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 Natalie Bowcutt

I was clueless for years

I started practicing Yoga sporadically around 8 years ago, more regularly in the last 5 or 6 years.

I began practicing in a variety of Yoga classes, my first love being, what you might call, ‘vinyasa flow’. I loved the fluid, ‘dance-like’ quality of the movements. In some cases, I experienced a new sense of focus after class and in others it triggered strong emotional responses, like ‘crying my eyes out’ or ‘low level rage’.

I experienced Yoga and it was creating change. I didn’t need to know the ancient philosophy, I knew it affected me in some way, although I wasn’t exactly sure how or why.

I sensed there was more

After some time, I found myself yearning to learn more. This led me to enrol in a teacher training course at The Yoga Institute. This is when my life really started to change. Previously, I had enjoyed and gained benefits from practicing Yoga but it wasn’t until I understood the whole system that I deepened my understanding of what was causing me suffering in my life.

This was achieved through my studies and being guided through the development of my own personalised practice.

In education, when you know ‘the why’ and then practice it, embody it, it is much more powerful than if you are simply ‘led’ through the practice.

When you are studying to become a teacher, this is incredibly important. There are teachers and there are teachers. As a yoga teacher, having a solid understanding of the entire system and framework of yoga allows you to guide people into a deeper understanding of their being and what causes them suffering – be it physical, mental or emotional.

Sharing the transformative power of Yoga

I have had the good fortune of being able to work one-to-one with many clients and have witnessed the profound transformation that can occur when a truly integrated approach is taken.

There is so much more to the system of Yoga than ‘making shapes’ on a rubber mat. As a teacher, a thorough grounding in the Yoga Sutras is essential to be able to guide students in their practice and apply the principles of this ancient ‘guide to living’ to address the challenges of our modern lives.

The Yoga Sutras is not just The 8 Limbs

There are 195 Yoga Sutras. These concise descriptions detail the whole system of Yoga and how it works to bring positive change to our minds and our lives. Focusing on just one part of the system of Yoga, such as asana (the physical poses), could be compared to choosing one verse from The Bible or The Quran and living life according to that small piece of the whole picture.

  • Asana appears just once (referred to 3 times) in 195 Yoga Sutras
  • Only 20 of the 195 sutras are dedicated to the explanation of ‘The 8 Limbs’

This puts ‘The 8 Limbs’ into perspective as a part of the system of Yoga. Whilst the 8 Limbs are important, they are not the entire story, they are part of a much larger whole.

Most teacher trainings make some reference to the Yoga Sutras and the majority of those references are about ‘The 8 Limbs’.

Understanding Yoga Philosophy transformed my teaching

My experience as both a student and teacher of yoga has been deeply enriched through study and understanding of the Yoga Sutras. I have been able to apply what I’ve learned to know myself and to understand the workings of my own mind and then take that out into the world to be a better teacher. Connecting with others and helping students in their own process of transformation has been an incredible experience.

If you want the ability to guide people through real transformation, it is essential to dedicate the time to the study of the philosophy of Yoga and how it can be applied to the individuals you are working with.

The framework for The Yoga Institute’s teacher training and yoga studies courses is based on the fundamental principle that knowledge and understanding of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras is essential to competently and confidently teach Yoga to others. And for students to gain the full benefit of all the system of Yoga has to offer.

As well as teaching the Yoga Sutras through our teacher training courses, we also offer standalone Yoga Sutra Studies courses for yoga teachers and yoga students, and a personal practice course for keen students who want to deepen their practice but aren’t interested in teaching.

Join us for an Information Session

It’s a fantastic way to meet the team and ask questions about becoming a yoga teacher or about our teacher training and yoga studies courses:




Upcoming courses:

Yoga Teacher Training Diploma – first 2018 intake: 9th February

Upgrade course for Yoga Teachers (from 200hrs to 350hrs) – first 2018 intake: 17th February

Heart of Yoga Personal Practice Course – first 2018 intake: 13th February

Yoga Sutra Studies – various dates in 2018 

Get to know your teacher: Lisa Grauaug

Meet Lisa Grauaug

What brought you to Yoga?

Being curious and my partner was spending a lot of time teaching Yoga and attending classes.

How long have you been teaching for and where did you train?

