Ayurveda Principles of Diet and Lifestyle
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Ayurveda Principles of Diet and Lifestyle

Ayurveda - The Science of Life - is the Answer to Optimal Health and Immunity, Disease Prevention and an Ideal Weight
4.3 (8 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
66 students enrolled
Created by Ms. Ann Holaday
Last updated 4/2017
Current price: $12 Original price: $75 Discount: 84% off
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  • 3.5 hours on-demand video
  • 17 Articles
  • 17 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion

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What Will I Learn?
  • Understand the basic principles of ayurveda, which are a) the Vedic view of creation, b) the principles of the five elements and how their qualities affect the body.
  • Understand that the doshas are in two states one which they are born with and a variable state which causes disease.
  • Evaluate the doshas in themselves and recognize how the doshas aggravate the body and cause disease.
  • Identify the six tastes and recognize the elements in each.
  • Understand the principle of cause and effect and how each taste affects the body.
  • Understand digestion and the different diseases which are caused by poor digestion.
  • Recognize three important factors in digestion i.e. digestive fire (agni) waste products (malas) and toxins produced in the digestive process (ama).
  • Understand which tastes they have to focus on and which to limit in order to manage their own particular health and weight issues.
  • Know which foods should be included in a healthy diet and issues related to each.
  • Know which foods are the most suitable for the student’s particular health and weight issue.
  • Understand issues related to food combining and how it affects digestion.
  • Know which foods to choose for overweight or underweight issues.
  • Understand the role that the mind plays in influencing diet and lifestyle habits.
  • Realize what has to change in attitude towards food and lifestyle in order to change habits.
  • Understand the emotional connection to food and lifestyle.
  • Realize one's own predominant state of mind in controlling eating habits.
  • Learn the relationship between stress and sickness and how to manage stress.
  • Learn the importance of daily yoga asana and exercise for complete health.
  • Learn basic breathing exercises (pranayama) for health.
  • Learn basic techniques to ensure a proper night's sleep.
  • Learn the importance of routine in achieving complete health and a balanced weight.
  • Learn basic techniques for meditation.
  • Know the basic requirements of an ayurveda kitchen
  • Understand the reasoning behind vegetarianism.
  • Be able to make basic staples for a healthy diet.
View Curriculum
  • It is important that students who take this course do so with an open mind, a commitment to change and a willingness to accept diet and lifestyle modifications which may be new to them.
  • There is no particular knowledge required prior to taking this course unless the student intends to further educate themselves to help others.
  • This course is important for community education so a background in nutrition, natural medicine or public health would be necessary for professionals interested in community education.
  • There are no particular materials required for the course except access to the internet, a commitment to the process and trust in this method. It is important for the student to cook their own food, so they will need a simple cooking facility available.
  • A slow cooker is helpful and a blender and food processor. It is helpful to have a place to be able to practice yoga asana and breathing techniques and an outside facility for exercise e.g. neighborhood or park. A quiet place for meditation is important.
  • Students are encouraged to finish up foods in their kitchens and refrigerators and replace as we go along with fresh wholesome foods recommended in the diet.

Modern medicine is an illness system not a health system and we have forgotten that man and nature have existed for millions of years without the help of science. Until recently the health of man and of the planet depended on the laws of nature which are very clear if we would only pay attention.  

Obesity is considered to be a crisis in Western countries but at the same time thousands of people suffer from eating disorders and/or are underweight. Clearly there is an underlying problem in the modern attitude towards diet and lifestyle. It is not enough to simply “diet” a way out of these problems but an overwhelming need to get to the root cause. 

I believe the only solution is for each person to become aware of their own issues and understand what they have to do to rectify their particular situation. Modern nutritional advice has a “one size fits all approach” and has a poor understanding of the cause. “If the car won’t run we have to find out why and get it repaired.”

The same applies to chronic illnesses such as diabetes, autoimmune disease, allergies, arthritis, the list goes on. The diseases are rampant in modern society and medicine only provides bandaid solutions it never gets to the root cause which in most cases is deeply rooted. Traditional societies who eat real food and live largely according to nature have other health problems related to contaminated water, communicable disease, starvation etc. but have a strong immunity and do not suffer from the chronic illnesses that are so prevalent in the West.

This course is not a quick fix but requires commitment to change based on an understanding of ones self and a desire to end the cycle of “dieting”. The digestive system is a complex mechanism which takes food and turns it into energy and if we don’t put the right foods in the right quantities into our body, then we will not see the results we want. “If we always do what we always did, we always get what we always got”.

