The Living Ayurveda Internship (LAI) is an immersive program committed to inspiring the holistic stewardship of both our health and the environment through nature-based Ayurvedic training. LAI provides the opportunity to explore key concepts of Ayurveda while gaining hands-on experience with medicinal herb and vegetable cultivation.
LAI is an 11-week intensive program at our Banyan Botanicals Farm in Williams, Oregon, blending together Ayurveda and herbalism in a field-based setting. Our interns walk away from LAI with a better understanding of Ayurveda, a deeper relationship with nature and their own personal health, and the skills to practice bioregional Ayurveda in their own home environments.
This program is rigorous: interns need to be prepared physically and mentally to immerse themselves in the program and in community, working, learning, and living alongside other like-minded individuals.
Tending the Farm
Interns spend Monday through Thursday working alongside our farm team, at an average of 25 hours each week. There is occasional Saturday work at local farmers’ markets. Each day is dynamic, with many opportunities to learn.
While incredibly rewarding, this work is demanding. Interns must be in good physical condition and prepared to work in all weather conditions, rain or shine.
Farm tasks include: seeding, weeding, harvesting, compost making, washing plant material, working at farmers’ markets, CSA gathering, apothecary and dry room maintenance, and general grounds keeping.
In the Classroom
Classes are offered on weekday evenings and weekends throughout the internship, averaging 6–12 hours of learning time each week.
Offerings include: Ayurvedic philosophy and practice, medicine making, Vedic astrology, cultivation of Ayurvedic medicinals, plant meditations, nutrition and cooking, pharmacology, practitioner skills, body systems, panchakarma training, agnihotra, plant botany, wildcrafting, and much more. Take a look at our sample calendar.
About Our Teachers
LAI teachers include Ayurvedic doctors and practitioners, farmers, herbalists, astrologers, yoga teachers, and regional experts. Collectively, they weave their passions and skills into this comprehensive offering.
Meet the Faculty
Alicia Lynn Diaz
Alicia Lynn Diaz has worked with hundreds of clients to eradicate illness, dissolve emotional blocks and overcome stuckness. She gets to the root of the specific source of what’s causing pain, anxiety, and distress in your life and health.
Alicia Lynn is a Certified Ayurvedic Health Practitioner and Clinical Physiologist. She combines the scientific and spiritual aspects of healing into tangible, practical steps to create physical and emotional changes in the body. She also mentored under two renowned Vedic Masters, one who advised the Dalai Lama and Mother Theresa.
Anja is a Clinical Herbalist, Functional Nutritionist, Ayurvedic Practitioner, Women’s Integrative Health Educator and founder of Poppy Herbals—an Herbal Elixir Bar and Apothecary in Ashland, OR.
Anja is passionate about community-based herbalism, women’s health and empowerment through education. Her teachings and private practice weave together traditional western herbalism, holistic nutrition, functional medicine and the wisdom of Ayurveda. Anja’s passion for plant medicine has led her on a path of education and travel, where she shares her knowledge and empowers others to lead healthy, vibrant lives in harmony with nature.
Anja has studied with Jon Carlson, Sajah Popham, Robert Bartlett, DeAnna Batdorff, Matthew Wood, Ed Bauman, Aviva Romm and Todd Caldecott as well as many others. She is eternally grateful for their teachings, wisdom and guidance throughout the years.
Breanna Potts is the Editorial Manager and Ayurvedic educator at Banyan Botanicals.
After experiencing her first consultation in 2009, she knew she had to learn more about Ayurveda and jumped into her studies with Dr. Paul Dugliss of New World Ayurveda. The more she learned; it became clear that she needed to share with others the healing powers of Ayurveda.
She joined the Banyan team in 2011 and, years later, continues to find daily inspiration in the company’s mission and values and the infinite wisdom of Ayurveda. In her spare time, she can be found gardening, writing, and playing with her family.
Cassidy has been on the yogic path for 20 years and teaching since 2004. Her dynamic approach to yoga is a synthesis of her in depth studies of: Iyengar and Prajna Yoga, Ayurveda, Insight Mediation and Poetry.
Cassidy's classes focus on healthy alignment of the physical body and sensitive attunement to the subtle body. She brings a sense of humor, earthiness and clarity to her teachings as well as deep reverence for the practice. She weaves mantra, philosophy and elemental theory into her classes and private yoga sessions.
Cassidy is the director of Yoga Studies and co-director of the Foundations Program at The Hawthorn Institute in Williams OR.
Kelsi is a community herbalist and medicinal herb farmer.
She integrates her knowledge of Ayurveda and Western herbalism by working with local plants through an Ayurvedic lens. She is passionate about empowering people to take their health into their own hands and hopes to inspire those around her to reconnect with wild spaces and their own inner ecology.
Kelsi has studied at Hawthorn Institute and The dhyana Center and is currently working toward her Ayurvedic Health Counselor certification.
