Interview with Ishine Gape
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 their eyes when they are excited or in a state of bliss. In short please 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 loves to seek 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…). We all know that life is not “only” made out of sugar and that there are risks involved once we become honest with ourselves. I would say my friends know me as someone who will always confront them about the depth and sincerity in their life but also as someone who is able to be there for them when shit hits the fan.
Where did you find your passion for acrobatics?
Somewhere around my first backpacking journey through Europe and south east Asia. 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.
How do you approach people who have no experience in Acro?
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 to “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.
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 taking amazing pictures. 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 and touch.