This yoga practitioner nursed herself to good mental health from depression

LasVegas,Oct3:Suffering from PTSD, anxiety, and major depression, a rape survivor Heidi Williams finally found peace in yoga. Having almost lost her 6-month-old, she had even attempted to commit suicide, however, yoga practice has brought the colors back to her life and she‘s now even able to help those in need, who are in the same place where she once was.

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“It was in this place of mental illness hell that I found yoga and grace. Yoga brought me to a safe place again. A place of peace and self-acceptance,” – Williams told Mantra Yoga  Health

After recovering, she dedicated her life to inspire others through self-healing process by running online support groups where people can connect with each other. Her main goal is therapeutic yoga classes and retreats that would be specifically designed for depression, anxiety, and PTSD. She also uses social media to spread her finally discovered joy of life by showing a beautiful harmony of the body and mind that everyone is able to achieve. Her Instagram photos go with inspiring quotes for those still in search of their emotional peace.

It’s easy to get lost in the beauty of Heidi Williams’ yoga-inspired Instagram account ― but the images are also spreading an important message about mental health.

Williams started practicing yoga after she was diagnosed with a constellation of mental health disorders that she believes stem from an incident in 2013 in which her infant son, Silas stopped breathing and had to be revived.

 “He basically died and came back to life,” Williams told The Huffington Post.

Though her son returned to perfect health, Williams had difficulty letting go of what happened. She would get triggered every time her son would whine or cry and even had multiple episodes of self-harm, she said.

 After months of struggling, Williams sought help from her doctor, who diagnosed her with major depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. In addition to going to therapy, Williams decided to make a lifestyle change and pick up a hobby. That’s when she found yoga.

“It was the very first time in 18 months that I was like, ‘Oh my god, I exist,’” she said of her first class. “I’m under all of this horrible. I thought I had lost myself.”

Today, Williams leads yoga retreats and uses social media to spread images of her yoga-based movement in order to spark discussions around mental illness. She says the photos encouraged other people just as much as they did her.

“I was sharing my story on Instagram a lot of people were like, ‘Nobody talks about this,’” Williams said. “I felt connected, validated and so I continued to share. The pictures became my own art therapy.”

Williams credits seeking professional support along with yoga for ultimately helping her cope with and manage her disorder. The practice “offers a safe transportation from fear, anxiety and depression to love, where you can handle what is going on in your life,” Williams said.

Part 2 of 3: Everything after that was a Blur. We went to the hospital. They couldn’t find anything wrong with him. They would have labeled it as an extreme breathe holding spell. But there was no trigger. So at a loss they diagnosed it as an Apparent Life Threatening Event. (ALTE) Very rare. No known causes. Basically your baby dies, and then comes back to life. But your heart that died with them doesn’t… For the next month or so Things were back to normal. Except they weren’t. I started having these “episodes” where I would suddenly FREAK OUT. It was similar to the hulk transformation. Literally. I’d start shaking and feel the monster taking over. Then I’d lose it. I’d start going crazy. I didn’t destroy things the same way. But I was dangerous to be around. And then once my adrenaline had run it’s course, I’d basically collapse in exhaustion. I felt sick. Possessed. Like I was being suffocated and some demon that had infected me was taking control and wreaking havoc. I was diagnosed PTSD. the tricky thing with PTSD is that it doesn’t affect you all the time. Only when you are triggered. So it’s hard to treat. Depending on your trigger, it may only happen every once in a while. My trigger was Silas’ whine. He was 6 months old you guys. Plus he just started teething…. He WHINED ALL THE TIME. I was having these episodes several times a day. This became a major problem. Medication wasn’t effective. I was dangerous. Feeling psychotic. Massively depressed. My adrenals were shutting down and I was starting to attempt suicide. …Part 2 of 3…

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In the last 36 hours after several big articles were written about me and the work I am doing, my Instagram account more than doubled, my support group has exploded. And I have been flooded with emails and messages asking for help, advice and interviews. After a mini break down of not feeling good enough or qualified, here is what I have learned… You don’t need a degree, a certificate or letters after your name to understand human pain and suffering, you need a heart. This world doesn’t need more intelect. We need more compassion. Hearts that feel. Hearts that understand. Hearts that lift up and hold the broken hearts while they heal. Because they will heal. We were made to heal. And with enough people willing to answer the call of their heart- to heal humanities broke one- we will heal the world. If you are feeling the call, email me. I have heart work for you to do. ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤ Photo: @kariannphoto