Kendra is an Ayurvedic chef and coach, yoga teacher, and clinical herbalist.
Kendra discovered Ayurveda through yogic principles and philosophy—including yogic eating. This blended with a passion for sustainably-grown local produce, which sparked a journey toward holistic wellness. She brings this enthusiasm into her daily routine and Ayurvedic practices. Kendra is honored and inspired to bring the Ayurvedic traditions to life in practical ways for others, to benefit their wellness journey.
Kendra humbly thanks her teachers at Hawthorn Institute, Joyful Belly, Dr Claudia Welch, Dr Robert Svoboda, Myra Lewin, and Anne-Marie Kramer for their experience and knowledge.
Tyler is the Plant Education Director at Banyan Botanicals, a place-based herbalist, Ayurvedic practitioner, and founder of Hawthorn Institute.
Tyler has devoted his life to the practice of bioregional Ayurveda and community herbalism. He brings his passion and knowledge of nature into everything he shares. Tyler’s intention is to ignite deeper connections to place, people, and plants.
Tyler has studied with Dr. Vasant Lad, Dr. Claudia Welch, Sonia Masocco, Isla Burgess, 7song and Frank Cook. He thanks all of his mentors for sharing life’s wisdom.
Venessa is a functional nutritionist, certified health counselor, intuitive nourishment guide, & founder of Wildly Rooted and the Feed Your Wild podcast.
Venessa’s passion is combining the science and spirituality of food & herbs using a modern functional approach, intuitive guidance, and ancestral wisdom from earth-honoring traditions including Ayurveda. Venessa’s mission is to address the roots of our collective dis-ease using plants and food as medicine, nature-based practices, & radical nourishment of body, mind, & spirit.
Venessa has a Masters in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine and has studied with Andrea Nakayama, Dr. Datis Kharrazian, & Dr. Deanna Minich, among others to whom she is eternally grateful.
Program Sessions and Dates
We offer two 11-week internships per year.
May 18th–July 30th
August 3rd–October 15th
Dormitory-style housing is provided in a large environmentally-friendly straw-bale home located on the Banyan Farm. A monthly fee of $125 goes toward a communal food fund. Interns are responsible for their own transportation. We strongly recommend interns have health insurance or set aside an emergency medical fund for the duration of the program.
How to Apply
To apply, please fill out the LAI application and submit to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applications for both sessions are due April 15th, 2020. Both sessions are estimated to be filled by March 15th, 2020. We highly suggest applying early!
About the Banyan Farm
The Banyan Farm is a 20-acre certified organic farm in Williams, Oregon. We practice sustainable and regenerative agricultural practices and support overall biodiversity. All vegetables and herbs grown on our farm are ethically grown, harvested, and filled with the vitality of the land and the people who nurture them.
Learn more about the history of the farm, the region, and all that we offer at our Banyan Farm.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What qualifications do I need?
- Why is the program 11 weeks?
- What can I expect living communally for 11 weeks?
- Can I attend both sessions in a year?
- What is the difference between the two sessions?
- Can I have other commitments during this internship?
- Are there volunteer or job opportunities on the Banyan Farm after I complete the internship?
- Do I need a vehicle?
- What internet or phone access will I have while at the farm?
1. What qualifications do I need?
Because of the intensity of this program, you need to be mentally and physically fit and ready for rigorous immersion on the farm, in the class, and in communal housing.
In addition, we look for individuals who are sincerely interested in and enthusiastic about Ayurveda and herbs, and have some experience in working outdoors.
2. Why is the program 11 weeks?
This length of time allows interns to experience a full immersion, learn a substantial amount of information, and endure the intensity of the program. It also allows those outside the US to participate under a tourist visa.
3. What can I expect living communally for 11 weeks?
Dormitory-style living arrangements are provided for all interns in a beautiful eco-friendly home located on the Banyan Farm. While not all meals will be shared communally, most dinners will be.
Interns will have some weekends off to take care of themselves, explore the region, study, and rest.
4. Can I attend both sessions in a year?
No, it is only possible to attend one session.
5. What is the difference between the two sessions?
The curriculum is largely the same for the spring and summer internships. The farm work changes with the seasons and the plants.
It is important for interns to be prepared for our Oregon seasons—spring and fall can be cold and wet, while summer can be very hot and dry.
6. Can I have other commitments during this internship?
Considering this program is a full-time commitment for 11 weeks, it is not possible to participate in other programs.
7. Are there volunteer or job opportunities on the Banyan Farm after I complete the internship?
While possible, additional opportunities on the farm are rare.
8. Do I need a vehicle?
You don’t, although you will be living rurally and would need to depend on others if you want to go beyond Williams.
9. What internet or phone access will I have while at the farm?
Cell service is sporadic and unreliable at the Farm; internet will be available.