Ayurveda, the Science of Life gives us the knowledge to learn again the laws of nature to strengthen our immune system and therefore prevent disease. In doing so we learn how to manage health rather than manage our illnesses which according to ayurveda are nothing more than imbalances created by the environment, diet and lifestyle and inappropriate habits which interfere with good heath. All of this is written in the ancient texts of ayurveda. This does not mean that recent developments in science and technology have not benefitted mankind, but without using ancient wisdom it will only have partial success. Ayurveda holds the secret to managing health and disease prevention by strengthening the immune system and balancing weight. It is a revolutionary method of self analysis, authentic ancient knowledge and practices which balance the energies of body and mind. 

This course provides knowledge of the basic principles of the science of life - Ayurveda. The student will learn how proper food and eating habits are in fact the best medicine and that the food choices we make every day can improve immunity and prevent disease. The role of the mind is crucial to managing health because today there is so much influence coming from the food “industry” and even the “health food industry” that there is no reference point for right choices. Ayurveda provides this reference point. Once the student experiences positive change and realizes what optimal health really means then they have confidence in their ability to apply the principles of ayurveda and make them into a way of life. Knowledge of the true nature of the body and mind is the key to success in managing health, improving immunity, achieving an ideal weight and preventing disease. 

As an ayurvedic practitioner I have become increasingly aware of how little most people know about the food they eat, their own unique body and mind and what foods are best suited for them. Recent generations have been bombarded by advertising of food which has evolved for reasons other than the promotion of complete health. The result is thousands of people are suffering from health issues. The sad thing is, even with our “so called” advanced civilization there are no solutions and most people don’t even recognize it as a problem. 

My course consists of voiceover videos covering the basic concepts of ayurveda as they apply to the body, mind and daily living. Talking head videos are tailored to substantiate and compliment these videos. With the marketing strategies of the food industry today, even of health food, it is difficult for the lay person to make informed decisions on what they should eat. Section 2 on food is based on fundamental principles which have a scientific basis and rules associated with diet and lifestyle, and will give the student a knowledge base to refer to. 

Many of our food habits are based on emotional conflicts within us. Section 3 on the mind will help the student to go beyond the mind, realize it and learn to control it therefore strengthening willpower. Section 4 focuses on the application of ayurveda principles to achieve optimal health and immunity, prevent disease and by the end of the course the student will have the knowledge and confidence to reach a normal weight and maintain it. Exercise and sleep are emphasized throughout the course and there is a quiz in each section to help you determine your own particular body and mind type. You can evaluate your behaviors which help you to see the nature of your mind. 

I designed this course in everyday language although there are some words which do not have an English equivalent. Lecture 1 is a glossary of Sanskrit words to refer to,

This course is invaluable for professionals involved in public health and carers of the elderly, community education, nutrition, teachers and parents. 

Who is the target audience?
  • This course is aimed at those who are genuinely interested in learning about their own body and mind from an ayurvedic perspective and what they have to do to achieve complete health, improve immunity, prevent disease and manage weight.
  • Ayurveda principles of diet & lifestyle are important for everyone to know, especially parents, teachers, those in the medical profession and ayurveda professionals who can advise their clients to take the course.
  • Ayurvedic practitioners, natural health professionals, medical health professionals, all areas of community education, public health, nutrition, especially experts in eating disorders, diabetes, autoimmune disease, incurable disease etc.
  • This course is not for students who want quick results or even to have a timeline for weight gain, weight loss or to see a dramatic improvement in health.
  • Students who realize that each person is an individual and it is through education and self-awareness that he/she will learn what their own particular needs are to achieve complete health, improved immunity and a balanced weight.
Compare to Other Ayurvedic Medicine Courses
Curriculum For This Course
54 Lectures
Overview of the Fundamental Principles of Ayurveda
12 Lectures 01:13:04

A glossary os Sanskrit words commonly used in Ayurveda. 

Glossary of Terms - Text

Head talk video: Short introduction describing the motivation behind the objectives of the course for the student to learn the principles of ayurveda to achieve optimal health and immunity to prevent disease and normalize body weight. 

Preview 02:53

Voice over slides: Ann Holaday, an ayurvedic practitioner and owner/director of According To Ayurveda & Yoga introduces herself and gives a brief explanation of the origins and history of Ayurveda and Yoga. 

Preview 04:00

Weight and health issues are due to imbalances in body function which are usually caused by inappropriate dietary and lifestyle habits. Therefore these must be addressed first for a satisfactory result. This course offers the knowledge of one's own constitution in order make the necessary changes.      

