Episodes

  • “I’ve found that when I can effectively teach my clients about their movements first, before getting into muscle conversation, the faster they get better.” In this episode of From Pain to Possibility. Susi discusses the idea of movement and understanding movement as an approach to helping a client reduce their pain.

    Susi has recently been asked a lot of questions from yoga instructors about muscles. Susi has found in her years of training yoga teachers that the ones who understood muscles least were the ones who got results the most. Susi has also found that when she can effectively teach her clients about their movements first, before getting into muscle conversation, the faster they get better.

    Listen, as Susi discusses how, when a client experiences a reduction in pain, they are more aware of what is working and what is not. She believes that when a client has communication and connection with their bodies, their bodies become a barometer, their symptoms become a language, and as they spend time listening to it, they can decode it for themselves.

    Suppose you want to dig into these concepts further on utilizing movement, yoga, breath, stillness as it relates to helping people out of pain? In that case, there are two upcoming opportunities for you. The first one is Solving Your Pain Puzzle at www.functionalsynergy.com/solving-the-pain-puzzle-2020, or the second one is Therapeutic Yoga Intensive at www.therapeuticyogaintensive.com.

    In This Episode

    [00:25] Welcome to the show! [02:27] Susi shares the four things that need to happen for someone to reduce pain. [04:44] The better you get, the better you need to get. [06:13] When a client starts to experience a reduction in issues, they have a better awareness of what is working and what is not working. [07:31] When clients communicate and connect with their bodies, they can understand how to keep the pain away. Their bodies become a barometer. [10:06] Susi speaks about looking at a skeleton, seeing the movement, and seeing how that correlates to a person. [12:26] When you can come at the experience from what is actually happening from a movement perspective, you and your client can agree about what is going on. [14:19] Stay tuned because there will be an upcoming episode on understanding muscles. [15:35] Have a great time exploring!

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  • Why is the triangle pose blamed for issues in the spine, SI joints, and knees? Listen, as Susi explores why it's blamed and why on the flip side that the triangle is an exceptional position, especially when someone has recovered from SI joint issues, plus more in this episode of From Pain to Possibility.

    Susi explores the triangle pose and describes what she has seen when people do a traditional way of moving into the pose versus how she prefers to see it done. Susi has found that her students are very surprised at how limited their hip movement is when teaching her way.

    Do you know how to move correctly? Listen, as Susi discusses why most people don't have the foundation capacity or capability to do the triangle pose and what we can do about it. Susi believes that when you use smaller movements and learn how your joints move, you can quiet the compensation and move the way your body is designed to move.

    The bottom line is that triangle can be horrible if you don't do it correctly. Do you want to learn how Susi does it? She is leading a two-hour course on triangle pose specifically. She will dig into some more of the pose's mechanics and dynamics, and she will walk you through some foundational movements, breathing, and awareness exercises to really explore your own self and movement. If you would like to register, go to www.functionalsynergy.com/trianglepose.

    In This Episode

    [00:24] Welcome to the show! [02:04] Listen as Susi explores the triangle position. [04:25] Susi describes what she has seen over time when people do a traditional way of moving into triangle. [05:13] Susi shares how she likes to move into triangle. [07:43] Listen as Susi shares a story on how she developed the way she teaches. [09:21] Most humans doing yoga don't have the foundation capacity or capability to do the triangle pose. [11:21] Susi discusses building up component parts and why triangle can be tremendous for people. [14:37] The bottom line is that triangle can be horrible, it can be terrible, it's all in how you do it. [15:54] Susi finishes the episode with a thought and a challenge with a lot of love. [17:49] Thank you for listening and have a great time exploring.

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  • "My job isn't to heal people; it's to support and help people see and feel how they move in a new way." In this episode of From Pain to Possibility, Susi and her guest Kirsten Richardson discuss what is possible when you integrate yoga therapy concepts with physio or physical therapy, the results she has found, and her transition to doing physiotherapy by video.

    Kirsten is a registered physiotherapist and a yoga therapist and has served and assisted people from all walks of life to decrease pain and increase function in her fifteen-year career. She has worked with people with orthopedic and neurological impairments from sprained ankles to complete spinal cord injuries. With the addition of yoga therapy principles in her practice, she has noticed a dramatically improved positive response from her clients.

    Listen, as Kirsten shares how the addition of yoga therapy widened the lens of her ability, why she believes that a lot of clinicians have a skewed view of patients they feel are pain focused and what she believes presence means in a therapeutic relationship.

    Kirsten also discusses how important having fun around client-centered care is.

    "An indicator in and of itself isn't back; it's just an indicator," Susi speaks about how fun it is to work with a client to figure out what the indicators mean, and how having the client explore the various messages and signals from their bodies and minds enables them to be part of the solution.

    If you want to take this a step further with Susi, check out the series of therapeutic yoga intensives she has coming up. Read more about this at Functional Synergy.

