Candidate Ellen Leonard
2016 NAMA Board Member Candidate

Name:  Ellen Leonard, M.S.Ed., AP

State of Residence:   Indiana

Committee Service:  Conference Planning Committee, Student Work Group

Membership Level:  Professional Member - Ayurvedic Practitioner



Why would you like to serve on the board?

As a more recent Ayurvedic professional, I believe I can contribute a perspective representative of students and more recent graduates who are trying to figure out how to create an Ayurveda career. I believe that the work that NAMA does towards the professionalization and licensing of Ayurveda is essential for the overall future of Ayurveda in the US, and also for individual Ayurveda professionals to make a living in the field. I believe that credentialing and exams are important steps towards professionalization. As a professional educator (M.S. Ed.), I am passionate about cultivating sustainable and valuable continuing education opportunities. And as somebody who lives in an environment which is not familiar with Ayurveda and has few Ayurveda professionals, I am interested in fostering communities to support NAMA members. As a former scientist, I am interested in current research in Ayurveda.

What skills and experience do you see yourself contributing that will support the management, direction, and growth of the association?

I have been involved with NAMA for three years: I have been a Member of the Student Work Group since 2013 and Chair since 2015. I have been a member of the Conference Committee since 2015, working at both the 2015 and 2016 conference.

My degree (M.S.Ed.) in Adult Education, and subsequent experience developing online wellness courses, makes me uniquely suited for input regarding overall Ayurveda education and continuing education. I have studied how adults in the United States learn, what motivates them, and best practices for instruction. As a Health Coach I have studied effective methods of creating lasting behavioral changes in clients.

As a more recent Ayurvedic professional living in an area with very little previous Ayurveda knowledge or infrastructure, I can provide unique insight into the current transition from Ayurveda education into the real world.

As a former scientist, I understand the importance of research for the future of Ayurveda in the United States.

Statement to the Membership:

I’m relatively new to the profession of Ayurveda, graduating from Kripalu in 2013 and have an Ayurveda practice, seeing clients and teaching workshops. I think that this newer perspective, of trying to utilize the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda in the modern world, would be beneficial to have on the board. With a passion for Adult Education, I am fascinated by translating Ayurveda for the western learner.

I started for NAMA in 2013 as a member of the Student Work Group, later coordinating the Seminars in Ayurveda, and in early 2015 became Chair. I’ve also volunteered on the Conference Committee for the 2015 and 2016 Conferences, focusing on the Silent Auction. I love the sense of community that NAMA provides for me. I believe that establishing Ayurveda as a profession is extremely important for my future as an Ayurvedic professional. I have a M.S. in Adult Education, so I love that NAMA values continuing ed and works diligently to facilitate membership access to continuing education.

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