SUMMIT, NJ - The principles of Ayurveda, a holistic healing system with origins dating back thousands of years, will be at the center of a three-part, introductory cooking class series coming to The Connection in Summit starting April 1.

As noted by Deepak Chopra, M.D. at chopra.com, "Thousands of years before modern medicine provided scientific evidence for the mind-body connection, the sages of India developed Ayurveda, which continues to be one of the world’s most sophisticated and powerful mind-body health systems. More than a mere system of treating illness, Ayurveda is a science of life (Ayur = life, Veda = science or knowledge). It offers a body of wisdom designed to help people stay vibrant and healthy while realizing their full human potential."

Chopra continues, "The two main guiding principles of Ayurveda are 1) the mind and the body are inextricably connected, and 2) nothing has more power to heal and transform the body than the mind. Freedom from illness depends upon expanding our own awareness, bringing it into balance, and then extending that balance to the body."

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Ayurveda incorporates food-as-medicine principles and daily routines to optimize one's health, emphasizing the freshness and purity of ingredients, the 'balancing' qualities of food, spices for digestion, and living with the rhythms of nature.  Although it originated in India, it is not necessarily Indian food.

Students will learn which foods are best for their types and how to prepare them in a manner that is fresh, easy to digest, and delicious. Class participants will prepare and take home foods, and receive recipes and handouts.

The series will be taught by Florence Swanstrom, who possesses a 250 Hour Certification in Ayurvedic Nutrition & Culinary Training from the Bhagavat Life Program in New York City and Level 1 Ayurveda Wellness Education Training Program from Maharishi Ayurveda Association of America.

  • Class #1: Intro, The Five Elements, Three Doshas (body types) Seasonal Eating
  • Class #2: Six tastes, Food combining, What foods are good for your body type
  • Class #3: Spices and Super-Foods, Eliminating toxins, How to modify your favorite recipes, Condiments and Teas

The Ayurvedic Cooking series will be offered on consecutive Saturdays -- April 1, 8, and 15 --  from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., and will include discussion and demonstration along with volunteer participation. The class series is limited to twelve students and is priced at $95.

To register, call The Connection call 908-273-4242, visit theconnectiononline.org, or in person at 79 Maple Street,