Welcome to the family.
Raquel Bueno | Donna Ortner | Melissa Shah | Winston Harrison | Aerin Higginbotham | Jo-Jo Jackson | Bethany Joy | Nick Major | Michelle Mandico | Liz Workman Mead | Mysti Meese | Winnie Pang | Taunia Rice | Sarah Scarborough | Amanda Wentworth
Studio Owner | Teacher |
Raquel began practicing in a studio over 20 years ago, when she signed up for an Iyengar yoga class with Jan Campbell in Nashville, TN. The precision of the practice along with the challenge to connect spiritually resonated profoundly within her. After moving back to her hometown of Los Angeles, Raquel was fortunate enough to experience a multitude of approaches and styles. Alongside her passion for yoga, she began the practice of Zen Buddhism; taking her Buddhist precepts (Jukai) in 2002.
Inspired by art, creativity and also by her many teachers (yoga and otherwise, including her mentor and friend, Saul David Raye), Raquel creates a practice that brings to life the holistic and healing nature of yoga. Her faith in the practice of "allowing" inspires people to simply yet deeply access and connect more passionately with their authentic strength, vulnerability, and spirit. This approach, coupled with her background in Zen Buddhism has allowed her to find a natural synergy between yoga and an inner connection. Her teaching style integrates real-life experience and the science and philosophy of yoga; enhancing a spiritual, mental and physical context for your body and mind in the world.
Raquel is the creator of Liberation Yoga Studio in Nashville, YTT Soul Migration creator and teacher, co-teacher to Saul David Raye for the Atma YTT as well as a seasonal guest teacher on Martha’s Vineyard; conducting a multitude of soul-based workshops. Raquel studies mantra with Vedic Priest, Shiva Kumar, Vedanta with Jyothi Chalam, and makes annual pilgrimages to India as well as being a student of herbalism. Raquel is humbled and honored by her students and how profoundly the practice of teaching has influenced her as a constant student of this amazing and beautiful life.
Donna has been studying yoga, meditation and holistic healing for over 20 years. Teaching for 10 years, she brings a holistic, embodied approach, guiding her students to practice from a place of intuitive exploration and personal freedom. With over 500 hours of yoga training, she is currently working towards a 1000 hour certification in Viniyoga therapy, her teachings evolve to offer the healing power of yoga to all.
Studio Manager | Teacher |
Melissa is a new Nashville resident originally from NYC! She found yoga at the age of 12 as a journey to heal her childhood illnesses. Through this journey, yoga helped to form her adulthood and transformed the way she viewed her body, mind and soul. She is blessed to have received training from Nataraja Yoga Center, YogaWorks NYC, as well as Integral Yoga NYC for her prenatal teaching certification. She aspires to make the practice of yoga accessible for all while still exploring the rich history and culture. Melissa teaches all ages and abilities - her classes are innovative, emotional, and empowering.
Teacher | YTT Facilitator
Winston began teaching in 2009 and studied Ashtanga and VInyasa Krama extensively. His classes are focused on breathing and body awareness.
Aerin first discovered yoga as a way to maintain her physical body’s health during the strains she was experiencing as a professional dancer. The continuation of her yoga practice, like many, transformed her life beyond physical healing and opened a path of joy, compassion, and deep spiritual healing. Yoga’s path to be of service to others and to radiate gratitude, has lead Aerin to be a lifelong student. Under the loving guidance of her teachers Lydia and Michael Morton, she received her 200 hour teacher training in South Louisiana. Her classes strive to bring mindfulness, empowerment, and light to all who attend through her continuous study of ancient teachings such as Vipassana Meditation, Dhamma, Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, and Yin.
Jo-Jo Jackson started practicing yoga in 2010. Immediately Jo-Jo was hooked to the physically challenging aspect of the practice and the sweltering heat, but after her first few months of practice she noticed that there was something more to yoga than just physical health and profuse sweating; she really enjoyed the time it gave her to introspect and quietly explore personal self-inquiry. Quickly she developed a sense that yoga was something she wanted to make a permanent practice in her life.
Through the combined experience and mentorship of her newest teachers, Jo-Jo strives grow a stronger and more diverse yoga community here in Music City and beyond.
