Originator of a yoga modality
“Movement arts to keep your body in shape to do fun things.”
Sam Salwei is one of the original YogaSlackers. He and Jason Magness started the organization in 2004 when a picture was taken of them at a yoga festival creating yoga poses on a slackline and soon after emails asking for information began pouring in.
A slackline is a length of 1 inch webbed fabric that is not taut and so it has some bounce. Slacklining has been around for a while and is particularly popular among rock climbers which is how Sam and Jason discovered it.
Same had been in an entrepreneurship program at the University of North Dakota. He left because of a conflict in philosophy; rather than focusing on returns for the shareholders, Sam believes businesses should focus on the product for the customer. Sam talks about his businesses being acts of passion rather than intentions of getting rich.
It may sound haphazard and undisciplined, but from the very beginning the founders were methodical; they had an Limited Liability Corporation and insurance soon after their photo appeared in the magazine. In our conversation, Sam explains the business model, which is not about making anyone wealthy. Most people that go through the teacher training have complete freedom to do with it as they will. There are a handful of teachers that represent YogaSlackers, the brand and these teachers have gone through a second, deeper training. They only run trainings whenever they feel that they cannot meet the demand from the public.
We talk about more than just slacklining. Sam left his apartment in 2003 and has not had a permanent residence since. At first, he was sleeping at a climbing gym. Soon, he began to travel, teaching slacklining around the world. Much of his journey occurred in the Peace Love Car. This 1998 Ford Festiva was not just a car, it was also his home. It was driven up to 520,000 miles with many repairs and modifications along the way. After 10 years of living on the road, or ‘reseaching’, they are now embarking on a project of building a new vehicle. If you are a gearhead, you should listen to how they are going about it.
After my conversation with Sam, I have a brief talk with Raquel who is Sam’s partner. Raquel talks about living, teaching and traveling with another human. She also talks about combining work and play.
Special Offer: Receive a 15% discount on any slackline kit on their website when you use the code SlacklineYoga
Special thanks to Davide DiCenso for introducing the episode. He teaches yoga, handbalancing and acroyoga and can learn more about him on his website.