Get to Know your Wobbles in Slackline Yoga

Zuddhi Yoga instructor Jessica Ewart demonstrates the drishti and balance necessary for Crow posture on a slackline.

Can a yogini or a yogi be a slacker?  I’ve always dreamed it might be true, so I went to find out once and for all this weekend at what is known as a ‘Slackline Yoga Party,’ hosted by Zuddhi Yoga in Chattanooga, TN and Tennessee Bouldering Authority (TBA) indoor climbing gym.

Slackasana, also known as ‘Slackline Yoga,’ mixes the practice of inversions, arm balances and even seated and kneeling postures with a webbed line, lightly tensioned between two trees or poles, as a bonus lifeline for these asanas.

Achievable by all different age groups and body types, Slackline Yoga takes a little bit of patience and a lot of beginner’s mind.

Climbing and Slackline Yoga go hand in hand.  It’s a great way to pass the time when you’re not able to climb.

A unique vinyasa was developed by a group of yogis and climbers known as Team YogaSlackers, mixing dynamic breath, balance, core integration and confidence.

The first thing you’ll want to do is to learn to sit on the line.

Students find new challenges with familiar yoga postures at slackline yoga parties.

“Drishti is so important for balance,” said Zuddhi Yoga instructor and founder Jessica Ewart.

We used a special tensioning system during our party, known as an eLine, developed by Team YogaSlackers, that allows students to safely explore new postures and energies.

Everyone tested their balance by sitting, and we got in touch with the energy of the line before moving to some truly groovy postures.

Zuddhi Yoga instructor Maggie White was familiar with the practice and the creators of Slackline Yoga.  She was thrilled to see so many people jumping right in to their first Slackline Yoga party.

“I met Jason Magness and Chelsey Gribbon of Team YogaSlackers in Tucson, AZ when I attended their AcroYoga workshop,” said Maggie.  “Playing with asana in a whole new way through AcroYoga was so amazing.  But then they told me about slackasana!

“Chattanooga is ready for more of this dynamic energy, and we would love to host a YogaSlackers workshop soon,” she said.

Jessica Ewart teaches and demonstrates the dynamics of handstand on a slackline.

Longer lines challenge the more experienced.  Sometimes the eLines are even set up over water or at great heights.

Understandably, balance is key.

“Just like in Tree Pose on our yoga mats, we learn the relationship of the ‘wobbling’ back and forth on the line to maintain our balance,” said Maggie White.  “So have a relationship with your ‘wobbles.’”

Placing one shoulder and one foot on the line, I tried my first slackline handstand.

“Push down and squeeze up,” said instructor Jessica Ewart.  “Get the hips up first, and then worry about the legs”

Yoga instructor and first-time slackline practitioner, Nelson Mulligan, came down from a slackline handstand, smiling from ear to ear.

“I loved it,” he said.  “It was easier than a regular handstand with the support of the line.”

I took a shot at Crow posture and immediately felt the energy of my ‘wobbles’ on the line, working with it, dancing a little, and then falling, laughing.

Zuddhi Yoga instructor Maggie White, right, assisted by Theresa Rodriguez from the TBA, practices and encourages a relationship with wobbling in Slackline Yoga.

“Melt the heart to go up,” advised Maggie.

This practice helps you develop breath, core, confidence and friendships with other slackline yogis.

Team YogaSlackers have collectively taught thousands of people from age 2 to 82.  They developed a special eLine and tensioning system to allow yoginis and yogis to safely explore this new form of asana.

Visit Zuddhi Yoga in Chattanooga, TN and take a look at their out-of-this-world class and special workshop offerings.  And climbers: do not miss out on the climbing and yoga opportunities at TBA climbing gym during your next trip through Chattanooga.

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