For a limited time we are offering up to $250 off our 2018 courses.

These offers are valid for bookings before 31st December 2017. Book Now for 2018 and SAVE up to $250!


SAVE $250 off Yoga Teacher Training Courses* in 2018.
*Valid for all face-to-face yoga teacher training courses, distance yoga teacher training courses, and the 350hr online yoga teacher training course in 2018 if you sign up before 31st December 2017.


Interested in the 200hr Online Yoga Teacher Training? Or upgrading to 350 hours online? SAVE $150 if you sign up before 31st December 2017!
*Valid for all 200hr and 200hr-350hr online yoga teacher training courses


Save $250 off the Diploma in Yoga Therapeutics in 2018. Sign up before 31st December 2017.


SAVE $150 off the Meditation Teacher Training course in 2018.


The Yoga Anatomy master comes to Brisbane teach a Yoga Anatomy course at YIMI

Brisbane welcomes an intensive 2-day yoga teacher training with the world renowned Leslie Kaminoff in March 2018

For details and bookings go to:

Brisbane, QLD: YIMI Yoga, Viniyoga Australia and Breathing App are so pleased to welcome Leslie Kaminoff in March 2018 to teach a weekend intensive course of his Yoga Anatomy teacher training. Leslie Kaminoff is the co-author of best selling book ‘Yoga Anatomy’ and founder of The Breathing Project. His knowledge spans four decades and this course will cover some of the most fundamental areas of his yearlong Yoga Anatomy program, which runs in New York City.

Teachers will get a unique flavour for his anatomical perspective on yoga as he believes each human’s structure and build is unique which influences the way they practice yoga. He believes “asanas don’t have alignment, people have alignment”. This and other fundamental beliefs structure the foundation for his teaching.

Over the two days, Leslie will touch on a variety of subjects that will deepen students understanding and practice of yoga. Some of the topics that will be covered over this weekend will include:

  • The most basic poses with an emphasis on how feet are the foundation of postural support
  • Understanding the way breathing supports yogis through challenging poses
  • The functional principles of alignment
  • Sequencing for individual needs, preparation and counter posing
  • Why instructions like ‘tuck your tail’ and ‘lengthen your spine’ may be doing more harm than good and how to substitute these
  • The importance of the drishti (or gaze) and imagery to foster increased neuromuscular integration

Throughout the 2-day course, time will be taken to answer individual questions and address any issues or topics of particular interest. Demonstrations will also be a focus for teachers to get as much out of this intensive course as possible.

About YIMI: YIMI – the Yoga & Integrative Medicine Institute delivers yoga teacher training, restorative yoga, meditation, an advanced diploma in yoga & meditation training courses as well as post-graduate specialties and other short courses in Brisbane.

About Viniyoga Australia: Viniyoga Australia specialises in a variety of teacher training courses and regular group classes. They teach Yoga Therapy training as well as Teacher Training and organise a variety of Yoga Retreats and Study trips to India.

About Breath Taking Concepts: BTC specialises in designing creative Yoga experiences, from trekking to the heart of where Yoga began in Kashmir, to developing breathing apps, to hosting events like these. More information can be found on their Yoga in the Park site. Sign up for the free Breath Taking app, designed to help lower high Blood Pressure at

For bookings and further info on Leslie Kaminoff’s Brisbane workshop, go to

More information about Leslie Kaminoff and Yoga Anatomy can be found at:

Unique features of Ayurvedic Massage and understanding the Doshas

Ayurveda focuses on the whole being, as does traditional Chinese medicine, but this system is based on traditions found in Indian culture. The Sanskrit term Ayurveda means the science of life (veda) and longevity (ayus). This natural system of wellness is several thousand years old. It is similar to Chinese medicine in that both procedures use a total examination of the client (including skin condition, pulse, temperature, eyes, psychological traits, and other factors) when making a diagnosis.

Ayurveda is the art of living in harmony with the laws of nature and the therapy encompasses the entire life of the individual. The aim of this science is to maintain the health of a person and to restore health where it has been lost i.e. to heal the disease of an unhealthy person. Both maintenance and healing are carried out entirely by natural means.

