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Experiencing trauma and stress is an essential part of being human.   There is no escaping this part of our experience of living in this world.  The yogis have studied human behavior for thousands of years and they compassionately understand suffering.  They developed a system that helps us to heal and live out our full human potential.  According to yogic ideology, transformation does not involve creating a better you, it entails discovering the sacred within, and cultivating capacities to be life-loving, intentional and thoughtful.


This 4 week series will assist you in collecting tools to empower you be able to connect and feel safe in your body no matter what stressors come into your life.   Each week there will be discussions, gentle yoga practice, controlled breath work, affirmations and guided meditations to bring more ease and balance into your life.  Groups start up in the fall 2019. Interested please contact me.

Transforming Traumatic stress

These one hour gatherings are open to anyone interested in experiencing how yoga can be a valuable part of the recovery process.  Whether you are in the recovery process yourself (all A’s welcome) or are a professional working with people in recovery, this is a wonderful way to explore how yoga can help enhance the healing process of addiction.

Each week we will:

  • Focus on a Topic for Spiritual Awareness,

  • Use Gentle Yoga postures to Nourish and Befriend the body,

  • Breathing Exercises to aid in Emotional Balance,

  • And Meditation for Inner Connection.


The overall goal of the 12-Step Yogi Sangha is to help develop a heart filled grounding yoga experience of self-care that nurtures the mind, the body and spirit of people in recovery on an ongoing basis.  Suggested donation: $5. Visit for more information. 

Yoga for 12 steps

Fresh starts take different forms for different people. Some of us clean out our closets and others assert that it is time to work on moving away from a bad habit. All of us have habits, some of them are beneficial and others are not so healthy. Eventually, habits can become addictions. Studies are now supporting yogic "science" which consists of asanas, meditation and breathing exercises as effective tools that together help you to remain non-reactive and calm under the most challenging situations. When you are in this place of peace, you might choose a healthier “habit” rather than a destructive one.


If you are ready to start this learning ways to actualize your “resolutions” - these are the classes for you!The six-week class series offers an individualized healing system to enhance conscious awareness, restore balance and fulfillment in one’s life, one day at a time.

Six-Week Training Breakdown: Asanas (Physical practices specific to stress reduction), Pranayama: Controlled breath work to promote calmness, Meditation: Guided imagery for positive self-esteem and elimination of negative attitude, Journaling and Art. Necessary supplies for the training: A binder or notebook and an open mind.


Disordered Eating is a term that is used by health care professionals to describe a wide variety of irregularities in eating behavior.  Sometimes this behavior occurs from situational stressors such as the upcoming holiday season.  Other times, it is a survival tool from one’s childhood that persists daily.  This is a workshop for anyone who wants to explore unhealthy eating patterns or is currently recovering from disordered eating behavior. Free yourself from the destructive patterns and

 daily obsessions with food! During this workshop you will learn:

-  how to embrace your unique “style” of healthy eating

-  belly-energizing breathing

-  gentle yoga movement exercises

-  art making

-  information about other holistic practices for healing


This workshop will support healthy lifestyle changes through a strong emphasis on developing intuition, empathy and compassion. You will be immersed in a safe and supportive environment to help you face self-destructive patterns and embark on the journey of healing. Change your relationship with food and your body and learn how food can become your ally, not your enemy!


This workshop will combine 12 step philosophy with yoga to help people create a health care program that will help facilitate wellness and wholeness in one’s self. The focus of this workshop is to provide a practical how-to guide to improve health and relaxation so that one can reach new levels of recovery and gain new skills for living in the solution.

The class is open to recovery people and anyone who has always wanted to understand the 12 steps.

An introduction to the 12 Steps will be given as well as a yoga practice using

postures, breathing and meditation techniques to reduce stress. By reducing stress physically, this helps one to focus mentally and to become aware of feelings which will reduce obsessive and compulsive thinking to experience peace of mind. Attention that is directed outward in the addictive process becomes directed inward.

Codependency and Acoa
Yoga for Healthy Eating
Breaking the cycle

Heather's knowledge and enthusiasm puts you in the place of peace.  I use her mantras regularly and face life's challenges with an open heart

Breaking the Cycle Attendee

I thought Heathers trauma yoga class was fantastic. Especially being as she taught yoga at my treatment center and to get to see her 5 years later was amazing. I'm a woman who has been through trauma in the past and the information she gave us on how we deal with it as well as the yoga techniques that she taught us as coping mechanisms was super helpful. I would recommend this class highly!!!!!!

