Rocky Blumhagen – Yoga Instructor & Professional Singer
San Francisco, California & Gleneden Beach, Oregon

 

A Note From Rocky

Life is an ever moving target and thankfully, I learned long ago the importance of following my passion. You may have observed my increasing focus on Yoga and less on vocal performance. This was happening long before the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted our lives.  I have loved practicing Kundalini Yoga every day and in the initial six months of the Covid shut-down, taught 165 classes to a dedicated cohort of Stanford students. Yoga has given me balance, awareness and an appreciation for my life-force and how to best use it.  As we approach the one year mark of the Covid pandemic, my daily Kundalini Yoga practice and teaching schedule has continued. I encourage those who are curious about what makes it a good fit for so many new practitioners to read what some the current students have to say… READ MORE

 

Rocky as Yoga Instructor

Rocky Blumhagen – Spiritual Name: Akal Teja Singh

Rocky has been a yoga practitioner for over 25 years completing over 400-hours of teacher training with Martin Scott, Union Yoga and Kathleen Holm’s studio Yoga Flow, including multiple workshops with Janet Stone and Darren Main here in San Francisco. In November, 2016 Rocky studied Pranayama privately with Guruji, BNS Iyengar in Mysore, India. Rocky (Akal Teja) recently received his Kundalini Yoga certification through KRI, taught by Gurmukh and Gurushabd and Seva Simran Singh, September 2019.

Rocky teaches Hatha Vinyasa Flow and Kundalini Yoga with a concentration on breath work. He is also a professional singer allowing him to focus on Pranayama and the singing of chants with the Harmonium, an east Indian hand pump organ. “Our breath is the connector between the postures, and yoga is about connecting the body, mind and spirit, our breath is the key.”

Rocky lives between San Francisco and the central Oregon coast and was a graduate fellow/partner at Stanford University for the 2019-2020 calendar year. He is certified with the National Yoga Alliance.

200-Hour Vinyasa Flow Teacher Training: Yoga Flow San Francisco, CA
RYS 200 Yoga Alliance ID 103994 – May 17, 2014

I registered for my first yoga teacher training to deepen my practice and to ensure I was practicing the poses/asanas properly. Unless a teacher corrected me in class I had no idea if I was in the full expression of the pose or perhaps I was just short of injuring myself. I was also interested in Yoga philosophy and I found the use of the Sanskrit names of poses/asanas quite exotic.

200-Hour Vinyasa Teacher Training Certification: Union Yoga San Francisco CA
RYS 200 Yoga Alliance – June 20, 2016
I registered for this second teacher training realizing I still had so much to learn. I needed more anatomy training, how to address injuries, to further understand contraindications, meaning what poses are not good for someone based upon health issues. I wanted more knowledge and to gain more confidence as a teacher.

My second teacher training with Union Yoga students. Both trainings, I was the only guy.

Martin Scott, owned Union Yoga on Union Street in San Francisco. I learned so much from this man. He is the real deal. We were on our rooftop at 2200 Pacific
Ave. San Francisco celebrating our graduation. The pool must have been cold that June day in 2016 or Martin was just grateful we all graduated.

I must say the first two years I began teaching, I would be just as nervous as if I was about to walk on stage and sing with a full symphony orchestra. It actually took about two years for me to feel really confident and comfortable as a yoga teacher.

Seven Days Private Instruction of Pranayama/the Study of Breath-workOn site with Sri BNS Iyengar
Mysuru/Mysore, India – Krishnamacharr Yoga Foundation & Yoga Shala – November 2016

Sri BNS Iyengar is the last of his generation, born in 1927 and studied directly with Sri T. Krishnamacharya and Sri K. Pattabhi Jois.

Sri BNS Iyengar, loving called Guruji was 89 years of age in this photograph. It was in this very Shala/School where Guruji would strictly take me through the various breathing patterns, Pranayama’s. He would teach me several on a black board. I would take copious notes and go to another room to practice. When I felt ready I would return and he would test me. If I got off on my counts, he could be quite stern and would ask me to begin again. He was adamant we
westerners learn the techniques properly so the benefits of Pranayama would continue to be understood and valued.

220-Hour Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training Certification: San Francisco CA
Kundalini Research Institute KRI Program 1-03097-19 – July 21, 2019
Shambhala Meditation Center Berkeley, CA Lead Trainers Gurmukh and Gurushabd

I had heard bits and pieces about the practice of Kundalini Yoga for the last few years. It seemed to be a “mystery yoga” with fewer teachers certified and fewer classes offered. I heard the teacher training lasted several months and that it was brutal. Indeed the training was the most demanding of the three courses. After 7 months I felt more than ready to teach Kundalini Yoga and it has become my favorite yoga to practice and to teach.

