Nicky Knoff E.R.Y.T. 500 was born in 1938 to a Dutch father and English mother. The family was living in Batavia (Jakarta), Indonesia when the Japanese invaded at the start of WWII. Nicky was in a concentration camp from the ages of three and a half to nearly eight years old. The harsh experiences of the war forced Nicky to confront, at a very early age, the basic realities of life – what is important and what is not. Nicky learned that we all have an inner essence, that when stripped of the veneer of social conditions, we are all essentially the same, but with conditioning we are capable of committing the most horrible acts. Nicky’s approach to teaching is to help her students challenge their social conditioning, to guide them towards revealing their own inner essence, so they may reach their full potential as human beings.
Nicky studied yoga from 1970 to 1974 in Tokyo, Japan with Bikram Choudhury (before he was famous and before Hot Yoga). When travelling on holiday from Japan, Nicky discovered Iyengar Yoga and started studying with many Iyengar teachers all over the world; her favourite being Martyn Jackson in Sydney, Australia. Nicky made many trips to Pune, India to study with B.K.S. Iyengar, Geeta and Prashant and in 1992 was certificated as a Senior Iyengar Yoga Teacher. In 1989, Nicky went to Mysore, India to study with K Pattabhi Jois, where she learned the first three Series of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. In 1991 she travelled to Maui, Hawaii to learn the fourth Series from Nancy Gilgoff. In 1980, Nicky attended her first Vipassana Meditation Course with S.N. Goenka. Nicky attended many Vipassana ten day silent retreats and also a thirty day retreat in a cell at Igatpuri, India in 1988.
From 1974 to 1984 Nicky taught yoga at the Crippled Children’s Society in New Zealand; four years in Dunedin and six years in Auckland. This experience led Nicky to specialise in Yoga Therapy. In 1980 Nicky opened the first full-time yoga school in Auckland – the New Zealand School of Yoga. In 1984 Nicky moved to Australia and in 1986 opened the Queensland School of Yoga in Noosa. In 1992 she moved to Cairns, and opened the Ashtanga Yoga Academy. In 2000 Nicky moved to Colorado, USA where she opened the Academy of Yoga. For the next 4 years, Nicky attended classes at many yoga schools through the United States and also the Yoga Journal Estes Park Convention for four consecutive years, where she studies with many famous yoga teachers. Nicky returned to Australia in 2005 and is now based in Cairns, Tropical North Queensland where she runs teacher training courses, workshops, intensives, private classes, public classes and yoga therapy at the Knoff Yoga Headquarters.