As many of you will know, last week, Yogamatters founder and shareholder Paul Walker sadly passed away.
A true entrepreneur and a yogi both on the mat and in business, Paul started Yogamatters by selling a couple of mats out of the boot of his car and turned it into a successful business selling thousands of products to yogis all over the world.
Keen to foster partnerships, he quickly became the go-to person for support, knowledge and advice in the Yoga world. His enthusiasm, passion and dedication to this practice touched the hearts of many.
Today, our practice is dedicated to you and our love is with your wonderful family.
We have gathered some words from some of the people who worked closely with him; who knew Paul in business as a boss, a mentor and a friend.
Paul was an extraordinary man. He was one of Pinter & Martin‘s biggest fans and his friendship, encouragement and enthusiasm were so very precious to me. Thank you, Paul. You meant so much to many, and the world will be a much colder place without you.
I love you, wonderful man.
Martin – Pinter and Martin
We are saddened to hear that Paul Walker, the founder of Yogamatters, has died. More than just a businessperson, Paul was a true man of yoga both on and off the mat. He was a gentleman who had time for everyone and was always at the ready with a witty joke. Paul was a keystone to the exponential growth of yoga in the UK, and the yoga community will forever remain grateful for him. We will miss him dearly.
Paul was the founder of Yogamatters as well as an enthusiastic yoga practitioner and popular teacher. Paul qualified as an Iyengar yoga teacher in 1998 and taught here at the Institute for a few years until 2001. At the same time, he was a member of the Executive Committee (now the Board of Trustees) and served as the Treasurer. He had an abundance of energy and enthusiasm and put a lot of effort into promoting Iyengar yoga in North London, particularly through classes in Haringey. He gave up teaching at Maida Vale when Yogamatters demanded all his time.
Iyengar Yoga Institute, Maida Vale
What can I say about Paul? A true entrepreneur, more than just a business man – a great man with a big heart and a sense of humour. Not afraid to challenge the status quo and to push. Always there to encourage, give chances and find solutions. Full of energy, enthusiasm and positivity. We’ll miss you in our lives Paul, but you’ll leave the ‘community’ that you created. You brought together many special people. Those connections and energy will endure. Rest well. Love LJx
Lisa-Jayne Kingsley – Former Head of Marketing at Yogamatters
Paul was my birthday twin, also a teacher and practitioner of Iyengar yoga and a wonderfully caring boss. He challenged me, was challenging and had an amazing heart and soul. Paul led with generosity, humour and love and is missed dearly.
Sarah Berelowitz – Purchasing Manager, Yogamatters
My favourite memory of Paul is from my first day of working at Yogamatters. I knocked on the door of his office (the first and last time I ever did this because I was told straight away that it was an ‘open-door policy’ and that I could come in to speak to him at any time). I opened the door and there he was, sat at his computer, his back to me. I noticed he was barefoot and he sat content with Mala beads around his neck and a statue of Ganesha sat on the shelf above his computer. ‘That’s your boss’ I thought to myself and I couldn’t help but smile to myself. My previous corporate environments seemed so alien compared to this and I felt so lucky because I knew it was a place that I was going to feel immediately at home, somewhere I could really be myself. Because Paul was really himself. He modelled being human which so often bought out the best in us – he was someone that you wanted to do well for. Paul was the first person in a professional setting that showed me things could be done differently and I will always remember him for that. He was a true family man and he genuinely cared about the people he hired. Every morning he came into the office, he would say good morning to us individually, something that never went unnoticed by me. He encouraged us all to thrive in the yoga community, to practise and to teach.
The more I got into the community, the more I realised what an influence Paul had on those that shared his life and passion. Everyone seemed to know him or have heard of him. Just like when you throw a stone into water and the ripples begin to expand far and wide…Paul’s ripples reached far. He touched the lives of many people.
I am so grateful for the connections and friendships I have made because of him. He will never know what an influence he had in making it possible for me to pursue my own passion of teaching alongside my work and he will forever be an inspiration in my own yoga journey. In peace and in love.
Pippa Richardson – Marketing at Yogamatters
‘Memories of you will never die nor will they fade as time goes by.’
Love the fact that I got an interview with you Paul because you wanted to know what a ‘dressage diva’ was?! (I told him in my job application if I could organise a group of those, there basically wasn’t a lot I couldn’t do)! I wouldn’t be doing what I am now if it wasn’t for you taking a chance on me.
Mary McHugh – Former Finance Manager at Yogamatters
Paul, you are and will continue to be missed, but your courage and strength live on in spirit. I so enjoyed working with you, and our friendship that grew. Rest In Peace.
Emma Burton – Former Buyer at Yogamatters
I first started working with Paul back in 2009 when he gave me a job as Yogamatters first ever marketing manager there on the spot. That was typical of Paul: To see the best in people, believe in them and inspire an unwavering loyalty with his kindness, encouragement and infectious enthusiasm.
Paul clearly loved his work and put 110% into Yogamatters. But at the heart of everything, he was a compassionate and supportive family man. I’m honoured to have been part of the Yogamatters family that Paul created and will miss him dearly.
Sally Lovett – Yogamatters Marketing Team, 2009 – 2015
An extraordinary human being- a strong and free spirit, he liked to ‘move the energy’ and so he did. Paul was living and breathing Yogamatters, often calling it his ‘baby’. He was committed to working with and helping people regardless. Great boss but also a true friend- I’ll be always grateful for the opportunity to have known him. Paul will be greatly missed but his memory and legacy will never be forgotten.
Ivan Bogdanov – Purchasing at Yogamatters
We are very sad to know that Paul Walker has passed away. He always encouraged us when we were starting out at Yoga United, and helped us when we got stuck…and we loved him for his big heart and beautiful spirit. RIP.
Saz and Judy – YogaUnited
We are so sad to hear of the death of the lovely Paul Walker, founder of Yogamatters. Since Yoga has become popular, it has attracted all sorts of people – Paul was one of the originals – founding Yogamatters in 1996, he was a truly nice guy. Throughout the foundation of Yogandha – he was there for me. No matter how busy things were for him, he always had time to speak to me on the phone and answer the most basic of questions. He was a huge support and he helped keep me motivated to bring my creations out to the world. I will always be grateful to him and my love and blessings go to his wife and children and all he touched on his path. He will be hugely missed.
You did not let go of life and joy. My mentor, a trusted friend and role model, who taught me all from B like business to H like humanity to S like startup to Y like yoga. And how to samurai through to Get Things Done.
I am heartbroken. Beyond words.