Hometown: Bristol, England
Earliest memory of hearing about yoga: As a 7-year-old, we used to go to Porlock, a tiny place on the coast. One year there were loads of men and women wearing orange. My parents warned me they were moonies or something who did yoga. They told me to watch out for them—they’d try to brainwash me.
Something in your life that is not yoga that has improved by your practice: The thing that’s improved my practice the most over the years, having been practicing since 1985, is that I’m pretty much over needing to look great. Life is brilliant at keeping you youthful and fresh if you want it to, but you have to be a bit fearless or you won’t get anywhere. So coming to terms with myself on a mental level, albeit temporarily, has turned my practice from a need to a gift I give to myself. I love practicing, but I haven’t always.
If you weren’t a yoga teacher, you would be: An actor
In 1987, Greville Henwood moved to Los Angeles to fulfill his dream of becoming a world-famous actor/storyteller. He’d already delved deep into yoga since 1985, following his participation in the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain, where he was strongly encouraged to question life, reality and the status quo and saw many parallels with yoga. He knew he wanted to be a yoga teacher when he met Maty Ezraty, and they shook on it, on the promise he’d do what it takes. His classes are alignment-focused vinyasa style.
“A major turning point in my journey into yoga happened thanks to Raquel Welch, who, in the mid 1980s, published a gorgeous photobook of Bikram’s sequence. In the introduction, she wrote about prana, and how we don’t so much breathe it as are absorbed by it, permeated in every cell. She reasoned that was why to wear as little as possible when practicing. It was the vision of me being absorbed, permeated, that shifted my awareness of what the yoga system was ultimately about.”