Integrating Yoga with 12 Step Recovery

Integrating Yoga with 12 Step Recovery


“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

When I was a child
I caught a fleeting glimpse
out of the corner of my eye
I turned to look but it was gone
I cannot put my finger
on it now
the child is gone
the dream is gone.
Waking up with images of my Father's death, my heart starts to beat fast I get caught up in grief and I don't want to get out of bed. Then I take that deep breath in and I say to myself - I choose faith and not fear today...
Waking up with images of my Father's death, my heart starts to beat fast I get caught up in grief and I don't want to get out of bed. Then I take that deep breath in and I say to myself - I chose faith and not fear today...
Hi Heather - are you currently teaching a yoga for recovery class in Reston? I'd love to share info with my She Recovers community
How lovely to find you ...
Namaste ☯ب_ب ☯
Happy to share with your community that we have another women's yoga and recovery retreat coming up in Mexico this November and we still have a few spots left. ~Dawn~ She Recovers
Here's some info about another yoga and recovery retreat that I just learned about - it's in Florida middle of this month. Contact Colette at Eleventh step meditation for more info
I don't know if you have any interest in sharing about our yoga and recovery retreats - hope you don't mind me sending you the link!

Dawn from She Recovers
[email protected]
Spiritual River ~
Really enjoy your posts! Happy Monday! :)

Yoga and Recovery with Heather Hagaman Heather has a private practice as well as teaches yoga at Beloved Yoga in Reston, Virginia.

This is my current biography that I am sharing so that you can get to know me:

Heather Hagaman is a Certified Yoga Therapist (C-IAYT) and an e500RYT with a Master’s Degree in Psychology. She also is a lead teacher of 300hr teacher training. A Pioneer in the new field of Yoga and Recovery, which utilizes Yoga and Meditation to help people move beyond Addiction and build fulfilling lives. Heather t


Have you ever set a New Year’s resolution that you actually kept until the end of the year?

If the answer is no, you’re not alone. At all.

In fact, research shows that only 10% of people successfully stick to their New Year’s resolutions. And multiple psychological studies suggest that New Year’s resolutions don’t really work.

So this year, why don’t you try something that actually works?

A resolution is, more or less, a statement to change something you want to fix about yourself or your lifestyle. As a result, resolutions tend to inspire negative thoughts about your current situation.

On the other hand, an intention is more focused on creating abundance in your life. An intention does not imply something is wrong with the way you currently live, but instead, it motivates you to live even better.

See the difference?

Keep it simple yogis !


I have great respect for people that work hard on becoming the best version of themselves! Do whatever it takes to find your true Self. I am a recipient of the wisdom of 12 steps as well as a practitioner of yoga. This combination of systems gives me a way to live with awareness and peace.

There is a sacred text written in Sanskrit c. 800–200 BC, called the Upanishads that says: He who sees all beings in his Self and his Self in all beings, he never suffers; because when he sees all creatures within his true Self, then jealousy, grief and hatred vanish.

Photos from Integrating Yoga with 12 Step Recovery's post 12/21/2022

On Christmas Eve, I would go for many years to an AA Alcothan in Herndon, Virginia. Christmas Eve was not easy for me. I was around a lot of family drinking and I would hide out with kids while the “adults” drank.

I am so grateful for loving spaces that offer 24 hour meetings on the hour, great food and friendly fellowship 🙂

I did a search and found that the Loudoun club 12 is offering a Christmas Alcothon in Leesburg Virginia. I remember the laughter and the kindness - so make a note to self there is support for you during these holidays!


Today is December 19, 2022. It was 47 years ago, at age 15, that I got behind my Dad's cool Bamboo and Red leather bar and pulled out a bottle of Jack Daniels. I was ready to get drunk. I had seen adults doing this most of my life and it looked fun! So I had my best friend spend the night so that we could experience this rite of passage together.