In addition to practicing and teaching yoga, Jo-Jo is a bassist, has a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism with minors in creative writing, English and business administration, and has recently picked up competitive road cycling as an athletic hobby. As a musician and writer, yoga has helped Jo-Jo recognize the connectedness of everything she creates, whether it is bass lines, news stories, prose or relationships with others. Om Mani Padme Hum
Bethany Joy is a certified Naam Yoga Therapist, Life Coach for Women, Circle Facilitator, and Peace Process IMM energetic healer. Bethany’s classes have a deep focus on spirituality and meditation, connecting us with Source and the God/dess of our hearts. Her spiritual influences include Yoga, continued study with shamans and Q’eros in Peru, Mysticism, and any heart-centered practice. Understanding that all Universal truth comes from the same Source, she combines the practice of Eastern yogic asana (postures), mantra and meditation with Shamanism and Mysticism.
Originally from New York, Bethany is a former professional dancer and certified in Pilates and the Gyrotonic Expansion System She is also an instructor of the Khalsa Way Prenatal Yoga (certified by Gurmukh) and The Kabbalah of Birth and Beyond. Fluent in Spanish, Bethany travels regularly to Latin America leading spiritual retreats and partnering with local organizations. Bethany produced and starred in her own Naam Yoga Prenatal Yoga DVD in 2012 and co-created and co-founded I Am Consciousness Clothing Co., a yoga apparel company in 2013. She also holds a B.S. in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Most importantly she is the mother to three magical children.
Bethany leads open yoga classes, workshops, and retreats as well as offers private yoga and coaching sessions.
“Touch someone’s heart and you will change them completely. This is the highest form of Yoga, the highest form of Kabbalah. It is the highest form of spirituality to move from saying ‘I’ to saying ‘we’.” - Dr. Joseph Michael Levry, Naam Yoga Founder
After first being introduced to yoga in high school, my love for yoga only strengthened during a 4 month humanitarian and rock climbing trip across SE Asia. Soon after, while attempting to rehabilitate from a number of sports injuries, I revisited yoga and began to take my practice more seriously.
Eventually the practice grew into a full fledged lifestyle which naturally lead me to a teacher training in late 2013. I obtained my RYT 200Hr certification at the Belmont Lotus Studio through Kali Yuga Yoga. I then quickly started teaching and have been at it full time for 2 years. Aside from teaching at Liberation yoga, I also teach classes for Metro Parks facilities as well as Kali Yuga Yoga, Yoga Harmony and Climb Nashville.
Additionally, I am an editor/photojournalist at WSMV Channel 4 news and have worked on numerous yoga related shoots for various instructors and studios.
Colorado native Michelle Mandico offers a heart-based flow class focused on restoring and strengthening our connection to our own inner voice. Every transition, an invitation for the body to help move the mind into stillness. Every class, an opportunity to be gentle, honest and playful. An intuitive instructor and artist, Michelle encourages a practice that engages personal meditation through breath and healing mantra. A common teaching phrase that she often repeats to herself, is "breath in, I know I am breathing in, breath out, I know I am breathing out." Humbled by the complexity found in nature and the simplicity it takes to see it, Michelle approaches her own practice as a relationship and true art form.
Michelle is a spirited songstress and her passion for singing and songwriting is what initially brought her to Music City, but has found Nashville to be a fitting city for this chapter of her life in many ways. Before teaching yoga, Michelle was an alpine ski instructor based in Denver, and enjoys spending time in the outdoors. Also a visual artist and ceramicist, Michelle has her master's degree in gifted arts education and is always looking new ways to get messy and adopt a beginner's mind.
Michelle completed her 200 Hour Atma Teacher Training with Saul David Raye and Raquel Bueno at Liberation Nashville.
Click here to book a private class with Michelle.
Liz received her Masters at Columbia and has been an educator for twelve years. While teaching high school History in the inner city of New York, she began leading yoga classes after school. Yoga helped her students overcome emotional obstacles and fall in love with their lives again. Thus motivated by her experience, she received certification from Laughing Lotus yoga studio in New York City. Her practical approach and off-beat hip demeanor make Liz’s classes fun and inviting. She loves a challenge and will be sure to push your practice to the extremes, but with humor and lighthearted playfulness.
