Belly Mind Institute School

Belly Mind Institute School

“The function of protecting and developing health must rank even above that of restoring it when it is impaired.”
-- Hippocrates

Like all the amazing things that happen in my life, the school unfolded organically. My desire to share the Ayurvedic teachings grew and my passion was supported by my dear, darling husband Robert Birnberg, a seasoned yoga educator and my mentor and friend, Mary Thompson, senior teacher at the Californian College of Ayurveda.  Add to the mix an inspiring group of students, who, at the end of each course, would say to me….”please teach us more”  and so, over the course of several years, a school was born.

I have had the good fortune of immersing myself in Ayurveda daily, since 2006, in both my personal and professional life. I have been teaching since 2009, which has inspired a deep love of learning and respect for this spiritual health system.  My role as an educator is to expand your world view by sharing these transformational teachings in a way that is relevant to modern living. I chose the name, belly-mind, specifically for the Ayurvedic connection between what we eat and how it affects our health and thinking.

Belly Mind Institute is a unique Ayurveda and Yoga learning center. My vision is to educate the community on the benefits of Ayurveda as a system of personal empowerment and wellness. To borrow from one of my teachers KP Khalsa,

‘Ayurveda is the peoples medicine and should be shared with everyone.’ I have crafted a user-friendly, immersive, educational course to unleash each individuals inner healer.

The Belly Mind Institute currently offers two courses:

A Personal enrichment course “Ayurveda Skills for Living”, which meets for 6  weekends over 6  months. The course is designed for students who want the basics of Ayurveda in a user friendly format. You will learn how to incorporate the  Ayurvedic principals as a lifestyle necessary for the maintenance of amazing health. At its core Ayurveda is designed to be practiced and experienced daily.  You will study Ayurveda’s  history, philosophical foundations, how it views nature, the human system and the tools (daily practices , food, herbs) to create optimal health. We will also spend time in the kitchen and garden getting reacquainted with plants and herbs, natures medicine.

From there, you may like to take our professional course, Ayurvedic Health Counselor and Internship. This 18 month course is for those wanting to practice Ayurveda. It’s a formal accredited course with NAMA. ( National Ayurvedic Medical Association)

The goal is to turn out professional Ayurveda Health Counselors. The curriculum consists of  11x academic modules, followed by a six month internship. This course is for those who want to practice this modality as a profession. Its especially powerful when students feel called to work with their communities to support  healing.

“Our food should be our medicine and our medicine should be our food.”
-- Hippocrates

Please email me at

to inquire about the curriculum for Ayurveda Skills for Living or the Ayurvedic Health Counselor.

Educational Formats

Our Distance Learning Program At Belly Mind Institute, we recognize that every student has unique needs, abilities, limitations and aims with respect to education. Our Distance Learning Program is customized to enable each student to study both from the comfort of their homes and in a manner which supports their lifestyle as well as their personal dreams and goals. Distance Learning Programs are available for both the “Ayurvedic Health Counselor” ( AHC), a NAMA accredited curriculum, and our “Skills for Living” personal enrichment course.

Each program consist of class recordings, online handouts, homework assignments and self-paced progress evaluations. Also included is a personal mentorship with a Master Teacher. This one-to-one relationship offers each student the guidance, support and experience needed to fully integrate the rich course material .

Ayurvedic Health Counselor

Ayurvedic Health Counselor Course curriculum
The academic route consists of 2 Parts
1. Eleven academic modules. (132 classroom hours plus 528 reading, homework and assignments.) 650 hours.
2. A six month internship consisting of seven online classroom meetings and 50 supervised clinical patient encounters. 250 hours.

Total hours: 900

The curriculum meets NAMA standards leading to Ayurvedic Health Counselor accreditation.

The curriculum meets NAMA standards leading to Ayurvedic Health Counselor accreditation.

Belly Mind Institute Ayurvedic Health Counselor 2018 dates
Classes alternate Friday/Saturday and Saturday/ Sunday from 10am-5:30pm



2018 dates Modules

contact me for more details on class dates at


Students seeking professional membership as “Ayurvedic Health Counselor” with NAMA, the National Ayurvedic Medical Association must

complete an internship.

Our internship training mets NAMA guidelines and consists of 50 supervised patient visits, along with 6 online classes over a 6 month

period. Once internship is completed students must receive a passing grade on NAMA’s entrance exam.

