Meet The A Team

Here’s your chance to meet The Yoga Institute’s talented, passionate and highly experienced Yoga Teacher Training & Yoga Therapy Training Faculty on a deeper level!

We asked each faculty member the same 5 questions, so you can truly see their unique personality, perspective, and experiences shine.

Michael de Manincor

1) Please write your brief yoga history and involvement with The Yoga Institute?
Brief??? 40+ years worth … many wonderful and sometimes challenging teachers and experiences. 
Most significantly, studies and practice in India, under the guidance of my teacher and mentor, Mr TKV Desikachar.
Founded The Yoga Institute in 1999 (originally called Integrative Yoga, then Yoga Sanga), and have remained Director for 20 years.

2) What’s the greatest benefit you have gained from your yoga practice? 
Whilst I love the practices of asana, pranayama, meditation, chanting and more, the study and sharing of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras constantly keeps me both amazed and humbled about what these teachings offer us in understanding our human condition, suffering, and opportunities for personal and collective transformation.

3) Personal shoutout! What lights you up?
Seeing the journey of change and transformation in people’s lives.

4) Where’s your happy place?
At home, in the ocean, in a forest, or in Italy.

5) What are your qualifications?

  • BA (Hons, Psych), Grad Dip Ed, M Psych, PhD
  • Registered Senior Yoga Teacher and Yoga Therapist, Yoga Australia
  • Registered Psychologist, AHPRA 


Lucy Karnani

1) Please write your brief yoga history and involvement with The Yoga Institute? 
I came to yoga, or rather yoga came to me, in the late 90’s while I was living just outside New York City. I practiced with increasing frequency throughout the next decade; predominantly by attending classes. In 2009 I learnt the amazing benefits of a daily personal practice when I was introduced to a specific pranayama, breath and mediation series which I committed to for 90 days. After having experienced a whole milieu of health challenges (some of which needed specific medical intervention) I found myself feeling truly well and vital in my mind and body for the first time in over 10 years. Inspired by this, I completed my first YTT in the USA and soon after moving to Sydney in 2011 found my way to the The Yoga Institute where I studied further with Michael de Manincor. In this last decade I have had the great good fortune to study with many teachers both here and in the USA such as Richard Miller, Leslie Kaminoff, Ganesh Mohan, Amy Weintraub, VidyaMa Caroline Dell’Uomo, Devarshi Steven Hartman, Donna Farhi, Heather Plett and many more. Given my background in the corporate world where I coached, trained and consulted in face-to-face communication skills, Michael asked if I would develop workshops in this area for yoga teachers and therapists and as such I have joyfully been part of the TYI faculty since 2012.

2) What’s the greatest benefit you have gained from your yoga practice?  
The greatest benefit I have gained from my regular personal practice is an ability to slowdown, pause, come in the moment and be in the witness – after which I can more consciously make choices about what I say or do next. The movement and breath aspects of my practices have also helped my still sometimes “health challenged body and mind” become and stay strong, flexible and vital. I also get a lot of personal joy and nourishment from teaching yoga – both to small groups and individually.

3) Personal shoutout! What lights you up? 
Spending time with like-minded and like-hearted people who are curious about this journey called life!

4) Where’s your happy place? 
With my family when everyone is getting along 😀!?

5) What are your qualifications? B App Sci – Physical Education


Ute Koehler

1) Please write your brief yoga history and involvement with The Yoga Institute? 
My passion for Yoga started when I was in my teens. I very soon developed a love for this ancient practice and its many styles and tools. After completing my first teacher qualification in a Power Vinyasa Style, I have continued my studies with The Yoga Institute. Under the guidance of Michael de Manicor, I have completed the year long Diploma of Yoga Studies & Teacher Training as well as the Advanced Diploma of Teacher Training. Since then, I have continued my practice and the study of yoga including yoga therapy (3 year course), yogic mindfulness and the Yoga Sutras. Apart from teaching general classes, I focus of teaching seniors with the aim of healthy ageing.
I am committed to teaching and sharing Yoga, making it accessible for each and every individual, whatever their experience.

