Hi it’s Jean Stokx from Newcastle…just one of those times I have to let you know…I have been teaching for 8 years, and I specialise in seniors. I learned so much from you and I had no idea that after going through Teacher Training how my life would change. I put together my experience with disabilities and the ageing to take on senior classes. It has been so successful for me, I followed with Yoga therapy too… but I have you to thank for those deep teachings…and always positive outcomes my classes are always growing even the senior mens class…Thank you for showing me the way so I can inspire ageing bodies…will catch up with a class with you sometime. Thin k of you often and wish you and James many appreciative thoughts. Jean Stokx
Dear Nicky and James,
I wanted to tell you about one of my students! She came after breaking her neck in a car accident. Absolutely everything was difficult or impossible at first, I honestly didn’t think she’d keep coming. But she did, and kept working in her capacity despite everything being so hard. It’s been a couple of years now, and her Salamba Sarvangasana (which was impossible of course at first) is the straightest line I have ever seen, and she is getting really strong in Salamba Sirsasana, and Matsyasana! All of the doctors said, keep doing yoga!! Her practice is really attentive, and you can see the benefits of practice in her whole expression, beautiful.
Well I have to keep coming back to all of the things I say, teach, that I learned from you two and remind myself all the time. Lifelong work Thank you so much.
Stay well and enjoy that Queensland sunshine and Pacific sea breeze!
lots of love,
Knoff Yoga Teacher and Student
Mark Togni, Certificated Knoff Yoga Master Level Yoga Practitioner, Gold Coast Yoga Centre.
Nicky and James are wonderful teachers and they live and breathe Yoga in their daily life.
Yoga is a lifelong path as well as a path of transformation. Having a genuine teacher is a key ingredient.
I feel very fortunate to have had James and Nicky as my teachers.
Since my training I have referred many people to their teacher training courses and have always received great feedback.
At Knoff Yoga students receive hands on input from two of Australia’s leading Master teachers. Both Nicky and James are with the students from the beginning of the course to the end and are always available for on-going support and interaction.
I highly recommend them.
Find out more about Mark here: http://www.goldcoastyogacentre.com
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.
Dear Nicky, thanks for your birthday wishes. I am certainly happy having received your teacher training courses long time ago. The exactness, understanding of the structure of your system and the practice of teaching during the training has helped me immensely to build confidence for teaching straight away after the courses.
Thanks for all that.
Jasmine Michael, Teacher Training Student 2019
I have felt like sending you an email for quite some time now but I have always hesitated. I just want to say thank you for everything that you have taught me, and for all your patience. You are an inspiration to me and I love you dearly. I think a lot about before I came to your course and where I am now mentally, spiritually and physically. Although I know I have a long way to go I am thankful for all the knowledge you have shared with me, it keeps me going every day. I hope you and James are well I always wish you both the best always! I can’t wait to see you again and learn more. I guess this email is just to express my gratitude to you and James and also to let you know I always think of you and I love you lots!
Cora Kracke (Master Class Student – Cairns August 2019)
‘I attended Nicky’s Master Class in Cairns yesterday, these hours and moments were amazing & very special to me, thank you from the bottom of my heart.’
I know I speak for the others on the Discovery Teacher Training course when I say that it was an amazing week and that learning from Nicky is a truly transformative experience. She and others shared many beautiful (and amusing!) stories about you during the course. I hope I will have the opportunity to meet you in person at a future training or event.
Thanks so much to you and Nicky for your contribution to yoga and for the opportunity to learn from you.
Dear Nicky, I love the way my mind has evolved since this summer. I can see how now I have learned to use the tools. I have gained a new confidence in myself emotionally speaking. I know that when I find myself stressing out about things in the future, I have to just come back to present and focus on this. What else matters more? How will I be able to do “that” thing in 6 months if I don’t take care of my life now? This is something that is helping me enormously. You may not remember saying this, but I have it written in my foundation diary that I was writing while in Cairns. You once said: “anxiety comes exclusively from not being able to be in the moment”. I have surely made treasure of these words.
So once again thank you! I am so very much hoping to seeing you in April.
I hope you are enjoying life at Kings Beach after TT. When you were here I mentioned that every time I did yoga in your class I felt like having a great shower.
I just found out why I felt that feeling. When I am in your class and doing asana with your voice of instruction my brain understands what you are explaining and same time my body is doing exactly what you are telling without thinking as I memorised everything from experiences of your classes, TT and etc into my celler level. Your voice, my body and mind are synchronising. That’s why I feel like having a wonderful and long shower through my whole body from top of my head down to my toes. What a fantastic feeling it is!!!
I hope I explained well enough for you to understand my feeling with my poor English.
Knoff System Teacher and student. October 2018
Diane Curtis Teacher Training Student
Not long after my Knoff Yoga foundation teacher training I finally fell pregnant, I think the universe wanted me to complete the TT first. During my pregnancy I really appreciated the squat sequence especially during the days my ankles were aching, and the barrel was fantastic for my slight kyphosis on my thoracic spine (which is hardly there now thanks to using the barrel regularly). It was such a different experience from my first pregnancy where I experienced a lot of back pain. I kept up my yoga practice until around 37 weeks and felt so strong and vital the whole way through! And my baby Charlotte is a very happy bubba.
Renee Clifford – Foundation Teacher Trainee Cairns 2017
Hi Nikki (and Hi there James)
Well better late than never I guess! It was almost this time last year that I was around 27-30weeks pregnant with my son Reagan and completing Foundation teacher training. He’s now 8 and a half months!
I felt I had to write to you to let you know about my journey through the rest of my pregnancy and labour (and I did say that I would keep in touch and let you know!) I also know that I owe a huge part of the great health and well-being I had while pregnant, to you and your wealth of wisdom and knowledge that you so freely shared with me over the course… and of course you too James! And Ross!!
Foundation literally changed the health of my pregnancy. My blood pressure didn’t drop no where near as much, I felt energized, I remained fit, flexible and healthy throughout my pregnancy, I was so ‘intouch’ with my body… and ‘oh my god’ I bounced back super quick! I literally had my first (gentle and much shorter in duration) practice 5 days after giving birth. Wow, didn’t I realized then how hard I had been working in foundation and the rest of my pregnancy haha! The asanas were a lot ‘easier’ without that bundle of joy in there! And I continued a pretty full practice right up until the day I gave birth (yes even a full sun salutation with that huge belly).
I cannot wait to continue on and complete pregnancy yoga (and holistic A and B!) so I can share this with EVERY pregnant mumma out there that is wanting to learn. It is so valuable!
Thank you Nikki for strongly recommending that I complete foundation even though I was pregnant – The experience alone, on top of the health benefits, was an added bonus towards my future as a teacher!
Another huge thank you for triggering me to work through my ‘fear’ of labour. During a private lesson when I was 3 months pregnant, I told you I was terrified to go through labour again. You of course told me to not be, as my body would physically hold that fear, which would make for a difficult labour. I worked through this (with the help of great visual ideas and information with Hypnobirthing) and my labour was amazing. I actually LOVED the experience!
It was a short 6hours from the time I was questioning if I was in labour.. to the time my beautiful boy entered the world. 2 hours into it, I was practicing in-between contractions (the squat sequence and sitting postures, cat/cow in particular felt great), and I was just that comfortable, and managing every ‘surge’ with 1 of the most powerful tools – breathing (yogic full breath and ujjayi breath). Seriously – why aren’t theses tools (yoga and ujjayi) taught at antenatal classes?!
I arrived at the hospital only a short 45 mins before he was born, and again it was such an organic experience due to (I believe) my yogic training. I was so in touch with my body and my baby. I gave birth in the squat position (thanks to my hardcore teacher making us hold this for a very long time, building lots of strength haha).
Maybe it’s his personality, coincidence, or maybe the yoga, energy work and essential oils I use that have something to contribute to it, but Reagan is the most ‘chilled’ out baby, full of happiness and contentment!
I refer to you as ‘Nikki, my yogi grandmother’ when I talk about you You must have changed so many lives with your passion and I know for sure that you have a lot of souls out there that are full of a lot of love, admiration, respect and gratitude for you!
Thank you for being such a powerful positive influence in my life. I hope this finds you well and enjoying your gorgeous new home on the sunny coast. May god abundantly bless you and James!
Foundation Teacher Trainee Cairns 2017
Dear James and Nicky,
Your coming leave of Cairns and this most recent newsletter has me deeply reflecting on my time in Cairns (and Bali), my yoga journey/ life journey. There is probably not a week goes by that somewhere in my practice, or my meditation or my response to something in a day that I do not hear your voice. I have to say that I love when there are photos posted, I can smell the room, feel the energies, see you in the room, know those spaces, to have been/ and it still is a part of that/ of me. My teacher, Peter Sanson often says: ‘There is a small box sitting here (in your heart). It is Atman. Turn your attention here. That is yoga.’ Therein. also, you both will always reside.
What did I take away, above and beyond so many things in my time spent with you, and will always hold in my heart – more than anything else – your deep love that underlines, imbues, permeates everything else; and that, what is at essence is not the asanas/ what you can or can not do, but the love with which it is imbued; the yoga that is alive in every cell of your beings, the two of you. My gratitude and love, Go well in this next turn of the road,
Cherie Flynn – Chair Yoga Teacher Training Student April 2018
I am so glad I did the workshop. It was great that so many had been working with people who had illness or disabilities.
My cousin found it really challenging. She has alot of hip and lower back issues.
She was actually born with dislocated hips.
Even though she did very little movement in the session, she slept so well and felt amazing the next morning.
She was so happy that she came along and finally meet you after all my workshop stories.
My friend Nicole was also there.
She is a massage therapist and teaches pilates.
Nicole met you at the free class you gave late last year.
She could not believe how deeply it worked and said she completely underestimated what type of practice could be offered on a chair.
Nicky you are looking so healthy and strong. Your passion for helping all people with yoga and movement really inspires me.
Chair Yoga Teacher Training Student April 2018
Jacqui Kowalewski – Chair Yoga Teacher Training Student April 2018
I just wanted to personally thank you for the amazing course you held in Melbourne on the weekend.
I walked away feeling inspired and ready to teach my aged care residents the amazing benefits of chair yoga with the view to the improving and getter better quality of life.
I really do hope you can offer Discovery courses in Melbourne soon. I will be there with bells on.
I appreciate you giving us your wealth of knowledge, your passion and your invaluable time.
If there is ever anything I can do for you, please just say the word.
Chair Yoga Teacher Training Student April 2018
Miuru Jayaweera – Sri Lanka Teacher Trainee March 2018
Much love from Sri Lanka. Nicky is an amazing teacher and picked up everything I need to correct in my everyday asanas. I’m so happy I took up Discovery Teacher Training with Knoff Yoga.
