Interview with @movewithgabe
Hi, could you say a couple of things about yourself?
Hi there, my name is Gabriel but many of you call me Gabe. I was born in 1988 in a small village in Austria. When I was 17, I started training to become professional massage therapist and yoga teacher. At the age 20, I began to host my first movement classes and started to teach yoga and acrobatics while offering regular massage treatments in the studio of my mum. Exploring movement and touch for a few years, I then decided to give up 95% of my belongings and started to travel the world. Hungry and curios for more I left Austria with just one bag, trying to travel as light as possible. Back then I couldn’t know that this trip will take me full 4,5 years. Living a nomadic a nomadic life style I kind of followed the wind and with the luck of one of my videos going viral, I had the big opportunity to teach on more than 4 continents and in over 35 countries, learning from different cultures and sharing my love for movement and touch.
Where did you find your passion for movement like yoga or acrobatics?
I discovered my love for acrobatics on my first trip through Europe. Back in 2007. Back then I was trying to make a living where half of the year I was working full time to save up some money so I could then travel the rest of the year and educate myself in movement and bodywork. 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 me that is still alive today. Looking back, I remember I always loved movement. Literally my whole childhood I was on trees, jumping, running around the garden, cycling, swimming, diving, building shelter – I was a very physically active child but 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 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, that I could have only dreamed about when I was young. Acroyoga did not only empower me to live a more fulfilled live but it also helped to cure a 7 year long chronic backpain, which was my initial motivation to become a massage therapist.
Talking about barefootyoga, what is it that you and your team share with the people visiting your events?
To me barefootyoga is all about human connection, i.e. an interaction, a conversation, a dialogue, a dance between you and me, which has hardly any limits. My team and myself believe, that moving in and as a community, that holds an almost sacred space filled with respect for each other, where we can witness and being witnessed without judgements, with the mentality of lifting each other up and this is the first step to self realization. Honestly, I think that whatever you learn, at the end of the day it is only a small portion which is about the trick. The effects on your system are enormous and something hard to grasp with your rational mind. I feel that many people come to the practice because it looks cool on instagram but they leave with sooo much more than that. That is why we aim for high quality engagement and provide a practice which is safe, accessible and, most importantly adaptable to all life situations… and yes we do teach the trick but with a slight twist of humman connection in it. When looking back at over 40 retreats which we have held in the past years, we have witnessed so much growth, empowerment and healing in our students and in ourselves. Every year, every retreat is different and yet based on the same pillars; a safe container, expressive movement from inside out, open play, teamwork and touch.
What do you believe is 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. May it be acro or any other community based practices, it’s all out there and its for free. All you need is the courage to step up and show up.
Talking about learning in this safe container, 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 concepts I offer. I am grateful to have such a supportive network around me where we help each other shape our teachings. Learning to me means to be open to perceive this world through the eyes of a child, over and over again. Inviting failure as an instructive part of the learning process is crucial. After all, we all fail but it is important to take it with abit of a smile and get up again, even when it hurts. Being a teacher is not a one way road. The experience always goes both ways and you have to appreciate your students for all the teachings they give back to you.
Do you have any questions? Feel free to ask Gabe anything via this link.