Founded by Leigh Blashki in 1991, the Australian Institute of Yoga Therapy were the first in Australia to offer professional training to enable experienced Yoga Teachers to develop their skills and experience to become qualified Yoga Therapists.

In the 11 years since the AIYT began offering professional development we have trained over 60 graduates to achieve industry recognised training qualifications in the field of Yoga Therapy. Many of our graduates are now providing individual Yoga Therapy across Australia. You can see a few of them on Our Graduates page.

Today, under the Management of Director Janet Lowndes, the Australian Institute of Yoga Therapy continue to provide quality professional development for Yoga Teachers and Yoga Therapists.



Leigh Blashki

Please note - Leigh has stepped out of his active role with AIYT, and he now provides mentoring and support to the new Director Janet Lowndes.

Leigh Blashki has developed a reputation as a leader in the fields of Yoga, Yoga Therapy and the teaching of well-being. He has post-graduate qualifications in Health Sciences (Victoria University), under-graduate qualifications in Counselling, Human Performance, Massage, Nutrition, Yoga, Yoga Therapy and Ayurveda and has 38 years experience as a Yoga teacher and 24 years as a Yoga Therapist. He is a member of the advisory Council of the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT), a Past- President of Yoga Australia, and a member of the IAYT Certification Committee.

Leigh was drawn to Yoga in the late 1960s and was one of the few Australians to have received training from the renowned teacher Michael Volin. He commenced teaching Yoga in the 1970s and has continued to study and expand his knowledge, studying with A.G. Mohan in India and in other traditions including that of Swami Gitananda and Sri Yogendra. In the 1980s Leigh was introduced to Ayurveda and subsequently developed his studies in India and with Dr. David Frawley. More recently he has been drawn to iRest and the teaching of Dr Richard Miller and is a Certified iRest Teacher.
As a founding member of the Yoga Teachers Association of Australia, Leigh has taken a leading role in establishing a unified set of standards and code of practice for Yoga Teachers in Australia. He also conducts a private practice as a Yoga Therapist and counsellor, assisting individuals with their specific health and lifestyle goals.  He has developed a series of therapeutic Kriyas and is a sort after workshop presenter locally and internationally.

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Janet Lowndes

Janet Lowndes has been a student of Leigh Balshki for many years, and she has recently stepped into the role of Director of the Australian Institute of Yoga Therapy. Janet 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, then undertook further teacher training with the Australian Institute of Yoga at the Centre for Adult Education in Melbourne.

Along with her role with the Australian Institute of Yoga Therapy, Janet is also 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. 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, Amy Weintraub, Judith Lasater, and Donna Farhi. She is a Senior Registered Teacher with Yoga Australia, an iRest Teacher-in-Training (Level 2), and a member of the Australian Teachers of Meditation Association.

Janet is past Vice-President of the Yoga Teachers Association of Australia (now Yoga Australia), and she has recently joined the Council of Advisors for Yoga Australia, the peak body for Yoga Teachers in Australia. She speaks regularly at Yoga and mental health conferences and workshops around Australia, and is a highly regarded teacher-of-teachers.

Our Training Faculty

The Faculty for our Graduate Certificate in Yoga Therapy is comprised of a group of skilled Yoga Therapists, some of whom are amongst the first to hold the qualification of Yoga Therapist in Australia.