Transcript: Podcast/Shelly Prosko

From Pain to Possibility


Episode 7: Compassion and Self Care with Shelly Prosko

Intro: You're listening to From Pain to Possibility, with Susi Hately. You’ll 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.

Susi: With this episode, I'm delighted to be interviewing Shelly Prosko. She is a physiotherapist, yoga therapist, educator, author, and pioneer of PhysioYoga, with over 20 years of experience integrating yoga into physiotherapy and working with people in pain. She teaches in physiotherapy and yoga-therapy programs, presents at yoga and medical conferences globally, contributes to academic research and writing, and offers onsite and online courses for yoga and health professionals. Shelly is coeditor and author of the textbook Yoga and Science in Pain Care. She maintains a clinical practice in Sylvan Lake, Canada, and believes compassion is the foundation of health care and overall well-being.

Welcome, Shelly Prosko. I am so delighted to be having this conversation with you today because we've been trying to have a conversation for a few years, and it's just a delight that we've been able to make it work. So to really start things off, how about you share a little bit more beyond the bio that I was able to share to really direct the listener into this episode around compassion.

Shelly: Sure. So, yeah, thank you, first of all, for doing this and for having me on. And yeah, this has been long, long, long overdue. So thank you so much, Susi. 

So, okay, let's see, what can I say that's not too, too long, but really relevant to this topic on compassion? So just maybe for a little bit more background for the listeners other than the bio, I really started this journey back in the early ’90s when I discovered yoga, which was from a book, and it was basically asana practice. And then from there, as the years went on, I started learning more and more about different aspects of yoga, like breathing and meditation, and then even some of the philosophy after probably about a decade kind of just dabbling with the books and then in a yoga studio, a local yoga studio, was mostly asana based. But like I said, I just started to learn a little bit more. 

And then, as I started integrating it into my physiotherapy practice—so the physio came after, so around 1990 or in 1998 is when I got my physiotherapy degree, and then I just naturally started integrating the physical postures. So again, it was very physical based. And then this is where it gets a little fuzzy because it was just sort of organic. I just started, as my own personal practice of yoga started to progress and I started feeling better emotionally and mentally and even relationships felt like they were changing, you know, the whole more sense of peace and things like that, I started to see that that was infiltrating my physiotherapy practice, like my relationship with my patients. And so this is getting a little bit long, but basically, if you can get that sense that everything started to integrate very naturally, and then I started to take more formal training and courses. 

And then the compassion piece is just, you know, there's not really any one memory that I have other than yoga, essentially, inherently is a compassionate practice, and compassion emerges from yoga, as we know. So I think that in and of itself started to make me recognize the value of compassion and especially self-compassion. 

And one of my memories was actually just a few years ago, probably about five or six years ago. I teach a course for healthcare providers and other professionals on burnout, so preventing burnout and this idea of compassion fatigue. So as I was learning more and more about that and teaching this course and prepping for it and reading a book, the literature and the research, I came upon this research around self-compassion, with Dr. Kristin Neff. And it was fascinating. And I didn't have the language for it a decade or more ago. But once I started learning more about it, I started realizing that, you know what, I do lack in this idea, this concept of self-compassion, and here are maybe some reasons why, and more importantly, I can actually train to increase self-compassion. And then, of course, all the value and what the science is saying about the benefits. And then there's all these myths and misconceptions that we have around it. So then I started integrating that into my courses that I teach, but also into the therapeutic interaction.

Susi: What I would like to know is when you started to integrate self-compassion, what did that look like, and what was the result that was different with your patient or your client when you integrated more of the self-compassion?

Shelly: Okay, great. So you're talking about integrating the self-compassion in the therapeutic interaction, not in my own life at this point.

Susi: Oh, no. I mean it in your life, in you. So when you adopted self-compassion more so, how did that then turn into something different when you were with your client or patient?

Shelly: Gotcha. So for me, part of what I started seeing in myself, which I think actually a lot of people can probably relate to, was this idea that I had to be self-critical in order to just be a good person and to do good work and to achieve my goals. And that's, I think, just something that our culture promotes, but I'll just talk about myself. I mean, that was just something within me. I thought that the tone of voice I kind of speak to myself in was, “Come on, Shelly. Don't be so lazy.” And it's not so much the language—well, it is the language, but it's also the tone. And so once I started to be kinder—and that doesn't mean being indulgent. It doesn't mean letting yourself off the hook—but it's this idea that I have or I am continuing to work on it now, but I switched and really tried to work more on genuinely loving and caring for myself and having a deep concern for myself, which means accepting some of the mistakes; accepting things like maybe not being able to connect with that certain person, let's just say, in a therapeutic interaction; not able to help them; not able to connect with them like I think I should; maybe I didn't listen well enough to them; maybe I was interrupting them or trying to rush them through; or I had certain—we were all well intentioned, but what I find with myself and many other caregivers and health professionals, we want to help so bad. So in our minds, we know that this is, in our experience and even what some of the science says, but even just from experience, we know that if the person could only hear this or do this and we know, and so sometimes what I found in myself was that I would maybe try to rush the person to try to understand better or maybe I could do something or say something to try to fix them. 

