Sanskrit is the key to Āyurveda

Essential Sanskrit Part One creates a solid foundation in the language efficiently through English. Learn basic Sanskrit knowledge and skills required for Āyurveda and Vedic sciences.

New students and seasoned practitioners will benefit from one-on-one instructor guidance with exercises in pronunciation, recitation and memorization.


As a language, Sanskrit has the power to significantly expand one’s intellectual capacity. It primes critical thinking skills and trains the mind to apply correct logic and analysis.

Essential Sanskrit prepares students to understand unique concepts in Āyurveda, think about them logically, and apply them in practice.

Essential Sanskrit is ideal for

  • All students and practitioners of Āyurveda who have questions about Sanskrit or want to improve their Sanskrit

  • Anyone who wants to study Āyurveda

  • Anyone who has ever wondered what the difference is between Āyurveda and Āyurved, or Yoga and Yog, and why

  • Students of other Vedic sciences (Yoga, Jyotiṣha, and philosophy)

Learning goals

This workshop introduces the language of Sanskrit in clear, concise English. Foundational concepts are explained with practical application to answer common questions. This first workshop is ideal for those who would like an introduction to formal study as well as those who want to refresh knowledge or fill in the gaps.

Students learn about the history of the language, its current usage and practical application in Āyurveda through translation and common transliteration methods. The entire alphabet is explained in detail with and emphasis on phonetics through vocal practice and memorization exercises.

This workshop presents material in several formats using guided reading, pre-recorded lectures, instructor-led pronunciation, interactive group practice, class discussion and Q&A sessions.

Context and Background

India is home to over 19,000 languages. Take a brief look into the history that shaped the people, culture and languages that exist today.

The Devanāgarī Alphabet

Learn the structure, function and mechanics of the Devanāgarī alphabet. Practice pronunciation with instructor support and memorize the 49-syllable alphabet in three days.


Transliteration schemes have been used for centuries to accurately represent Sanskrit using Roman letters. Learn how transliteration works and which methods are popular in Āyurveda and academia.

Pronunciation in Sanskrit, English and Indic languages

Why are Sanskrit words pronounced differently sometimes? Learn how Indic languages influence Sanskrit pronunciation, and why it’s unrealistic to expect a single, homogenous standard today.

Workshop Format




Each workshop is 10 hours total with 6 hours of prep study and lectures, and 4 hours of group classes.

100% online

The entire workshop is online with schedules convenient for Asia Pacific regions, and Europe and the Americas.


We recommend that you order the Essential Sanskrit Part One workbook on Amazon if you want a physical copy. View-only digital copies are available with the workshop and included in the total cost.

Prep study (6 hours)

As soon as you register for your selected workshop, you'll gain access to the 6 hours of prep study and lectures. Each one includes a 45 to 60-minute, pre-recorded lecture, workbook reading material and a five-question multiple choice quiz. Students must complete each lesson, including the recorded lecture and quiz, to participate in live classes.

Live classes (4 hours)

Join four live, group classes to practice what you’ve learned and gain confidence in your skills. Each class is one hour long at the same time, four days in a row.

Completion requirements

Students will receive an electronic Certificate of Completion by successfully finishing all prep study and attending at least three out of four live classes.

Students who cannot attend at least three live classes can re-enroll in the next workshop, at no cost. If unable to complete the workshop after two rescheduled attempts, the student must re-enroll at the regular price.

Workshop access

Ongoing access to lectures and live class recordings is included in the cost of the workshop.


  Lesson one: Introduction to Sanskrit and Indic Languages
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  Lesson two: Devanāgarī mechanics
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  Lesson three: Sanskrit vowels
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  Lesson four: Sanskrit consonants
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  Lesson five: Sanskrit semivowels, sibilants and aspirate
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  Lesson six: Key concepts
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  Lesson seven: Devanāgarī vowel recitation
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  Lesson eight: Devanāgarī true consonant recitation
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  Lesson nine: Devanāgarī semivowels, sibilants and aspirate recitation
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  Lesson ten: Practicing simple terms
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“This workshop series should be a mandatory prerequisite for all professional Āyurvedic training.” - Katerina Nestorovska (2020)

"This is a clear and very organized system to learn Sanskrit, making it accessible and possible. After successfully finishing this first book and workshop, I am excited to move right on to the second!!" - Krista Matison (2021)

