Learn to Sweat the Right Stuff, Not the Small Stuff

From Ibex Advocate Britta Kfir

I stepped on (or fell off of, rather) my first slackline in Winter 2011. In those first precarious attempts to stay upright on the damn thing, everything that my physiological body knew thus far of balance was all but thrashed into a thousand disconnected pieces of vital information in mere seconds. I wouldn’t surrender to this new challenge, but I knew it wouldn’t surrender to me, either. I sweat profusely, feeling the rage of frustration and the rouge of embarrassment flooding the capillaries in my face. I couldn’t figure out how to relate to that one-inch-thick piece of nylon webbing and I was anxious, stressed, and determined to dominate it.

Six months later, I found myself facing bigger challenges on the line at a slackline yoga teacher training hosted by the YogaSlackers. This time, those challenges looked like walking lunges, seated meditations, hand balancing inversions, and other amazing postures, all while perched upon on a dynamic, suspended slackline. I was finally beginning to integrate and redefine balance, not only in my body but also in my approach to life.

“True happiness comes not when we get rid of all of our problems, but when we change our relationship to them, when we see our problems as a potential source of awakening, opportunities to practice, and to learn.”
-Richard Carlson, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

The YogaSlackers is a group of nomad adventurers and free spirits who specialize in sharing five very special modalities: Yoga, Slacklining, Adventure, Acrobatics, and Conditioning. Our tribe attracts people who love living life in the outdoors (a.k.a hiking, camping, climbing, yoga-ing, cooking, bathing, running. You name it, we do it.) and we generally have a pretty laid back, no-stress, “slacker” mentality when it comes to stressful situations.

As a certified teacher, I consider myself lucky to be able to travel internationally sharing these principles and spending time practicing, playing with and teaching students of all walks of life how to approach balance with a new perspective. The physical practice and the lifestyle that unite the YogaSlackers has truly changed my life by giving me the tools to be able to step back from the intensity of certain situations in order to, quite literally, sweat the right stuff instead of sweating all the small stuff.

Sweating the right stuff means identifying the bigger issues at a hand and responding to those issues instead of reacting to them. On a slackline, this means letting your body move and respond to the fluctuations of the line. Offline, this translates to being in a relationship, or car troubles, or intense physical and emotional hurdles. The more we surrender to the “line” or to the edge of discomfort, the more we are able to see the bigger picture and to practice breathing, balancing and softening into the situation, the more we learn.

Life is dynamic, just like slacklining. I never know when the “balance” might get thrown off, but I’m learning to sweat the right stuff instead, and it’s proving to make all the difference. Luckily nowadays I wear products like Ibex wool when I’m slacking so at least when I do sweat, it don’t stink!

  • About Ibex Advocate Britta Kfir

Britta is a moon-worshipping adventure-seeker from San Diego, California. She’s a proud Colorado native and has summitted 10 of its 52 14’000 foot peaks. She is also an avid surfer and slackliner, and loves pushing her limits as a triathlete. Her travels have brought her through much of Southern India, Eastern Asia, Europe, and the continental US, but more than anything, she loves exploring the West Coast and all its diverse climates. Britta is a certified yoga and AcroYoga teacher and hosts retreats and immersions internationally, sharing the ‘art of play’.