So when I started practicing the self-compassion, it was just this idea that, you know what, it's okay that I'm not perfect, lo and behold. It's okay that I made a mistake or that I'm not quite getting this or doing it right. 

And then what I started finding—so, to the second part of that question is, how does it sort of play out for the person? I think a few things, and one is that I started to become less judgmental of myself. And this is hard to admit here publicly, but I think once I started doing this practice and realizing how judgmental and critical I was on myself, I'd started noticing that I was actually being judgmental and critical of others. Now, of course, I don't express that verbally, but it obviously is going to play out in our language, in our actions and behavior and in our energy. 

So for me, one of the things I found in the last five or six years, since these self-compassion practices, is that I feel more—I just feel more kind, and I feel less judgmental of not just myself, but of others. So it’s like almost even a deeper care and concern. And especially, I will say this, Susi, and everybody listening, it’s easy when it’s easy. And I think anyone listening to this, like, we're good people, we’re kind, we’re caring. But I will challenge you, think of, even right now, one or two people in your life that that's challenging to do that. And so that's what I'm talking about more is that it's that threshold, if you will, with some people that we work with. It's not that they are challenging. It's just the situations they're dealing with are challenging, and we're just not connecting. And it's allowed me to be more insightful into their struggles and why, perhaps, the person is saying one thing and then in the next sentence, they're completely contradicting themselves. So back in the day, I would have less tolerance for that and be maybe more judgmental, whereas now I'm just a little more patient, much more patient. And so that's one thing that comes to mind. 

And then I'll just say this quickly. The other thing is, with some of these practices, and it doesn't have to be self-compassion exclusively, but with these self-compassion practices, I do find that it's helped me to be even more present and more clear. And that, as we know from the research, we are able to better self-regulate, and then that can help us be more discerning and help us with our critical-thinking skills. And so I just think overall, it's helped me to be a better clinician for people.

Susi: The reason I ask that question in the way that I did is that I find in the trainings that I run and in the results that I see with professionals, and then when I ask people about their relationships with the professionals that they see, there is a pattern that falls out of all of that, and that is when we feel like we're being seen by the professional that we are engaging with, when there is a high degree of trust, there's a better health outcome. 

And so when we as the professional can really tap into our own self-compassion, as you mentioned, there's a greater amount of presence, and then we can just be with that person so much more effectively. And in many ways, we are training our client how to train themselves in this practice of awareness and this practice of presence, because it's through the practice of awareness and presence that you can become aware of the things you weren't aware of. And oftentimes that can be where part of the problem might be that needs to be resolved in order to help the person move forward. 

So when we can be the ones who are demonstrating that by way of our actions and behaviors, it tends to bleed over and just infiltrate in a positive way the healing relationship between the professional and the client. I like to say that in many medical relationships, there is a power over relationship. And what you're really sharing is what I like to call the power with relationship. And so there's an understanding that how you are being helps establish or contribute to the context of the relationship that you're both kind of swimming within and supporting each other with.

Shelly: Yeah, absolutely. I love all of that, everything you’re saying. And you're right. We do have even the science, the evidence that suggests that increased trust and increased therapeutic alliance does lead to better outcomes. 

And the other thing that came to mind is you're talking about the power with. I mean, it's a partnership, right? It's not that model of other language out there is like the operator models, like you're doing something to someone. Exactly what you said, that power over. 

And another really cool thing about the self-compassion practices, when we can self-regulate, and you had already alluded to this, but there is a better chance of the other person than regulating as well to sort of where we're at. And it's something called co-regulation. Now, we don't have enough of the science to say, “Well, do we, as the therapist, do we go to match the person who is more dysregulated, or do they come to match us if we're more regulated?” But I think that's really, really fascinating. 