LIZ WORKMAN MEAD
Mysti Meese was drawn to the mind, body, and spirit connection of yoga. Mysti started yoga in middle school. Her family would go on cycling travels and she would love find a local yoga studio to practice at, seeing how yoga was present in so many cultures. She was first gravitated to it for the peace, and refreshing feeling post practice. Movement and being active was instilled in Mysti from a young age from pilates, yoga, cycling, and rock climbing. She first became a Pilates instructor though Balanced Body, training under Master instructor David Gensheimer. She is a PMA certified Pilates Instrutor. Mysti is a native Texan that graduated from Belmont University with a Public Relations degree in a minor in Education. She went on to work in the music industry for a few years before wanting to add a positive healthy balance to her lifestyle. She loves Pilates and still teaches. But was craving to fill the spiritual connection through breath and movement and to help others find that balance through Yoga. She knew that she needed yoga in her personal life to ground her and bring her into the present moment. She trained under Raquel Bueno at Liberation Yoga in Nashville getting her YTT- 200 hour yoga certification. She then went on to do a three month mentorship with Raquel Bueno. She knows yoga is a beautiful life long journey. Yoga can meet people at any season of life. In her classes she wants to combine her Pilates science knowledge with the spiritual connection of Yoga. She wants keep people safe and meet them where they are at in life. She is passionate that Yoga is healing both physically and mentally. It is personal, but most importantly Yoga is for all people.
Click here to book a private class with Mysti.
Winnie originally practiced classical ballet for over 20 years. After years of intense dance training, Winnie found her way to the mat as a recovery from recurring knee injuries. She got hooked immediately after the first week on the mat- yoga practice not only served as a physical practice, but also healed and strengthened her mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Yoga has soon became an integral part of her life’s journey. She has completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training through Hathavidya. The training furthered her knowledge in the area of classical hatha-raja practice with emphasis on asana, pranayama, meditation, and mantra practices. Standing barely 5 feet tall, Winnie has found that strength is not just a physical form, but one that is forged from within.
Let us practice together and discover the different shapes and sizes where we can cultivate our inner strength.
Taunia Rice has been practicing yoga for sixteen years and continues to delight in discovering the benefits of the practice along with her students. She aims to cultivate a nurturing atmosphere of playful curiosity in her yoga classes. Employing a dynamic Vinyasa flow of asanas, yogis strengthen, lengthen, and undo their bodies, finding a bit of sweet inner quiet in the process.
Taunia’s background as a professional ballet dancer led her to the freeing practice of yoga. Slipping outside of the pursuit of physical perfection for a more forgiving practice of inspired and inspiring movement was a revelation. She found that challenging and unlocking her body and spirit through the ancient, lyrical poses of yoga gifted her with an even more flexible body and mind. Finding the simple power of the breath brought both power and stillness. She endeavors to share these experiences with her students in a meaningful practice.
She completed her teacher training certifications at Asheville Yoga Center and recently realized her 500 hour certification specializing in Yoga Therapeutics. In addition to her public classes, Taunia has a private practice working with clients individually crafting personalized sessions for aspiring yogis and offering in depth assessments and practices for clients with special needs and injuries. Taunia also works with athletic teams, ultra-runners and triathletes to augment and balance their training.
For more information about Taunia, please see her web site at tauniarice.com.
Sarah Scarborough of Tea Huntress and Firepot Nomadic Teas has devoted the last twenty years of her life to discovering the beauty and magic of the Leaf! She has traveled the world over to learn ancient traditions of Tea Ceremony and to source the finest, ethical, organic and high vibrational varieties.
A yogini of 25 years and RYT 200, she offers classic vinyasa yoga inspired by various energies of the Leaf!
Amanda Wentworth (C-IAYT, E-RYT 500 & RCYT) studies life based in
movement experience. Her evolution began with the varied disciplines of gymnastics, modern dance, capoeira and anthropology, yet her present focus is breath-based vinyasa to guide one towards deeper experiences of self. Teaching yoga full time since 2004, she received her primary 1,000-hour Hatha Yoga certification through the Iyengar tradition at the Southern Institute of Yoga Instructors in Nashville. Following this she studied and taught yoga in New York City for a decade basing her work in the therapeutic style of Katonah Yoga. During this time she also created, directed, and led the Hatha-Vinyasa Teacher Training program (RYS-200) at Om Factory Yoga Center in Manhattan for 5 years.
Currently, Amanda is teaching and studying in the Krishnamacharya lineage of TKV Desikachar under the guidance of D. Wertenbaker and C. Bossart. She graduated in 2018 from their 3.5 year and 1,000-hour yoga therapy program YATNA, an International Association of Yoga Therapists- accredited school. She teaches yoga therapy group classes, private sessions, and research protocol with the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Vanderbilt. There she specifically works with yoga for back pain, fibromyalgia, headaches, sleep conditions, cancer care, and more. She also enjoys teaching yoga to children of all ages. Through the simple integration of mind, breath and movement, Amanda shares a safe and nourishing exploration of one’s unique experience of being.