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An interview with Yvonne O’Garro

Curiosity, leisure, braveness, group, inclusivity and steadiness: six key phrases that present a basis for the life and yoga apply of Yogamatters Neighborhood Chief Yvonne O’Garro, and a framework for this inspiring interview. A few of you’ll already know and love her from the Yogamatters on-line group lessons and can respect this chance to know her higher. As for the remainder of you, you’re in for an actual deal with.


“Subsequent week, I’ll attempt yoga for amusing.”

That is the place all of it started. One Sunday afternoon again in 2006, whereas doing her common routine of machines and free weights, Yvonne O’Garro determined to attempt yoga for amusing. She’d by no means meant to do a yoga class, however she’d witnessed the identical folks following the identical teacher into the identical room week after week and he or she was intrigued. Curiosity received the higher of her. As she displays now, she will be able to see it was the group that draw her to it, the identical folks stepping into every week. 

In that yoga class that first week, every thing modified for Yvonne as she explains, “After I went into Baby’s pose, coming in for amusing was gone. One thing in that posture made me change to ‘Oh, this isn’t what I anticipated. Oh, what’s occurring right here?’” At that second. Yvonne began paying consideration. Each week she went again after which began different native lessons, connecting with the apply, feeling calmer and extra comfortable with herself. Her curiosity led her to triyoga, Primrose Hill in 2007, the place she occurred upon Anna Ashby, who turned her instructor. For Yvonne, there was one thing particular about Anna – “She explains issues with a depth of data with no conceitedness” – and he or she quickly linked with Anna’s fashion and her honour for the roots of yoga. 

One week after class, Yvonne observed some folks weren’t leaving and once more her curiosity was ignited with the query “What’s this that she’s saying get all these props for?”  So she stayed and on this restorative yoga class, she couldn’t fairly imagine all these purple (her favorite color) props with little colored Yogamatters labels – her first connection to Yogamatters because the model that “has given me all this relaxation”. She got here out of this grounding, calming, deeply stress-free apply feeling like she was floating… 


It sounds interesting, doesn’t it? And but how many people usually see relaxation and leisure as a luxurious and an indulgence, that we by no means have time for and by no means make a precedence of? Yvonne sees her position as a restorative yoga instructor as a privilege, as she helps folks to know which you could operate higher and be extra productive in case you have common pauses. It’s within the title ‘restorative’, she factors out. Restorative yoga restores the physique.

“Even earlier than the pandemic, society was all the time ‘on’. We’re conditioned to be ‘on, on, on’, ‘do, do, do’, ‘go, go, go’. I really feel privileged to assist folks cope with all of the totally different feelings that come up from the pandemic.”


“I might fairly attempt, than marvel what if.”

As Yvonne turned 50, she took the choice to depart an extended profession in retail and HR to dedicate her life full time to yoga. It was not a simple choice to shift careers and he or she thought lengthy and exhausting about it. It was her yoga apply that gave her the area and the readability to make the choice to maneuver. Her P45 is dated 10th March 2020  – and everyone knows what occurred the week after. Having organised a timetable of in individual yoga lessons, all of the gyms and studios closed. Because the information of cancellations got here in, Yvonne sat there and cried. Fortunately, due to Zoom, the yoga world was in a position to shift onto Zoom and deep friendships led Yvonne to Yogamatters MD Twanna Doherty and to this platform to share her love of yoga. 

No what ifs, no questioning.


The Yogamatters on-line group lessons have been an absolute delight for Yvonne, proving time and time once more that yoga is actually for everyone. She considers it an honour to symbolize this established model offering choices and areas for everybody without spending a dime, wherever you’re on the planet and to have the ability to characteristic visitor lecturers on and visitor studios.

“That 15 minute Q&A after the apply makes this class further particular,” she enthuses, “and it’s so fantastic that folks can come along with that frequent connection of the yoga. It does actually heat my coronary heart that each week, individuals are there.”

That’s the fantastic thing about connection.


Lots of the lecturers that Yvonne invited for the Yogamatters group lessons have been lecturers of color, did you discover that? She remarks that the yoga world continues to be not all the time as inclusive as she would love, though there are steps being made. She doesn’t need to talk about it, extra to permit the lessons to talk for themselves.

When requested about inclusivity, that is her response: 

“All I might ask is for folks to recollect what they stated they might do after George Floyd was killed. Have you ever performed it? As a result of it’s ongoing. Purchase and browse – and even higher take heed to – ‘The Good Ally’ by Nova Reid. The extra folks get comfy with the uncomfortable and are conscious and are selecting to make that step – slowly, slowly, that’s how the distinction is made.”


Steadiness, alignment, grounding, consolation, nurture…many different phrases are rising to the floor as we communicate, however Yvonne brings us again to considered one of Patanjali’s sutras that she’s actually influenced by in her educating and apply.

“Your posture must be regular and comfy.” Patanjali

‘Discover your consolation’. ‘Your apply is your apply’. ‘The opposite mats are usually not your concern.’

Yvonne’s common college students will recognise these prompts as invites to be themselves, be comfortable in their very own area, discover their expression of the pose. Yvonne elaborates, “If I’m not comfy, I’m not going to be balanced, as a result of my thoughts goes to be coming away from the place I’m meant to be. You don’t have to fret about trying totally different since you are a person. For this reason Mr Iyengar created the props – so you’re taking a brick and you discover your consolation.”

Via a sluggish, grounded apply, Yvonne takes her nurturing position of granting folks permission/licence to be themselves very severely. It’s what all of us lengthy to listen to. For her, the apply is the bedrock of her life, a basis, one thing to come back again to and regroup and reground after an extended day or a troublesome expertise. She needs that for each pupil and member of the web group and can do all that she will be able to to create that area for every considered one of us.

Closing ideas as we look ahead to 2022…?

“I’m unsure what the brand new yr will maintain, however I really like the journey and I’ll keep on sharing the apply.”

One factor is for positive, Yvonne is deeply excited that her instructor Anna Ashby is doing the ultimate Yogamatters Neighborhood Class of the yr. She sees it as a fantastic circle to have Anna closing this collection and is for certain that her sharing her providing with the Yogamatters group will likely be actually particular. 

Why not be a part of Yvonne O’Garro and Anna Ashby for this free on-line group class on twenty first December – to e book click on right here.

Helen Redfern is co-founder of Inexperienced Coronary heart Collective, a social initiative dedicated to lowering waste to landfill. She’s enthusiastic about defending the planet by private way of life decisions and local weather activism. She continues to write down blogs for Inexperienced Coronary heart Collective, opinions for NARC journal and visitor blogs for different organisations.


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