This week I had my first slacklining experience - it’s basically a wider, bouncier tight rope that works your balance and core strength. Climbers love it because it helps improve body awareness and control.
With so many years of yoga experience, I thought slacklining would come to me naturally. Boy, was I wrong.
Here are a few insights I gained that we can all apply beyond slacklining…
Have a beginner’s mind: Beginners have no expectations and go with the flow. “Know-ers” are less flexible, expect certain outcomes and close themselves off to new and different experiences. I approached slacklining as a knower and was quickly humbled by my fumbling and shakiness on the line. It reminded me to pace myself and enjoy the little victories.
The line is an extension of you: The energy you bring to the line is a reflection of you. If you approach it with a sense of fear and nerves, the line will shake you right off. If you approach it with steadiness and ease, the line will move with you as you find your way. The line doesn’t control you. You have a choice to decide how it responds to you.
It’s about the journey: Our slacklining instructor chuckled as she told us that the pictures you see of rockstar slackliners holding steady poses on the line are total illusions. Usually that crux pose is held for no more than a split second, and the camera just happened to catch it. Even pros don’t master the line, and conquering some end result shouldn’t be the ultimate goal. Instead we should focus on what we learn and gain along the way.
Smile: You’re inevitably going to fall or make a fool of yourself. One of my finer moments was my “rotisserie chicken” move as I spun all the way around the line after trying to lay horizontally on it. I plopped right onto the mat laughing at myself and quickly hopped back on the line. If you approach the experience with a laugh and a smile you learn to be resilient and enjoy the process.
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