I can still remember my first taste of whiskey and I gagged. I had to mix this with something so I checked the fridge and the only mixer that I found haha was TANG - the drink of astronauts! And so that was it...TANG and whiskey...a combination of taste that I can distinctly remember throwing up !

I share this story because I memorized the date because even though I ended up hugging the porcelain throne, I was sure I had found the secret to really enjoying life! I thought this was the beginning of me of having a less anxious life! I had found my cure for my constant stress. I also found instant joy in a bottle!

So I celebrate this date now in gratitude. I am so grateful I found sobriety in 2001 and that my beloved, precious body and mind seem to be going a long quite fine! I am pretty sure that would not be the case had I not stopped drinking! So I am happy to be alive, healthy and actually very content! One day at a time...

Namaste yogis!


I have been cleaning out papers and organizing files. I am glad I found this - it’s good to take a moment and reflect on our last step... “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”


I have spent the last couple weeks recovering from Covid. I am so grateful for those true friends that continue to reach out and check on me! This is the greatest gift of recovery… having friends that are honest and kind and are here for a lifetime! I bow to all of you 🙏❤️


The Big Book and 12&12 talk about contentment or santosha as a sought out way of life.

As I stopped using a dangerous strategy to numb my body and mind, I needed to bring all the layers into recovery and yoga paved the way. One day at a time and everyday my yoga practice helped me to find my way back to this contented state of peace….

“From a trembling, despairing, nervous wreck, had emerged a man brimming over with self-reliance and contentment. “ BB

“Without a willing and persistent effort to do this, there can be little sobriety or contentment for us.” [email protected] pg 43

“More sobriety brought about by the admission of alcoholism and by attendance at a few meetings is very good indeed, but it is bound to be a far cry from permanent sobriety and a contented, useful life.” [email protected] of 39

Svasta Yoga sums this up perfectly:

Talk Sober Live: Quick Yoga Techniques for Mastering Tough Moments in Recovery | All Sober 11/04/2022

Talk Sober Live: Quick Yoga Techniques for Mastering Tough Moments in Recovery | All Sober

Thank you All Sober for the opportunity to share the PAUSE button to help stabilize challenging emotions. If we can breathe, anchor into the body and talk to ourselves with a kind resonant inner voice we can slow down and respond more kindly rather than be hijacked by volatile responses. The PAUSE can also help shift cravings, flashbacks and triggers. One can become more resilient and empowered practicing the PAUSE featured here in this 15 minute yoga experience.

Talk Sober Live: Quick Yoga Techniques for Mastering Tough Moments in Recovery | All Sober Heather Hagaman, a trauma-informed yoga therapist in recovery from addiction, joined All Sober to teach the PAUSE method for anchoring yourself during an emotional storm.


One of the main reasons that motivated me into recovery are these words: “mirror mirror on the wall, I became my mother after all!”

Today I am a living amends to my family and I never stop doing the work ! And I see you and I bow to you 🙏❤️


Be a Warrior....not a Worrier......

Namaste peeps!


I’m waking up today with my heart pounding fast, dread in my stomach and fear in my heart. After opening my eyes, it took me a minute to realize I was safe in my bedroom and that I was not walking down the hallway of my high school again !! In this episode I was on my way again to the principal’s office to explain I had already graduated and that I’m done with highschool !

I have been out of high-school over 40+ years and yet I have had this dream many times. These stuck in high-school dreams only happen when I am stressed or going through a big life transition. And I know am not the only one. Being back in high school is a common recurring stress dream for many of us.

The experiences we’ve had in life, the good and the bad, play a huge part in who we become and how we deal with trauma and stressful situations as we get older.

Many of us in recovery started using in highschool. I have polled a lot of women in AA and age 15 seems to be the age we developed our strategy of drinking to cope with teenage angst and stress!

Going to take some deep breaths and send compassion to that inner teen part of me. She was only 15 years old when she has her first taste of Jack Daniels.. so young!! She did the best she could and I can assure her that today she’s safe and loved….Today we are sober and so grateful we are not in high school anymore !! 😅 phew!