Ayurveda uses diet, herbs, massage, attitude training, water therapy, behaviour modification, detoxification regimens, and meditation along with other procedures to encourage restoration of the body to a balanced condition.


Ayurveda Concepts

According to Ayurvedic theory, everything in the universe is connected. Good health is achieved when your mind, body, and spirit are in harmony with the universe. A disruption of this harmony can lead to poor health and sickness. Anything that affects your physical, emotional or spiritual well-being can cause you to be out of balance with the universe. Here are some of the things that can cause a disruption:

  • Genetic or birth defects
  • Injuries
  • Climate and seasonal changes
  • Age
  • Emotions

Every person is made of a combination of five basic elements found in the universe:

  • Space
  • Air
  • Fire
  • Water
  • Earth

These elements combine in the human body to form three life forces or energies, called Doshas. They control how your body works. The three Doshas are:

  • Vata Dosha (space and air)
  • Pitta Dosha (fire and water)
  • Kapha Dosha (water and earth)

Everyone inherits a unique mix of the three Doshas. One Dosha is usually more dominant. Each Dosha controls a different body function. It is believed that your chances of getting sick are linked to the balance of your Doshas.


Three Doshas

Vata: The force in the body that represents all kinetic activity, all movement of any sort in the organism.
Pitta: The force in the body that is responsible for all forms of digestion in the organism and balances kinetic and potential energies.
Kapha: The force in the body that represents stability and structure of all sorts in the organism.

Vata Dosha

Vata Dosha (space and air) is thought to be the most powerful of all three Doshas. It controls very basic body functions, such as how cells divide. It also controls your:

• mind
• breathing
• blood flow
• heart function
• ability to get rid of body waste through the intestines

Things that can disrupt this Dosha are:
• eating too soon after a previous meal
• fear
• grief
• staying up too late

If Vata Dosha is your main life force, you are more likely to develop:

• anxiety
• asthma
• heart disease
• nervous system disorders
• rheumatoid arthritis
• skin problems

Pitta Dosha

The Pitta Dosha (fire and water) controls:

  • Digestion
  • Ability to break down foods (metabolism)
  • Certain hormones linked to appetite

Things that can disrupt this Dosha are:

  • Eating heavy, hot, oily foods
  • Eating spicy foods
  • Fatigue
  • Spending too much time in the sun

If Pitta dosha is your main life force, you are more likely to develop:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Anger and negative emotions
  • Heartburn a few hours after eating
  • Infections

Kapha Dosha

The Kapha Dosha (water and earth) controls:

  • Digestion
  • Lubrication of joints
  • Brain function
  • Nervous function
  • Fatty tissue
  • Lymphatics

Things that can disrupt this dosha are:

  • Eating dairy, wheat and sugar
  • Lack of activity
  • Oversleeping or being lazy
  • Refusal to let go emotionally or hoarding

If Kapha dosha is your main life force, you are more likely to develop:

  • Diabetes
  • Overweight tendencies
  • Fluid retention
  • Slow digestion


How do we heal with the Unique features of Ayurvedic Massage?

  • Special Medicated oils are used, warmed to suit the individual constitution
  • Ayurvedic Medicine to balance 5 elements
  • Strokes selected according to client constitution and imbalances
  • Marma Point consideration
  • 7 chakras are opened physically through marmas and nadis
  • Physical mental and emotional balance
  • Strokes used are vigorous and rhythmic, connecting one site to another
  • The concoction of oils stabilise the subtle and gross bodies
  • AyurYoga massage helps stimulate deep and hidden kundalini energy which lies dormant in sacrum and unfolds the deeper layers of consciousness in the mind
  • Improves circulation and expels toxins from blood, reducing ama
  • Strengthens immunity
  • Opens pranic channels and balances three doshas


Ayurvedic oils are chosen to suit the individual constitution

There are different oils for each Dosha. You can purchase specific oils that have a sesame oil base and a combination of special herbs designed just for your Dosha. Three popular oils used in ayurvedic massage are almond, sesame and sunflower oil as these are all very nutritious oils and help aid the detoxification process when used on the skin in massage.
Different oils are recommended for the different Dosha types. Many more oils can be used, but the recommendations below are a good selection for your daily massage.
Selecting the oils

Vata types: Use calming oils, including cold pressed black sesame, olive, almond, wheatgerm, and castor oil.

