All posts by SandraShotton

Professional Ayurveda Yoga Therapy Apprenticeship

2015-16 Professional Ayurveda Yoga Therapy Apprenticeship  250hr

 offered by Sandra Sagarmurti Shotton  &  Faculty of  Island Yoga Vista

Have you been practicing yoga for a while now and are looking for your next step?

Are you a yoga instructor looking for more skills to offer your clients?

Can you see yourself taking your knowledge and experience out into your community to diverse groups of  people who would benefit from what you know? 

Are you inspired by yoga and want to share it?

Consider joining me for an in depth exploration of what Yoga Therapy and Ayurveda have to offer everyone.

Nanaimo’s own 300 hr Professional Ayurvedic Yoga Therapist Apprenticeship program was born out of 19 years of teaching experience and studies along with a deep desire to bring this simple clear wisdom to all people.  So many people are not able to attend regular yoga classes yet are looking for a way to learn about yoga and benefit from it.  Yoga Therapy offers many ways to adapt and modify to meet any sort of health challenge or limitation.  My training is rooted in Integrative Yoga Therapy and fully developed through years of study in Ayurveda.

I have presented this information to hundreds of people over the past 19 years and have seen countless lives change in the most beautiful ways.  The 300hr program is designed to give you all the skills and knowledge you need to do the same.  It is a 300hr program for those with a 200hr training and a years worth of teaching experience .

(In October 2016 Island Yoga Vista will be offering the Integrative Yoga Therapy – 200hr Therapeutic Yoga Teacher Training as it’s 200hr foundation and prelude to the PAYTA Training.. . .more to come on that soon!)

This year offers an excellent opportunity for serious students of yoga and yoga teachers to participate in a deeply enriching guided experience of Yoga Therapy and Ayurveda.  I will guide you through how to set up your business and make your offering a useful and productive part of your life as you inspire others to bring these timeless tools and wisdom into their lives.   You will learn to work one on one with individuals as well as design and teach group classes for people with health conditions or other special considerations.

The program is designed in 10 modules to make it as affordable and flexible as possible.  You can complete the entire program in one year or you can spread it out over two years.   My intention is to have this appeal to all serious students of yoga wishing to learn more about how to apply this information therapeutically and effectively both in their own lives and to share with others.

These are the basic modules: 

ONE; Introduction to Ayurveda Yoga Therapy

TWO; Ayurveda in General

THREE: Yoga Psychology

FOUR: Meditation Mantras Yantras Mudras

FIVE; Yoga Nidra

SIX;  Anatomy, Physiology and Energy Systems

SEVEN: Ayurveda in Practice

EIGHT; Cycles of Stress & the Kleshas

NINE: Taking AYT into Your Community

TEN: Home Study

 The programs will all be held at Island Yoga Vista, in the beautiful seaside town of Nanaimo, located on the east shore of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

As well as myself, Sandra Sagarmurti Shotton, the faculty includes a Physiotherapist from Saltspring Island,  Sannyasins from the Bihar School of Yoga, an Ayurvedic MD from Jaipur India, various local Ayurvedic Practitioners and Yoga Teachers all who enrich the program further adding their special interest areas. (see visiting faculty.. )

Please call me if you would like further information Sandra 250-754-0939

( Details are also on the website


Jaipur India February 2015


Chakrapani Entrance
Chakrapani Entrance

February 16, 2015

Dear Yogis and Friends

It is now mid February and I am well settled into my life here in Jaipur. Most mornings I work at the clinic, Chakrapani Ayurveda, then in the afternoons explore the city and surrounding area. The dry desert air is clear and the evenings still have a slight chill which is welcome after the muggy heat of the south The planning for the second level of the PAYTA training is almost complete. This was the main reason for the trip this year and it has been very successful. I have had the assistance of Dr. Parvathy as well as the support of the other Drs. here to add the Ayurvedic component to the training. We have designed a unique and fabulous program for the graduates of the PAYTA Apprenticeship Level One. I am now 100% confident to bring my group here in February 2016.

P1050730The residence is beautiful, elegant in all ways, safe, quiet and very suitable for the training and purification processes that are part of the program. With the free time I have now I am looking in to other possibilities for the renewal and expansion of what Island Yoga Vista has to offer. Gems for the 8 point pulse therapy are in plenty here and it is intriguing shopping in the markets. I have been fortunate to make good friends here to help me with that. I love India’s warmth and hospitality and plan to bring some of that flavour home as the studio will become a Guest House and retreat centre for world travelers seeking solace in health and wellbeing.

There has been little time for writing so I will have lots to share when I return in a few weeks. The yoga class schedule will continue as usual starting the week of March 6. 2015. Registration will be at the first class though I would love to hear from you all once I am back in Canada and have access to my email. Having a full on fast from anything digital has been cleansing and restful for me though I am looking forward to reconnecting with the world soon.

Warm Wished to all,
With Love

India . . January 2015

P1040246I have been in India now for two weeks and have not yet found the time and place to write to you, I will make a small effort now and have more time in February when I arrive in Jaipur.

Currently I am in a study program in Tiruvanamailai with James Swart, also known as Ramji, an inspired teacher of  Vedanta teacher.  This 6 hour a day study session  will continue until the end of January.  Daily we listen  as he presents the text and elaborates on the subtle meanings within the ancient scripture.  The scripture we are studying this time is called the Panchadasi. by Vidyaranya Swami.  It is ‘ Inquiry into Existence”  – ‘The Essence of Vedanta‘   it is, in Ram’s words, a prakarana text, an analysis and discussion of certain famous Upanishad mantras.  Its fifteen chapters are divided into three sections, one on discrimination, one on illumination and one on bliss.  “ Panchadasi is a very sophisticated work that analyzes the meaning of words so that wrong thinking about the nature of reality can be exposed and corrected.  When one’s thinking coincides with the nature of reality, suffering ceases”

More on that later . . . once I have digested this and have a way of sharing it with you that will be meaningful and useful for you!

In the little free time we have,  I have been walking the rural roads, taking pictures.  Every morning starts with hatha yoga on the roof of the building I stay in,  just Adi and I up there in the early morning light greeting the rising sun.  It is a brightly beautiful orange light seen through the misty warmth of Tamil Nadu skies.