Perfectionism is a pattern of thoughts and behaviors that stem from feeling unworthy. A perfectionist sees failure as a sign of low personal value. They don’t see mistakes as learning opportunities. They need to reach their perfect standards in order to feel worthy.

AA’s Big Book says that people in recovery often adopt a perfectionist mindset. This creates a harmful cycle. People set unrealistic goals, fall short, and become self-critical. This negativity can make it difficult to stay on track with recovery.

“Progress not perfection” encourages us to focus on smaller achievements instead of the end goal. Eventually, this helps us accept and enjoy things even if they aren't perfect, because we can recognize evidence of our progress


I’m heading out the door today to West Virginia to lead a retreat with my best friend and colleague. This is a dream coming true and a big ✔️ off on my recovery bucket list !

What greater feeling could there possibly be than having dreams in recovery that are imprinted on your heart… and then having them come true?!

The best thing any human being can possibly do for themselves is live into their intentions and passions in life. Knowing that what you do is meaningful and cathartic while making a contribution to the love and life of the world is the expression of your dream. No substance on this plane of existence could ever surpass the joy of making your own dream come true.

I celebrate dreams coming true today !


I am so grateful for the gift of my recovery in Al‑Anon. From my very first meeting, I clung to the “three Cs.” I didn’t cause, can’t control, and can’t cure not only people with addictions but all the people in my life. In doing this, I experienced freedom from guilt, confusion, and fear. I began to make peace with the fixing part in me. And so the Alanon journey helps me to keep the focus on me and my recovery. As a result, I am able to pass on my serenity, experience, and hope to others.

Photos from Integrating Yoga with 12 Step Recovery's post 10/15/2022

You were never created to live depressed, defeated, guilty, condemned, ashamed and unworthy! You were created to be victorious!


After an Alanon meeting, a wise woman once shared that she had been in a cage of her own making and that only she had the key to get out. In other words, her thoughts were keeping her stuck and sick.

She made me think of the goal of yoga as the key to freedom. The practice of yoga is not to control, restrain, or confine the mind but to calm the thoughts or vṛttis—the mind's roving, revolving tendency.

Simply said: Yoga stills the fluctuations of the mind and when we are in that space we can live in our true peaceful nature. We can set ourselves free from our cage of obsessive thinking..


When I was in early recovery, I wrestled with this thought, “ I am never going to have fun again!” I had spent 25 years binging on alcohol and drugs and that was fun! I thought it was fun but when I was asked to write it all out,I saw clearly that it was fun for a moment and then the after effects and consequences were devastating to my mind, body and breath. I was literally traumatizing myself over and over!! Today Recovery for me is about recovering the “felt sense” of wholeness through yoga and creating positive and joyful experiences with like minded humans ! Got fun! Please share 😉 !

Photos from Integrating Yoga with 12 Step Recovery's post 10/08/2022

I made mistakes as a parent. I didn’t get into recovery until my oldest child was nine years old. For years, I carried shame around about my imperfect parenting. Today, I have turned the corner on harming myself with these negative thoughts. Instead, I cultuvate immense compassion for the young scared mom that I was. I have over two decades of being an awake mom practicing peaceful, positive, respectful parenting. I finally have dropped that rock of guilt ! Grateful sobriety and daily yoga gives me a second chance to do it right !


I recently had a drinking dream! All the elements of my addictive behavior were there! In my dream, I walked into a bar and looked around. I wanted to be sneaky. I asked for a vodka tonic. I drank it fast and could taste the alcohol! I woke up in total fear and guilt. And then I took a big breath and sighed it out… grateful it was a dream!

Sometimes, we slay dragons in our sleep. Other times, we dream about the dragons we’ve slain. You’ve achieved so much: wake up and embrace another beautiful, alcohol -free day, you fabulous dragon-slayer, you.


