Podcast: Episode 188. What You Will Learn at the Therapeutic Yoga Intensive

I have a very exciting announcement to share this week. From October 28th to November 2nd, 2023, I'm running my Therapeutic Yoga Intensive where you can learn about the foundational principles for helping people reduce and eradicate physical pain using the Functional Synergy model and toolkit.

The intensive focuses on teaching foundational principles that will not only alleviate physical pain but also provide a toolkit for participants to use in teaching and supporting their own clients.  

Tune in this week to discover the three essential elements of this training, why my teaching style is intrinsically successful, and the results you can expect. I'm giving you all the details on this intensive so you decide if it's right for you and I'm sharing how you can sign up.

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What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • What you can expect from the intensive.
  • The tools I will be sharing. 
  • 3 aspects of the training.
  • How to shift belief to create change.

Featured on the Show:

  • Click here to get all the details on my Therapeutic Yoga Intensive! 

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 to From Pain to Possibility, and this podcast helps you to reduce and eradicate physical pain for yourself and your clients. With this episode I am gearing up for the Therapeutic Yoga Intensive that I’m running this fall from October the 28th to November 2nd. And this is where I teach and you can learn about the foundational principles for helping people to reduce and eradicate physical pain using the Functional Synergy model and toolkit.

Now, if you’re a long standing learner with me and a listener of this podcast, you may just be saying, hey, wait a second, did I just hear you say Functional Synergy model and toolkit? Yes, you did. It’s very exciting, I am currently formalizing many of the teaching tools that I use when I’m working with clients.

Tools that will help trainees better integrate the concepts that I’m teaching that they can share with your clients. And also that clients can integrate for themselves so that they can have a better experience in terms of learning biomechanical movement patterns, breathing and stillness practices. I’ll be sharing more on the Functional Synergy model and the toolkit later in August and into September, so stay tuned for that coming down the pipe.

In the meantime, with this episode I want to address three things specifically as it relates to the therapeutic yoga intensive. How I teach it from both an intellectual and embodied place and why I feel it’s significant. Why this way of teaching leads to what I call novel experiences and why I think those are important for healing and recovery. And the results that people receive.

To get the details out of the way, the Therapeutic Yoga Intensive is six days, it runs 8 am to 2:30 Mountain Time. It’s synchronous training, so you will need to attend live and online. And I realize this might sound kind of strange since many of my shorter trainings that are anywhere between one hour and 20 hours can be done as recordings, right? You can take them asynchronously.

However, this one is a bit different and I require it in real-time because of the interaction that you have with me. There’s also a magic in the group that comes together, which is very different for each group but it’s present because we’re our own little pod. I take up to 20 people in the training and we’re in this little pod for six days. And it’s a training that is both an intellectual process, as well as an embodied process.

And there’s a magic that comes when you blend the intellectual with the embodiment, to the point where many people really begin to witness the mystery that’s involved in being present to the healing process. In many ways we aren’t trying to demystify the body, but rather we’re looking to embody its mystery. And so while, yes, this is a biomechanical training, it’s also a healing training. And this piece of mystery and magic becomes really important to experience, to the point where in many ways it validates what we all know to be capital T true, that healing is possible.

Not all is known about why healing happens. It can often be beyond solely neuromuscular interactions, anatomical principles, biological phenomena, chemistry and physics. That is to say that, yes, there can be a little bit of woo, and I like to make space and relationships for that. I think it’s really, really important.

Let me give you an example. The program’s six day curriculum walks you through how I break down movement and why I feel that this breaking down of movement into component parts is important. And again, this is both an intellectual and an embodied process. So trainees are practicing more so than hearing lectures.

So given this, given that they’re practicing more, it’s not uncommon for me to have to shift the curriculum to meet the needs of the group because most of the people who are coming to the training are trainees who have some physical pain to resolve. So yes, they are coming to learn for their clientele, and they are also learning for themselves.

It’s a reason why I keep the groups to a maximum of 20, so I have the opportunity to spend time with people individually as well as a group. There’s lots of time for all of us to be able to watch bodies move, watch each other move and have interactions about what’s actually going on.

So as I move through the program, while there is a curriculum and I have the modules of when I’m going to do, say the hips, or the shoulders, or the spine or the interaction between the two, as I move through the program, it can become very, very, very clear, like abundantly clear that while their brains are ready to learn some of the material, their bodies aren’t ready to do what it is that I’m offering.

And remember, this is therapeutic, these are small component parts. In some ways some people would think, well, can’t everybody do them? And the answer is clearly no. And that’s why I’m running the training. That’s why I run a very intensive yoga therapy certification program, because a lot of people don’t have those component parts working as well as they could and this can be a contributing factor to why they are still having persistency of their symptoms.