Ayurvedic Health Counselors are able to confidently evaluate and provide reports to patient’s, assessing their constitution and imbalance (prakriti and vikruti). Counselors provide follow-up care designed to reduce and reverse patient Vikruti symptoms by recommending dietary and lifestyle changes that may include:

  • Herbal formulas to enhance and balance the digestive system

  • Practices that support the health of the body and the removal of wastes

  • Practices that strengthen Ojas

  • Asana, Pranayama and Meditation practices to stabilize/ pacify VPK.

  • Palliative practices to stabilize excess Dosha

  • Use of 5 sensory therapies


Ayurveda Skills for Living Course

Ayurveda, Yoga’s sister science, is enjoying an increasing interest and popularity throughout the West. This complete, holistic system of health is highly individualized, self-empowering and based on Nature’s power to heal. By contrast, in the Western Medical Model ‘heroic experts’ use standardized, often invasive procedures to treat disease.


Greece retreat spring, April 23 - May 1, 2019

Come and join us, Eleni Tsikrikas Ayurvedic Practitioner and Robert Birnberg,
Yoga Therapist/ Positive Psychology Coach for our 3rd Annual retreat in Magical Greece where you can immerse yourself in the timeless healing sciences of Yoga and Ayurveda.  Download Flyer for more 2019 details! 

Yoga Sutras

The Yoga Sutras are widely regarded as the definitive text on YOGA.
Though compiled over 2,300 years ago, the Sutras’ rich, multi-layered teachings are reflected and restated in such contemporary fields as Quantum Physics, Positive Psychology, and Epigenetics.

They explore topics and issues ranging from the nature of reality to the causes and cures for all human suffering.


YOGA SUTRAS STUDY SALON with Robert Birnberg
Chapter Two-Samadhi Pada

  • Sunday, Feb. 18th
  • Sunday, March 11th
  • Sunday, April 1st

Meets:   9:30am-1pm
Student’s may participate in person (highly recommended),
live online, and/or access the recordings of each Session at their convenience throughout the month.

The Cost
$350 for First-time, Chapter Two students
$200 for returning students wishing to dive deeper into Chapter Two Cash, Check or Venmo, No Refunds

For more info or to register, contact:
(323) 712-1500


Eleni delivers her teaching and truths in a way I can absorb them. Because she has a deep understanding of the learning process she doesn’t overwhelm. Eleni is keyed into her audience so that is becomes a dialogue. No question is too simple, no concept too advanced not to break down. Her teaching has immediate practical and useful applications. Eleni’s enthusiasm for her subject and sense of play is contagious. It makes learning fun, it makes applying the lessons in my life an adventure. I see the world through an Ayurvedic lens now and it has helped my health and my life enormously. I will never stop learning from her.  Molly Hagan

Eleni’s workshops are well organized and easily “digestible”. Her teaching style combines the perfect blend of theory, practical knowledge and hands on experience. Her deep knowledge of Yoga and Ayurveda, and years of teaching experience enables her to contextualize the material and connect with students from all walks of life and levels of study. Eleni is one of those rare teachers that is truly walking the walk. With her down to earth style, she empowers you to use the tools to tap into your own true wisdom and well being. You will leave feeling nourished and inspired!

Kathy Cass MA, BC-DMT, NCC, CYT, E-RYT-500
Yoga Therapist, Board Certified Dance Movement Therapist, Nationally Certified Counselor, Adjunct Instructor

Ayurveda has changed my life, and Eleni’s teaching and guidance really helped make it all happen. In addition to the intimate, informative, and magical 80 hour course I took with her, I also have seen her one-on-one as my Ayurvedic clinician for well over a year. Together I have gained an incredible amount of knowledge of the science of Ayurveda, myself, and the world around me. I’ve also received an invaluable set of life-skills and self-care tools that I continuously apply to my life. Most importantly, I have a mentor and friend that knows me, cares about me, and is committed to helping me and so many others to tap into our own inherent ability to heal, balance, adapt and thrive! I am so grateful to have found Eleni and I highly recommend her as an educator and clinician. Nikki Aiello

