In case you hadn’t noticed – there’s a “new” sport in town and it’s beginning to take shape. Perhaps you’ve heard about it in passing whilst shopping at your Whole Foods Market, or on your way to the local dog park. Although still technically in its infancy, the art of performing yoga moves while balancing on a slackline is sweeping across the nation faster than you can say namaste.
Sea to Summit brand ambassadors (and founders of YogaSlackers) Sam and Raquel say slackline yoga is a nonclassical approach to traditional yoga. YogaSlackers, as they call themselves, like to compare their slackline to a yoga mat. Here’s how they describe it: The unrolling of a slackline is equivalent to unrolling a yoga mat. Once we hop on, we explore the limits of our potential: physically, mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually. We use the line as a tool to discover and expand our self-regulation, self-awareness, and self-control… all in hopes of self-realization. The beautiful thing is that this happens in a playful way. If you’ve ever met either of us, you could not deny that!
Without further ado, we give you an insider’s look into the minds of these unconventional nomads and what it takes to help cultivate this new sport.
Who are you?
Raquel: I am still very much trying to figure out who I am and I bet I will dedicate the rest of my life to that quest. I was born and raised in Puerto Rico. I have a Master’s degree in Marine Biology and several certifications in healing arts and yoga. I also teach yoga, slackline yoga, and acroyoga… and lately, I can be found – most likely – standing on my hands or in tree pose while waiting for a latte!
Sam: I’m an explorer. I find comfort in constant change, and I feel most grounded while driving and dreaming of the next unique experience. I was born in North Dakota and moved to South Miami, FL with my family when I was five. In 1992, Hurricane Andrew destroyed much of South Florida and I convinced my mom to move back with me to my hometown of Crystal, North Dakota. I was always driven to do something different with my time. When everyone my age and younger was out partying, I would wander out into blizzards and build snow caves, or go for a snowkite session at 4 am because that was when the wind was best!
What are your hobbies?
Raquel: It’s a bit hard for me to define a hobby because what we do is so often work and play intertwined in an inseparable way. But if you twist my arm I would say- yoga, acro yoga, slackline yoga, running, cycling, swimming, climbing, binge-watching Netflix, late-night instagramming, SUPing, handstanding and lately, knitting.
Sam: I have spent my whole life trying to create one amazing life – not a bunch of compartmentalized experiences. I enjoy meaningful tasks carried out with friends. I can happily sit at a computer for days and I am equally happy driving for 40 hours nonstop across the US or trekking, unsupported, for a week across Patagonia.
What’s it like traveling around together?
Raquel: It is life! Sometimes it is absolutely wonderful! Sometimes it sucks! More often than not it is one of the most rewarding experiences I get to do.
Sam: I would say it is the most rewarding experience I have ever had. Having the ability to share my life and have someone understand my dreams leaves me speechless. I am so excited to see how we can grow our dreams together.
What advice do you have for fellow traveling couples?
Raquel: Commit to doing the inner work. Understand that intimacy of this level is a never-ending commitment. And then get ready for a great journey!
Sam: Remember to help your partner achieve their goals and they will reciprocate.
What is your favorite Sea to Summit gear?
Raquel: That’s a hard one. I am going to go with the one we use the most: Lightweight Dry Sack 20 L. Although I should have ordered the 35 L. If I am going on a trip, this bag is going with me. We use it for everything: on boats, in our backpack and on a day to day basis as our dirty clothes bag. Keeps the Peace Love Car smelling fresh!
Sam: The eVent Compression Dry Sack, But if I had the Ultra-Sil ® Compression Dry Sack I might like it even more! We use them to store our sleeping bags. It’s nice to pack our down sleeping bags in the smallest way possible while knowing that they will stay dry no matter what we do.
Where are you traveling to next?
Raquel: I am currently sitting on the floor of an airport in Sydney, Australia. We have a two-day layover in Thailand, then we are headed to Nepal for 3 weeks. Pretty exciting because I get to go to BKK and have some amazing Mango Sticky Rice before visiting Nepal for the first time! Feels like something out of an episode of Carmen Sandiego!
Sam: At the moment of writing this, I am on a 777, looking out the window at a giant wing, about to take off for Thailand. I am very excited to visit a new country, Nepal, for the first time. I have a gaggle of friends who have traveled there and I have heard nothing but amazing tales of Everest summits, endless treks, and extraordinary people! I am hoping to get some locals up on a slackline ASAP!