Yoga Nidra classes and message from Dr. Marc Halpern from the Ayurvedic Oracle

Letter from the President (July 2013)

This past month was very exciting at CCA. While of course we were involved with a wide array of teaching programs at both our Northern and Southern California locations, the highlight of the month was most certainly the Celebration of Ayurveda. The events began on June 14th with one of the most special puja ceremonies we have ever had at CCA.

 Led by Swami Sitaramananda of the Sivananda Yoga Farm, the ritual brought a focus on energy on the Divine Healer that exists within each of us. Everyone who attended felt uplifted and in some way “healed” or more “whole” from the experience. The Lotus room was prepared beautifully with an altar to Lord Dhanvantari, the Ayurvedic Icon of healing. Participants sang chants and mantras as Swamiji and others ceremonially bathed, fed and dressed the Divine Healer. Everyone threw flower petals and rice until the area around the altar was transformed into a beautiful forest of pink and white flowers. After, we all shared in “Prasad”. This is sweet treat that has been infused with spiritual energy from the blessings of the ceremony.

 The energy of the puja carried over the next day into the ORGANIC INDIA Medicine Garden Celebration.  Prashanti De Jager came to represent ORGANIC INDIA and spoke beautifully of the importance of building community and community gardens. Hills Flat Lumber, represented by Bret Burns, our local sponsor of many of the building materials, was also in attendance. Prashanti, Brett and I planted ceremonial Tulsi plants. Tulsi plants are held sacred in India and are considered to be more precious than gold and jewels! The new garden sign was unveiled as well and now welcomes visitors to explore and enjoy the garden experience. The Garden ceremony was led by Brenda Igler, our Chief Herbalist and garden coordinator.

 The garden inauguration flowed into the graduation ceremony with inspiring speeches by Prashanti, Swami Sitaramananda, Didi Ananda Lalita and a surprise guest. We were joined by one of my important Ayurvedic teachers, Dr. Subhash Ranade’ and his wife, Dr. Sunanda Ranade’ from Pune’, India.  Dr. Ranade’ used to come from India to visit me at my home in the early 1990’s and tutor me in the science of Ayurveda.  He is a World traveler and seed planter of Ayurveda. CCA is a seed he helped plant and nurture during its earliest beginnings.  It was special to have him back at the College after more than a decade.

 Now we look forward to the Summer Ayurvedic Massage and Body Therapy Intensives including special courses on Marma treatments, Dough Basti, Ayurvedic Facials, Pinda Swedana, and more.  An exciting summer lies ahead. I’ll also be traveling to Val Morin, Canada to present a two-week course on Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy in August at the Sivananda Yoga Camp. Blessings to all of you for an optimal health and inner peace.

 Be Well, Be Kind, Be Love,

Dr. Marc Halpern

A Closer Look at Dough Dam Basti

by Ragaia Belovarac

Greetings All!

As we approach summer, we look forward to seeing all of you at one or all of our upcoming special summer intensive courses.

This year I would like to share a little about one of my favorite courses I teach each year – Dough Dam Basti!!! You may be asking “What is a dough dam basti?!” Well, to begin with, Basti means bladder or container that holds something – typically fluid, like the bladder in the body. The name “Dough Dam Basti”, however, is simply describing the fact that the dough material (traditionally made of urad dahl – black gram flour) is typically made into round and other various shapes to hold medicated herbal oil combinations. We use black gram flour as it has been used throughout time for this therapy. Creating shapes with the dough alone is therapeutic and a creative process for the practitioner. (Read More)

Article of the Month

Yoga and Ayurveda: Two Sides of One Coin

In our Western culture, many people use Yoga asana as a stretching tool to keep the body limb and agile. To this extent, there is no better practice. Traditionally, however, Yoga postures are a part of a much greater spiritual journey.Yoga is a complete science of helping the mind to become clear and pure. A clear mind is not affected by stress and a clear mind produces a healthy body. While the health benefits of a mind at peace are irrefutable, what is even more exciting is that a person with a clear mind is also aware of their deeper spiritual nature or connection. We say in Ayurveda that all disease is the end result of forgetting our spiritual nature. Hence, Ayurveda and Yoga strive to help a person reconnect to their true nature through direct experience. (Read More)

Prospective Students:

Sample The Live Internet Classroom

Did you know that you can participate in our regular classes, and receive certification, through our live internet classes broadcast into your home?  Dr. Marc Halpern will conduct a Live Internet Classroom Orientation on August 7, from 3:00 to 5:00pm PST during which time you will have a chance to learn about Ayurvedic education and experience the technology first hand. In order to participate, you will need to attend a technology training program that will take approximately 1 hour. We will conduct this training in advance of Dr. Halpern’s Orientation class on July 23 at 10:00am PST.

    Students who participate, and then apply by August 1st for our upcoming fall classes (Live Over The Internet Only) will receive a $500 discount off of the Level 1 tuition.

    To register for the teleconference and the special training, please contact Jenny Michael – Enrollment Director, at


Massage and Body Therapy Courses

These are workshops and seminars designed for Ayurvedic practitioners, massage therapist, yoga teachers and other health professionals.

Click on the links below for a description and registration information of each workshop/seminar.

Foundations Course – anytime

Ayurvedic Massage & Body Therapy – July 8-12

Ragaia Belovarac

Marma Therapy – July 15-20

Dr. Marc Halpern

Dough Basti – July 22-26

Ragaia Belovarac

Ayurvedic Facials – July 29-31

Sylvia Disney

Pinda Svedana – August 2-4

Sylvia Disney


Meditation for Physical Healing and Spiritual Awareness

Join Reverend Ryan Strong’s Summer Meditation series. For beginners or experienced meditators, Rev. Strong will cover the philosophy and science of meditation, and will teach techniques and practices that will strengthen and deepen your daily practice of contemplative meditation.

Summer Schedule of classes:

July 30th

August 27th

Classes are from 6-7pm.

Donation basis.

For information, call 928-607-7588 or email

Yoga Nidra

With Trudy Collings,

Thursdays, 5:30-7pm

Lotus Room

California College of Ayurveda

Yoga Nidra is traditional yogic guided meditation that brings practitioners into a state of conscious deep relaxation. The body is asleep but the mind is awake and becomes an active participant in the healing process. Autoimmune disease, cardiac disease, chronic disease, chronic pain, stress, anxiety and insomnia are all conditions which benefit greatly from the regular practice of Yoga Nidra. This practice is appropriate for anyone looking to transform & heal, relax & renew.