About the Ayurvedic College

The Mission of the California College of Ayurveda

The California College of Ayurveda is dedicated to transforming human consciousness by providing the highest quality education, health care, and research in the field of Ayurveda, while striving to express the principles of harmony in every action we take. We train students to become the doctors 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 patient’s actions, his or her constitution, and the environment. Practitioners will then understand how this disharmony relates to the patient’s illness or imbalance, and will develop a program of care to re-establish harmony and support each person on their journey toward optimal health.

About the California College of Ayurveda

The California College of Ayurveda (CCA) was founded in 1995 by Dr. Marc Halpern, a highly respected teacher of Ayurveda and one of the few individuals whose work has been honored with awards in both the United States and India. The first school to gain government approval and  provide formal education in the field of Ayurvedic Medicine outside of India, the California College of Ayurveda and Dr. Halpern are considered pioneers of Ayurveda in the West. The California College of Ayurveda offers California State Approved programs in Ayurvedic Medicine, conducts a community health care and panchakarma center, and collaborates with researchers from UC .Davis to conduct original research.

CCA is a State Approved Ayurvedic educational program, as prescribed by the Education Code.

 

2013 Annual Report

School Performance Fact Sheet

BPPE Website

 

 
 
 
 
  

 

 

About Ayurveda - What is Ayurvedic Medicine?

LotusAyurveda is the traditional medicine of India and the oldest system of Health Care in the world. A system of both preventative and curative medicine, it has been practiced for at least 5000 years and perhaps as long as 10,000 years.
 

Ayurveda understands that each person is unique and as a result, each person's path toward optimal health is unique. Dr. Halpern often says, "Nothing is right for everyone, everything is right for someone, Ayurveda is a path of understanding what is right for you". Ayurveda helps individuals to know what types of food, colors, aromas, sounds and touch will create a state of balance and harmony in the body and mind. When the body and mind are in harmony, normal physiology is restored and healing takes place.
 

Ayurveda defines physiology in terms of three forces called doshas. The three doshas are vata, pitta and kapha. Vata governs the physiology of motion in the body. Pitta governs the physiology of metabolism. Kapha governs the physiology of structure. Each person has all three of these doshas with them. The balance of these three doshas at the moment of conception defines what Ayurveda calls one's constitution or "prakruti". These doshas also fluctuate in accordance with how we live our lives and as they increase or decrease they cause different conditions in the body and mind. This is called "vikruti". The goal of Ayurveda is to restore the proper balance of these physiological forces . This is accomplished by utilizing one's senses properly and living a healthy lifestyle. Ayurveda utilizes diet, colors, aromas, sounds and touch to restore balance. In addition, Ayurveda is one of the most advanced herbal sciences in the world. Herbal medicine plays an important role in Ayurveda. Other tools often used by the Ayurvedic Practitioner include: Yoga, Meditation, Purification Programs (Pachakarma) and Lifestyle Counseling.

Ayurveda Introductory Articles
Ayurveda Intermediate Articles
Ayurveda Clinical Articles

~Ayurveda - Elevating Humanity for 5000 Years~

"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

About Dr. Marc Halpern - Pioneer of Ayurveda in the West. President and Founder of the California College of Ayurveda

Halpern

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 Ayurveda 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.  He is also a co-founder of the California Association of Ayurvedic Medicine and the National Council on Ayurvedic Education. 

Dr. Marc Halpern started his career as a Doctor of Chiropractic in 1987 when he graduated from Palmer West Chiropractic College. His journey to understand the cause of suffering and to heal himself led him to the field of Ayurvedic Medicine in 1991 when he completed in a post-graduate certification program in holistic medicine through New York Chiropractic College. This program introduced him to Ayurveda. At that time, there were only a handful of individuals in the country knowledgeable in Ayurveda. Dr. Halpern sought out Dr. David Frawley as a teacher and that began a journey deeper into the Vedic sciences. Dr. Frawley introduced him to several teachers from India , most notably Dr. Subhash Ranade. Dr. Halpern sponsored Dr. Ranade to come to the US and to stay at his home.  During his visits, Dr. Halpern was given copies of the classical texts and his study of these texts along with seeing patients with his teachers, helped shape how Dr. Halpern would eventually train other practitioners. Realizing that there needed to be a profession for Ayurvedic Medicine in the United States, Dr. Halpern has dedicated himself to building a profession of Ayurveda for more than 20 years. 

