The official organization for Hanna Somatics information, resources, continuing education, practitioner support, and community.

HSE Profile: James Knight


1.  Where are you from and what do you like about your city/area?

I was born and raised in Los Angeles, however I moved out of California when I was 13.  After high school, I moved to Europe and have been living and travelling around the world ever since.  I moved to San Diego in 2005 to work for The Chopra Center.  I was hired and trained as a Master Ayurvedic Therapist.

What I like about this area (besides the near perfect weather!) is the healthy lifestyle. I believe the influence of Paramahansa Yogananda made Southern California a very important resource for yoga and alternative/ complimentary medicine.

2.  What is your back ground?  (Education, professional experience etc.)

My formal education came from studying at Sonoma State University (SSU) in California, about 50 miles north of San Francisco.  My B.A. is in Environmental Studies, with a minor in Psychology.  I started an external Masters Degree in Eco-psychology but never finished writing my thesis.

During that time, I started getting trained and certified in various advanced modalites in the healing arts: Massage Therapy, Watsu, Yoga, Core Energetics (body-oriented psychotherapy), and Hanna Somatic Education.  I also had significant training in biofeed- back and meditation.  Working with Native Americans and other indigenous leaders, teaching earth-based wisdom, also influenced me.

I've been an integrative therapist for almost 20 years. During that time, I founded and directed two wellness centers.  One in San Francisco: The Awareness Research and Training Institute and the other in San Diego: Carlsbad Center for Awareness.

I've also taught as a faculty member at Sonoma State University, CA; Kwatlen College, BC Canada; and most recently,attend at the Natural Healing Institute in Encinitas, CA.

3.  How did you discover Somatics and when did you attend the HSE training?

I discovered Somatics while attending SSU. The first yoga class I took was taught by Eleanor Criswell: Somatic Yoga.  Who would have known that event would change the rest of my

life so significantly?!  It was Eleanor who
encouraged me to start training as a body-worker and yoga teacher.  I feel very blessed that she was such an important influence in my life. 

Lawrence Gold has also been a major inspiration for my current work.  He's made a huge contribution to this field and I'm very grateful for him as well.

I became certified with the 5th Wave of Hanna Somatic Educators at the Novato Institute.

4.  Tell me, what's been keeping you busy  lately?

I've been working hard promoting my DVDs and Workbook around the world. I also spend a lot of time filming, editing, and creating new videos for my YouTube channel. I've been working on a new website that will be up to date with all the bells and whistles. Keeping up with technology is an interesting process, but necessary.

5.  Tell me, what are you most focused on right  now for your business?

I'm facilitating eco-adventure, both spiritual and yoga retreats internationally, as well as developing new products in Somatics.  I am producing more videos with training for specialty populations, like the deskworker and seniors.

6.  What are your hopes and plans for the future with Somatics?

Getting it translated into other languages.  It looks like Spanish will be the first project and I will start that next year.

I'm also working with a local bodywork and yoga college to get Gentle Somatic Yoga certified as a 200+ hour program through Yoga Alliance and the State of California.

7.  Tell me, what are you excited about outside of work?

I'm a very creative person and I like to co-create with others who inspire me. I enjoy designing sacred spaces through architecture, interiors (Feng Shui) and landscaping.  I also love travel and nature photograpy and I'm constantly on the move. I'm happy that I'm teaching Retreats now because it allows me to express everything I'm passionate about.

Eventually, I would like to design healing retreats in exotic locations.  I would like to be a part of an extraordinary team of people who are making significant contributions through movement education, permaculture*, art, gardening, and energy medicine.
You all will be invited!

8.  What are you looking forward to next year?

I'm looking forward to both of my yoga retreats at Haramara, Mexico at the beginning of the year. The retreat from January 31st to February 7th is for teachers and therapists who would like more experience teaching Somatic Yoga-inspired classes.

It looks like I might be teaching a retreat in Bali at the beginning of November, 2015. That would be exciting! I've always wanted to go there.

9.  Is there anything else you would like to say?

I look forward to more learning and growing. Thank you to all my teachers, peers, and clients in Somatics (past, present, and future). All of you keep me motivated to be a vehicle for this work. 

I'm forever grateful... James

James Knight, Integrative Therapist and Yoga Teacher

Editor's note:  Check out some of James' DVDs and Workbook on his website.  It might just be the perfect Christmas gift for yourself.