Susi Hately

Why Yoga Isn’t Dangerous

It makes me sad when I hear people say that yoga poses are not functional movement and that they are dangerous. I believe that most yoga poses are highly functional and not dangerous at all. The trouble is most people push way too far into them, well past, what is truly available in their body. That isn’t the fault of the pose.

I remember an interview I did for the CBC, a national radio show, back in 2004 when my first book, Anatomy and Asana: Preventing Yoga Injuries was published. The interviewer asked me why so many people get injured in yoga. My response was that we are attempting to bring a western approach to an eastern-based meditative movement and breathing practice.

When asked for an example, I responded that the movements in yoga are called Asanas, which are to prepare a body to sit for longer times in stillness and meditation. Asana means “sitting comfortably and still. Our western approach had turned Asana into a exercise for a workout, a sweat, a great butt and arms. Pushing to the edge and feeling sore the next day was a badge of honour. It paid little heed to awareness, and was much more about mind over matter.

It therefore doesn’t surprise me that 15 years later, our industry is in the place that it is. I hope that all this injury will make people realize that deep technique matters more than superficial poses. That the quiet sensations telling us to stop should actually be listened to and not be plowed over.

Nonetheless there remains confusion about what to actually do. At a recent Therapeutic Yoga Intensive, I had one very long term yoga teacher shudder in realization of how small her true range of motion and stability actually were. She was horrified as she said to me: “YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME; THIS IS WHAT MY BODY CAN DO?”

Then she started to piece it together: her levels of pain, strain, tension, the holding patterns and how it all relates. Her mind was blown wide open as she became aware of her reality, and the possibility of less pain, more function and feeling a whole lot better.

Sometimes gaining awareness can start out a being unsettling, and then something cool happens – The awareness gained opens the door to much less tension, pain, and strain; more ease, lightness, and stillness; more stability, mobility and strength. And, more Asana —of the kind that is sitting comfortably and still.

Have a great time exploring sensation, ease and more Asana.

Best,

Susi

Yoga and Business

by Susi Hately, B.Sc. Kinesiology C-IAYT

I had a conversation with a yoga teacher last week who was interested in my yoga therapy program but was concerned that she couldn’t make a living upon graduation.

She actually told me about another yoga teacher who said that “Susi’s program is great, but you can’t make any money as a yoga therapist.”

I told her, quite literally, “that is hogwash.”

I then went on to explain the following. Yes, the yoga therapy industry is rife with a belief that you can’t make a living. It is not dissimilar to the yoga teaching industry. I heard some stats from someone affiliated with the IAYT that the majority of yoga therapists are doing karma work, or are paid very little.

All of that is true.

This is not the reality, though, for my grads. My grads – if they follow the principles that I teach – are all making a living. When I look at my statistics 80% of my grads are earning mid to high 5 figure incomes, and a growing number are earning 6 figure incomes.

AND, their lives are less chaotic, they are teaching fewer hours, they have much more ideal clients, and they are spending more time with friends and family. It is not uncommon for me to get emails 3 and 4 years later of grads who have been doubling their income every year 3 years running, by following what I taught them at the Therapeutic Yoga Intensive.

Some of them live in small towns. Some of them live in big cities.

All of them have built and are growing their own yoga therapy businesses. They are getting referrals from other professionals in their community and from happy clients. Many have paid off years of debt from taking other yoga trainings.


What  a recent graduate wrote:

I work a 4 day week . . .

. . . .not only am I out of debt, I have a much better relationship with my family than I have ever had. I have a stronger support network than I ever thought possible. I work a four day week and am in a place where I choose whom I work with and get to explore why I work with them. I am a much better massage therapist, yoga therapist, singer, actor, healer, alchemist than I ever imagined I could be. ~ Josh


Yes, I will admit my results are atypical. That is because I morally can’t offer a program where people don’t have the opportunity to earn back their fee and more. So within each of my higher priced programs, we spend time talking about how to grow a client base, mistakes to avoid, and how to craft your schedule to serve you, your family, and your life.

The is an important piece – nurturing yourself while nurturing others is vital. If we aren’t taking care of ourselves, how are we going to teach other people the ins and outs of taking care of themselves?

The aim is to not have to race around stuffing in energy bars and stimulant herbal elixirs. Remembering that business is all about relationships, and marketing is communication and education. It is about being connected and sharing, and not being slimy, slick, or manipulative. It is about showing you care, while maintaining your boundaries of “overcaring”, of supporting your clients’ growth while you support your own.