Dr. Halpern is the author of two important textbooks in the field of Ayurvedic Medicine as well as the popular book, Healing Your Life; Lessons on the Path of Ayurveda and the audio recording; Yoga Nidra and Self Healing. 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, The Los Angeles Times and the Miami Herald. 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.

A Brief Interview with Dr. Halpern

What do you think about the future of Ayurveda in America:

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.

What do you think makes Ayurveda so attractive to the public?

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.

What makes Ayurvedic education at the California College of Ayurveda unique?

Grass Valley If I had to say one thing, I think it is how well we train our students to be successful practitioners. The strong clinical and herbal  focus, culminating in our unique internship programs 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.

What makes the residency program special?

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.

What do you think are the most important qualities in a future practitioner of Ayurveda?

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.

 

See Dr. Halpern's interview on the Yoga Hour with Rev. Ellen Grace O'Brian

Ayurvedic Faculty

Dr. Marc Halpern

 HalpernDr. 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.

 

Faculty

 

 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.

 

 

 

 

Marisa Laursen (Sri Devi), C.A.S., A.Y.T., P.K.S., B.S., C.M.T.

Marisa Laursen is a graduate of the California College of Ayurveda, where she is a senior member of the teaching faculty, maintains an active clinical practice, and is the Director of Online Marketing. Marisa‘s certifications include Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist, Ayurvedic Yoga Therapist, Pancha Karma Specialist, Sivananda Yoga Teacher, massage therapist, aromatherapist, yoga nidra practitioner and marma practitioner. She received certification from the American Institute of Vedic Studies and completed post-graduate study with Dr. Geetha S.R., BAMS, ND of the Sree Sankara Ayurveda Hospital in Kerala, India. Marisa is a professional member of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association and has a Bachelor’s degree in Human Services from California State University, Fullerton, California. She teaches a variety of Ayurveda and Yoga programs worldwide 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Gary Jacobsson, C.A.S., is a 2002 graduate of the California College of Ayurveda with certification as a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist. Gary has been in private practice and has also integrated his love of cooking with Ayurveda by serving as professional chef at Ayurvedic, Yoga and holistic health retreats. Gary is now in practice at the College’s health care center and serves as an Internship Supervisor. In addition to his Ayurvedic training, Gary as been trained in mind/body somatic therapies, Cellular Memory and Family Consultation Work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Master Teachers

Jeremy Anderson, C.A.S., P.K.S., is a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist and Pancha Karma Specialist who graduated valedictorian from the California College of Ayurveda in 2005. She also received certification from the American Institute of Vedic Studies in Ayurvedic Health Sciences and became a Certified Massage Therapist through the Phillips School of Massage. Jeremy is a Master Teacher for the Distance Learning Program at CCA. To bring the light of this profound science to her local community, Jeremy also maintains her own practice, Annapurna Ayurveda, in North Lake Tahoe, CA.

 

 

 

Nima Berenji, C.A.S., has a background in human nutrition, food sciences, biochemistry and Ayurveda. She received a Masters Degree in Nutritional Sciences from Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences in Iran and completed PhD studies on autoimmune diseases. She studied Ayurveda at the CCA, earning a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist certification. Her motivation comes from a deep appreciation for the complexity, delicate balance and interconnectedness of nature manifested magnificently in the science of Ayurveda.