Sometimes I want the world to clap and say good work when I choose to do the next right thing with my relationships. When relationship challenges happen - I always start with the question: is this my property ? Did anyone ask me for my opinion ? Seriously is this my business? Most of the time it’s not mine… and when I put down what is not mine to carry, I am free... . .

Photos from Integrating Yoga with 12 Step Recovery's post 10/02/2022

Do you lose friends when you get sober?
Your friendships may change as you change your drinking, and you might decide not to see some friends as much as before. But don't let worry hold you back from doing what's right for you. You'll make new friends along the way, and many of your friends will be happy to support you!
So grateful for my peeps!!


Talk Sober LIVE

All is a great resource for addiction recovery. I did a Facebook video yesterday sharing yogic tools for calming regulation when life’s challenges hijack us. Enjoy this 15 minute break and add some tools to your toolbox!


I am grateful for my children! In early recovery, I used to say that I’m sober for my kids. But now I realize they were my inspirations. I’m sober for me today.
I am blessed that they trusted me when I saw yoga as a way to deter them from addiction. They both embraced this yogic path of the highest self care! And doing yoga together as a family truly makes my heart sing 🎵❤️ ✋️


One of the most difficult emotional experiences I have had in sobriety was burying both of my parents. They both had dementia in the end and it was the longest good bye.
I had to feel so many feelings yet I used meetings and yoga to help me stay present with them. One day at a time we can do anything.
It’s been some years that they have passed and they visit me often in my dreams. They are always young, smiling and reassuring me that they are happy. I’m not sure if that’s my brain sorting it all out. The good news is I can live with myself today. I have no regrets. I just miss them now. They were my greatest teachers and I bow to them.


Recovery from addiction is so much about getting comfortable in my own skin. Childhood trauma fragmented the feeling of wholeness in my body and shut down my heart. The practice of yoga has helped me to befriend my body. Today I listen to what it needs to be safe. Every situation I experience I check in - is my body on board with this decision?

Daily interoceptive yoga practices help me to experience inner sensations. I am learning to differentiate what feels good and what doesn’t feel good.
For example, if I say “yes” but my stomach is in a knot, it likely means I really wanted to say “no”. I need to listen more to all of me, body mind and breath. so that I can have healthy boundaries as I heal from addiction.


Gratitude; it is the essential quality of any program of recovery. It is a trait that needs to be maintained by a person with an addiction in order to remain “sober” and happy, no matter what.

I understand that it is easy to lose sight of the simple beauty that this life brings, simply because we as people with addiction tend to focus on the negative aspect of things. But you know the old saying, the glass is either half empty or half full. As “…aholics”, we are used to seeing our glass as half empty and we are always looking for the next best thing to make it full.

All of this is really about maintaining an Attitude of Gratitude. When we maintain this attitude, we transform and control our perspective on life. This gratitude can fill our cup to the brim and then some.



From: Days of Healing Days of Joy Daily Meditations for Adult Children
By: Earnie Larsen March 27

Our best intentions and most diligent efforts may well not achieve the very object of our desire, especially if what we most desire is the recovery of our loved ones. No matter how much we want them to be healthy and whole, no matter how much information we give them or how much help we offer – they have the right not to recover.

No one can force anyone else to change. We can’t get inside other people’s heads and make their choices for them. Decisions that make a difference emanate from free will. They come from the inside, not the outside; they are personal, not social.

The example of our lives is the most powerful tool we have in such situations. The only force that may have an influence is the moral force of a life lived with serenity and truth. All we can do is let the light of the program shine through us, and pray that the curtains blocking the light will somehow, some day, be drawn back so the light can enter.

Amen and thanks for letting me share !

