My yoga constitutes most of my movement practice because yoga is an all around beneficial practice. It teaches you to breathe into discomfort and limbers the body and mind. Slacklining, however, has lately been feeling even more beneficial for my mind!
Slacklining forces you into stillness
When I first started slacklining, I hardly stood up. I kept doing the foot wobble thing (when your foot shoots back and forth like a sewing machine). No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t take an initial step. At first.
Learning to slackline is learning to ride a bike again, or to surf again. It particularly reminds me of learning to surf again. In surfing, when you stand up for your first time you will stand most times after that. That was at least the case for me.
When I began walking on the slackline, it felt like surfing. I had to keep an immense focus in order to stay on the line and continue forward, otherwise I’d slip and have the line almost hit me in a sweet spot. I use to have to keep this same sense of focus while surfing.
Now, about a month later, I can walk to the end of my slackline and back while eavesdropping on surrounding conversations (oops).
However, I have noticed that slacklining forces the mind into a type of meditation. One in which the senses can more readily retreat and you can enter a tunnel of intense focus. This has amazing benefits for those trying to get an edge over their stress and/or anxiety.
Learning to slackline
When I was in that interesting beginning phase, I was lucky enough to come by a helpful video that contained useful tips. Among the most useful is trying to find your balance on one foot before even trying to take a step. It’s easier to balance on one foot than two. It’s easier to balance when you can use three limbs.
I prefer slacklining barefoot (I prefer doing most things barefoot to be honest), but I find slacklining in shoes isn’t too much harder. I’ve even heard people say they think it’s easier. Whichever you begin with will be the one that’ll assume the roll as easiest. Either way, you’ll eventually discover the capacity to do either efficiently.
Another personal suggestion is to begin with the slackline very tight. The tightness will help get rid of the wobbles and keep you stabilized as you’re starting out.
Having fun slacklining
Stress and anxiety will be reduced if you’re doing something you consider fun. Yoga is awesome and can be fun, but can often feel more disciplinary. Slacklining is very ideal because it provides a balance challenge with core strengthening, meditation, and LOADS of fun! Cheers!