 

 

 

 

Jessica Ferrol, C.A.S., P.K.S., graduated from the California College of Ayurveda with certifications as a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist and a Pancha Karma Specialist. She is also a Registered Yoga Therapist and an Herbalist having completed Kathy Keville’s Herbal Apprenticeship program. Jessica holds a BA in Psychology and is currently working toward a Masters of Holistic Counseling degree. A member of the CCA faculty as a Master Teacher in its distance learning program, Jessica is also in private practice in Rhode Island where she gives Ayurvedic consultations, homemade herbal formulations and workshops. Jessica is a professional member of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association and Yoga Alliance.

  

 

Sandhiya Ramaswamy, C.A.S., is an Ayurveda practitioner, educator, and chef. Her practice, Green Lotus Wellness, is in Dana Point, California. Born and having lived in India, she has had a lifelong and intimate connection with Ayurveda. It is through Ayurveda that Sandhiya found relief for her chronic asthma. Wanting to go deeper into the study of Ayurveda, she enrolled at the California College of Ayurveda. Prior to embracing the healing arts and sciences as a full-time vocation, Sandhiya spent many years in the corporate world. This experience has provided her with a unique perspective and understanding of the daily work-life-family stressors that most people face.

 

 

 

 

 

Mrunalini Rameshchandra, C.A.S., is a certified Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist and Naturopathic Medical Doctor. 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. Mrunalini is a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Homeopathy and Ayurvedic Medicine, Director for Healing Your Life Program and Distance Learning Master Teacher at CCA. She consults patients wherever she travels.

 

  

 

Ryan Phillip Strong, C.A.S., is a graduate of the California College of Ayurveda with certification as a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist. He is also a practitioner and teacher of Kriya Yoga.  Ryan was ordained by his guru, Roy Eugene Davis (a direct disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda), to teach Kriya Yoga, and is a minister for the Center for Spiritual Awareness.  Ryan has spent 15 years studying yogic philosophy, including Ayurveda and Vedic Astrology (Jyotish).  Ryan Strong is a professional member of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association.  He runs an Ayurvedic Natural Healing Center in Sacramento where he lives with his wife and two children.

 

 

 

 

Eleni Tsikrikas, C.A.S., P.K.S., is a graduate of the California College of Ayurveda with certification as Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist and Pancha Karma Specialist. A member of the faculty at the California College of Ayurveda, Eleni is also a yoga teacher in the lineage of T. Krishnamacharya. The focus of her practice is based on the classical text, “Yoga Sutras of Patanjali”. Eleni runs a private ayurvedic practice in Los Angeles, California, and teaches workshops and seminars in Ayurveda and Yoga Therapy.

 

 

 

 

Vidya Venkatesh, C.A.S., P.K.S. graduated from the California College of Ayurveda with certification as a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist. She also trained in Pancha Karma in India and New Mexico. Vidya has also studied yoga and pranayama at Patanjali Yoga Peet in Haridwar, India, and has been a long-time student of Advaita Vedanta. Vidya is a holistic wellness practitioner and lifestyle coach. She has been running her Irvine-based private practice, Niroga Ayurveda, since January 2009. A faculty member at the California College of Ayurveda in its distance learning program, Vidya also serves as the resident Ayurvedic practitioner at Mother Tree Sanctuary. She is a member of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association.

 

 

 

 

 

Michelle Warner, C.A.S., graduated from the California College of Ayurveda in 2007 with certification as a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist.  She continued her studies with a clinical internship in India.  Michelle teaches for the distance learning program at C.C.A., and works at an integrative medical clinic in Walnut Creek, California doing Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle consultations and body therapies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Board of Advisors

FrawleyDavid 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.

 

Akhilesh 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.

 

GuptaDr. 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.

 

 

Shambhavi 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 Sita 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.

