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An interview with Yvonne O’Garro


Curiosity, rest, braveness, group, inclusivity and steadiness: six key phrases that present a basis for the life and yoga follow 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 courses 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 strive yoga for fun.”

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 strive yoga for fun. She’d by no means supposed to do a yoga class, however she’d witnessed the identical folks following the identical teacher into the identical room week after week and she or he was intrigued. Curiosity received the higher of her. As she displays now, she will 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 little thing modified for Yvonne as she explains, “Once I went into Little one’s pose, coming in for fun was gone. One thing in that posture made me swap 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 courses, connecting with the follow, 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 trainer. For Yvonne, there was one thing particular about Anna – “She explains issues with a depth of data with no conceitedness” – and she or he quickly linked with Anna’s fashion and her honour for the roots of yoga. 

One week after class, Yvonne seen 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 enjoyable follow feeling like she was floating… 


It sounds interesting, doesn’t it? And but how many people usually see relaxation and rest 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 function as a restorative yoga trainer as a privilege, as she helps folks to grasp you could perform higher and be extra productive if in case you have common pauses. It’s within the identify ‘restorative’, she factors out. Restorative yoga restores the physique.

“Even earlier than the pandemic, society was at all times ‘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’d slightly strive, 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 determination to shift careers and she or he thought lengthy and laborious about it. It was her yoga follow 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 particular person yoga courses, 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 courses have been an absolute delight for Yvonne, proving time and time once more that yoga is really for everyone. She considers it an honour to characterize this established model offering choices and areas for everybody free of charge, wherever you’re on the planet and to have the ability to function visitor lecturers on and visitor studios.

“That 15 minute Q&A after the follow makes this class additional 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 great thing about connection.


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

When requested about inclusivity, that is her response: 

“All I’d ask is for folks to recollect what they mentioned they might do after George Floyd was killed. Have you ever carried out it? As a result of it’s ongoing. Purchase and browse – and even higher hearken 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.”


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

“Your posture must be regular and comfy.” Patanjali

‘Discover your consolation’. ‘Your follow is your follow’. ‘The opposite mats should 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 wanting totally different since you are a person. This is the reason Mr Iyengar created the props – so you’re taking a brick and you discover your consolation.”

Via a sluggish, grounded follow, Yvonne takes her nurturing function of granting folks permission/licence to be themselves very critically. It’s what all of us lengthy to listen to. For her, the follow 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 tough expertise. She needs that for each pupil and member of the web group and can do all that she will to create that area for every considered one of us.

Remaining ideas as we stay up for 2022…?

“I’m undecided what the brand new 12 months will maintain, however I really like the journey and I’ll keep on sharing the follow.”

One factor is for certain, Yvonne is deeply excited that her trainer Anna Ashby is doing the ultimate Yogamatters Neighborhood Class of the 12 months. She sees it as a good looking circle to have Anna closing this collection and is for certain that her sharing her providing with the Yogamatters group will probably 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 decreasing waste to landfill. She’s captivated with defending the planet via private life-style decisions and local weather activism. She continues to jot down blogs for Inexperienced Coronary heart Collective, critiques for NARC journal and visitor blogs for different organisations.




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