“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”

Wendy Buttery – United Kingdom

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.

Tomoko Gregory

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

Conny White

Conny White – 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!

Chloe Manier – Sunshine Coast, Australia

Chloe Manier – Bali retreat student 2012

“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.”

Wendy Diack – Blenheim, New Zealand

“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.”

Virginie Noel

“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.”

Susan Busch – Christchurch, New Zealand

“Dear Said,

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.


Steven Golding.”

Steven Golding – Townsville, Australia

“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!

Stav Zotalis

“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”

Shirin Richards – Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

“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.”

Shilpa Ghatalia – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

“Dearest Nicky,

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.”

Shi-Ling – Taiwan

“Thank you very much for everything.  Very nice place everyone made me feel so welcome and feel at home.”

Sabaithip Holtby (Tippy) – Chiang Mai, Thailand

“Hi James

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.



Ruth – Tannum Sands/Australia

“Your system really does work and I’m preparing now to teach a beginners course with enthusiasm and confidence!”

Robyn Jarvis – Paekakariki, New Zealand

“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! “

Reg Whittome – Melbourne, 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.”

Rebecca Castaldini – Speewah, 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.”

Peter Roberts – Sydney, 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


Paul Christie – Cairns, Australia

“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!”

Noreen Ng – New Zealand

“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.

Love, Nina”

Nina Hakamies – Utrecht, Holland

“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.”

Nicola Mellick – Cairns, Queensland, 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.

Thank you.”

Merel Rip – 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 .



Matt Oakley – Sydney, 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.”

Martha Goldman – Cairns, Australia

“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 Trubridge – Havelock North, New Zealand

“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


Linda Newman – Geelong , VIC, Australia

“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!

Libby Collins – Grand Junction, Colorado

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.”

Leeann Adams – 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.

Kind regards,
Leeana “

Leeana Kent – Cairns/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.”

Lara Pearce – Beechmont, 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”

Kristine Ross-Hinton: Gold Coast, Australia

“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.”

Kris Woods – Christchurch, 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.”

Kelly Fisher – Wellington, New Zealand

“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.”

Katrina Archibald – Wonthaggi, Australia

“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.”

Kate Hallahan – Earlysville, USA
“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!



Kaja Vetter – Queenstown/New Zealand

“Thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom. You are an inspiration to be around. Thank you for your time and devotion.”

Julie Stephens – Mermaid Beach, 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….”

Judy Skalicky – 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.”

Joyce McDonagh – Cairns, Australia