And we know anecdotally, like, I'm sure everyone listening has experienced, even if you're a parent with a child, and if you're ramped up and you’re in autonomic nervous system dysregulation, I mean, there's a better chance that the person will stay there if they were dysregulated or even it will catapult into something further. But if we can self-regulate, then there's a better chance that the person in the environment, and even if we're in a group setting, can potentially come to what we call co-regulation. So, yeah, that’s good stuff.

Susi: Well, it's interesting. I smiled when you talked about parents, because this episode is being recorded during COVID. And I remember at the very beginning of it all unfolding and the kind of chaos that was in the air, and I was certainly experiencing it as I was figuring out the various things in my life that will be impacted and influenced, and same with my husband. And the kids started to get completely wrangy, and they were just about three years old at that time. And it was very obvious because it's something that I'd seen before around when I'm kind of wingy and  goofy in my own brain, or agitated, they also are. And so they became a really good barometer to be able to see that. And so if they can feel me, chances are pretty good so can other people. And so it's not so much about, I've got to have my poop in a group, so to speak. It’s not that—I’ll just say it—I don’t have to have my shit together. But there's a certain clarity about what that is, and tapping into the presence of who I am, and that can have an impact again on the relationship of the person that I'm working with.

Shelly: Absolutely, yep. And I liked as well when you were talking about, like, setting an example almost. So there's the implicit and explicit maybe sort of examples. So we were just sort of more talking about the energy and the system. But there's also, you know, just in our language that we use. And so for me, getting back to the original question. So, the self-compassion practices, just in my own mind, helped me talk to myself in a different way, just like I said, with a little bit more loving and kind tone. But at the same time, like I said, it's not this letting yourself off the hook or self-indulgence. So when I start practicing that language with myself, I start to see it trickle over when I'm working with people as well. 

So, and I think, too, some of the research is really interesting because it shows that people who have higher trait self-compassion are more likely to try new things after they have failed or to try again after making a mistake, not being afraid to try new things and perfectionism reduces. So the higher self-compassion goes up, the lower perfectionism is. And those sorts of things I've seen in myself, too. I'm a work in progress. But those sorts of things I've seen as well. And then I think that helps me be a better clinician, because then it's a person I'm working with. I'm not so attached to my methodology that seems to have worked for the last 22 years. I'm more open to trying something different and maybe being more embracing in that uncertainty even more. So—

Susi: Yes. It's almost as if the greater your ability to be self-compassionate with yourself, the greater ability you have to be wrong, and the greater ability you have to risk the possibility of being wrong, and that if you do make a mistake, if there is a failure, you know that you can dust yourself off as opposed to—or if you do catch yourself talking yourself down and giving yourself a hard time, you can catch yourself in the process of doing that and dust yourself off and give yourself a little bit of love and say, you know, like, hey, what's going on there? What’s this one about?

Shelly: Yeah. And I love the research. It shows that higher self-compassion were more resilient, emotionally resilient. And then there's, of course, fMRIs, and all that that we can look at neurobiologically, too. But I love this idea that—and it makes sense to me—that when we're self-critical, that can be a huge motivator or a trigger to create change. I mean, but what the research is showing is that it's not as sustainable as if it comes from a place of self-compassion. And the biggest one is that it is associated more with anxiety, and it's coming from a sense of fear. So your motivation to change your behavior is rooted more in a sense of fear and that you're not good enough, worthy enough, and it's a competitive and unhealthy competitive type of attitude when that's rooted in self-criticism versus if your motivation to change is from self-compassion, is rooted in this place of self-compassion, then it's rooted in genuine love and concern for yourself, and it'll be more sustainable, which is what the research is showing us. And it's not associated with these things like anxiety. And in fact, self-compassion has been shown to reduce anxiety and depression and a whole host of other outcomes it has.

Susi: So, just to—I might be jumping into another pool of research, but maybe not. I'm just going to say it because something came to mind, which is, it sounds like, taking from the research of Lorimer Moseley and David Butler, that self-compassion really is on the SIM side of things, safety in me, whereas the self-critical part is on the DIM side, the danger in me. And I also, I'm wondering, then, is there more of a sympathetic stress response related to one versus another? Has research gone into that? I mean, it's so funny, because something you and I had spoken about earlier before we got onto the call was how funny it is in some ways, or how sad even it is, that we need evidence to be able to really dig in and talk about compassion. But on the other hand, there's something really nerdy about really see what goes on physiologically when we're in these states.

