Rhianna's Story

Designing and personalizing your unique practice, for your unique needs.

My journey began during my teenage years 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. It’s no mystery that pranayama was my first encounter with Yoga. Still to this day, I am continually finding new understandings of the abundance of conscious breathing. More recently I’ve learned to incorporate nasal breathing in my running. What a profound way of easing the effort. My focus is on controlling my heart rate through conscious breathing instead of go, go, go. Not only do I find more peace when breathing is on my mind, but also greater endurance for the physcial efforts. My body appreciates this balance, versus overworking, as breath has become the great equalizer to a spinning compass. 

Growing up wasn’t the most enjoyable adventure. As a preteen, an unfortunate fall fractured my tailbone, subsequently tearing my sacroiliac joint (SI). Before MRI’s were a thing, the SI tear wasn’t known for many years, resulting in painful misalignment and torsion in my hips throughout puberty. This left me with chronic back and hip pain that lasted well into adulthood with few remedies available. I thought that everyone’s back hurt at some level. I didn’t understand that it wasn’t normal to be in chronic pain. I grew up in a constant state of anxiety and fear, trying to avoid another episode of my back “going out” or my breath failing me. In the middle of this episode, a trip overseas during  high school debilitated my immune system and left me severely ill with parasitic infection. Paired with an untimely auto accident shortly after, I was drowning in my own misery and pain. Then, something amazing happened. My physical therapist at the time game me a homework assignment, written out on a single piece of paper. It was a couple breathing exercises and simple yoga poses, to be done in conjunction with each other. Little did I know this would change and reshpae my life forever. This is how my practice began. Injuries and accidents my body knows very well. But recovery and repair is what has given me my life mission. And that is why I share this with you. Believing that pain is the only constant in life separates us from freedom. 

I've tried it all...

Physical Therapy, Massage Therapy, Chiropractics, Nutritional Healing, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Meditation, Yoga, Counseling…you name it, I’ve done it. And still love and use all of the methods of self-care. Everything helped at some level. But I still felt helpless and unhealed.  My healing was something outside of me, out of my reach, something that someone else did to me, or did for me.  It wasn’t until I learned to believe and trust 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, thus rejecting myself, and my growth.  In other words, I had to befriend my pain.  Say what!?! Yes, I had to let the pain in.  I learned to accept that the path to wellness is individual and requires connection to our core beliefs. It was a long process.  Of course there have been struggles. But these hardships helped me understand the importance of daily practice and guiding my perceptions, AND has given me insight into how to hold space for others healing journey.

These lessons proved invaluable during the pregnancy and birth of my children (one singleton and a set of b/g fraternal twins). A daily yoga practice allowed me to work through  36 hours of natural labor to deliver my first baby girl. In my late twenties, while on bedrest with twins, I started to explore Therapeutic Yoga.  I spent 10 weeks, confined to bed rest before the twins were born, practicing, studying and reading everything I could find on Yoga Therapy. In Divine order, I was desperate to get out of the Texas heat and settled into a nook at my local bookstore where I found a book called, Structural Yoga Therapy, by Mukunda Stiles. At the time I had a very physical Ashtanga practice and lived and breathed all things structurally. The idea of making my structural mind set therapeutic was brand new.  I learned what it was to BE Yoga, instead of to do Yoga. As I dove into Yoga Therapy, over the next few months, I learned that poses are just one branch in an eight-fold system, and there are many many ways to evolve the mind, the true 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 helped me manage stress, depression, anxiety, pain, and prepare and heal from labor and delivery. 

I learned that wellness is an intention, and manifests in the layers of our being, from the inside out.

During the Covid lockdown, a very trying family and global experience, I learned the importance of whole body integration.  While locked out of my practice by the health department, my purpose and career sidelined, along with my teenagers, I had very little to look forward to. Now what? Besides being the sole provider for my kids day to day, no easy task for teenagers needing social development only peers could provide, I became overwhelmed and everything felt unachievable. Losing physical contact was more destabilizing than I thought possible, not to mention crushing financial loss. I felt completely unprepared and ill equipped. At a certain point, I realized I had to consciously switch from hyper catastrophizing, to self knowledge, in order to weather this storm. I made rest a major priority during this ordeal. Like most of us, my nervous system was severely depleted. I stopped relying on social media and theorizing, and started relying on personal growth and self reflection. I woke up before the sun every day, even though there was no job to attend or kids to drive to school, and used this quiet time to dive deep into my personal practice with a devotion I had never before had the time to pursue. What a gift this turned out to be!  When I stopped waiting for the ball to drop, and made balance my priority, I found the Source I was missing in the fear of it all and made peace with the unknown. This allowed me to stop avoiding and lean into better boundaries and self-worth. 

Namaste Therapies has become an intentional part of self-care for me in that it inspires my personal practice.

Finding my purpose in the work that I do is one of the most rewarding lessons life has offered and keeps me curious. Believing that my passion will sustain me and my family has been an empowering and grounding experience, further teaching me why devotion to Self Knowledge is so important. Knowing what we want to do is invaluable! Loving who we are while doing what we love, is living to 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. My goal is to offer our bodies a place to learn and listen without a rigid mindset, and encourage the development of body awareness and mindfulness.