Yoga for Traumatic Stress Attendee

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Beloved Yoga Trauma Informed

Yoga Certification

 30 hour training program for Yoga Teachers, Body Workers, Therapists, Counselors and Teachers 

NEXT TRAINING: at Beloved Yoga in Alexandria, VA Radiance Studio:  Sept 20-21, 2019

Trauma Sensitive Yoga (2006) is an evidence-based treatment protocol for PTSD developed in by leading researchers in the fields of trauma & psychology. It is based on clinical trials performed at the Trauma Center in Brookline Massachusetts by psychiatrist and leading trauma researcher, Dr. Bessel Van der Kolk.  TCTSY is the first somatic modality to be scientifically proven as an effective adjunctive treatment for psychological trauma. It  is based on the trainings of David Emerson and Dr. Bessel Van der Kolk and  incorporates an understanding of neurophysiology, Trauma Theory, and Hatha yoga practices. The TSY model helps to foster safety, stabilization, reconnection to self, re-engagement into life centering activities, emotional regulation, and builds competency and agency, in order to increase somatic regulation and intereoceptive (a felt sense of one’s body) awareness.

Beloved Trauma Informed Yoga certification (2016) program was developed for Yoga teachers, Body workers, Psychotherapist/Social Workers, Teachers and First Responders.  At Beloved Yoga, we take the recent data on trauma seriously and work tirelessly to develop and apply more effective ways to keep Yoga safe and therapeutic, whether for a group class or a private session.  We strive to guide all teachers to become trauma informed, in order to create the safest and most accessible yoga experience.  We offer the latest, innovative evidenced based training that demonstrates the necessity of the integration of yoga into the treatment of trauma healing.  

Heather in collaboration with Beloved Yoga studio owner Maryam Ovissi has created a one of a kind training that blends the ancient wisdom of Yoga and Suffering with the modern science of Trauma. Yoga has recognized the necessity of befriending all the layers of our being to achieve peace in this life. The greatest path to healing from Trauma is through this process of taking care of the whole being!

Extensive research and training has been done by Heather and Maryam to develop this certification that teaches you effective ways to keep yoga safe and therapeutic for all you teach. You will find this three-day training program teaches tools that will be applicable for a class setting or a private session. The training blends philosophy and science with clear application of Yogic tools. The third day focuses on First Responders and Addiction and Recovery. Upon completion of this certification program, you will walk away with feeling empowered by a new way of teaching.


  • Science of how the body (nervous system) and the mind (brain structures) hold trauma

  • Vagus Nerve, Polyvagal Theory and HPATG axis

  • Modern Trauma theories and perspectives

  • Self-Care methods in working with Trauma

  • Understanding Trauma through the Pancha Maya Lens

  • Special populations - Addictions Recovery, First Responders, Nurses, Trauma Doctors, Social Workers and Therapists

  • Learn how to use Yogic tools to create safety and stability for clients

  • Learn effective use of breath work in grounding and self-empowerment

  • Learn the use of meditation, concentration practices and affirmation work

  • Apply asana and movement to assist clients with befriending the body



The program will be taught in modules that will have lecture, discussion and experience incorporated into them.​

Certification Requirements

To obtain the Trauma Informed Yoga Certification you will need to take the full course which consists of:

  • 22 contact hours

  • 2 mentoring hours

  • Lead 4 Yoga Informed Classes


CEUs will be provided.

Recommended Reading

  • Trauma Tool Kit: Healing PTSD from the Inside Out by Susan Pease Banitt

  • The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van der Kolk 

  • Overcoming Trauma through Yoga: Reclaiming the Body by David Emerson

  • Molecules of Emotion by Candace Pert 

Beloved Yoga Trauma Informed

 I get to teach teacher trainees this evening about "sacred space" and the trauma training you gave me is a core portion of it! I'm mixed with nervousness and gratitude!! The wisdom is so incredibly valuable. Thank you for being you and for using your journey to heal others. It's our gift.

Trauma Informed Yoga Training Graduate

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Beloved Yoga Compassionate Senior Yoga Certification 

 30 hour training program for Yoga Teachers, Body Workers, Therapists, Counselors and Teachers 

NEXT TRAINING: at Beloved Yoga in Reston, VA January 2020

Beloved Yoga is committed to offering classes that cultivate safety no matter your age. Today, seniors, aged 65 and older, represent the fastest-growing sector of the population. With all the latest research on yoga’s health benefits, many seniors are beginning yoga practices. Almost 20% of America’s nearly 16 million yoga practitioners are over age 44 (Yoga Journal 20008), which presents both an unexpected opportunity and a sometimes serious challenge for yoga teachers. While some older adults are extremely healthy and fit, the “average” senior has at least one chronic health condition (at least 80%) and 50% have at least two (CDC 2003).