For most of my life, my relationship with food and fad diets was combative, at best. I thought the chronic stomach aches and overwhelming heaviness were just the bum cards I was dealt. And then came Eleni, with her arsenal of herbs and an infectious love of Ayurveda. She awakened me to the healing powers of food and herbs and taught me to make the tiny, yet necessary, seasonal adjustments to keep me constantly feeling light and full of energy. I still have the same cards, but now I’m playing a smarter game. Sandy Comstock

I had been looking to make some lifestyle changes with regard to self-care. As a yoga teacher Ayurveda seemed the logical route so I began reading and researching on my own and it was not long before I was completely overwhelmed with information. Thankfully, I began a 300 hr. yoga teacher training where Eleni taught the Ayurveda portion. That teacher training module was so transformative, that when Eleni announced she was offering a 5 weekend course, I did not hesitate to sign up. Eleni doesn’t merely teach the science of Ayurveda. Eleni empowers her students to discover the healer within by guiding them through experiencing first-hand the life skills that make up the practice of Ayurveda. She takes a vast and ancient philosophy and makes it accessible and relevant for what is going on in the modern world today. L. Deligio

Eleni is one of the most important mentors in my life. Her knowledge of Ayurveda is complete, but more than her knowledge , it is her investment to connect with and empower her students, that makes her an amazing teacher. She is a living example of the potentiality of a loving diet and lifestyle, and is truly an inspiration for all to look up to. Through her courses and working with her privately I have rediscovered my connection to the earth through plants as medicine, reflection and self care. My life has become a practice rooted in nature; I love my body and trust my intuition more and more every day. The physical ailments that I originally sought her expertise for were just the starting point for an amazing journey of self discovery. They now seem quite small (and non-existent) as I am encouraged and supported by her to embrace the possibilities and power of self healing. Meeting Eleni was the intervention that has completely changed my life, and it is my greatest wish that everyone could be so lucky to find a teacher of her gift.   Brooke Eberle

Eleni is amazing! Her courses not only ignite a passion for health and healing, but also for life itself! The classes are truly one of a kind and will give you life changing skills that help you become and stay healthy and feeling fabulous! It will change the way you look at the world and yourself.

It’s her little touches (from her teas to decor) that remind us how wonderful and important self-care is. Her sense of humor and clear teaching help to make the material easily digestible. Her courses are absolutely transformational! So be ready to get your world rocked (in the best way)! Joy-D

Teaching Schedule


ayurveda skills for living - "Unleash your inner healer"

  • January - December 2018. 6 modules x 6 weekends over 6 months. 


  • Module 1:   Ayurvedic theory and Philosophy
  • Module 2:  An Ayurvedic view of the body
  • Module 3:  Lifestyle Medicine
  • Module 4:  Food and nutrition
  • Module 5:  Herbal medicine
  • Module 6:  Practices for the mind, emotions  and psyche

ayurvedic health counselor prograM (NAMA CERTIFIED)

  • Belly Mind Institute Los Angeles, 11 modules/weekends over 6 months
  • Also available in distance learning format with individual mentoring  


  • Module 1: History and Philosophy
  • Module 2: Anatomy and Physiology 1
  • Module 3: Anatomy and Physiology 2
  • Module 4: Pathology
  • Module 5: Diagnostics
  • Module 6: The Mind
  • Module 7: Food
  • Module 8: Herbal Medicine
  • Module 9: Cleansing
  • Module 10: Food & Lifestyle practices 1
  • Module 11: Food & Lifestyle practices 2 (online)

the Yoga sutras By patanjali

Summer Series Ayurveda Classes

  • June 1st, 15th, 29th
  • July 13th, 27th
  • August 10th, 24th
  • Yoga Blend Burbank -

Summer Series Ayurveda Classes

  • June 20th, July 18th, August 15th, September 19th
  • One Down Dog Silverlake -

Guest Lecturer, Teacher Training

ayurvedic health counselor internship (NAMA CERTIFIED)

  • Saturday/Sunday, July 21-22 Intern preparation in Silverlake (*requires in person
  • Saturday, August 25th Silverlake , Robert (in person or online)
  • Saturday, September 8th - Mary Thompson (Online)
  • Saturday, October 6th - Mary Thompson (Online)
  • Saturday, November 3rd Mary Thompson (Online)
  • Saturday, December 1st Mary Thompson (Online)

September 15, 2018

loyola marymount university, guest lecturer, teacher training

october 27-28, 2018

Guest Lecturer, Yoga Therapy, be the change yoga