I have been teaching since 2004 and completed formal Yoga Teacher training at The Yoga Institute in 2009. I have continued personal studies and professional development with Saraswathi Vasudevan (Yoga Vahni) and completed Yoga Therapy Training with Ganesh Mohan (Svastha Yoga and Ayurveda).

 What is your area of interest/speciality/plans for the future?  

I really enjoy working with students over a period of time, whether this is with Yoga Teachers in training, in classes or in one-one sessions. As I value observing students develop in their practice and understanding of what Yoga has to offer. I have a particular interest in Yoga generally, Yoga Therapy,  Women’s Health with a particular interest in teaching Yoga during pregnancy.


Family, reading, learning, travel, being in nature, ocean swimming and walking.

Biggest challenges?

I love my work and find it quite absorbing and inspiring, so finding the right balance between work and home-life can be a healthy challenge.

What would you like to share about yourself, that is unrelated to Yoga ?

I have always been an avid animal spotter, whether it is insects, birds, whales, dugongs, kangaroos, platypus, wombats, echidna, hippos, and elephants (I know not so difficult in the right location). Later this year I am heading to a national park in Central Kalimantan to observe Orangutangs.

Where / when can we experience your teaching?

I am on the faculty at The Yoga Institute, I teach a range of classes at Cammeray Yoga  & or in Africa (March 2018) where I am co-facilitating a Yoga Safari in Tanzania.

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 us for an Information Session

It’s a fantastic way to meet the team and ask questions about becoming a yoga teacher or about our teacher training and yoga studies courses:

Will I ever sit comfortably in Hero’s pose?

Written by Kaye Tribe

Have you ever thought, will I ever sit comfortably in Hero’s pose? And if I keep on stretching, will this change?

The answer is, it Depends. Kaye Tribe explores why.

This is a very common question from many Yoga practitioners.

Why is it so challenging?

The position of the bony articulations of the hip joint in the human body can vary considerable from one individual to the next. The thigh bone (or femur) also undergoes considerable changes from birth to becoming an adult. These changes will affect the ability of each individual to move their leg forward and backwards (flexion and hyper-extension), out to the side (abduction) and to turn the leg inwards and outwards (medial and lateral rotation).

The infant skeleton is made up of mostly cartilage. It is immature bone and it has not yet been calcified. This makes the bone fairly flexible.

Babies are packed inside the uterus tightly, particularly in the last few weeks before birth. Most foetuses are in a crossed-leg position in the uterus. This position affects the how our legs will look when we are born.

Throughout childhood, the thigh bone and lower leg bones (tibia and fibula) will continue to change and move towards what is considered ‘normal’ for the adult.


When we are infants, the angle between the shaft and the neck of the thigh bone is approximately 140 degrees (image on the left) and is described as the angle of inclination. This angle reduces as we learn to walk to approximately 125 degrees which is considered normal in the adult body. An angle of 5 degrees either side of that measurement is also considered to be within a healthy range – 120 degrees to 130 degrees. An angle outside of that range is named either coxa valga (larger than normal) or coxa vara (smaller than normal).


There is another angle that indicates the amount of rotation that occurs in the thigh bone and this angle changes from about 30 degrees in an infant to approximately 15 degrees in the adult body. Most research suggests that excessive rotation of the thigh may be due to the position of the child in the uterus and the resulting imbalance in tension of the muscles that control movements of the hip.

The result of an increased rotation on the thigh bone is an increased ability to medially rotate the thigh compared with the ability to laterally rotate the thigh and it is referred to as excessive anteversion. This photo illustrates the chosen seated position of a young child with excessive anteversion of the thigh bone.

An adult body with excessive anteversion will find Hero’s Pose an easy pose to hold due to the internal rotation of the thigh bone in that pose. This adult will also experience an easy cross-legged pose as not-so-easy due to the inability to laterally rotate the hip comfortably.

Alternatives to offer


So, your ability to sit comfortably in any pose may be due to the shape of your thigh bone and the position of your hip socket rather than stiff or chronically shortened muscles.

You could replace Hero’s Pose with Easy Cross-legged pose, or Half Lotus pose or any seated pose that is held for longer than a few minutes.


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:


The difference between doing yoga postures and having a yoga practice.

It’s been great to see more yoga teachers speaking out about the importance of a home practice. Yoga International and Kara-Leah Grant make some important points about the power of a regular ‘home’ practice.

