top of page

Past Speaking Engagements


Yoga for Trauma Survivors: On January 20th, 2023, I had the great honor teaching a three hour trauma informed yoga therapy training for 30+ MSW students and faculty at George Mason University!

Deb Dana LCSW, author of The Polyvagal Theory in Therapy says it well, “we need to focus on our own capacity for self regulation with traumatized clients…when we are fully in our ventral vagal system, we are able to practice compassion for ourselves and for our deregulated suffering person in front of us.”

I am so grateful that this is my work to share the knowledge and practices of yoga therapy with our future social workers and therapists! They now have tools to not only help their clients but themselves as well.



Maryam Ovissi, Gina Kane and myself presented two sessions on January 28, 2023 at the One LCPS: United for Wellness Mental Health & Wellness conference in Aldie Virginia ! The Ultimate Teen Toolkit (www.ultimate teen is a non profit website platform for teens (and adults) to access in times of need..a yogic toolkit to calm and balance one’s nervous system. We currently have ten UTTK tools - 2-3 min videos online - check it out !


Resilient yoga 1.jpeg

Top-Down/Bottom-Up Approaches to Address Collective Trauma

It was a great honor speaking at the International Association of Yoga Therapists!! I was a part of this workshop on collective trauma, the pandemic and exploring the bottom up and top down approach with reflection on Yoga Sutras 2.33, 2.34. I was on a panel and I spoke about Yoga Therapy and Addictions.

Maryam Ovissi C-IAYT writes: Thank you @yoginihh bringing the wisdom of addictions thank you @marshawn_actyoga sharing the necessity of belonging and courage to support the communities in need thank you @toneyyukikai for expanding our Lens in the trigger of war in present to past and the pillars of resiliency thank you @mzdejur for shining an important light in on diversion programs, Sex Workers and the considerations of sharing yoga therapy with them and thank you @sandalwoodyogatherapy Priya for sharing how vital it is to address the unique trauma to health care workers and a call to action ! Huge gratitude to @iaytorg for organizing this powerful SYTAR 2022 excellent conference 💖


GMU image.png

George Mason University GMU - HRSA CAP-BH Program: Yoga for Trauma Survivors Workshop Online: Trauma Informed Yoga Therapist

January 7, 2022

I presented a 3 hour workshop to the GMU MSW (Masters of Social Work) students titled Yoga Therapy for Trauma Survivors. I have been teaching a one hour Trauma Informed Yoga class to the Masters of Social worker students since 2014. This past year, they were able to get funding for me to teach a paid workshop. This is exciting to see that yoga therapy is making its way into the hands of future social workers! The most important concept that I shared is the importance of understanding and learning how to be the chief operator of your own nervous system. As future social workers/therapists, we need to be a safe haven for our clients. When we are regulated, we can co-regulate the nervous system of our clients. It is vital in the healing of trauma! And yoga is one modality that is effective in the treatment of PTSD.



World Bank DAPP Webinar called Healing Emotional Pain and Trauma through Movement: Trauma Informed Yoga Therapist Panelist Online

November 3, 2021

The description of the webinar is as follows: “Many of us have experienced some form of trauma or emotional injury in our lives that may cause us to feel dysregulated or challenged in different
aspects of our personal or professional life. Research suggests that traumatic wounds can be stored or held in our bodies causing physiological responses that can destabilize us, make us feel
unsafe or insecure. Such experiences can also create obstacles and barriers to our experience with success, joy and healthy relationships. This conversational circle - webinar will focus on engaging experts from the fields of occupational health, psychology and trauma -informed yoga who use movement to help individuals overcome painful traumatic experiences that may be stored in the body.”

I was contacted by the Head Clinician of the World Bank domestic violence program to be on a panel with two other trauma informed professionals. One was an occupational therapist and the other was a somatic therapist. We had over 400 people worldwide attend this event online. I started the talk with 7 movements of the spine and lengthening exhales with the pursed lips breath. I felt so honored to be a part of the conversation. Yoga therapy is becoming recognized
WORLDWIDE as a supplemental healing modality in the treatment of trauma!



Presenter at Center for Pastoral Counseling in Virginia May 6, 2021

Presented a didactic and experiential Trauma Informed Yoga Therapy power point online to pastoral counselors.  It was an educational and experiential event.  The focus was on tools of self regulation for the counselors to use first on themselves and then in the future with their clients.