On our one day off so far I visited the Ramana Maharishi Ashram for early morning puja and vedic chanting then walked to the caves on the hillside where this gentle saint lived for many years actualizing his self realization.  I also visited the main Tiruvanamailai temple which is over 900 years old.  It was a holiday which brought in busloads of people from Kerala and other neighboring places, all dressed in finery making this journey to show their devotion.

I am enjoying the simplicity of life here, hand washing my clothes daily, visiting with people from all over the world, our Satsang has about 100 people in it.  I feel blessed to have been drawn to undertake this journey.   I will write again soon when there is more free time.

Warm Wishes to All



Wishing You a Happy & Healthy New Year – Welcome 2015

Dear Yogis and Friends

Warm wishes to all of you for a festive season and healthy New Year.

Island Yoga Vista has now been in business for 17 consecutive years,  in Nanaimo, – amazing!   Thanks to YOU!

This coming week will be the last week of classes for 2014,  a week later I leave for India for a few months.

Wendy Anthony will continue to teach a few of the regular classes on Tuesday evenings, one at 5:30pm and another at 7pm.

These will be the only classes offered until I return March 3.  Please register this week if you plan to attend, after Friday Dec. 19  registration will be closed.

Wendy is a recent graduate of the IYV – PAYTA teacher training and her classes are lovely.  The 9 week session starts the 6th of January 2015, the last class is March 3.

The regular class schedule will continue after that, registration will be at the first class.  I will be in touch again long before that.

I am off on an adventure that will include studies in Vedanta with Ramji in Thiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, as well as writing and relaxing for a month in Jaipur, Rajasthan.

I am leaving lots of unscheduled time this trip for creativity and relaxation . The PAYTA program is being finely tuned with the assistance of  Dr. Kotecha and his team.

I will make an effort to share some of it on the blog on the IYV website

There are changes in the air as always, these are exciting times of growth.  I anticipate that 2015 will be extraordinary.

I look forward to sharing that with you.