Sri Lanka Teacher Trainee March 2018
Tara Aldridge – True Nature Yoga Perth
First met Nikki and James at their annual Bali retreat back in 2011.
After just completing my yoga teacher training, I felt I was in need of some extra inspiration and guidance before starting my teaching journey.
I can honestly say that the week or so spent with Nikki and James was one of the most transformational, educational and inspiring ones of my life. To soak up the wisdom of two people who walk their talk and have so many years of experience and knowledge was truly amazing.
One of the most significant moments for me was when I had a conversation with Nikki about not feeling ready to teach. On some level I was thinking ‘she is the ultimate teacher… I can’t call myself a teacher!’ Nikki said ‘you need to start. Just begin and trust that you will attract students that you can help. Trust you know enough to offer them something’. So that’s exactly what I did.
It’s been 7 years and I’ve been teaching as my full time job ever since.
There’s few yoga masters out there. I consider myself very lucky to have met and learned from the real deal.
Thank you Nikki and James. I have so much appreciation for you and how you have shaped me as a student and a teacher.
In love and yoga,
True Nature Yoga Perth.
Merae Kayrouz – Teacher Training Student 2017
Dear Nicky and James
I wanted to say a very big thank you for this year.
Having done Discovery, Chair, Foundation and Intermediate, it has been a year of immersing myself in my passion. I feel like I’ve had a whole new take on my career, direction and purpose, I feel more alive and happy then I ever have.
So from the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you for being such amazing teachers.
Wishing you both a wonderful Christmas & new year.
Look forward to seeing you both soon!
Teacher Training Student 2017
GREEN ROOTS YOGA
Discovery Teacher Training Student July 2017
Dear Nicki and James
Touching base with you since completing the Discovery Course in July. Such a short course but it has transformed my practice and facilitated major changes to my daily yoga practice.
Prior to Cairns I was practicing Ashtanga 2 or 3 times per week with Denis Juelicher in Port Macquarie. I have now withdrawn from Ashtanga practice for the moment and have set up a practice room at home. I practice every morning 6 days per week. Its been a bit of a back to basics, start all over again experience. I purchased the Foundation USB in Cairns and have been working through this syllabus. My practice is shorter than my previous ashtanga sessions but doing less asana more often is proving to be much better for me and also fits well with my work commitments My 12 years of ashtanga have had a strong emphasis on asana. Pranyama and meditation are now getting more attention and time. Knowledge and application of the Principles of Practice has been incredibly transforming.
The Knoff syllabus seems to work well for me and I am keen to learn more. I have no aspirations of becoming a yoga teacher but the teacher training seems to be a great way to “really learn”. It is possible that I may use any teaching qualification that I gain in my work as a school teacher.
I want to do the foundation course in Melbourne but I keep hesitating with the application process as I have had a hamstring tendon injury for quite a few months. I have finally consulted a physio and really hope that it heals before then. I guess what I am asking is, will it be ok to do the foundation course even though I may have an injury that affects my ability to execute some of the asanas?
With thanks for the great work that you do in sharing your years of exploration and learning.
Erica Knight Teacher Training Student – 2017
Knoff Yoga offers an exceptional teacher training program that guides students to an authentic yoga practice of the highest calibre. Master teachers Nicky Knoff and James E. Bryan are the ‘real deal’ when it comes to yogis and generously impart their combined 70+ years of knowledge as taught to them by BKS Iyengar and Pattabhi Jois. The Knoff Yoga System provides an excellent framework through which to learn, progress and teach yoga and gives clarity to this ancient art for a modern day practice, without compromising the authenticity of the work. I found every aspect of the course delivered exactly what I needed to be a strong, confident and happy yoga practitioner and teacher. Expect to work hard but you will be greatly rewarded, in more ways than you can imagine!
Clare – July 2017
I wanted to say thank you so much for inviting James to the studio, he was a fantastic and inspiring teacher and I can’t wait to see him here again.
Attendee to James Bryan’s Master Class in Canberra July 2017
Clive Parker – September 2017
Just a short note to thank you for the Therapy A & B programs which were simply great. You both deal yogic quality in spades and it is truly Cairns’ loss to see you head south. But what is really notable is the element of amiable fun that you bring to the mat that makes the learning curve that much more interesting and vivid. Thanking you for all these years of instruction and insight.
Hope the transition to the Sunshine Coast is an easy one and and I’ll see you, inshallah, in the not too distant future in Adelaide.
Brooke – August 2017
Thanks so much for everything. I came to the course a little broken, both physically and mentally, and now I can honestly say I feel good! Strong. I’ve also accepted a full time job back in Adelaide, which I didn’t feel up to doing before the course.
I am so grateful to you and Nicky for being so supportive and confident in my abilities, when I didn’t feel that at the time. I’m so glad I didn’t give up on the blindfolded yoga session too. It was so confronting for me, on many levels, but I learned so much.
I’ll be continuing my daily practice and may even offer lunchtime sessions at my new place of work (a training organisation where I’ll be mentoring people who want to start new businesses.
I hope to see you both very soon
Toko Hara – Teacher trainee – June 2017
Finding the Knoff Yoga School has truly changed my life for the better. Australia was a long way away, but on the strong recommendation of a yoga teacher and friend, I decided to put my trust in Knoff. Versus, my other inclination, which was to attend the more “name brand” or “original” yoga schools in India. No choice in my life has had a more profound impact. I cannot say enough good things about both Nicky Knoff and James E. Bryan and the complete yoga system that they have built up over a lifetime of incredible study, practice and teaching. I don’t think there are any other teachers out there who compare. They teach not only the practice on the mat, but also how yoga is a full life practice.
Teacher trainee June 2017
Love Cherie Flynn – May 2017
I am writing to thank you for such a wonderful 2 days of your teaching.
I am SO glad I did Foundation as well, how easy we forget to spend time in these postures taking them right back to basics!
Thank you for all of your adjustments & explaining when doing so. My body ached so much each evening which confirmed how much I was working.
Thanks once again.
Student at Master Class Workshop in Melbourne May 2017
Kristin Nelson – Fleurieu Yoga – June 2017
I just wanted to say I LOVED JAMES workshop in Adelaide a few weekends back- I got SO much out of it- thank you!!
I’ve been teaching for ten years now and I feel like you just perfectly articulated everything I’m trying to put out there, so thank you for your skill and clarity in sharing.
I would LOVE a copy of your closing words/ prayers you use if you are open to sharing? Your words resonated beautifully. Many Thanks
Tomoko Gregory – Knoff Yoga System Teacher – June 2017
I see you often but every time when I see you I don’t have time to talk to you. I decided to write Email instead.
I had 3 new students in my class the other day. They have been doing yoga for about 10 years. As soon as they were on the mat I realised that they didn’t know the foundation and any other principles of practice. They have their own habits. After that class I was just thinking about yoga generally. All physical habits come from the habits of our mind which is our ego.
The way you have been teaching us by using the principle of practice leads us to change our old physical incorrect habits. That changes our mental habits and we become free from ego.
Both our body and mind are balanced and have harmony. We feel comfortable physically and mentally. Comfort makes us happy. This is what the difference between yoga and other physical exercise too.
That reminds me that teaching and doing the principle of practice is very simple but very powerful.
There is a possibility that I could have been stuck with my old habits if I went to other yoga school. I can’t appreciate enough that you are my teacher. I am so lucky.
Knoff Yoga System Teacher
Private therapy session with Nicky Knoff for neck pain – April 2017
Please accept my sincere gratitude and thanks. I feel honoured and nurtured to have been with you yesterday for the private session. I had the best nights sleep and am awake early ready to do my neck exercises.
Erin – February 2017
Before coming to The Yoga school I thought I had been practicing yoga… little did I know that I had only just been touching the surface and my practice was about to transform entirely.
The Yoga School teachers have such a thorough, detailed understanding of the entire human body. Their verbal cueing on how to access each and every posture is exceptional and of a standard I have never experienced before.
Practicing at The Yoga School has helped me on an emotional level through an extremely challenging period of life. It has also helped me on my journey of recovering from a major surgery and the subsequent functional misalignments I have experienced in my body.
Thank you so much to each teacher at The Yoga School for offering such a wonderful space to learn, transform and feel at home. Cairns is very blessed to have such a great school.
Foundation Teacher Training – January 2017
I have waited over 20 years to be taught by Nicky, I loved her passion, wisdom and insightful commentary throughout the training.
Adam Phillips, September 2016
I regularly attempted to run up Earl Hill, but could not run all the way to the top, I could always only get around half way.
Long story short I damaged my MCL in my Right Knee and put me out of action, I could not run anymore.
I had my teacher training course with Knoff Yoga which is a 3 week intensive course.
Total time with my injury and teacher training time, meant I had not ran or attempted Earl Hill for 3 months.
After my teacher training I went back and ran up 3/4 of the way. Couple of days after I attempted it again and could run the whole of Earl Hill and have been ever since.
My lung capacity was not there before my teacher training course. Now my lungs are able to expand further to allow a full breath and supply my body with more oxygen. Allowing my to have enough fuel to reach the top of Earl Hill, running.
To go from never being able run Earl Hill, then not running at all for 3 months and then suddenly being able to run all the way to the top, was 100% due to an increase in Lung Volume. The Yoga Postures and Pranayama (Breathing exercises) allowed the surrounding muscles of my Thoracic Cavity (rig cage area) to release and my lungs can expand further. This along with the strengthening of my Diaphragm.
I never knew how little of a lung capacity I had until now and it also continues to expand further. Every week I am noticing a little extra with my breathing. There are many more improvements in my overall health and wellbeing thanks to the Knoff Yoga System and the teachers.
Tanya and Quinn, September 2016
I want to say a very big thank you to Nicki, James and the entire Knoff Yoga teaching staff for supporting and nurturing me and my baby through my yoga practice during pregnancy. Your guidance allowed me to continue to practice yoga asana safely, with suitable adjustments and modifications right up to the day of my birth. I felt so much support and kindness from the entire Knoff yoga community, including other students at the school. I had a beautiful birth and I attribute a lot of this to Knoff yoga system and the breathing techniques I learnt at the school.
See you all back in class soon,
Tess Boes, Owner of Yoga Align, Australia, July 2016
Dearest Nicky. Working with you today was amazing , my sincerest gratitude for your mastery and your wisdom. I cant imagine where I would be today if I had not met you many years ago. You have also shown my children a way to live their lives, I could never thank you enough. Thank you for your kind words, they give me much inspiration.
My love is always with you xxx.