30-Hour Training Certification for Yoga for Healthy Aging YFHA
Dr. Baxter Bell and Melina Meza, Oakland CA – February 12, 2021

This was my latest training offered during the COVID-19 shut down, all classes were on line. I have been reading the Yoga for Healthy Aging blog for sometime and had wanted to study with Dr. Baxter Bell, MD. I was thrilled when I saw this offering come on-line. And it was co-taught by Melina Meza who is a a 25-year veteran teacher and a terrific instructor as well.

melinameza.com

baxterbell.com

Stone Yoga School Janet Stone Yoga: San Francicso CA
In Person and On-Line Workshops – 2016-2020

Janet Stone is one of those “it” teachers in San Francisco. Her classes at Yoga Tree Castro would be packed: mat to mat with barely an inch to spare between students. 150 plus yoginis/yogis sweating and moving and chanting to her energetic Vinyasa Flow, sometimes complete with live musicians rocking the Castro on Friday nights.

Over the last five years I’ve taken a mix of in studio and on-line courses. Her on-line classes are highly produced with outstanding videography, sound, power points and asana practice. And once you take a course it remains on a Janet Stone Yoga server and you can revisit the course with all the content at anytime in the future. janetstoneyoga.com

Janet Stone Courses below:

  • Living the 8 Limbs of Yoga
  • The Yamas and The Niyamas (The ancient life restraints and observances that are still very
    applicable today.)
  • Energetic Alignment and How to Adjust
  • Chanting: Yoga of the Heart (Chants for the Harmonium and use of the Harmonium.)

Stone Yoga School: In Parts the Whole – Online
Anatomy, co-taught: With spiritual teacher and disciplined Yoga asana practitioner/instructor Janet Stone and renowned San Francisco physical therapist, Harvey Deutsch. redhawkpt.com

This anatomy course inspired by Harvey Deutsch was the most comprehensive anatomy training to date. If you are interested in anatomy, I highly recommend taking this course. The content is all on-line and you can replay sections you find challenging. The workbook is especially good with asana sequences highlighting specific parts of the body.

Yoga Insurance: Philadelphia Insurance Company “Fitness & Wellness: Yoga Teacher’s Policy” – Policy current and policy number provided upon request.

Rocky’s Journey in Three Acts

Rocky has pursued three main interests throughout his life: Sales & Management, Music Performance, Yoga & Mindfulness. 

Act I – RADIO SALES & MANAGEMENT – Rocky Blumhagen was born in Walla Walla, Washington and raised across the Oregon state line in Milton-Freewater. Upon graduation with a BA in Vocal Performance from Lewis & Clark College, Rocky immediately began performing in Germany, England and the West coast of the US for the next seven years. After returning to school to study radio and television broadcasting, he launched a 20 year career in commercial radio in Portland, spending fifteen years in advertising, sales and management at KGW, KINK and KKSN am/fm. Ultimately, as station manager of KGON/KNRK, Rocky launched the popular “94/7fm” an alternative rock station still going strong today.

Act II – VOCALIST – ACTOR – FUNDRAISER – Realizing his first love, he returned to his singing roots, performing for several years in the Palm Springs area including his own cabaret shows, Musical Chairs concerts, the Coachella Valley Symphony and the Stover All Star Big Band shows at the Annenberg Theatre. More than a cabaret performer, Big Band singer and symphony soloist, Rocky has won two acting awards and a number of nominations for his live performances. In his years as a performer, Rocky has given over 1500 nightclub performances and recorded three albums. Rocky has also created exciting musical programs and revues that are as unique as they are entertaining, all while pursuing acting roles in the Bay Area.

Around the turn of the Millennium, Rocky set to work on a lofty goal. His aim was to apply his singing and acting chops in order to raise one million dollars for charity with his performances. Over the next two decades, Rocky and his collaborative partners created multiple shows of the Great American Songbook featuring Cole Porter, The Gershwin Brothers, Irving Berlin, and more. Rocky recorded his Cole Porter CD, “Easy to Love” with the Portland Chamber Orchestra.

“Through my performances, it is my intention to be a part of raising 1 million dollars through the development and performance of small-venue cabarets, lush, fully orchestrated shows, and other musical entertainment tailored specifically to charity events. To date my performances have raised over $825,000… A great start!   What can I do for YOUR wonderful cause?”  ~ Rocky

Act III – TRANSITION TO YOGA – Rocky has been a Yoga practitioner for over 25 years with a focus on teaching the last seven years. The practice of Yoga coupled with a lifelong interest in spirituality has given his life added meaning and purpose. He is passionate about the integration of Body, Mind and Spirit, especially in older adults. Rocky is a nationally certified Yoga instructor in both Hatha and Kundalini Yoga.

Most recently, Rocky has participated in the Distinguished Careers Institute at Stanford University, a fellowship program that seeks to improve the life journey, building purpose, community and recalibrating wellness, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

 

More details can be found on Rocky’s Backstory.
View Rocky’s Calendar of Shows and Performance Archive.