With Love





Sandra Sagarmurti Shotton   PAYT  ERYT500

Vastu Shastra Consultant



World Yoga Day – Interview with Swami Niranjan

Swami Niranjan’s Interview: This is the FULL text of the interview of Swami Niranjan by NDTV Anchor Manish Kumar
The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appealed to the people across the globe to observe a day as the World Yoga Day, a move welcomed by the International community. In addition, there is a new Ministry established for Yoga and Alternative Therapies, but people are curious as to what really is the road map for these initiatives. Watch the interview of Yoga Guru Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati (SWAN) by NDTV Correspondent Manish Kumar (NDTV)
NDTV: Nowadays there is excitement relating to the subject of Yoga. Since the Prime Minister raised the issue of the World Yoga Day in the UN, and has spoken of solving the world’s problems including issues like global warming through the medium of Yoga. There is the subject of the World Yoga Day; 140 Nations have endorsed it. To understand Yoga of all the places in this world, you will need to travel to Munger, in Bihar (India). Speaking to us today is Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati, perhaps the greatest Yoga exponent in the world today, and a living yoga legend. Swamiji, once again there is a focus on Yoga.
NDTV: How do you feel? People such as you for so many years were powering the Yoga movement. Did you ever expect such a day would indeed arrive (when a World Yoga Day would be celebrated, or Yoga would achieve global acceptance)? And how do you interpret it?
SWAN: We were waiting for this. For the last 50 years we have been working on imparting Yogic training. So we were waiting for this, knowing that someday it (Yoga) will attain global recognition. And the way it is now happening, and what the Prime Minister has announced is very good, and in my view is a first step, and in whichever way we can support him, we will.
NDTV: But tell me, the news is about celebrating a World Yoga Day, so is there not a concept like a World Yoga Day in Yoga?
SWAN: Earlier it wasn’t there. However, for the last 3-4 years, in some parts of the US, every January, there is the practice of public yoga on the roads (to celebrate Yoga). So this tradition has begun from there. And now, our Prime Minister has articulated it, and we like it that a World Yoga Day will be observed, so that people can understand that with sensitivity (awareness) of oneself, sensitivity (awareness) towards the environment we can maintain our life (force) and achieve excellence.
NDTV: But this World Yoga Day, when (which day) can should it be observed as per you? Because nobody knows the road-map of this. (02:09)
SWAN: There is no road-map for this, but in the last few years, since 2007, we have observed 25th of December as Yoga Day, and celebrate it as Yoga Poornima Day, because that is the day our Guru Swami Satyananda was born, and it was a Full Moon day (Poornima)… so we celebrate his birth as Yoga Poornima. And in the contemporary setting if someone could be characterized as having spread the message of Yoga, one of the important names that will be known is the name of our Guru Swami Satyananda ji.
NDTV: But tell me one thing, there is a confusion, we are laymen in this field. We don’t know anything about Yoga, is it an Art or a Science or is it a Religion or what is it?
SWAN: Yoga is a way of life. Even though many may confuse it to be linked to religion to culture, or they may characterize it as a part of Hindu Religion, but those who know Yoga, they accept that it itself is a culture by virtue of which we can imbibe excellence in each and every action/act/activity of our life. And in the ancient days Sadhus would practice Yoga, while the mainstream society considered it a means of attainment of Moksha or Self Realization, but our Paramguru Swami Sivananda ji said the objective of Yoga should be to uncover/develop the (hidden) potentialities of the human being. And once these creative faculties have been awakened/developed, then mental peace, stability and moksha are not far away, and in this context we are acknowledge Yoga as a Science of Life (Jiwan Vidya), through which we can attain physical fitness and mental peace (may be attained)
NDTV: But who practices Yoga? Is it the Hindus, the Muslims? Christians? Because whenever the topic of Yoga is examined, especially in the context of Islam, it is believed that there is no concept of Yoga. When you prescribe Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) it is met with resistance. So what is the religion of Yoga?
SWAN: There is no religion of Yoga. In 1971 we did some research in the Western civilizations, in South America, in the Northern side of the foreign countries, we found evidence in the form of drawings (statues) and historical literature and in the form of Yantras, from which we arrived at the conclusion that Yoga was once a great universal culture. But due to some reasons, maybe wars, maybe ravaging attacks, or natural calamities, the practice of Yoga in other civilizations became less, but these practices (and knowledge) were securely maintained in India.
NDTV: But who is the Guru of Yoga? Is it Swami Sivananda? Swami Satyananda? Or is it Patanjali?… (04:50)
SWAN: We divide Yoga into three parts historically. The first is the Ancient Phase. In the Ancient Phase, the Progenitor and Guru of Yoga is considered to be Lord Siva, and along with Him Lord Dattatreya, and Guru Gorakhnath, Guru Matsyendranath etc are renowned. Then comes the Medieval Phase of Yoga. In the Medieval Phase, the names of Patanjali, Gheranda, Swatmarama are prominent, whose teachings today we impart and spread in the world. And in the modern context, in the sphere of Yoga, Swami Sivananda ji, Swami Satyananda ji, Paramhansa Yogananda ji and Swami Vivekananda are renowned, through whom, in the modern day context, the Science of Yoga was taught and it spread. (05:45)
NDTV: But why isn’t Yoga reaching the masses? For example, even when we come to Munger, the doors of Munger Ashram are always closed. So my point is that the amount of popularization and spreading of the science in the midst of the common man that should have happened, why has that not happened?
SWAN: It has been spread also amongst the common man. In the Ashram we do not have so many facilities, and if reporters popularize us through interviews and large numbers of people come to the Ashram, it will be difficult for us to manage. But we always maintain a program, whereby the Courses in the Ashram are always on, but also, alongside that we go to the villages, the rural areas, in cities, in states our teachers continuously travel to teach/ preach the science of Yoga.
NDTV: We are now in front of the main building of the Munger Yoga Ashram. What is the history of this building? How did this movement begin here? Tell us.
SWAN: In the very beginning in 1975, we had come here, at that time in this spot there were ancient ruins. And then with the permission of the Government, we constructed this Yoga Ashram, and behind this was the vision of our Guruji, as to how we can make Yoga useful in the modern life, and the Yoga aspirants who come, we can provide them appropriate facilities, so that they can stay and practice in peace.
NDTV: Tell us one thing. Why did Swami Satyananda start his mission in Munger of all the places? Because Munger was known only for 3 things – the Cigarette Factory (ITC), the Gun Factory and the third is Yoga. Why Munger?
SWAN: In the tradition of Sannyasa there is a precept which requires a Sannyasin to stay on in the place he is, when his Guru leaves his body. So Swami Satyananda was in Munger when His Guru our Paramguru Swami Sivananda took Samadhi, hence according to the Sannyasa tradition, He had to establish Himself in Munger itself.
NDTV: How difficult was it? Because this area is kind of notorious. What kind of resistance did He encounter? Because it is not easy to create an institution of this sort.
SWAN: Our Guruji always said, that the people of Bihar are sleeping Hanumans. The only requirement is to tell them that such capabilities exist within you. So to tell them the only requirement is that of a Jambavanta (the mythical bear who reminded Hanuman of His extraordinary capabilities, and awakened Him). And of course when Swamiji initially came here, nobody knew Him, and people didn’t understand. But as the awareness and interactions grew, and the Ashram activities and Yoga programs began, then they came in large numbers to support Him. So His assertion was proved right that the people of Bihar are sleeping Hanumans.
NDTV: But even now in Bihar, the popularization and spread of Yoga is not so widespread. Why is it so? (08:58). Do Biharis not have the curiosity / willingness to learn or didn’t you have the resources to teach (09:04)?
SWAN: No, Biharis have great desire and interest to learn, adopt and understand Yoga, but our hands are restrained due to a continuous shortage of teachers, and most of the teachers we prepare here, they get ‘poached’ by other institutions and centers where they make them teach Yoga. So the normal amount of Yogic training that we should impart in our State (Bihar), we are currently unable to do so. But for that efforts are on. (09:43)
NDTV: Why is the degree (credentials) of Bihar Yoga considered so tough/difficult?
SWAN: It is considered difficult because the Yogic aspirants here have to live in Yogic discipline. We are not in favor of imparting one hour of instructions here in a day in the Ashram, and aspirants after that return to their homes for the rest of the time and go back to drinking, smoking etc, since then to what extent will they identify with Yogic Culture? When you live here, in this environment, from morning to evening you have a routine, and discipline within which you live, and you learn in that context, undoubtedly you will derive greater benefit.
NDTV: But Swamiji, tell me one thing, nowadays there are many schools of Yoga, like Swami Ramdev’s, which is very popular, he comes on the TV, and there is the Iyengar School of Yoga, you have your BSY; how, different and similar are these three? (10:44)
SWAN: See, there will always be a difference in approach. Since Sri Iyengar primarily teaches Hatha Yoga. And Sri Ramdev also, teaches Hatha Yoga primarily, which focuses on Asana and Pranayama. But BSY doesn’t teach about a limb or type of Yoga, instead preferring to teach about all the key elements (holistic yoga) of Yoga, because we believe that the connection of Yoga is with the life of the individual. And Yoga will awaken/develop the faculties of his personality, and therefore our Yoga programs include asana, pranayama, hatha yoga, raja yoga, karma yoga, gyana yoga, bhakti yoga, kriya yoga – all integrated. This is so that we can develop and experience every aspect of our personality.
NDTV: What are all these paths? Generally we believe Yoga to be a combination of Asana and Pranayama. (SWAN: Hmm … yes). To what extent is this true and correct?
SWAN: Not correct. Asanas constitute only 10% of Yoga, 90% are beyond Asanas.
NDTV: So what are they?
SWAN: There are various elements like Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, Kundalini, Chakras, Kriya yoga.
NDTV: So what are these? This Raja Yoga, Hatha Yoga, what are these?
SWAN: See, the beginning of Yoga is via Hatha Yoga, whereby via Asanas and Pranayama, we make our body healthy. Once we have a healthy body, then we progress to Raja Yoga, in which we learn techniques for the management of the mind, stress, worries, tensions. And once we manage the oscillations of the mind, and attain peace and stability, then we progress to Kriya Yoga. And Kriya Yoga transforms our descending (external/ base) energies into ascending (subtle/internal) energies. And by the pursuit of Kriya Yoga, we awaken the latent un-awakened energy of the body, which people call the Kundalini. So Swami Satyananda had systematized and preached these three progressions of Yoga here. Starting with Hatha Yoga, then Raja Yoga, then Kriya Yoga. So mainly the systematic instructions of these three progressive categories of Yoga are imparted in this Ashram.
