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 farming and Ayurveda training. LAI is an Ayurvedic and organic farming internship where interns explore key concepts of Ayurveda while gaining hands-on experience with medicinal herb and vegetable cultivation.
LAI is a 10-week intensive program at Banyan 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.
Program Sessions and Dates
We offer two 10-week internships per year.
May 21st–July 28th
August 13th–October 20th
Read our Health Safety Policy to learn how we're staying safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tending the Farm
Interns spend Monday through Thursday working alongside the Banyan 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 10–18 hours of learning time each week.
Offerings include: basic Ayurveda training that covers Ayurvedic philosophy, history, and practice; cultivation of Ayurvedic medicinals; wildcrafting; botany; plant meditations; herbal medicine making; nutrition and cooking; yoga; practitioner skills; body systems; Sanskrit; Vedic astrology; Agnihotra; and much more. This curriculum honors indigenous traditions and builds awareness of movements for the decolonization of Ayurveda and Yoga, as well as the universal needs for social, economic, racial, and food justice. Take a look at our sample calendar.
“This internship is life changing. It’s something one needs to experience to understand, and everyone will walk (skip, dance, frolic) away with something really special that colors and informs the rest of their existence. If I could do it all over again, and again, I would in a heartbeat. Everyone who feels called to the LAI program will need to know that it’s not easy. You’ll be called to step up and be your best self in every situation and interaction.”
About Our Teachers
LAI teachers include Ayurvedic 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.
Alyssa is an herbalist, yoga teacher, and forever student. She has had the opportunity to study with various teachers and cultivate community around the world, primarily from New York to New Orleans, and now resides in the beautiful Williams Valley of Southern Oregon.
She has completed courses in Environmental Studies, Sociology, Permaculture, Western Herbalism, and Yoga among others.
Finding inspiration from the Mountains, Wind, Water, and many people and plants that have crossed her path she teaches subtle yoga focusing on awareness and joy.
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 Acacia, E-RYT 200, RYT 500, YACEP, 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 Meditation, 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, teacher training, and private yoga sessions.
She served as core faculty at the Hawthorn Institute from 2014–2019. Cassidy is delighted to collaborate with Keshari Das as co-coordinator of the LAI program.
Douglas Neal, AP
Doug is a graduate of The Ayurvedic Institute’s Ayurvedic Studies Program Levels 1 and 2, Gurukula Program at VIOA in India, and is an Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant and Ayurvedic Practitioner and 200 Hr AyurYoga Practitioner. He also is a student of Jyotish and offers introductory chart readings.
Doug manages Vasant Lad, MASc's Vasanta Institute of Ayurveda (VIOA) in India which operates 6-week panchakarma and Gurukula trainings, as well as supporting Mr. Lad‘s private Pune city clinic. He is also a business advisor and project manager for Banyan Botanicals.
His love and passion for Ayurveda are stimulated from his time with Vasant Lad, his panchakarma experiences, yoga teacher trainings, and previous Indian work and travel experiences.
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.
Keshari Das is a Brooklyn-based Ayurvedic Practitioner, offering traditional bodywork and educational workshops. She comes from a family of satyagrahis – nonviolent freedom fighters in India’s independence movement – and her early exposure to Gandhian principles inspired her exploration along paths of mindful practice. She has devoted herself to lifelong study of Ayurveda and is committed to sharing the teachings of this empowering wisdom tradition in an inclusive, antiracist, accessible, and sustainable manner.
Keshari has immersed in studies with Vasant Lad, MASc, and faculty, Dr. Claudia Welch, Dr. Robert Svoboda, Karen Rose, Tyler Wauters, and the inaugural cohort of the Living Ayurveda Internship, amongst many beloved others. Now she is grateful to serve with Cassidy Acacia as LAI Co-Coordinator.
Otherwise, Keshari can often be found wandering the east coast, accompanying her partner in the practice of kirtan. In between, she dabbles in design and illustration, and dotes on her dog.
Kyle Roberts is a graduate of the Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where under the tutelage of Vasant Lad. He studied the theoretical and clinical aspects of Ayurveda.
Before, during, and after his formal Ayurvedic training, Kyle has studied Jyotish (classical Vedic astrology), Yoga, Sanskrit, and herbology, as well as various practices of meditation and pranayama.
He has studied throughout the United States and in India, working to integrate both eastern and western cultures into digestible forms of practical information.
Kyle's efforts are spent teaching various subjects within yoga and Ayurveda as well as integrating classical healing practices with modern practicality for individual health concerns.