Steph Baron, July 2016
Tonight was my first class back teaching post teacher training last week, and my gosh was it delightful! <3
More than ever I understand what yoga is, and why I do it. I am so charged with passion and an eagerness to share my knowledge around, which makes the work a joy and so very purposeful.
My instructions were delivered with absolute conviction and a confidence that can only be achieved when speaking ones truth, as well as stemming from a heartfelt place. I saw my students with eyes anew, and noticed subtleties which can only be observed after time spent with a GREAT teacher (or 100 years on my mat)
Nicky Knoff you have well and truly set this lil yogi up with the best foundations anyone could ask for. Thanks you!! I will see you soon for level 2 teacher training.
I am writing to you to unreservedly recommended James Bryan as a professional and well-liked yoga teacher and presenter.
I had the pleasure of meeting James when he travelled to Canberra to be a featured presenter at the Summer’s End Yoga Festival. James’ courteous and enthusiastic approach was evident from our first interaction when I invited him to our festival. James responded to my initial enquiry promptly with good questions about the goals of the festival and how he might be able to contribute.
James continued to be responsive and professional in negotiating his involvement and clearly had the best interest of Summer’s End Yoga Festival in the front of his mind. In short, James was easy to work with and I hope to be able do so again.
James attended both Saturday and Sunday of the festival and presented two excellent and well-received sessions. He also actively participated in activities across the whole weekend being a great ambassador for yoga and the festival. I find this very important in a featured presenter as the additional involvement adds great value to the festival and the participants. I observed James simply chatting to participants about their yoga experience and saw him being genuinely interested regardless of their stage of development on their yoga journey.
Participants also provided positive feedback, noting that James executes ‘the best downward dog I have ever seen’ and asking if we could have him back again next year. One experienced yoga instructor who attended his 2-hour session took pages of notes, soaking in the experience and wisdom he was willing to share and the manner in which he interacted with the participants.James is authentic. He has a strong sense of community and displayed great generosity with his time.
I would be delighted to provide more feedback if you’d like to discuss my recommendation further.
Cherie Flyn Student from Melbourne, March 2016
Hello Nicky & James,
A quick message from Melbourne to thank you so much Nicky for the Melbourne Intensive early March.It was so wonderful to have classes with you 5 days in a row, each day building on the one before.The first day I realised just how much I had missed your warm-hearted teaching method, humour, attentive eye for detail and your incredible depth of knowledge & experience.I do feel that if you tell me I can do something, that it will be possible (with extra committed pracice the most likely requirement).I love watching you assist students deepen into postures, increase their body awareness or let go of fears.
Tom Riddle, Ohio, USA, March 2016
“I had the good fortune to study with Nicky five days a week for nine months in 1979. At that time Nicky was teaching in the University of Auckland. Studying with Nicky was a life-changing experience. Before that I had no understanding of how beneficial yoga could be or that it was a science for the integration of the body and mind into a state of harmony. Nicky showed me that yoga was much more than exercise. Immediately after those nine months I went to India and spent three very intensive weeks with BKS Iyengar, which was another very beneficial experience.
I have continued my yoga on a daily basis throughout the years. In 2009 I spent two months in Cairns, again studying yoga with Nicky. Her style and knowledge of yoga had deepened during the thirty years since we had last done yoga together. Now she wasn’t a teacher, she was a true master who had helped thousands of people.
In 2009 I also, of course, studied with James. Although James’ teaching style is different than Nicky’s, I also have benefited immensely from it. Both of them are true masters whom I have been blessed to have come into contact with. I can’t imagine that there is anyone who would not benefit from studying with them.
Leon Gordon, March 2016
I started Yoga classes during a bleak period in my life, about 20 years ago. While no magic fairy dust transformed me , my whole outlook is different now. Insommnia used to be my plague, lying awake and beating myself up because I should be asleep and recharging my batteries but my mind wouldn’t shut down. Yoga has taught me to do that. Now I look forward to 5:30 a.m. when I can rise and shine and stretch for 30 to 40 minutes. For me,it’s better than sleeping in, and way better than Insommnia…Yoga is a very welcome part of my life.
Thanks to all Yoga teachers,
Paddy McGrath Yoga Teacher
I would like to applaud Knoff Yoga School for their most excellent standard of Yoga Teacher Training.
As an international yoga teacher I travel and teach in many countries in South East Asia and also Europe. Over the past 10 years I have always been asked to recommend a good yoga teachers training course wherever I go. Unhesitatingly I have always directed those who are serious about becoming teachers to Knoff Yoga Teacher Training.
You will be challenged on all levels and Nicky & James will extract your true potential.
As I keep returning to teach in the same countries I have the privilege often of meeting again the students who successfully did the Knoff Yoga TTC sometimes months or years later. I am never disappointed, and more often astonished by the change in the student in front of me. The common factor being I see a clarity, confidence and maturity in them and without a doubt I know I would trust that person to teach a class.
To me Knoff Yoga Teacher Training is like’ the organic whole meal bread ‘of all the Yoga Teacher Trainings available today. It is the one I trust, with all the essential nutrients and ingredients to give a really complete start to teaching yoga.
It is for this reason that I always have, and will continue to send potential yoga teachers to them.
About Paddy: Paddy teaches with passion her ever evolving quest to “unbutton the spine” so it can dance. Using backbends and other classic yoga postures coming from her long term practice under the guidance of yogacharya Venkatesh, Mysore, India and from her Iyengar background, as well as a less conventional but very deep approach, drawing from her more recent studies under Diane Long and John Stirk (UK); she aims to inspire students to develop their own self practice.
Paddy was based in Sri Lanka from 1989 and in 2011 relocated to Thailand. She teaches yoga workshops and intensive retreats throughout Asia. Once a year, she comes to Europe to teach a schedule of intensive retreats and workshops.
I have been practicing and teaching Yoga myself for many years and was seeking to attend a 200 hour training to commit deeper to my practice. I traveled half way around the world (Dresden, Germany) to study Knoff Yoga because the moment I met Nicky many months before, it was obvious to me that she is a person who has dedicated her life very wisely and effectively to the teachings. Nicky is a true Master in the art of Yoga. She is honest, precise and has many great stories to share from over 40 years’ experience on the Yoga mat. Her knowledge of the body and asanas along with her keen eye provided our group with incredible adjustments that ensured each and every one of us understood – at the cellular level – how wonderful and trans-formative a solid Yoga practice can be. I am ever grateful for how generously Nicky passed on her wisdom and would recommend Knoff Yoga to anyone. Thank you! Amber Spear, Yoga teacher & student, Perth, AUSTRALIA.
Amber begun practicing Yoga 20 years ago as an accompaniment to her many physical disciplines at the time, and has since then been teaching for 10. Her Yoga practice has taken her to explore the highest peaks of the Himalayas as well as study with many modern day masters all over the world. Amber met Nicky Knoff in 2010 and has been practicing Knoff Yoga ever since. Amber offers workshops, trainings and retreats globally, please visit www.amberspear.com.
Wendy Buttery – United Kingdom
“I would like to thank my teachers from the Knoff Yoga Teacher Training course for the incredible experience I had in Cairns, Australia. I came far on my journey to be a yoga teacher and totally felt that this was the culmination of many years of ambition to learn how to teach. Up until this point I was unsure and under confident in this quest. I was given one of the greatest challenges in my life and achieved, I feel the greatest reward. I don’t think I have ever worked so hard or with so much intensity in my yoga practice and this lead me through an emotional and physical walk over hot coals to get to the end. But I did get to the end and it was a fantastic ride! Nicky is truly inspirational and a compliment from her is worth its weight in gold. And James and his bizarre analogies is welcome light relief. I would invite anyone to tread the same path as I did. Don’t forget that taking the first step is hardest after that it’s all uphill! No really – the downhill bit is worth the uphill struggle. Now I am back in the UK and along with another job, teaching 2 classes a week. But my ambition is securely in place to open my own studio at some point. And I hope to build a yoga community here such as I experienced in Cairns. Although unfortunately much colder! Love, light and pure energy to all.
PS. I want to come back”
October 26 2012. Today is the international teacher’s day. I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you for teaching me. YOU ARE the best teacher in my life. I hardly remember what my school teachers taught me. But I remember every single word that you taught me. I can still hear your voice sometimes when I am practicing Yoga. I am still practicing yoga everyday except Sunday and am teaching three days a week. I didn’t like meditation before, but now I really enjoy it and am doing it everyday. I am aiming to do the master course some time in the near future. Thank you. Namaste. Tomoko Gregory, Yoga teacher & student, Cairns, AUSTRALIA.
Conny White – Bali Retreat Student 2012
Dearest Nicky & Jimmy Babe (He he he!)
A little note to thank you for a wonderful yoga retreat in Bali. Amazing Yoga, beautiful people and lots of fun. You both gave of yourselves so generously, it was a privilege to have spent this time with you.
Kindest regards & Namaste
Chloe Manier – Bali retreat student 2012
Hello Nicky and James!
I send greetings and love to you both! This email is well overdue and although i have wanted to write earlier something had always gotten in the way.
I hope all is well with you both and the Knoff school is also doing well! Thank you for the Christmas greetings and hope you both had a wonderful Christmas and that this year is going well so far.. (it seems to be flying by for me)!
I had the most wonderful experience doing the Bali Yoga Retreat in October 2012 and want to thank you both so much for one of my most memorable trips and life journeys.
What a wonderful place Bali is!! The Mandala Resort was fantastic, room comfortable and the food was fantastic and the people so very kind and friendly. I met some very wonderful people there too and i am grateful for the special friendships made. Owen was especially great!
Wendy Diack – Blenheim, New Zealand
“Happy 2010 James may it be full of blessings for you and Nicky,
How wonderful was the month of July last year I cannot express my gratitude enough for the strong foundation that it has given my yoga practice. My eyes well at the love and guidance that surrounded the whole month and the wonderful, wonderful friends that I now have scattered all over the world. It was an amazing month. The articles that Nina and Cath wrote expressed it beautifully. I am seriously coming back in August to do my Intermediate Teacher Training. Hope this finds you both well and happy you are often in my thoughts and Nicky’s words guide my practice each day.”