    In This Episode

    [01:28] Welcome to the show, Kirsten! [03:03] Kirsten shares her background in physiotherapy and why she integrated yoga into her practice. [04:54] Kirsten says that her job isn't to fix people; it's helping people see and feel how they move in a new way. [07:12] Kirsten believes that the addition of yoga therapy widened the lens of her ability. [09:49] Do you believe that people use a person's uniqueness as a reason for some types of therapy not working? [12:50] Listen as Kirsten shares what she would like to say to clinicians about the idea of people being pain focused. [15:50] Kirsten speaks about clinicians just wanting to get to the physical parts because it's safe and comfortable. [17:49] Susi discusses more and more physio and physical therapists coming to her, asking for help with clients being pain focused. [19:37] Listen, as Kirsten shares why she has been able to help people who might have fallen into the category of pain focus. [22:29] Kirsten speaks about what presence means within a therapeutic relationship. [24:09] Susi discusses recognizing thought patterns and their impact. [27:01] Susi shares that indicator in and of itself isn't bad; it's just an indicator and figuring out what the indicator means is where it gets fun. [29:44] Having the client exploring the various inputs, messages, and signals from their bodies and minds enables them to come to the table as part of the solution. [30:29] Kirsten speaks about client-centered care and the need for clients to be able to communicate with the therapist. [33:51] Listen as Kirsten shares some words of wisdom around client-centered care and pain focus. [35:40] The clearer we can become on who we are and what we value, the clearer we can be through practices of presence to up our game. [38:01] Thank you for listening.

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  • "I believe the Psoas to be a sacred, powerful, and subtle muscle." In this episode of From Pain to Possibility, join Susi as she explores the Psoas muscle.

    So often the psoas gets blamed for issues, but really, it isn’t the psoas’ fault. The psoas is responding to the forces in the body and how they are being absorbed and dissipated.

    Consider this idea of being grounded and light simultaneously, solid and stable, the ability to be agile. All of these characteristics apply to a psoas that is responsive, alive, and turned on. There is a whole new level of quiet power that can be experienced.

    If this has gotten your interest and you want to dig in more and explore more about the psoas, Susi has an online course coming up on the psoas specifically. She would love for you to join her and learn more at https://www.functionalsynergy.com/product/power-of-pure-movement-the-psoas/.

    In This Episode

    [00:25] Welcome to the show! [00:58] Susi speaks about the orientation of the psoas muscle. [02:21] Susi shares that the psoas crosses three chakras points. [03:25] The psoas didn't wake up one day to cause issues; it responds to the forces that are at play. [05:36] Susi explains why the psoas can be so curious. [06:08] Susi discusses how to help the client resolve the symptoms they are experiencing. [07:46] When teaching people how to move again, they realize how well they have compensated. [09:17] Susi says that when the tissue around the chakras start to function better, a lot of ourselves become online and function better. [10:31] Susi discusses how the retraining moves into refinement to do the activity they want to do. [12:22] Susi believes that it is interesting to teach people about the psoas and how it works and moves forces through our bodies. [14:05] Thank you for listening and happy exploring.

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  • Are you having trouble doing it all, running a business, taking care of your family, dealing with the pandemic, and all the other things that come your way? In this episode of From Pain to Possibility, listen as Susi discusses some key principles that have worked for her over the past three and a half years and some that didn't. Listen and see if there is a takeaway you can use to make your life run a little smoother.

    Susi shares the five principles that worked for her, clarity, conversations, support, calendar, and commitment. Clarity leads to conversation; the conversation opens the door to understanding; understanding support helps us get clearer on our calendar. Underline, it all is a commitment to do what we want. Susi discusses how each of these led to her and her husband's ability to handle anything that has been thrown at them, even COVID-19.

    Susi also speaks about two books that she used to get her clarity from a perspective of what's important, how each book helped her, and what we can learn from them. She believes that you need to carve out time each day to focus on the one thing that is important and will keep things moving forward and keep the wheels on the bus.

    Susi wishes for the listeners to have the courage to get clear, have conversations, seek the support you need for the outcome you want, and experiment with your calendar to see what works for you. She believes that when you do, some great things can happen.

    If you want to dig into this process a little further, there are two ways we can connect. One is through the Yogi Business Program, where we place the planning, the Yogi in front of the business because we know that the idea of calm busyness of clarity is way more important than chaotic busyness. There is also my private three-month program. If you realize that some of what I've talked about may solve the symptoms you're experiencing, please reach out to us at health@functionalsynergy.com.

    In This Episode:

    [00:25] Welcome to the show! [00:43] Susi shares what she wants you to learn from this episode. [02:16] Susi believes there is no such thing as a work-life balance. [02:55] Susi details the five principles that worked for her. [03:25] She begins with a story about when she was pregnant with the twins. [04:49] Listen as Susi speaks about finding reliable childcare. [06:31] Susi discusses their cobbled-together solution to childcare. [07:48] Susi shares two books that have helped her get a clear perspective. [09:10] Susi speaks about what she needed to do to keep the wheels on the bus. [10:22] "What is the one thing that when done makes all else easier or unnecessary." [11:25] Susi discusses taking time each day to focus on the one thing that needed to be done that day. [13:55] She speaks about having one full day with her children, and so Friday became her executive board day. [14:48] Susi shares that even with COVID, they were able to transition well because of what they already had in place. [17:11] Susi discusses the key thing about their commitment to each other: they both wanted to support the other to have success. [18:16] It is absolutely possible, is the key thing that Susi wants the listeners to take away. [19:29] Susi shares ways that you can connect with her, plus you can always reach them at health@functionalsynergy.com [20:12] Thank you for listening to the show!