Our Beloved Yoga Compassionate Senior Yoga Certification is designed to ensure that asana practice can be customized and safe to offer the best health benefits for an aging body. You will learn a combination of chair and gentle yoga postures with standing and floor sequences designed to reach all of your senior students regardless of their health and fitness challenges. There also will be strategies to cultivate a fun, caring community as studies confirm we are lonelier than ever; perhaps no other age feels the sting of loneliness more than the elderly.


What you will learn in this training:

Each day of the training will include lecture, movement, small-group work, practice-teaching sessions and discussion. The topics we will cover include:

*How to safely and effectively teach Yoga practices geared for the changing needs of older bodies
*Breathing techniques to soothe and energize the nervous system
*Common ailments, complex medical challenges, brain health and the importance of sleep hygiene in healthy aging
*How to skillfully adapt postures and practices with the use of props and chairs to address special conditions, including osteoporosis, hip replacements, arthritis, and menopausal challenges.
*Yoga practices to help improve and enhance balance
*Meditative and Restorative practices.


Help Seniors Feel Empowered 

As people age, the efficiency of one’s bodies and the immune system’s defenses deteriorate, increasing the risk of sickness. A regular practice taught for seniors by Certified Beloved Yoga Compassionate Senior yoga teachers can lower stress hormones and inflammation, boost the immune system, and decrease the chance of sickness! 

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Resilient Yoga Tools For All Addictions Training and Workshop

Embrace a Joyful Recovery

This is a 4 week series or two day training open to anyone in addictions recovery that wants to learn and experience how yogic tools of resiliency can help you live in more ease as you abstain from addiction.   Today, science is helping us to understand that unresolved traumas held in the body need to brought into the healing of addiction.  Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of daily stress, something that is not really addressed in the treatment of addictions.   Evidence based studies are showing that trauma informed yoga can give you tools of self regulation and self soothing that are accessible any time and in any place and help you to live a more joyful recovery process. 

By understanding the layers of addiction through science and the philosophy of yoga, Heather has developed a set of trauma informed yoga tools of resiliency to empower people who are choosing to move away from addiction.    This training will help you to cultivate an awareness of how integral yoga is to the addictions recovery process and how yoga has always been a therapeutic system that addresses the obsessive mind and trauma in the body in the treatment of addiction.
Heather will help you to learn how to hold compassionate and safe yoga spaces for all who are abstaining from an addiction so that they can experience the healing medicine of yoga.  Today, many people in recovery report that “they can’t do yoga because they don’t fit in, they can’t sit still or they can’t sit on the floor” and this perpetuates the feeling of isolation which is one of the core experiences of addiction.  Heather focuses on everyone feeling welcomed, no matter where they are in their journey!  You will learn to create an all inclusive support group or sangha by customizing a practice using a props to have everyone be together, feeling connected so that no one gets left behind.  This training will help build confidence in sharing yogic tools in substance abuse rehabilitation centers or to people in recovery from any addiction. 

You will learn:

​-The Science of Addiction 

- To understand the Yoga Lens on Addictions

- The Relationship between Trauma and Addiction

- How to Educate and Empower people about their Survival Physiology

​-Resilient Yoga Addictions Recovery Chair/Wall/Mat sequences focused on befriending the body, breathing exercises to aid in emotional balance and affirmations for positive self esteem and wholeness.

Resilient Yoga Tools
Compassionate Senior

"This was a great workshop. I wish it were longer. For those like myself that in addiction recovery or have experienced trauma or both will find this course very informative and enlightening. I got a true understanding at the thought processes and body's reactions to stressful events that occur in our lives or have occurred during childhood. It was fascinating to see how the mind and body are so linked together in this. Heather did a great job at educating us on these specific links and how Yoga is a great tool to bring mindfulness and subsequent healing to our hearts, our mind and body. I immediately started to use the tools she taught us to use during times of emotional upset, anger, resentment, fear  and I could see that instead of using those emotions for a channel to act out negatively I could supplant those tools with the tools of the workshop that bring a sense of self healing and self love. This is course is a journey into self, to shed the negative light, and accept and love ourselves for who we truly our. I would recommend this course for everybody!"  

Learn weekly about the science of trauma and how the philosophy of yoga has always been a therapeutic system that addresses the suffering of the obsessive mind.  Experience an all-inclusive trauma-informed yoga practice that will be done using the support of a chair.  Many people in addictions recovery report that they can't do yoga because they aren't flexible. If you have always wanted to try yoga, chair yoga is a safe place to begin! You will walk away with yogic tools to befriend the body, breathing exercises to aid in emotional balance and guided meditations for positive self esteem and wholeness!  

Resilient Yoga Tools for All Addictions Workshop Participant

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Ready to bring this groundbreaking training to your facility or studio?

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