Raelynn Haynes - Owner
Raelynn is certified to teach both Yoga and Pilates. She is trained to teach Vinyasa Flow, Ashtanga & Hot Yoga, as well as all levels of mat Pilates. She holds both a masters and PhD (Biology and Zoology) and has taught in academia for over 12 years. Before purchasing Willow Gardens Yoga Studio, she left her full time academic position to pursue her yoga and nutrition career, to explore her entrepreneurial spirit and start a juice company (JUL- Juice U Love). She holds adjunct faculty status at Texas State University in San Marcos, does yoga therapy with memory care patients and teens, and is a holistic health consultant.
As a former athlete, her practice centers on power, alignment, and the mind-body connection. She began practicing yoga seriously nearly 10 years ago as she transitioned from running and weight training. She has had a serious yoga practicer since, and loves all forms of yoga, meditation and mindfulness. She received her 200 hour training from Black Swan Yoga, her Ashtanga training from David Swenson, her Hot Yoga training from Ash Willow, and her Pilates training from the Pilates Sports Center out of California [with Pilates South Austin]. See more here…
For Raelynn, yoga has been a transformative experience and helps her maintain positivity, emotional balance, strength, flexibility and creativity in her life. A native of Eastern Kentucky, and resident of Buda, she integrates yoga into her life and into the classroom as much as possible. Her motto is to live life to its fullest, while trying to maintain balance and overall health (through diet, exercise and meditation). She believes that yoga should be accessible to everyone and every body, and works within the community through various avenues to make this possible.
Tara has an extensive movement background and came to yoga through her love of gymnastics and running. Just after college, she discovered Ashtanga yoga and found the style challenging and expanding.
Tara completed her 200 hr training in Alignment-based Yoga in Atlanta, Georgia. She continued her studies of form and technique under the skillful guidance of her favorite teacher, David Regelin. In 2017, she received her 500 hr certification in Yoga Therapy. She is currently enrolled in Yoga Yoga’s Professional Yoga Therapy program, and will graduate with her Yoga Therapist license in early 2019.
Her own practice continues to evolve, unfold, uplift, and inspire. Tara’s heart-felt intention is to share this healing practice with her students on their path of self-discovery. Her classes are fluid, creative, and dynamic.
I found yoga in my early teen years as a way to compliment my athletic pursuits. Through the physical aspects that yoga offered me: flexibility, strength, and challenge, I soon fell in love with the Asana practice. Self curiosity opened my eyes and soul to deeper parts of Yoga, learning emotional and energetic peace and stability. Not only has this practice taught me how to slow down, re-center, and be present in the moment, it has also shown me inner strength.
I began teaching Yoga in 2017 after completing my first 200 hour yoga teacher training from the Tantric traditions of Sri Vidya and lineage of Swami Rama. Dedicated to expand my knowledge and share this sacred practice with others, i’ve completed Practice Yoga Austin's 300 hour advanced yoga teacher training and more over the years. I currently have over 700 hours of certificated training. I’ve taught over 800 hours of studio classes.
This practice is truly a gift and I’m passionate about holding a space for others to let go, tune in, and experience the magic of their life through Yoga. I strive to teach each class in a way that brings a lighthearted and grounding energy to the space and a focus on self reflection, self love, mindful movement, alignment, and connection!
Christine De La Torre
Christine began her journey with yoga when she was in high school, practicing Bikram. As Christine went on to college she lost her practice, but when she moved to Austin in 2011 she found her practice again and has not stopped since. She completed her 200 hour RYT certified training with Black Swan Yoga and is now a proud Buda resident.
Christine’s teaching philosophy is centered around making yoga accessible for all by focusing on having fun and offering modifications throughout class. Christine hopes to share her love of yoga with each of her students. Off her mat, you can find Christine cooking, crafting malas, and getting outside with her dog.
Stacy Clayton - Hot Yoga, Pilates
Belle has been practicing yoga since 2016. She has practiced Vinyasa, Hatha, Hot, Yin, Power, Restorative, Ashtanga, Power and Iyengar. She received her 200hr Yoga Teacher Certification - Vinyasa Track from Yoga Yoga in August of 2018.
Belle has practiced yoga in Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, California, Texas And North Carolina.
She enjoys experiencing the incorporation of yoga in her daily life, whether it be through prayer, meditation, asana, pranayama or simply listening to and respecting herself and others.
Esther Lee - Pilates
Megan Okonsky - Gentle Hatha, Vinyasa Flow
Megan fell in love with yoga in college as a tool for cultivating mindfulness and a more positive relationship between her body and mind. She discovered she wanted to share that love while traveling through Europe and teaching classes to fellow backpackers. After getting her 200-hour yoga teacher certification in 2017 (with Raelynn and Christine!) she traveled the world for two years teaching at hostels and working at a yoga retreat in Sydney, Australia. Now she is back in her favorite city and excited to share her love of this practice with the wonderful community at Willow Gardens.