Trauma-Informed Resilient Yoga for Addictions

Aired Sat, 4/10/21 1:00-4:00 PM EDT

Heather Hagaman

Today, science is helping us to understand that unresolved traumas held in the body need to be brought into healing from addiction. Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of daily stress, and is something that is not necessarily addressed in the treatment of addictions. Evidence-based studies are showing that trauma-informed yoga can give people tools of self-regulation and self-soothing that are accessible any time and in any place, and can aid in cultivating a positive recovery process.


People in recovery report that they can’t do yoga because “they can’t sit still”, or “they can’t sit on the floor”, or “the breath work made them have a panic attack”. This can perpetuate the feeling of isolation which is one of the painful experiences of addiction. In this workshop, 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 “medicine” of yoga. 


By understanding all the layers of addiction through the philosophy of yoga, the latest science, and trauma-informed yoga tools of resiliency, Heather will help you to develop an awareness of how integral trauma-informed yoga is to the recovery process. This workshop will help you to feel more confident to share yogic tools in substance abuse rehabilitation centers or to people in recovery from any addiction.

In this three-hour workshop, you will learn:

  • How science is helping us to understand that addiction is a brain disease and unresolved traumas held in the body need to be brought into the healing of addiction

  • How to use education of the Autonomic Nervous System and brain structures aids in empowering people in recovery to participate more fully in helping the body heal, and the nervous system to regulate

  • How the philosophy of yoga has always been a therapeutic system that addresses the suffering of the obsessive mind

  • How to teach yogic tools of resiliency (anywhere/anytime) to help people abstaining from an addiction befriend the body, breathing exercises to aid in emotional balance and affirmations for positive self esteem and wholeness

  • How to create create an all-inclusive yoga practice through customization with a chair/wall and gentle breath



Trauma, Yoga and Your Brain Webinar

Wednesday, November 11th

4 pm PT / 7 pm ET for 90 min 

Guest Speaker: Heather Hagaman, M.A., C-IAYT, CSAC-T

Host: Kirti Khalsa, ARPF CEO


We know from research that even as we age, our brain still forms new neurons and that through neuroplasticity our brains can be rewired. 

 Current studies looking at how healthy habits strengthen your brain health have shown that yoga decreases the stress response within the brain and boosts brain power. In the trauma context, that is called self-regulation.

 In this 1.5 hour webinar, we will discuss how trauma manifests in the body, trauma-derived habits, and how to approach clients using specific trauma-yoga approaches. We will also experience simple and effective techniques that you can then apply to your practice and allow plenty of time for Q&A.

Whether this information is for yourself or for your students and clients, this webinar will result in better management of reactive emotions, thinking more clearly and developing greater focus.


Global Yoga Therapy Day

Julteyc stSt2spor4nsof, 20rr20setidfuc

“Addictions and Recovery C-IAYT uses Yogic tools for Acute Traumatic Stress Injuries sustained by Violent Assault” presented by

Heather Hagaman


“If we, as trauma informed yoga therapists could be there right after the trauma and administer trauma informed yogic self care, we might be able to shift a person away from getting stuck into a lifetime of being in defense mode. We could quite possibly move the person through the post traumatic injuries into resiliency and not into a disorder.

The therapeutic yoga trauma protocol or yogic self care I use with people with trauma essentially is to 1) educate the client about their defense physiology, 2) cultivate compassion and understanding for how hard the body works to protect and 3) learn how to befriend all the layers (Koshas) of the body with the use of yoga philosophy, asana, and pranayama. The successful application of these tools right after the trauma incident have been awe inspiring!”

Register for the Summit, and participate in our community outreach initiative at Join us for this presentation and many other educational and inspiring keynotes, discussions and commentary on a diverse range of topics central to health and wellbeing, and how yoga therapists are taking yoga therapy beyond the studio and into the world.

Heather Hagaman MA, C-IAYT, CSAC-T 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.

Integrating Yoga with 12 Step Recovery


#GYTD2020 #Giveback #Yogatherapy #yogaservice #yogaforbetterhealth #GlobalYogaTherapyDay


Resilient Yoga For All Additions

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. 


Resilient Yoga for Fairfax County General District Court Probation Officers!

January 23, 2020

Recently I had the honor of giving back to probation officers! I taught trauma informed resilient yoga tools to 20 stressed probation officers at Fairfax County General District Courthouse.  I focused on educating them about defense physiology and how yoga can dial down the nervous system to help them stay present and focused with their clients.

Secondary stress and compassion fatigue is at an all time high with these “first responders.” One probation officer said we never hear - thanks !