What I teach is simple.

You don’t need to run an online program. You don’t need to post on Instagram or Facebook. You don’t even need a product to sell. None of these are necessary elements but they could form part of the structure of your business if you want.

So what is it about?

Here are some key ideas:

A. Get Present to What Is:

  • Know how much time you have. We all have the same number of hours in the day, or how I like to put it – we all have the same sized plate. We each have stuff on our plate. Some of us have more stuff. Some of us have less.
  • Know what you want. Deep In your bones, your gut and your heart, what do you really, really want? Write that down. Look back at your time, carve out a small section where you can start to work on moving toward what you want.

No one plate is better than the other. The key is get clear on what is on yours.

B. Understand Your Job is To Solve Problems

  • People aren’t really all that interested in yoga therapy. They are interested in solving a problem. Explain to them, in language they understand how you can help solve the problem they have (back pain, lowering anxiety, improving breathing etc etc). So, don’t worry about what to call yourself. Just listen and help people figure out how to solve their problem.

C. People Will Pay for Certainty of Success

  • People will pay if they trust you can come through on your promise. This is where testimonials come in, and other forms of proof that what you offer works. This is particularly vital when you are offering something a little (or a lot) different from what is mainstream.
  • This is where good technical skill is vital. Get well trained and blend your training with growing your business skill.

D. Deliver on Your Promise

  • This builds on the point above. Get well trained. Become very good at your craft.

What I teach is not magic, where money will somehow pour into your life with no work on your part. That’s the bad news. The good news is what I teach are straightforward steps that you can take to grow your business steadily and with integrity. Sure it requires work, but at least you’ll know these steps have worked for other people in creating the life and practice they desire.

Looking forward to working with you,

Susi

Diastasis Recovery

By Susi Hately, B.Sc. Kin, C-IAYT Yoga Therapist

I know a thing or two about diastasis recovery, It was clear early on after the delivery of my twins that I had a diastasis. I knew it was possible to heal, to both reconnect and to improve the overall tone through my abdomen.

What is important to know is it is more than the tissue of your abdomen. When you take a holistic view of you, your movement, and your breath – ie your shoulders, hips, how you compensate, and quiet what is working and nurture what is . . . things improve in a very step-by-step way.

The following is a sample of videos Megan Jenkinson and I recorded for the Diastasis Recovery Program.  You’ll get some good stuff to consider. Enjoy!

If after watching them, you would like more, , click here to get the whole program

Enjoy!

Susi

Playback Quality : High

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Playback Quality : High

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The Most Important Component of Helping

By Susi Hately, B.Sc.Kin, C-IAYT

In my 22 years of practicing and teaching yoga, I’ve found that the most important component of helping someone therapeutically is the Healing Relationship.

Without this understanding there is no hope for anyone to make any progress – teacher or client.

The Healing Relationship is 100% vital to the client getting well and the teacher not burning out.

It distinguishes between the authoritative “power over” and the collaborative “power with”.

This enables the client/patient become their own best teacher, their own best advocate.

It takes the ego of “ooooh I am so smart” out of the equation for the teacher which truly enables the client to heal, which really is so ‘effing cool.

When you combine this vital skill with your ability to see compensatory movement strategies, and knowing what to do with what you see, you can more clearly and accurately choose the next step – whether a yoga movement, breathing or meditation technique or something entirely different.

Bottom line: When you combine an amazing therapeutic relationship with a solid understanding of the biomechanics, anatomy and kinesiology required for healing…..you will grow your consistency with great results and happy clients. And happy clients refer. Often.

It is amazing. And doable.

Recently I was discussing the Healing Relationship with a friend, and he asked me for some specific recommendations for cultivating such a relationship. I can talk about it at length, but it’s surprisingly hard to put it into a few words because it’s more about “being” rather than “doing.”

However, after going outside into the sun and leaning against the railing of my deck, I came up with the following points that are in the direction of attaining a Healing Relationship:

  1. Take time to slow down. The tendency is to find a solution fast. My experience is that faster and better results arise out of slowing down. So, if your brain is swirling to find the answer, pause, breathe, take a sip of water. By slowing down, you’ll be able to see more, share more, and make a bigger difference for your client.
  2. Speak their language. Try not to use jargon-y language if your client doesn’t understand it.
  3. Don’t Freak Out. 🙂 Oftentimes where you might see a compensatory strategy is not the place where your client will feel it. Don’t worry – this is normal. It is a great example of where the pain is is not the problem. The key is to notice that there is a correlation, so as you help your client move better within a more effective range, what they feel will also likely change. So instead of trying to make the client feel what you see, note the relationship.
  4. Embrace Your Doubt. The very best health professionals acknowledge that they doubt themselves. The distinction though is they don’t get drowned by it, nor do they ignore it. They notice it is present and continue to see and act. Here is one of my tricks – When doubt shows up for me, I get excited that I am being asked to pay close attention, to be gentler with my gaze and to settle down. When I do, I am able to see more and choose better, and my client often “gets it” faster.