Shephali is a traditional ecologist, regenerative farmer, educator, and artist-activist. She is engaged in the intertwined work of ecological and cultural regeneration. Shephali designs, builds, and empowers projects that gather and weave our fragmented worlds back together into a whole more beautiful, resilient, and powerful than before.
As a farmer and teacher, she feeds stomachs, soil, and spirits. Her work as a storyteller and folk herbalist is a strange exercise in wayfinding through the dark; guided by constellations of gifts, inheritances, wonder, and dreams she barely understands but knows are pivotal to our evolution.
As a student under the tutelage of the wild wisdom of the land, ocean, and cosmos, Shephali is learning how to reclaim the dignity, humility, and mystery of being a human being inside a living Earth.
In the spaces between, you can find her staring at stars, hiking, rock climbing, practicing yoga and qi gong, and falling into the ocean over and over again.
Tesia Love is a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner (NAMACB) from Charlotte, NC where she practices as a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist, Clinical Herbalist, 500-hour Yoga Teacher, and Licensed Massage & Bodywork Therapist. She has studied Ayurveda for nearly 20 years, and spent the past seven years professionally helping her clients transform their health through this ancient science.
Tesia is a graduate of the California College of Ayurveda, Duke Integrative Medicine’s Integrative Health Coach training, and numerous other training and mentorship programs with top teachers of Ayurveda and herbalism.
Tesia spent two years working as Membership Manager for the National Ayurvedic Medical Association, and served as Chair of the Membership Committee and Continuing Education Sub-committee. She currently serves as Chair of NAMA's Diversity & Inclusion Committee.
Tommy Redding is a dirt worshipper, naturalist, educator, and farmer.
Tommy has been growing food and medicine in the Williams area for the past 10 years, and for the past 7 years has worked closely with new farmers to train the next generation of homesteaders and food producers. He is passionate about strengthening local food systems, building soil, and the connections between the plants of the farm and the wild plants of our surrounding bioregion. Tommy finds daily inspiration in the personal transformation that he has seen take place in the garden and seeks to support others in creating a deeper connection with their bodies and the source of their sustenance.
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 Vasant Lad, MASc, 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 and 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, and spirit.
Venessa has a Masters in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine and has studied with Andrea Nakayama, Dr. Datis Kharrazian, and Dr. Deanna Minich, among others to whom she is eternally grateful.
Dormitory-style housing is provided in a large environmentally-friendly straw-bale home located on 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
Here is a link to apply for our 2022 sessions. Applications for both sessions are due October 31st, 2021.
“LAI could be one the most impactful experiences of your life. With the way that Ayurveda, herbalism, farming, and community are so intentionally woven together, this program provides such a beautiful and strong foundation for carrying forth and sharing the ideals of whole-istic well-being. I have been blessed by this program and I'm so excited to see where this newly attained knowledge will take me!”
About Banyan Farm
Banyan Farm is a 20-acre certified organic farm in Williams, Oregon. Partners of Banyan Botanicals, they practice sustainable and regenerative agricultural practices and support overall biodiversity. All vegetables and herbs grown by our partners at Banyan Farm are ethically grown, harvested, and filled with the vitality of the land and the people who nurture them.
Learn more about the farm, including the history, the region, and all that they offer.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Who is this internship designed for?
- What qualifications do I need?
- Why is the program 10 weeks?
- What can I expect living communally for 10 weeks?
- How are you keeping interns safe during COVID-19?
- 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. Who is this internship designed for?
This is a great opportunity for those who are interested in an immersive program and want to connect with nature as they experience organic farming, learn Ayurveda, receive some herbalist training, build their yoga practice with a focus on Ayurveda yoga, learn wildcrafting, and much more.
2. 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.
3. Why is the program 10 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.
4. What can I expect living communally for 10 weeks?
Dormitory-style living arrangements are provided for all interns in a beautiful eco-friendly home located on 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.
5. How are you keeping interns and the community safe during COVID-19?
We take the health of our interns and our community very seriously. As a comprehensive approach to health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have implemented clear measures for all who participate in the Living Ayurveda Internship. Read our Health and Safety Policy to learn how we’re staying safe.
6. Can I attend both sessions in a year?
No, it is only possible to attend one session.
7. 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.
8. Can I have other commitments during this internship?
Considering this program is a full-time commitment for 10 weeks, it is not possible to participate in other programs.
9. Are there volunteer or job opportunities on Banyan Farm after I complete the internship?
While possible, additional opportunities on the farm are rare.
10. 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 responsibly explore beyond Williams.
11. 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.