 

 

 

 

 

Community Partners & Spa Testimonials

Lotus

"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."
S.D.,

"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."
J.G.,

"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."
M.S.,

"My education at CCA was outstanding. CCA's complete instruction in Ayurveda enabled me to establish a successful clinical practice."
A.L.,

"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."
T.K.,

"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."
E.S.,
Students
"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."
C.S.,

"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."
J.R.,

"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."
S.& S.C.,

"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."
D.P.R.,

"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."
E.S.,

"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."
G.G.,

"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. 
A.W.,

 

The internship brought it all together."
D.K.F.,

"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." 
K.J.,

"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." 
R.S.,

"The internship was the most important part for me.  It was the part that tied theory to practice. 
T.W.,

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." 
M.G.,

"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."
B. I.,

“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.”
S.M.,

“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.”
S.H.,

Community Partners

Organic India
"We are so blessed to have the opportunity to partner with and support the California College of Ayurveda. The College is a deep wellspring of information for us both personally and professionally.  We are grateful to be a small part of the big work this institute offers." ~ Amy Keller, National Education Leader, Organic India USA, http://www.organicindia.com.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa 
“Dr. Marc Halpern is a leading pioneer in the modern Ayurveda movement in the United States. As one of the experts leading this movement, his exceptionally valuable contribution to Ayurveda education goes without saying. To say he has dedicated his life to promulgating, practicing and teaching Ayurveda would be the strongest understatement. In addition to founding what has become the largest Ayurveda school in North America, he is an accomplished and astute clinician with a profound knowledge of Ayurveda treatments and lifestyle. Having been an appreciative attendee in several of his classes, I can say that his passion for health and healing shines through clearly and his words are inspiring, motivating and insightful. Anyone learning from him would receive many pearls of benefit.”  ~ Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa, Yogaraj (Ayurveda), DN-C, RH, LMT, NCTMB, CC, CAP, one of the foremost natural healing experts in North America, president of the American Herbalists Guild, respected teacher, writer and lecturer, http://www.internationalintegrative.com.
 
 
  

David Crow
"For over two decades, the California College of Ayurveda has been a bridge linking classical and contemporary Ayurveda to the West, a doorway to enter the long journey of clinical and philosophical study, and a dynamic global community of dedicated students and practitioners following the footsteps of India's traditional healers." ~ David Crow, L.Ac, Author of "In Search of the Medicine Buddha" and founder of Floracopeia, www.floracopeia.com 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Melanie & Robert Sachs
"The California College of Ayurveda is the product of Dr. Halpern's inspired vision and focused ability to gather and share teachings from classical Ayurvedic sources. Dr. Halpern and his staff have built a worthy home where the treasures of Ayurveda are translated into wisdom for modern times."  ~ Melanie & Robert Sachs, Authors of “Ayurvedic Spa” and “Ayurvedic Beauty Care,” founders of Diamond Way Ayurveda, www.diamondwayayurveda.com 
 
 
 
 
 
 
David Frawley
"The work of the California College of Ayurveda has made a serious contribution to the well-being of humanity” ~ David Frawley (Pandit Vamadeva Shastri), American Institute of Vedic Studies, www.vedanet.com, author of several books on Ayurveda, Yoga, Vedas, Vedic Astrology, Vedanta and more.
 
"When you graduate (from the California College of Ayurveda) you will be very well prepared to go into practice and stand among the finest trained practitioners in this country." ~ David Frawley (Pandit Vamadeva Shastri), American Institute of Vedic Studies,www.vedanet.com
 
 
 
 
Rick Sanger
"CCA’s presence in the community has changed my life – not only introducing me to Ayurveda, but also to my future wife!  CCA has a wealth of resources and, more important, a knowledgeable, friendly and dedicated staff who are committed to bringing excellence to training practitioners and treating clients in their Ayurvedic Spa.   I am proud to be in support of this commitment.  It is clear that CCA’s graduates are trained to bring the highest level of skill back into their own communities of practice." ~  Rick Sanger, ShiroBliss, LLC, www.ShiroBliss.com  
  
James Kelleher
“The California College of Ayurveda is one of the most well respected institutes of Ayurveda in the country.  It offers a blend of traditional Ayurvedic knowledge, great organization, and a systematic approach to one of the most ancient healing arts.  I have always been impressed with the level of knowledge and practice achieved by its graduates.” ~ James Kelleher, Co-founder of the American Council of Vedic Astrology and the American College of Vedic Astrology, www.jameskelleher.com
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Drs. Avinesh and Bharati Lele
“Ayurveda is a universal science and art of healthy and happy living. Everyone living on this globe needs to know about Ayurveda. The California College of Ayurveda is engaged in this noble work. We are happy to partner with CCA.” ~ Drs. Avinesh and Bharati Lele, B.A.M.S., avilele@gmail.com.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Frequently Asked Questions

Does CCA offer "traditional, authentic" Ayurvedic education?

