Podcast: Ep #244: Healing & Synergy: Retiring Yoga Poses?

From Pain to Possibility with Susi Hately | Healing & Synergy: Retiring Yoga Poses?

Get comfortable because today I’ll be walking you through a body scan and breath awareness meditation, a practice similar to the Rest & Revitalization Sleep Meditations covered in previous episodes.

A combination of techniques utilized in those R&R sleep meditations, this practice is especially useful during the healing process when your body is signaling for a rest. It’s a moment for you to slow down and optimize your system for the remaining rehabilitation journey.

So find a safe and quiet place where you can sit or lay down as I guide you, step-by-step, through this 20-minute body scan and breath awareness practice in order to down-regulate your nervous system.

If you benefited from the practice that I share in this episode and you would like to have access to a 10 Day R&R Sleep Meditation Reset, all you have to do is click

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What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • A 20-minute body scan and breath awareness meditation with instructions and invitations.

  • The ways our body may signal a need to come to a place of rest during rehab.

  • How down-regulating your nervous system impacts our body’s ability to heal.

Featured on the Show:

  • IIf you benefited from the practice that I share in this episode and you would like to have access to a 10 Day R&R Sleep Meditation Reset, all you have to do is click here.
  • If you're interested in improving your healing skills with a more guided approach, join my Yoga Therapy Certification. Click here to register.
  • Join the next Therapeutic Yoga Intensive on April 20–25, 2024 by registering here.
  • Ready to learn to listen to your body? Email [email protected] for a customized learning path.

Full Episode Transcript:

Male Announcer: You’re listening to From Pain to Possibility with Susi Hately. You will hear Susi’s best ideas on how to reduce or even eradicate your pain and learn how to listen to your body when it whispers so you don’t have to hear it scream. And now here’s your host, Susi Hately.

Welcome and welcome back. I’m so glad that you’re here today because I am in the middle of my healing and synergy miniseries, which is a multi-episode miniseries here on this podcast where I’m talking about really key and significant aspects that I have seen being really important for helping people reduce and eradicate physical pain.

And there’s this mind/body connection where we can really grow by learning and understanding the anatomical concepts and biomechanical applications in a therapeutic way, and then learning how to become aware and recognize the whispers. There’s skill and there’s technique to be able to work those two aspects together.

And of course there’s the business aspect where we can find alignment and harmony between the technical skills that we grow and the business skills that we need to grow in order to really make the difference we want to make and reach the people we want to reach and done in a way that really just honors all of it.

So often business and the yoga industry can feel like oil and water, and it’s just not my experience. And I’m hoping that as you listen through these multiple episodes that you really get a sense and a feel of the harmony that can exist between all facets of this to enable the healing for our clientele, as well as having our businesses really serve us and suit us and nourish us and nurture us and really everyone who interacts with them.

So with today’s episode, there is a little bit of a warning, if I can put it that way, is that I might get into a little bit of a rant because this is a topic that’s incredibly passionate for me. And as I was writing out the episode, I could feel myself getting super excited about sharing this with you.

I had a conversation with my certification group today because often when I’m preparing for these podcast episodes, what I’m talking about often bleeds into what I’m teaching in the certification program. And of course we ran the Power of the Hip Rotators and there was a great example that I’ll share with you in this episode that just blew me away and brought tears to my eyes. And so it’s something that’s so dear to my heart and what I’ve seen over the years of working with people.

And the bottom line here is there are a lot of people in the yoga industry who when they hit kind of a block in their practice or they’re hurt or they’re injured, they can come up with this very sort of end of kind of a statement line of like, well, I’m going to have to retire this yoga pose. I can’t do this yoga pose anymore. And then outside of the yoga industry I’ll hear people saying, well, I just can’t run anymore. It’s just not possible. Or I can’t do this activity or that activity. It’s just, it’s not in the cards anymore.

