In case you wanted to know what is Ayurveda in America

Just for your information…… this was taken straight from wikipedia and although wikipedia is based upon popular belief and has some flaws in its information… this is what you have out there for Ayurveda in America. And it is just getting worse.

Popular Americanized Practices

In recent years, Western Ayurveda has been drained of most of the details and distinguishing features of the first millennium classical literature, including descriptions of extreme therapies or the use of animal products in treatments. Health in the alternative medicine context has been transformed into a booming industry that propagates a diluted, exoticized and romanticized version of Ayurveda for Western markets.[6]

Today American Ayurveda has specialized its chief market even further to young, white, middle to upper class women. The past couple decades have brought a surge in products, books, and classes that address women, through Ayurvedic versions of beauty care, yoga, aromatherapy, weight loss programs, etc. Interestingly, this trend has reached India as well; even modern Indian Ayurveda is being marketed for both Indian and Western female audiences.[6] Perhaps one of the most obvious examples of the misappropriation of Ayurveda as an attractive marketing label is the burgeoning Ayurvedic spa culture.[6] Aimed primarily at elite and wealthy Western women, Ayurvedic resorts located in remote locations in the US or the most scenic paradises in India provide the most expensive and elaborate commoditization of Ayurveda. Ayurveda Yoga Villa, located in Kerala, India is the archetypical example of spa culture; providing Ayurvedic massages, cosmetic treatments, yoga classes, and spiritual rejuvenation, the resort “assures the effectiveness of the applications of Ayurveda and yoga.” [5]

Slightly more accessible to the masses are the herbal medicines, “Ayurvedic yoga classes,” books/DVDs that comprise the general “self-help” market. The chosen market is still by and large well off and female, but these practices are more accessible to a wider socioeconomic group. With celebrity endorsements of various practices and treatments, studios and spas selling “Ayurvedic packages,” and dozens companies specializing in Ayurvedic and yoga accessories and products, the transformation from practice to product becomes even more evident. Thus in the West, Ayurveda is rarely associated with actual science or medicine, and becomes instead another market to be exploited.[6]

In Pop Culture Media

The realm of popular print and Internet literature is vast and still growing: there are a plethora of articles and books on Ayurveda (in the Western sense) that are successful because they capitalize on the romance and mystique of India and alternative therapies. The majority of these is not written by Ayurvedic doctors,[2] and most articles simply prescribe the “Ayurvedic lifestyle” and provide guidelines for ideal eating, sleeping, and exercise routines.[6] Garden-variety lifestyle magazines such as Living Green Magazine that feature pieces like “An Ayurvedic Approach to Staying Cool” are more often than not the American public’s only education about Ayurveda.[7] These articles are typically written by authors with no education or training in Ayurveda and providing only vague details that pertain to classical Ayurveda: “Through vedic principals, it’s believed that to live optimally in balance your Dosha should be in fact, IN balance.” [7] These articles and guidelines focus on lifestyle/beauty routines and philosophy rather than historical or technical concepts.[6]

 

 

And just to follow this clip it from Wiki with further awakening, real ayurveda is not taught in the West. Just so that you have a real point of comparison, if an Ayurvedic BAMS Doctorate is 5.5 years of full time medical school education, how in the hell might you think a western ayurvedic education of 13 weekends, or one weekend a month or 3 – 10 week trimesters for 2 years? Those are the most popular courses. There are also other courses of just a few months on weekends. Any which way you slice it you can see the BS of the entire thing. All they leave with is thinking that Ayurveda is about Vata, Pitta, and Kapha diet plans and lifestyle choices made from a checklist online. That is the furthest thing from what Ayurveda is. Ayurveda in America is a complete joke. Pretty much the same exact path yoga took in the West. What is being created from this?

  1. Smith, F. M., & Wujastyk, D. (2008). Modern and global ayurveda: Pluralism and paradigms. Albany: State University of New York Press.
  2. Zysk, Kenneth Gregory. (2001). New Age Ayurveda or What Happens to Indian Medicine When it Comes to America. Traditional South Asian Medicine, 6,10-26.
  3. Anonymous. Ayurveda. (1924). The Lancet, 204(5268), 332. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(01)36001-4
  4. American Institute of Vedic Studies. Home. http://www.vedanet.com, accessed December 7, 2013.
  5. Selby, Marta Ann. (2005). Sanskrit Gynecologies in Postmodernity: The Commoditization of Indian Medicine in Alternative Medical and New-age Discourses on Women’s Health. Asian medicine and globalization (120-31). Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
  6.  Witherby, Michelle. (2013). An Ayurvedic Approach to Staying Cool. Living Green Magazine. Retrieved from http://livinggreenmag.com/2013/08/23/food-health/an-ayurvedic-approach-to-staying-cool/
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2 thoughts on “In case you wanted to know what is Ayurveda in America

    • Hard one to reply to. I did his courses along time ago. It was towards the start of my education of Ayurveda. I have had to unlearn so much that I was taught over the years and I do not wish anyone to do that path. Seeing that it is what is taught in the West as Ayurveda what choices do you have? I personally want Ayurveda to become legit in the West. I cannot support that course. I would tell you to instead get the texts from the BAMS and start there. They can be found online. I would also ask you to have discernment in your studies and then being what the western world is considering a practitioner. Instead of going out there with intent to help and having bad tools and harming due to lack of knowledge (even under the innocent intention of helping), take responsibility and learn it properly before tacking up a sign saying you are just another practitioner in the West which is only ruining Ayurveda in the world. There is rakshasa that destroy knowledge and devas that teach knowledge. Have discernment as to what you are doing or which you are becoming. This discernment is not always easy to see. For example, how is one to have the discernment of what they are reading, if it is correct or not? https://books.google.co.in/books?isbn=0914955977 this is a page to David’s book. It is obvious, if you have read posts on the seasons from the blog here that it is incorrect and I do not need to give explanation but to say that to eat an antikapha diet in the winter or a anti pitta diet in summer and even that vata is high in fall is all totally incorrect. And this is what you will be learning in his course and you will find a group of people that have the same knowledge that will support the belief that it is correct. The deeper knowledge of why and how is only found in the proper education, not a quick course.
      If you are only planning to use the knowledge for yourself and not to pretend to be an Ayurvedic practitioner, then the course is totally fine and probably a good choice. It is enough to get you thru. If you want to become a serious practitioner, go get the real education in India from a real Ayurvedic university and not the courses set up for short courses for westerners from doctors capitalizing on the popularization of Ayurveda in the Western world and peoples desire to learn. Then you will be properly taught and have all the knowledge to not do harm and to heal. It is six years and there is no cutting corners as the cutting corners is cheating yourself as well as everyone you would be treating. Truly, America has no right to take the science and water it down to sell it as it is being done. You can get the doctorate in India for 30k. Or you could do David Frawleys new college in Florida that will make you a western ayurvedic doctor for $100k. Yes, that is what this is turning into.
      Hope that is clear and hope it helps. It depends on who you are and what you want. The education in India cannot be compared to at all. There is so much in the cultural context that cannot be taught to a western mind in the western paradigm, specially if they do not even know anything but their own paradigm exists.
      Hope this helps.

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