Our Story

This is my current biography that I am sharing so that you can get to know me:

Heather Hagaman (500RYT) is a Certified Yoga Therapist with a Master’s Degree in Counseling. She is a full time Yoga therapist and is currently in training for her CSAC. Heather is A Pioneer in the new field of Yoga and Recovery, which utilizes Yoga and Meditation to help people move beyond Addiction and build fulfilling lives. Heather trained in Yogaville with Durga Leela, founder of Yoga of Recovery. There she learned the integration of Ayurveda and 12 Step tools to treat Addiction. Heather went to Kripalu to train with David Emerson E-RYT, author of Healing Trauma Through Yoga and Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, MD, pre-eminent researcher in the field. She received her Certification as a Trauma-Sensitive Yoga Instructor and is working with survivors of complex post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Heather also is a Certified Y12SR (Yoga of 12 Step Recovery) Instructor and facilitates a 12 Step based discussion group coupled with a Yoga class that weaves together the wisdom of Yoga with the practical tools of 12 Step programs.

Heather sees clients individually, by appointment, for Yoga and Recovery Coaching, offers workshops on Yoga for Eating Disorders, Codependency, Anxiety and PTSD. Because of her own background in recovery, Heather brings compassion and deep understanding into her classes. She holds a safe, loving and confidential space for students to experience inner connection and a way back to wholeness. Heather believes that “the 12 Steps saved my life, and Yoga gave me a new way to go with it.”

Videos (show all)

Hey All!Today I turn 62! I’m still so young at heart and quite possibly a bit immature ! However one thing I want to say...
Take a Break and Move Your Spine
20 Years ! One day at a time !




Reston, VA

Other Medical & Health in Reston (show all)
American College of Radiology American College of Radiology
1891 Preston White Drive
Reston, 20191

The American College of Radiology is the voice of radiologists, medical physicists, radiation oncolo

Student Academy of Audiology Student Academy of Audiology
11480 Commerce Park Drive, Ste 220
Reston, 20191

The Student Academy of Audiology (SAA) is the student group associated with the American Academy of Audiology.

Smilz CBD Gummies Smilz CBD Gummies
Reston, 05452

Smilz CBD Gummies Antonio Brown and furthermore they possess the ability to control brain movement

Home Cpap/Bipap Ez-Fixer Home Cpap/Bipap Ez-Fixer
1850 Town Center PKWY

Operate by experienced Respiratory Therapist to provide patient education, CPAP titration/modifications/treatment, and essential cleaning for a deeper safer sleep. Proficient wit...

MyTumin MyTumin
1983 Ivy Oak Square
Reston, 20190

Tumin wireless rechargeable hearing aids are designed by doctors and audiologists for mild to modera

Endodontic Excellence of Reston, Virginia Endodontic Excellence of Reston, Virginia
11800 SUNRISE VALLEY Drive STE 250
Reston, 20191

Root canal specialist of Reston, VA

The Journal of Nuclear Medicine - JNM The Journal of Nuclear Medicine - JNM
Reston, 20190

Founded in 1960, The Journal of Nuclear Medicine is the world’s leading nuclear medicine, molecular imaging and theranostics journal, covering hot topics and clinical/basic science...

Dr. Kim Danoff Veterinary Relief Services Dr. Kim Danoff Veterinary Relief Services
P. O. Box 3526
Reston, 20195

Veterinary Relief Services in Northern Virginia and neighboring counties; and Florida. Dogs, cats,

Patient Navigator LLC Patient Navigator LLC
Reston, 20194

Join us to become an informed health care consumer.

Reston Therapeutic Massage Reston Therapeutic Massage
1830 Town Center Drive, Ste 410
Reston, 20190

We offer out-come based therapeutic massage; our therapists have over 50 years combined experience.

SOC Telemed SOC Telemed
1768 Business Center Drive, Ste 100
Reston, 20190

SOC Telemed, is the leading provider of telemedicine consultations, giving hospitals 24/7 access to

Rose Skin Care Therapy Rose Skin Care Therapy
Free Professional Skin Product Consultation; On Organic/Botanical Skincare; Get
Reston, 20191

Professional Aesthetic and Skin Care Product Recommendations for Women!!!