“The Foundation Level Teacher Training was a transformational time during which I have learned a tremendous amount, not only about Yoga, but also about myself. The intensity of the course is conducive to a strong personal development — I have met some of my emotional and mental blockages, and I have overcome them. Physically, I have become a lot stronger and my yoga practice now feels strong and safe. It has truly become a part of my life I could not do without. Nicky’s guidance during these 8 weeks was great. Her knowledge in anatomy, yoga and health is simply overwhelming! Her pragmatic and enthusiastic approach to teaching make it a pleasure to learn, and the theory part of the course complements the asana practice well. I always felt safe and supported during asana practice. Nicky’s instructions and adjustments are precise and spot-on, and she gives great attention to correct alignment. Thanks to Nicky’s teaching, I feel that I have gained a thorough and firm grounding in my practice, as well as in teaching the Foundation asanas. I look forward to sharing what I have learned, and hopefully pass on some of Nicky’s enthusiasm to new students.”
Susan Busch – Christchurch, New Zealand
“I have been teaching around 4 classes (level 1) a week and loving every minute of it — there are constant challenges and overcoming these is enormously rewarding. Sometimes there are things that a student does (or doesn’t do) and I so often find myself asking ‘What would Nicky do in this situation?’. Other times, it might be going into a class after some personally disturbing news or an upsetting day and feeling satisfied afterwards that I have taught a good class because I have had to dig a little deeper and teach from a place in my heart rather than a place in my head. Nicky, I reflect almost daily on the time I had on your course, and on a regular basis different things seem to fall into place. Sometimes I will find myself in front of a class, and almost unbidden an instruction will pop out of my mouth because I’ve seen a particular need for it in a student, and I think ‘Gosh, I had completely forgotten about that.’ or maybe I haven’t even been doing it myself, but suddenly it makes sense.”
Steven Golding – Townsville, Australia
I started this email and it was an essay – I had so much to say about alignment and its importance and the importance of doing the “work.” But I could have written for days.
Nicky will always say – “if it hurts you are doing it wrong” – and I have seen it in action. A student came to class, not wanting to do a pose, because the day before it was hurting their back. Nicky got the student to do the pose the way they did it the day before and looked at the pose… she then corrected the alignment, “activate this, ground that” and then asked the student if there was pain.
The student with an amazed look on her face said “there is none” and Nicky said “yes, that is because when there is pain it is never the pose, it is always a lack of alignment and something that we are not doing that we should be doing.” A metaphor for life.
Yoga does require that we work. Yoga is training for living, training for life. Life is not going to tell you that life should be a “moving meditation”. Life is hard and full of suffering. Yoga shows us another way for living, a way out of suffering.
Yoga becomes a moving meditation only after the initial struggle. In the same way that beginners struggle even with the alignment of standing in Mountain Pose. Why do teachers mention advanced concepts to their students, such as moving meditation? Would you teach a student a handstand before they have mastered Mountain Pose?
Nicky encourages, Nicky does not force or push. Although at times, that encouragement will seem forceful.
Nicky will demand alignment – and it is wisdom that demands it. More than 40 years of working with students of all capabilities and unique challenges and assisting people overcome those challenges has developed that wisdom. Iyengar demands alignment and again it is wisdom that demands it (although from what I hear, his approach to students does leave a lot to be desired.)
I have never met a teacher who understands yoga and people as thoroughly as Nicky.
Put aside your fears Said, and just do it, you will be so grateful that you did. I have attended three teacher training’s with Nicky… I would not have returned if she were as harsh as people imagine her to be. Nicky has never forced or pushed me beyond what I am capable of. She listens and watches and assists. The work and the breakthroughs that come from that are yours. Nicky cares enough to help you find them.
On a final note Said, embrace your personality. Why do want something that will not fit it? Your personality is what will make a difference in this world, find what fits it and then express it. You do not need to be concerned that Nicky’s manner will fit you too well, after all, personalities evolve.
Just do it. Seriously.
“Discovering Knoff Yoga
I discovered yoga properly in 2005 when I was in Sri Lanka for a few months working post tsunami – before then I had dabbled for a few years, trying it at my gym, doing yoga DVDs with friends when living in the Solomon Islands, and going to the occasional class at work or when a yoga teacher visited Honiara. In 2005 I was privileged to have private lessons with Madurai, a talented yoga teacher. She would come to my guesthouse before work for lessons. I remember one day going to the office and being present and totally focused on my work for several hours as opposed to the usual manic monkey thinking – it was the most amazing feeling & I wanted more of it. When I returned to Canberra late 2005 I signed up for a 10-week course with Alan Goode, a very serious Iyengar teacher. I then did a retreat with him & was hooked.
In 2006 I moved to Bangladesh and during a brief visit to Sri Lanka I caught up with Madurai. She had recently returned from a teacher training course with Nicky Knoff. I remember thinking why would you go to Cairns from Colombo for teacher training when India is next door…..I discovered why Madurai had made the long journey to cairns when I signed up for a teacher training course with Nicky in 2008.
I was blown away at the energy, vision, dedication of Nicky – she could monitor and track all of the students – “is that 12 full breaths or sniffs?“ She would ask as I tried to speed through the tougher asanas. The pace was unrelenting and the level of devotion and commitment much higher than any of the many teachers I have had in numerous courses. I have the highest respect for all my fellow students – they worked around the clock practicing, studying, observing and assisting in yoga classes…we lived, breathed, dreamed yoga for the month intensive course – it was one of the toughest things I’ve ever done & there were times when I thought I wouldn’t make it, when Nicky would say to me “what’s it going to take?” It takes a lot but it so worth it……Nicky’s course isn’t for the faint hearted. I know now that a Knoff trained teacher is the real thing.
18 months later as I’m reflecting on the after effects of the Knoff experience the first one that comes to mind is the ability to deal with stressful situations. I got to practice that one immediately as my grandmother died during the course and I had to leave a few days early to attend her funeral in Sydney. I did a yoga session at Coogee beach and then breezed through what would have been a very stressful big Greek funeral …..and living in Bangladesh I get to live my yoga every day. The benefits really have been phenomenal and its one the most transformative things I’ve ever done – I highly recommend it – I don’t think I could survive living in Bangladesh if I didn’t have my yoga practice – my job as assistant country director of an international NGO is chaotic working on development and emergencies, the latter unfortunately Bangladesh has too many of. I figure my role is not to teach at Byron or Bondi Beach but to take yoga to those who can’t access it – like my female colleagues at work, street girls I teach English to or my driver, Kakoly, who is now sharing it with her family and colleagues. I’ve had incredible opportunities to share yoga since doing the course including on a boat in the Sundarbans, with colleagues at a conference in Johannesburg and with participants at a 10-day meditation retreat in Nepal earlier this year. What gives me great pleasure is watching others discover the joys of yoga, like Maya, my colleague, teaching children at a party on Christmas Day or Kakoly demonstrating asanas on new years day. Yoga is a wonderful gift, and I’m been blessed to learn from the very best – thank you Nicky and James!
Shirin Richards – Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
“Dear Nicky and James I feel truly transformed, a better, more kind and compassionate person. It has been an honour to have been taught by you and a privilege to be able to now go on to teach Knoff Yoga. Also I know Salamba Sirsasana (Headstand) and Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow) are my greatest lessons. Expect to get a photo soon! Much love and deep gratitude!”
“My yoga practice I would say has been like many others – intermittent. I recall as a young girl being riveted by the woman on the television wearing her leotard being incredibly calm and tranquil as she performed yoga for her audience. As the years went by I collected yoga books which caught my eye, attended yoga schools all over Australia as I moved around, and I intermittently practiced.
As life tends to do, a huge shift made me reflect on the meaning of my life, I eventually found myself in Cairns studying Oriental Health, and attending Knoff Yoga classes. A year later it was time for me to leave Cairns, but the desire to study yoga under the guidance of a master such as Nicky Knoff stayed with me. It was as I was leaving I made the decision to do the Foundation Level Yoga Teacher Training with Knoff Yoga, a decision based on wanting to improve my own practice, teaching yoga not a motivating factor.
That decision, with all honesty, tortured me for months, in fact I was counselled and supported by James, with his insightful words helping me realise I was indeed putting up barriers to success by doubting my own ability. Also I put so many expectations on myself that the fear of failure almost made me quit before I even started! Needless to say it was confronting to see these negative thought patterns in process.
Attending the course in July 2009 was possibly one of the hardest things I have done for myself, and without doubt one of the most rewarding. I was and continue to be eternally grateful to Nicky Knoff for her wisdom, energy, and kindness throughout the course. I extended my stay in Cairns to participate in the Intermediate Level Teacher Training as well; the most surprised person was me about that too!
If you are thinking about doing a teacher training course with Knoff Yoga, be aware that you may be confronted by limitation, placed on you by yourself only. If you can overcome your fears, it will be the deepest experience with yourself you could ever imagine.
Namaste Yogini Shirin”
Shilpa Ghatalia – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
“Each day as i get on my mat I am grateful for the ability to work on an asana sequence that is really helping me build strength & flexibility. This asana sequence was able to highlight to me the areas of weakness in my body. I am committed to now practicing asanas which I neglected in the past. I enjoyed how there was a balance of instructions for the right alignment with the encouragement to BE the posture. For me what was most effective was how it brought forth all my habitual holding patterns some of which I was not even aware of. I have since been working on them and already feel a great difference. For instance, how I held my head during postures & most importantly during seated meditation. Nicky was absolutely brilliant in her ability to be firm yet tremendously loving & nurturing. She inspired in each & every student the need to work diligently & consistently in order to attain success. My entire practice has undergone a change and my practice is much more balanced than ever before. There is improved strength & a greater awareness in my daily life. I believe the course is perfect for one who is looking for the perfect structure through which to successfully guide students new to Yoga. The 24 principles are brilliant in that they cover the essence of the practice in the most comprehensive manner. I am extremely happy & would recommend anyone looking to teach to take up the course. Despite teaching for many years I like how this has given me greater direction & structure on how to create an effective sequence for the students. I believe Nicky has so much to offer in terms of her experience & knowledge that anyone who is trained under her guidance is definitely poised to become a good teacher.”
Shi-Ling – Taiwan
The Teacher Training Course was one of the most wonderful events in my life. I like your “Teaching Method” most because I learned many skills to adjust students’ positions in a safe way. I learned how to prevent students and instructors injuries from doing yoga or any adjustment. In fact, I hesitated for a while before I signed up the “Teacher Training Course” because everyone knows Nicky is a very strict teacher and I didn’t think my body is strong enough to complete the whole course. Doubtless, it was tough especially the “Meditation”. I have scoliosis and I hurt my hip joints many years ago. The longer I sit still, the more painful my hip joints feel. But I can’t believe I managed to finish it！I haven’t sat still so long before. It was amazing that I felt so calm and peaceful during the meditation journey. Now I love meditation and I do it every day to empty my thought.
The other benefit I’ve gotten from the course is how important for the muscles to work properly to prevent spinal damage from doing any kind of exercises. Therefore, I think I need to read more about anatomy books and hope I can learn more yoga therapies in the future to help my students who suffer scoliosis like me.
