James E. Bryan (E.R.Y.T. 500) was born in 1953 in Los Angeles California, and immigrated with his family to Auckland, New Zealand in 1969. Nicky Knoff was James’ very first yoga teacher when he started classes at the New Zealand School of Yoga (NZSY) in 1982. James taught yoga at the Auckland Crippled Children’s Society. In 1986 James attended Teacher Training intensive at the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute, in Pune, India with BKS Iyengar and Geeta Iyengar. In the same year James moved to Australia to join Nicky Knoff in setting up the Queensland yoga school in Noosa. In 1987 James attended his first Vipassana Meditation ten day silent retreat led by S.N. Goenka. James attended another three, ten day silent retreats.
From 1982 James practised, studied and taught Iyengar Yoga and in 1988 was certificated as a Junior Iyengar Yoga Teacher. In 1989 James was certificated as an Intermediate Level III Iyengar Yoga Teacher. In 1989 James travelled to Mysore, India and studied Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga with K. Pattabhi Jois, where he learned the first Three Series. In 1991 he travelled to Hawaii and learned the Fourth Series from Nancy Gilgoff at the House of Yoga and Zen, Haiku, Maui. James assisted Nicky Knoff with opening the Ashtanga Yoga Academy in Cairns, Australia in 1992. In 2000 James and Nicky moved to Colorado, USA where they opened the Academy of Yoga. James returned to Australia in 2005 and is now based at the Knoff Yoga Headquarters in Cairns where he is the Program Director and Senior Teacher.