Professional Yoga Psychology training

Our training for Yoga Teachers will assist you to develop your understanding of Yoga Psychology, to be more responsive to the mental health needs of your students.  We will explore the psychological wisdom of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, relating these ancient teachings to the experiences and concerns of our students today, with a particular focus on Yoga for depression and anxiety.


The Yoga Psychology workshop for Mental Health Professionals explores the psychological wisdom of the ancient teachings and practices of Yoga, exploring how Yoga can assist in the promotion of mental health an wellbeing. No prior experience or understanding of Yoga is necessary for this workshop, just a genuine interest in exploring the teachings.


About the Yoga Psychology trainers

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

Two of Australian's most well regarded Yoga Psychologists, both Michael and Janet are Registered Psychologists and also highly qualified and experienced Yoga Teachers.


The principles and practices of Yoga (or Yoga Psychology) were developed in ancient times, offering a wholistic, integrative system of mental health that is just as relevant today

The system of Yoga developed and taught by Patanjali (the great Indian sage from over 2000 years ago) is defined as the development and refinement of the mind - what the mind is, how it works, known limitations and dysfunctional tendencies, what we can do to improve it's functioning and what it might be capable of - with understanding and specific practices. This system of Yoga described by Patanjali includes a wholistic understanding of the mind in the context of a physical, breathing, social being, with implications for behaviour change, personal transformation and living a flourishing life. Yoga itself is a well-developed system of psychology.

'Yoga' in the modern world though is no longer a term primarily associated with this ancient system presented in Patanjali's Yoga Sutra's. Modern yoga is a much broader concept which includes a growing number of styles and approaches, often associated predominately with physical postures and group classes (gentle or intense, calming or energising, whatever you like!), taught by people with a diverse range of education, training and experience. 

Yoga in the tradition of Patanjali offers teachings and practices to develop a personal experience of the subtle mind-body-breath connection. In Yoga, this connection is more important than physical strength or flexibility. It is instead the qualities of the mind which are central to the teachings and practices of Yoga.

Yoga (or Yoga Psychology) offers practices to enhance mental health and alleviate the symptoms of psychological ill-ease or mental illness,using mind-body-lifestyle interventions to cultivate a healthy, productive, flourishing life.

Michael de Manincor

Counselling Psychologist, Senior Yoga Teacher Trainer and Yoga Therapist, Michael de Manincor, bridges eastern and western modalities of mind-body health.

Michael is one of the most highly respected yoga teachers in Australia, with over 30 years teaching experience. He established the Yoga Institute in 2000, now recognised as a leading provider of yoga teacher training in Australia. He has undertaken extensive studies with renowned teacher TKV Desikachar, in the authentic tradition of T Krishnamacharya.

Former President and Honorary Life Member of Yoga Australia, the peak body of the yoga teaching profession in Australia, Michael is passionate about educating the community on the benefits of quality yoga, and supporting the highest professional standards for yoga teachers. He has conducted research and written many articles on various facets of yoga for respected publications.

Michael holds degrees in Education and Psychology, and is a registered Counselling Psychologist. Michael is also currently doing PhD research in the area of Yoga and mental health.

Michael is the senior lecturer at the Yoga Institute and responsible for much of the course development, and offers individual consultations for guidance of personal yoga practice, yoga therapy, yoga teacher mentoring, and personal counselling.

Janet Lowndes

Janet Lowndes is a Psychologist, Yoga Teacher and Yoga Therapist who has been working therapeutically with individual clients for over 20 years.

Trained originally in Psychology, Janet became interested in an embodied approach to health and wellbeing and first studied Yoga Teaching at Swami Vivekananda’s ashram in India, and further teacher training with the Australian Institute of Yoga at the Centre for Adult Education in Melbourne.

Janet is Director and Senior Therapist at Mind Body Well, a group practice in Melbourne specialising in assisting people with Eating Disorders and other mental health concerns. Janet also manages and teaches on the faculty of the Graduate Certificate in Yoga Therapy with the Australian Institute of Yoga Therapy. Yogic wisdom and practices are an integral part of her therapeutic approach.

Janet has been influenced by various teachers including Leigh Blashki, Richard Miller, AG and Indra Mohan, Judith Lasater, and Donna Farhi. She is an iRest Teacher-in-Training (Level 2), and a member of the Australian Teachers of Meditation Association.

Janet has recently been invited to join the Council of Advisors for Yoga Australia, the peak body for Yoga Teachers in Australia. She speaks regularly at professional Yoga and Psychology events,and provides professional supervision for therapists from both disciplines.