There is a high probability you might have never heard the term in your life, but you have certainly experienced the view of it at acrobats. It seems that the activity of walking on a strap while keep one’s balance without falling off has become a true sport amongst the members of the new generation. The term “slackline” actually refers to the curvature of the strap under the weight of its user, transforming balance into a dynamic activity. It is certainly a complete sport for the body and mind, and these aren’t the only benefits available.
A reference to meditation
Practicing slacklining is like meditating while moving. It sounds funny but it is actually true, as the challenge of this new sport is to keep your balance while crossing the strap from one point to another. Focusing on staying balanced can get you into a surprising state of mind, contributing to you inner calm and equilibrium.
While working you balance on a narrow strap, not only that you work your mind, it is also a workout for the body. While slacklining, you get to use every muscle and tendon in your body, somehow similar to climbing. When going slacklining for the first time, you will probably sense something in your quads, lateral muscles and even your arms (from trying to keep your balance). Practice will get your body used to the muscle contractions and the pain will become less and less.
Posture and coordination
The first time on a slackline you’ll know that you have much to practice when it comes to posture. At first, you will probably not last more than 3 seconds, but after adjusting you posture and coordination skills over time, you will certainly observe natural improvement. This fact is backed up by a study conducted in Switzerland in 2011 in which participants in slackline proved that their training led to a better communication between sensors and the spinal cord, determining a better postural control.
Concentration and an effort put in better coordinating yourself on the slackline can also improve the part of your nervous system that is responsible for memory and navigation. A study that was published in 2011 revealed information that practicing slackline can determine an increase in the structural and functional plasticity of the hippocampus.
Slackline is one of the most portable sports available. Unlike climbing, where you need special shoes and rope or surfing, where you need pretty expensive surfboard and a load of waves, practicing slackline isn’t that pretentious. You only need a slackline and two trees (or other vertical supports) from which you can catch the strap.
Slackline isn’t only about walking on a strap and keep your balance. Once you get to know and feel the sport, you will see that there’s always something new to learn. You can try some basic tricks like The Drop Knee when you drop your knee from the slackline or the Vertical Jump, when you basically have to jump on a 2” inch narrow highly elastic strap.