Grateful I could be of service to this group - the responses I got: “You were a hit ! All the feedback we have gotten has been so positive and people really got a lot out of the training. You were so relatable and the class was very comfortable with your style!”
“I love it! It is very nice to learn new ways to get less stress and tips to be focused, I found out I was not taking care of myself the way I need it at the office. I would like to have more of this kind of training."

Thank you to the universe that blesses me with these experiences !


National Crime Victims'Rights Week Community Fair

April 07, 2019

What a great spring day event with the Fairfax County Police Department kicking off the National Crime Victims Rights week. I shared information about our  Beloved Yoga’s therapeutic trauma informed programs to this grieving population that stopped by and shed tears.  These were people who had lost friend, relatives and children to homicides.  Yoga is the medicine that calms the mind, frees the breath and opens the heart. We were honored to hold sacred space for all today!at's this item about? What makes it interesting? 


Transforming the Traumas of Cancer through Yoga

February 16, 2019

I presented an educational powerpoint and a trauma informed yoga experience in chairs along side Maryam Ovissi, owner of Beloved Yoga.  We shared our Therapeutic program with the Oncology Rehab and Wellness center in Sterling, Virginia that specializes in providing physical therapy specific to enable patients to return to life after cancer.  Our Befriending Yoga Therapy program is designed to support anyone's journey to well-being by utilizing the original teachings of yoga and layering it with the science of the Polyvagal theory, the new science of safety and trauma.


Eradicating Addiction, World Medical & Policy Symposium Panel Speaker

December 28, 2018

Maryam Ovissi and I wrote a paper on Beloved Yoga's pilot study on the Ultimate Teen Toolkit and made a case to make it mandatory in middle school to teach tools of regulation.  "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 using addiction as a way to dial down their over reactive sympathetic nervous systems."  What if there was a mandatory education module taught in middle school for Emotional Self-Regulation and Self-Empowerment? The path towards eradication begins with trauma informed yoga education and a shareable methodology.


Alzheimer's Reserach and Prevention Foundation: Certified Brain Longevity Specialist

October 12, 2018

This was a three day training at American University in Washington D.C. with Kirti Khalsa and Dr. Chris Walling - learning how to use yoga and cutting edge tools to create the most optimum brain health.


Is There Space for Faith? Marymount University Pastoral Counseling Panel Speaker

March 25, 2018

Spoke on a panel of practicing clinicians from various faiths about integrating faith/spirituality and Counseling.   I am a graduate from the Masters of Psychology program at Marymount so to be back and sharing my expertise with PhD colleagues  was very exciting for me.  I didn't become a counselor, I became a yoga therapist and I was so proud of that!  The first question we were asked "How would you describe the difference between religion and spirituality?  I so appreciated being able to speak to the system of yoga and how I believe it enhances spirituality and religion.  I was able to share about the multi-dimensional aspects of the human being and that by the "yoking" of these aspects there is a feeling of wholeness and a remembering of who we are.  We have never been broken and we have always been whole, we just forgot.  

Screen Shot 2017-09-16 at 5.39.52 PM.png

2017 SNAP (Survivors Network Of Those Abused by Priests) Conference: Stress Less with a Trauma Informed Chair Yoga

As a Trauma Informed Yoga Therapist, I had the great honor to teach yogic tools to create more ease in life.  Empirical evidence shows that yoga can offer a more holistic and sustained form of healing for trauma survivors.  This interactive workshop provided the latest scientific information about trauma and how trauma informed yoga can help people learn how to befriend their bodies and experience wholeness.  

People shared with me that they had never felt their whole body before, that after their abuses they had shut down and were numb.  For the first time they felt embodied but they felt safe and held.  When I witness these moments, I feel so blessed to be able to share the journey of remembering that inside we are whole and we are healed.  This was one of those experiences that I bow at the power of yoga and that I can be of service to such willing and kind people!

"I thought you might want to know what the survey results of your Break out Session were.  The ratings were all 5’s (which is the best you could have received on the form) but some gave you a 6 and even a 7.  All of the comments were great.  One person said “I am a mess and this helped a lot”.  Still another “Heather was terrific, patient, caring and attentive to individual needs”.  They all said they wanted more.  Obviously, this is something we will need to continue to have in the future and more of it. Thanks again for playing a part in making this year’s Conference a huge success."-Mary Ellen Kruger, President of the BOD

Screen Shot 2017-09-16 at 5.45.50 PM.png

Speaker at South Lakes High School PTSA (Parent/Teacher/Student Association) May 10, 2017 at 7pm What is Stress? How Can Yoga Help Your Student and Your Family?

