Jul 27, 2018: Yoga Psychology Workshop


Yoga Psychology for Mental Health Professionals

This 2-day training programme is specifically tailored to Mental Health Professionals who are interested in the therapeutic applications of the teachings and practices of Yoga, specifically as they relate to mental health and wellbeing.

You Will Learn About:

  • The Yogic understanding of the mind, and how it relates to western psychology and related sciences
  • Teachings of the ancient sage Patanjali, particularly as they relate to understanding mental health
  • How Yoga can assist as an intervention for common metal health concerns such as depression and anxiety
  • How Yogic practices can assist in promoting and maintaining good mental health
  • How Yoga aides in fostering integrated health and wellbeing
  • How Yoga can assist as a powerful self-care tool for Health Professionals

This training programme is a joint collaboration between Michael de Manincor from The Yoga Institute and Janet Lowndes from the Australian Institute of Yoga Therapy.

Full details and registrations on the Yoga Psychology website:


Trying to think of something different to gift at Christmas each year? Are you tired of the same old ‘consumerism’, most of which will be next years rubbish?

Wandering around your local mall probably isn’t going to inspire any unique gift ideas. So avoid the traffic and long lines, sit down, put your feet up and get ready to be inspired. 

Here are a few great gift ideas that can help you sleep soundly, knowing your gift will bring some positivity into the world:

  • Christmas is a time for giving and there are so many worthy people and programmes that would benefit from your help. Charity Vouchers are a great way for each of your loved ones to pick something they really care about. Be the change you want to see in the world.


  • The Heart of Yoga Programme – the progamme with a difference. Help your loved one find peace and transformation in their life by applying Yoga’s ancient wisdom for modern living. Register before December 31st to receive a 10% early bird discount.


  • Give the gift of health, healing and transformation with private, one-one-on yoga. A practice tailored to meet you where you’re at physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. This gift will last a lifetime.


  • iRest Yoga Nidra 6 week course. Many people can find a meditation practise very challenging and overwhelming when they first start. However, for the simple journey of iRest Yoga Nidra, all you are required to do is listen and be guided into a profound state of relaxation.


  • Mandala Living develop sustainable products for the home, helping to create the time and space for mindful moments. Most materials used are sourced locally and then handmade locally in Australia from post-consumer recycled plastic bottles, buckwheat hulls or flaxseeds.


  • Bonus ideas: What about a gym membership? Healthy food delivery for January to get back on track after the Christmas feasting? An experience voucher, think adventure (Red Balloon is a great site for inspo), relaxation massage, facial, reflexology session, flotation session?


Oh, and don’t forget the most important gift of all…..the gift of time, be present with your loved ones…consciously connecting is the greatest gift of all.


Merry Christmas! x



Written by Janet Lowndes & Michael de Manincor

Statistics tell us that in each year approximately 1 in 5 Australians experience a mental illness. Not surprisingly, many people who come to Yoga classes experience mental health concerns, such as depression and anxiety.

Mental health is defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as “a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community”. 

The WHO emphasises that “mental health is recognised as more than the absence of mental disorders, and is an integral part of health. Indeed, there is no health without mental health”

(WHO, 2014).

As well as receiving recommendations from family, friends and Yoga enthusiasts, many people come to Yoga on recommendation from their medical and allied health professionals – who now recognise that Yoga can assist in dealing with mental health problems, or ‘mental illness’.

Even though the formal research is still building, peak organisations like Beyond Blue now include Yoga amongst their lists of potentially useful interventions.

Yoga for Whole Health

Whilst there is evidence to suggest benefits of Yoga as a form of treatment for conditions such as Depression and Anxiety, Yoga is not really a system of treating conditions. Rather Yoga is a system that enhances mental health for everyone, those who are experiencing periods of difficulty, and also those wanting to enhance their wellbeing and flourish.

Much of our mental health treatment system in Australia is focused on the treatment of mental illness – rather than on promoting mental health. Yoga offers a comprehensive way of understanding the nature of the human mind, and how this relates to our mental health. So, the focus in Yoga is less on Mental Illness and the associated symptoms, and more on enhancing the health and wellbeing of our entire system.

We can think of our mental health as existing on a continuum, from one end being at our optimum, at the other extreme, a state of disabling mental illness which compromises our ability to function in daily life.

