People will often ask me how I got into using yoga therapeutically. I think the simple answer is that I found myself at odds with what I saw in my classes. Despite my giving instructions on how to move into a pose many people didn’t actually follow them. I continued to see rounded backs, held jaws and all the other typical poor movements. It made me uncomfortable. I also started to ask my students how their bodies were feeling. Invariably, they told me they were sore. They also told me, in their own way, that was “normal” for them – that their bodies always felt sore, achey. It was the way it was. Hmmmm.
As a result of those conversations, I decided and started to teach my students how to move into yoga poses in such a way that their aches and pains would reduce. Pretty quickly I knew I was onto something. As they learned how to move more efficiently, their aches and pain went down- even disappeared. As their aches and pain reduced, their sense of normal consequently changed as well. They began to see and feel that while pain “is a normal physiological process” wasn’t a “necessary state of being”. They began to run faster, have less headaches, enjoy skiing and not feel so exhausted by the end of the day, and return to other activities more quickly. I remember thinking … tissue can change – and it doesn’t matter how old you are.
Other teachers started to notice what I was doing, as did physiotherapists, chiropractors, massage therapists and doctors. They came to sit in on my classes and watch all 20 people in the room move smoothly. Referrals started to come and a great network of complimentary providers grew. It was affirming.
But the real shift happened for me when I started to train teachers. The teachers were those who were once like me – a little astonished at the movement that was happening in front of them. The poor posture, the held breath and a seemingly unwillingness to change. And as they learned and applied what I was teaching, they too obtained the same results. They realized the unwillingness was really an unawareness and their students simply needed to be taught how to shift in a way that they could hear. So, as the teachers shifted in their thinking and practice, they too realized a new normal. Lives changed – for both the teacher and the student. What a beautiful and functional synergy.
Since 1993, Susi Hately has grown from teaching one or two musicians how to stay pain free while playing their instruments, to becoming a highly credible and reliable source for understanding and successfully using therapeutic yoga to enable people to get out of pain and back to the life they want to live – at home, work and play.
Her Signature Style of Yoga Therapy combines principles of anatomy and physiology with the ancient art of yoga asanas, breathing, pranayama, stillness and meditation. All of her sessions are customized to suit individual needs.
She started teaching this way back in 2001 because not every person with back pain or shoulder pain needed the same yoga program. Instead she focused on the person, their anatomy, their movement abilities and their day-to-day lifestyle. . . with a goal to cultivate better body balance.
If you would like to train with Susi, please join us March 7-8, and 9-13, when she brings her training to Janati! Being a yoga teacher is not required! Follow the links for more information, or to sign up for this amazing training