291: Better Balance with Susi Hately

Keeping their balance is something we may have noticed that older adults may find challenging, or something that we may ourselves have felt we need to improve as we age. How can yoga help with this? Susi Hately (she/her) shares insights from her experience working with people on their balance.

Susi Hately is the founder of Functional Synergy and she helps people reveal and heal their human potential regardless of their age or condition. She also helps yoga teachers, yoga therapists and health care providers hone their talent and become excellent practitioners. Susi also teaches people, often over 50, 60 and 70 years of age, how to get out of pain and handle other symptoms that accompany aging. Susi combines her formal training in Kinesiology and deep knowledge of yoga to foster the magic of recovery and healing so that they can live well, with strength and ease, and better balance.

Susi shares how she was inspired to get into this line of work by her father who improved his balance and mobility through yoga. She outlines the key elements that contribute to balance and highlights the importance of asking students why they want to improve their balance. Susi also talks about joint mobility, rest, breath and breathing all impact balance, and tips to help our students (and ourselves!) maintain and improve balance as we get older.

Key Takeaways:

[2:27] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode – Susi Hately.

[5:06] What is the work that Susi does and who does she do it for?

[6:46] What got Susi interested in talking about balance?

[8:38] How did Susi’s father get interested in yoga at the age of 79?

[9:30] What about yoga helps people improve their balance?

“The key components are what’s going on in your inner ear, your stimulus system, what’s going on visually as well as what’s going on developmentally, like your motor control patterns and how your body moves.” Susi Hately

[11:13] What are the first steps Susi takes when someone specifically wants to improve their balance?

[12:50] How does Susi cater to people who may be fearful about their balance?

[14:34] What are some things Susi loves to share with students who want to work on their balance?

[16:33] What are some cues yoga teachers could be more mindful around when it comes to breathing?

[18:38] What does rest have to do with balance?

[20:57] What are Susi’s thoughts on guiding people to the practice of yoga when they need to down regulate their nervous system?

[23:12] What kind of homework does Susi give her students to improve their balance?

[26:22] What are some movements related to balance that we take for granted that we can practice in a yoga class?

“Rest and breathing are important to balance.” Susi Hately

[30:13] Closing the eyes can be an important part of training people in their balance. How does Susi address students who may feel embarrassed or afraid of fumbling or falling over with their eyes closed?

[33:22] Shannon pops in with a quick message about the sponsor, OfferingTree.

[36:01] Susi highlights the fact that our bodies can change at any age and people can regain some of the mobility and ability that they may have lost.

[39:30] Why do people believe that they are destined to lose their mobility and ability to perform certain actions?

[44:00] Susi leaves us with some final things to remember as we work with students or work on our own balance.

“The key is how can we help a system down-regulate and have a system become too that restful state… If we can settle and connect and be at ease, we’ll find that the balance is a lot better.” Susi Hately

[44:39] Find out more about Susi and her work at her website and check out her YouTube channel too.

[45:25] Shannon shares her key takeaway from this conversation with Susi.

“When you have the correct stimulus, all sorts of things can shift.” Susi Hately

[50:00] Shannon shares some upcoming offerings.


Gratitude to our Sponsor, OfferingTree.

OfferingTree all-in-one software



“The key is how can we help a system down-regulate and have a system become too that restful state… If we can settle and connect and be at ease, we’ll find that the balance is a lot better.” Susi Hately