Live Music, Yoga and Mindfulness: Rob Drabkin

Rob holding up his CD in Denver, Colorado.

“I’m a full-time singer-songwriter-guitarist. I write, record, and I perform my songs all over the world. My latest EP, Beautiful Day, is out now and a full-length album is on it’s way later this summer! So, that sums up my life right now.

Rob playing his guitar in his home in Denver, Colorado.

Mindfulness is a huge part of my career, especially in live shows, recording sessions and the songwriting process. The music I play is less rigid than a lot of bands in the pop-rock genre.  As a result, my song forms change, my setlists change, venues change and my mood and the crowd’s mood are constantly in flux. Adapting to the present moment is everything. In live shows, it’s important to read and feel energies to identify what’s resonating and what’s not with the musicians and the audience.  

Rob with his morning coffee in his home in Denver, Colorado.

As my bandmates will tell you, I call out setlist audibles all the time.  I try to predict where the crowd’s mood will be when writing them, but sometimes I’m wrong and need to add in something upbeat or downtempo. When writing and recording music, I use mindfulness to adapt to the song itself.  I’m always asking myself: “what feeling do I want to elicit? What direction do I want to steer the song? What kind of changes does the listener want to hear?”

Rob playing his guitar in his home in Denver, Colorado.

When I started singing, I started doing yoga. Singing is so connected to the body that I figured anything that benefited my body would benefit my singing. I went by instinct and knew yoga would be essential. It’s the breath that guides your movements, just like breathing guides your voice.  

Rob’s signature, wild “duo” standing in his kitchen in Denver, Colorado.

When I started practicing yoga- twelve-thirteen years ago- it was less ubiquitous and vastly out of my comfort zone. Now, I incorporate yoga all the time while performing or when I’m getting ready to perform. Pulling from my practice, I find my own space backstage, go to my car or take a brisk walk.  I center myself, ground myself and sometimes do a power pose to summon a bit more confidence than usual.

Rob playing his guitar in his home in Denver, Colorado.

On stage, it’s about the flow of the songs that guide the show.  I’ll breathe as I breathe and adapt to the surroundings as I need, just like a yoga practice. There’s a similar gratification between music and yoga. Both are about expression. In yoga class, if I add grace, feelings or emotion to my movements, yoga starts to feel like how a dance might feel while performing.  

Doing anything freely and with expression is just that much more fulfilling.
If I perform music with expression, I can tap into emotions- and that’s when it becomes powerful.” – Rob

Check out Rob’s website, here:

Check out our other inspiring stories of everyday yoga practitioners and please, #ShareToEmpowerALL ! We strive to empower others to get vulnerable, and be inspired to start a yoga practice of their own to bring in hope & possibility.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: