What is Ayurveda?





Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word that can be broken down to its roots to understand its meaning.  Ayur means life and longevity; the word veda means pure knowledge. In fact, the Vedas are volumes of sacred texts written almost 3000 years ago, when many different teachings finally moved from the oral tradition to the written, including Ayurveda.

How does Ayurveda relate to you?

Ayurveda is a 5000-year old science of observation which had its birth in India. It is believed by many to be the oldest healing science still known to man. It covers every aspect of the human mind, body, and spirit, with its focus on happy, healthy longevity. Daily lifestyle practices, positive food choices, even exercise habits are all included in the teachings of Ayurveda, and it is commonly called the science of living.


Ayurveda is a practice that permeates every aspect of your life, should you choose to incorporate it. Using the principles of Ayurveda, you can approach any area of your life that needs healing in a holistic way.

Board of Directors

Tresa Laferty, President



Tresa Laferty is a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner, Panchakarma Technician, and lead instructor in the Mosaic Wellness Ayurveda Wellness Counselor NAMA-approved program. At Kanyakumari Ayurveda & Yoga Center, she was in Teacher Training for the Ayurvedic Health Counselor program, and was an intern supervisor of CAP and AHC students. She is a professional member of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association and serves on the State Schools Subcommittee. Tresa's passion is teaching students and educating clients about Ayurveda, earth-based healing, and how to live in harmony with the environment. She has built a diverse practice of Ayurvedic Consultations, Panchakarma Programs, Ayurveda Body Therapy sessions, and developed many educational programs offered both in person and online. Tresa is a certified medicinal aromatherapist, Reiki Master Teacher, and creator of VedaDog: Ayurvedic support for canines and their people.

Heather Burkart, Vice President



Heather Burkart is a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner, Certified Panchakarma Technician, and a graduate of Kanyakumari Ayurveda & Yoga Center where she was an assitant teacher for the Ayurvedic Health Counselor Program for 2 years and an intern supervisor for 4 years. She's been a professional member of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association since 2014 and serves on the State Association Subcommittee. Heather focuses on women and family wellness in her private practice Her Well Being Ayurveda & Yoga where she offers Ayurvedic consultation, custom herbs, marma therapy, and private Ayurvedic yoga instruction. Heather has bee teaching yoga for over a decade and is an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher through Yoga Alliance and is soon completing 500-hours of teacher training at the Kripalu Center. She has bee non Yama Yoga's faculty for their 200-hour Teacher Training program since 2010 teaching Ayurveda, Pranayama, and Prenatal Yoga.

Susan Pack, Secretary




Susan Pack attended Kanyakumari Ayurveda and Yoga in Milwaukee. She also happens to be a student from the very first graduating class. During her graduation trip to India, she was fortunate enough to get advanced training in Pune followed by a completion ceremony on the shores of Kanyakumari. Susan's love about all things Indian came when she learned how to cook Indian food many years ago. She now combines her knowledge of Ayurveda with her cooking skills to show students not only the wonders of Ayurveda but also how to make delicious food Ayurvedically to nourish their bodies. Susan is constantly reading, attending lectures and webinars to learn more about this 5,000-year-old healing system. She is also one of the founders of the statewide Ayurveda Association of Wisconsin.


Susan is the lead member heading up efforts on the Association's Networking group that meets online.


Recently, Susan had some health issues. After going the more traditional route and not having much success, Susan returned to her Ayurveda knowledge and is finally healing. It was the boost she needed to return to the board to promote her love for Ayurveda.

Bridgette Wells, Treasurer



Bridgette is a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner and yoga teacher. At Kanyakumari Ayurveda and Yoga Wellness Center, she taught in the Yoga Health Counselor and Yoga Teacher Training  programs, participated in teacher training for the Ayurvedic Health Counselor program, and managed the school and clinic's office. She takes particular joy in witnessing the powerful effect Ayurveda has to not only help people address health challenges, but also boost their vitality and open new doors to find the spark everyone looks for in life. Like many who straddle two worlds while practicing, she offers Ayurveda, yoga classes and consultations part-time while working full-time in accounting for a marketing agency.



Raka Bandyo, Director at Large




Raka was drawn to Ayurveda as a means to continue the sacred traditions and healing practices her parents taught to her as a child. She became a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner, Ayurvedic Bodyworker, and Panchakarma Technician in 2017. She is currently continuing her learning through online programs of Ayurveda with Dr. Lad at the Ayurvedic Institute, Indian Philosophy and Meditation with the Vedanta Society, Sanskrit at the University of Wisconsin, Odissi Classical Indian Dance from the Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra lineage, and Jyotisha with the Devaguru Brihaspati Center of Guru Sanjay Rath. She has a small private practice where she supports clients and students from her home in Madison, Wi while working part-time in Healthcare IT and Research.