NDTV: There is one course here called the Sannyasa training course, which is a 3 year training course. We believe Sannyasa to be a phase in life after adopting which you are free from (normal) life and are free to do whatever you want, and can live in solitude. What is the meaning of Sannyasa training course?
SWAN: Sannyasa has two aspects. One is Virakti (detachment from sensory attachments) and the other is attainment of Spiritual Consciousness. So there are only 6-7 Virakt Sannyasis in this Ashram – those who have been given the traditional Sannyasa Diksha, and who follow the precepts of Sannyasa tradition. And the others who come here for training, they are coming to learn the aspect of Sannyasa focusing on how to awaken the Spiritual Consciousness in their lives. And here they are taught various aspects of Yoga, like Yogasanas, Pranayama, Kriyas, and they are exposed to different Spiritual aspects, so that they can understand how they can link Spirituality with their day to day lives in the external world.
NDTV: So after doing Sannyasa training you can still work in an office?
(SWAN: Definitely) You can live with your family?
SWAN: (Yes). Because that is training on how a Sannyasi must live his life. Once you know how a Sannyasi must live life, what should he think, what should be his objectives/goals, after that you are free to return and figure out what kind of a life to live within your family environment, and also pursue your occupation. And live the life of a Sadhu (aspirant).
NDTV: Sir, for a layman, who will decide which type of Yoga should be pursued and where should he go? This is confusion in the lives of everyone – they all want to pursue Yoga. (15:23) But they do not know which type of Yoga is important for him and which teacher he should follow. Don’t you think this should be more simplified?
SWAN: Yes, certainly, and for this we have established and we manage the Yoga Mitra Mandalas in different cities/towns, where the trained disciples of that area, make a community and teach Yoga to aspirants. And in our country there is an acute shortage of Yoga Centers, and apart from Centers, even teachers are few. But we never conduct a summary 1 week course and certify trainers. Our minimum training is one month. In this aspirants learn the basics of Yoga, and after that they return to your home and family, and they spread/teach Yoga. After that we have a 4 month course, after which you can professionally become a Yoga teacher. After that we have a 1 Year course, and then we have a 2 year course, and then a 3 year course. So the minimum qualification is for 1 month. So we start with 1 month, then 4 months, then 1 year.
NDTV: Sir, but for me, based on my specific problems, what is more beneficial for me? BSY or Iyengar Yoga? Who decides this?
SWAN: Nobody can decide this. Everyone has their inclination and needs. Many ailments we cannot treat but Sri Iyengar manages to treat, because his Asana program is different. And there are so many ailments that they cannot cure and their aspirants come to us, which we manage to cure, because we have a different way of teaching those techniques. To each his own.
NDTV: Sir, Yoga and therapy. Tell me, regarding the curative aspect of Yoga – is this a first aid remedy or alternative medicine or post diagnosis recourse. What is it? Different Yoga teachers claim they have cure for ailments (including cancer). But tell me, the therapies in Yoga, or the research which you do, what is it? It’s a supplement or in itself it’s a cure
SWAN: This is not a cure. Because you mentioned cancer, I will give you an example. In 1977-78, we performed an experiment on cancer, and in that experiment, we taught them very simple practices, of asana, of pranayama, of relaxation and concentration. The asanas restored the blood circulation in their bodies, pranayama increased their energy levels, relaxation techniques freed them from their mental tensions, and with dhyana (concentration) there was an increase in their creative power of auto suggestion (sankalpa). And these cancer patients who had been declared by physicians as having a life span of no more than 1 year to live, with these 4 sets of practices, 20-25 years later they were leading healthy lives. But we do not make a claim to cure cancer, (because we know that if you practice Yoga properly and) our Guruji would always maintain that if an individual practices yoga with 100% dedication following the rules of Yoga, he will be freed of the most incurable of diseases, because there is a relationship with balancing the energies / imbalances. (19:47)
NDTV: However, I have one more question that if one falls ill, is Yoga an alternative therapy, complementary or post-operative?
SWAN: I will say it is complementary. I say from my experience it is complementary, because along with Yoga therapy, allopathic diagnosis, yoga practice and Ayurvedic diet, these 3 are very powerful together. Discipline in eating in lines with Ayurveda, yoga practices and diagnosis in line with Allopathy. So these three together become a very powerful technique.
NDTV: What we hear about Ramdev Baba having (ayurvedic medicinal) cures for ailments, and they do research on herbal medicines, which are supposed to cure ailments, do you feel this is a little bit of a grey zone/danger zone? (20:46)
SWAN: Yes. I don’t have much knowledge of medicines and cures, but I believe merely that by making Yoga the central principle we can attain good health, and when we see others giving out different types of medicines, then the mind does not accept that.
NDTV: I have one question, do you believe at this time in the Nation, the requirement of Yoga teachers is being met, and if not, what should be done about it? So who will produce (the teachers)? Since our country has a population of 1.2 billion, and in a country of 1.2 Billion spread across, obviously all the teachers cannot come from one source. What should be the role (of the government)?
SWAN: The Indian government had selected four institutions in India, and officially the gazette notification was also published. In the North, there is Sivananda Ashram, in the East there is BSY, in the South there is Vivekananda Kendra, and in the West there is Kaivalya Dham Lonavala. The Indian government has recognized these four institutions as resource centers or training centers, but in our country in addition to these four, there are many small institutions and ashrams, where yoga instruction is imparted, and nowadays everybody is trying to make Yoga attractive, and to make it attractive, they drape yoga with new costumes to make it dazzling. Whereas Yoga is a simple culture of living life, and for this the Indian government had accorded recognition to only four institutions, where Yogic instruction may be imparted. And wherever we get an opportunity, we also say this
NDTV: But why is BSY so ‘closed’. They say there is quite a lot of stiffness, and is a ‘closed group’, and if you go anywhere else the entry is quite easy, compared to here, despite BSY being the oldest.
SWAN: BSY from the very beginning was run by Sannyasis. There is no Grade 2, Grade 3, Grade 4 (government official) worker / manager running the show. From sweeping the floor to running a class, from cooking food to running the administration – it is all managed by us Sannyasis. And this tradition was established by our Guruji that there will be no employee in the ashram, only those doing desire-free sewa by Sannyasis will be done here. Now since only 15-20 Sannyasis live here and they have to do everything, we have limited our interaction with people and imparting of yoga training in line with our routine, but as our capability also increases, we once again open our doors. For example, last year we hosted the World Yoga Convention (in October). After that till March the crowds that came here were becoming unmanageable, and we were unable to manage other key activities of the Ashram. So from April this year, we resolved to close the doors of the Ashram for an year, and this year by closeting ourselves in the Ashram, we are charting out what needs to be the role and requirements of Yoga over the next 50 years. And along with that training is also on, so that people can go out and in a systematic manner impart training.
NDTV: Sir, is there medical research happening here? What is this? What are the findings? And what is the validity?
SWAN: In the Ashram we do not conduct medical research. We do medical research in collaboration with medical institutions and doctors and hospitals, and we launch a project with them. For example in the BHEL Hospital in Bhopal, we are conducting research on High Blood pressure and Diabetes, With Apoorva Medical College Sambhalpur, we are doing research on Diabetes. Raipur Medical College we are researching Asthma. Mumbai KEM Hospital we are researching Hypertenison. So with the cooperation of the medical fraternity and the collaboration with medical institutions we are conducting this kind of research, and in a way it is a clinical activity itself. Now we are making efforts to collaborate with Apollo Hospital Hyderabad, which is reputed for Cancer therapy, there we wish to conduct a clinical study of effect of Yoga on Cancer. So in this manner with cooperation of different doctors and hospitals, we are conducting research.
NDTV: So what are the findings of these research projects? What is the contribution of Yoga? What are the findings?
SWAN: the findings are very good. Much of the medicine intake is unnecessary, body resistance is developing, medicine can be take, healing is happening, Findings are very encouraging, and the compilation of the findings of the research we publish in our publications.
NDTV: I have a basic question, my basic question is now that the Prime Minister is emphasizing Yoga so much, and you have dedicated yourself 24 X 7 to Yoga, so in your view what steps should be taken? What is the road map? How should he develop this area? What are your views? (27:12)
SWAN: In my view for Yoga in India there should be a National Resource Center. We had given these suggestions in the past as well. The Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga that has been established in Delhi, there we were keen to establish a National Resource Center for yoga, where all the work done in our country relating to Yoga, all the institutions relating to yoga, all should be recorded there, there should be publications and research and the different traditions of yoga taught in different institutions should also be taught there. So we will have one place in the country, where we will have all the Yogic schools, traditions, literature, techniques and viewpoints. So a National Resource Center of Yoga is important. In addition, we have to ensure that in Yoga, there should be a minimum qualification for Yoga. Like there is a minimum qualification for Medicine, there must be one for Yoga, and Yoga should be divided into two parts – one, that is necessary/ beneficial for society, and important for their health, that helps in managing tensions and reducing mental vacillations; this should be the objective of one part which has to be popularized in society, to make our lives balanced and well managed. And the other should be to develop the potentialities / faculties of our personality. And the person who wishes to impart training on the socially beneficial part, this should be supported fully in these 4 institutions recognized by the government. In addition, higher forms of Yoga, like Kriya Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Nada Yoga, Mantra Yoga – there should also be awareness in society about these forms of Yoga, to make people aware that Yoga is not merely Asana and Pranayama and is not merely linked to the physical body but is a multi-faceted science of life.
NDTV: Thank you very much Swamiji. This was Swami Niranjanananda ji, who is saying that in the World the Yoga movement has arrived at a decisive point, and the coming days are luminous at least for Yoga. (30:12)


