Interview with Henry Winslow
Yoga Teacher + Podcast Host
Henry Winslow is yoga student and teacher, podcast host, and entrepreneur. He believes that above all else, yoga is a tool for destroying limiting beliefs and self-doubt, so that each one of us is able to create massive impact and live with purpose, no matter how ambitious or polarizing. Henry lives and teaches primarily in Brooklyn, NY but also travels internationally to spread his contagious passion for yoga worldwide.
Andrew: What is the #1 thing you do to maintain your health??
Henry: Practice yoga, of course! But because yoga is such a broad concept, spanning physical exercise, lifestyle choices, philosophy, etc., I'll focus my answer down to yoga asana, or postures. I maintain my physical health through a consistent and intense physical practice, which on average takes about 2 hours daily.
It's very important to me that my practice be comprehensive -- and to me, that means not "playing to strengths." I backbend, I externally rotate my hips, I handstand. I incorporate dynamic movement, I stay still. The more I practice, the more subtly connected I get to my anatomy, mobility, blockages, strengths, and weaknesses. At this point, I'm pretty sure I can diagnose anything going on in my body before a doctor or anyone else could see it manifest externally.
I'm not raw; I'm not vegan; I even eat PIZZA (*gasp*), so my asana practice is certainly the bedrock of my physical fitness.
Andrew: Where is your favorite place in the world?
Currently, my favorite place in the world is my home studio, Lighthouse Yoga School, because it's here that I'm doing the work of cultivating a core group of students, developing my own teaching ability, and sharing in a powerful collective energy that I haven't seen at any other yoga studio ever.
That said, as a traveling yoga teacher, I have experienced first hand that we often manufacture the importance of 'place.' The reality is you can go wherever you want in this world, but there's no escaping yourself.
Andrew: Beach or Mountains?
Henry: Mountains. I grew up skiing, and mountains will always have a quiet nostalgia for me.
Andrew: Was there one moment or event that set you on track for a healthy lifestyle?
I have always been an athlete and in particular I've always been attracted to sports and activities that revolve around proprioception and body awareness. (I was a springboard diver before I ever tried yoga.)
But there was a pivotal moment that took me deep into the rabbit hole of yoga, and that was my decision to practice Bikram yoga for 365 days straight, with no absences or makeup days. Sure, the hours on the mat themselves advanced my practice, but more valuable than anything technical I learned over that year was the ability to make a decision, commit to it, and follow through with absolutely no excuses.
Andrew: What ONE thing would you recommend everyone should do daily?
Henry: If you're brand new to all of this, sit and watch your breath for 5 minutes a day.
If you're seasoned and looking for a game-changer to throw to the mix, try adding Nauli Kriya and Sodarshana Chakra Kriya to your morning ritual. I won't explain the effects... better to experience them yourself.
Andrew: Where do you draw inspiration from?
Everywhere. I try to view every single person I encounter as a teacher, whether the lessons they are imparting are intentional or not.
Media wise, I'm fond of Instagram for aesthetic inspiration, and podcasts and audiobooks for educational content. Incidentally, those are the two media I contribute to myself between my yoga posts on IG and my interviews with inspirational yogis on the Dharma Talk podcast.
Andrew: Can you sum up your philosophy on health in one sentence?
Henry: You can have anything you want in this world -- health included -- as long as you can get interested in the process.