    Books Mentioned:

    Essentialism by Greg McCowan The One Thing by Gary Keller

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  • Do you think it is possible to heal from a rotator cuff injury without paying attention to the shoulder girdle? Listen as Susi digs into the rotator cuff and the shoulder girdle. A lot of times, when you think about the rotator cuff and healing from rotator cuff injuries plus much more on this episode of From Pain to Possibility.

    "The shoulder girdle is an amazing part of our body" Listen, as Susi discusses the relationship between the rotator cuff and the shoulder girdle, how the shoulder girdle is used in the practice of yoga and how it blends energetic flow between the center of the body to our hands.

    Susi shares the six ranges of the scapula and shoulder blade on the rib cage. She says that the humerus is where you get into the rotator cuff, that the rotator cuff attaches to both the shoulder blade and the arm bone, and why she likes people to pay attention to the exercises they are given and instead of power through them. Explore your rotator cuff from a place of presence and awareness to really allow for the transmutation of energy.

    If this way of thinking resonates with you, and you are a teacher or a healthcare professional, and you want to integrate yoga into your practice, send me a note. You might be interested in the Susi Resource Library, where she has two hundred hours of video and lots of extra courses for you to explore.

    In This Episode

    [00:28] Welcome to the show! [01:13] Susi speaks about the relationship between the rotator cuff and the shoulder girdle. [02:19] In the practice of yoga, the shoulder girdle transmits and transforms energy by impacting your ability to raise our arms overhead and side to side. [03:39] Susi shares that the shoulder girdle blends energetic flow between the center of our body to our hands. [06:22] Susi discusses the shoulder blade on the rib cage. [07:15] Susi talks about the humerus because this is where the rotator cuff starts. [09:20] When Susi patients are recovering from rotator cuff issues, she wants them to pay attention to the exercises they have been given. [11:25] Susi speaks about the way she likes to work with people new to the process. [13:33] Susi's takeaway from this episode is to explore your rotator cuff from a place of presence and awareness. [14:51] Thank you for listening to the show and have a great time exploring!

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  • "When I can clear up those extraneous patterns, I can help someone become more efficient in their movements." Today Susi discusses compensation patterns because either the body moves or it doesn't, it's actually doing the thing we want it to do, or it's not, it provides a very clear understanding of what's working and what isn't, so we are looking at what compensation is on this episode of From Pain to Possibility.

    Listen, as Susi discusses when compensation happens and how, when she can clear up those extraneous patterns, she can help them become more optimal in their movements. They have much more efficient biomechanical patterns, which also correlates to a reduction in pain.

    Susi shares that breath-holding when you are doing movements, and hiking a hip instead of swinging the leg are common compensation patterns. When you can refine those patterns, you can become aware of how you are moving and then integrate it into your moving patterns. It's powerful to resolve a problem that exists rather than a problem you think exists.

    If any of this resonates with you and you feel that your pain experience is related to compensatory patterning, you might not be aware of it, or maybe you are aware of it but aren't sure what to do. There are two options for you to explore. One is Susi's Resource Library, a membership site where Susi helps people improve their movement patterns and trains teachers and health professionals to recognize them and improve them in their own clientele. If you want more personal attention, you can reach Susi through her website and go to the contact us page to inquire about a private plan session.

    In This Episode

    [00:28] Welcome to the show! [01:07] Susi discusses what compensation is and why it's important to clear up the extraneous patterns. [02:46] Is compensation always bad? Susi says no, it is not always bad; all of us compensate. [03:46] Susi shares some examples of common compensation patterns. [06:19] Susi believes its powerful for someone first to become aware of how they are moving. [09:15] Susi speaks about another piece of compensation that is fascinating, which is where we blend the biomedical view with the whole person. [11:49] Where the pain is, isn't the problem, the problem lies under the level of awareness. [13:18] Susi shares the key pieces of this compensation conversation. [14:15] Susi gives some takeaways for the listener. [15:22] Thank you for listening and have a great time exploring.

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  • "I like to look at anatomy like a map." Today Susi introduces a topic she is passionate about anatomy, biomechanics, and kinesiology. She shares how they relate to Yoga, how they relate to the reduction of pain, and overall recovery and healing. She outlines this in three segments, defining these concepts and then sharing a little bit about why she's so passionate about them on this episode of From Pain to Possibility.

    Susi speaks about anatomy being the mapping of muscles, other tissues, lymphatic system, nervous system, and blood vessels. Biomechanics is how we see these forces move through those systems and Kinesiology being the studio of how a movement happens. She also shares that posture is how we embody our structure.