Diwali and the Bliss of Ayurveda

Diwali and the Bliss of Ayurveda
‘Deep’ is the ‘light’ and vali is the ‘rows’, thus the “rows of light or the festival of light” is known as Deepavali or Diwali which spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair. This is perhaps the most well-known of the Indian festivals. It is celebrated throughout India, as well as in Indian communities throughout the diaspora. It usually takes place eighteen days after Dusshera.
“Tamasoma Jyotirgamaya”- (Remove Darkness & Bring lightness everywhere).
It is colloquially known as the “festival of lights”, for the common practice is to light small oil lamps (called diyas) and place them around the home, in courtyards, verandahs, and gardens, as well as on roof-tops and outer walls.
The Five Auspicious Day and its Significant History:

The first day of Diwali: Dhanteras
The first day of Diwali is called Dhanvantari Triodasi also called Dhan Theras. On this day, Lord Dhanwantari the “God of Health”, came out of the ocean with Ayurveda for mankind. So Dhanvantari pooja is done on this day. This day marks the beginning of deepavali celebrations.
The second day of Diwali: Choti Diwali
The second day of dipavali is called Narak Chaturdasi. On this day Lord Krishna destroyed the demon Narakasur and made the world free from fear. On this day, one should massage the body with oil to relieve it of tiredness, bathe and rest so that Diwali can be celebrated with vigour and devotion.
The third day of Diwali: Lakshmi Puja on Diwali

This is the day when worship unto Mother Lakshmi is performed. Hindus cleanse themselves and join with their families and their Pandit (priest) and they worship the divine Goddess Lakshmi to achieve the blessings of wealth and prosperity, the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness.
The fourth day of Diwali: Padwa & Govardhan Puja

On this day, Govardhan Pooja is performed. Many thousands of years ago, Lord Krishna caused the people of Vraja to perform Govardhan Pooja. From then on, every year Hindus worship Govardhan to honour that first Pooja of Go(Cow). Cow is considered as sacred and also the milk, ghee(butter) obtained known to be medicinally rich properties.
The fifth day of Diwali: Bhai Duj

The fifth day of the Diwali is called Bhai teeka. It is a day dedicated to sisters. Brothers visit their sisters on this day to enquire of their welfare. This builds the stronger bond of relationship between the brother and sister.
Ayurveda Says:
As the lamp ignite the fire with the help of the oil and spread the light everywhere in same way we have the ‘Agni’ known as the digestive fire which should be always kindle for being in Healthy state. So Acharya charak an ancient Ayurveda author says that Proper “Agni’ is the health of an individual. In our fast, workaholic lives, we often forget to clean our body and senses. Our minds too are perpetually over-stimulated with stress, worries and negative thoughts. With the body, mind and senses unclean, we are unable to realize our inner light. That’s why, even though many of us are trying to find the peace by mediating or chanting mantras, we still do not feel that joy in our lives.
This Diwali, let’s not only clean, decorate and light our houses, but learn this simple method of cleansing with the help of various purificatory procedure and realize our inner light.
Diwali and Ritu (Season):