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I take my clothes off. Not for you. But for me. Some people believe that when a woman shows her skin, she is inadvertently asking for sex. Asking to be looked at. Asking for objectification. Is it not possible that a woman’s body is made for more than just sex? That maybe it’s not about sex at all. That maybe we take our clothes off because we damn well want to. That maybe We have shamed women’s bodies for so long that it’s time we take a moment to see the beauty and wonder in the human body. Regardless of size and shape. That maybe it’s time to see our bodies for what they truly are…miraculous creations of God. Here to give us the ability to express ourselves at our deepest levels. Maybe its time we stop judging the human body and start celebrating and honoring it instead. Take a moment today to take your clothes off and truly see your body. Feel your heart beating for you.  Feel your lungs expanding for you. And for once instead of measuring it, thank your body for supporting every second of your beautiful life. Photo: @kariannphoto Hair: @styled_by_carolynn @lacedhairextensions

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“There is no such thing as somebody else’s child” – #thecompassioncollective . Every year on mother’s day there are millions of women who hearts ache because they have not yet been able to give birth to their own children. I see your pain and I ache with you. Our society tends to focus so much on identifying motherhood as physically having our own children to take care of. We claim that you aren’t a mother unless you have personally given birth to or raised a child in your own home. This could not he further from the truth. Motherhood is part of our make up as women. And far too often we don’t own that. We don’t understand that until we can fully grasp the depth of our calling as females we won’t truly be fulfilling our nature as mothers. On the deepest level of motherhood EVERYONE IS OUR CHILD. Our job as women is to take every child we come across under our wing and nurture them. No matter the age, race, sex, etc. We have the opportunity to right now to own our divine essence as women and help to mother the children of the world. See @brenebrown page to join in the effort to protect and share our love with the millions of refugee children that need your love as a mother more than ever. Thecompassioncollective.org

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I’ve had this itch lately. I’ve gotten that feeling. You know, the one that’s gently screaming “PULL YOUR SHIT TOGETHER GIRL! WE’VE GOT BIGGER PLANS FOR YOU!” I’ve been so hesitant to answer this call. Mostly due to my own self doubt. So God has been sending these really loud messages. And I just got another one today. It came in the form of a lover of mine who I actually do not even know, who had the courage to share her heart with me. This was not my mom, it wasn’t a sister, it wasn’t my husband or my best friend. This was one of YOU GUYS! You don’t know the kind of power your words have. Your comments of love and kindness are answering prayers. They are sending much needed messages. They are powerful beyond your comprehension!! THEY ARE MOVING PEOPLE! Please remember that! Don’t hold your love in! Don’t keep that amazing energy to yourself! Spread your love! Because it’s working! It’s healing. It’s empowering! these heart felt comments and loving words are changing the world! YOU ARE CHANGING THE WORLD! ?????????????????? I LOVE YOU!

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“Pain is not a punishment. Pleasure is not a reward.” -Pema Chodron. I feel like our society tends to believe the opposite. Especially with this widely known concept of “choosing happiness” I get it. It’s a nice thought. But every time I see this plastered on someones page as a piece of advice to help those of us who are struggling… I want to laugh. Especially when it is accompanied by a picture of them on a tropical beach drinking their coconut water and wrapped around their loved one. Of course you chose happiness. Hell, I would have chosen happiness too! And I do, every time I am in that favorable circumstance. But what about the times when happiness isn’t available to choose from? Traumatic events being the 1st thing that comes to mind. Of course no one blames you for not “choosing happiness” when your child dies. There is obvious pain there. But what about when the mental illness starts to infect? When the depression sets in. When the triggers start happening. When the aching just never quite stops? To believe that your pleasure or happiness is singularly a result of your good choices, and your pain, a result of bad choices is absolutely false. Experiences happen. Sometimes they are accompanied by smiles and coconuts and laughter. Sometimes they are accompanied by tears and confusion and pain. So forget trying to decide whether someone does or does not deserve happiness. Instead, spread your arms and your love without conditions, judgement or reservations. Because love heals all.

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Buddhists call it bodhichitta. Christians call it the light of Christ.  Atheists call it their conscience. It doesn’t matter what you call it.  Everybody has it. It’s that beautiful feeling you get when your ego gives way and your heart softens. It’s that second you drop your judgement and you see the pure beauty someone else’s soul. It’s what makes your eyes sting when you read about what is happening in Syria. It’s what makes you want to spread your arms wide enough to fit the entire human race.  And just hold them. Because you can feel. Because that inherent goodness inside you has been activated. And you are no longer separate from any living being in the entire universe. There are no bad people.  Only bad choices. We all have this beautiful life energy inside us. You can cover it,  dam it up,  build walls around it to seal it in as best you can. But it will always be there. Love will always be there. #21weekspregnant

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And if anyone is experiencing mental health issues, Williams stresses that treatment makes a difference. A psychological condition is not something anyone has to face alone.

“Healing is not only possible, but inevitable,” she said.

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