Grass ValleyYes! 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.

What can I do when I graduate?

We train our students to be competent to go into private practice. This means being competent in the science of ayuveda as well as learning how to open and run an Ayurvedic practice. 

Is it legal to practice Ayurveda?

The practice of Ayurveda has not been determined to be illegal in any of the 50 states. In addition, some states like California have passed health freedom laws that formally legalize the practice of alternative medicine. CCA has graduates practicing in most of the 50 states and no graduate has ever had their right to practice questioned. 

 

Library

Where did the title Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist" originate?

Dr. Marc Halpern developed the title of Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist (C.A.S.) in 1995 for graduates of the California College of Ayurveda. The C.A.S. title has become recognized as the highest standard of clinical Ayurvedic education offered in the United States.

Can I receive a Master's degree from my studies at the California College of Ayurveda?

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vision and Recognition

State Approval To Operate

Grass Valley

State Approval and International Recognition

In order to run a legal Ayurvedic training program, every school and program must be approved by the State in which it operates. The State of California reviews the school to assure that it operates professionally and is financially sound.
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.

 

Continuing Education Credits

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.

Bureau of Private Post Secondary Education

Member of the California Association of Private Postsecondary School

National Ayurvedic Medical Association

California Association of Ayurvedic Medicine

National Council on Ayurvedic Education

 

What our patients say

"The therapists truly are gifted in the art of healing. They were gentle and nurturing. This is a very peaceful place; a sense of calm permeates the center. The staff were kind and gracious." ~ Kathleen Shepley
 
"I don't have the words to describe how wonderful my stay and meals were. Better than a 5 star hotel." ~ Michael Friedman
 
"My experience with the California College of Ayurveda was one of the most incredible that I have ever experienced. You all continue to be an important part of my life. I can say that I have never experienced so much love and compassion as I had at the California College of Ayurveda. Thank you so much for being an important part of my life." ~ Miriam Maxwell
 
"I would highly recommend The Ayurvedic Spa at the California College of Ayurveda to anyone who needs rejuvenation or a purification cleanse. It was truly a break from all of the distractions of daily life so that all of my time and attention would be spent on becoming healthy and whole again. And it was more relaxing than any vacation I've ever taken. Imagine getting a massage or a facial or any other spa treatment every single day during your vacation - that is what you would experience too. Make the investment in your health and your life and stay at the Ayurvedic Spa for a week. It will change your life." - Dr. Michele Colon
 
"Very nurturing and gentle. Slow and calming environment. I enjoyed the cottage and the pond, it was beautiful and relaxing." ~ Amanda Hartshorn
 
“My treatment left me rested and relaxed, the stress dripped away. The therapists were very engaged and ensured my comfort…the oils were fabulous, the perfect warm temperature and smelled wonderful.” ~ Linda
 
"A great space for "going within." ~ Anonymous
 
"I was aware there were two therapists but they worked as one." ~ Anonymous
 
“Thank you so much. This experience has been rich  beyond my imagination.” ~ Tobi
 
“I feel this is life-changing. “ ~ Linda Sanchez
 
“Very impressed” ~ Barb Kreider
 
“The moment we walked in, the center felt welcoming and relaxing. I told my husband, this is my new favorite place! My beautiful therapist was wonderful. She was so connected to my process and assisted me in releasing a lot of grief and pain…thank you!” ~ Anonymous
 