An example of this is in the fall of 2022 the entire group had hip issues. Now, not expressed as hip issues. Some of them had migraines, some of them had shoulder issues, jaw issues, feet issues, back issues. But it was clear on the first day that their hips did not move very well at all.

And no matter what it was that I taught, it just wasn’t landing. Their hips weren’t shifting or they were going into other areas of compensation. Their calves were getting sore, their knees were getting sore, their back, their shoulder blades, their head. I mean, all sorts of things were happening. It was clear that their bodies were not wanting, ready, or whichever, whatever we’re doing to put in there for the hip work that I was offering.

So, given the clarity, and knowing that where the pain is isn’t the problem, I just sort of threw my curriculum up in the air. And I told them that, I said, all right. I remember laughing saying, all right, guys, this is new. I have not ever done this to this extreme. Yes, I have maneuvered modules around when needed, but I am going to throw the entire curriculum up because your hips are not moving. We have got to work with your hips.

And so I specifically began to teach them. And what was so cool about the experience was not only did everyone have an experience of reduced or eradicated physical pain, they had huge insights, huge changes of belief around what was possible. They got to see me in action, working with the planes of movement, fundamental movement principles, all based in growing awareness, mindfulness, clarity, greater connection with their bodies, and feedback.

They really got to see that they could have all the intellectual understanding in the world, but if they did not feel this clearly in their body, if they were not connecting to their body, it was just not going to work. In the end, I ended up teaching the whole curriculum, just in a way that was in a very, very, very different order.

People got a first-hand experience of where the pain is, is not the problem. And interestingly, and I’ll talk more about this in a moment, where they were holding their beliefs and what they were holding in their beliefs about their body and about movement.

They also got to see in a really interesting way, what it was like to run a yoga therapy session in real time because in real time I was meeting them where they were, walking through what I was seeing. They got to see I was responding to each person, especially when symptoms, whether they were going down, sideways or up, they got to see how I was responding and supporting people so that the people could actually experience the experience of what I wanted them to have.

What was even more interesting here, and also not entirely surprising, is prior to the intensive about half the group had already registered for the full certification program. And almost all of the other half of people who had not, did. In part because of what they saw was possible, in part because of what they wanted more of, and to get really, really, really good at that more of.

So all in all, what I’m really wanting to bring forth is that this is very much an embodied training. Yes, with intellectual understanding, of course. And I’m actually walking you through the teaching tools so that you have a lived experience of what it is to improve interoception and proprioception.

You get to watch how many other trainees are moving or not moving, how they are listening or not listening to what their symptoms are doing, how I’m responding to what’s happening with their symptoms when they’re going up or down or sideways, where and how they’re compensating, and then how that is contributing to the experiences that they’re having.

And it’s all done in such a way that this is just a human experience. There’s nothing wrong, there’s nothing right, it’s the experience that one is having. And the experience, as we know, is unique to each person. And so there’s lots of room there to have their own experience. They also got a taste of what I like to call the novel experience.

Now, the novel experience is a term I first learned from someone named Sherry Yellin and I met her back in 2017 when she was helping me distill a bunch of my teaching concepts into a healing helix. Well, I created the healing helix, ultimately, but she was helping me distill my teaching into a model and one of those was the healing helix, which I’ve referenced on this podcast quite a few times and I use it in all of my trainings to set the context for what we’re about to do. And it highlights the healing relationship between the teacher and the client.

She mentioned it to me, this novel experience idea, because she could see that what I was doing was enabling a belief change through body movement. Because healing, in order for healing to happen, there needs to be a shift of belief. You can’t have long-standing change and maintain the same belief pattern. She shared a perspective that was new to a concept I had already known.

So in the self-improvement world, in the psychological world there’s a very common psychological model that goes like this, that beliefs are long standing thoughts. And these thoughts, when we’re thinking them, lead to a feeling which leads to actions which lead to result.

And I’ve known for a long time that I don’t begin with people in their healing process at their thoughts and feelings. Where I begin is at the action, so I get the moving. And out of them moving, whether that’s through reducing compensatory patterns or building up into more complex movement, or whether it’s in breathing or whether it’s in being still, they start to get a result, their symptoms start to go down. That’s their result.

The result changes what’s possible for them because they now get to see that they can have their symptoms go down. And so the reason this is important is because everybody who comes to see me are people who have a persistency in issues. They fundamentally know that change can happen, but they don’t yet know it.

