It's kind of a new thing. It's about getting a basic foundation for understanding an epic, ancient wisdom-tradition. This amount of study helps one to see the big picture, and slowly build from there. The sister arts, yoga and ayurveda, are so vast, a practice so interconnected, learning about one helps you understand the other, and practicing them together in the daily life is a set-up for life-long success. Be introduced to the classic texts, and know there is a deep root to what you are learning. Know this root will continue growing in you at an appropriate pace.
The word training implies a focused time spent refining a specific activity. A 200-hr ayurveda training implies devoting 200 hours of your life to studying and practicing the tradition of ayurveda.
In a course of this length you will study things like dosha, sub-dosha, Sankhya philosophy, enough Sanskrit to pronounce things correctly, digestion, nutrition, and anatomy of the body according to Ayurvedic terminology. Example: the body has 7 tissue layers, fed by the digestive tract in this order
Therefore, if the reproductive tissue is deficient for some time, the nervous system, and then the bones will suffer. You might begin to understand connections like this in your body from participating in a Fundamentals of Ayurveda training, and you will learn tools for managing early states of imbalance. You will also learn to apply this language to personal yoga practice, and promote balance through pranayama and yoga.
More importantly, you will practice Ayurveda in your own life. You will be required to scrape your tongue, oil your skin, and do some breathing and movement techniques as close to everyday as you can get (what?? Scroll down for videos on scraping and oiling). You will be encouraged to live Ayurveda in your own way throughout the training, and you will be asked to log changes in your body and mind, and be counseled in how to understand these changes.
Example: You may realize that you have a deficiency in a tissue layer, and learn a few recipes for foods that will feed that layer. Then, you will cook it, and eat it, and see if you begin to feel a difference.
Please do not do yourself, or the tradition, the disservice of expecting to practice or teach Ayurveda professionally after 200 hours of experience. The very beginning level of practice, Ayurvedic Health Consultant, requires 650 hours of study, and like yoga, is only appropriate after taking time to allow the tradition to live inside you first. Adding the burden of professional practice before leaving space for true embodiment will create stress. I encourage you to consider a Fundamentals training an investment in your own health and realization. Should you desire further education, 200 hours of training can be applied to affiliate 650 hour programs in the US. The standardizing body for ayurvedic practice in the USA, NAMA is a good place to learn more about the profession.
You can find more info about upcoming programs in Boston here.