Pitta types: Use cooling oils, such as coconut, sandalwood, pumpkin seed, almond and sunflower seed.

Kapha types: Choose heating lightening oils. These include mustard, corn and safflower.


Different Massage techniques for each constitution

Massage for Vata constitution:

Duration Massage: 50-60 minutes
Temperature oil: warm to hot
Quantity: More than usual
Strokes used: active, passive, less persuasive
Main sites to concentrate attention: lower abdomen, temporals, pelvis and chest
For anxiety and fear: centre of palms, writs, temporal area, centre nipple, throat, navel centre
For nervousness and insomnia: centre of palms, centre eyebrows, eight fingers above eyebrows, occipital area, back of ears.

Massage for Pitta constitution:

Duration Massage: 55-60 minutes
Temperature oil: luke warm to warm
Quantity: moderate
Strokes used: Passive and persuasive
Main sites to concentrate attention: abdomen, lower stomach, eyebrows, below eyes, soles feet.

Massage for Kapha constitution:

Duration Massage: 60-65 minutes
Strokes used active persuasive less passive
Main sites to concentrate attention: Chest and thigh, armpits, buttocks and joints. Kapha can become stagnant and sluggish in stomach lungs and joints. Kaphas also have low digestive fire so important to use warm oil and vigorous movement to enkindle agni.


Learn how to give an Ayurvedic massage at our upcoming course.

Ayurvedic Massage and Energetic Anatomy with Celia Roberts – A 4-day course to explore Ayurveda, Massage and Marma Therapy. Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th June and Saturday 15th & Sunday 16th July 2017.

Find out more and book your place now.

YIMI Ayurvedic Massage and the Marma Points

The Yoga and Integrative Medicine Institute features: What is a Marma point?

A Marma is a dot, secret dot or mystical point on our body. Activating a Marma point opens into the inner pharmacy of the body like a door or pathway and is an important element of Ayurveda’s healing power. Marma work has the ability to heal us at a physical, emotional, and spiritual level. Stimulation of these inner pharmacy pathways signals the body to produce exactly what it needs, including hormones and neurochemicals that heal the body, mind and consciousness. This deep dimension of Marma therapy has the potential to unfold spiritual healing. Dr. Vasant Lad states that massaging the Marma points “activates the body’s inner pharmacy, changing the biochemistry, and can unfold radical, alchemical change in one’s makeup.” Discovered in India centuries ago, these energy points profoundly affect the body, mind and spirit and facilitate the deepest levels of healing.
Prana is the current of energy that infuses every cell with reservoir of energy and promotes health. Marmas are points in the body where concentrated life force energy is located. They are part of the chakra, nadi and srota system of Yoga. Ayurvedic massage and marma treatment is focused on releasing energy blocks in the energetic system. Using Ayurvedic oils, Marma points are gently massaged to balance the flow of energy.

Prana and Marmas

Prana moves along channels called nadis and the points on these nadis are called Marmas. So, nadis are the string, and Marma’s are the pearls of the necklace. A Marma is a point of concentrated prana where anatomical structures (muscle, bone, tendon, vessels, ligament, and joints) are also present. Through gently working on Marma points, energy or prana is treated, as opposed to simply working on physical tissues.
Prana must constantly be flowing through our Nadis, or energy channels/meridians. When this prana becomes stuck due to toxins, emotional stress, poor diet, lack of sleep, age, our health suffers and we become ill. Marma points are located along these Nadis, so that when they are activated, they clear any stagnation of prana, and immediately bring healing to that organ or that part of the body. Marma’s literally are control points, where prana can enter and be directed.

Marma Therapy

Marma therapy is an important tool for preventing and treating imbalances in Ayruveda. Marma therapy balances the vata, pitta and kapha doshas, increases digestive fire, detoxification, reducing ama, promoting energy and rejuvenation. Therapeutic touch is used to treat Marma points. While lying on the massage table, or sitting in a comfortable chair, very gently pressure, like acupressure, is used on the Marma points.

Marma points are switches that when opened up, allow for the increased flow of energy. The primary purpose is to promote the flow of Prana in the body-mind. Through the gentle application of herbs, essential oils and light touch, the Marma points are awakened. One feels an abiding connection in the awakening of their energetic anatomy, their energetic body.

