An interview with Yvonne O’Garro

Curiosity, leisure, braveness, group, inclusivity and stability: six key phrases that present a basis for the life and yoga observe of Yogamatters Group 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 recognize 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 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 strive yoga for amusing. 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 acquired 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 getting in every week. 

In that yoga class that first week, all the pieces modified for Yvonne as she explains, “Once I went into Baby’s pose, coming in for amusing 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 lessons, connecting with the observe, 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 grew to become 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 related 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 consider 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 observe feeling like she was floating… 


It sounds interesting, doesn’t it? And but how many people typically 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 function as a restorative yoga trainer as a privilege, as she helps folks to grasp that you may perform higher and be extra productive when 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 completely different feelings that come up from the pandemic.”


“I might moderately strive, than surprise 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 straightforward determination to shift careers and she or he thought lengthy and laborious about it. It was her yoga observe that gave her the house 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 characterize this established model offering choices and areas for everybody free of charge, wherever you might be on this planet and to have the ability to function visitor lecturers on and visitor studios.

“That 15 minute Q&A after the observe makes this class additional particular,” she enthuses, “and it’s so fantastic that folks can come along with that widespread 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 lessons had 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 really like, though there are steps being made. She doesn’t need to focus on 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’d do after George Floyd was killed. Have you ever completed it? As a result of it’s ongoing. Purchase and skim – 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.”


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

“Your posture ought to be regular and cozy.” Patanjali

‘Discover your consolation’. ‘Your observe is your observe’. ‘The opposite mats aren’t your concern.’

Yvonne’s common college students will recognise these prompts as invites to be themselves, be comfortable in their very own house, 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 completely different since you are a person. This is the reason Mr Iyengar created the props – so you are taking a brick and you discover your consolation.”

Via a sluggish, grounded observe, Yvonne takes her nurturing function of granting folks permission/licence to be themselves very significantly. It’s what all of us lengthy to listen to. For her, the observe 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 be able to to create that house for every one among us.

Remaining ideas as we stay up for 2022…?

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

One factor is for certain, Yvonne is deeply excited that her trainer Anna Ashby is doing the ultimate Yogamatters Group Class of the 12 months. She sees it as a gorgeous circle to have Anna closing this collection and is definite that her sharing her providing with the Yogamatters group shall be actually particular. 

Why not be part of Yvonne O’Garro and Anna Ashby for this free on-line group class on twenty first December – to guide 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 by means of private life-style selections and local weather activism. She continues to jot down blogs for Inexperienced Coronary heart Collective, evaluations for NARC journal and visitor blogs for different organisations.

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