was interviewed by Mike Wallace on CBS's 60 Minutes. Dr. Halpern's own remarkable story of personal healing was featured in the national magazine Spirituality and Health. He has been quoted in many major newspapers, including The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times. In addition to his work with the California College of Ayurveda, Dr. Halpern is a certified yoga instructor and a regular teacher of Ayurveda at International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers worldwide.
The profession of Ayurveda is growing very fast. More and more people are looking toward holistic alternatives. Ayurveda is the most complete form of holistic medicine practiced in the world today. I think the future is very bright.
Ayurveda holds the promise of optimal health and peace of mind for those who live according to its principles. When people come to realize that there is a discipline that addresses the whole person physically, emotionally, and spiritually, and uses natural medicines - they are immediately attracted.
If I had to say one thing, I think it is how well we train our students to be successful practitioners. The strong clinical focus, culminating in our unique six-month internship followed by a post-graduate residency program to become a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist, sets us apart from other schools. Our high standards, cohesive curriculum, supportive and nurturing faculty, and clinical focus ensure that each student receives the highest level of professional training.
During our residency program, students work with real patients, not just with other students or friends. They practice as qualified practitioners working with the general public under the supervision of a well-trained practitioner. Residents are researching cases, making medicines for their patients, and doing all of the things they will do in their own practices.
The most important qualities are humility and compassion. Knowledge can be easily learned by anyone. Humility is the restraint of the ego. Humility leads to non-judgment. Non judgment leads to compassion. These traits allow knowledge to grow into wisdom and are the foundation of a true healer and teacher.
Dr. Marc Halpern, D.C., C.A.S., P.K.S. (Ayurvedacharya), Dr. Marc Halpern is the founder and President of the California College of Ayurveda and the author of the popular book, Healing Your Life; Lessons on the Path of Ayurveda. A leader in the profession, he is the co-founder of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association (USA) and the California Association of Ayurvedic Medicine. He also sits on the advisory boards of Light on Ayurveda Journal in the United States and the Journal of Research and Education in Indian Medicine in India. Dr. Halpern’s contributions to the field have earned him the highest level of awards in both countries. He has published hundreds of articles in popular journals and magazines of Ayurveda and Yoga and is a regular speaker at Ayurvedic and Yoga conferences. A Doctor of Chiropractic, a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist, A certified Yoga Teacher in the Sivananda tradition, a Specialist in Holistic Medicine, an author and teacher, Dr. Marc Halpern gives 100% to his passion for healing and removing the causes of suffering.
Mary Thompson, C.A.S., P.K.S., (Ayurvedacharya), is a graduate of the California College of Ayurveda and senior teacher with certifications as a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist and Pancha Karma Specialist. Mary is a graduate of the first graduating class of the College in 1997. In 2008 she received the Charaka Award for Excellence in Ayurvedic Teaching and was given the title "Ayurvedacharya" (respected teacher of Ayurveda) by Dr. Halpern. She has been an invited speaker at several Ayurvedic conferences and is a founding member and former Secretary of the California Association of Ayurvedic Medicine. She is also the founder of the non-profit organization, Everyday Ayurveda. Mary is in private practice in Grass Valley, California.
Sri Devi (Marisa Laursen), B.S., C.A.S., P.K.S., A.Y.T., C.M.T, is a graduate of the California College of Ayurveda with certifications as a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist, Pancha Karma Specialist and Ayurvedic Yoga Therapist. She has an active clinical practice in Chino, California and is a member of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association. Sri Devi has a Bachelor’s degree in Human Services, is a Certified Massage Therapist and has completed post-graduate Ayurvedic training in India as well as through the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta organization. Sri Devi received her spiritual name from Swami Swaroopananda of the Sivananda Yoga Retreat and considers herself a life-long student of Ayurveda, Yoga and Vedanta.
Brenda Igler, C.A.S., P.K.S., (Director of Herbalism): Brenda is a graduate of the California College of Ayurveda with certifications as a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist and a Pancha Karma Specialist. Brenda has continued her education with studies in India, focusing on herbalism and complementary treatments of cancer. As part of the teaching faculty at the College, she is involved in teaching all levels of the curriculum. As the Director of Herbalism, Brenda runs the Advanced Ayurvedic Herbal Apprenticeship course. Brenda conducts her clinical practice at the College's healtyh care center utilizing her compassion and inspiration to guide her patients in a creative way through their healing journey.
