Ayurveda in Pennsylvania: Consultations in Bensalem with Jeanne-Marie Derrick

The California College of Ayurveda is pleased to introduce the Ayurvedic Health Practitioner Interns 2014. Interns have completed their academic studies and work under the supervision of experienced clinical instructors. This semester’s talented group of interns comes from throughout the United States, Canada and United Kingdom.

Ayurvedic Health Practitioner (AHP) interns work on supporting patients to adopt a healthy lifestyle that is in harmony with their constitution. Patients learn about their constitution as well as the nature of any imbalances. They will also receive support to adjust their diet and lifestyle accordingly and to normalize your digestion and elimination. As part of the Ayurvedic program, an intern can include ayurvedic herbs, aromatherapy, color therapy, sound and mantra, and Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy. This is is the best of preventative health care! For those who have a specific condition and are looking for clinical management through Ayurvedic Medicine, they should consider having a consultation with an Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist intern or graduate. 

Interview with Jeanne-Marie from Pennsylvania

1)  What inspired you to study Ayurvedic Medicine?

Over 30 years ago I embraced the path of yoga and many of the related devotional teachings. One of those teachings was Ayurveda under the tutelage of Dr. Robert Svaboda. Four years ago I returned to India to study with my Yoga teacher, Shri BKS Iyengar. While there, I partook in a 21 day treatment at an Ayurveda clinic in Kerala. During this process I came to appreciate how essential Ayurveda is to our present society being deeply impressed by subtle changes and realizations in myself.

2)    What do you think makes Ayurveda attractive to the public?

In my yoga classes, I see many astute and sophisticated students in New Yoga City, Philadelphia and surrounding areas. Many have the means and access to the best medicine, nutrition and psychological support around, but are still feeling at a loss, often overwhelmed by burdens from work and life. There is a deep craving for the basic wisdom that Ayurveda offers. A wisdom that we all know in the deepest parts of ourselves. It is in our cells, our bones, it is our birthright. But, it seams an easy knowing to forget and can be sometimes challenging to remember and practice without the support of a trained Ayurveda Practitioner, who has walked the road before.  

3)    What do you think about the future of Ayurveda in the United States?

When I first started practicing Yoga, it was difficult to find a yoga teacher in New York City. There was only a select handful. I remember thinking, “give it time, yoga will be such a phenomenon that just about everyone will be talking about and practicing it”. I feel Ayurveda has that same potential toward becoming the medical modality that can be trusted to bring a greater quality of life to many people. 

4)    What is your favorite therapy in this traditional system of medicine from India?

      The diversity of therapies offered by Ayurveda incorporate a number of varying treatments that address the body, mind and spirit different ways on different days. From Abhyanga, to Shirodhara, dough Basti’s and Pranic healing through Marma points, I find it difficult to select one. But, at this moment I would just love to get an Abhyanga from two therapists (or more) with warm medicated oil followed by a Svedana. That sounds like pure joy and love!

5) What does your path to Ayurveda look like?

I was raised in Florham Park, New Jersey and moved to New York City to study painting and sculpture at The Art Students League. While in NYC, I became interested and certified in Iyengar Yoga. I am especially interested in Yoga for Women, Yoga for Scoliosis (certified under Elise Miller) and the therapeutic value of yoga including pranayama and meditation. I am one of the core faculty at the NYC Iyengar Institute, where I teach to this day. I ran my own yoga studio in NYC. I moved to Anguilla B.W.I. a small island in the Caribbean to work with a team of Dr.’s to set up a medical health resort. Although the resort never opened, I ended up planting roots there and would eventually live full time running a yoga studio and an art studio. I moved back to the NY/ NJ area and saw the deep need in myself to look at life through the lens of Ayurveda. Dr. Timothy McCall recommended me to study at CCA particularly for the internship program which he claims is the only Ayurveda school in the country that trains its students for the demands of professionalism.

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