- Can I study on my own schedule? What are minimum attendance requirements?
Each week, you can listen to the pre-recorded presentations on your own schedule. Live review classes will meet 3 times each week, including convenient options for every time zone. All classes will be recorded so you can listen to them even if you miss it. Most students can attend 2 out of 3. These students listen to the recording for the ones they can't attend live. Some of our international students attend 1 live class a week.
We understand that life events may prevent you, time to time, from completing assignments on time. We have a policy to accommodate you. Extensions are flexibly granted on a case by case basis.
See the course catalog for more information.
- When do our courses start and/or meet?
Students who register early will have an opportunity to get a head start on reading materials and class assignments. See our Academic Calendar for information about holiday breaks, live class times & hours per week.
- Is it legal to practice Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is currently legal in all 50 U.S. states. After graduating from Joyful Belly's Ayurveda certification courses, you will legally be able to see clients. If you are not practicing in the United States, check your local laws to confirm the most current policy of your country. The practice of Ayurveda is still evolving in most countries outside of India. Read more about the legal status of Ayurveda.
- Is Joyful Belly accredited?
Joyful Belly is accredited and/or recognized by the American Association of Biocharacteristics Clinicians (AABC), the Association of Ayurvedic Professionals of North American, the American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP), and the National Association of Ayurvedic Schools and Colleges (NAASC). Read more about our accreditation status.
- What will my title / designation be after graduation?
When you graduate from the Master Ayurvedic Digestion and Nutrition program, you receive a certification as an Ayurvedic Digestive Health Coach. When you graduate from the Fundamentals of Ayurvedic Medicine Course, you receive a certification as an Ayurveda Health Counselor.
Graduates from the Ayurvedic Herbalist course are eligible for certification as a Clinical Ayurvedic Herbalist. Graduates from the Panchakarma Cleanse course are eligible for certification as a Panchakarma Cleanse Specialist and Marma Point Technician.
Graduates of the Ayurveda Health Counselor, Herbalist, and Panchakarma course are eligible for certification as an Ayurveda Practitioner.
Graduates from all of our certification programs are eligible to join the American Association of Biocharacteristics Clinicians (AABC), and for board certification as a health coach with the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. Our graduates are also eligible for certification with the Ayurvedic Association of Professionals of North America.
- What can I do when I graduate?
Our graduates pursue many different means of sharing Ayurveda. Most commonly graduates combine some type of public workshops (at yoga studios, wellness centers, community spaces, etc) with one on one consultations. The workshops help to introduce you and Ayurveda to your community and then build your client base as participants want to work more deeply with Ayurveda. Many graduates practice out of an integrative clinic with other holistic health practitioners like chiropractors, massage therapists, etc. Some of our graduates also go on to do personal chef work and / or cooking instruction. Some integrate Ayurveda into services they already offer as a therapist or medical doctor for example. Some opt for a practice based in their community while others build their practice online. The possibilities are only limited by your own ingenuity! Read more about Ayurveda career options.
- What is Joyful Belly's academic approach?
Joyful Belly uses modern teaching methods and multimedia to bring ancient Ayurveda up close. While our courses are more detailed and challenging than others, our certification courses give you greater confidence to succeed in your future Ayurveda career. And, with ample breaks and the flexibility that online programs offer, it is doable for students with busy lives, a family, and a job.
We teach Ayurveda's intended purpose: medicine. Other schools bundle Yoga spirituality, astrology, and Hindu philosophy into their Ayurveda course. At Joyful Belly, we believe the best place to learn yoga spirituality is in a yoga course. And, that the best place to learn astrology is in an astrology course. Schools who try to teach all of these disciplines end up with mediocrity.
In our school, we maintain focus on clinical medicine so you get the best. We offer some of the most rigorous, practical courses in Ayurvedic education, with a focus on creating a thriving practice post-graduation. Courses are not overly technical, and instead use a common sense, natural approach. We draw heavily from clinical experience, evidence basis, and Ayurvedic methods and tools.
Joyful Belly is a research school. We publish over 75 novel food research studies per year.
Our online Ayurveda courses will ask you to stretch yourself, as all instigators of great change do. Our teachers use their extensive experience alongside the rich wisdom of the ancient texts to give you an in-depth understanding of the Ayurvedic system.
We are here to help set you up for success, both in your own wellness journey and with that of your clients. Your online Ayurveda course enables you to engage with clients and their symptoms from a truly informed place.
Read more about our academic approach.
- How to choose an Ayurveda school.
Your choice of Ayurveda school plays a large part in determining the quality of practitioner you will become and the success of your career. It can be difficult to compare different programs, as schools can often seem quite different in their approach and focus.
Do not compare schools based on price. Harvard isn't the cheapest school, but the difference in lifetime outcomes makes the additional cost worth it.
We have created this 'How to Choose the Right Ayurveda School' guide to help you make an informed choice for your future. Read more about the Joyful Belly teaching style.
- Why choose an online course?
Joyful Belly has been offering in-depth Ayurvedic courses since 2008. Delivering superior education online is our sole focus. We're not just jumping on the online bandwagon - our courses have been built to take advantage of online learning benefits from the bottom up. We know firsthand that the rich use of multimedia in online education brings the knowledge closer than you can achieve in a traditional classroom setting. In a traditional in-person program, the teacher may be 50 feet away. Our teachers are 2 feet away from you. Online learning is convenient, cost effective and improves learning outcomes. Read more on the Benefits of Online Learning for Ayurveda Education
Students watch pre-recorded presentations with slides full of informative images & displays, do experiential food & body awareness experiments, sample herbs and Ayurvedic formulations, engage through weekly live course calls as well as a class forum for discussion monitored by the program teachers. Since Joyful Belly has run an online clinic for 10 years we've had a lot of experience in creating meaningful interaction online.
- Do you offer scholarships or other payment options?
Apply for scholarship and work study opportunities for 2 Year Counselor Program, or our 1 Year Digestive & Nutrition Program. Contact email@example.com for details.
We offer a competitively priced program that is thousands of dollars less expensive than other schools. This is possible because our founder is a Harvard graduate and builds all technology in house. Schools who offer scholarships matching our price do so at the expense of student support and quality of their programming. An example of this includes schools that 1) have a lack of grading & feedback, 2) rotate teachers every week so that teachers aren't invested in the curriculum or student outcomes, or 3) have mentors that meet with students only once a month.
- Can international students attend?
Yes, we offer live class reviews that are convenient for multiple time zones, from European time zones to the Pacific Rim.
- What is the level of service you provide to students?
See the educational highlights.
About the Author
John Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a
healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda biocharacteristics
His approach to Ayurveda is clinical, yet exudes an ease which many find enjoyable and insightful.
John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda
offering professional clinical training in Ayurveda for over 15 years.
John's interest in Ayurveda and specialization in digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel,
as well as public service work in South Asia.
John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem.
His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion.
John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing.
In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots,
and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church.
Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick.
That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.
Outside of work, John enjoys spending time with his wife and 6 kids, and pursuing his love of theology, philosophy, and language.