Essential oils and organic herbal oils are the main methods for treating the Marma points and are highly effective in altering our dosha and our energy. Marma’s are anointed with organic therapeutic grade aromatic oils, oils often being specific to each location and condition. As marma’s are concentrated centers of energy, the essential oils can penetrate easily and deeply, affecting the entire body.

Apart from essential oil massage, Marma therapy can include the following techniques to stimulate or pacify:

  • Mantra Recitation – Chanting the Goddess mantra to bring in Shakti healing for reproductive tissues. Other mantras may also be used such as Dhanvatari mantra and Ayur mantra.
  • Vibration – Sounding a tuning fork or meditation bells over stagnated or blocked Marma’s will stimulate them.
  • Crystals & Gemstones – placing these energy conductors on Marma’s to amplify prana coming in; especially good for directing life force into the “Adhipathi” or crown Marma.
  • Color & Light – example: directing blue light over an aggravated liver Marma. Red light placed over heart and stomach marmas may increase heart rate and metabolism.

As a healing technique, Marma has been, and continues to be, one of the most revered traditions of Indian healing systems. Similar healing modalities such as acupressure, acupuncture, reflexology, and polarity therapy most likely have their origins in the ancient science of Ayurveda. The famous Ayurvedic doctor, Sushruta, mapped out the location of these vital points thousands of years ago in his texts on surgery. He emphasized the extreme sensitivity of these points that hold our prana, and said that the Marma’s should never be cut during surgery.

Indian martial art masters studied which Marma points could inflict pain or even death to their opponents. On the other hand, they also knew which Marma’s, when pressed correctly, could quickly heal their own injuries.

Pranic Healing

Marma’s are centers for the vital-force or Prana, the master power behind both physical and psychological processes. Marma’s serve like pranic switches that can be used to turn Prana up or down, on or off at various places on the body. Through manipulation of Marma’s, Prana can be directed to remove blockages, improve energy flow or tap hidden energy reserves and make connections with the greater powers of life and nature. This makes Marma therapy an important tool of ‘energetic’ or pranic healing’.

The condition of Marma’s is an important diagnostic tool in Ayurveda. At Marma sites stress, toxins and negative emotions get lodged and are held, sometimes for years. Disease is reflected in pain, blockage or swelling in these areas even before it may manifest outwardly in the full range of disease symptoms. Ayurvedic practitioners palpate Marmas as an integral part of patient examination and gain much information from them. Relieving pain, blockage or swelling at Marma points is an important therapeutic aid and one of the first stages of many Ayurvedic treatments.

Marma’s are key locations for Ayurvedic bodywork and massage. The Ayurvedic massage therapist will focus on Marma regions that are in need of stimulation or of release and use the appropriate methods to adjust their energy flow. Ayurveda may treat marma’s with pressure, heat, sound, massage oils, herbs or aromatic oils, providing many tools for working with internal energies through them.

The greatest gift we can offer a patient in Ayurveda is the transfer of healing energy – or shaktipat. It happens naturally in some patient’s more than others, but what we can do as practitioners is gracefully train our own energetic systems and learn how to set up the best circumstances for healing. This definitely allows for transference and healing to take place. It is a gift and a blessing to both give and receive an Ayurvedic Massage.

Come along and learn more…

Ayurvedic Massage and Energetic Anatomy with Celia Roberts – A 4-day course to explore Ayurveda, Massage and Marma Therapy. Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th June and Saturday 15th & Sunday 16th July 2017.

Find out more and book your place now.

Yoga Teacher Training: Is it for you?

YIMI can help you in your path to mindfulness.

As experienced yogis, we permit and watch yoga and meditation slowly change and adapt all areas of our lives. As we become more in touch with our bodies, minds, and energy, we become more grounded, patient, and kind – with ourselves, our environment, and those around us. So it is only natural that we would want to transmit our knowledge to other people by becoming a yoga teacher.

However, we must understand that teaching is a challenge of its own, and just like everything else in yoga, it must be done at the right time. To become a yoga teacher means you will need to step back to the basics. Returning to foundation exercises, poses, and routines can be a truly humbling experience, and oftentimes quite emotional.