Shelly: Mm-hmm, yeah. No, I love the analogy you just made. And I mean, we don't, from what I have seen from the research and of course, as you know, the chapter that I have in the book, that one chapter, “Compassion and Pain Care,” probably took me a good year and a half, just on that chapter. And so I did do a pretty comprehensive literature review. But again, I mean, one person can't know everything out there. But to your question, I haven't seen anything exactly specific to what you were saying, but a little bit. And so one thing that I've seen in the literature around self-compassion is that they have done, like I said, some of the fMRI studies, and so they do show when you are performing a compassion meditation or you're offering these compassionate thoughts, and they do this research in a variety of different ways, but it's this idea of trying to invoke compassion within you and then actually offer that compassion, even in a behavioral sense. They set up these studies. So when that happens and they do the fMRI, it does show to activate certain areas of the brain that are more associated with prosocial affiliation and maternal love and just positive affect. And then there does seem to be something that is associated with oxytocin and maybe even releasing endogenous opioids. And that might have something to do with interacting with the pain system. But it makes sense. And I would say from everything I've read from the research, that there is a relationship between the safety in me and even polyvagal theory and some of Porges’s work, talking about if we can get into that physiological state of social engagement, that neural platform and safety, we do see a change and a reduction in pain. 

And so, I don't know if that is really directly answers your question. So I guess your question is an amazing research question. And we don't know the underlying specific mechanisms of why self-compassion does help, particularly with people in pain. We have outcome research. So we do see they've done some. There's probably about six, now, studies and maybe more, but just six that I've seen where they do self-compassion training within people that have persistent pain, and outcomes are really favorable. Reduced pain, severity, and intensity, decreased anxiety, depression, and reducing things like anger or shame. What else is there? Increased pain, self-efficacy. You know how important that is. Reduced catastrophizing and rumination. That's really important in pain care. Reduced fear, avoidance behaviors, which kind of makes sense of what we were talking about. We tend to have a little more courage because we're open to failing or making mistakes. 

So did that answer your question, Susi? I feel like I maybe went off a bit.

Susi: Well, it's curious, really, because so much of what I've seen working with clientele and training teachers and other healthcare professionals in integrating yoga therapeutically, that so much of the client outcome has to do with when one’s, meaning the professional’s, level of presence and ability just to be with another person, which is where our conversation started, and then, where that then leads to and how that leads to support. And then just out of your conversation and the sharing of information you just had, it just got me curious about how this idea of being loving with ourselves, how that shifts up what's going on neurologically, and then how that can shift up, just how we're feeling inside. 

I'm going to read to you an email I actually just received today from a client, because on Facebook, about a week ago, I posted, What would it be like if the process of getting out of pain could be fun? And the client of mine emailed me back, and she said, “At the time, I heard you say that I did not believe that any of this could be fun. But now, with enough of a break from the pain, with a glimpse of a pain-free body, and then there's been a return of some symptoms, But I now know what I need to do to relieve them. And I'm starting to get to the fun stage.” So it's interesting because knowing this particular client and some of what else she shared with me, she's also acknowledged some of the self-criticism that is actually turning into something more positive, that her capacity and her ability to be exploratory and curious and not as afraid of her symptoms has actually grown an ability to be compassionate with herself.

So there’s some dots there. There’s a pattern there that's really clear in terms of what we're talking about around compassion as being a component of her progress.

Shelly: Mm-hmm. Yeah, that's beautiful. And, you know, the word curiosity is just such a phenomenal word. And I think it’s a foundation for yoga and for pain care and rehabilitation, health care in general, and just overall health and well-being. 

I mean, I heard this, actually—I forget the originator, but the person who told me was a woman named Joletta Belton. And she's actually someone—she is a pain advocate, so she's a person in pain, and she actually writes the first chapter in our book, “The Lived Experience of Pain.” But she had mentioned this idea to me that whenever there is anger or fear, or pick any other sort of emotion that we tag onto as negative, but specifically anger or fear, she says if you just practice switching that to curiosity in the moment, and you'd be surprised. It's really hard to hold those two at the same time if you're really, really angry. I mean, we don't want to suppress our emotions. We're not talking about that here. But you're feeling the anger with your situation or, let's say, with pain, and if we can also bring in that curiosity that often it leads to, sort of what you were saying there, it opens up into this space where, I mean, who knows what happens physiologically. But I would suggest that that curious space does help us bring in the SIMs. We feel a little bit more safe that, hey, we can be curious here and maybe even playful, like you are bringing in. So I love that, what you just said there.

Susi: So, why don't we dig into some of the practices that have really served you and have served the clientele that you work with in terms of developing self-compassion that you might find useful for listeners to practice.