    Listen as Susi talks about the range of motion and how if we have limitations, our brain and body will find a way to compensate, it will get the thing done. She wants to emphasize that just because you compensate doesn't mean it's wrong; it means that you are highly adaptable and flexible and can find a gazillion different ways to get a job done.

    Susi says that if we can bring better movement patterns and better awareness of those movement patterns into the mix, we can become more aware and connected to our internal feedback mechanisms. We can see when that movement pattern is starting not to work anymore and make an intervention.

    If you find yourself feeling a spark of wow that is so cool, how she is using awareness and integrating that into the western method of anatomy, biomechanics, and kinesiology and how these two worlds meet, then reach out to Susi and have a conversation about how this can fuel you in a personal or professional way at www.functionalsynergy.com.

    In This Episode

    [00:30] Welcome to the show! [01:11] Susi discusses anatomy as a mapping of muscles, tissue, lymphatic system, nervous system, and blood vessels. [01:27] When we look at biomechanics, we see how these forces move through those systems. [01:41] Kinesiology is the study of how a movement happens. [02:33] The physical plane is the human body. [03:03] Posture is how we embody our structure. [04:55] Posture is a result, it's not the process, but out of helping them move better, their posture improves. [05:42] Listen as Susi explains what she means by move better. [07:13] Susi shares a story about someone she knew with neck pain. [09:35] Susi speaks about what many of her clients come to see her for and what she sees. [12:29] Susi has people move in a range that doesn't have compensation. [14:18] We are blending Yoga's concepts with the movement piece of how someone is actually moving their body. [16:30] Rather than looking at movement as an exercise that you need to get done, pay attention to how you are doing it. [19:19] Thank you for listening, have a great time exploring.

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  • "Where the pain is, is not actually the problem." Listen, as Susi discusses the questions she often hears: Why am I not through this already? Why am I not out of pain? Why have I tried these things and seen these professionals, and I am still in pain? Susi will give her best ideas on how to reduce or even eradicate pain and how to listen to your body on this episode of From Pain to Possibility.

    Susi speaks about what happens when a person tries to fix a problem. Typically, you are trying to fix where it hurts, but that usually isn't where the pain originated, and so the issue never gets resolved. When you have pain, it is a signal that something is wrong, and that is when the investigation begins.

    Listen, as Susi shares the wonky relationship we have between expectation and reality. We expect our yoga teacher or health professional to figure out what is happening, but in reality, that's not what occurs. This is when awareness becomes vital.

    Discovering patterns is essential. When you feel better, you need to be aware of what you are doing, so you will know when you start not to feel better. Once we can define the patterns, we see we can refine the patterns. Susi believes that once you improve, you have new expectations about what's possible for your life. The key is awareness and being able to articulate that awareness back to your practitioner.

    If you would like my help uncovering some things you're not aware of so, you can grow your own attentiveness and awareness of what's going on through your system; please reach out to us health@functionalsynergy.com If you a medical professional or a yoga teacher who wants to integrate these concepts into your own practice, send us a note as well.

    In This Episode

    [00:30] Welcome to the show! [00:49] Susi speaks about what happens when a person tries to fix a problem. [03:03] Where the pain is, is a signal or sign that something is wrong. [03:38] When you are getting better, there is a piece of awareness that's vital. [04:17] Susi shares the wonky relationship we have between expectation and reality. [06:59] Susi speaks about the fix-it space where we look internally to ourselves or someone else to fix the problem. [08:08] Discovering the patterns is the next phase because power is in the pattern. [10:26] As we see some of these patterns, we can refine the patterns. [13:10] Susi believes that when you start to improve, you have new expectations about what's possible for your life. [15:04] Susi speaks about a third concept around getting better, which is that the process is linear. [18:20] Susi discusses the distinction between rehabilitation and getting on with the rest of your life. [20:30] You have to be aware of how your body moves so you know how fast you can push yourself when and when you need to recuperate. [22:45] The key is your awareness, and you're articulating that awareness back to the practitioner. [23:37] Thank you for listening to the show and have a great time exploring.

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  • "When we lose awareness, we lose the connection." Listen as Susi and her guest Megan Jenkinson discuss Pilates, movement, physiotherapy, and biopsychosocial models and what we can look at in terms of movement and how this can be helpful for a variety of healthcare professionals, including physiotherapists.

    Megan is a physiotherapist, kinesiologist, and Pilates instructor with a specialty in women's health and movement. She draws on these practices when working with her clients to provide a comprehensive whole-body approach to rehabilitation. Megan has developed her own system for pelvic floor and core recovery over her years of experience working with postnatal women.

    Listen as Megan shares when she started using the reformer from a teaching perspective, and why she works mostly with women and women's health. They speak about Susi's body condition once she gave birth through C-Section to her twins and how Megan helped Susi get her movement pattern back.

    Susi and Megan discuss awareness and how important it is because once you lose awareness, you lose connection. They also speak about qualitative versus quantitative and some tools you can use to support someone to notice what they are experiencing, and Megan shares how she determines which part of a patient's body she works on first.

