Paul Grilley

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Paul Grilley
Bornc. 1959
OccupationYoga teacher
Known forYin Yoga
Patti Davis
(m. 1984; div. 1990)

Suzee Grilley

Paul Grilley is a teacher of modern yoga known for helping, along with Sarah Powers, to develop the slow-paced style, Yin Yoga. He and his wife Suzee Grilley train teachers in Yin Yoga.


Paul Grilley began to practise yoga in 1979, starting to study anatomy in Montana that same year. In 1982 he went on to study anatomy and kinesiology at the University of California, Los Angeles. He gained his master's degree at St John's College, Santa Fe in 2000. He was awarded an honorary Ph.D. by the California Institute for Human Science for his work on the relevance of fascia, the sheets of connective tissue that hold the body together, to the practice of yoga asanas.[1][2]


He studied the slow-paced, less aggressive form of modern yoga called Yin Yoga under its creator, Paulie Zink, and later assisted with its development.[3][4][5][6]

Grilley taught yoga to Sarah Powers, who devised the name "Yin Yoga" and went on to develop her own variant of it, Insight Yoga. Grilley had until then described the form as "Taoist Yoga".[7][8] He teaches Yin Yoga and trains yoga teachers with his wife Suzee Grilley. Their Yin Yoga curriculum covers the human anatomy of bones and muscles as well as seven asanas that they describe as archetypal, yoga and meditation.[9] He serves as a master teacher at Pranamaya.[10] From his knowledge of anatomy, Grilley states that it is not possible for everyone to do all asanas, because of variations in the shapes of specific bones; for example, some people have a much longer neck on the femur (thigh bone) than others, giving them, he argues, greater freedom of movement in the hip joint.[11]

Grilley has stated that Yin Yoga is not a franchise or hybrid like Aqua Yoga or Disco Yoga, and the use of the term is not restricted by copyright or trademark; instead, it is an additional way of practising.[12]

Grilley has been interviewed and featured in magazines including Yoga Journal[12] and Elephant Journal,[13] and in chapters of books such as Victoria Bailey's 2012 Sharing Sadhana: Bailey describes him as both spiritual, as seen in his DVD on Chakra Theory and Meditation, and knowledgeable about the anatomical basis of yoga.[14]

Grilley and his first wife Patti Davis (at right) with the Reagan family at Rancho Del Cielo, 1985. Courtesy Ronald Reagan Library

Personal life[edit]

In 1984, he married Patti Davis, daughter of US president Ronald Reagan. They divorced in 1990 and had no children.[15] He then married Suzee Grilley (b. 1959); she is a Registered Yoga Teacher and has also taught Capoeira and modern dance.[16][17] They live in Ashland, Oregon.[16]


  • Anatomy for Yoga with Paul Grilley (DVD). Pranamaya. 2004. ISBN 978-1585651689. OCLC 56924405.
  • Yin Yoga: Principles and Practice. Ashland, Oregon: White Cloud Press. 2012. ISBN 9781935952701.
  • A Yogi's Guide to Chakra Meditation. Cardinal. 2019. ISBN 978-1-7335839-0-9. OCLC 1089967309.


  1. ^ Clark, Bernie (2012). The Complete Guide to Yin yoga. White Cloud Press. pp. 21–22. ISBN 978-1-935952-50-3.
  2. ^ "Working with the Fascia in Yoga: Online Yoga Talk with Yin Yoga Teacher Paul Grilley". Yoga U. 2015. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  3. ^ Janet Kinosian (Sep 21, 2009). "Yin yoga: yang-style's less aggressive counterpart: Taoist-based practice targets the connective tissues, ligaments, joints and synovial fluid". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  4. ^ Lisa Maria (Sep 2008). "Soothe Yourself". Yoga Journal. p. 82. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  5. ^ Gamerman, Amy (June 2012). "Achy Joints? How Yin Yoga Can Help". The Oprah Magazine. 13 (6). Retrieved 6 July 2015. 'Yin yoga is joint rehabilitation,' says Paul Grilley, the godfather of the movement.
  6. ^ Grilley 2012, p. xiii.
  7. ^ Maria, Lisa (Feb 2009). "Insider's Guide--A veteran teacher explores the depths of yoga and self-inquiry, creating a manual for inner peace". Yoga Journal: 111–112.
  8. ^ Kragie, Eileen (June 27, 2014). "Yin yoga: The Complete Art Form Founded by Paulie Zink". Elephant Journal. Retrieved 3 July 2015. Paulie refers to his art as Yin and Yang yoga, but often uses the term 'Yin yoga' for short.
  9. ^ "Yin Yoga Teacher Training". Paul Grilley. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  10. ^ "Meet Your Instructors". Pranamaya. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  11. ^ Om, Kali (January 2007). "Anatomy and Yin Yoga with Paul Grilley". Yoga Chicago. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  12. ^ a b Solan, Matthew (May 2003). "Talking Shop with Paul Grilley". Yoga Journal (May/June 2003): 24.
  13. ^ Pucelle, Sebastian (7 April 2013). "Interview with Yin Yoga Teachers Paul & Suzee Grilley". Elephant Journal. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  14. ^ Bailey, Victoria (2012). Sharing Sadhana: Insights and Inspiration for a Personal Yoga Practice. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 1–8. ISBN 978-1-4422-1382-1.
  15. ^ Podolsky, J. D. (18 May 1992). "A Daughter's Lament". People. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
  16. ^ a b "About Suzee Grilley". Yoga Alliance. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  17. ^ "Cherise Richards". Yoga Enlightened. Retrieved 5 May 2019.

External links[edit]

Official website