Ryan Phillip Strong, C.A.S., is a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist at the California College of Ayurveda. Ryan is also a Kriya Yoga practitioner, and has studied under Roy Eugene Davis, a direct living disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda. Ryan is an ordained minister with the Center for Spiritual Awareness. He teaches meditation, and promotes the universal teaching of healthy conscious living through Ayurveda and Yoga. Ryan works to heal the root cause of disease in his patients, helping to create total balance in their mind, body and spirit. Ryan lives with his wife and daughter in Auburn California and gives frequent free lectures on Ayurveda and healing.
Ram Rao, PhD, CAS, RYT, comes from a family of Ayurvedic practitioners and Vedic teachers in India tracing back to the illustrious Vedic-acharya Rishi Kaundinya. A graduate of the California College of Ayurveda with certification as Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist, Ram is also a dedicated yoga practitioner and certified teacher. He has published several articles in major Yoga and Ayurveda journals and has been a featured speaker in several meetings and symposia. Ram holds a doctorate degree in Neurosciences and works as a Research Associate Professor at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, Novato, CA, on various aspects of age associated neurodegenerative diseases.
Mary-Alice Quinn, C.A.S., graduated from the California College of Ayurveda with certification as a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist. She is a practitioner member of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association and the California Association of Ayurvedic Medicine. She has completed a variety of advanced post-graduate Ayurvedic studies in the US and India and has been a practitioner of Yoga for more than fifteen years. Mary-Alice writes articles for popular yoga and Ayurveda publications, conducts public workshops and has an active private practice in Sacramento where she focuses on both preventative medicine and disease management.
Ragaia Belovarac, M.A., C.A.S., P.K.S., C.M.T., is a graduate of the California College of Ayurveda with certifications as Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist and Pancha Karma Specialist. Ragaia is the past co-director of the College's Pancha Karma Center, where he worked closely with Dr. Halpern. This experience deepened his understanding of creating and holding sacred space in a way that facilitates the patient's healing journey. Ragaia teaches several of the body therapy courses at the College including the Pancha Karma Specialist trainings. He is also the director of Blue Sage Sanctuary in Nevada City, California, where he practices Ayurveda and Pancha Karma.
Mrunalini Rameshchandra is a certified Clinical Ayurveda Specialist. She has attended workshops in therapeutic yoga and pranayama in India and follows Integral Yoga, frequenting the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, India. Mrunalini has a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Chemistry and began her career in teaching that eventually led to becoming a curriculum director and board member of Center for Integral Education. She believes that her experiences in life have provided a foundation for on-going Ayurveda and Naturopathy studies that has in turn allowed her to analyze the multi- dimensional being through various stages in life, as well as assist patients to aim for the highest potential in health. Her commitment to the knowledge and progress for the well-being of the body and mind with Ayurveda and Yoga is a quest for a deeper understanding and unfolding of the cosmic essence that rests within each person. Mrunalini is a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Homeopathy and Ayurvedic Medicine and Director for Healing Your Life Program at CCA.
David Frawley, (Pandit Vamadeva Shastri) is recognized as one of the leading Vedic scholars in the world and an authority in the field of Ayurveda. He is the founder of the American Institute of Vedic Studies and is on the advisory board of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association. He has written numerous books on Ayurveda, Vedic astrology, and Yoga philosophy and practice. David Frawley also received a degree from the International Institute of Chinese Medicine in Santa Fe NM in 1988, where he taught herbal medicine.
Dr. Akhilesh Sharma, B.A.M.S., N.D., Ph.D., is an Ayurvedic physician at his clinic in New Delhi with his wife, Dr. Minakshi Sharma, a specialist in Ayurvedic Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Sharma serves as Chief Physician and Director of Research and Development for Multani Pharmaceuticals, manufacturer of over 400 Ayurvedic medicines and herbal products. He is Ayurvedic Advisor to the Minister of Health in New Delhi and has received the Dhanvantari Award and the Chikitsa Shiromani Award for his contributions to the field of Ayurveda.
Dr. Liladhar Gupta, B.Sc., B.A.M.S., is a fourth generation Ayurvedic physician from Vrindaban in northern India. Dr. Gupta was Director of the Herbal Medicare Center and Senior Physician at Prem Miketan Ashram in Jaipur. He taught at Wellpark College of Natural Therapies in Australia and currently directs a team of Indian physicians at Dhanvantari Dham, his own research, education, and healing center near Delhi.
Yogini Shambhavi is a modern day mystic, teacher of Vedanta and spiritual guide. She draws one to the deeper “Yogic Reality” awakening the Divine feminine power within our own hearts and minds, allowing its benevolent grace to flow into our daily life experiences. Co- Director of the American Institute of Vedic Studies, Santa Fe, New Mexico, she leads spiritual retreats, Ayurvedic training programs, conferences and well-being workshops around the world. Yogini Shambhavi has written two bestselling books on the Goddess, Yogini: Unfolding the Goddess Within and Yogic Secrets of the Dark Goddess: Lightning Dance of the Supreme Shakti.