So when the pain starts to go down, and they have this like, oh, this is different, this is new. And sometimes it’s like, oh, this is different, this is new. And sometimes it’s like holy crap, Susi, or throw a different word in there. Like, I mean, I didn’t know this was actually possible, right? It can be that dramatic for people, or can be very, very quiet. But the idea here is when that result opens up a new possibility for people, that’s the opening to new thinking.

That’s the opening to new beliefs. And out of that new belief comes, again, new thoughts, which lead to different feelings, which lead to different types of actions and, again, different results. And what’s also important, and this is something I’ve believed for a long, long time, is that you can’t change belief by just using different thoughts. You can’t just start thinking different thoughts because thoughts just bubble up.

I like to call it chocolate covered caca, right? When you superimpose a positive or a better thought over top of an unresolved thought. And lots of people do that out there, right? They want to think better thoughts, which all the power to them, but there’s not the resolution of the underlying thought. And so they start to wonder why things are not changing, right? Because the underlying belief is not changing.

That’s also why I love, love, love movement. Because movement, when our body starts to shift and those results start to change, we see the change. We feel the change for real. For real. We can’t deny that something has changed if we are doing it to ourselves, which is why I like to say to people, when they have their pain reduced or their pain is eradicated I say, hey, let’s not step over this. This has happened. And do you know what it means?

And they usually say, what does it mean? I say, it means you can have it happen. But how do you know that? Well, because it’s happening. Your body has demonstrated that it can reduce pain. Your body has demonstrated that pain can be eradicated. So guess what? It means you can have this. Now, there’s a bit more work to do to have this be longer standing, but the reality is your body just demonstrated that.

Me taking that moment in time to share that can open up hope and possibility in a way that can be very new, I.e. novel for people. And that opens up a change of thinking and taking on different, more consistent actions in the direction they want to go.

Now I want to make one mention of this because this is what people are experiencing in the therapeutic yoga intensive, not only for themselves, but when they see it in other people. Because when the other people in the room are also having those experiences it builds upon and builds upon and builds upon.

It’s one thing when it’s in a one-on-one client session, it’s a totally different game when you’ve got up to 20 people having a similar experience, novel experience after novel experience after novel experience. It really helps contribute to this idea of group flow and just people building upon and building upon because there’s a group possibility that starts to build.

I want to mention one thing though, is that sometimes when people are hearing novel experience, they think, oh, so, Susi, you’re creating the novel experience for your clients or for your trainees. And the answer is fundamentally no. That isn’t not what I’m doing. I’m not creating anything, I’m simply teaching them. Out of the results they get, that may lead to a novel experience.

I have no idea what the novel experience will be or when it will happen. I do know that it will happen in order for the healing process to really take hold, to really take off. That’s necessary. But when it happens, I don’t know. Sometimes it takes a bit of time.

Sometimes for some people it’s one, it’s like knocking over dominoes. Sometimes you knock over the big domino right off the bat, other times you start with the smaller dominoes and the bigger dominoes and the bigger dominoes and then they have it. It just depends. I have no idea. I have no idea. And I just let it occur, I do my thing. I do my teaching thing and when it happens, it will happen.

The key is that the intensive, when you’ve got a group of up to 20 people, the training facilitates that happening because of the way that it’s being taught, right? And all of it culminates into this mindful approach to rehabilitation, why it can be so effective for the OTs that take the training, the massage therapists who take the training and how it integrates back into the work that they’re doing.

Helping people connect brain and body in a whole new way. Helping people to bear witness to their thoughts to their feelings, all while in biomechanical movement, stillness and breath, how we are moving or not moving, how we are deepening our awareness. It’s a very powerful process.

If the idea of this is interesting to you, I would love to teach you, love to teach you. Now, the training is a professional training. There have been people who are not interested in becoming yoga therapists or integrating it into their health care professions, like the OTs and the massage therapists that I train, that is not needed.

If you want to experience six days of this and you’re not a professional, that’s fine, you don’t have to be. Just know that it’s a professional training, just know that I’ll be teaching how it is I do what I do. It’s not a retreat where I am running you through a whole series of classes and experiences and things like that. This is a professional training. And you are welcome. We’ve had many people in the past come when they wanted to be able to reduce and eradicate their physical symptoms and would like six days alongside.

Now, we do run payment plans. The program is in Canadian funds, so when you go to the information page at learn.functionalsynergy.com/intensive you can read all about it, you can see the pricing details. If you want a payment plan, send us an email. We can set you up on a three or a four month payment plan, not a problem.

And if you want to do the whole yoga therapy certification, whether you want to sign up now or later, that’s fine. Either or is fine. The key is if there’s a resonance for what I’m offering, I would love to support you in getting involved. All right, so we will touch base with you next time. Have a great, great time exploring. Take care.

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