South Lakes PTSA was promoting the night as a program on Wellness.  SLHS is committed to fostering  wellness in their school population.  This year the PTSA  focused on mental health.


At Beloved Yoga, we see a lot of teens from SLHS for Yoga Therapy.   Many are on major anti-depressants dealing with emotional fluctuations that is dangerous and schools are unable to give them the tools they need.  Unfortunately we are seeing many teens become over-medicated.   I was especially happy to speak esp. during mental health week and at the high school both my children attended.  In many ways it was a way for me to give back!   At Beloved Yoga we are going to be initiating a program in the Fall called.. The Ultimate Student Tool Kit: what you never learned at School.


Guest Speaker for Addictions Female Inmates Wellness Program, Loudoun County Jail 2017

Heather is an ongoing speaker to female inmates at Loudoun County jail.  She shares her experience, strength and hope with inmates.  She shares also about trauma and its impact on the nervous system.  When this occurs early formative years - the effects are long reaching and create imbalances in the brain and CNS.  "Addiction, says Heather, "are a coping strategy to dealing with unresolved trauma the body."  She shares tools of calming and grounding to help with impulsive, reactionary responses.  "Using yogic tools, puts a pause button into your tool bag which helps you to then respond in a more effective and legal manner!"


Yoga as Lifestyle Medicine, March 26, 2017 at the Smithsonium Institute in Washington D.C.

Heather was a speaker and  participant at the Ripley Center,  Smithsonian conference called Yoga as Lifestyle Medicine!  Her topic was Befriending A New perspective on Addictions!  Heather spoke along with Maryam Ovissi, owner of Beloved Yoga about the 2017 Beloved Yoga Triad approach to Addictions Recovery.  Click on image for more information.

Screen Shot 2017-09-16 at 8.14.43 PM.png

NAWBO Lunch'n Learn January Meeting

Heather spoke at the NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners) Lunch ‘n Learn meeting this January 11th 2016 on mindfulness, wellness and stress relief for the workplace.  One member commented, "Your presentation was great and the members truly enjoyed them. I loved that fact that you have given us small tips and techniques that can be implemented without much fuss or effort, but can make a big difference in our work day.  I am taking a deep breath now…"

Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 10.59.26

Consultant on Expert Panel for ACE and Healthy Weight Intervention Development Center

I was flown down to the CDC center in Atlanta, George to participate as a member of an ACEs (ADVERSE CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES-TRAUMA) and Weight Intervention Design Expert panel. The Department of Health and Human Services' office on Women's Health (OWH) asked me to contribute my trauma informed yoga back ground expertise to recommend research protocol design(s) for a pilot intervention trial program for women with obesity. March 2016 - February 2017


Specialized Yoga Class for Women in Law Enforcement

As a Trauma Informed yoga instructor I had the great honor teaching yoga  to female law enforcement officers attending the 2016 Annual Mid Atlantic Association of Women in Law Enforcement Conference.


I was filled with awe watching these strong women moving with so much focus and concentration. Many of the participants were new to the trauma sensitive yoga experience. The best part was at the end of the practice when I saw their faces soften and their eyes bright!


Discover Your Inner Calm: Empowering Women in the Workplace

January 01, 2020

Join the Resourceful Women of the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce for an educational and networking program "Discover Your Inner Calm: Empowering Women in the Workplace."


Our instructor, Heather Hagaman of Beloved Yoga, will provide good guidance and simple yogic techniques with a dose of humor to help executive women relieve stress and regain focus in the workplace.


In addition to networking and education, our afternoon workshop will include light refreshments and wine while relaxing at the Harrison, Reston's newest residential resort..

Screen Shot 2017-09-16 at 8.06.23 PM.png

Mindful Resilience for Law Enforcement - New Carrollton Police Department

Heather joined Detective Jennifer Elliott and Lt. Joe Carter of the City of Falls Church Police to bring two days of in-service training to the New Carrollton Police Department in July of 2015. Heather complimented the two seasoned law enforcement speakers as they presented the stresses and traumas of a career in Law Enforcement and how the tools of Yoga, Mindfulness and Meditation can help.  Heather presented the science of stress and how yoga/mindfulness can be positively integrated into the law enforcement culture. 

Command Staff Feedback:

I have only heard good things about the classes that you and your staff gave and really appreciate the time. 