“I wish I had learned Sanskrit first. The terms and concepts make so much more sense now.” - Karol Chin (2020)

"The Essential Sanskrit workbooks one, two and three are very well structured. I have made several attempts at getting a basic understanding of how Sanskrit works and this is the first time that I feel I am getting a glimpse of the logic. I would suggest this series to anyone who wishes to do the same." - Chris (2021)

"ĀYU academy is an excellent place to look for training as an Āyurvedic Practitioner. This series of Sanskrit workbooks provides the building blocks to explore the language and the science of Āyurveda. It is the starting point for one of the best education offerings for Āyurvedic medicine. If you plan to study Āyurveda seriously, check out ĀYU academy with Jessica Vellela." - Andre Frank (2021)

"The Sanskrit workshops at ĀYU Academy were a wonderful introduction to a fascinating language. They were well-organized, methodical and super effective at laying the groundwork for understanding Ayurveda in its own terms. Dr. Vellela is an incredible teacher!" - Iman Sheybani-Nezhad (2019)

Your instructor

Dr. Jessica Vellela, BAMS is a leading educator in Āyurveda today. Her teaching style, methodology and organization make the complexities of Āyurvedic medicine accessible to a Western audience.

As the first American-born woman to become a Doctor of Āyurvedic medicine and practice independently in India, Jessica is eager to support the growth of Āyurveda internationally. She founded ĀYU Academy in 2015 to bring the science to all who seek it.

ĀYU Academy

ĀYU Academy offers rigorous training in Āyurvedic medicine for a Western audience. Students learn the foundations of holistic healthcare efficiently and effectively. This education provides the best of professional Āyurvedic medical studies in India and the latest of Western science.


Will live classes be recorded?

Yes, all live classes are recorded and available for replay generally within 24 hours or less.

What if I can’t attend all of the live classes?

Ask permission from your instructor to watch the recording. You may be required to submit additional work for the missed class in order to receive the final Certificate of Completion.

How long after the live class will the recording become available?

Recordings will be available within 24 hours after the end of the live class.

Do I have to attend all live classes?

You must attend at least three live classes to receive the final Certificate of Completion. If unable to attend live classes, you can re-enroll twice at no additional cost.

How long will I have access to the workshop material?

Ongoing access to lectures and live class recordings is included in the cost of the workshop. Students who continue on to higher studies in the ĀYU Academy Svastha Āchārya (Āyurvedic Health Coach) program, will have access to all of the workshop material until the end of the Svastha Āchārya program.

Do I need to purchase the printed text?

No, the printed workbook is not required for this workshop, but it is highly recommended. Check Amazon to see if it’s available where you live.

I enrolled at the last minute and can’t get the printed workbook in time. What should I do? 

The PDF for each lesson is available in view-only format for the duration of the workshop. You can view each lesson until your printed workbook arrives.

Why should I learn Sanskrit?

Students of Āyurveda, Yoga or any Vedic sciences are encouraged to learn Sanskrit to advance their basic understanding of the field. Sanskrit improves students’ abilities to learn classical theory and apply knowledge practically. Sanskrit is a requirement for study of all Vedic sciences in India.

My Āyurveda school said I don’t need Sanskrit to learn Āyurveda. Is that true?

Sanskrit is the language of Āyurvedic medicine and has served to maintain this practice for at least 2,500 years in documented history. It is the key to understanding complex concepts and applying logical thought in clinical practice.

Will I learn how to read and write Devanāgarī script?

No, Essential Sanskrit does not include Devanāgarī script at this time as it generally requires about 100 hours of study and practice to reach a basic, working level. Instead, Essential Sanskrit teaches the language using transliteration which allows the language to be represented accurately and accessible quickly to a Western audience. 

What is ĀYUT?

The Āyurvedic Universal Transliteration Scheme (ĀYUT) is a method that allows Sanskrit Devanāgarī script to be expressed accurately in Roman letters with easy pronunciation for new students.

I have completed this program in the past and would like to do it again. Is there an audit option?

Students may re-enroll in the workshop at any time and receive 50% off the regular workshop price. Send us an email and let us know when you’re ready to start.

Recommended printed workbook

Available on Amazon in Australia, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and other countries.