By Josh Gladstone October 22, 2018
With a hefty travel backpack digging into my shoulders and my guitar bag gripped firmly in hand, I stood before the enormous gates to the castle in Germany and took a deep breath.
I had always intended on volunteering at a Yoga Castle in exchange for room and board—one of the many travel tricks savvy backpackers use to venture economically. And yet, standing before this behemoth of medieval brick and mortar, I felt the enormity of the situation. And it wasn’t just the gigantic iron gate handle I was trying to press down with my entire bodyweight.
You see, as a matter of secular North American upbringing, I’m not naturally spiritual. And when it comes to yoga, my lacking spirituality is matched only by my crippling inflexibility. I can barely touch my kneecaps, let alone my soul. How was I going to fit in at a Yoga Castle?
Plus, there was a matter of the other volunteers. Five strangers from around the globe, all congregating in this strange and mystical place in the heart of Germany. Would we get along? And which one of them would snore at night in our dormitory? (Natural traveler angst, of course). Luckily, I had a trick up my sleeve: my new KLOS Travel Guitar. And nothing breaks down barriers quite like music. The play Les Miserables is testament to that.
Turns out, Yoga and my musical flair got along quite well. And apparently, that more than compensated for my inability to do downward dog. Some mornings, while the Yoga class was in session, I had the privilege of playing guitar for everyone, especially during the integral yoga chants. It brought a liveliness to the class and gave me an incomparable satisfaction. I’ve always loved playing guitar for myself. But playing for others, and in a mystical environment? That’s something special entirely.
I may not believe in a Universal Life Force, or that Buddha exists within us all.
But after making fast friends and incredible memories with my travel guitar within a few short weeks, it’s hard not to believe in the power of music.
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