    When two people who have been doing yoga this long get together, you know it will be a fascinating conversation, and these two did not disappoint. Kick back, relax, and hit play.

    In This Episode

    [01:12] Welcome to the show, Megan! [01:45] Susi shares how she met Megan. [04:09] Megan discusses her journey to where she is now. [05:37] Megan speaks about when she started using the reformer from a teaching perspective. [06:51] Is there a distinction between how you're using exercise versus when you were working as a physio? [09:30] Susi discusses how most physiotherapists, OT, and even nurses that she's trained all wanted out of the profession, but they usually come back once they leave. [12:24] Megan shares why she mostly works with women and women's health. [13:06] Susi speaks about compensation patterns and how her patterns had to be rebuilt after giving birth to twins by c-section. [15:54] Megan discusses diastasis and the tension created in the abdominal wall. [18:18] Susi chats about a movement on the reformer that mimics a downward dog in Pilates and how her abdomen stopped engaging. [22:21] The awareness piece is so important, when we lose awareness, we lose the connection. [24:06] Susi speaks about some conversations she has been having with other physiotherapists. [26:55] Susi speaks about some physio's telling her that something is missing, but not sure what it is until they work with her. [28:13] What would you suggest to physiotherapists who are curious and want to move into this direction? [30:46] Susi talks about qualitative versus quantitative. [33:05] Listen as Megan gives us some tools you used to support someone to realize what it is experiencing? [35:07] Megan chooses what seems to be the most important thing to make progress required to do the next thing when working with clients. [37:39] Susi shares something she learned a long time ago from a mentor. [39:51] Megan discusses the story of a woman she is working with and what she is doing to help her knee pain. [43:24] After working with Megan, she felt her symptoms subside. [45:38] Have you ever been exasperated trying to find the person who was the right fit for you? [48:27] Megan has launched an online program for postpartum women, and it can be done online. [49:11] Megan speaks about her program catering to women, teaching them how to restore balance and connection around the pelvic floor. [51:48] Thank you for being on the show!

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  • Compassion is the foundation of health care and overall well-being. Listen as Susi and her guest Shelly Prosko discuss why Shelly believes this, her journey to where she is today, how she learned about compassion fatigue, and much more on this episode of From Pain to Possibility.

    Shelly is a physiotherapist, yoga therapist, educator, author, and pioneer of physical yoga with over 20 year's experience integrating yoga into physiotherapy and working with people in pain. Shelly teaches in physiotherapy and yoga therapy programs and is the author of the book 'Yoga and Science in Pain Care.'

    Listen, as Shelly speaks about yoga being a compassionate practice, she teaches health care providers and other professionals on burnout. She also shares how, when she adopted self-compassion, it transferred over to her clients positively. Increased trust and therapeutic alliances lead to better outcomes.

    Did you know that people with a higher trait self-compassion are more likely to try new things even when they fail or make mistakes? Shelly shares some practices that have served her and the clients she thinks we might find useful around self-compassion and self-appreciation. This has been a very enlightening episode that we all can learn from.

    In This Episode

    [01:17] Welcome to the show, Shelly! [01:46] Shelly shares that she started her journey after discovering yoga in the early 90s. [03:54] Shelly speaks about how yoga is inherently a compassionate practice. [04:29] She teaches a course for health care providers and other professionals on burnout. [05:59] When you adopted self-compassion, how did that manifest itself to your clients or patients? [08:40] When you practice self-compassion, it means that it's ok not to be perfect. [11:14] Shelly finds that with self-compassion practices, she has become more present and clear. [11:40] Susi shares what she sees in the training she runs around health professionals being present when you are engaging with them. [14:01] Shelly speaks about science that suggests increased trust and therapeutic alliances lead to better outcomes. [15:45] Susi discusses the chaos that the COVID pandemic has created in her life with her kids and family. [18:00] People who have a higher trait self-compassion are more likely to try new things after they have failed or made a mistake. [19:48] Shelly likes the idea that when we are self-critical, that can be a huge motivator to create change. [22:08] Shelly speaks about the research she did for one chapter of her book. [26:17] What would it be like if the process of getting out of pain could be fun? [29:25] Shelly shares some practices that have served her and her clients that might be useful for listeners to practice. [32:02] Common humanity just means that we are not alone. [33:44] Shelly speaks about how you can show yourself self-kindness. [35:54] Shelly takes Susi and the listeners through the self-appreciation practice. [39:25] To serve self is to serve others and to serve others is to serve self. [42:01] Susi says that on some level if we are experiencing compassion fatigue, there may be something else going on. [43:20] Thank you for being on the show, Shelly!

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  • Did you know that your body isn't a passive thing that follows at the whim of your emotions or desires? Listen, as Susi discusses the body being a barometer and the importance of the concept in the work that she does with her private clients when she is training yoga teachers and other professionals on this episode of From Pain to Possibility.

    Susi says that your symptoms are there to tell you to pay attention, and the concept of the body as a barometer plays into her concept of her yellow light model, she talks about how these two relate and how you can move forward to support yourself, your clients or patients.