Yoga can amplify symptoms


Yoga practices can have powerful effects, not all of them helpful. In fact, there are some commonly used techniques that can be particularly inflammatory to existing symptoms of anxiety or depression. Techniques such as rapid breathing and breath retentions for people who experience anxiety has be found to intensify or induce symptoms.


Necessity for Teachers to Up-skill

Conditions like Depression and Anxiety are common amongst Yoga students and practitioners, therefore it’s important that Yoga Teachers develop their mental health awareness to enable them to respond appropriately to the needs of their students.

Two of Australia’s leading Yoga Psychologists Dr Michael de Manincor and Janet Lowndes offer professional development, training and education for qualified Yoga Teachers in Mental Health Awareness. This week Michael and Janet are training at the Yoga Institute, and in August you can join them for their 5 day workshop in Melbourne.                                                                                                

Michael and Janet also offer Yoga Psychology training for Mental Health Professionals who wish to understand the Psychological framework at the core of Yoga. Their next workshop will be in Melbourne in October.


Dates TBC: Sound Practice Workshop

Integrated Yoga Practice as a morning ritual

Integrated Yoga Practice as a morning ritualWith Michela Caselli

Sanskrit is the language of Yoga.

Adhyayanam is the process of learning to chant in the traditional aural teaching way, which involves listening with full and focussed attention and being able to reproduce accurately what is heard.

This is powerful in establishing a firm foundation from which to teach, and to refine listening skills, strengthen memory, and develop concentration (dharana). Through chanting, we experience Yoga.

This half day workshop is ideal for yoga teachers, yoga teaching trainees and people wishing to learn more about the ancient sound practices of the yoga tradition.

Date: Dates TBC
Time: 9:30am – 1:30
Venue: The Upstairs Yoga Room, The Yoga Institute Cammeray
Price: $120 inc GST

Aug 8, 2018: Yoga Psychology Workshop


Mental Health Training for Yoga Teachers

This 4-day training programme has been designed to assist qualified Yoga Teachers to develop their understanding, skills and confidence in the area of mental health.

You Will Learn About:

  • The nature of the mind – from a yogic and western psychological perspective
  • What yoga offers for mental health
  • Healing relationships
  • An introduction to common mental health conditions
  • Yogic approaches to common mental health concerns
  • Mental health aware yoga teaching

This training programme is a joint collaboration between Michael de Manincor from The Yoga Institute and Janet Lowndes from the Australian Institute of Yoga Therapy


Full details and registrations on the Yoga Psychology website:


Are you ready to join the revolution?

Do you really know what yoga is? We believe there are many fundamental misconceptions out there in the yoga world.

There is more to yoga than you might have realised 

Firstly, let’s talk about what yoga is NOT…

Yoga is not just about the body
Yoga is not about being flexible or being able to touch your toes
Yoga is not about the shapes you make with your body on a rubber mat
Yoga is not only for beautiful people with perfect bodies
Yoga is not about getting a good ‘yoga butt’

So what IS it?

Yoga is about learning to still the mind
Yoga is about creating positive change in your life
Yoga is about connecting to your life force through the breath
Yoga is about coming to understand and accept yourself through your practice
Yoga is about forming deeper and more positive connections with other people

The truth about yoga classes

There has been a revolution going on in yoga for some time now. It’s been quietly growing over many years and the momentum is really building now.

People are realising there’s more to yoga than they thought. People who have diligently practiced, attended classes (or even completed a teacher training), are coming to understand that they’ve only skimmed the surface of what the system of yoga has to offer.

Yoga is coming full circle (the very definition of ‘revolution’).

You see here’s the thing, yoga was never designed to be taught in classes.

It’s a big statement but it’s true

In the ancient tradition of yoga, students were taught one-on-one by their teacher and were taught a practice unique to them. And their practice was about so much more than performing yoga postures (asana).

Yoga is an entire ‘system for living’ which includes postures, breathing, meditation, mantra or sound, along with ongoing moment to moment awareness and acceptance of self, others and your world, through the philosophical lens of the Yoga Sutras (see ‘Do you really know yoga?’).

So what about yoga classes?

Asana-focused group classes evolved after yoga was introduced into the modern ‘western’ world.

We’re not saying people can’t gain fantastic benefits from attending general asana-focused yoga classes. We witness the subtle shifts in people all the time. Classes create a wonderful sense of community and can be responsible for regular movement in otherwise stagnant bodies.

