Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Slackers take on the NBA

Team Member Sam Salwei reporting,

Directly after the Rainier Expedition (read about it in WEND Magazine) I headed down to Eugene, OR to visit one of the slackers more organized friends Kathryn Joyce. Kathryn has played a major role in linking YogaSlackers efforts to build environmental awareness with Action developing the 2XtM windsock project as well as grant writing and other daunting logistical tasks.

I was very excited for this opertunity... here is an excerpt from Kathryn's email...

Northwest Youth Corps OutDoor School is an alternative high school that serves under privileged youth that have not been successful in the public education system. The school centers on outdoor skills and environmental conservation.

This year I have been working with a very special group of students in a yoga/meditation class. This group has elected to learn breathing exercises, meditation practices, and yoga flows to support their mental and physical well being. Since being introduced to the art of slacklining by Sam Salwei of the yogaslackers three years ago, I have integrated it into my meditation and yoga practice in a meaningful way. I began incorporating slacklining into the school's curriculum to challenge the students and give them a fun tool to increase their balance and focus. Not only my yoga class, but many of the students have developed an interest in slacklining. We are always carrying a line out into the field for a camp activity.

Recently I met a professional basketball player who offered to do a pro-bono speaking engagement at our school. I expected excitement, seeing as we seldom have the budget for such an event; but instead the students told me it would be "way cooler" to have a "professional" slackliner visit the school. After spending what I can only imagine to be countless hours watching You Tube videos, they asked if I could get the yogaslackers to visit the school and slackline with them.

I talked to Sam about my students and what they were doing and he scheduled time to visit Eugene and slack with them. The students had a blast watching Sam slackline and I have rarely seen my wild bunch behave so well as they listened to Sam instruct them. It's a gift to see my students inspired by a group that makes their own opportunities and incorporates environmental ethics
into all aspects of life.

I hade a blast teaching the kids and the YogaSlackers look forward building a comprehensive criculum around the lessions of the "line"

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