Sweets are hard to resist and during Diwali, when there is plenty of colorful sweets everywhere, it becomes even harder to resist. Diwali is the festival which arrives in the end of the Sharad Ritu (autumn season) and beginning of Hemant rutu i.e. from mid September to mid November. In Sharad ritu the Pitta dosha prakopa takes place. As the sweet taste is known to decrease the pitta so usually the more of sweet is being prepared and distributed in diwali. But the care should be taken by the kapha prakruti people who are prone to get the vitiation of the kapha doshas.
The diwali arrives in the Visarga kala (Period where the winter becomes the stronger). In this season the Agni ‘digestive fire’ starts becoming stronger in Hemant rutu. So the heavy diet is digestable in this season. So we see lots of different varieties of dishes are being prepared in Diwali.
In this occassion where winters receives, the skin becomes more dry and rough due to the cold attribute of the winter. In diwali traditionally people do the Abhyang snan(Holy bath). It helps to boost blood circulation, it removes dead cells from the surface of the skin, it makes skin smooth and soft to touch, it cleans body thoroughly, and finally aromas used while performing this ritual calms the mind. Ubtan is the king of natural scrub which is made with the use of all natural ingredients. All the ingredients in this natural scrub have ayurvedic properties. It leaves skin smooth and baby soft. The granules in the scrub help to get rid of dead skin. The natural scrub contains ingredients like chandan (sandalwood), kapoor (camphor), manjistha, rose petals extracts, orange skin and haldi called turmeric.

Some Tips for Safe and Healthy Diwali
Stay away from sweets that use chemical preservatives, because the intake of such preservatives can cause damage to our kidneys and liver.Avoid sweets that have ‘silver’ coating. Such foils are often adulterated by aluminum and aluminum being a hazardous metal can accumulate in our body tissues and can also enter the brain. It can also cause asthma attacks and can be one of carcinogen. so one can enjoy homemade sweet which is free of chemical preservatives and the healthier ones.


In times of increasing air and noise pollution that we are witnessing today, it is important that we be responsible while using firecrackers. It is good to buy as little firecrackers as possible, because that can help us spend less and can also stop us from polluting our environment. Researches says that burning ghee or any oil release 10 times oxygen in the environment thus harmful effect of the pollution due to fire cracker etc can be prevent by burning the ghee or oil diyas to make diwali more healthier.


Diwali is also the festival of joy so make it special especially if there has been any unpleasantness with your family or friends in your past. Shed all your inhibitions and misgivings and make a fresh start. Wish them a ‘Happy Diwali’ and embrace them in joy.

    “Wish you Happy, prosperous and Healthy Diwali from Chakrapani Family”

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Chakrapani Ayurveda Clinic & Research Center,
Chakrapani Global Center for Training & Research in Ayurveda
8, Diamond hill, Behind Birla Temple, Tulsi circle, Shanti path, Jaipur-302004, India.
Telefax : +91-141-2624003   Phone: +91-141-2620746
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Myths and Facts about Ayurveda

From Chakrapani Ayurveda. . .

Editor’s Note
Dear Readers,

Ayurveda has been widely recognized as a system of natural healthcare congenial to the health needs of the modern world. However, despite its increasing popularity across the globe, many people are often hesitant in approaching Ayurveda. The main reasons could be that Ayurveda is associated with handful of myths and misconceptions. Though the treatment therapies of Ayurveda are widely sought around the world, people tend to have more delusions than proper awareness about this ancient treatment. In this article we will see about the popular myths and facts about Ayurveda.

We welcome your suggestions and submissions.

Enjoy reading and get benefited with Ayurveda.

Vaidya Lakshmi Anoop

Myths and Facts about Ayurveda

1. Ayurveda – a vegetarian therapy

Ayurveda is not totally vegetarian. Though medicinal plants and herbs are predominantly used for preparation of Ayurveda medicines, there are several preparations in which non-vegetarian ingredients are also used.

For treatment of extreme exhaustion and emaciation, Ayurveda medicines, prepared with ‘Mamsarasa’- meat soup- as an ingredient, are prescribed. These are advised as the best medicines for strength, skin quality, immunity etc.

Ayurveda does not insist that one has to follow strict vegetarianism. For people who are spiritually inclined, vegetarianism is recommended, as they are averse to killing of living beings. The concept of vegetarian diet did not exist in India in the ancient period. In Vedas and Puranas, and in Ayurveda texts, there are references to non-vegetarian food and its qualities.

2. Homemade and lack clinical testing

Ayurveda treatments are believed as ‘homemade’ practices and also the medicines are not clinically tested. This is a fallacy. Any medicine whether Allopathy or Ayurveda is offered to the public only after laboratory tests and certification process. Ayurveda is time tested medicine which is also scientifically proved.

Ayurvedic Medicine is regulated through Drugs & Cosmetic act, 1940, under which pharmacopoeia standards including Standard Operating Procedures and Good Manufacturing Practices are mandatory to be followed.It is true that few Ayurveda medicines lack clinical testing but not all. There are many difficulties with clinical testing of Ayurvedic medicines, inspite of which many medicines are standardized. One cannot readily apply the typical modern pharmaceutical Pharmacopoeia standards for standardization of Ayurveda medicines. Since Ayurveda medicine is prepared from a combination of many herbs, the concept of active markers in the process of standardization needs a flexible approach in favor of the complex nature of these herbal materials.

3. Ayurveda : Expensive medication

Ayurveda is not expensive when compared to present day modern medicine which has become prohibitively expensive. And not all Ayurveda medicines are expensive. Some medicinal formulations contain expensive ingredients like gold and silver which are generally prescribed only in case of chronic or severe form of disease. Also, due to non-saving and overuse of resources some herbs have become endangered in recent years, so the demand has increased and hence are little expensive.

4. Too many dietary restrictions with treatment

This is a misconception. There is no hard-and-fast rule on following a diet according to Ayurveda, like many people think. For a diabetic patient, a physician, whether Allopathy or Ayurveda along with suitable medications recommends a sugar – free diet which is conducive to treatment. Ayurveda treatments are aimed at restoring health by treating the root cause. It is the digestive system which is the ultimate cause of sicknesses and diseases in the body. And the basic norms of Ayurvedic treatment comprise changes in the diet which aid in both mental and physical health. An Ayurveda diet has all the necessary nutrients needed for good health of the body, yet tasty. Ayurveda emphasizes on intake of freshly prepared warm food. Naturally grown and fresh food articles are rich in ‘prana’ or the life force and food, freshly cooked, is always rich in prana.

