An Ayurvedic Nutrition Certification can be an excellent complement to your existing wellness certifications if you plan on helping clients with their nutritional needs. An Ayurvedic Nutrition Certification is similar to a traditional nutrition certification except that it includes important information about Ayurveda and how Ayurveda can help people maintain balance through diet. Ayurveda is the sister science to Yoga, and it is based on the principle of food as medicine. According to Ayurveda, all disease starts in the mind and overtime precipitates into the body. When we understand how our body processes all forms of prana we can begin to understand how our bodies are being impacted by the prana that is being received.
In both yoga and Ayurveda, prana is our life force; it’s the energy that keeps us alive and feeds us on a cellular level. Prana comes in all forms. In fact, if you think about your senses and all of the things that you experience through your senses you’ll be able to grasp the concept of prana clearly. Prana is anything that comes into our field of awareness through the gates of the senses. The air we breathe and the food we eat are what most people think of as prana, but prana can be everything from the music you like to the TV shows you watch. Everything that either gives energy or takes energy is a form of prana.
In Ayurveda, the human experience manifests itself through Purusha and Prakriti. Purusha is the spirit that flows through the Prakriti, or container. Purusha being spirit, it doesn’t have any elemental attachment, but Prakriti manifests itself through the elements. The five elements found in Ayurveda are earth, water, fire, air, and ether. These elements come together to create doshas.
Our dosha is our constitution and helps us to understand more about ourselves both physically, but also psychologically. A combination of earth and water is the Kapha dosha. A combination of fire and water is the Pitta dosha. A combination of air and ether is Vata dosha. Each person has some of each dosha in them, and these doshas come in and out of balance depending on the season, the food a person eats, or their activity level. The doshas are influenced by the guna, the causal forces in nature. The guna tends to cause the doshas to be out of balance, and the work of an Ayurvedic Nutritionist is to evaluate their clients, note imbalances, and help them use nutrition and ayurvedic practices to bring about balance.
There are three Gunas that influence our ability to stay balanced in our experience. Rajas is the guna of energy and it pushes us into “doing”. Tamas is the guna of potential energy, and it grounds us in the “not doing”. Sattva is the guna of balance and it helps us experience equanimity, if only for a brief moment. All Prakriti is influenced by the guna, including the food we eat. Not only that, our food and environment also have qualities of the doshas. So, you can be a Pitta who is in a Kapha imbalance. If you eat food that is both Kapha and tamasic you are essentially perpetuating the Kapha imbalance. To come back into balance you would need to counter the Kapha with Pitta and Vata foods that are rajistic in nature while inviting more sattvic foods to provide a foundation of neutrality.
An Ayurvedic Nutritionists understand the way the Gunas impact our experience and how our doshas move in and out of balance. They also understand the foundational principles of nutrition from a clinical perspective and can guide clients towards a more holistic approach to eating for wellbeing. An Ayurvedic Nutritionist is not concerned with fad diets or weight loss, per se. They are looking to bring balance to the whole individual, and sometimes that doesn’t impact the number on the scale. To practice as an Ayurvedic Nutritionist you need to be well trained in both nutrition and in Ayurvedic nutrition, both of which are expansive topics.
It’s not necessary to go back to school for a degree in nutrition; there are many nutrition certifications out there that help coaches, yoga teachers, yoga therapists, and other wellness providers develop the skills needed to offer nutrition coaching. Many coaching programs have nutrition built into their curriculum, but not very many are focused on Ayurvedic Nutrition. This is why I decided to create our newest certification in Ayurvedic Nutrition. Our Ayurvedic Nutrition Certification helps practitioners to learn the skills necessary to assess their clients from a nutritional perspective and create holistic nutrition plans to help them cultivate a healthy and balanced relationship with food.
When I, Michelle, wrote the Ayurvedic Nutrition Certification I was working on developing healthier eating habits myself. After decades of work in the field of eating recovery, I decided I wanted to create an online course that would help individuals find balance while improving their relationship with food overall. I married my experience in eating recovery with my extensive background in biology, chemistry, and clinical nutrition to create an approachable self-paced course. After hearing from many Yoga Therapists in our Yoga Therapy training who wanted to work with clients through the lens of nutrition, I decided to create this certification so that they would have the skills to tackle topics dealing with nutrition without going outside of their scope of work.
Working with clients through the lens of Ayurvedic Nutrition can be a rewarding experience. It can empower your clients to cultivate a present relationship with the food they consume, which will ultimately help them to digest their food more efficiently. The educational components of this course help Ayurvedic Nutritionists to educate their clients while leveraging the power of cognitive behavioral reframing to let go of limiting beliefs they may have about food or their relationship with food while empowering them to lead a healthier lifestyle.