If this resonates with you and you want to get better results and a more sustainable client base, scroll down below for information on the Therapeutic Yoga Intensive this October in Calgary.

We’ll spend a lot of time on this concept of the Healing Relationship, among many others.

Have fun exploring!
Susi

Note #1: If after reading, you have any questions about the Therapeutic Yoga Intensive, contact us  with your question, or if you prefer, we could schedule a time to chat. Zero pressure because I’ll be the first one to say if I think something is not a great fit.

Note #2: I do have 2 openings for this same Intensive in Toronto on September 22-27, in case that works better for you. If you might be interested in that, please reply to this email and I can let you know if they’re still not taken.


Growth and Learning Opportunities with Susi
The Therapeutic Yoga Intensive

I have offered and refined this program over the last 14 years. It remains one of the best foundational programs for becoming a truly spectacular yoga therapist. What do I mean by spectacular? Being present so that you can truly be with the person who is in front of you, and not having to rely on the latest trend, or research paper to choose movements, breathing and stillness techniques.

Yes, trends and research are interesting and important, but the magic happens when you are truly with your client. The participants who have taken this program are amazed at how being present really is the missing link – not only in their ability to help someone get well but to do so consistently and not burn out. AND, to help their own self heal and get well again.

This program is for you if you believe that healing is possible. You want a no fuss, candid and truly loving approach to being real about “what is”; to dig in and explore yourself in movement, breath and stillness. You know that your level of awareness, connection and integration has a direct impact on your results with your clients. You recognize you can’t ask a client to do what you aren’t willing to do for yourself. You understand that if pain can change, pain can actually change.

This program is not for you if you are looking for a quick “fix it”, in the form of “when you see this, do that” black-and-white templates. Also, some people don’t recognize there is magic in healing and would prefer a “power over” approach, which suggests they know more than their clients. They won’t enjoy this experience.
Group size is limited to 18 people. Payment plans are available.

The Therapeutic Yoga Intensive is Level 1 of my IAYT-Accredited Yoga Therapy Certification Program.

Following the training you will be able to begin teaching 1:1 and small group therapeutic yoga classes.

Click here for details for the Therapeutic Yoga Intensive that is running this October 20-25, 2018 in Calgary. I do give discounts to people who register early because it saves me time and I like to have my events filled early–it allows me to get back to what I like to do, and that’s to help people through my writing and interacting with them.

Early bird registration is available until August 31, and class size maxes out at 18 participants. Payment plans are available.

Reviews of the Therapeutic Yoga Intensive

“. . . I was out of pain, off all medications.”
I took this training and within three months (after 8 years) of chronic pain, I was out of pain, off all medications. I used the principles outlined here and dedicated time for my personal practice and healing. And now I’ve taught these same things to my students, helping others find their way out of pain! Thank you. ~ Cathy

“What is this stuff? Magic?”
Ah-Ha! So, I’ve just returned from my client with Parkinson’s. She’s been quite depressed about how her leg is starting to drag. Today, after a while doing stuff on her back, I got her up and asked her to walk around and tell me how she felt. “Oh Gillian,” she said after a couple of minutes. “Can you see, my leg’s not dragging nearly as much!” What is this stuff? Magic? ~ Gillian

“. . .never before have I felt I’ve learned so much”
THANK YOU for teaching me to look beyond the books and seek the knowledge that is deep within my body. I appreciated that you spent lots of time to show us what to do, how to do it and told us why we might choose one exercise and not another, but most importantly for me I appreciated that you left the discovering of what to feel or not up to us. I’ve taken lots of courses and read lots of books and watched lots of videos but never before have I felt I’ve learned so much that is right now applicable and beneficial to so many. Although I took notes and re-wrote them after the training, I feel I have a sense of what to do – what a great feeling! Thanks so much. – Maureen

Click here for details for the Therapeutic Yoga Intensive that is running this October 20-25, 2018 in Calgary.  Early bird registration is available until August 31, and class size maxes out at 18 participants. Payment plans are available.

Inspirational Quotes