Rhianna Sanford

BCTMB, LMT, PYT, C-IAYT

Rhianna studied Massage and Bodywork at Lauterstein-Conway School of Massage where she earned her state license in 2004. She continued advancing her studies, completing her National Certification in Massage and Bodywork in 2006, finally receiving her Board Certification in Massage and Bodywork in 2013.  She has also completed her BAS in Massage Therapy through Siena Heights University in 2018 graduating with honors. During her teens, Rhianna started practicing Yoga as a personal journey to wellness and healing, which grew into a comprehensive and therapeutic way of life.  She completed her first yoga teacher training in 2003 and began teaching group yoga classes. In 2012 she began studying Yoga Therapy with Integrative Yoga Therapy (IYT), completing her Professional Yoga Therapy (PYT) accreditation that year, and is now certified through the International Association of Yoga Therapist (C-IAYT) since 2017.  She continues to advance her studies through the somatics of healing, kinesthetics, and integrative wellness techniques using the Yoga Therapy model within her Massage Therapy practice. Rhianna is a native Texan, raised in the hill country near Garner State Park, transplanting to Austin in 1998. She is a mother of three, and owns and operates her private practice, Namaste Therapies, in South Austin.

As an integrative Yoga and Massage Therapist, Rhianna strives to bring a functional understanding of bodywork and somatics that fits the needs of the individual.  Based on your unique needs, she works closely with repatterning or unwinding the fascia and its restrictions.  Opening up on a physical and energetic level can be accomplished when we accept that we have control over how we find our healing, becoming the healer that can perfectly meet our needs. This frees us from unproductive gimmicks that can take the focus off of Self.  The belief that each individual is their best healer is what inspired her business mantra, “Oneness through Wellness,” giving voice to the inner healer within each of us.

Bio:

My journey began when I was introduced to therapeutic bodywork after a series of acute and chronic health conditions that opened my eyes to the need for daily therapy. Struggling with asthma from infancy, breathing was always a challenge, with flare ups around every corner.  An unfortunate fall that resulted in fracturing my tailbone and tearing my sacroiliac joint, helped me understand at a young age that my physical body had its limits.  I struggled with constant low back and hip pain that I just couldn’t make sense of.  And to top it all off, a trip overseas debilitated my immune system, paired with an untimely auto accident, that left me drowning in my own misery and pain, right in the middle of my teenage years.

Although I lived a very active lifestyle, I often struggled from the constant apprehension and fear of asthma attacks, the hip joint locking up and throwing my back out, or yet another accident of some kind.  I tried it all: Physical Therapy, Massage Therapy, Chiropractics, Nutritional Healing, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Meditation, Counseling, Yoga, you name it.  They all helped, but I still felt helpless. It wasn’t until I found my empowerment, until I started to trust myself as my own healer.  I had to learn how to become aware of my own sensations and discomforts.  In other words, I had to befriend my pain. This is how I discovered my body’s ability to heal. It was a long process, but worth it, as everyday of struggle helped my understand the importance of a daily practice and shifting perceptions.

During the pregnancy and birth of my children I relied heavily on massage and a dedicated yoga practice to alleviate stress, depression, manage pain, and prepare for labor.  I learned that our wellness is oftentimes a perspective shift, not just a physical condition, that revolves around our intention to be well.  This is when I began changing my career from high stress administration management working in print media, to the life of a bodyworker in Massage and Yoga.

My practice started as a personal journey to find my own healing, and has grown into a comprehensive and therapeutic way of life for myself and my clients.  Working on my personal Yoga practice for over 20 years has cultivated a holistic and non-dogmatic approach to wellness, melding methods and lineages in a deeply therapeutic process.  I like to offer our bodies a place to learn and listen without a rigid mindset, and encourage the development of body awareness and mindfulness.

Year Study Hours
2003-2005 Lauterstein-Conway Massage School and Clinic – Semesters I, II, & III – Integrative Massage & Somatic Therapies Accreditation Council – Licensed in the State of Texas 800
2004 Yoga Teacher Training and Mentorship with Nicki Hurd of Chodu Yoga
2005 Zero Balancing Level I with David Lauterstein 25
2005 Shoshin Shiatsu Training and Mentorship with Randy Cummins 88
2006, 2013 Nationally/Board Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork-Exam Completion
2007, 2010 Supreme Science Qigong Center Level 1-2-3 64
2012 Integrative Yoga Therapy Teacher Training with Genevieve Yellin of Sundara Yoga Therapy 200
2013-2015 PYT 500 -Professional Yoga Therapy Teacher Training with Integrative Yoga Therapy Module I & II 300
2013 Functional Yoga Therapy Training – Advanced Assessment Techniques and Treatment Planning with Maria Mendola 50
2017 Completed Certified Yoga Therapy training, earning C-IAYT designation 300

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