Preview 03:06

Head talk video: A broad overview of the course giving the goals and what students can expect. The principle of five elements space, air, fire, water and earth is the place to start where we explain the philosophy of evolution of the five elements (How did they come about?)

Getting Started - Principle of the Five Elements - mp4 9.55

Slides & voice over video: The qualities or GUNAS of the five elements Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth are explained in detail. 

Qualities of the Five Elements - GUNAS - mp4 5.14

The health risks of overweight and underweight are discussed. The Doshas (five elements) are in two states. Our true nature which we are born with and the current or aggravated state which is determined on examination.

Health Risks & Two States of the Doshas - mp4 5.37

Slides & voice over video: Students will understand the word dosha, what the effects of the doshas are on the body and their importance in health.  

What are the Doshas? mp4 2.54

Slides & voice over: The doshas manifest as physical characteristics which are governed  by the qualities or GUNAS of the Doshas. Each dosha has specific characteristics which are quite specific in every individual.  

The Characteristics of the Doshas -mp4 2.46

Slides & voice over: The doshas exist two states one is our true nature and the other is an aggravated state where imbalances can be diagnosed. It is very important for the student to understand the difference between the natural state and the aggravated state.  

Preview 04:37

By determining the physical characteristics in detail, one can realize the dominant doshas, therefore understand true nature (prakriti) or natural constitution. This is an important step to understand before continuing. Our true nature is what we are born with and is determined by the prakriti (true nature) of our parents, it never changes. This video helps the student to interpret the result of the quiz. 

Quiz to Determine the Student's Own True Nature - Text

A narrative to summarize the principles of ayurveda which is a different way of looking at our being as an integrated organism of body, mind and spirit.  

Summary of Ayurvedic Principles - Text & mp3
Food as Medicine
20 Lectures 01:58:38

Obesity is considered a crisis in Western countries especially amongst children and teens but at the same time eating disorders, underweight and food allergies are at epidemic proportions. Clearly the Western diet is at fault. 

Weight Gain and Weight Loss - mp4 3.06

 Ayurveda stresses the importance of good digestion. If the digestion is not right then the whole system is affected and eventually disease will occur. Overweight and underweight are considered disease.

Digestive Disorders - mp4 5.06

Head talk video: Everything that goes into the body has an effect on it. Food can be beneficial to the body or have a negative effect. It is our choice. 

Principle of Cause and Effect- mp4 4.49

Head talk video: Ayurveda stresses the importance of good digestion. If the digestion is not right then the whole system is affected and eventually disease will develop.

Importance of Digestion - mp4 8.34

There are two critical aspects to understanding digestion. One is the digestive fire or Agni which is burning too low in overweight and underweight. The other is the toxins produced by undigested food. This is caused by overeating, low digestive fire, eating the wrong food and bad food combinations, The article is a written description of the MP3 which is downloadable.  

Digestive Fire (Agni) Toxins produced in Digestion (Ama) - Text & mp3 11.47

Interview with KP Khalsa, a herbalist in the USA, where we discuss the six tastes and the qualities of food. The article gives the dialogue and the MP3 is the actual interview. 

Food as Medicine - Text & mp3 39.50

Voice over video: It is the five elements which give matter its characteristics. These are the GUNAS and there are twenty or ten pairs recognized in ayurveda. Each GUNA has an opposite quality. 

Twenty Qualities of Matter - the Gunas - mp4 4.29

UTube Video: Dr. Robynne Chutkan Ted Talk Lecture 

Why The Microbiome Is The Future Of Medicine:- We have all heard about the microbiome, but what is it? Why should we care? And, more importantly, what should we do about it? 

Microbiome in Digestion - YouTube Video

Head-talk video: Ayurveda has sound principles and simple rules to follow to address both overweight and underweight. These are not complicated and they work. 

Making Dietary Habits - mp4 13.44

Slide & Voice over video: The five elements are in food. In Ayurveda it is important to balance the six tastes in the diet by balancing the five elements.

Six Tastes - mp4 5.25

Slides & voice over video: Grains are predominantly the sweet taste therefore should be limited for weight loss and taken abundantly for weight gain. Vegetables vary in their taste and most fruits are predominantly sweet taste.

About Food - Grains, Fruits & Vegetables mp4 7.54

Slides & voice over video: Milk is a complete food and very nourishing. All dairy is hard to digest so must be limited by both, especially overweight people. Oils and fat are vital to the diet.