I loved Yoga International’s comment about the wonderful value of coming together in a group and connecting through Yoga. It’s important. And how your own home practice can deepen the most important connection, the one with yourself.

I know it could be bad for business for yoga teachers to shout from the rooftops about “going it alone, no need for general yoga classes!”. But there are many teachers out there who understand the value of a personal practice and want people to experience the full spectrum of what yoga has to offer, beyond what they can share with students in general class.

My observation in much of what I read related to personal practice, is a key factor that’s missing – one the ancient yogis already spelled out for us – the concept of viniyoga.

The system of Yoga was intended to be practiced according to viniyoga – the specific and continuous linking of practice to the individual and their particular circumstances.

The discipline of a regular personal practice has many benefits, mentioned in both articles. The ability to move at your own pace, with your own breath, without the distractions of 25 other people in the room. This, in itself, can be powerful. But there is more…..

Personalised Practice: Key Factors

Have you ever borrowed a pair of shoes from someone else? Never feels quite as good as your very own, moulded to your foot, intentionally chosen style, shape and colour of shoe, does it? Then how do we expect our Yoga practice to be a ‘one-size fits all’ solution?

Age – the practice of Yoga is about being in tune with the natural process of life and living. A suitable practice for a 15 year old, is unlikely to be well suited to a 50 year old.

Gender – there are many similarities and infinite shared capabilities in both sexes AND we are different. Our anatomy is different for a start and our experience of moving through the world can vary greatly depending on our gender.

Physical & Mental Health – each of us has a unique history and has faced different physical, mental and emotional challenges in our lives. These factors are highly individual and incredibly important in determining an appropriate practice.

Aims – what is the goal or aim of your practice? Is it to relax or is it to energise? Is it to strengthen or to stabilise? Is the intention to connect with unexplored parts of yourself or develop the confidence to communicate effectively with others? These questions are essential when designing a personalised yoga practice.

Time – Do you start work at 5am or have a young baby? A morning practice might not work for you. Choose a time that works for your lifestyle and develop a practice that is suitable to the time of day.

Length – a busy mother of three, a high-level executive and a retiree may have very different levels of ‘free time’ for their practice. This must be taken into consideration, you don’t want to make it another thing on your list that you can’t find the time for.

We are multi-dimensional beings, therefore we need a multi-dimensional solution, taking all these considerations into account. I recently saw three people in one day who were all looking to help relieve the symptoms of insomnia. They all walked out with very different practices. Their symptom was the same but their circumstances varied greatly and required a different approach.

“Three people experiencing insomnia, all required very different practices”

Finding a suitable teacher

There are infinite possibilities for a yoga practice and you, as an individual human, will need one that is ‘just right’ for you. This requires an experienced teacher (keep an eye out for the article: How to find a good Yoga Teacher).

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras reminds us in the very first sutra – atha yoga anusasanam – of the importance of experiencing yoga for yourself. This indicates your experience will be different from other peoples.

Yoga is about changing the habits and patterns of how we think and live. One of the great challenges in self-understanding (svadhyaya) is that you’re using the mind to try and understand the mind. It’s a closed system and it can be hard to see your own blind spots. That is why having an external reference of a teacher to guide you through those blind spots in your own mind, is very helpful.

There’s no doubt that having a guide in the form of a suitably trained and experienced teacher is one of the keys to an effective personal practice.

With the focus of teacher training programs on group classes, teachers specifically trained to design, teach and connect with individuals can be hard to find. Yoga teachers are often taught to teach in a particular “style” which offers a “way of doing yoga” or a standard set of postures and practices, that don’t take into account individual needs.

My offering to you is ‘be discerning’ and ‘do your homework’ in selecting the right teacher to help support and guide you in your personal practice.

(and continue to go to general classes for amazing benefits!)

Written by Natalie Bowcutt


Upcoming Courses:

Diploma Level 1 commencing 8th June 2018

Upgrade course for Yoga Teachers commencing May 26th 2018

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): May 10th, 17th, 24th, 31st (2 week break) Then, June 28th, July 5th & July 12th, 2018

Times: 7.30pm – 9.30pm

Teacher:  Michael de Manincor

Location: The Yoga Institute, Cammeray

Cost: $465

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 of The Yoga Institute Teacher Training course receive a 30% discount off the course fee. Contact kirstie@yogainstitute.com.au for the promo code.

More Information:

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

Ph: (02) 9929 2774


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