What we are saying is the incredible transformational impact of yoga can’t be fully realised unless a practice addresses the specific needs and circumstances of the student and draws from all the tools, techniques and philosophical underpinnings of the system of Yoga. The benefits may be there, but if the practice isn’t personally tailored, those benefits will be limited.

In some cases, the benefits won’t be seen at all. Time and time again people come to our classes, or to one of our teachers or therapists for personal practice or yoga therapy sessions, who’ve been injured doing the wrong things for their bodies. They were injured because their group class yoga teacher (with the best of intentions) led a general class for a general audience, that wasn’t right for that particular person, at that particular time.

The quiet yoga revolution

For years we’ve been plugging away in our corner of the world, making sure that the teachers that graduate from here know the importance of guiding students in their own practice, even in a group class setting.

This isn’t easy. If you’ve been in (or taught) a class here, you’ll know that co-ordinating a group of people who are all doing a slightly different practice to suit their own needs in time with their own breath, takes incredible attention and skill from the teacher. A class taught by someone who has mastered this skill is quite a thing to behold.

Not to mention the knowledge and skill that goes into designing a personal practice, individually tailored to specific needs in a one-to-one or yoga therapy session.

Since 2001, we’ve been quietly creating a revolution. Teaching teachers and therapists who can honour this tradition, who understand the incredible power of a specifically tailored personal practice.

Our sense of mission and what we’re about

We’re helping people to transform their own lives and the lives of others. We have an incredible sense of mission. We know that despite what else is going in the world, we are making a difference. This is important work.

That doesn’t mean it’s all ‘serious business’ around here.

Yes, what we’re doing is important. Yes, the impact on lives is profound.

But we also have sense of humour about ‘life, the universe and everything’, and have a whole lot of fun and laughs with each other. Our community is important and we make an effort to support each other and nurture our shared sense of togetherness and belonging.

Are you ready to become part of this?

We dearly hope so… the world needs more of us doing our own small bit toward the good and we’d love to add your particular kind of ‘special’ into the mix.

Join us..


Join Our Mailing List

Become part of our community and receive email updates and newsletters about yoga teacher training, yoga therapy training, postgraduate training for yoga teachers and yoga teaching workshops:

This is a first for The Yoga Institute and we are truly excited to announce that in March 2018, the Yoga Institute is partnering with African Family Safaris to offer the Heart of Africa Yoga Safari.

Africa is a precious place where one can “unplug” and immerse in the vastness of a wild, pristine and overwhelmingly beautiful landscape filled with a vast array of wildlife, including one and a half million wildebeest on their annual migration. Few places can imprint on your soul like this one.

This Yoga Safari will be an unforgettable experience.

Tanzania is our destination.

CURIOUS then CLICK HERE for the full itinerary, cost  & learn more about this Heart of Africa Yoga Safari.

JULY UPDATE: This is a limited numbers travel safari and we now have ONLY 3 Places Left . 






May 3, 2018: Yoga Psychology Workshop


Mental Health Training for Yoga Teachers

This 4-day training programme has been designed to assist qualified Yoga Teachers to develop their understanding, skills and confidence in the area of mental health.

You Will Learn About:

  • The nature of the mind – from a yogic and western psychological perspective
  • What yoga offers for mental health
  • Healing relationships
  • An introduction to common mental health conditions
  • Yogic approaches to common mental health concerns
  • Mental health aware yoga teaching

This training programme is a joint collaboration between Michael de Manincor from The Yoga Institute and Janet Lowndes from the Australian Institute of Yoga Therapy


Full details and registrations on the Yoga Psychology website:


Yoga Sutra Studies with Michael de Manincor


Yoga Sutra Studies with Michael de Manincor

The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali forms the foundation of all yoga teachings and has been described as the “Heart of Yoga” and a “guidebook to life”.

Presented in a simple yet compact style, the sutras offer the entire foundation of Yoga’s philosophy, psychology, concepts and tools for practice and personal transformation. We believe that a thorough study of this text is essential for every Yoga teacher and keen Yoga student.

This course is designed for yoga teachers and experienced yoga students. It provides a deeper exploration of:

  • The conceptual framework and major themes of these ancient teachings
  • Relevance of these teachings for the practice of Yoga today, for health and well-being in our modern lives
  • Classical chanting of the Yoga Sutras

Michael de Manincor studied the Yoga Sutras over many years under the guidance of Krishnamacharya’s son TKV Desikachar.

In this course, Michael shares his in-depth and practical understanding of the meaning of key themes and teachings in the sutras, how they relate to yoga practice, the mind, and life in general.

