Howard Kent

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Howard Kent
Howard Kent.jpg Howard Kent.jpg
Howard Kent in 1980 with Yoga for Health teacher Roseanne Preston
BornGeoffrey Benjamin Pittock-Buss
(1919-04-02)April 2, 1919
Croydon, Surrey, U.K.
💀Died15 February 2005(2005-02-15) (aged 85)
Bedfordshire, U.K.15 February 2005(2005-02-15) (aged 85)
🏳️ NationalityBritish
🏫 EducationWhitgift School, Kent
💼 Occupation

Howard Kent (2 April 1919 – 15 February 2005) was a journalist, pacifist, and philanthropist who helped to popularise yoga in the United Kingdom.

Early Life[edit]

Howard Kent was born Geoffrey Benjamin Pittock-Buss on 2 April 1919[1] in Croydon, Surrey, U.K.. His parents were James John Adam Pittock-Buss (1885–1962) and Marion May (Battishall) Pittock-Buss (1881–1961). He attended Whitgift School[2] in South Croydon, Surrey.


After attending Whitgift School (1931–1935), he went into journalism and publishing[3]. He set up the New Vision Publishing Company and in 1944 published Seeds of Chaos: What Mass Bombing Really Means[3] by the writer and pacifist Vera Brittain for the Bombing Restriction Committee[4] that was set up in London in 1942 by Corder Catchpool and others. He spoke publicly in support of the Freedom Defence Committee. He edited or worked on various local newspapers in Kent and south London, including The Illustrated London News[5]. He then joined the News Chronicle in 1955[2], becoming their chief picture editor until the paper's closure in 1960[3]. In 1961, he was picture editor on the film Lawrence of Arabia,[3] and his experiences gained whilst editing the thousands of still photographs led to him writing the book A Single Bed for Three, A Lawrence of Arabia Notebook[3]. He turned down an offer to work on the film Cleopatra in order to set up a show business agency with Theo Cowan[2] (1918–1991). The agency represented, among others, Shirley Bassey, Peter Sellers, Richard Attenborough, Dirk Bogarde, and André Previn[2]. Following this, he worked as a screenwriter on Shadow of Treason (1963), a melodramatic thriller filmed in Bled and Dubrovnik in the then Yugoslavia.

Yoga and Health[edit]

He first encountered yoga in the early 1940s after reading Mahatma Gandhi's Gujerati translation of the Bhagavad Gita[6]. He studied Gandhi's philosophy and was elected to the executive committee of the Indian Freedom Campaign[3] (IFC) from 1942 to 1945. The IFC was a group of London writers and politicians who supported the cause of Indian independence from Britain and Howard was asked to edit their magazine[6]. Howard studied at the Kairalyadham Institute in Lonavalva, India and at the Sivananda Ashram at Rishikesh, India.[7] He discovered the practice of hatha yoga after attempting the postures in a book by Theos Casimir Bernard[6]. From 1994, he was an advisor to the International Integrated Health Association (later to become Child Health International in 2002.[8]

Yoga For Health[edit]

In 1970, following a meeting with Larry Freiberg[3] in 1967, the controller of the U.S. television company Channel Five, he created the production company United Television and invited the yogi Richard Hittleman to come to Britain[2]. They made sixty four episodes of the television programme Yoga For Health with Hittleman as host assisted by Lynn Marshall and Cheryl Fischer. It was first shown in January 1971, ran for three years across most ITV channels, and was a topic not previously covered by British television[3]. The series attracted an audience of more than four million viewers[3]. The book produced to accompany the series sold in excess of a million copies[3]. In 1971, the series was offered to PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) in the U.S. and eventually screened in more than twenty countries around the world[6]. The programmes were constantly repeated and in New York, Yoga for Health was broadcast non–stop for more than four and a half years.[9] In 1972, he created the not for profit Yoga for Health Clubs, before personally financing the formation of the Yoga For Health Foundation (YFHF) as a registered charity in 1976.[3]. Two years later in April 1978, the organisation leased the large country house at Ickwell Bury in Bedfordshire as its residential headquarters[3]. The YFHF at Ickwell Bury gained recognition for developing techniques to help people suffering from a range of health problems including multiple sclerosis, cancer, arthritis, Parkinson's disease, and other chronic conditions[2]



  • Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Assistant Editor / Picture Editor (Horizon Pictures)
  • Shadow of Treason (1963), Screenwriter (Mark III Scope Productions)
  • Champagne Rose is Dead (1968), Associate Producer (Accolade Productions)
  • The Spy's Wife (1972), Executive Producer (Eyeline Films)

TV Series[edit]

  • Yoga For Health (1970–1975), Producer
  • Let's Face It (1972), Producer


  • A Single Bed For Three, A Lawrence of Arabia Notebook, Hutchinson (1963)
  • Day by Day Yoga, Hamlyn (1973)
  • My Fun With Yoga, Hamlyn (1975) with Anne Hutchison
  • A Color Guide to Yoga, Chartwell Books (1980)
  • Yoga for the Disabled, Thorsons (1985)
  • Yoga Made Easy, Quarto Publishing (1993)
  • The Complete Yoga Course, Allen and Unwin (1993)
  • Yoga Made Easy, Quarto Publishing (1993)
  • Breathe Better, Feel Better, Apple Press (1998)
  • Yoga: A Practical Approach to Achieving Optimum Health, Element Books (1999)
  • The Complete Illustrated Guide to Yoga, Element Books (1999)
  • Yoga: An Introductory Guide, Element Books (2000)
  • Yoga An Illustrated Guide, Element Books (2001)
  • Beginner's Guide to Yoga, Connections Books (2003) with Claire Hayler
  • The Big Little Book of Yoga, Thorsons (2004)


  1. England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1916-2007. Croydon: 2a 420
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Template:Daily Telegraph 21 March 2005
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 Template:The Guardian 24 February 2005
  5. Biggleswade Chronicle 18 February 2011
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Template:Https://
  7. Yoga Journal Issue 51 Jul&nspace;Aug 1983
  9. Howard Kent, 'Yoga for Health' in Yoga and Health, ed. Hutchinson, 1972, p.18

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