From this Teacher Training Course, I’ve improved both my mind and my body. Hope more people can enjoy the course. I will recommend my friends and my students to attend the course. After all, everyone is worth to learn the best for his/her body.”
Sabaithip Holtby (Tippy) – Chiang Mai, Thailand
“Thank you very much for everything. Very nice place everyone made me feel so welcome and feel at home.”
Ruth – Tannum Sands/Australia
Thanks for mailing off the replacement DVDs!
Since receiving the first lot, I have been working with the Sun Salutations DVD as motivation for me to do some yoga every morning. Have been delighted with the clarity of your instruction. I have an excellent yoga teacher here, but using the DVD at home allows me to pay attention to the finer details (such as really working the hands – I have arthritis in my fingers and it is much improved since I have been opening my hands more / spreading the fingers and really grasping the floor as you describe. Must be something to do with really working the muscles & tendons where they attach to the bones.. Attention & oxygen to the joints too, I guess…but it has made such a difference!). Good, also, to have the different levels of difficulty in this routine. I fit somewhere in the middle and can only aspire to having the strength to drop straight down into low plank as you demonstrate… but I’m working on it!
I’m excited about the DVDs!! Thanks once again.
Robyn Jarvis – Paekakariki, New Zealand
“Your system really does work and I’m preparing now to teach a beginners course with enthusiasm and confidence!”
Reg Whittome – Melbourne, Australia
“It was amazing to come back home and be able to really talk to Jacinta about Yoga and particularly what a profound effect you and James have on people’s lives. Jacinta has raved about her Cairns Yoga experiences since she completed her first Course with you and now I am able to fully participate in this experience.”
“Dear Nicky and James. I saw this card and thought that it would be just right to send to you belated than you’s and gratitude’s for the wonderful month of August spent in your company during the Level 3 – Intermediate Teacher Training Course. Nicky your knowledge and insight into yoga, the student, the student teacher and in particular, my body, my mind, what I needed to do in my practice (the right amount of pushing and encouragement!) never ceases to amaze and inspire me – onwards to greater knowledge and understanding! I really can’t put into words just how much I got out of the month – both as a yoga student and as a teacher. It is going to take some time to ‘unpack’ all that I learned form you – but from the experience gained after the Foundation Course in Wellington I know that as it all gradually unfolds (‘the journey’) this is part of the joy! James – thank you for so patiently taking the time to answer my seemingly endless questions about the classes you were teaching and about your great yoga school – your taking the time was very much appreciated! The flow on effect is evident – I am more than happy to now take tome to answer my students and visiting yoga teachers with their queries – even when I am just ready to go home. Now that I am back in Melbourne I have really started to enjoy my yoga teaching – putting into practice what you have both taught me (and working on those areas I know that I need to put into practice!). I have a large pile of resources (including the extra philosophy supplement which you printed James – again that you!) – books, CD’s and DVD’s which I learned about in your school. Beach Yoga continues from strength to strength (now that we are Intermediate & Advanced Knoff Yoga Teachers) and I am happy and confident in the knowledge that this is what I want to do – teach yoga! That you both again for the inspiration, knowledge and example, that make yoga teaching possible from me! With much love.”
“This email was just to pass on our love and thanks for our weekends with you in Melbourne for the Foundation and Yoga Therapy Workshops as Greg’s school. It is always great to see you and beyond the yoga to socialize with you at the great Afghani restaurant and you ‘brother’s’ house! Assisting you in the Foundation Workshop and taking part as a student in the Yoga Therapy classes was a great learning experience and really brings so much more to my teaching and practice! Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I have some good photos from the workshop which I will put on a disc to send to James by the end of the week. Our week yoga classes are still going well as are the privates. We really were very lucky to have found you as a teacher Nicky, it’s amazing just how much we have learned in a short time spent with you – (of course there is always work to be done and far more knowledge to be gained) we are certainly learning from the best! “
Rebecca Castaldini – Speewah, Australia.
Again, I’d like to say thank you for, hands down, the most enjoyable and informative yoga class I have ever participated in. I had almost given up on yoga, but you have arrived on my path just at the right moment.”
Peter Roberts – Sydney, Australia
After 22 years of playing the piano I’ve finally learnt how to sit properly whilst playing. It goes something like this… outer edges of the feet parallel to middle C, weight evenly spread over the insteps, inner heel-inner knee and inner top of the femur bone all in alignment, peel the hamstring flesh to sit on the sitting bones, (pelvis tilted slightly forward), back ribs back, drop the shoulders, lift the chest, outer points of the shoulders wide, back of the neck long, Uddiyana Bandha engaged slightly, lifting the ribs up off the waist. Finally my playing is effortless, thank you. Will send you CD recording soon.”
Paul Christie – Cairns, Australia
You speak the truth and always have, I am well aware of this. It was great to come to class yesterday. You have the most beautiful personality of any teacher i have meet.
The smoking has been with me for a while and i am well aware of how it has been holding me back. I am into a process of letting it go for ever. I am sorry to hear of your sister’s death for lung disease.
Thank you for the welcome to class and the concern you show. I do like your softer approach.
I will be coming to class at least every Tuesday afternoon (unless I have an indoor soccer game… I am captain of my team, if so I will come another day that week) but once I have settled into my new life I will be there at least twice a week.
I have been practicing the Tibetan 5 rites now for some while (and it is the best ten minutes one could spend for their body I believe) but the yoga is something to take me further.
thank you so much for being here for me and for all of my brothers and sisters.
You are an inspiration and I regret that I did not take on the opportunity before, but I will stop beating myself up and start building myself up.
Love to you and Nicky
Noreen Ng – New Zealand
Nicky Knoff’s Discovery and Foundation yoga course is a very comprehensive, well structured, disciplined approach. Her vast experience of yoga is shared with the students with complete honesty. It is so beneficial to learn from someone that has studied Iyengar and Ashtanga and has developed her own syllabus of teaching. The course is presented in a direct manner with strong emphasis on alignment which enables you to learn the importance of starting with the basics and ensuring that the asanas are correct from the ground up. She is the first teacher in 10 years of yoga that has shown me the correct way of doing very basic asanas and enabling my alignment to improve and thus my practice. Thank you Nicky!”
Nina Hakamies – Utrecht, Holland
Nicky and James, big and warm thank you again for a fantastic yoga experience! I almost didn’t make it to the intermediate this year, but I did, and I’m eternally thankful it became possible at the last moment (and even for Jon my man!). I hope I’m a better yogi now and the uphill continues… It was really quite special to have almost all friends from last year coming back to the intermediate, and get to know each other better not only yogically, but as persons, individuals and friends. If ever I manage to pass this same energy on to my future yoga students, I will be blessed and I will know what the source is. It’s healing and uplifting. Namaste!”
“Dear Nicky, Dear James,
I hope you’re both doing very well! I returned safely to The Netherlands, and now FINALLY have some time to write to you, and spend a moment thinking back at the fantastic month I spent in Cairns in July 2009. I have been thinking of you lots and of this new exiting chapter in my life. A big thank you again, Nicky, for all the knowledge, wisdom, experience and advise you gave to us as a group, and me personally, during the course! It’s really only afterwards that one realizes how much we actually learned and absorbed about the yogic way of practising and living. It’s hitting my consciousness now – and I am forever grateful to you Nicky, and James too.
The best thing really is that I am already teaching and getting the experience I need so badly. Day by day I realize what a wonderful yoga energy and confidence I carry within me, and I tell myself “dammit there’s something very right in this stuff”. Yes, it is hard work, its flying! Also Jon is now pondering whether he should do the Foundation course next year. So, it’s all happening.
Looking back at my notes/diary from the course, I thought you might be interested in some of the thoughts/feedback I had from the course itself. Feel totally free to take it or leave it, as I’m very aware you have a long experience in teaching:
– You offered to us a unique environment of openness, truthfulness, courage and discipline which I can’t recall having experienced before. It was fascinating that we were able to develop ourselves at so many different levels in such a short time. The baked cake method convinced me!
– This is a very welcome down-to-earth approach of yoga; Nicky’s teaching is not a product of imagination or pretension, but very modern, rigorous, practical, accurate and credible.
– Intention of Practice: It was a very good idea to start reading this aloud every morning in the class. I read it to myself now regularly, and it’s helpful in my own practice.
– Anatomy class: I recall the closed book tests were too difficult to most of us, but also the open book test did not feel quite right (the information did not stay in the memory). Since Knoff Yoga doesn’t have a skeleton, perhaps an alternative would be practical demonstrations and observations of key muscles performed on students themselves, and how a muscle feels and moves in real? Also I think a very basic illustrated final exam (closed book) of muscle names and locations would be necessary.
– Yoga Sutras: Being such a fan of music myself, it would be wonderful to have at least one full-on mantra chanting session, perhaps under the guidance of a mantra yogi or some other relevant musician. This could be voluntary for those who are interested.
– James, you have a healing, uplifting and hypnotic voice. While I often like yoga classes which includes silent moments too, I was never tired of listening to the vibration of your voice. I hope you use it well beyond yoga classes!
– Assisting at Knoff Yoga’s public classes was awesome. Absolutely an essential part of learning-by-doing.
I’d better stop here, not to make this too long. I wish you both all the very best for your next moves, and hope to stay in contact with you regularly. If you ever travel via Amsterdam, please let me know.
Nicola Mellick – Cairns, Queensland, Australia
I have enjoyed the Knoff Yoga, you are clear with your instructions and light hearted. I enjoy your sense of humour. The routines are well thought out and flow nicely. I am a bit out of shape at the moment, but enjoy holding the poses and improving my strength. The atmosphere is lovely, clean, modern, calm and relaxing.”
Merel Rip – Australia
“This course has been a wonderful experience in sharing, loving your body, mind and soul and keeping discipline in the face of adversities. I could never imagine to feel so good about it afterwards. The change that happened in my practice will stay with me for the rest of my life. And by practicing and knowing how the yoga works, the step to teaching has been, although unanticipated at first, quite natural.
Matt Oakley – Sydney, Australia
“Hey James and Nicky ,
How are you ? Just wanted to drop a quick note to say how much I enjoyed Cairns and especially how much I enjoyed your classes . I found them challenging and am excited to share what we did with my classmates .
Both of you and your studio resonate warm energy and I will be telling anyone I know who goes to Cairns to add them to your “must see list ” .
I will return to Cairns , I want to explore more of the Atherton tablelands which I have truly fallen in love with . When I do I will be back in one of your classes for sure .
If you are ever in Sydney you guys have a place to stay .