Swami Sitaramananda is from the classical Sivananda tradition of Yoga tradition from India. A gifted teacher of yoga and meditation, she has been teaching for more than twenty-five years In India, Canada, Bahamas, and Asia and is the director of the Sivananda Ashram in Grass Valley, CA.
Swami Sitaramananda was ordained in 1985 as a sannyasin in the lineage of Saraswati, one of the ten classical monastic orders founded in India. She is a direct disciple of Swami Vishnu-devananda, who is the disciple of Master Sivananda. She holds a degree in Jyotish (Vedic astrology) from the American College of Vedic astrology and provides counsel to her students.
Yes! CCA is committed to helping students understand the complete science of Ayurveda as it was articulated thousands of years ago by the ancient rishis. This knowledge is contained in three major and three minor texts of Ayurveda written between 1500 B.C. and 1500 A.D. The curriculum at CCA helps to bring this ancient wisdom to you in a modern and easily understandable format.
Dr. Marc Halpern developed the title of Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist (C.A.S.) in 1995 for graduates of the California College of Ayurveda who have achieved the school's highest level of training in both health promotion and disease management. The C.A.S. title has become recognized as the highest standard of clinical Ayurvedic education offered in the United States. The title Ayurvedic Health Practitioner (A.H.P.) was introduced in 2007 by CCA to recognize the completion of our health promotion and disease prevention program. There are currently no Doctor of Ayurveda clinical degrees recognized in the United States. Bachelor's and Master's degrees offered at all schools in the United States are academic degrees only. They do not afford the recipient any additional practice rights.
Hindu University of America (International Vedic Hindu University) will accept the California College of Ayurveda’s AHP certification as a basis for their Master’s Degree Program. Learn more about the Master's in Ayurveda program.
The California College of Ayurveda is dedicated to providing the highest quality education, health care, and research in the field of Ayurveda. We train students to become the healers of the future, practitioners dedicated to understanding the whole person physically, emotionally, and spiritually. From this understanding, practitioners will be able to identify areas of disharmony between a client's actions, his or her constitution, and the environment. Practitioners will then understand how this disharmony relates to the client's illness or imbalance, and will develop a program of care to re-establish harmony and support their client on his or her journey toward optimal health.
The California College of Ayurveda, Inc. (CCA) is a private college and is approved by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) to offer programs in the study of ayurvedic medicine, as prescribed by the California standards set forth in the Education Code. The College’s programs vastly exceed the minimum requirements of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA) and the California Association of Ayurvedic Medicine (CAAM).
The California College of Ayurveda was selected by the prestigious Gujarat Ayurveda University as a partner in developing international ayurvedic standards of education. Gujarat Ayurveda University is the most prestigious ayurvedic university in India.
CCA has also been approved as a provider by the California Board of Registered Nursing to offer up to 500 contact hours of Continuing Education for registered nurses in California (Provider CEP13907). In addition, our Ayurvedic Massage and Body Therapy programs have been approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) for continuing education credits for massage therapists and bodywork professionals.
|Member of the California Association of Private Postsecondary School|
|National Ayurvedic Medical Association|
|California Association of Ayurvedic Medicine|
"Studying Ayurveda has been one of the best things I have done in my life. Though I use my education from CCA professionally, it would have been well worth it for my own health, longevity, and growth."
"The C.A.S. program was the beginning of a transformation of consciousness. CCA offers the wisdom of a divine science to those wishing enrichment and understanding of the new paradigm of health emerging today."
"Every day in my Ayurvedic practice I am so very grateful and inspired by this wonderfully inclusive science and for the depth of training I received from the California College of Ayurveda. My training has given me the opportunity to see the world in a new way and to help people recreate balance and harmony in their lives."
"My education at CCA was outstanding. CCA's complete instruction in Ayurveda enabled me to establish a successful clinical practice."
"I was ready for a major change in my life. The study of Ayurveda has turned out to be a profoundly transformative process. I am studying and experiencing healing, joy, and connectedness on amazingly deep levels."
"I chose CCA for two reasons. Their monthly classes allowed me to keep working while learning Ayurveda, and the hands-on training I received in the Pancha Karma Clinic, the Herb Lab, and the many workshops and seminars gave me personal insight into what my future clients will experience as they adopt an Ayurvedic lifestyle."
