Interview with Ishine Gape
Your artist name is Ishine Gape, what does it mean?
Well, good question! There are several meanings. “Ishine” can be divided into “I shine” and as it’s pronounced it also sounds like “eye shine”. “Gape” is the combination of Gabriel, the name my parents gave me, and “ape” which represents my inner monkey and soulmate.
I had a look on your website and came across a workshop called Monkey Business. Sounds like a lot of fun but what can I actually expect from such a workshop?
Ever since I was a child, monkeys and their behaviour fascinated me. Since then, the idea of having the skills of a monkey excites me. It’s not only the mucking around, but also the diversity of their motions. The idea that my feet could have the same skills as my hands just brings a big smile to my face. The aim of this specific workshop is to address the playful side of acrobatics. We would like our participants to experience how easy it can be to feel like monkeys – free in motion, climbing on other bodies and having great fun!
When we talk about your friends, how would people who know you well describe you?
People know me as a sensitive, humorous and dedicated person. Someone, who loves to look at the bright side of life from many different perspectives. I am open to new ideas and always interested in making the world a better place for us and our children.
Where did you find your passion for acrobatics?
Probably during my first journey around the world, maybe 9 or 10 years ago. Back then I was working as a massage therapist, while studying anatomy and alternative medicine therapies. I’ve always been into movement and sport, and from a young age I was very much influenced by my mother’s yogic and Buddhist practices at home. Finally one day I decided to start travelling.During a stay in Barcelona, I found a bunch of monkeys (acrobats) playing in a park. At the time, I had no idea what AcroYoga was all about, but my fascination and interest was growing by the day. I met freaks like Jason & Jenny and some pretty tight AcroYogies from all over Europe. It was mind blowing to see the potential and how gracefully people were moving their bodies. Hmmm, this delightful experience gave a strong direction to my onward journeys. Since then, I scout for chances to play with people, learn in parks, and “jam” with different communities. Visiting cities through out Thailand, Spain, Portugal, Greece and The Netherlands, offers me so much diversity in learning from different heritages of movement practices, especially acrobatics.
What exactly does barefootyoga.me represent?
When I talk about barefootyoga.me, I’m talking about a way of living. This way invites me to question and discover the world over and over again. It can be easy to follow the common trail, but it takes courage, commitment and endurance to walk your individual and constantly changing path. One essential component of barefootyoga.me is to provide a practice that facilitates a place for trust, playfulness and community. Let’s say we like to pick up people on their weird sides and encourage them to express whatever needs to be expressed.
Why AcroYoga, not acrobatics?
Compared to normal acrobatics, which can be very demanding for our joints, AcroYoga is a much more sustainable variation. Furthermore, it is not a competitive sport, but rather a practice which connects people. The combination of acrobatics and yoga makes it suitable for every age and skill level. Not to misunderstand I love standing acrobatics, hand-to-hand tricks or adagio (dance acrobatics) but there should be a solid understanding of moving your body on the floor, before you take the elevator to standing stuff. I think the outcome of AcroYoga had a beautiful effect on all other acrobatic practices even when there was alot conflict involved. Many people out there have been practicing Acro for decades and suddenly AcroYoga poped open and reached the world. Its difficult to create a trademarket out of something which has been always out there. For my sence I believe that Acro is for everybody and doesnt need to be catigorized neather branded in order to share it with the world. ~ we are all children of god and ment to play in paradise.
What do you do in your leisure time?
In my free time, I try to spend as much time as possible outdoors. I enjoy training with friends in the park, on the grass, with the sun and the moon above me. Every now and then new people are joining the circle and it’s great to push each other and exchange techniques. It is just wonderful how acrobatics connects people. It’s the best way to learn about relationships; the balance between carrying or being carried. All this translates to your daily life, routines and relationships as well your inner and emotional development.
How do you approach people who have no experience in Acro?
Barefootyoga.me is deeply rooted in the idea of making principles experienceable. Over the past years, we have learned and experienced endless spectrum of movement practices. So in order to reform movement you need to find ways of moving effortless. We want to reform the concept of exercise and find ways of moving effectively and effortlessly. We want to “go with the flow” as it were. Until now, there has not been one workshop where participants have left without a smile on their face. I think it’s because they feel connected, light and grounded all at the same time. Seeing so many hearts opening up every day is the best feedback you can get.
Why is bodywork such a great addition to acrobatics?
Bodywork like Thai Massage, rocking the body and tissue releasing therapies, provides the ideal balance to any kind of demanding movement practice. Thai massage is an ancient art of healing, strongly influenced by Buddhism, so it is a practice that is characterised by loving kindness and compassion. Mindful and meditative attitudes are the essential principles of this practice. Rhythmical movements, application of pressure along energy lines, combined with passive stretching, joint mobilisation and gentle rocking, can be the ideal approach to bring our bodies back to balance.
Your motto is “just be yourself“. Why?
Nowadays it is not always easy to be yourself. Our everyday life is full of pseudo-freedoms and heavy expectations. The result is that people become more and more frightened to start living their own truth. Rather, they leave the responsibility to someone else and continue consuming… “Be yourself” is meant as a live your life attitude and should be an everyday reminder to open your eyes wider then the day before. It’s all about seeing the truth, and only you can define that for yourself.
It seems you have gathered quite some experience at a young age. How would you describe your learning experience?
I had some hard times myself and although I attended two rather alternative schools, I was not happy with my learning experiences in the 90’s. I was lacking acknowledgement and I wanted to show the world that I can take responsibility. So I decided to start working and skipped school at the age of 14. I had no idea where to go or what to do, but it turned out to be the best experience I could have made back then. My parents were cautious but supportive. After 3 years doing summer jobs and expanding my horizon I decided to become a massage therapist. I had the strong feeling this would be the first time in my life where I had the experience of really learning something. I soon realised that the human body has been, and will always be, my fascination.
What is your attitude to “learning“ today?
My students are my best teachers. Through the intimate contact with almost 60 students a week, I am finding answers to questions like why is the world round like a ball and where do unicorns come from 😉 No seriously its about looking through the eyes of a child.
About Ishine Gape:
Ishine Gape (founder of barefootyoga.me & ishine photography) is an acrobatic & yoga instructor, as well as a massage therapist with more than 10 years of experience. Originally from Austria, Gape loves to spend his time traveling, eating exotic foods and photography. With a heart full of humor and well sized arms to hug almost everything, he is facilitating a wide variety of workshops globally. Gape is well known for his unique and precise way of teaching. His passion for bodywork gives him the opportunity to embrace his students and encourage them to find freedom through movement.
„be yourself. everyone else i taken.“ ~ Oscar Wilde