Rhianna Sanford


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.


My journey began at a young age while trying to navigate a series of acute and chronic health conditions.  These struggles opened my eyes to the need for daily self-care, shaping my body mind awareness, and ultimately, lead me to become the bodyworker I am today. Struggling with asthma from infancy, breathing was always a challenge, with fear of flare ups ever present.  An unfortunate fall when I was a preteen resulted in fracturing my tailbone and tearing my sacroiliac joint before I had even hit puberty. And because this was before MRI, the SI tear wasn’t known for many years, resulting in misalignment and torsion in my hips through puberty. This left me with chronic back and hip pain that lasted well into adulthood.  Growing up, I thought that everyone’s back hurt. I didn’t understand that it wasn’t normal to be in chronic pain all the time, or having episodes of my back “going out”. Then there was a trip overseas when I was in high school that debilitated my immune system and left me severely ill with parasitic infection. That was a long journey of recovery.  Paired with an untimely auto accident, I was pretty much drowning in my own misery and pain. Injuries and accidents my body knows well.

I tried it all: Physical Therapy, Massage Therapy, Chiropractics, Nutritional Healing, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Meditation, Counseling, Yoga, you name it.  They all helped indeed! But I still felt helpless.  My healing was still something outside of me, out of my reach, something that someone else did to me or for me.  It wasn’t until I believed and trusted myself as my own healer that my perception of sickness and pain shifted.  I had to learn how to become aware of my own sensations and discomforts and let them be with me, instead of fighting them.  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.

These lessons proved invaluable during the pregnancy and birth of my children (one singleton and a set of fraternal twins). In my late twenties, while on bedrest with twins, no longer allowed to practice asana or teach Yoga classes,  I started to explore Therapeutic Yoga.  I spent 10 weeks, confined to rest before the twins were born, practicing, studying and reading everything I could find on Yoga Therapy.  I learned what it was to be Yoga, instead of do Yoga. I learned that poses are just one branch, and there are many many ways to evolve the mind, the essence of Yoga. Even though I was already a Yoga teacher for many years at that point, I was just beginning to understand how to practice for my needs. A dedicated yoga practice help alleviate stress, depression and anxiety, manage pain, and prepare and heal from labor and delivery.  I learned that wellness is oftentimes a perspective shift, not just a physical condition, that revolves around our intention to be well, and manifest in the layers of our being, from the inside out.

Finding my purpose in the work that I do is one of the most rewarding lessons life has offered. Believing that my passion will sustain me and my family has been the an empowering and grounding experience further teaching me why devotion to Self Knowledge is so important. Knowing what we want to do it invaluable! Loving who you are while you do what you love is living the fullest!

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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