Teaching yoga will put your patience and kindness to test, as you guide other people through a journey that must happen in their own time. As a yoga teacher, you also need to be vocal, clear, and gentle, so your pupils can understand transitions and movement through breathing while remaining calm in their practice. With all these added challenges, it is no surprise that some teachers find it much more difficult to teach beginners classes than advanced yoga.

But we believe teaching yoga is an incredibly rewarding experience. Seeing it transform other people’s lives just as it did ours is almost magical, and will give you a strong sense of purpose. Seeing your students evolve with their practice, and most of all learning from them and their experiences will add a lot of meaning to your own life.

We believe that by teaching yoga, we truthfully understand that we are all connected. We go beyond the limits of time and space and who we think we are. This is an experience that actually happens in our brains on a neuroscientific level – but most truly in our hearts. As teacher’s we bow to our students in recognition of the fact that they are truly one with us. We see ourselves as a part of their path, and they become part of ours.

If you have achieved mindfulness, or heartfulness, as the word can be translated to from some Asian languages, and want to touch the lives of others and teach yoga, have a look at our teacher training options, here.

The science of yogic breathing

Dr. Sundar Balasubramanian is a Cell Biology researcher. He is currently studying mechanisms involved in resistance to cancer therapy at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). He is also a Yoga Biology researcher. A pioneer in the area of research combining Pranayama and salivary stimulation, he discovered Yogic breathing promotes salivary secretion, and it contains factors that are important for our healthy living. His recent book is PranaScience: Decoding Yoga Breathing.

How long have you been teaching pranayama and what led you to start practicing pranayama?

I have been teaching Pranayama actively for the past four years. Although I have been practicing for several years since my childhood, only recently I started teaching them to others in organized classes and workshops. Before starting to teach, I wanted to do some groundwork via my research to establish that Pranayama is a scientific practice. That’s why I waited until I conducted the research in this area.


What might your average day look like as a yoga and pranayama teacher and researcher?

I am an early bird! I get up around 4 am. I take my ginger tea and get to my yoga practice, which lasts for around 1 hour. This is largely a combination of Asanas and Pranayama. I am not only a researcher of Yoga, but also a cell biology researcher. So I need to catch up with the literature in that area, and work on projects related to that. My lab work is up to 60% on cancer research, which is a substantial amount of time away from my Yoga research. I spend most of my Yoga research time in conducting classes, writing project proposals (of course, we need grant money to conduct research!), discuss with my collaborators, and in public relations. In the evenings when I do not teach Pranayama classes I go to the gym with my teenage son. I enjoy reading Tamil literature, and listening to music. Throughout the day, on several occasions I have the habit of incorporating some breathing exercises. I hum a lot. I chant or sing when I drive. Pranayama gives me the necessary energy to go through my busy day and keeps me sane!


How does your background in science aid your teaching and understanding of how pranayama works?

Like dissolves like! Pranayama is a scientific practice. Only it has not been approached that way until recently. Starting from the anatomy and physiology of breathing, the neuropsychological effects of breathing regulation, and now our research showing proteomic level changes in biomarkers, Pranayama is easily understandable and explainable using existing scientific principles. Of course it has other dimensions that could be religious or spiritual. But my major goal is to approach Pranayama with my understanding of cell biology. People are able to connect with me well because I speak a language that they understand.


Please explain how yogic breathing stimulates salivary secretion and what benefit’s this has for our health?

There are several ways this could be answered. Yogic breathing comprises of over fifty different exercises, and each one will have a different effect on salivary stimulation. Some of the exercises that we studied, for example the Pranava Pranayama, and the Thirumoolar Pranayama stimulate parasympathetic activation. This is linked to increase in salivation. This is helpful because of the quality and quantity of saliva. Quality refers to the variety of molecules that are expressed in the saliva following the practice. These molecules have a great impact on our physical and mental health. Quantity of saliva is improved, which is generally helpful in relieving from dry mouth conditions.


How do you measure the saliva to see these effects?

