“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
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.
“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.”
“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.
“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….”
“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!”
“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!”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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. ”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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”
“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.
“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.”
“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 :-)”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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!”
“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.”
“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.”
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
“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.”