After 500 days of daily yoga practice…
(March 15, 2020 – July 27, 2021)

What have I learned about myself?

Prior to the global, life-changing Covid shut-down, I imagined having a daily yoga and mindfulness practice. I could string together four to five days of practice and even two or three consecutive weeks during a yoga training, but to work with purpose, day after day…

This experience eluded me.

What I’ve Noticed in 500 Days

What are some of the tangible and quantifiable results following seventy-one weeks of daily practice?

  1. The practice of Yoga is the highest purpose of the day.
  2. My mind wants to go to the mat. On some days, the body is less willing.
  3. Breathwork is the juice of any practice. Each inhale and exhale creates the pump tethering me to all aspects of who I truly am.
  4. I focus on the four aspects of Integration: Body, Mind, Emotion, Consciousness, the breath creates the pathway for integration.
  5. My intuition is stronger. My wisdom brow, the sixth chakra is open. My mental acuity is sharp and focused. I am resilient.
  6. I practice interoception. The perception of sensations from inside the body. I am more aware of my heartbeat, respiration, body temperature, digestion, elimination and the slightest feeling of any discomfort in my body. Week after week, my weight hovers within a one pound range. I am more aware of hydration, portion and types of food consumed. I notice the response from my autonomic nervous system further sensing the activity of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.
  7. Even exteroception, the ability to develop heightened awareness of what part of the body is making contact with the ground has increased as well as proprioception, where my body is in space. Both of these skills improve agility, the ability to move freely with increased balance.
  8. My emotions are felt and released, resulting in greater equanimity.
  9. There is value creating community with ritual practice. Opening and closing with the same mantras bookend the practice providing us with a sense of connection and familiarity.
  10. I am aware of my ever-present thoughts. How many of my thoughts are life-affirming? How many thoughts are negative or fearful or
    judging? What am I broadcasting to those around me via the nature of my thoughts?
  11. The human body, emotional body and mental body have a propensity for wellness-integration and self-healing. I get out of my own way
    when surrendering to corpse pose/śavasana at the end of each practice. Even five minutes of śavasana has tremendous salubrious affects.

Questions to Ponder

What will the next 500 days of practice bring?
What are my intentions as I live fully the next 71 weeks?
How do I maintain focus, desire and a resilient practice?

12-point Checklist for a Deeper Yoga Practice

  1. What is the highest purpose of my day?

  2. What distracts me from going to my mat?

  3. Where is my breathwork? How conscious am I of each breath?

  4. How do I integrate body, mind, emotion, consciousness?

  5. How is my intuition and mental clarity emerging?

  6. Interoception? Do I have a greater sense of physical, emotional and subtle body awareness?

  7. Exteroception and proprioception? How am I developing these two agility skills?

  8. How do my emotions fluctuate hour to hour, day to day?

  9. What are my dominant thoughts?

  10. How do I develop a sense of community and resiliency in my life?

  11. Is śavasana/corpse pose becoming easier with practice?

  12. What are my intentions for the next 500 days?

Purpose. Community. Wellness.

Rocky Blumhagen, Stanford DCI, (Distinguished Career’s Institute, Fellow/partner Class of 2019) is a yoga and mindfulness practitioner.

To read more about Rocky’s 1000-Day Yoga Challenge – Click Here
To learn more about Rocky – Click Here

If you wish to discuss your own yoga journey to develop a deeper daily practice, please be in touch. Rocky is available for private consultation.