Shelly: Mm-hmm. So, there’s a lot of different ones, and, like anything, it depends on the person, because not everything is going to resonate with each patient. But one really basic practice comes from Dr. Kristin Neff. And it's just a little, what she calls little self-compassion breaks. I like to just say it's like a little self-compassion meditation. But really, what we can do, and we can do this together—do you want to do it together, Susi?

Susi: Sure.

Shelly: Okay. So, if you're listening, you can either have your eyes opened or closed. It doesn’t really matter. Sometimes closing them helps us get rid of all the visual distraction, but do what you feel comfortable with. And just bring up a situation in your life that's challenging. Now, we don't want to get—we do want to bring one up that's really, really going to overwhelm you and make you feel unsupported or unsafe. But we do want something that makes you feel uncomfortable. So if you can bring up a situation, maybe it's something with yourself, a certain behavior or activity, or maybe it has to do with another person or a situation, but just bring it up and take your time to really bring up the details. So, who is there, even what is being said. If you can bring up some of the feelings potentially again, making sure you feel safe, but you’ll see how it’s starting to feel emotionally and even physically in your body. We’re just playing out, again, all the details of what’s being said and what you’re experiencing. And then, taking a moment now and just stopping and doing something simply like saying, “This is really hard.” So this is the mindful part of self-compassion. It sounds really simple, but it's profound when you're in that moment. So you're just really taking a moment to be fully present and saying, “You know what, I am struggling with this. This is really hard.” And that's as simple as that mindfulness practice. And you'd be surprised at how often we don't do that, and we just kind of push through the difficult time without even being aware that we're really struggling with this situation. 

And then the second part is the common-humanity part. Common humanity really just means we're not alone. So then it can be in the form of self-talk again, where you just kind of say, “Okay, you know what, I'm not alone. Other people in this situation have done or they would do the exact same thing. I'm not alone in my struggle.” And that's what connects us, really, are a lot of our mistakes and things. And by the way, it doesn’t necessarily mean that whatever situation you brought up, that it was a mistake on your part. That's not what I'm suggesting. It's just that sometimes is the language that we use when we're looking at, “Hey, you know what, we're not alone. We're all in this together.” So just take a moment to say, “Okay, I'm not alone. Oh, how human of me.”

And then the third part is extending some kind of kindness towards yourself. And this is where it could be a variety of different things, maybe just one hand to your heart, maybe the other hand over top of the other hand, so you’ve got both hands at the heart. And just giving yourself what you need in the moment, maybe it's a little statement, maybe it’s something different like a mantra. “I am good. I’m doing my best. I am worthy.” Or just something that suits you. Maybe the kindness piece is removing yourself from the situation and you just need little breaks. Maybe you go into the bathroom and say, “Excuse me for a moment,” and you just take some space, take a moment. Sometimes things like in this kindness piece. How do you show self-kindness? It could be like a stroking just one arm or a rocking rhythmical pattern. Sometimes those tend to feel very nourishing and nurturing. One thing I like to share is if I'm doing it, like if I'm in a public situation where I'm not going to just stop, drop, and start crossing my hands over my heart or anything, I'll just stroke one thumb over top of my other. And for me, it's a really nice, soothing kind of gesture. 

So that's a little self-compassion break that you can do in the moment. Other practices, I won't go through this one; it’s a little long. But you can Google it, and most listeners probably have heard of it. It's the loving-kindness meditation. So it's a combination of sending loving-kindness thoughts, energy, emotions towards yourself. And you can do that with the phrases, may I be happy, may I be healthy, may I be free from suffering, or whatever phrases work for you. And it's just a meditation that you can focus on. 

There's a lot of other practices. I’ll just give a couple more examples, not to take you through them all, but just to mention them. And one is a self-compassion letter. And Kristin Neff, again, is the one that really got this started, and it is beautiful. I do this in all of my retreats and my healthcare-practitioner courses. So at the end of the course—you can do this even right now, when you're finished listening to the podcast—you just write a letter, write a love letter to yourself. There's no rules. Doesn't matter what's in it. Seal it up, put it in an envelope, and then you can read it again at a future time. So that can be quite valuable.

And of course, different gratitude practices. A self-appreciation meditation is one of my favorites. We're probably getting a little long here. I'm happy after a little bit—it's probably about two minutes. I could do that with you. But those are some, and I’m happy to take you through the self-appreciation one if you want.

Susi: Let’s do the self-appreciation.

