Tim Seutter: Firefighter, yoga teacher & studio owner

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Tim Seutter is a firefighter, yoga teacher and studio owner based in New Zealand. Originally from Canada, he decided to go on a life adventure and ended up on the other side of the planet, in New Zealand, with his wife and three kids.  You won’t find Tim far from the ocean these days as it’s his passion to spend every moment as possible near, on, or under the water.  He has a passion to teach yoga that is applicable to people and gives them the power and confidence to go out achieve the things in life they have always wanted to do.  Yoga Fire came out of this concept and is a yoga style that uses strong physical postures to achieve strength, balance, and understanding throughout the mind, body, and spirit. Tim also is also an avid SUP Yogi as it brings together his twin passions: Yoga and the ocean.

What do I do best?

I think the best thing I do is weave between being a husband, father, firefighter, yoga studio owner, yoga teacher and trying to live life for every present moment.  Wearing all these different hats can be a challenge yet through mediation and my own yoga practice, I have been able to juggle all these different roles.  

What makes me the best version of myself?

I think once I found yoga in my late 20s I was able to learn how to bridge the many different aspects of my personality.  Yoga was the binding force that allowed me to find my place in the world, calm my nerves, deal with the pressures of life, and strengthen my body and my mind.  I have done a lot of different things in life but yoga has always helped me return to the present and be my best.  

What are my aspirations?

I am currently working as a firefighter in New Zealand and creating a yoga business.  I want to have a conscious yoga business that allows me to move away from being a firefighter and to focus solely on teaching my passion.  This year I am launching an online yoga teaching platform and I am really excited to bring this long project to fruition.  I have had to teach myself how to do the audio, visual, editing, and marketing to create this program.  Its been a challenge but also a success because I have taught myself to do it: a lot of trial and error!  

I’m also excited to spend 2018 working with elite athletes and showing them how yoga can take their performance to the next level both on and off the field.  I want to show athletes that a mindful, sport-focused yoga program can unlock those performance gains to get them to the podium or to just be the best version of themselves.  

My Biggest Success?

I think raising my children is by biggest success.  They have grown into these amazing humans and my wife and I have had to do while we left everything and everyone we knew and moved from Canada to New Zealand.  We have created a good life here; our kids share in experiences and a life they would never have had with our old lives in Canada.  It isn’t perfect, and it has been a big challenge, but I am grateful for taking the plunge and following this path.  

My Most Challenging Moment?

2017 was a catalyst moment for me.  I have been a firefighter for over 16 years, in Canada and New Zealand, and I have loved the job.  It has been interesting being a firefighter yogi and I have loved the journey.  It hasn’t been a dream journey though and in 2017, things came to a screeching halt.  I went on a medical call and it was a real challenge for me and I ended up going off work and being diagnosed with PTSD.  I thought I was resilient and strong and could face everything yet this time, I couldn’t.  It was a very challenging time because when you have a mental injury, the exterior looks normal, you don’t have a cast, or an injury people can see, so it was difficult to see the struggles I was facing.  I made some bad decisions and nearly lost all that I valued and held dear.  Thankfully, my wife never left my side and despite the challenges we faced through 2017, she continued to be there for me.  When 2018 hit, I was ready to leave the challenges of the past behind me and I have returned to full-time work as a firefighter and still teach yoga classes and run my yoga studio.  Despite never wanting to experience this low moment in life, it strengthened my character, developed a greater sense of empathy for myself and for others, and I feel that I have been strengthened to be able to face the present and future with a new sense of determination, focus, and purpose.  

My Motto?

To change the world, you have to live exponentially.  You can’t change yourself or the world by not being bold and so my new mantra is to live boldly and shoot for the moon.  

My Favorite People/Role Models?

I think on a business level I would say Elon Musk is a role model.  He has created companies that change the world and create a new future for humanity.  He hasn’t tackled easy issues, yet he has created a space company that has successfully done things he was told couldn’t be done.  He has also created an electric car company and almost single-handedly changed the automotive industry forever.  He also wants to create a sustainable energy matrix for the world, and a new way to transport people called Hyperloop.  He wants to change the world and does so with tackling problems and inspiring others to help him do it.  

My Favorite Places/Destinations?

Anywhere I can live and breathe near the ocean.  I love Bali, New Zealand, and a little island in the Caribbean called Roatan.  

My Favorite Products/Objects?

I would say my yoga mat is my favorite object.  I have had it for years and it has been a part of my journey for a long time.  

My Current Passions?

My passion is life by the ocean and being on, near or in the water as much as possible.  This can be teaching SUP yoga, surfing, swimming, diving, and just getting as much time as possible in the water.  I am also very passionate about my meditation practice and I have really embraced this practice.  It wasn’t something that I initially did frequently but after a challenging 2017, it has been the one ritual I have made a priority to include in my yoga practice.  I have made sure that I take the time to meditate every evening before bed and it really has become a powerful experience.