And so I want to speak to that. And what I want to make sure of as I share my insights and my opinions about these topics is I want to be sure that what I’m sharing is not landing as making anybody wrong. It’s more offering insights and ideas that I hope will kind of open the door to possibility.

Yes, there are times when bodies simply cannot do certain things, like post knee surgeries or post replacements, for example, there are just some activities that aren’t possible. I’m not referring to those types of scenarios at all.

More of what I’m referring to will be highlighted in this example. And that is I had a potential trainee who became a trainee and is now a grad message me many, many years ago on Facebook. And she said, what I’ve learned so far about anatomy and biomechanics from other trainers is that there’s just some poses, there’s some asana I can’t do.

And I said, oh, tell me why you can’t do them. And she said, well, my body and my muscles just won’t let me. And so I’ve just decided that I’m going to retire them. And my response back to her was, well, what if your body could move better and that you could do those poses again? And her response to me back was, I never considered that.

And so this is why this becomes deeply meaningful for me, because I work with people, many of whom have been told that they need to stop doing something. And because they have heard the, “you need to stop doing this” from an authority figure, then there’s a belief that they need to stop doing it. And as I mentioned already, there are clearly times where there is a true limitation and that it’s really not possible, like in some cases post hip or knee surgery, as an example.

And in many, many other situations, what I’ve seen is that someone may not be able to do something right now, but they actually have the potential within their tissue to shift up their mechanics, to shift their biomechanics or kinesiology, to shift up their breathing patterns, to shift up their habitual patterns, that they, in fact, may be able to do that thing. May be able to do that pose, may be able to do that activity.

And the thing is I’ve got the evidence for it. I have the data for it. Many, many of my clients, my trainees are back doing things that they never thought they could do. And they’re back doing them with greater awareness, greater connection, and a lot more ease. And in many cases, more strength.

I think about a trainee who’s currently in my certification program, who when she completed the intensive in October, a lot of her pain had gone away. And then five months later, reported in saying, I have not injured myself once in the past five months, and that is entirely new for me.

So the reason why, or a reason why she could report in with that kind of experience is because of what she’s now able to tune into in a very embodied way, and in a way that really has honored and nurtured her awareness.

In that nurturing, that’s a really key word here, of the awareness, her whole system is settling, relaxing, and down-regulating. So there’s just this greater presence and overall connection, less tension, less gripping. And my experience with my clientele is that when they’re in those states, there is so much more they’re capable of, they’ve got much more capacity.

The reason I bring this up is because when people hear from an authority figure that you just can’t do it, that can end the conversation for them. That ends the curiosity. That’s just like, it can be a line in the sand, a binary, this thing is now wrong for my body, or this thing is a no-go, and then onward they go.

And for some people that works, right? That line in the sand, it doesn’t impact them on a soul, or a spirit, or a heart level, that their body and mind is somewhat aligned to that decision. But then there are other people who it still niggles at them of like, but what if? Maybe. And maybe there’s no words to it, it’s just this sort of desire, this push, this niggle.

And so to those people what I am saying, and for those of you who are professionals listening to this, is maybe this idea of someone who is having trouble doing a movement, or looks to be limited in their body, maybe that limitation can actually be the start of the conversation and not the end of the conversation. Not the, oh, well, you can’t move this way, so you just can’t do this thing.

But what if it became a conversation of, hmm, so what is the actual movement that’s required? What’s required of the body? Where is it displaying right now that the person can’t do this movement, or can’t do that particular granular piece of the movement? And is that actually the problem?

Do you see how I’m talking here? It’s the start of the conversation. It’s the start of curiosity. It’s the start of like, what’s contributing to why this part of the body is not moving the way that a person might want it to? And when we can start to step back, zoom out a little bit, and start to kind of be playful, then our system starts to settle.

We know from the mindfulness research that if we’re going into something in a very binary way, we’re in a much more sympathetic drive, right? Think about when you’re in a more of a stress response, what does that feel like in your body? When we can come at a question from a curious standpoint, from an exploratory standpoint, then we’re more in a parasympathetic drive. And so think about what that feels like in your body, and which one is supportive for healing, at least in the way that I’m talking about right now?

