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?
The practice of Yoga is the highest purpose of the day.
My mind wants to go to the mat. On some days, the body is less willing.
Breathwork is the juice of any practice. Each inhale and exhale creates the pump tethering me to all aspects of who I truly am.
I focus on the four aspects of Integration: Body, Mind, Emotion, Consciousness, the breath creates the pathway for integration.
My intuition is stronger. My wisdom brow, the sixth chakra is open. My mental acuity is sharp and focused. I am resilient.
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.
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.
My emotions are felt and released, resulting in greater equanimity.
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.
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?
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
What is the highest purpose of my day?
What distracts me from going to my mat?
Where is my breathwork? How conscious am I of each breath?
How do I integrate body, mind, emotion, consciousness?
How is my intuition and mental clarity emerging?
Interoception? Do I have a greater sense of physical, emotional and subtle body awareness?
Exteroception and proprioception? How am I developing these two agility skills?
How do my emotions fluctuate hour to hour, day to day?
What are my dominant thoughts?
How do I develop a sense of community and resiliency in my life?
Is śavasana/corpse pose becoming easier with practice?
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.
Mary Bettini - Director/Choreographer, New York There is nothing more fun than a revue of well known music when it hits the mark! Rocky… a pro with such great energy who needs no roadmap around this material, knows his way around a song and can still “dish the dirt” with the rest of the company. Thank you for such a delightful, memorable evening – ol’ blue eyes would tip his fedora to you for this awesome salute to his songbook!
Mary Bettini - Director/Choreographer, New York
Lisa Lapin We had just a fantastic time. It was marvelous to get to hear you perform, Both of us were so impressed at how you can adjust your style and work the audience — Whether in a huge auditorium or an intimate setting like tonight’s space. You are such a pro!
Lan Kang - Stanford DCI Fellow - Class of 2019, Shanghai, China It has been a wonderful experience practicing Yoga with you all, guided by Rocky! It helped me to stay calm and mindful during the pandemic. A special thank you to Rocky! I’ve been practicing Yoga following Rocky’s videos on his website. I will continue to practice Yoga on-line and breathe with you all in mind.
Lan Kang - Stanford DCI Fellow - Class of 2019, Shanghai, China
Janet You are skilled, talented and have a wonderful ability to explain both concepts and details in warmest way. You understand all of our different levels of experience and abilities. Just the sound of your beautiful voice relaxes me and inwardly makes me smile. Thank you for giving yourself and your deep knowledge to us – you are wise in not just yoga, but you have such emotional wisdom which you so generous share with us. I just wanted you to know what a valuable offering yoga is for me and all … Read more
Nicole S I have attended live in-person, live virtual, and pre-recorded Kundalini sessions with Rocky. I like Kundalini because of the opportunity to explore and challenge myself in a unique way. Rocky is a warm, welcoming, humble and intuitive teacher. There’s a reason this hour and a half experience is a part of my regular practice!
Nelson B. Schiller, MD - Cardiologist, UCSF Your singing was sensational. We loved the swinging arrangements and the way you crafted the medleys. Your acting was terrific. I love your Cole Porter CD. Have played it dozens of times crossing the Golden Gate bridge from home to the UCSF Mission Bay campus!
Nelson B. Schiller, MD - Cardiologist, UCSF
David Gomberg Easy to Love arrived today. And from the first notes of the first track, we were captivated. Remarkable!! Sinatra Sings the Select Cole Porter is no longer my favorite collection… Easy to Love is. Thanks so much for brightening a busy day!
Carol Boyle Schrader What I love most about Rocky’s Kundalini Yoga sessions is that they made yoga accessible for me. Rocky made me welcome, suggested modifications and was so encouraging that it made me feel more confident. Rocky’s personal touch, deep knowledge of kundalini and zest for us all to live better is habit-forming (in a good way!). The breath work has eased my asthma symptoms greatly, which keeps me coming back for more!
Carol Boyle Schrader
Noah Griffin - The Cole Porter Society Your Cole Porter CD arrived but a week or so ago and it was worth the wait. The love and appreciation of his genius shines through in your arrangements and interpretation of his tmeless work. Your voice to me incorporates the best of Anthony Newly and Michael Feinstein. the cover art reflects the taste and sophistication of the composer you honor. Well done my friend and thanks for sending it along!
Noah Griffin - The Cole Porter Society
Jan Robinson I have to tell you, I shared your web site with a first friend – she was reminded of all her favorites – her dad was an opera singer in Yugoslavia and in Cole Porter’s era. Of course, we share Bocelli, Frangoulis and Blumhagen… All rich, sensual voices!