5. Ayurveda medicine is difficult to take

This is true to certain extent. Some classical Ayurveda medicines are non-palatable. But that is required for the body for recovery from illness and for maintaining health. If the patient is unable to take a particular product, the physician would definitely suggest a combination medium like honey or cane sugar. In the present scenario, majority of the pharmaceutical companies have come out with effective patent drugs in easy tablets and capsules form. These contain herbal ingredients or fortified herbs which are quite effective.

6. Ayurveda medicine is less effective

Since Ayurveda medicine does not show immediate symptomatic relief, there is a misconception that Ayurveda medicines are less effective. Actually, there is lot of research works available to substantiate the fact that Ayurveda is really safe, effective and beneficial when compared to Allopathy system of medicine. People think that Ayurveda medicines are less effective since they don’t show immediate improvement. Ayurveda medicines aim at correcting the disease from its root cause and prevent recurrence. Ayurveda medicines take time for giving a symptomatic relief, but they are curative. Patience and endurance are very much necessary from patient’s side. Also its full effectiveness will depend on various considerations, including age and state of health, how much effort one is willing to put into making the necessary changes toward better health, and how disciplined one is with taking one’s formulas and following the recommended guidelines.
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Island Yoga Vista is well established in the blending of Ayurveda and Yoga Therapy, with 17 years of service offering Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy programs and sessions as well as teaching classical yoga classes. The purpose of this training is to make this broader perspective of yoga available through a traditional apprenticeship style of training., thereby expanding this ancient knowledge to people who may not be able to attend a regular yoga class for various reasons.

This program grew out of an inspired vision based on trainings in Integrative Yoga Therapy, Satyananda Yoga and Chakrapani Ayurveda to create a unique offering focused on equipping individuals thoroughly with these timeless skills and offering lifelong mentorship and support. It began with a group of 6 apprentices all committed to serving their local communities as well as continuing their own evolutionary growth under the guidance of Sandra Sagarmurti Shotton.

Sandra has been a member of the Yoga Alliance and the International Association of Yoga Therapists since 1997. Island Yoga Vista is a Member School of the IAYT and fully supports the newest educational standards for Yoga Therapists. The process is underway for IYV to be reviewed as an accredited school.

Ayurveda for Back Pain. . . .from Chakrapani Ayurveda

Editor’s Note
Dear Readers,

Back pain is one of the most common health complaints. Almost everyone will experience low back pain at some point in their lives. This pain can vary from mild to severe. It can be short-lived or long-lasting. However it happens, low back pain can make many everyday activities difficult to do. We cannot avoid the normal wear and tear on our spines that goes along with aging. But there are things we can do to lessen the impact of low back problems. Having a healthy lifestyle is a good start. Most back problems will get better with proper medical help and proper self-care measures.

Ayurveda differentiates low back pain into three basic sub types or doshas: vata, pitta and kapha. These categories are used to both classify a patient individual body type or prakriti and the individual’s disease state or vikriti. Treatment in Ayurveda is to bring the vitiated ‘dosha’ back to the state of equilibrium and thereby to the state of health. For treating low back pain, internal as well as external treatments are done. All pain is associated with Vata dosha as Vata is responsible for all movement in the body – the impediment of which causes pain. Low back ache is termed as katigraha (kati refers to the lower back area and graha refers to stiffness due to pain). It is effectively managed by suitable internal medicines and external therapies. In this Article, we will see the external treatments which help in relieving back pain and simple lifestyle changes which will prevent its recurrence and maintain the spine health.

We welcome your suggestions and submissions.

Enjoy reading and get benefited with Ayurveda.

Vaidya Lakshmi Anoop

Ayurveda approach to Back Ache

External Therapies for back ache

The two effective therapies for back pain are Kati vasthi and Pinda swedan.

Kati vasthi is the treatment where warm medicated oil is kept at the low back region for a prescribed period of time. Black gram flour is well mixed with sufficient quantity of warm water to make a thick paste or dough. It is then made into flat slab like structure. The patient is made to lie in prone position and black gram dough is pasted encircling the region of pain or discomfort, ensuring there will be no leakage of oil. Now suitable medicated oil is made warm and poured slowly with a help of cotton piece and retained for a prescribed period of time (30 min. – 45 min.). The temperature of the oil is maintained warm throughout the treatment. Once the treatment is over, the oil should be removed with cotton and then the dough should be removed. After 5 – 10 min., the body part is cleaned with lukewarm water and the patient is advised to take rest.

Benefits – It releases muscle tension and stiffness. It is helpful in treating all lower back ailments including acute and chronic back pain, prolapsed disc, lumbar Spondylitis, sciatica, degenerative disorders of disc, osteoporosis, arthritis and spinal cord compression.

Pinda Swedan is a treatment where the affected area is given fomentation with a bolus of medicated leaves. Fresh leaves (300- gm approx.)  that mitigate Vata dosha are washed and chopped into small pieces and fried in oil along with chopped lemon and other medicinal ingredients. Then this medicated leaves are tied in a piece of Kora cloth to make a bolus. The patient is made to lie down and the bolus is dipped in suitable warm oil and applied on the affected part with moderate pressure for prescribed period of time (30 min. to 45 min.). Every time before application, the temperature of the bolus has to be checked. This procedure can be done on whole body or on localized body part affected with pain. After the procedure, the patient is wiped with dry towel and covered with a blanket for 10 min. Then the body is cleaned well with lukewarm water and the patient is advised to rest.

Benefits – It is one of the best pain management techniques and it relives stiffness and pain. It is beneficial in cervical and lumbar spondylitis, sciatica, arthritis, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, and knee pain.

Tips to Prevent Back Pain :

One should always sit in a comfortable chair with proper back rest.

One should avoid adopting improper sitting or sleeping postures.

Restrict excess ride in two wheelers.

Prolonged standing for long hours is not advisable.

Make sure your work surface is at a comfortable height for you.

Wear comfortable and low-heeled shoes.

Don’t try to lift objects too heavy for you.

Quit smoking and alcohol.

Simple stretching exercise or Yoga postures can be done. But do not overdo exercise.