About Food - Dairy, Oils and Fats - mp4 7.33

Slides & voice: Legumes are predominantly astringent and are best for losing weight but because most are difficult to digest mung beans are recommend. Seeds and nuts are essential to a healthy diet as a source nutrients and micronutrients.

About Food - Legumes Nuts & Seeds 8.14 MP4

Slides & voice over video: The sweet taste is essential in a balanced diet but refined sugar is a toxin. The sweet taste is in rich, milk and other healthier options. Simplicity is the key to an ayurvedic kitchen.

About Food: Sweeteners, Herbs, Spices & Ayurvedic Kitchen - mp4 6.37

Ayurveda does not condemn meat eating but to only to consume meat under very special circumstances.  A vegetarian diet is recommended and their are sound reasons for this as outlined in the article on vegetarianism. The youtube video of a Ted talk presented by Melanie Joy explores the psychology behind eating meat.

Vegetarianism - Text & Youtube video

Slides & voice over video: In the West we pay little attention to combining foods in a meal. Ayurveda is very specific and has many rules about mixing foods together. (e.g. proteins and fruit)

About Food - Food Combining mp4 5.24

Text: There are many warming, KAPHA pacifying foods and beverages to choose from this complete list. 

Food Choices for Weight Loss - Text

Text: There are many warming, VATA pacifying foods and beverages to choose from from this complete list. 

Food Choices for Weight Gain - Text

Text: Digestive khichardi and ghee are the main staples of an ayurvedic diet. A limited selection of easy to make ayurveda recipes courtesy of JIVA institute. 

Ayurveda Recipes - Text & mp3 - Khichardi & Ghee

Slides & voice over video: VATA dosha is aggravated when there is difficulty in weight gain and KAPHA in overweight issues. 

Summary of Digestion and Food Choices - mp4 3.10
Role of the Mind in Diet, Lifestyle & Weight Management
10 Lectures 46:14

Head talk and voice over video An introduction to the complex nature of the mind and how it always seeks pleasure, how it is influenced by our up-bringing and the emotional connection which we have to food. In order to balance weight issues we have to control the mind and its tendencies.

What is the Mind? - mp4 1.39 mins

Slides & voice over video: The subtle energies of Vata (Prana), Pitta (Tejas) and Kapha (Ojas) govern the positive aspects of health and vitality. The MP3 in this lecture explains further the importance of understanding Prana.

Subtle Energies - Prana, Tejas, Ojas - mp4 4.15 & mp3 5.20

Slides & voice over video: In order to control the mind so that it does not control us, it is important to understand the functions of the mind. 

Function of the Mind - mp4 3.18

Slides & voice over video: Mind or "Manas" is the bridge between the outside world and the inner self with information coming in through the senses. It is through the senses that we connect to the five elements.

Senses and the Outward Mind - mp4 3.58

The “Ego” gives us our identity, but can be a problem for us if we allow it to control us. The “Conscious Mind” is our intelligence and when directed inward brings love, peace and compassion, when directed outward brings unhappiness and discontentedness.

The Self-Conscious & Discerning Mind. Text & Voiceover Video

Memories are stored in the “Sub-Conscious Mind or Chitta”, impressions or “Samskaras” are made on the Chitta which carries these impressions. The Soul "JIVA “is the real SELF and  is not influenced by Chitta

Impressions and their Influence on the Sub-Conscious Text and Video

Sleep is the diet of the mind and is not so much the amount of sleep but the value of it. Each individual has their own particular need of sleep, but we are all influence by the rhythm of nature and the energy of the earth affects us.  MP3 talks about how we can develop a rhythm which is natural for us.  


Sleep - the Diet of the Mind Article & mp3

Voice over video: The qualities of the five elements influence the mind, these are the GUNAS, Sattva (quality of purity and contentment) Rajas (quality of action and change) and Tamas (quality of inertia and dullness).

Qualities of the Mind - the GUNAS mp4 3.44

A carefully thought-out Quiz so that the student can determine their own behavioral traits which demonstrate the Doshas in the mind. Lifetime behavioral tendencies can determine the combination of Vata Pitta and Kapha in the mind. It is important to watch the video to analyze the results of the quiz.

Quiz & Video to Determine True Nature of the Mind. Quiz & Video

The Vedic view of the mind is very comprehensive and quite different from the modern view. It is important to understand the role of the mind in behavior then we are able to control it.  MP3  An overview of Vedic view and the aspects of the mind to understand its role in the management of weight.  

