Jessica Vellela, BAMS
Director & Instructor
Born, raised and educated in Boston, MA, Jessica Vellela spent nearly eight years in India to become the first American-born woman to graduate as an Āyurveda Āchārya (Āyurvedic Physician) and practice independently in India. Graduating at the top of her final year class with the Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery degree (Āyurveda Āchārya) in 2012, she immediately opened and managed her own Pañchakarma center in India at Turtle Bay Resorts in southwest Karnataka state.
For two years, she received patients from all over the world for traditional Pañchakarma, educational programs, Rasāyana (regeneration and restoration) and outpatient care. Working closely with the local community, she personally trained five Pañchakarma therapists and employed additional support staff. Due to unfortunate and unexpected events at the resort, she decided to close the center and return to the US to pursue her professional career. In 2014 and 2015, she attempted to recreate a traditional Pañchakarma center in the peaceful foothills of North Carolina, but quickly realized that the Āyurvedic infrastructure in a rural location was too challenging. While living in Southern California in 2016, she taught clinical classes and managed clients at the Southern California University of Health Sciences in the Āyurveda Department.
Jessica has been practicing and teaching Āyurveda for general and professional audiences since 2011 and now works diligently to establish American Āyurveda in the US founded on classical core principles and modernized for clinical practice today.
No stranger to rigorous education, Jessica is a National Honor Society alumna of Boston Latin School and a self-made Data Architect with a 15+ year career. Drawing from her wide skillset, she is integrating current technology to make Āyurvedic education and practice more easily accessible to a Western audience.
With this unique combination of skills and perspective, Jessica trains professional Āyurvedic students in the depth of knowledge that has been missing in Western Āyurvedic education. She prepares students for success and advancement of American Āyurveda in the coming decades. Jessica is currently a primary instructor for subjects at the 110-level and above at ĀYU Academy.
Prasanth Dharmarajan, PhD (Ayu)
Academic and Clinical Advisor
Dr. Prasanth Dharmarajan is one of India’s leading Pañchakarma experts. He is one of the earliest staff members of the All India Institute of Āyurveda (AIIA) and in 2016 was appointed as Assistant Professor in the Pañchakarma Department. During his time with AIIA he designed and developed the department to handle hundreds of patients per day, created the first national standards for Pañchakarma Technician training in India and managed the Institute’s post-graduate and PhD students.
In 2015 he completed his PhD in Pañchakarma from the Institute for Post-Graduate Teaching and Research (IPGTR) in Jamnagar and became the first Āyurvedic Physician from the state of Kerala to achieve this super-specialty. He received numerous awards, published over 25 scientific articles in national and international peer-reviewed journals, contributed to several textbooks and presented over 100 papers.
He previously served in the Department of Integrative Medical Studies at the Mata Amritanandamayi Math and its School of Āyurveda, in Kerala.
Dr. Prasanth manages exceptionally challenging and often incurable medical cases for patients who seek him out from every corner of India and from around the world. During his Post-Graduate and PhD studies, he directed and taught several of the country’s most highly respected educational programs for international students, including Western doctors and medical personnel.
Prasanth provides direction, guidance and recommendations on the career tracks, course structure and curricula at ĀYU Academy.