The workshop that I was leading today, it’s called Power of the Hip Rotators. There was a person in that workshop who had peripheral neuropathy from birth, something she inherited. And within about 30 minutes in the workshop, she commented saying, this is the scenario, and she now has found her feet. She now has balance.

It was quite remarkable. When I think and consider about that experience and what I felt, and her back and forth with me on that call, you can have a condition and that condition can be expressed in your body in the way that it’s being expressed. But it doesn’t mean that’s the end of the expression.

It’s much like the story I like to tell about my husband’s psoriasis. When I met him, he had a lot of red and a lot of flakiness. And then he figured out a few things, with a little bit of my help, around what foods and other emotional, mental and emotional situations that were contributing to the flare.

Do you notice I didn’t say contributing to the psoriasis? I said contributing to the flare. And now, if you were to look at him, you would never know he has psoriasis. Psoriasis still exists. The switch was turned on physiologically in his system. It’s still something that happens to be in his environment, but it doesn’t express itself in the same way at all, and he’s older than he was when I met him.

So here is somebody in this workshop today who could feel her feet, find her balance for the first time in a very, very, very long time. She has peripheral neuropathy. And there was an expression of said condition that was very different than she’s had in the past.

The point here is that you can have a condition, and how that condition is expressed, that can change. And when a condition is expressed in a new way, your body is responding in a new way. And when your body is responding in a new way, then what you’re able to do with your body is different.

I like to say to my clientele when they start to improve their movement patterns and they start to feel less pain and their pain signals start to drop for more and more periods of time and for longer periods of time, I like to say to them to not step over it all and say, I can’t step over this moment here. Because even though this is a moment in time, and this moment may last for five minutes, it may last for five days, it may last for five hours, your body is experiencing this moment.

This is a true moment. No one’s making it up. You are experiencing this for real. And you know what that means to me? It means you can have it. You know why? Because your body’s experiencing it. So when someone has a small moment, those small moments build into larger moments. And those larger moments become minutes, and hours, and days, and weeks.

And through that whole experience, as you grow the curiosity, which feeds into the growing of the moments to the minutes, to the hours, to the days, to the weeks, to the months, there’s curiosity through that all. You’re tuning into whispers. You’re recognizing correlated patterns. You’re building out new habits, new neuromuscular connections, better motor control and coordination.

So that there still can be this physiological thing, call it psoriasis, call it SI joint issues, call it whatever. But because you are more tuned into what the contributing factors are for that being expressed, you’re now able to have a much greater bandwidth, even with this label that exists in your world, in your client’s world.

So what I want you to get here is I started this episode with someone who was thinking about retiring yoga poses because she didn’t think she could do them anymore because someone told her that she couldn’t. And then she learned how to move better. She learned how to listen to the body, her body, when it whispers. She understood and became more clear on the signals that her body was giving her.

She was able to act on them and build upon them and develop a relationship with those signals that could serve her, that could build her up, that could evolve her into a new place.

This can happen for you and each of your clients. We have no idea what’s possible for anyone. We have no idea. But what I do know, after almost 30 years of helping people reduce and eradicate physical pain, is that change can most certainly happen.

How much? I have no idea, nor would I even pretend to know. I simply watch people move. I watch them breathe. I help them to become still and quiet. And as they do, there’s discoveries that are made. There’s connections that are made. And that leads to some very remarkable results.

If this is interesting to you, and you’re someone who’s a health professional or a yoga teacher who wants to dig into this more, this is really fun stuff to get into. And yes, it’s super powerful too. But if you know there’s more to the human condition, and you know that there’s more for us as humans as we tune in and become more embodied, I’d love to work with you.

There’s the Therapeutic Yoga Intensive. It is coming up this weekend. And there’s still an opportunity for you to join us. Send us an email to [email protected]. I would love, love, love to connect with you.

Enjoy the Show?