Samahita Teachers Interview – Gill Breetzke
What are some of the most important things in life to you on a daily basis?
The most important things for me each day are really the simple real relationships and experiences that make each moment unique. Time spent with family and friends. Good food. Great coffee. Freedom and space in a beautiful natural environment. Time spent doing things that matter. Stillness, laughter, movement, connection, savoring each moment.
What makes you continue to do yoga practice?
I have found that Yoga brings me into a deeper sense of presence. Each part of practice allows me to drop into what is real in that moment. Constantly unravelling. Removing the illusion of control. Allowing me to tune into the rhythm of life. My practice has slowly evolved and changed and continues to do that. It is a consistent thread that allows me to navigate the joys and challenges of life. It allows me the space to just be. In essence it allows me to look in, to connect and in turn to move into the days with more awareness. It really just makes good sense on every level! Mental, Emotional, Spiritual and Physical. I would never forget to brush my teeth in the morning…and likewise would never forget to spend time on my mat…
Is there a particular element of yoga practice that you value more than others?
I feel that each part has its value. At different stages of our life we may find certain elements more beneficial than others. I remember when I started practicing it really was all about movement and asana but through years of consistent daily practice have felt this shift. The asana really helped me at first to connect, to find stability and stillness and I now find myself more drawn to the more contemplative elements of practice. When I started pranayama was always something that I tagged on to practice but this has evolved into cornerstone of my daily practice.
And what made you start to practice in those early days?
I had always been really active, going to the gym, playing tennis, hiking, walking – I was teaching a class of 30 five-year old’s at the time so I really never sat down. One of the parents at school asked me to come to yoga with them and from the first moment I was hooked. It just made sense and soon grew into a daily practice. The connection to myself, my body, my breath and the wonderful community of yogis that I found myself surrounded my really transformed my life in every way.
What inspires you to teach yoga to others?
Richard Freeman likes to say “Yoga ruins your life” and it’s true, well in the sense that Yoga can completely change your life. That really was the case for me. I never thought I was a morning person but suddenly I was waking up before the sunrise and moving into the day with more clarity and balance. My social life shifted a little. Practice changed the course of where I was headed and lead me to where I am now. It has enabled me to fearlessly face all that arises in daily life…to navigate my way through each day with a growing sense of awareness, sincerity and added compassion both for myself and those around me. This is what inspires me to share these practices with others. I know it works! I really believe that if we can all start to establish a sense of connection to ourselves, to cultivate balance and self-compassion, allowing our self to be with what is, that will, in turn ripple out into the world around us…one breath at a time – and so – I share!
Is there an experience that really moved you, touched your heart in life?
If I think about it honestly it is really the more challenging life experiences in life that that have opened my heart and brought me to the place which allows me to be touched by what life brings and for that I am truly grateful. There are so many moments that touch my heart: times spent sharing openly with loved ones, times spent with students, on the mat, sharing these practices together and I find it is those little acts of kindness to another that truly touch my heart.
Tell us, in your view, what’s important when considering what yoga is all about?
Yoga is all about completely embracing, connecting and living a full, purposeful life. Peeling back the layers, unravelling and getting down to what is truly real and matters.