His level of knowledge and understanding of the sutras, along with his warm and engaging teaching style, give students a wonderful and unique learning experience.


“Michael is a great person to walk alongside as you explore the sutras. I highly recommend studying with him!”
Jennifer Taylor


“I’ve grown so much inside, the Yoga Sutras is basically ‘The Secret of Life,’ thank you guys.”


Thursday Evenings (8 weeks): July 26th – September 13th, 2018

Times: 7.30pm – 9.30pm

Teacher:  Michael de Manincor

Location: The Yoga Institute, Cammeray

Cost: $465

10% Early Bird Discount until June 30: Enter SutraEBJune30 at checkout

Yoga teachers attending this course can earn 18 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points towards their Yoga Australia membership. There are no prerequisites or assumed knowledge for this course.

Special Offer: Graduates and current Teacher Trainees of The Yoga Institute Teacher Training course receive a 30% discount off the course fee. Contact kirstie@yogainstitute.com.au for the promo code (not available in conjunction with Early Bird discount).

More Information:

To find out more about this course please contact Kirstie Christensen:

Ph: (02) 9929 2774


What is the best practice for Pregnancy? Well it depends?

Here are general considerations to inform a pregnancy yoga practice. Please remember there are no one size that fits all when it comes to developing a Yoga practice during this special time. The most appropriate practice is always the one that is tailored to meet each individual student. A tailored practice designed to meet the needs of pregnancy will best support pregnancy, assist with birth preparation, labour and beyond.

Lets open up a short summary of some considerations for Pregnancy Yoga!

  • Previous yoga experience or personal fitness?

It is recommended not to introduce certain postures during pregnancy if they have not been practiced previously. For example, inverted postures are not the type of postures to introduce to beginner pregnant students. The practice of postures is a developmental experience and starting where the student is at is fundamental. Thus consideration of previous yoga experience and fitness is important.

  • Current health during the pregnancy, previous health history, including previous pregnancies.

When developing your Pregnancy practice it is useful to consider how you are feeling and how is your health? For example, if you are extremely tired or suffering from morning sickness, this needs to be considered. Further to this, if you are experiencing back pain and postural misalignment related to pregnancy, then guidance can be provided on the cause, including tips on how to correct one’s posture in Asana (Yoga postures) and in one’s daily activities of living. When a Yoga Teacher has the opportunity to assess and gather information about the student it really assists the process of personalisation of a yoga practice to ensure safety and to facilitate health and healing.

  • The hormone Relaxin

The hormone of pregnancy, Relaxin is released very early on in Trimester One and continues to be released in varying degrees throughout pregnancy. It is responsible for the softening of muscles, ligaments and connective tissue, which then allows the expansive growth of the uterus, growing baby and assists with birth. The release of Relaxin in pregnancy affects women in different ways, given this asana choice in pregnancy is important and the modification of postures to ensure one does not over-stretch and to remain injury free is key. Students who are hypermobile (naturally flexible) require even more awareness around being organised and stable in postures. A great TIP to avoid over-stretching in ones Asana practice is to stay with your natural breath length when moving in and out of the yoga postures and with this cultivate a feeling of no force, stability and ease.

  • Stage of pregnancy.

Ones yoga practice is tailored to meet the changing needs of pregnancy and the stage of pregnancy. There are guidelines on appropriate postures in pregnancy. For example it is recommended to avoid extreme postures, twisting postures and rapid breathing techniques (such as kapalbhati ot bhastrika breath). These guidelines ensure the safety and comfort of the mother and the baby within. In addition, each woman’s individual needs vary from trimester to trimester. For women close to birthing their needs may change on a weekly basis and ones Yoga practice may change to respond and support these changes.

  • Practicing Yoga in pregnancy honours this special moment, the many changes that are occurring within and transition to motherhood

How wonderful-  to have the opportunity to talk and indulge in all things about pregnancy and to embrace mother-baby connection moments. Making time for this special time of life is enriching, so very natural, so healthy and a wonderful way to transition to motherhood!

During pregnancy, it is recommended to seek the guidance of a specialist Pregnancy Yoga teacher.


Written by Lisa Grauaug B AppSc (Nursing), B Psych, M Psych, Adv Dip Yoga Teaching, Ayurveda Lifestyle Certificate, Perinatal Mental Health Course (USyd), Registered Psychologist, Registered Yoga Teacher, Yoga Australia Member



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