The Line of Slack

One of the most reasonable conclusions that a philosophy such as IGITY leads to is that of balance. To simultaneously accept the beliefs of atheists and theists requires a view from multiple perspectives and an inherent sense of moderation. This practice is also useful when confronted with stressful, upsetting, or intense situations. Resisting the urge to act in an extreme and emotional way is usually the path of least conflict. While this does not necessarily come naturally, I believe it is possible to achieve a more balanced state of mind by acting on the body’s physical balance.

I’ve always enjoyed balancing long objects on my hands, feet, nose, and chin, and have taken much satisfaction in taming gravity. A couple of years ago I purchased my first slackline and took my ability to balance to a higher level. Now it is not just a straight object that I keep vertical by shifting its base, but rather I am the dynamic object of balance and my sources of correction are my arms and legs. Unlike the three-dimensional space that I used to master the balance of inanimate objects, my forward movement is restricted to a one-dimensional line that ebbs and flexes with each and every step.

The body is thus forced into a synchronous harmony with the balance center in the brain, and you begin to develop instinctual responses to counter a loss of balance. The initial difficulty of learning these skills is so intense that it is hard to think about anything other than flexing your muscles in the right way and maintaining your place on the slackline. Instantly, the troubling thoughts that were subconsciously haunting you are lost to the demand of acquiring a new skill set and learning to move naturally and fluently. A sort of forced-meditation is induced just through the act of standing on the line. The linear movement mimics a swinging pendulum while the slackline itself is parallel and at a right-angle to the human bilateral axis of symmetry. As the limbs dangle off the left or right side of the slackline, the left and right sides of the brain are forced to work together toward a common goal of keeping the being upright.

I have also found that the more time I spend on a slackline, the better my physical and mental health tend to be. I become more motivated to write and work and build and accomplish, and I am inspired with new ideas. There is definitely something good that happens in the mind when you subject yourself to an intense physical workout coupled with the intense focus and concentration required to balance on a slackline. I encourage everyone to develop some sort of balance routine in their life, whether it be yoga, bicycling, dancing, slacklining, or something else. Enhancing the mind-body relationship and increasing ambidexterity will lead to a happier life!

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