Martha Goldman – Cairns, Australia
“I feel truly lucky to have had the opportunity to complete the Intermediate Teacher Training Course with Nicky Knoff. What a wonderful experience to spend each day for four weeks learning and practising yoga with such a wise and experienced teacher, and such a warm and dedicated group of students. My yoga practice has deepened and improved. My knowledge of anatomy and physiology has expanded. My teaching skills and confidence have increased. And I have learned about the history and philosophy of yoga and how I can apply this in my day to day life. By taking part in the teacher training I feel I have become part of a global community of yoga practitioners and have formed connections that I hope will continue for life. Best of all I feel that the depth of learning in the course was such that the learning continues even after the course has ended. The course has given me the tools and understanding to independently continue to improve my practice and my teaching – though of course I am grateful to have the opportunity to continue learning with Nicky and James, and I am looking forward to continuing the journey with the Advanced level next year!”
“I liked the intensity of practice, the sense of development I gained from practising a set sequence daily with the focus on details of technique. I liked the group and the spirit that pervaded it where we all felt safe to share while also challenged, supported and pushed to our limits to expand beyond them.”
“The teacher training was the most rewarding experience of my life so far. I would say that yes, Nicky did ‘push’ us to each do our best, but this was never in the sense of straining or being out of tune with our breath and our bodies. Rather it was about becoming more and more mindful and aware. Nicky often says yoga should give you energy to go home and clean your windows, or whatever else you need to do in your life – it should never leave you exhausted. It should never cause pain either – although we may feel a “delicious stretch” at times! Another thing Nicky often says is “relax and enjoy the sensations”!
Yes Nicky does emphasise correct alignment and I know from my own experience that this is important because this emphasis on technique allows me to work better in the pose and to get more benefit from it.
I think what I love most about learning with Nicky is that she works with each student at whatever level they’re at – nobody gets left behind! Since doing the teacher training with Nicky this year, I can do so much more and get more benefit from yoga, than I had in the 12 years or so of practising yoga before I did the course.”
Linda Trubridge – Havelock North, New Zealand
I wanted to thank you for all the benefits that I have had from your teaching both at the weekend in Gisborne and what Doris Blum has passed on to me since her workshop with you in Wellington. Suddenly the familiar is new all over again and a new start is made to go further still in this wonderful practise of yoga. Thank you. I wish I could be there on this course but hope there will be some possibility for me in the future. You are so generous in your teaching and also sharing some ideas that have helped us with our classes in Havelock North. Looking forward to the November workshop here. It is a wonderful space to be in and I’m sure it will be successful.”
Linda Newman – Geelong , VIC, Australia
“Hi Nicky and James,
Hope you our both well. I’ve been intending to get in touch for a while, thought I’d wait till all the teacher training was over for the year, I know it’s a busy time for you both. My month in Cairns with you was invaluable, and I wanted to thank you for what you have shared and taught me, and for the wonderful memories.
Since I have returned I am more confident teaching yoga and my students are enjoying Discovery & Foundation sequences, and I am still keeping up myself practice, well most days .
Today I was one was of the leaders for Yoga Aid, we had a glorious morning down on Eastern Beach in Geelong , the majority of the participants that came to this were my students
I was really proud of them all and the support they gave for Yoga Aid. My husband, Anthony, and I have become interested in Ayurvedic Diet after completing the Dosha quiz. Would you be able to recommend any good books for us to look further into this. Nicky I will see you next year in Fitzroy, and I am hopeful that I can return to Cairns in August next year. It is my intention to complete all levels with you.
Warm wishes to you both
Libby Collins – Grand Junction, Colorado
“Hi James and Nicky,
I wanted to share with you that a few weeks ago I passed the second of my Iyengar assessments and am now officially an Iyengar teacher. While this accomplishment feels great, the best part of the whole thing has been the continuous and dedicated practice and study of yoga that began with you two and continues with Nancy.
This process has not been about attaining an Iyengar designation but rather finding a path in western Colorado that has allowed me to deepen my practice and enhance my life.
In Nancy’s studio in Hotchkiss hangs a collage of old photos of Nancy studying with Iyengar and Gita. Annie Ripper (now Clark) pointed out to me that a younger Nicky Knoff is in most of these pictures with Nancy. I LOVE looking at these pictures to remind me how amazing life is that I have had the priviledge to study with these two wonderous women.
Thank you James and Nicky. My experience with you here in Grand Junction still rests within and has not faded one bit!
From a bottomless well of gratitude,
my best to you both!
Leeann Adams – Cairns, Australia
I would love to wish yourself, Nicky and your fabulous staff a very joyful Christmas and a very happy New Year. Thank you for being a great instructor and I wouldn’t continue with yoga if it wasn’t for you and your fabulous staff. I’ve found something that I enjoy doing and set myself goals on what positions I would love to do one day. Now I can touch my toes. Enjoy your time off and I will see you all in the new year.”
Leeana Kent – Cairns/Australia
Hi Nicky and James,
Thank you very much for your warm welcome to Knoff Yoga School.
I would like to share that while I have only just begun to practice yoga and have attended about 3 classes so far, I have thoroughly enjoyed each one. Janka has taught each class I have attended, and is an excellent facilitator of learning. All the classes have been fun, while simultaneously challenging me to stretch the boundaries of my physical comfort. Simply excellent!!
Again, thank you to both you and your excellent and highly professional staff. I will certainly recommend your centre to my friends and colleagues.
Lara Pearce – Beechmont, Australia
“Thank you for creating such great sequences. I’m enjoying progressing into your Advanced sequence and consolidating Intermediate. They really are fantastic preparations and progressions and I’m looking forward to being ‘refined’ by Nicky next year.”
Kristine Ross-Hinton: Gold Coast, Australia
“Hi James & Nicky, Kristine from Tristhana Yoga on the Gold Coast. Thought you would be pleased to know the effects of your Foundation Sequence on my asana practice: rebalancing and strengthening by undoing years of compensations resulting in proficient and easeful practice of each and every posture in Ashtanga Primary Series. Heightened equilibrium, gratitude, and patience. I am working hard to simplify and cut overheads so I can maintain this consistent practice of asana, pranayama and meditation. Thanks for guiding me to strengthen my Foundation. Hari Om Tat Sat, Kristine”
Kris Woods – Christchurch, New Zealand
James – It has been an amazing 7 months since you entered my life. Your energy, passion and commitment are inspirational. Thank you for everything! You have been incredibly giving, open, generous, funny, and a fantastic source of knowledge. I will miss seeing your regularly and hearing your jokes. You are an amazingly dynamic teacher. I feel privileged to have spent time with you.”
“Nicky – what can I say? You have made my yoga journey. Without your perseverance, steadiness and solidity, who knows where I would be? Thank you for everything! Thank you for giving yourself and sharing your knowledge. You are an incredible teacher. I have learned so much from you over the past few years and am so grateful for your continued willingness to teach. Thanks for pulling me through all 3 teacher trainings.”
Kelly Fisher – Wellington, New Zealand
“As for feedback on the course, I thought it was a fantastic foundation from which to grow. I think I went into the course thinking that within 4 weeks I would miraculously transform into a vastly improved version of myself. How naive! Instead of undergoing a huge transformation, I feel like I was taught how to use tools to transform myself over the long haul. The real work started when the course ended. It’s so much easier to do the work with the right tools though! I am deeply grateful that I had the opportunity to work with you and James. It was a gift.”
Katrina Archibald – Wonthaggi, Australia
Your teacher training course has been calling me ever since I connected with Mark Togni (Gold Coast – Australia) many years ago now. Whilst my path has taken me in many directions which I believed were necessary to bring me to where I am now, I am happy that this year, the time has been right and I have finally been able to undertake what I feel I am only now ready for – a culmination of my years of searching. In some ways, there has been a completion and consolidation of these past 9 or so years. On the other hand I am aware of having now moved to another level of being as a consequence of this process. With the completion of the old comes the new … I want to thank you for the major part you and your life have played in my life since meeting Mark (he carried your knowledge) and now in having completed the course. I have learnt so much and feel every part of it has been beneficial for me on so many levels. Thanks for following your truth. You have helped me to feel even more determined to follow mine.”
Kate Hallahan – Earlysville, USA
“It is impossible to thank you enough for the wonderful training you created for us all. As I come up against my wall, you were right there with a ladder and I appreciate all of your hard work. The course works was great, but it was truly amazing to learn from the example of the way you taught us. Your light-hearted and approachable manner made studying with you a pleasant experience, and the way you regarded every question as equally important was inspirational.”
Kaja Vetter – Queenstown/New Zealand
Dear James and Nicky,I hope things are going well and Nicky and yourself are enjoying the advanced teacher training with Janka! It seems that everyone had a lovely time doing the intermediate. The pictures were great to look at!!
Things here are really well. After my not-too-easy start teaching I had suddenly all these teaching opportunities coming my way. I am now teaching 3 classes a week that are well received. I find it tremendously fulfilling to teach, I leave the classes feeling deeply
happy. The students seem to really enjoy the classes and i have pretty much everyone returning. They especially seem to enjoy that I am focusing so strongly on anatomy and what muscles to engage etc. I have people say to me: I have done this posture for years and now I finally understand what I am supposed to do. Isn’t that amazing? All thanks to you and Nicky! Thank you so much again. Of course I can also again notice how my body adapts some more and becomes more supple and strong which is lovely!! So I am very decided to make my goal for next August to come to intermediate teacher training, saving and planning so I have the time and financial means to come!
Julie Stephens – Mermaid Beach, Australia
“Thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom. You are an inspiration to be around. Thank you for your time and devotion.”
Judy Skalicky – Cairns, Australia
“Dear James; thank for your quick reply and kindness. I also wanted to relay that I very much enjoy your classes and admire your abilities as a teacher. Always clear, encouraging and (for me anyway) the pace is just right. Many thanks to you all for having a Yoga Centre and offering teachings! See you when we return….”
Joyce McDonagh – Cairns, Australia
“Most of all I enjoyed the structure of the Level 2 – Intermediate Teacher Training Course and the commitment of getting on the mat with the time dedicated to pure practice, no distraction’s and no where to escape to. The yoga therapy and pregnancy yoga was very interesting and I am studying more books on pregnancy yoga with the intention to develop that. I also enjoyed the bonding with the other people on the course. We could laugh & cry together and it was all alright. One day Shirin, Victi & I were almost wetting our pants as we endeavoured to chant the Yoga Sutras, it was so so good to see Victi laugh.”
