Slackasana: The Balancing Act Of Yoga And Slacklining |

It’s no secret that I love yoga. I’ve been practicing it since I was a kid, and I’m still going strong today, despite my advancing years. But as with many other things, I can take yoga to extremes. Not just the physical things you can do, but the mental side of it as well. One of the things I love about yoga is the mind-body connection.

Yoga is considered a very healthy practice, but most yoga poses aren’t really designed to be practiced standing upright. That’s where slackline yoga comes in. A couple of years ago, I discovered slackline yoga while looking for ways to practice yoga while standing up. It gives you a lot of flexibility to move through a variety of yoga poses while keeping your balance.

Yoga and Slackline have always been a match made in heaven. Yoga is all about stretching, and a slackline is all about keeping your balance and stretching too. Yoga is a physical practice, and slacklines are a non-vibratory physical activity. This combination is perfect for keeping the body limber and healthy.

Slacklining was invented by rock climbers and is now popular among yogis. Slacklining was developed twenty years ago as a method for climbers to pass the time and improve their balance when they weren’t scrambling up rock walls. Now, yogi Jason Magness of YogaSlackers is promoting it as a way to enhance concentration, balance, breathing, and more.

Magness tells Yoga Journal that slacklining looked impossible when he first found it as a climber many years ago. He rediscovered slacklining after three years of yoga practice, and is now a dedicated practitioner.

Slackasana: The Balancing Act Of Yoga And Slacklining-1 YogaSlackers is credited with this image.

In Slacklining, Yoga and Breathing

According to Yoga Journal, his viewpoint was more focused because he approached the slackline from a yoga perspective, where he understood that his mind had to be engaged and that breathing was much more essential than normal. The line will vibrate more if you hold your breath, adds Magness. “The line nearly becomes quiet if you can relax down and sink your weight into your root and engage your core.”

When balancing on a slackline, the oblique muscles are engaged, which Magness believes is helpful for understanding out where balance originates from and how to regulate those muscles.

Although it may sound difficult, it appears that many people want to take on the challenge, as combining yoga and slacklining is gaining popularity—when it first started, Magness and his friend Sam Salwei started with one class (which they called a “slackasana” class, according to their website), and soon followed up with a DVD, followed by more classes and workshops.

Credit: Nick Clark Health / Yogi: Sam Salwei of YogaSlackers Credit: Nick Clark Health / YogaSlackers’ Sam Salwei

YogaSlackers currently teach on all seven continents, and their inaugural teacher training took place in May of 2011. AcroYoga is also part of their repertory.

The list of advantages of slacklining yoga seems to be infinite, demonstrating that these “slackers” are everything but!

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