I took a lesson from YogaSlackers at Wanderlust Squaw Valley in Lake Tahoe several years ago. YogaSlackers is a group of roving slackliners who live the outdoor adventure life. They also teach yoga poses on slacklines. Co-founded by Jason Magness and Sam Salwei in 2005, YogaSlackers has a roster of 138 teachers who have taught slacklining to over 30,000 people at festivals worldwide.
Advice from YogaSlackers
Breathing, focusing, and relaxing are essential to stabilizing on a slackline.
YogaSlackers teacher Raquel Hernández-Cruz is poetic about slacking, “You need the ability to turn off external environment. Focus, with no other option than losing all external factors, go within to your true self.” Slacklining is, “Similar to a yoga class, yet the slackline gives you feedback on your self-regulation.”
Yoga on the Line
When it comes to incorporating a yoga practice on the line, Raquel advises that you focus on progressions. “First learn to stand on one leg while a friend sits on the line for you. This will provide stability. Once you can hold that pose (slacker stance) for a few breaths, have your friend move farther and farther away from you until they no longer need to be sitting on the line for you. After that you can start playing with switching feet, finding balance between each step. Eventually you will be able to walk with ease.”
“While most people think about slacklining as standing practice, remember that you can use the line as your new thin yoga mat. Incorporate sitting, kneeling, arm balances and even inversions on the slackline. Do the pose on the ground and determine how to modify it to fit the line, then focus on finding your new place of balance. You may be surprised to discover that some poses are easier here than on the ground. With a little bit of instruction, everyone can slackline. And it can build character! Laughing out loud after each attempt is a great way to start.”
Find YogaSlackers at Festivals and Beyond
Read more about Slacklining
Read more about the growing sport of slacklining.
Karen Henry is an Associate Editor at LA YOGA who volunteers in a variety of capacities for nonprofit organizations and artists around Los Angeles. She practices yoga as a counterbalance to her daily impact sports and is a mother of four grown children who also practice yoga . Now, she’s working on teaching yoga and joy of life to the grandkids!