Michigan’s first School of Ayurveda, based on Hindu medicine, to open in Richland – MLive.com

Ruth Small, administrative director of the School of Ayurveda.  

RICHLAND, MI — Sambodh Center for Human Excellence will start what it says is Michigan’s first-ever School of Ayurveda in Richland.

Ayurveda, a holistic medical system originating in India, is a Hindu-based practice in search of finding harmony with Mother Nature.

“Ayurveda is a way of maintaining and gaining health,” said Ruth Small, administrative director for the School of Ayurveda. “That is what we want from this school, for people to be more

The school will be the one of 25 Ayurveda schools in the U.S., with the closest in Milwaukee, Wis.

“We have three staff members who have BAMS [Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery] degrees,” Small said. “These people will be teaching the courses and they all have been studying and practicing Ayurveda for many years.”

The school, to be located at the Sambodh Society at 6363 N. 24th St. in Richland, will be accepting up to 20 students this year.

“It is really important to us that this school has a lot of communication between instructor and student,” Small said. “Ayurveda is a complicated thing, so there has to be an environment of comfort for students to be able to ask questions and get the clarification they need.”

The 12-month program will meet for two, eight-hour sessions on the third weekend of each month. Basic tuition for the 12-month course is ,400.

“This is something that we hope anyone can do. There are no real prerequisites for these courses; all students need is a high school diploma,” Small said.

“We are hoping that this school will help educate people enough that the students from here can go out and identify people’s problems and help them fix whatever the problem is,” Small added.

What is Ayurveda? 

A dictionary definition of Ayurveda (pronounced Ah-yer-vey-duh) as “the ancient Hindu art of medicine and of prolonging life.”

“It means the science of life. It’s one of the oldest, if not the oldest, medical practice,” Small said. “It’s a very systematic system of medicine.”

Ayurveda has been practiced in India for more than 5,000 years. The basis for Ayurveda is for the human to gain harmony with self and the environment — self-realization. It is based on the belief that the universe is interconnected and interdependent.

Ayurveda expounds spiritual insights for living happy, healthy and peaceful lives while seeking the ultimate goal of self-realization, Small said.

Ayurveda seeks to find the “body type” of each person, Vata, Pitta or Kapha. These “body types” are based on the elements of nature, earth, air, water, fire and space. Each “body type” has a defect, a dosha, and that is what Ayurveda seeks to fix, Small said.

After learning their “body-type,” a person learns how to best live to improve health and well-being.

“One of the best things about Ayurveda is that there are no side effects,” Small said. “Everything an Ayurveda doctor would have you do is completely organic, so it is never bad for you.”

She continued, “Ayurveda is different for each person because each person is different. So there is really no one thing that every Ayurveda patient will have to do. It’s all on a case by case basis. That’s why it usually works; it is designed specifically for each person.”

Melody DeMerell is a reporter for the Kalamazoo Gazette. You can reach her at mdemerell@mlive.com. Follow her on Twitter.


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