Bhujangasana (Cobra pose), Salabhasana (Half locust pose) are beneficial.

National Ayurveda Summit 2014

Gujarat Chief Minister Shri. Narendra Modi inaugurated the biggest ever held National Ayurveda Summit, jointly organized by the Health Department of the Gujarat Government and Gujarat Ayurveda University. To take Ayurveda to the global level and to give Ayurveda its proper place in medical science, government of Gujarat has brought together all the Ayurveda experts, manufacturers, practitioners on a common platform, the Vibrant Gujarat Ayurveda Summit which was held on 25th February. It showcased the scope of Ayurveda and explored all the business and medical science possibilities of Ayurveda. It was attended by the more than 7,000 Ayurvedic practitioners and students who had arrived from every nook and corner of the country. Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, the honorable Vice Chancellor of Gujarat Ayurveda University was one of the speakers at the Summit. Sessions on various themes including ayurvedic drug standardisation, metabolic disorders management, auto-immune disorders, recent advances in Shalya-Shalakya research in Ayurveda, child and woman health, Rasayana therapy and psychiatric disorder have also been organized during the Summit.

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Benefits – It is useful in Ayurvedic treatment of Vata diseases, management of pain, tremors, convulsions, psychosis, stiffness, back ache, muscle cramps, and muscle wasting.

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The Gunas

Editor’s Note
Dear Readers,

The Upanishad’s state the food that is eaten is divided threefold. The gross part becomes excrement. The middle part becomes flesh. The subtle part becomes the mind. It has been rightly said we are what we eat which clearly implies that our food patterns and dietary habits not only govern our body but also our thinking processes. What we eat affects our emotions and can create a predisposition for both psychological and physical disorders. Mind stays healthy only when body is healthy and vice versa. So in order to keep mind and body in a healthy state our diet must be Sattvic.

In this article, we will see the diet and lifestyle recommended by Ayurveda to maintain Sattva state.

We welcome your suggestions and submissions.

Enjoy reading and get benefited with Ayurveda.

Vaidya Lakshmi Anoop

The Three Gunas : Sattva, Rajas & Tamas

The three subtle basic components (tri gunas) of Sattva, Raja and Tamas are the very fabric of creation. Unknown to modern sciences, they permeate through all living and non-living, tangible and intangible things. The vibrations emitted by anything are dependent on its predominant subtle basic component. This also influences the behavior of all things.Sattva stands for purity and knowledge and sattvic individual lives in service of society with no expectation of recognition or reward of any ulterior motive. Rajas stands for action and passion and Rajasic individuals live more for personal gain and achievement. Tamas stands for ignorance and inertia. Tamasic individual has no problem about stepping on other’s toes to get ahead or harming the society.

The gunas cannot be explained altogether distinctly from one another. Rajas, Sattva, and Tamas are mixed up with one another. They are attached to one another, serve one another, they feed on one another. Everything in the world is made of these three gunas. The creation of the gunas is eternal. As long as there is goodness so long, darkness exists. And, as long as goodness and darkness exist, so long the passion exists. They perform their journey together, in union and moving about collectively.

Sattva can be correlated to potential energy of the system, Rajas – to the kinetic one, while Tamas is the lack of energy. This metaphor complies with physiological descriptions and it is intuitively subject to hierarchization according to up to down axis. For instance, the seed with its potency of making the new plant grow is Sattvic in its nature, the plant in its full bloom is Rajasic while the rotten fruit that has fallen from it is of Tamas nature.

Eat the right Diet

Regular and timely meals should be taken. Over eating and fasting should be avoided. Ayurveda diet emphasizes on eating a healthy diet which helps to maintain balance in doshas. It is not mathematical. It is about eating in moderation, the right diet which is conducive to health. One should refrain from frozen food. Freshly prepared warm meals are advisable to be taken always. Refined sugars, sweets, chocolates, stimulants, caffeine, coffee, tea, cold drinks and foods, carbonated beverages, preserved food, fried or overcooked food, strong spices, excessively spicy food should be reduced. They interfere not only with the normal functioning of the body organs but also disturb our mental faculties, derange our emotions and thoughts. Also, foods like red meat, aged cheeses, over spiced, oily, salty, pungent and sour foods should be reduced. Hence, avoiding processed, precooked, fast foods and frozen foods is one of the best ways to reduce the Rajasic and Tamasic energies in your diet.

Ghee, cooked vegetables, fresh fruits, fresh warming spices, curd, yoghurt, milk, nuts and dry fruits soaked in water overnight, and cereals are good for maintaining a Sattvaguna, the positive energy of mind which fosters positive attitude and all positive emotions. It also balances of the negative energies in our mind. Sattvaguna is absolutely necessary for keeping our mind free from harmful negative emotions like anger. Hence, including foods that contain ‘Sattvaguna’ is the best way to control negative emotions.

Simple Lifestyle suggestions

Avoid going very late to bed at night or staying awake at night, over work, abuse, social isolation, self destructive behavior, negative thinking, alcohol, smoking and tobacco. Sleeping for 8 hours at night, Going to bed early and waking up early should be practiced. Practice pranayama or focused breathing exercise, yoga and meditation. Go for walking and be physically active all through the day. Listen to soft music at night. Organize your work and keep up with your tasks. It will ease off burdens and enhance Sattva Guna.


“Taking Ayurveda Therapist Training Program at Chakrapani Ayurvedic Clinic & Research Center in India was one of the wisest investments of time and money I have made in my life. Nowadays, especially in USA, Ayurveda is being so much commercialized that you can’t easily rely on all the centers and institutions that are offering Ayurveda Training. Authentic Ayurveda is a matter of going deep to the roots of Knowledge and not just focusing on money profit. At Chakrapani I really had a genuine Ayurveda experience and training on the motherland of the Vedas (INDIA) were I could at all times feel money wasn’t an end in itself but a mean to a good and complete Ayurveda Therapist Training Program.”Paolo Di Pietro , San Juan, Puerto Rico (USA)


Health Trail

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Jorge Farias

Ph: (21) 2261.5352

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Chakrapani Ayurveda Clinic & Research Center,
Chakrapani Global Center for Training & Research in Ayurveda
8, Diamond hill, Behind Birla Temple, Tulsi circle, Shanti path, Jaipur-302004, India.
Telefax : +91-141-2624003   Phone: +91-141-2620746
E-mail: , , ,