John Fleetham – St Paul, USA
“Thank you … Wait, how can I possibly thank you for what you have given me? The truth is — I do not know how. For the first time in my young life, I feel as though I am acting from my heart with ever more pure intentions … this you have guided me towards. I feel for the first time a renewed sense of purpose and love for life in general … this you have guided me towards. I feel for the first time that I know where God is and how to approach him / myself … this you have guided me towards. I understand that ‘my garden is never finished’ and that this life is an organic process that will benefit me as long as I put the time, care, attention and love in … this you have helped me to realise. Nicky, I know you will say that I have done the work … and I thank myself. However, you (as a teacher and friend) showed up in my life at precisely the right moment. I am the luckiest of persons to have crossed paths with you and I would like for you to understand how wonderfully you have impacted my life and the life of so many others. You have taught and instructed me in techniques that will keep me aligned with my purpose and path … I cannot imagine a better gift in the world. Thank you and I wish the two of you peace and happiness for all time.”
Jess Donnellan – Melbourne, Australia
“Want you both to know how important you were and still are in my life. It was at the start of this year (2008) that I found your school and I began to develop my practice – both on the mat and also in the big wide world. Since moving to Melbourne I finally found the ‘right’ yoga school for me – Breathe Wellbeing – the people, the energy, the positivity touched me like you both did. I now go 4 times a week, experience 3 different teacher and enjoy every session. I’m even working on doing more meditation and pranayama. I also did a full day workshop last week which was awesome. I owe a great deal of my zeal for yoga and for life to you James – the voice I instantly warmed to when I called about doing your yoga classes. Love and Light.”
Jenni Juokslahti – Melbourne/Australia
“Thank you so much for the training, Nicky. You are truly inspirational. Simply looking at the quality of your life, I want to practice what you practice.”
Jason Nicou – Cairns/Australia
“Dear James, thank you for your warm welcome and thank you for being you! I really appreciate your passion for yoga and one day I hope and aspire to teach yoga like you; with your wonderful attitude and your lovely demeanor. I feel honoured and priviliged to be in your classes and you are a great inspiration to me. I wish to be a excellent student and aspire to be as wonderful as you are one day – as a yoga teacher and human being! Thanks again and I hope you don’t mind me saying so. Namaste.”
Janey Clark – Wellington, New Zealand
“In terms of your Foundation Course, when I finished, I felt it had been an amazing period of growth for me in my own practice, but was not sure how well prepared I was to teach. However, as soon as I stared teaching, I realised how much I had learnt from you both and how it (the system) works SO well in the yoga teaching setting. Although I am well aware of the fact that I need to continue to work on my skills and knowledge, I feel you gave us a really good foundation to build on. Thank you very much, Nicky and James.”
Jane Southwell – Queensland, Australia
“Thank you so much for the illuminating last 4 weeks and for sharing with us so much of your years of yogic knowledge and experience. Especially Nicky, thank you for your unceasing watchfulness and reminders to make sure we walk away not only knowing, but practising the fundamentals! I have no doubt I will be aware of the benefits of your teaching for years to come.”
Jamie O’Loughlin – Melbourne,Australia
Very much looking forward to spending a month in Cairns with you and
Nicky. I benefited enormously from the weekend workshops in Melbourne and
feel direction has been provided for independent practice. Thanks for all
your assistance to date.
Jacinta McBurnie – Melbourne, Australia
“I wanted to send you a wee card to say thank you for all your energy and love-of-yoga in Cairns. I think it is only now that it is all beginning to hit me about how much I learnt and discovered about yoga from your teaching. I’m working with a teacher in Melbourne who is, in a sense, doing some mentoring with me and we co-teach a class. It’s what I wanted for the next step and I’m learning more (and will learn forever), but what’s great is how much I am teaching here as well. Lots of great ideas that you showed us when trying to work through the postures. It has brought it all to a new level. Thank you again.”
Jackie Wells – Melbourne, Australia
“Nicky, just a note to let you know how much I enjoyed your workshop last weekend (Ashtanga Yoga Centre of Melbourne), although it might not have been evident on my face some of the time! Thanks so much. Aside from everything we learned about yoga asanas, I am truly inspired by your humour, compassion, passion, spirit, stories and sheer magnitude of life”. Kindest regards Jackie Wells.
Jackie Harward – Brisbane, Australia
“I completed the Discovery and Foundation Course with Nicky for my own benefit not for teaching purposes. After 8 years of no personal practice outside of retreats I believe I have found a new and lasting connection to my body and my mind. The 4 weeks were hard work but fabulous. I found Nikki to be an amazing combination of tough, formidable, hilarious, engaging and supportive. She challenged me to “do the work” and it has had a profound effect on me. Bring on next year for the intermediate course….”
Gabriele Haslinger – Mondsee, Austria
“To have access to all your experience is priceless and I cannot express my happiness about your sharing. I really have never heard of or seen any other yoga institute in the whole world being supportive and efficient like yours!”
Jill Heaney – Dudley, Australia
“I love everything about the Kuala Lumpur, Discovery/Foundation Level Teacher Training Course. There was nothing I disliked. I wouldn’t change anything. I am not very good at articulating how I feel, but I know this Course changed my life. It was challenging in every way possible – and this has helped me to start realizing I am capable of anything. Within yoga and just in life. I am so grateful to have had this time with you. I hope you do the Intermediate Level. Yes, I would recommend the Course!”
Florian Palzinsky – Sri Lanka
“I hope you continue to share your amazing wisdom and joyful love with us and the world! I’m looking forward to continuing this spiritual connection with you.”
Emma Norris – Sydney, Australia
“I just wanted to express my thanks for a wonderful week of yoga and conversation. I needed some inspiration injected into my self practice and have certainly received that. I have struggled (and continue to, I think) to find a teacher(s) in Sydney who inspires me not only through what they are teaching and their methods of teaching, but in the way that they approach life, their students and others in general. Your realism and humility have refreshed my sometimes cynical self and reminded me of the true and always present gift that Yoga is. It’s a shame I don’t live closer to Cairns! I would love to do your 1 month course, probably not for a couple of years, but who knows … I will see you again.”
David Turton – Smithfield, Australia
“Thank you for all that you have done for me in these past four weeks. Because of you I am able to do some things I haven’t done for several years, without fear of hurting myself. It has been wonderful to work with you once more and I hope to do it again some time very soon. Best wishes for the future wherever that may lead you.”
Daniel Parent – Taiwan
“I would like to write a testimonial from the perspective of the husband of a future yoga teacher…
Since taking Level 1 & 2 my wife Jian Ying is much more patient, relaxed, healthier, happy, motivated, spiritual, sleeps better & fit. Basically the course did what it said it would do! When Jian Ying and I married she was not the healthiest person in the world… When she got sick it was straight to the medicine cabinet and it would last for weeks. She also had very irregular bowel movements – we are talking 2 to 3 days. Jain Ying and I used to fight a lot and when we fought it often got pretty ugly – perhaps it is because she is from Sichuan, China where they eat very spicy food…
When Jian Ying started taking Yoga a couple of years ago with another teacher things improved somewhat but she was having trouble with her breathing and there was no real system, method and/or direction to what she was learning. By chance or by the grace of God we found out about Nicky’s Foundation 1 & 2 Teacher Training in Taipei and we immediately knew that this was what my wife Jian Ying was searching for. I guess the bottom line for me is that my wife is happy, we do not fight like we used to, she has found her calling in life and she has a very positive influence on our family now – she actually teaches me yoga to re-align my pelvis.
My wife will go to Australia this summer to continue her training with Nicky and I support her decision 100+%! I am very happy and excited for her but on the other hand we both know that it will not be a walk in the park – I know she can do it.
I would like to express my utmost gratitude to Nicky for passing on this precious knowledge so selflessly to my wife and all the other students. You have had a profound effect on my wife and my family – you have changed/touched our lives – and I thank you!
Fastenal Taiwan Representative Office
Taiwan R.O.C. ”
Dagmar Buck Ph.D. – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
“The schedule was put together very, very well. It was a good balance of asanas, breathing, meditation, cleansing techniques, anatomy, philosophy and the sutras as well as enough space to discuss many aspects. There are some very basic things in life. One is to follow your own path. The Knoff Yoga Teacher Training is great to find this and helps you travel safely on it.”
Chris Fried – Peregian, Australia
“You know, I hope one day letter writing comes a little easier to me. I’ve been wanting to write this one to you for such a long time. A day doesn’t go by when I don’t think about you, your teaching, your opinions, knowledge, stories, practice, life experiences and just the sounds of the words as you explain things or talk about a subject. Those eight weeks made such an impact on my life; in fact it was probably the best time of my life. Nicky, thank you so much for everything. I think the teacher training you offer is the best by far that I know of in Australia. I feel so good that I did it with you, you’ve made changes in me that will stay with me for the rest of my life. Thank you also, James, you have so much knowledge, you’ve inspired me to learn and keep on learning. You know, Nicky, I can’t help myself sometimes, sneaking a look at a bent knee or someone with their body or legs out of alignment or a half-hearted attempt in a pose, while I’m attending a class at home or somewhere around the world, and I think to myself why are they getting away with this? If there were more teachers like you, Nicky, I know this world would be a better place to live.”
Charles Kerr – Grand Junction, Colorado, USA
“Nicky Knoff and James Bryan, this long overdue message is to say thank you for my wonderful, life-transforming, introduction to yoga during your sojourn in Grand Junction. With affection I think of you as I do my hour long, home practice once or twice each week. The preciseness of your instruction awakened in me awareness of my body’s requirement for bi-lateral balance, disciplined asanas, focused breathing and meditative centering. Each home session is a blend of blend of sun salutations A and B and other asanas you taught and Hot Yoga/Bikram practices that I learned after you left Grand Junction. I missed working with you that last year in Grand Junction because I tore my meniscus and it took me 18 months to heal (and I was away a lot). Without the thoroughness of your initial instruction I would not have returned to yoga (because the other instruction that I have experienced is not sufficiently engaging). As I end my practice with a calm mind and a sense of physical and spiritual fullness and peace, you are in my thoughts.”
Crystal Bunyan – Atherton, Australia
“It’s been such a privilege to be taught by you – challenged, pushed, encouraged. Thank you for helping me find new depths of strength I didn’t know I had! Thanks for making every class an adventure in itself. What an incredible intense time – something I’ll always carry with me. I really appreciate how holistic your focus was – because that’s where life changes happen – through changing our daily habits. I don’t think there is an area of my life that hasn’t been touched by studying with you.”