2) What’s the greatest benefit you have gained from your yoga practice?  
My yoga practice has encouraged me to become more mindful in my daily life. A regular yoga practice is so effective in helping you with a wide range of illnesses and stressful situations. It is so much more than ‘just a simple exercise or stretching routine’. Using the breath to connect the mind and the body has such a powerful impact on the mental wellbeing. For me that was one of of the key factors that I have learned when training with Michael.

3) Personal shoutout! What lights you up? 
Learning more about the philosophies, world views and teachings that emerged in ancient India. I also enjoy long walks in nature and spending my time with my family and friends.

4) Where’s your happy place? 
If we try to define ‘happiness’, the dictionary would probably say that it is a ‘state of being’. I am personally not too sure about that – I would rather refer to it as a temporary emotion. Happiness is centered around what you think will bring you happiness, but as life shows, it might never be enough. Once we acquire or find what we think will make us happy, it tends to loose its meaning very quickly. So very often people spent their lives in this never ending pursuit of happiness. I therefore think that the expression ‘contentment’ is much better. Striving for contentment, a state of balance, allows your mind to focus on living a more meaningful life – not a life in constant pursuit. And that place can be everywhere.

5) What are your qualifications?

  • 200hrs Power Vinyasa
  • Diploma of Yoga Studies and Teacher Training & Advanced Diploma of Teacher Training with the Yoga Institute
  • 3 years of Yoga Therapy studies
  • Yogic Mindfulness Training
  • Studies of the Yoga Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita
  • Certificate in Restorative Yoga and Meditation


Rosie Caunt

1) Please write your brief yoga history and involvement with The Yoga Institute? 
I have been practicing yoga for 35 years and teaching for 20 years.

I have been involved with The Yoga Institute since it was Yoga Sanga around 17 years ago. I taught a little on the teacher training course then and a lot on the Friday course when The Yoga Institute began. I taught asana pranayama meditation sometimes energetics and professional yoga teacher. I also had my own studio for 10 years or so in Lindfield then Mona Vale.

2) What’s the greatest benefit you have gained from your yoga practice?
Yoga for me is about the way I live my life. How I interact with everyone and the environment and how I care for my body and mind.

3) Personal shoutout! What lights you up? 
Teaching and training mentoring running workshops lights me up. My creativity flows and I love that. I also love to ocean swim and read. I am a curious person and enjoy to keep learning

4) Where’s your happy place? 
My happy place is in the water and camping in the bush.

5) What are your qualifications?

  • Cert in Education
  • B ED hons
  • Cert 4 in training
  • Cert in health yoga
  • Kinesiologist
  • Certificate in studies of death and dying
  • Yoga therapist
  • Thousands of hours of yoga training (Some with Desikachar and Kausthub Desikachar)


Michela CaselliMichela Caselli - Yoga Teacher, Teaching Yoga for Children Trainer

1) Please write your brief yoga history and involvement with The Yoga Institute?
In 2010 I enrolled in the Advanced Teacher Training Course with The Yoga Institute. The same year I started teaching general classes and in 2015  I joined the faculty and mentor team. My dream came true in 2016, Michael and I, with our family heritage and love for Italy achieved our dream of running yoga retreats in Italy. Savour Italy has since been an annual retreat. 

2) 2) What’s the greatest benefit you have gained from your yoga practice?  
The understanding that it’s all in my hands, that the change I desire in my life depends on me. My daily personal practice plants the seed for my transformation.

3) Personal shoutout! What lights you up? 
It lights me up to see people passionate for something and making efforts to contribute to their direct environment.
It lights me up finding the time to be in the ocean and see that every single wave is different and I have to adjust to their uniqueness.
It lights me up dancing in the lounge room with my husband and and my son.
A proper made TiramisuIt lights me up… very rare thing in Australia!

4) Where’s your happy place? My family 

5) What are your qualifications?

  • Master degree in International and Diplomatic sciences
  • Diploma in Business
  • Diploma of Yoga Teacher
  • Yoga Therapy
  • Italian Diploma of Sommelier

How can we support you?

Since 2001 The Yoga Institute has taught and mentored hundreds of students who have gone on to become amazing yoga teachers. We’ve grown a beautiful community of people who have changed their own lives and the lives of others through exceptional yoga teaching. We are humbled to have been part of so much positive change.

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