    Listen as Susi speaks about what can happen if you don't pay attention to the whispers and let the symptoms go into the red light phase, that's when life has become constricted enough that something needs to change. Once you can recognize the pattern in your experiences, you can intervene at a level that allows you to make changes.

    Susi discusses what happens most commonly with people who experience burnout. She also talks about a line in the book The ONE Thing by Gary Keller, which says, 'what is the one thing, when done, that makes all else easier or unnecessary?' she can offer this line or this book to a client. They can sit back and think about the one thing they can do to support themselves moving forward.

    If this is something you want to dig into more and you are a professional seeking professional training, please reach out to us health@functionalsynergy.com

    If you want more personalized training and you'd like to connect with me for a one on one private series of sessions, please connect with us.

    In This Episode

    [00:26] Welcome to the show! [01:29] Susi shares a story about one of her private clients that listened to his yellow light. [03:20] Susi says that your symptoms are there to tell you to pay attention. [04:11] A red light phase is when life has become constricted enough that something has to change. [06:01] Susi discusses how movement patterns might correlate to what is going on where you are hurting. [08:09] The symptoms are merely expressing some issues that are going on. [10:51] Susi says that when you can start seeing the patterns and intervene at the level of a pattern, you can make a lot more change. [12:08] Susi discusses how commercials suggest that pain is a normal physiological process, and it will not get better. [14:42] Have you ever believed that because the pain is gone that it will not return? [16:14] Susi shares that when something stressful happens, it can affect how you feel. [18:02] Susi speaks about improving the integrity of your mechanical patterns. [19:33] Listen as Susi speaks about the healing model where awareness leads to clarity. [20:37] Susi discusses where and how to start with this process of the body being a barometer. [21:56] Susi speaks about noticing the progression of symptoms from yellow to red and adding intervention. [24:01] Susi shares what happens a lot with people who experience burnout. [25:41] Susi speaks about a passage in the book The ONE Thing by Gary Keller. [27:33] Let's have a conversation about how I can help reach us at Functional Synergy. [27:42] Have a great day!

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  • Susi is digging into four obstacles, particularly obstacles to smooth progress in this episode of From Pain to Possibility. Listen, and by the end of this episode, you'll see that obstacles aren't actually bad. They are a part of the learning process, and once you see them for what they are, you can see them as opportunities for growth and development.

    Listen as Susi shares and explains the four obstacles: Line in the sand, being afraid of crossing the line, B as the new A, and blowing by the yellow lights. Susi speaks about how to get around these obstacles while still maintaining the healthy patterns you have learned along the way. If you want to do something, tell your body, 'I know I probably shouldn't be putting you through this, and I promise I'm going to take care of you later.

    If this episode resonates with you, Susi would love to work with you to help you improve your movement, improve your overall capacity and bandwidth, help you recover, help you heal, and help you do the activities you want to do. Scoot over to Functional Synergy and click on contact us.

    In This Episode

    [00:28] Welcome to the show! [00:38] Susi is digging into four obstacles we all face. [01:06] Listen as Susi speaks about the first obstacle she calls Line in the sand. [03:19] Symptoms of pain and strain are an imprint of that neuromuscular patterning within us. [05:01] Susi speaks about working with people who have less pain for some time, and then they want to uplevel. [07:01] If a person's symptoms come back, what do you do? [08:05] The second obstacle is when a person becomes afraid of crossing the line. [10:36] "If you weren't afraid, what might you do?" Susi asks clients to see what arises out of that question. [11:50] B as the new A is the third obstacle Susi is breaking down. [13:42] Susi explains how she gets her clients from point A to point B. [16:16] The fourth obstacle is called blowing by the yellow lights, ignoring and pushing through. [18:21] Susi shares what she says to people who have a compelling desire to do something. [19:32] Do you work within your bandwidth? [20:54] Susi speaks about these four obstacles that can get in the way. [22:26] Thank you so much for listening and have a great day!

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  • Are you ever too old to practice yoga? Listen, as Susi and her guest Ruth Ann Penny discuss older adults, yoga and the older adult, and what yoga can do for an older person on this episode of From Pain to Possibility. Ruth Ann has been an educator for forty years with a master's degree in adult education, focusing on leaders and the elders in our midst.

    Ruth Ann became a yoga practitioner almost 25 years ago, as an active and ambitious person in her mid-forties she had a feeling of coming home. Over time, she saw that her body, with its own unique history, would dictate the yoga practice she would cultivate. As she has aged, she has confronted the reality that no yoga practice suits everybody. There is no guru that knows what you know about yourself.

    "There are realities to getting older, but it's not nearly as horrible as one might perceive." Listen, as Ruth Ann shares why older adults come to her yoga studio and their genuine interest in making their lives more productive and filled with functional movement opportunities. Susi discusses the realities of aging that challenge older adults. Balance, breathing capacity, general body awareness, and endurance are some of them.

    Ruth Ann shares her insights on why stiffness and loss of range are very common, and how to focus on and improve those large joint movements. When you have stiffness in the big joints, people start immediately talking about pain, so be clear when your body whispers, so you don't have to hear it scream.