"At CCA I gained access to the world of knowledge I was searching for: Ayurveda. I emerged as a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist, competent in my dharma as an ayurvedic practitioner and lifelong student of Ayurveda."
"Academically challenging, CCA's curriculum provides both a strong foundation for a future professional practice and an opportunity to get in touch with our own self healing abilities as we develop a healing relationship to Ayurveda in our lives."
"I am blown away at how much I have learned.. I am so grateful for the whole school. I could not have imagined a better education. Moving into the internship I am both nervous and excited. With my whole heart I thank you."
Sincerely, Ryan Strong
"We were amazed at the depth and efficiency of Dr. Halpern; he is a brilliant, gifted, and hard working teacher. We got so much in so little time. What a blessing."
"After moving to the United States, my thirty five years of Ayurvedic practice in India would have gone to waste if I had not done the C.A.S. program. Ayurveda has made my life purposeful."
"Primarily, CCA allowed me to attend school and still work. Having reviewed other texts and compared with CCA workbooks and required reading, I believe CCA covered the basic understanding of Ayurveda without overwhelming the student. My PK training is very much appreciated and I feel totally qualified to practice my skills."
"Ayurveda is the medicine of nature. It taught me how to care for the body, mind, and spirit. Through diet, herbs, and lifestyle choices, it brings you to health and higher yogic awareness. It is a divine blessing to mankind. The language of nature is a simple universal truth; close your eyes and hear its divine song."
"Wonderful and inspiring teachers. Well organized material and lessons. I feel as though I received a very high quality and thorough Ayurvedic education. I feel confident that I am prepared to practice.
The internship brought it all together."
"All of my teachers have been Ayurvedic Inspirations. And Dr. Halpern's text was concise, detailed and easy for a western-trained student to use."
"The first day I could see that it was going to be a great week, because it was so well organized. I considered traveling [out of state] to take the training from [another teacher], but decided to support CCA because I really believe the school delivers what is promised. I'm never disappointed and always inspired."
"The internship was the most important part for me. It was the part that tied theory to practice.
Each of the teachers had knowledge and experience and offered us a unique perspective in the classroom. Their ability to translate the world into the terms of Ayurveda was amazing and has helped me internalize the concepts."
"My experience with the CCA has not only provided me with a solid foundation upon which my Ayurvedic career flourishes, but has also catalyzed deep healing and growth on a personal level. I appreciate that the teachers at the CCA are inspiring, and the entire staff committed the success of their students."
“I have enjoyed my time at CCA so much. I feel I have transformed some of my old habits by learning about their roots, I have connected with a group of like minded and spirited people, and I am loving everything I’m learning! Ayurvedic theory is so simple, but when applied to the myriad imbalances people have, as they manifest differently in everyone, it becomes very complicated. And it all works, if we apply the principles! I am so grateful for my time here, not to mention the fantastic staff who contribute to the smooth running of the school.”
“The California College of Ayurveda has shown me a path to healing myself and the world at large. I am excited and forever grateful for all that I have learned and all the places this knowledge will take me.”
|Dr. Marc Halpern and Mike Wallace at the College for a taping of 60 Minutes|
The California College of Ayurveda is an international leader in Ayurvedic education. CCA has the highest academic and clinical standards in the West, leading our graduates to be the finest trained in America and the West.
Because of the clarity and focus of CCA's educational process, CCA has graduated the most successful practitioners in the United States and the West.
CCA offers the only program in the West where residents and interns have the opportunity to make each and every medicine they prescribe to their patients.
CCA was the first school to offer an Ayurvedic internship in the United States and in the West. While most internships still only include observing a teacher seeing patients, the internship program at CCA includes both observation and working directly with patients in a one-on-one setting.
CCA is the only school in the West to offer an advanced paid residency program in disease management.
Every facet of CCA's training program is designed to coordinate a student's learning experience. Rather than provide students with seminar teachers who do not coordinate with each other, CCA's teaching staff is a completely integrated unit working together to assure a cohesive learning experience.
Teachers at CCA are hand-picked by Dr. Halpern for their knowledge and their ability to communicate clearly and teach in an organized manner. Each teacher has developed important insights into the knowledge and brings these insights into the learning experience of the student.
The California College of Ayurveda was instrumental in developing the currently accepted national guidelines for Ayurvedic practitioner education. Your education at CCA exceeds these guidelines and fully prepares you for the future of Ayurveda in the United States.
CCA offers more classroom hours of training in pure Ayurvedic knowledge than any other school in the United States.
Students who graduate our Ayurveda courses have several opportunities to participate in training programs in India. CCA has a relationship with several Ayurvedic doctors and hospitals in India where interns can participate in apprenticeships.