Bright Lights, Big City

August 15, 2013 at 12:12 PM


by Paul Gallegos

How does one stay grounded in their practice when they are constantly surrounded by disruption and sensory overload? What does that practice even become when it is enmeshed in some of the lesser proclivities toward total wellness? When will I stop being so vague?

So, for the past couple years, I have worked for a non-profit called Reverb. This work is pretty fantastical. I get to travel with bands while on tour and get to work with other non-profit groups who set up at their shows (think pop up tents with a bunch of do-gooders engaging concert-goers about their cause). It is an absolute blast. I couldn’t be more grateful for the wonderful people I have encountered and for being able to see this beautiful country in its entirety.

Despite some of the more alluring aspects of this line of work, my yoga practice, without fail, goes by the wayside. Carving out an hour every day when I am on my feet for fourteen hours just does not seem feasible. But wait; let’s examine what practice really means. Is it only the asanas we run through on a daily basis or is there more to it than that? Jumping on and off of a tour bus from city to city for weeks on end has taught me a couple of things:

Rule 1: Always lock the bus when you leave (seriously).


Rule 2: Your wellness hygiene (practice!) is the number one indicator of whether or not you will enjoy your time away from home.

I have learned a great deal over the past couple years about how important it is to maintain some semblance of balance and maintaining that as a part of my practice. My practice has become one of being conscious of all the things my body innately understands about what I need under such conditions (“Hmm, 

should I really be going for coffee at 8pm just because it’s constantly available?”). My practice is one of compassion in the face of highly stressful situations (“I have no idea what this less-than-cordial venue employee is going through…be gentle”). And yes, my practice does include some parking lot yoga when I can 

sneak away at the end of a show.

Ultimately, I have learned gratitude for the community from which I come, for the people I get to share my time with both at home and away, and for having such a truly unique environment to grow within. I don’t have anything truly awe-inspiring to offer here. You have to grow where you’re planted or bemoan your situation to the deaf ears of circumstance. I may not feel planted while out on the road, but I always have a practice from which to grow from. Wherever I’m at, I’m on my way.