Cath Andison – Townsville, Australia
“Words cannot convey the value of yoga, it has to be experienced” BKS Iyengar
“As a student of yoga and of life I required assistance to work through limitations I held in my body. After researching several different yoga schools within Australia I made the decision to start my training with Nicky Knoff and attended the Level 1 & 2 (Discovery and Foundation) Teacher Training in Cairns during July 2009. Nothing could have prepared me for the journey I had chosen where I was a student in a ‘masters’ class room. It was a confronting, life changing month. I not only moved past my limitations, I learnt a new sense of the word respect and the power of keeping the loop of learning open.
I went through the pain any person goes through when they are strengthening muscles that have not worked effectively over the years. What I was not prepared for was the pain and strong emotions that arose when it came to opening up my thoracic spine. The pain that moved through my body during asana practice and meditation was more than intense. As the pain became unbearable this is when the emotion would pour out. Some days I literally sobbed uncontrollably and each time the emotion released, the pain moved or simply disappeared.
During these emotional releases several times I did think to myself, “Is this woman mad? Does she really know what she is talking about? Does she really know how much pain I am dealing with here?” When I became aware I was doing this I would have to change my thinking. Thinking like this was building a wall between Nicky and myself and closing down my capacity to learn from her. I had to stop and say to myself, “I was the one who came to Nicky. I must remain open within my heart, mind and body to accept whatever Nicky had to offer.” This kept my receptivity open. And let’s be honest without her presence and guidance I would not have had the determination, the will, or the courage to face my internal blockages/limitations during that month.
Nicky is like a mother who teaches you, guides you and encourages you to become the best you can be. She knows you are capable of so much more, she knows it is your mind that limits you and she knows just how to encourage you as an individual to become aware of this. She understands the physical pain we feel in our bodies is directly linked to a pain within our minds. To heal our bodies we must first heal our minds. All other self development I have done over the years there were always questions and a search for the answer. Why? Why did I feel that? Why did that affect me? Through the Knoff Yoga System the question “Why?” was never present. Nicky and I just allowed the process to take me where I needed to go. Due to this my body is healing because my mind is healing. My mind on an unconscious level is letting go and releasing negative imprints of my past (be it this life time or from a previous life) and I will never know (nor need to know) the cause.
As students of yoga and of life we must remain open. We can learn something from any person as it is internal experience from these interactions that is ultimately the best teacher. This world is blessed to have Nicky. She has so much knowledge and experience and is willing to share it with anyone sincerely interested in walking the yogic path. What did I learn from attending the Foundation Level Teacher Training? Firstly, to keep the mind open for learning from anyone. Secondly, the body is the door to the unconscious mind. Thirdly, the Knoff Yoga System is the key that opens that door. I will be a student in the ‘masters’ class room next year for Intermediate Level….have the tissues ready. Namaste”
Carly Clark – Gladstone, Australia
“Dearest Nicky & James,
Thank you for the most wonderful month in August, the Intermediate Teacher Training was exactly what my body/mind was longing for!
I really am blessed to have discovered such a wonderful yoga school that provides the tools, knowledge and encouragement to help me progress my personal yoga practice. Since becoming a mother following the Foundation course 2 years ago, I appreciate this more than ever.
You are both an inspiration and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Bonni Menzies – Wellington/New Zealand
The Knoff yoga teacher training was the best thing I have ever done for my practice. It has deepened my understanding of yoga and it’s ability to improve my life and that of my students daily.
You are left with a strong practice, a clear direction for teaching and the confidence in your ability to do so.
Nicky is very knowledgable and patient, taking the time to ensure that everyone is getting the most out of the course.
I would highly recommend doing the teacher training even if you do not plan to teach afterwards.”
Bhudsakorn Suriyasongsaeng – Chiang Mai, Thailand
I would like you to know how much i feel appreciated for such a honor i have received to be under your teaching…i’m now a certified yoga teacher, i stand strong on my legs, talk clear in my voice and the awareness of my breath…fresh and fine…i’m very happy…
I would like to say thank you to both of you, to Nicky, for an amazing training you have given with all those techniques..with your heart full of compassion. I am so happy to be able to receive the honor to be taught by you and James. The whole 4 weeks full of practice that made my self practice changed, my body.. i never felt like this before….light and strong in the pose and the awareness in the breath. I am starting to teach some of my friends and got referred to teach in private while i’m in sydney..they all really enjoyed it and gained lots of benefit from what i gave…knoff yoga name is all around sydney town by now :-)…again, i really thank you thank you so much for your love and your compassion over the course…i really do appreciated the opportunity that Paddy, You and James gave it to me.
to James, thank you so much for you kindness, your heart is as big as your smile. and yes, i really do enjoy your humor over the chair yoga course plus a few classes i attended…even now i’m writing to you…my credit card machine is completely on :-)”
Annegret Howe – Colorado, USA
“Thanks for teaching me how to find intelligence with my body in order to achieve a level of greater awareness and higher consciousness. I’m excited about my journey and hope that your next journey finds you with complete santosha! Both of you (Nicky Knoff and James Bryan) have ignited a path of transformation. I have been so fortunate to have had the opportunity to study so closely with both of you.”
Anick Labrosse – Montreal, Canada
“Nicky – It is a pleasure and an honour to be one of your students. Your knowledge of yoga is nothing compared to your kindness and compassion. It has permitted me to go beyond my own expectations of myself. It is a great gift that you have given me and I think all of us, by sharing what is dear to you. James – Thank you for your presence. Your sense of humour and the quality of your explanations were a fine addition to the course. Thank you also for all the ‘unseen’ work done to bring us Nicky’s system. It is quite a powerful tool both of you are offering us.”
Alison Ritchie – St Kilda, Victoria, Australia
Dear Nicky. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom, your heart and your passion. This has been a remarkable journey and I will hold these memories close to my heart forever. You are a yoga master with a true heart and working with you is like taking a master class with a maestro. Never would you hear a maestro tell his students “It doesn’t matter if you don’t quite hit that note” or “that phrase isn’t important.” Each not, each phrase, each movement has to come together to fully appreciate the whole symphony, and so it is with your details to yoga. Henry Ford said “if you think you can, or if you thin you can’t, you’re probably right.” However, when we tell you “we can’t” you make sure we prove ourselves wrong! Thank you for having the energy to keep caring. Thank you for your support and encouragement. Thank you for making a difference. Both you and James really make me feel that I too can do great things.”
“The teacher training has transformed my teaching and my own practise. My sister who is a regular in my classes had some time off to have her second baby and when she returned to the classes she said I sounded much more confident and the instruction had quality and experience. Other comments have been that the classes are “more challenging” and “have a good variation of poses.
What does speak volumes is my class numbers. Before I went to Cairns I would have at least one class a week where I only had one student or no-one turn up. Directly after my return from Cairns my classes grew to about 7 or 8 per class. Since the new year I consistently have 10 – 15 students per class. I also have students coming 2 or 3 times a week which I never had before. What has to be noted is the number of students attending my classes is directly proportional to the quality of my own practise! So it’s out there somewhere that people can pick up that I’m really doing yoga! So all I do now is focus on my own daily practice and the world seems to fall into place. : )) I feel more confident teaching, more organised, I do way less demonstrating so I’m not worn out and I am enjoying teaching more.
I feel right at this moment that I am experiencing a real shift in my life. In my mind I always thought that when I came to Cairns for a month any shift would happen then. I now realise that the practise that I learned in Cairns gave me the tools to progress or shift, but it is only in the consistent application of those tools that any shift will occur.”
Alex Saxton-Kellahan – Wellington/New Zealand
My reason for attending the Knoff Teacher Training Discovery/Foundation Course was to develop a greater understanding of ‘yoga’ besides the asanas. After completing the course, I have definitely got a clearer understanding of what yoga is and have been incorporating my new knowledge into my everyday life. It was a shock to realise that I hadn’t been working my body the correct way for such a long time.
For the first few weeks of the course I had a very sore body, but after completing the course I now feel a lot stronger, lighter and at one with my body. The breath is such a powerful thing! During the course, I did encounter a lot of physical pain as I had a condition similar to Rheumatoid arthritis when I was a child, which seemed to flare up again. I also went through some emotional healing, and can feel my body, mind and soul are still undergoing further changes.
The course is extremely challenging, but I like to think back on it as a jump-start to living a better life and to gain the tools to help others do the same.
I definitely recommend the Knoff Teacher Training course!”
Aimee Stapleford – United Kingdom
“Since the whirlwind of returning to the UK I have settled down to designing a website with my brother who has lovingly offered to design one for me free of charge (well in exchange for a painting he wants me to do on his office wall (wish me luck)! I have been teaching friends and family and helping my mum with her back pain (sacroiliac joint problem) and I have had some brilliant responses…a friend of mine was suffering from depression and I have gently introduced her to yoga and yoga philosophy and managed to steer her away from anti-depressants so we are both thrilled with her achievement. As I have gradually gained more confidence I have decided to start teaching classes locally, my first class starts the 2nd week of October so lots of time to prep, all very exciting…its great to have such a strong focus in my life…thanks you to you both. miss Australia and the Knoff Yoga School so much, so I look forward to seeing you both next year for the Level 3 – Intermediate Teacher Training.”
Adrienne Lang – Melbourne, Australia
“Dear Nicky I was one of your Melbourne people over the weekend…easiest remembered as “Whitney’s Mom” And although I attended an “intermediate” level class I was well aware that I was less than intermediate, but pushed myself a bit (actually a lot) so Whit and I could participate together. I just felt compelled to write to thank you for being so non judgemental about my abilities with the asanas. But I also subscribe to the 8 limbs of yoga and asana is only 1/8th of a yoga practice. I learned so much over the weekend and I feel very privileged to have been able to participate and to be encouraged.”
Adriana Woods – Hawaii
Hi Nicky and James! I just wanted to say Thank you for teaching me so much; I have been teaching quite consistently since I graduated from your foundation level in 2006 and I have helped so many people; sometimes, when I have 30 plus people in the room and they are smiling, breathing, living the asana, I think of you as my greatest living teacher. You truly set the foundation upon which I have launched myself as a teacher and even been able to create a “career!” A noble path that helps pay the bills and gives me a great sense of purpose. On behalf of all my students, thank you! aloha and Namaste! Adriana
Anita Gonzales – Kuala Lumpur
“Thank you for truly wonderful and challenging teacher’s training course. I will practise everyday my asana, pranayama and meditation ( and remember to work my triceps and biceps, and hug my muscles onto my bones and contract my buttock muscles in the necessary pose). I can thank you with words but my true thank you to you will be my daily yoga practise. I am in awe at your ability to understand a person’s body and its limitation and disease like me as no one every told me strainght on that i have had thyroid by just looking at me. Thank you my teacher.”
You know I am so grateful to you and James, you have changed my life. You have generously and graciously shared so much wisdom and PRACTICE!