Guest Scribe: The YogaSlackers "Finding Stillness on the Line"
Slacklining seems to be a bit of a buzz word (or maybe "buzz activity") these days - with images of thin lines stretched high up over canyons; in the park doing all manner of flips and bounces on what amounts to an inch wide trampoline; or even yoga poses stacked delicately on the world's thinnest mat. These inspiring and extreme photos proliferate Facebook and it is super exciting to see the demographic of slackers expanding well beyond the typical teen to twenty-something male.
I really think some "time on the line" is important for everybody, as the slackline is a remarkably honest tool for self-assessment. Perhaps even the most honest tool, especially at the beginning of your practice. As soon as you step onto it, the line instantly reads fear, instability, anger, force, humility, ego, etc and reflects it right back at you. There is no place to hide.
I t is remarkable to watch the transition of thought as it shifts from "why won't the line stop moving?", to "Why am I moving the line so much?" That shift opens up a world of possibility in the realm of personal exploration. And that exploration doesn't necessarily lead to backflips or canyon walks. In fact the physical manifestations of that exploration are varied, and (in my mind) unimportant. It is the stillness that comes within that is remarkable.
I have a 40-long chain (the original slackline) hanging between trees in my front yard. It is perfectly still. Until I step onto it. As it starts to oscillate, I begin to try and tame it, but this only makes it worse. Where did that stillness go?
Occasionally I find the answer, and it always surprises me. All I need to do is stop doing, and I find myself balanced and calm, hovering above the ground of my front yard.
It won't last forever, but for me it is enough that it lasts at all...
~ The Yogaslackers will be joining us at all four Wanderlust festivals this year. Founded by Jason Magness and Sam Salwei at the Yoga Journal Estes Park conference in 2005 Team YogaSlackers is an eclectic group of yogic adventure athletes. Exploring the limits of human potential, the yogaslackers specialize in gently nudging their students (and themselves) far outside the comfort zone and into the realm of ultimate growth. Through traditional yoga as well as various yogic based practices such as climbing, slacklining, and acrobatics, the team have become known worldwide for their Redefining Balance retreats. With a roster including Adi Carter, Chelsey Gribbon, Paige Wyatt, Dan Norgard and more, the YogaSlackers have an a broad appeal and a lot to share.