Shelly: Okay. It won't take long, and it’s super valuable. I’m glad you said yes. So, okay, find yourself again, and just be within your body. I know you've been listening to us. You may have been in your head quite a bit, so just see if you can fully embody your presence. Feel your feet; your sit bones, whatever surface they're on; your shoulders; your arms; your hips; your legs. Notice your breath. You don't have to change it. You have to do anything here. You’re just being present and just noticing the in and the out. 

And then just take a moment to think of two things that you appreciate about yourself. And now think of two more things that you really appreciate about yourself. So go a little deeper. What do you really appreciate? 

And then I'd like you to think about who has influenced these aspects about you, living or not. Maybe a teacher, a coach, parent, friend, author, maybe even someone you've never met. And you could think however many want. Maybe it's just one person, but maybe there's a couple about the different aspects that you appreciated about yourself. So I’ll give you a moment to bring those people up. 

And then hold those people in your heart, and send great appreciation and gratitude towards them, all of those things that they held within them that somehow influenced you and what you love about yourself.

An ending that meditation, the mantra, “just this is enough,” is one of my personal favorites, and often that's very helpful for me. Just this is enough. Just this is enough. 

And, basically, that meditation just brought to mind, as I was doing that, it brought to mind one other mantra I think is really helpful for all of us, which is “to serve self is to serve others, and to serve others is to serve self.” And I really like that one because you noticed here this was a self-compassion meditation, but we also send out appreciation and gratitude towards other people. And we don't need research to tell us this, but we do have lots of research now that shows when we serve others, when we offer this compassion and goodwill and gratitude, that does change our own physiology. It is helpful for our own mental and physical health. We’ve got good evidence that shows that. 

So I do like that idea of—I mean, we talk about self-care, and that’s really important, and in my courses I talk about the value of self-compassion and self-care. But, really, that language is like all of our language. It's so dualistic because taking care of yourself is inherently taking care of others and the environment because we're part, we're in and one of the same. We can't really separate it, and vice versa. So when you're serving others and caring for others, that inherently is a service to yourself. 

And where it gets fuzzy, where people lose an understanding sometimes is that if we don't have boundaries, then it's not maybe fully full compassion. So that's some, like I said, sometimes confusing because people will say, “Well, I can't give too much, or I can't be too kind or too compassionate, because I’ll get fatigued or I’ll burn out,” but the research is showing, well, if you look at truly what compassion is, it includes boundaries. It includes yourself. It's a shared mutual ethical response in the context of the environment. So if you are getting burnt out and fatigued, there's lots of factors. You're just getting burnt out and fatigued. But it's not because we're having too much compassion. 

I kind of went on a tangent there, but I felt compelled to bring that in, too, because the self-compassion practice includes others as well. It doesn’t have to be all just towards you. So I hope that makes sense, Susi.

Susi: Yeah, it makes tremendous sense. And I think on some level, this is a great place for us to bring this all into conclusion, is on some level when we are experiencing that perhaps there is some compassion fatigue, that maybe there is actually something else going on, and that that's an opportunity, a whisper, as I like to call it, that is letting us know that something is up. That's kind of going along the line of when you listen to your body when it whispers, you don't have to hear the screams. So you can start to look at some of those indicators that might shine a light on to some aspects of the practice. 

The great practices that you shared with us, a few that we could Google, and I'll post those into the show notes, as well as walking us through those two, I think has given listeners a really good place to start or a place to continue in terms of integrating some more practices to be able to feel a little more deeply into themselves for self-inquiry and to recognize how their own depth of presence and their own awareness has such an impact on their client base, if they are the practitioner, as well as on themselves, if they aren't necessarily the practitioner or the professional, but the one who is taking care of themselves in whatever role that they have in life. 

So thank you, again, Shelly. I really, really enjoyed this.

Shelly: You're welcome. Thank you for having me. I had so much fun. And just take really good care of yourself and all those around you.

Susi: If people want to reach you, where is the best place for people to find you?

Shelly: I would just go straight to my website,

Susi: Great. And we will put that into the show notes as well. 

Thank you so much, Shelly.

Shelly: Yeah, thank you. That was a lot of fun.

Susi: If you have loved this episode and you are a health professional or a yoga teacher who’s interested in integrating yoga therapeutically and you're looking for something beyond therapeutic exercise, yes, you're interested in functional-movement challenges, but to look at the whole being of the person, knowing that your presence, your state of being is so paramount in the process of helping someone become well, then you'll enjoy the Therapeutic Yoga Intensive that's coming up. You can read more at And if you'd like to speak with us directly, you can visit us at Looking forward to working with you.

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