BECOME THE BEST VERSION OF YOU!
“Back in the 1990’s, it became apparent that childhood traumatic stress elicited not only a psychological response but a physiological one. I couldn’t think or even talk my way out of my trauma stories. I needed a trusting, secure and social connection with just one person. This person was the embodiment of compassion and educated me about my breath and my body’s systems. From there I found the practice of using the tools of yoga that gave me a choice as to whether I continue to react from my past stories or I learned - one day at a time - to respond in the present moment with wholeness.”
From Survivor to Thriver
"I specialize in working with people who are suffering from Develpmental Trauma, C-PTSD, all addictions, eating disorders, secondary stress, compassionate fatigue, anxiety and depression. I make the tools of yoga accessible anytime, anywhere, in a chair or even using a wall. We limit ourselves to think yoga is just a physical practice on the mat. It is a life style of the highest self care! Let's learn behaviors and practices that can help you learn to be more resilient, improve your self-esteem, and guide you in a more positive path!"
Heather is a pioneer in the new field of Yoga and Trauma Recovery. This new field utilizes Trauma Informed Yoga and Meditation to help people start to move beyond complex PTSD, Developmental Trauma Disorder, Addiction, Anxiety, and Depression and start to build fulfilling lives. Heather has worked extensively with psychotherapists and health practitioners to assist clients in reaching their wellness goals. She has a private practice called Resilient Yoga for You, LLC at an Addictions Recovery Center called Wellsprings Mind Body in Reston Virginia. She is in training to become a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor. She is also the Director of Beloved Yoga’s Trauma and Recovery Programs at Beloved Yoga in Reston. She has a Masters in Psychotherapy from Marymount University and is a certified IAYT Yoga Therapist. She has earned the e500RYT designation from the Yoga Alliance and is a lead teacher in Beloved Yoga's 300RYT/800hr teacher training program. Heather also holds a Certification in Trauma Sensitive Yoga from David Emerson and Dr. Bessel Van der Kolk (Kripalu). Heather, along with Maryam Ovissi of Beloved Yoga have a successful 30 hour IAYT approved Trauma Informed Training Program for Yoga Teachers, Mental Health workers etc. Heather has trainings with Embodied Recovery Institute for Eating Disorders, Internal Family Systems training with Amy Weintrab and Dr. Angela Hubner, and is a Brain Longevity Specialist from the Alzheimer's Research and Prevention Foundation. For more info you can check out her private practice for addictions counseling at
Before you enter into the safe space Heather creates, you will first be asked to complete the confidential private health form. You will find this form in a PDF format on this page. Heather will use this information to customize your initial evaluation. If you have been referred by a therapist Heather will consult with them to tailor this session just for you.
"I work with you by first educating you about your biology and how our stress/traumas effect our brains and nervous systems - I help you to understand how yoga can help keep you in a parasympathetic state. All healing occurs in the parasympathetic state of rest, digest and rejuvenation." says Heather.
After this initial session Heather will provide you with three take aways that will begin your new relationship with wellness and cultivate a curiosity about your body.
After your introductory session, Heather will develop a personal, unique 60 minute practice just for you. In yoga, it is through the breath that we connect the mind and body in a significant way.
You will learn how to utilize the tools of Yoga to create balance with your imbalances, i.e., we like to call them "Teachers". This is not a curative yoga practice but through the tools of movement (asana), breath work (pranayama), mental clarity (concentration/meditation practices) and nourishment (lifestyle habits), Heather will meet you where you are and inspire you to build a healthy balanced relationship with yourself and your imbalances.
New Client Form
Let Heather create a multisession program tailored just for you. This special one on one training is centered around you and your goals.
"When we have stress/trauma, we live in our survival mode (so we celebrate that our body is trying to protect us and it is not the enemy!) . Living in the sympathetic part of our nervous system can wreck havoc on your mind, your breath and body. Learning how to dial down the sympathetic through breath and gentle movements is the way I begin. I give you tools that you can access throughout your day and do not need a yoga mat. These tools are for your body, your breath and your mind. We build you a calming toolkit with yogic tools as we move through sessions. You do not have to have any yoga experience."
Integrating Yoga into Addictions Recovery
Heather's Mission Statement
Heather is in training to get her Substance Abuse Counseling Certification. She is currently seeing clients in first stage recovery at www.WellSpringMindBody.com. She is also can be found through www.PsychologyToday.com. Recovering from addictions requires healing of the mind, the body and the spirit. Studies are revealing that dis-regulated trauma in the body propels people to abuse alcohol, drugs, and process addictions as medicine to feel balanced. People are not aware of what is happening in their nervous systems and brain structures and are instead using addiction as a way to dial down their over reactive sympathetic nervous systems.
I have been working with people in recovery these past 15 years and one thing I see over and over is that the "unhealthy habits" began in teen years usually around the age of 15 as a way to cope with stress. The other thing I see is the sooner trauma informed yoga tools are introduced into recovery the chances of relapse lesson!
My intention is to help people understand how yoga and somatic therapy compliments the process of abstaining from an addiction by connecting one's self back to the body. Yoga can help us release the issues that live in our tissues. Once this starts to occur a person can begin to self regulate and find relief. This can be achieved by going inside themselves instead of reaching to the outside world for an instant fix.
Quoting Heather, “So often people with addictions have been severely traumatized and need a softer, more choice oriented way of working with abstaining from an addiction. By creating a safe space, I help people to explore new ways of self care with the hope of reaching for healthy tool rather than a maladaptive one that continues to keep the frequency of addiction alive.
Heather's Artwork; "Recovery Mandala" Acrylic on Canvas
Experience Working with Adolescents
The last few years Heather has taught "stress busting" yoga classes to Northern Virginia High School Students in conjunction with their annual week of wellness education.
Heather has an important message to share about the Therapeutic capacity of Yoga as a modality for healing. She has spoken at events like...
2017 SNAP (Survivors Network Of Those Abused by Priests) Conference
2017 Addictions Female Inmates Wellness Program at Loudoun County Jail
George Mason University - Guest Speaker MSW Trauma and Recovery Class
Medical Yoga Symposium: Modern Yoga at George Washington University
INOVA Trauma Center: Trauma Survivors Network: Trauma Sensitive Yoga Classes