Interview with Ishine Gape
Hi, Gape could say a couple of things about yourself?
Hi there, I am Ishine Gape. I was born in 1988 in a small village in west styria/Austria. I consider myself as a movement enthusiast, bodyworker and photographer who loves to spend time in nature. Since 2016 I have been traveling the world, learning from different cultures, traditional medicines and ancient philosophies. My goal in life is to share joy and spiritual freedom with this planet, inviting people to explore this journey together with me.
Lets talk about your artist name, what does it mean?
Well, good question! I chose to take this name around ten years ago and it has several meanings in one. “Gape” is the short cut of Gabriel, the name my parents gave me, and “Ishine”, when spoken, sounds like “eye shine”, a connection that came mainly from my passion for photography. Often people misunderstand it as “I shine” as if I would shine, but to be honest it has nothing to do with me shining. As a photographer I was always fascinated by peoples eyes and the way they sparkle through them, especially when they are excited or in a state of bliss. In short feel free call me Gape!
When we talk about your friends, how would someone who knows you well describe you?
People know me as a sensitive, humorous and dedicated person. Someone who thrives to discover the bright side of life. I don’t really go for a long talk about the hot porridge (hehe excuse me this is a German saying meaning “lets get down to business”). We all know that life has all its ups and downs and isn’t always a smooth ride. Especially when we want to make changes in our patterns, we have to take risks and I am someone who is willing to do so. So therefor I believe my friends know me as someone who is willing to step up for what I believe is right, confront and even speak up the uncomfortable if needed. I do wanna say that I am also someone with alot of humor and I laugh alot throughout my day but I am also ready to skip BS anytime and get down to business if something goes wrong or falls out of balance.
Where did you find your passion for acrobatics?
Hmm.. I would say somewhen around my first backpacking tour through Europe. Back then (2007) I was working as a massage therapist, while studying anatomy and alternative medicine therapies. I was around twenty years old and curious about what the world had to offer. I remember I had always been into movement as a child but never much into competitive sports. From a young age on I was very influenced by my mother’s Yogic and Buddhist practices at home, which definitely set an organic foundation for my understanding of movement. Then, finally one day I decided to start travelling. During my stay in Barcelona, I found a bunch of acrobats balancing on top of each other in a park. At that time, I had no idea what Acrobatics was but my fascination and interest grew quickly. Thinking back, today I would have never thought Acrobatics could change my life in so many ways. Acro (short for Acrobatics) is so intimate and playful at the same time. Everyday I practice I learn something new about my body and the mentality of how I approach myself and others in life. To keep it simple I would describe Acrobatics as a dance that empowers, generates and releases energy. A practice which forces us to stay open, present and playful.
What exactly does barefootyoga represent for you?
When I share my view on what barefootyoga is I am trying to invite people to question their believes and world views over again. It is like a collective movement, a way of living and maybe even a lifestyle. In our trainings we are aiming for high quality engagement and to provide a practice which is adaptable in all life situations; meaning the practice goes beyond merely being on the mat. I believe that an experienced movement teacher understands what is needed to facilitate a bunch of grown ups becoming wild monkeys. Our goal is to challenge people in any way possible and teach them simultaneously how to stay together, share space and communicate their boundaries within the strong, dynamic play of Acro. It’s only then that we expand our comfort zone, when we start learning about our true self! And that’s what barefootyoga embodies.
What can take people away from you retreats?
Over the past years, we have learned that in order to reform poor posture or movement habits we need to find new pathways of moving effortlessly. Every new learning experience requires you to let go of something old, meaning in order to learn we need to unlearn simultaneously. In our trainings we offer a wide spectrum of exercises, all of which encourage our participants to improve their own individual way of moving efficiently and without struggle. So far we have shared our philosophy with more than a thousand students and there has not been a single participant leaving without a smile on their face. I personally think it is because people who join us feel connected, light and grounded after a workshop. Seeing people moving out of their comfort zone and enjoying the ride has been the best feedback for us to keep on going and developing our concept.
What is your attitude towards “learning“ today?
My learning attitude has definitely changed over the past 10 years. I reckon my students are my best teachers and throughout the intimate contact with more then 500 participants a year, I seem to find answers to many of my own questions. As a facilitator I carry a lot of responsibility and I am forced to constantly evolve and refine my concepts on all levels. I feel grateful to have such a supportive community surrounding me, where we help each other to make our dreams come true. When it comes to learning I believe that at the end of the day it is all about being able to perceive this world through the eyes of a child.