I open hearts

We are excited to announce another international yoga instructor who’s joining Slow Food & Yoga Festival. James “Fish” Gill - Facilitator & Yoga  Instructor from Australia, is joining our festival on Gili Air. James works within the fields of Making yoga Relatable / Enabling Social Emotional Learning / Transforming conflicts & Empowering Business Change.


Please tell us when your passion for yoga started. How did you become interested in
the practice?

I first discovered yoga 17 years ago when my kids were little, living in a little country town on the South Coast of Western Australia. Yoga was how my wife and I could sneak away from the chaos of family life, and share peace together.

Then there was 12 years where yoga and I lost each other. 5 years ago I fell deeply in love with a wonderful woman who is a yoga teacher. She would kiss my forehead in every savasana. It was our love that again showed me yoga as a doorway to connecting to and healing myself.

Yoga has become very popular worldwide during the last 10 years. What do you think is so special about yoga? Why is yoga special to you?

I think perhaps the specialness of yoga is very specific and personal to each of us. For me it’s SPACE; each day I grow a tiny bit more space for my humanness to settle, to fit, to belong, even the shitty bits.


A transformative facilitator

When searching about you online, yoga instructor is not the first thing that comes up. Please tell us about Creative Teams and what your work involves?

I open hearts, basically. As a transformative facilitator, I hold space for people to feel more deeply into the complexities of their challenges and conflicts, so they can be more connected,
both to themselves and to others around them. In the corporate world that means transforming workplace conflict, in communities it looks like men’s retreats and co-gender retreats to connect more deeply. I also train educators and facilitators in how to create transformative spaces for young people, spaces that are compelling, safe and full of growth .

*You can read more about Creative Teams here.

Do you see a connection between yourself as Yoga Instructor and your work with
Creative Teams?

To me, these strands of work are all about one thing; deeper connection to our human nature - the complex, beautiful shit-storm of ourselves – which naturally grows greater compassion and understanding in our relationships with others.


Taking things SLOW in paradise

You are joining Slow Food & Yoga Festival in Gili Air, and we are very excited about that! What are your expectations for the Festival? What are you going to bring to the island?

I’m excited too! I expect a whole lot of magnificent souls celebrating and enjoying taking things SLOW in paradise. What will I bring? Probably just my mat, guitar and a pair of bathers, haha.

Well, you won’t see extreme yoga poses on my insta, that’s just not what resonates for me. I am an ageing, kind soul with a deep love of humanness, so in my teaching I want people to taste the yogic philosophy so that we can all be more graceful as great joys and great sorrows
move through our lives .

Have you ever visited Gili Air before? What do you know about the island, and how do you feel about coming on a visi t?

I was fortunate to be invited to teach at Flowers and Fire Yoga Garden last year for a couple of months, and I’m excited to be teaching there again June to August. I have a few favourite spots on the island, but I want to know more about the place and the people. Some of the music recordings I made then have the mosque in the background and it moves me to listen back to them. I’ve been counting the days until I return. Stoked!!


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