Screen Shot 2017-09-16 at 8.06.16 PM.png

Mindful Resilience Training: Integrating Mindfulness Practices to Enhance Officer Safety and Wellness

Heather joined Detective Jennifer Elliott of the City of Falls Church Police to open the 2015 VLGMA Summer Conference. Detective Elliott presented on the stresses and traumas of a career in Law Enforcement and how the tools of Yoga, Mindfulness and Meditation can help.  Heather spoke on the Science of Stress and the Benefits of Mindfulness for first responders. 

​​June 15th, 2015

Heather also led morning gentle yoga sessions for the CIty Manager Conference Participants.

Some conference participant feedback:

-Blend yoga with mindfulness meditation to start each day. 

-I was wary of the yoga presentation because I didn't know how applicable it would be, but I thought it was very well done.

-Police and mindfulness panels were excellent! 

Screen Shot 2017-09-16 at 8.15.05 PM.png

The Journey, A Brain Injury Conference Connecting Individuals, Families and Communities

This training conference was held at INOVA Fairfax Hospital on October 30, 2015. It was presented by Brain Injury Services.  Over 100 participants attended this conference. Some had suffered a brain injury and others were the loved one of a survivor of a brain injury.

Heather's presentation was titled Finding Peace after Traumatic Brain Injuries through Yoga and Meditation. She discussed the science of how Yoga and Meditation work for TBI. Heather also spoke on how to reconnect to your body through Yoga and simple breath work to cultivate peace in the mind.  

Screen Shot 2017-09-16 at 8.06.08 PM.png

George Mason University - Guest Speaker MSW Trauma and Recovery Class

Heather is on going guest speaker for a MSW Trauma and Recovery class at George Mason taught by the head of the department of George Mason's Graduate Social Work program.   She speaks about Yoga - what is yoga today, what kinds of yoga are safe for traumatized populations and how is yoga therapy being used in its application in dealing with trauma. Heather also teaches yogic tools to help students and future social worker to help them remain calm in traumatic situations that might occur when working with clients. She educates extensively about self care to help with vicarious traumatization and compassion fatigue.  

November 2014, July 2015, July 2016, April 2017

Screen Shot 2017-09-16 at 8.15.05 PM.png

INOVA Trauma Center: Trauma Survivors Network: Trauma Sensitive Yoga Classes

had the great privilege of teaching 3 - four week sessions of trauma sensitive yoga classes to an array of patients with TBI, Stroke and PTSD.  She also had three attendees that utilized service dogs.


An attendee that was a Stroke patient:

"for the first time in a year, he could feel his left hand."


An attendee that suffers from PTSD:

"I have taken other yoga classes with my dog was he was agitated and pacing - in your class my dog slept."

INOVA Trauma Center: Trauma Survivors Network: Trauma Sensitive Yoga Classes

had the great privilege of teaching 3 - four week sessions of trauma sensitive yoga classes to an array of patients with TBI, Stroke and PTSD.  She also had three attendees that utilized service dogs.


An attendee that was a Stroke patient:

"for the first time in a year, he could feel his left hand."


An attendee that suffers from PTSD:

"I have taken other yoga classes with my dog was he was agitated and pacing - in your class my dog slept." 

September 2014 to October 2015

Screen Shot 2017-09-16 at 8.05.54 PM.png

Trauma Sensitive Workshop for CPS: Yoga Tools for Stress Release

Heather educated Child Protection Service investigators and social workers in Loudoun County, Virginia about the therapeutic value of trauma sensitive yoga. She taught them grounding, self-regulating pranayama and calming yogic tools to handle traumatic stressors.

October 2014

Screen Shot 2017-09-16 at 8.05.47 PM.png

Medical Yoga Symposium: Modern Yoga

Therapeutic Yoga of Greater Washington brought together multi-disciplinary practitioners and researchers to present a symposium on evidence-based integrative medicine, yoga therapy practice and research, and the science of transformation.

Heather was a speaker at round table discussions on Yoga for Addictions. 

January 11th and 12th, 2014


St. Augustine 12 Step Retreat

For the last three years Heather has taught trauma sensitive yoga and a workshop called Yoga 101 for Trauma Recovery. Her mission in providing this training was to help addicts try to make the right choices when it comes to yoga.  Quoting Heather, “There are yoga classes that activate the sympathetic, also called the fight or flight, part of our nervous system. This activation has the potential to re-injure and traumatize the recovering addict.”  Heather’s goal through her teaching was to focus on the parasympathetic nervous system which has also been called the body’s rest and digest system. Heather states, “Many experts feel this is where healing takes place.”  Heather also taught participants breath control which can help alleviate cravings, anxiety and depression. 

bottom of page