Knoff Yoga Asanas Foundation – Level Three
When I first walked into Nicky and James’ class I was a therapy case, used in their Therapy intensive as an example of a problem student. I couldn’t touch my toes or sit cross legged on the floor, I walked with a limp and I ached from head to toe with chronic joint pains.
I contrasted my sorry state with the lithe and supple students who eagerly listened to Nicky’s tips on how to deal with people as far gone as me. Their skin glowed with vibrancy and their movements bespoke a pain-free state I envied. They seemed to simultaneously be calm, yet have high physical energy; to be physically strong yet oddly loose – as if they could drop into the splits or put their feet behind their head just as easily as they might sit at a desk and do the monthly accounts.
I spoke to Nicky about joining her yoga program, and she seemed very confident that I could do it despite my many physical problems. Some months later I signed up, quit my job and went for it. It was the best decision I could have made.
After several months with James and Nicky I was in better physical shape than I could ever have imagined. Their teaching style suited me to a T, and I went all in and was transformed. I began to become the exact combination of openness, strength and calm that I had witnessed in their other students. To me, it was miraculous, yet I sensed that Nicky and James had seen it all before. I wasn’t the first person they had taken from the literal walking wounded to a high-functioning yogi, and nor would I be the last.
I cannot speak highly enough of both the yoga knowledge and teaching style of Nicky and James. They have simply changed my life in a way that I did not believe was possible, along with the lives of thousands of others. And the secret is in their exact, careful synthesis of perfect physical alignment with the internal energetics of the pose. They manage to combine meticulous anatomical placement, physical exertion, and mental relaxation in a way that will yield, to any committed student, benefits that are literally life changing.
As the years have gone by I continue to value the beginning I got with James and Nicky as one of the single greatest gifts I received on the path of yoga. It’s not easy to find teachers with this level of skill and experience. Most teaching today falls well short of the level of precision and detail that James and Nicky bring to every pose.
However, there is one ingredient that no teacher can give you, and that is depth of commitment. For those students who possess the sincere willingness to progress on the yoga path, I believe there are few Hatha Yoga teachers with the capacity of Nicky and James to mould it. And strangely, when they gave me their latest book to review, this is what struck home the most.
The greatest teacher in the world cannot put the fire of yoga in your Heart. They can only work with what you bring. If it’s there, they can uncover it. But if it’s not, what can they do?
For those students who truly desire to progress on the path of yoga, the greatest blessing is to find a teacher capable of directing that desire. That is what Nicky and James did for me, and I suspect that it is the reason they wrote this book: so that any committed yogi, anywhere in the world, will have what they need to progress.
The asana instructions contained in this book give a window into the Knoff Yoga method and will enable students everywhere to progress in their practice, even in poses that they think they already know. Nicky and James have between them two lifetimes worth of experience, and they present it in a practical, yet detailed form that will be of use to students and teachers everywhere.
I highly recommend it.