“I would say this is an “oasis” of healthy, helpful people who are entirely there to serve people like myself. There seems to be thoughtfulness everywhere, from the top down. My appreciation goes out to all those I worked with and to Dr. Halpern, whose vision has put the whole thing together.” ~ Mike Brockman
 
“I felt very connected and both therapists work well together. The transitions were very smooth and the therapists were very discreet and respectful in regards to bodywork.” ~ Salina Chan
 
“A very deep, relaxing, nourishing and healing experience. Amazing. Thank you.” ~ Toni McCormick
 
“Beautifully decorated with a happy, peaceful and welcoming feel.” ~ Tony Bautista
 
 
 
 
 

What our students say

Lotus

"Being a student at CCA was completely life changing for me. The education I received changed how I view the world and how I live my life. From the beautiful seeting/community in which the college is set to the wonderful instructors, my experience at CCA was more than I could have ever expected. I chose the college for the comprehensivenss of the program, and was not disappointed. My AHP internship really solidified my knowledge of the material, and I feel well equipped to continue into sharing my knowledge with others." ~ Brianne LaFriniere, 2014 AHP Graduate

"I am incredibly grateful and blessed by the teachers and staff at CCA. Their knowledge, wisdom, support and guidance has been life changing and instramental in my decision to become an Ayurvedic practitioner. Moving to Nevada City to attend CCA and pursue my passion has been a dream come true - thank you!" ~ Shannon Jaycox, 2014 graduate

 

"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."  ~ S.D.

"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." ~ J.G. 

"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." ~ M.S.

"My education at CCA was outstanding. CCA's complete instruction in Ayurveda enabled me to establish a successful clinical practice." ~ A.L. 

"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." ~ T.K. 

"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." ~ E.S. 
Students
"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." ~ 
C.S. 

"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." ~ J.R.

"Since graduating from the Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist program in 2011, I have been doing a lot of travelling. Over a year in India studying Yoga and Ayurveda, and back and forth across the USA. Wherever I go, Ayurveda has helped and guided me. I have had the amazing opportunity to learn and share Ayurveda with so many people to the benefit of that person and myself. CCA helped me to begin to live my truth, a path I will always walk down" ~ 
Josh Spence, 2011 CCA graduate

"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."  ~ S.& S.C. 

"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." ~ D.P.R.

"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." ~ E.S.


"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." ~ 
G.G.

"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."  ~ A.W.

 The internship brought it all together." ~ D.K.F.

"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."   ~ 
K.J.

"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."  ~ R.S.

"The internship was the most important part for me.  It was the part that tied theory to practice."  ~ T.W.

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."  ~ M.G.

"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." ~ B. I.

“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.” ~ S.M.

“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.” ~ S.H.

Why choose CCA For Your Ayurvedic Education?

Standards

60 minutes
Dr. Marc Halpern and Mike Wallace at the College for a taping of 60 Minutes

Academic Standards are what we stand for.  Dr. Halpern has been a leading force in developing standards of education the United States and is a co-founder of the National Council on Ayurvedic Education. CCA's program exceeds the guidelines of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association. CCA has the highest academic and clinical standards in the West.

Success

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. Our curriculum is not only strong in Ayurveda but also in the business and marketing skills that are necessary to be successful in today's world.

Making Medicines

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. Our herbal studies program begins in Level I and grows with each level of study. Students can also participate on our 1 year Herbal Apprenticeship Program.

Internship

While most internships only include observing a teacher seeing patients or having students evaluate other students,  the internship program at CCA emphasizes seeing real patients either in our community clinic or through our field internship programs. This gives students the real world experience necessary to be successful.

Residency

CCA is the only school in the West to offer an advanced paid residency program in disease management. This is a part of our Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist program.

Cohesive Program

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.

Excellence in Teaching Staff

Teachers at CCA are hand-picked by Dr. Halpern for their knowledge, their ability to communicate clearly, and their ability to teach in an organized manner. Many have been teaching for more than a decade.  CCA's teachers are among the most experienced teachers in the country.

Post-Graduate Study in India

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.