Summary of the Role of the mind - Text & mp3
Application of Ayurveda Principles in Daily :Living
12 Lectures 01:16:11

Slides & voice over video: Prana is the life force brought into the body through the breath. Pranic energy is carried throughout the body by the nadis and the energy channels. There are three main nadis and 72,000 minor channels in the body.

Life Force & Energy Channels mp4 4.05

 Eight Limbs of Yoga - Outer Yoga (4 minutes 1 second)

The first four of the eight limbs of yoga details the practice of outer yoga, “Nyamas” (rules of personal conduct) “Yamas” (rules of social conduct) “Asana” (postures) “Pranayama” (yogic breathing).  

Outer Yoga - mp4 4.02 and Text

Voice-over video: The last four of the eight limbs of yoga detail the practise of inner yoga, “Pratyahara” (withdrawl of the senses) “Dharana” (concentration) “Dhyana” (meditation) “Samadhi” (absorption). MP3 talks about the real meaning of yoga and includes an interview with Harish Mohan a Yoga Therapist in India.

Inner Yoga - Four of the Eight Limbs - mp4 5.30

Head-talk showing the meaning of pranayama and demonstrating a basic pranayama practice and the benefits of each. 

Pranayama - Control of the Breathe - mp4 16.47

Meditation is a state of mind which has to be cultivate. The mind is constantly busy constantly following its desires until it burns itself out. Meditation allows us the time to rejuvenate and build mental strength.  

Meditation -mp4 6.02

In order to reach a higher state of awareness, the mind must have a predominantly sattvic quality, that is purity of body and mind. Unlike prakriti (true nature) of body and mind the gunas can be changed through diet and lifestyle. By gaining control of rajas, the tendency towards action, tamas the tendency towards inertia the mind can become more sattvic.

Quiz & Video to Determine the Student's Quality of Mind

Slides & voice over video: Six of the leading causes of death are related to stress. We cannot always avoid stress but we can change the way we deal with it. Ayurveda and Yoga have simple guidelines for managing stress.  

Managing Stress - mp4 5.06

Ayurveda Dietary Guidelines - mp4 5.58

Slides & voice over video: Routine is an important aspect to controlling weight. Common ailments can be prevented and treated with ayurveda and yoga when practiced routinely. MP3 gives additional tips on how to follow a routine for complete health. 

Daily Routine & Health Tips - mp4 4.24 & mp3

Text: Home remedy tips for common conditions related to over and underweight e.g. obesity, anorexia, hypertension and diabetes. MP3 id an interview with Dr Chauhan of JIVA Ayurveda in India on simple effect home remedies for common maladies. Coughs & colds, aches and pains, indigestion. 

Home Remedies Article and mp3

Slides & voice over video: Yoga is much more than the practice of postures. It connects the body and mind on a deep level and brings peace and awareness. Peace and contentment can be achieved by following an ayurveda and yoga lifestyle, and there is no time like the present to start. 

Ayurveda & Yoga Lifestyle - mp4 4.55

This lecture brings the basic principles learnt in the course together and explains to the student that they now have the knowledge to manage their health effectively, prevent disease and maintain a natural body weight.

Course Summary - mp4 8.02
About the Instructor
Ms. Ann Holaday
4.3 Average rating
8 Reviews
66 Students
1 Course
Ayurvedic Practitioner

I am an Ayurvedic professional with a passion to educate the world about the amazing health benefits of Ayurveda and Yoga. I believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to understand ayurveda principles to manage their health effectively.

I was born, brought up and educated in Britain and have lived in Washington State in the US since 1981. I have three grownup children and two grandsons. My lifetime career was in radiation therapy where I was an educator, administrator and practitioner. I have written a book and am a teacher of English as a second language. I have traveled the world extensively and lived in Puerto Rico, New Zealand, India, Britain and Germany. Ayurveda found me when I studied at the JIVA Institute in 2006 when I was captured by the timeless knowledge of life. I studied under Dr David Frawley and Dr Vasant Lad in the US and at the Ayurveda College in Kerala, India. I am a professional member of NAMA, National Ayurvedic Medical Association and AAPPNA, Association of Ayurvedic Professionals of North America. I have presented at International Ayurveda Conference in Lucknow, India, Global Ayurveda Festival in Cochin, twice at the Holistic Health Conferences in Kottayam and World Ayurveda Congress in Delhi. 

I am an experienced yoga teacher, have a small ayurveda practice and run ayurveda workshops. 

I founded "According to Ayurveda and Yoga" and have been a Voice America radio host.