    If you have enjoyed this discussion and are interested in learning more, Ruth Ann and Susi are running Teaching Yoga For The Older Adult. We are optimizing this program specifically for people for whom daily life is limited by conditions and that are reducing general movement capacity.

    In This Episode

    [03:53] Welcome to the show, Ruth Ann! [04:28] Ruth Ann shares her love of working with older adults and the realities of aging. [07:19] Ruth Ann sees in her population of students a genuine interest in making their lives rich and filled with good opportunities for easy, enjoyable, and functional movement. [09:18] Listen as Ruth Ann speaks about developmental markers that children reach are predictable, but by age 50, your life will affect your body. [10:47] When people come into the yoga studios or therapeutic settings, we look at the body in front of us and the experiences that the body has had. [13:26] Susi speaks about the five realities that she outlines in a pdf document. [14:55] Ruth Ann discusses the psychological reality of aging. [17:38] Susi shares why older adults may come to a yoga studio. [18:52] Ruth Ann describes the issues that people come to her yoga studio for, but the energetic response is a bonus. [21:16] Susi shares a story about her father and how fast he declined once he moved to a place where he didn't need to move as much. [23:29] There are realities to getting older, but it's not nearly as horrible as one might perceive. [25:59] Susi speaks about balance being a challenge because it can lead to fear of falling so they don't walk as much. [27:09] Ruth Ann shares her insights into the balance issue and animating the feet. [30:00] Susi shares about when she was a young yoga instructor teaching older adults and being stunned by the impact of yoga on their movement. [30:51] Breathing capacity is another challenge and how posture can affect breathing. [32:20] Ruth Ann says that when you teach people who have a pulmonary disease, there are simple exercises that turn the attention to exhalation instead of inhalation. [34:45] Susi speaks about the first yoga class she took her dad to. [36:03] When the body and mind get the stimulus it needs, it unravels rather quickly. [38:32] Susi says that stiffness and loss of range are very common, and when we focus on and improve those large joint movements, things can change. [39:33] Ruth Ann believes that when you have stiffness in the big joints, she says that's when people start immediately talking about pain. [41:33] General body awareness is another challenge that older adults face. Being clear on what is a whisper and what is a scream. [44:23] Susi shares that when we can integrate strength gains and mobility, awareness, and balance, a lot can be maintained and improved upon. [47:09] Ruth Ann says that the ability to be by yourself and know how to lift yourself off the toilet is huge, and strength building is critical. [50:11] Another challenge older adults face is endurance. [50:41] Endurance requires both the act of being able to mobilize force and as well as our ability to rest and recover. [53:01] Things can change, and things can feel better. Yoga is adding more life to the years you have left. [54:28] Older adults are coming to yoga to help themselves feel better. [56:07] Thank you for being on the show, Ruth Ann!

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  • Problems will always exist. You don't want to have the same problems this year as you had last year. Listen as your host Susi Hately shares some issues she has had and the lessons she has learned from them so that maybe we can learn from her mistakes and the opportunities they have provided for her to rethink, reframe, refine and refresh and move forward in this episode of From Pain to Possibility.

    Do you believe that healing is possible? Susi does and is sharing some examples of people who listened to the whispers and could manage their conditions or by finding what was causing the flare-ups. Susi shares that she is not making the condition go away, but she helps them recognize the symptoms and the communication going through their body. None of us know what is actually possible.

    Have you ever felt yourself caring so much that you cared more about the clients' health than they did? Listen, as Susi shares how she has learned to control the characteristic of caring too much when it becomes destructive by looking at the situations that caused it to go sideways and becoming more transparent of her tendencies and how better to channel it without getting jaded.

    Susi wants you to allow yourself to step into the commitment to excellence and mastery of your craft, to become a better and more refined version of yourself so that you can contribute to your community and your world. Susi shares an exciting view on how caring can turn destructive; if any of this resonates with you, don't miss this episode.

    In This Episode

    [01:12] Welcome to my first edition of Lessons Learned. [03:06] Susi shares one of her most significant skills as a teacher. [05:09] "I believe that healing is possible." [06:02] Do you know anyone who has been accurately diagnosed but can manage their illness well? [08:12] Susi helps people recognize the whispers and realize the causes of the flairs associated with their conditions they can manage and or heal the illness. [09:56] Susi speaks about what she has learned from teaching professionally. [11:40] Susi shares some stories about some teachers she has taught over the years. [14:40] Susi discusses what she has done over the years when she felt herself giving in to her characteristic to care more than she should. [17:08] Susi wants people to experience the possibility of having a grand life. [17:48] Susi shares why she is open with her trainees. [19:27] "The bottom line is that we each have these innate characteristics that are incredibly powerful in whatever job we have." [21:07] If you want to get to work on honing this characteristic, please join us at Functional Synergy, go to the comment page and send us an email. [21:45] Have a great practice and happy exploring.

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  • Have you heard of the polyvagal theory? Listen as your host Susi Hately and her guest Marlysa Sullivan discuss this theory, the roles of our sympathetic and parasympathetic systems and relaxation, gunas, and much more in this episode of From Pain to Possibility.

