Interview with Gabriel Schüers
Hi, could you say a couple of things about yourself?
Hi there, my name is Gabriel Schüers but you can also call me Gabe. I was born in 1988 in a small village in Austria and spent most of my youth growing up in Graz. When I was 17, I started training to become professional massage therapist and yoga teacher. At age 20, I began to host my first movement classes and started to teach yoga and acrobatics while offering regular massage treatments in a small studio. When I was 26, I started a journey that took me almost 5 years to until I felt like settling down again. Being on the road I had the opportunity to teach in more than 35 countries, learning from different cultures and sharing what I am truly passionate about.
How would your friends describe you?
I believe that people know me as a dedicated, sensitive, humorous human being. Someone who thrives when discovering the joyful sides of life. I guess I am somewhat of a dreamer but quite down to earth as well. Someone who isn’t afraid of confrontation and tackling difficult topics. Someone who is good at inspiring others to become a better version of themselves.
Where did you find your passion for acrobatics & movement?
I discovered my love for acrobatics on my first trip through Europe. Back in 2007, I was working as a massage therapist while studying anatomy and alternative medicine. I was trying to make a living where half of the year I was working full time to save some money so I could then travel the rest of the year and educate myself in movement and bodywork. Back then, I was 19 years old and curious about what the world had to offer. During my stay in Barcelona, I found a bunch of acroyogis jamming and balancing on top of each other in a park. At that time, I had no idea what that was all about but it sparked a fire in my that is still alive today.
Looking back, I remember I always loving movement. Literally my whole childhood I was on trees, jumping, running around the garden, cycling, swimming, diving – I was basically unstoppable. Well I guess that’s what kids do anways, don’t they? Although I think what helped me find a direction in all this was the influence of my mother’s Yogic and Buddhist practices at home. Being around her I was passively absorbing everything about Buddhism, Taoism and Yoga. I believe this gave me a foundation for an organic understanding of my movement practice today.
Thinking back, I would have never thought that movement would once change my life in so many ways and also become a part of my professional work today. Especially yoga and acro (short for acrobatics, acroyoga, partner acrobatics, you name it) has brought friends and community into my life. It has helped to cure my backpain, which was my initial motivation to become a massage therapist, but also showed me the healing qualities of such strong and yet soft practices.
barefootyoga.me is your brand, what does it represent?
What I am trying to share with barefootyoga is that through human interaction, i.e. a conversation, a dialogue, a dance between you and me, anything is possible. My crew and I believe, that moving in a safe space with others is the first step to self realization. In such a space we can play and rediscover ourselves in a safe way. Honestly, I think that whatever you learn physically, at the end of the day it is only 5% about the trick but 95% about what was and is still going on in your mental and emotional body. The effects on your system are enormous and something hard to grasp with your rational mind. That is why one of our main pillars in barefootyoga is that we aim for high quality engagement and provide a practice which is safe, accessible and, most importantly adaptable to all life situations. When looking back at the almost 30 retreats we have held in the past years, we have witnessed so much growth, empowerment and healing in our participants and ourselves. This was the greatest gift we could have wished for.
What’s the take away from your retreats?
In our retreats we offer a life changing experience for many people as we have witnessed over the past years. From our experience our participants learn how to integrate a better understanding of moving freely, joyfully and in a sustainable manner. When people leave our retreats, they leave with a backpack filled with confidence, a sense of community and the ability to be more pro-active in life.
What’s your attitude towards “learning“ today?
As a facilitator I carry a lot of responsibility and feel encouraged to constantly evolve and refine the movement concepts I offer. I am grateful to have such a supportive network around me where we help each other shape our dreams. Learning to me means to be open to perceive this world through the eyes of a child again and invite failure as an instructive part of the learning process. Even as a teacher I learn something new everyday, be it through my own mistakes or through the presence of my students.
Do you have any questions? Feel free to ask Gabe anything via this link.