We measure the composition of saliva using a wide range of biological techniques. For example, in our recent research papers we have used an ELISA technique, similar to what is used in a pregnancy test. We have also used some advanced variations of this technique called multiplex immunoassays where a number of compounds can be analyzed simultaneously. We also used another sophisticated method called mass-spectrometry in which the compounds are fragmented and separated based upon the molecular mass and then identified based on their protein sequence. We are the first ones to use these methods to study the molecular changes due to Pranayama in saliva.


Please explain how we might be able to reduce tumour formation through pranayama and meditation?

Our research shows that molecules that are known to function as tumor suppressors are stimulated following Pranayama practice in normal individuals. This opens up a possibility that stimulation of such proteins could be helpful in the prevention of tumor formation. We are currently working in this line. While Pranayama has a direct effect on tumor formation is yet to be established, this practice is definitely helpful in symptom management among cancer patients and caregivers according to research by us, and others.


Can chanting or mantra be used instead of pranayama for the same benefits to be found?

I consider chanting is a combination of breathing regulation, neuronal stimulation due to vocalization, and meditation. One could use chanting effectively in place of Pranayama. Singing in groups has shown positive results in quality of life improvements among practitioners. Chanting also can be done silently within mind, without vocalization of the chant, during breathing exercises and meditation.


Please describe how often you feel we should practice pranayama on a weekly or daily basis to see these effects according to your studies.

It is best to practice at least 2 or 3 times every day. Each session could last for 15 minutes. If you have a good 30 minutes that would be ideal in the morning and evening. Throughout the day, whenever you get a chance, say once every hour or so, just take a look at the breathing. Try to change the breathing pattern, try to slow it down, and try some humming. The regulated breathing will become your second nature. You will no longer take breathing for granted. You will start regulating it, and can reap the benefits from this practice.

cultivate a morning ritual

Here yimi, we are all about incorporating wellness throughout our daily lives. One of the best things you can do to ensure your day goes to plan is to start as you mean to continue. We were recently featured in Bupa Life Insurance’s post about easy rituals that you can do in the morning to boost your health and wellness efforts.

The practice of daily self-massage, Abhyanga, is a very self-nurturing practice that restores health and vitality back to the body, mind and soul. It can be performed morning or night, and is extremely helpful to stimulate the body in the morning or for those who have disturbed sleep at night.

Abhyanga promotes self-awareness and a meditative, calm state of mind that is the perfect way to begin the day. As we move into winter it is particularly beneficial to include this ritual into your morning routine. Winter is naturally less energetic than the rest of the year and it is easy to confuse this stillness with a feeling of dreariness or depression. Taking just 5 minutes to nurture ourselves each morning is a wonderful opportunity to find the pleasure in our inner silence and help to bring renewed vitality to the body and mind.

By following these three simple tips, you’ll quickly start to notice the difference in the way you feel for the rest of the day. By getting your morning off to a healthy start, you set yourself up to make healthier choices throughout the day to keep your wellness efforts on track. Start with these steps every day and you’ll soon be amazed by how much better you feel, both physically and spiritually.

Self-Massage Guide

First choose the right oils Ayurvedic oils suited to your constitution:

  • Vata (quick thinking types who are usually thin and fast moving): Use a warming, heavy, grounding oil such as cold pressed black sesame oil or almond oil with long, slow and calming strokes.
  • Pitta (fiery personalities with athletic builds): Use a lightning and cooling oil such as organic coconut oil with long, slow and calming strokes.
  • Kapha (heavier bodies with calm temperaments): Use a light, penetrating and warming oil such as safflower oil or mustard seed oil with more vigorous and penetrating strokes.

Now commence massage lasting 5-10 minutes:

  1. Place very small amount of oil in tiny container and over a bowl of hot water to warm before applying to body.
  2. Start massage on left foot for female, right foot for male.
  3. Massage with long strokes over limbs, and circular motions over joints and chest and abdomen. Target problem areas of congestion or pain.
  4. Work all the way up to the head, massaging the face also.  It is ideal, but optional to massage the head with oil (try to do the head with oil at least once per week).
  5. A shower can be taken after application of the oils, or beforehand.  For Vata constitutions it is best to leave the oils on the body.

For more great ideas on how to get started in the morning from some of Australia’s leading wellness professionals, check out our latest feature in Bupa’s article: ‘Lifestyle Experts Share Their Healthy Morning Habits‘.