    Marlysa is an assistant professor at the Maryland University of Integrative Health, where she teaches in the integrative health sciences and yoga therapy departments. She’s developed courses in the yoga therapy curriculum and is the founding clinical director for the Master of Science in Yoga Therapy program at Maryland University.

    Listen, as Marlysa describes the polyvagal theory, how the autonomic nervous system works, and the three qualities of gunas. Marlysa shares how with the two models of polyvagal theory and gunas, it shows how to work with clients from a yogic perspective. She also discusses how she starts a conversation about gunas with some clients she will speak to them in the language of gunas.

    Marlysa speaks about the use of yamas and niyamas in her sessions, and how all of this circles back to polyvagal theory. Even though all of this sounds so complex, it becomes simple as you practice it, pure in terms of the result you are seeking and as you develop it into an art of how you start and how you continue.

    This is a great topic, and the way Marlysa describes it integrates it so nicely with the biomedical and the biopsychosocial model. Susi has such a great conversation with Marlysa that you will want to sit in a comfy chair, prop your feet up, and relax because you don’t want to miss this episode.

    In This Episode

    [01:22] Welcome, Marlysa! [02:09] Marlysa shares her background and her journey to where she is now. [05:05] How would you describe polyvagal theory? [07:24] Marlysa shares how the autonomic nervous system can either have a relaxed response or life-threat response. [10:19] If we are in a shutdown dissociative state, can we get stuck there? [11:52] Marlysa discusses the three qualities of gunas. [13:16] Marlysa shares how gunas are similar to this idea of the autonomic nervous system. [15:17] What is nice about these two models of polyvagal theory and gunas is that they show that we can work with clients from a yogic perspective. [16:45] How would you start the conversation with clients around gunas? [17:38] Marlysa shares that she speaks to clients in the language of the gunas. [20:45] Marlysa speaks about how yoga is supportive, and this qualitative measure can bring more detail or direction to support someone’s process. [23:04] What are some ideas of ways they can start integrating these ideas or just thoughts to think about as they move towards integration? [26:47] Marlysa shares about yamas and niyamas and what they are. [29:19] Marlysa speaks about knowing when you are centered in your expression of compassion that supports you and those around you. [30:22] How does this all circle back to polyvagal theory? [34:31] Thank you so much for being on the show!

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  • Did you know that if you integrate yoga, medicine, and rehabilitation, you can get better results? Welcome to the very first episode of From Pain to Possibility, with your host Susi Hately. Susi is giving us some useful information that can be implemented today, and along the way, she is sharing bits and pieces of her life so we can get to know her better.

    Susi is the owner and director of Functional Synergy Yoga Therapy, where she trains healthcare professionals and yoga teachers on how to integrate yoga therapeutically into their practices. Susie also runs a private one-to-one session series for people who have pain, long-standing pain, and those who want to get rid of the pain.

    Listen as Susi shares her background and what she means by a biopsychosocial model. She speaks about being creative after her twins were born and condensing several concepts into one model, which she calls the integrative healing journey or integrative healing process. Susi also discusses blue and purple ribbons. How the ability to assess effectively helps grow the client's clarity to understand what is and isn't working.

    Are you curious about what is going on in your body? Susi discusses how sometimes when moving our bodies, we think we are moving our hips when in fact; we are moving our pelvis. This can be a neuromechanical miss between our brain and the tissue of what we are supposed to be moving. Susi says that sometimes improvement requires a change of belief.

    Hopefully, you have found some usable techniques in this episode that you can play with for yourself, your students, or clients that will take you up into this next level of understanding and the application of both a biomedical and a biopsychosocial model.

    In This Episode

    [00:22] Welcome, everyone! [01:01] Susi shares how the pandemic allowed her to do the podcast she has wanted to do finally. [01:39] She hopes that this podcast will give you some information you need on your journey of being able to integrate yoga, medicine, and rehabilitation for better results. [02:34] Susi shares her kinesiology background and her focus on exercise physiology, motor control, and biomechanics. [03:37] Susi explains what she means by the biopsychosocial model. [06:07] She shares that when she was on maternity leave after having twins, she got creative and brought all the concepts together into one model. [06:58] Susi explains what you see when you look at this model. [08:49] Our ability to assess effectively helps grow the clarity for the client to understand what is working or not working. [11:05] If you listen to the whispers, you will grow your own internal locus of control. [12:30] Susi gives an example of what she has been talking about. [15:30] Growing someone's awareness through a biomechanical model is a fascinating process. [17:01] Are you curious about what is going on in your body? Why is my body breaking down? [18:08] Susi shares that sometimes improvement requires a change of belief. [19:42] An aha is a glimpse of what could be whether it is less pain or more movement.l [23:13] Susi is speaking about another concept, where you have pain isn't the problem. [25:42] How is your neuromuscular communication? [27:58] The takeaway for this first episode is that there is an intersection between the biomedical and the biopsychosocial model. [29:55] We will connect with you in the next episode; thank you for listening.

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