David Collins - Meditation, Substitute Instructor
When David is not doing HVAC work, hiking, camping, riding his motorcycle, or just hanging out with friends and family, you can find him at Willow Gardens practicing or guiding a class. David started his practice about 7 years ago, realizing that weight training did little for his balance and coordination. He found himself looking for a solution and dropped in to a yoga class and has been practicing ever since.
In 2001 I graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology from The University of Texas at Austin. I received my ACSM personal training certification and started working with post rehab clients who had knee, shoulder & hip injuries. Both of my mentors at UT were Yoga and Pilates certified so a lot of my personal training was heavily rooted in a mind-body connection. After the birth of my son, Riley, 13 years ago, I found yoga and pilates again and started blending both of these into my workouts.
I share with my clients this blending - Mindful Fitness- how they can connect the mind to the body by creating a balance between the physical, spiritual and emotional self. I use stability balls, bands, blocks and body weight to strengthen through balance, mobility and stability. I offer private or duo training at Willow Gardens Yoga Studio, Soul Yoga in Kyle, at your home or office or my home studio.
I love being a part of the Willow Gardens Community and look forward to seeing you in class!
Kerrie Kelsey - Pilates
Gil Perez - Ashtanga, Rocket Flow
Gil started practicing Power Yoga in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico in 2009 at the age of 37. Even though he found it quite challenging, he continued to practice, which began an extensive journey of Yoga. In 2010, Gil took his first Hatha Yoga teacher training at the Rishikesh Yoga Peeth School in India the summer of 2010 for seven weeks. He was looking to more deeply understand the roots of Yoga. After returning to Puerto Rico he started teaching around the island, including various maximum security prisons where he lead the yoga program for about two years. Teaching yoga there helped inmates reduce anxieties, the use of medications, as well as enhanced other aspects of life.
In 2012 Gil began practicing Progressive Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga and Rocket Vinyasa Yoga under the tutelage of David Kyle (founder of Progressive Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga). Gil deepened his practice by training with David (who is an advanced student of the late Larry Schultz, creator of Rocket Yoga System). After completing his training Gil began teaching at David’s studio, Ashtanga Yoga Puerto Rico, in San Juan.
In 2016 he relocated to Austin, teaching in various local studios around the city. Gil continues to lead Rocket Workshops around Texas and other states, as well as provide various other opportunities for yoga practitioners to deepen their practice.
He has 500 hours in teacher trainings, and thousands hours of teaching since 2010, and his philosophy strongly resides that the true learning it’s in the practice itself. He works with all levels of practitioners to find their own internal compass for bringing their Yoga practice to Life.
Ruth Kearley - Kid to Kid yoga
Ruth first fell in love with yoga while taking a summer camp at Willow Gardens in 2018 with Raelynn Haynes. She then went on to practice with Raelynn in a homeschool class. Through that class she learned Ashtanga yoga and that has become her favorite practice.
Ruth has taken a variety of classes at Willow Gardens and has taught Farmer’s Market Kids yoga at the Downtown Buda Farmer’s market. She has also taught Kid to Kid yoga at Willow Gardens.
Ruth loves that yoga helps her follow her breath, focus, and be a part of the Willow Gardens Community.
Ash Willow -
I started practicing yoga when I was 19 years old in Austin, Texas. The yoga journey for me has been one of self-discovery and mastery over my mind. Teaching yoga has taken me around the world to places I dreamed of, Australia, New Zealand and SouthEast Asia.
When I opened the studio doors to Willow Gardens in the fall of 2015, I felt proud, happy and accomplished. I knew in that moment that my dream had become my reality. It was a labor of love and I am very happy I was able to bring yoga to the Buda community first!
With the birth of my son, my dreams have changed. My passion for health and wellness for myself and the community continues, but I find myself seeking more for my son.
I’m forever grateful for what yoga continues to show me on and off the Mat. I hope to see you there.
“The mind is everything, what you think, you become.”
James Ratliff -
Tania Dymkowski -
Tania started practicing yoga over 15 years ago in hatha and bikrim yoga. Being an avid trail runner, yoga helps balance out and contribute to the long distance running that she does. It has proven to help with recovery time, and the joints and muscles involved in running.
Along with being a yoga teacher Tania has been in education for over 25 years and is currently an elementary assistant principal. Tania attended Breathe for Change educator training which included 200 RYT yoga training, social emotional learning, meditation, and special workshops for educators. This training was transformational and life changing. Tania understands the importance of strong social emotional support not only for students but for educators. She incorporates these qualities and methods with students, in classrooms, and with her teachers/staff. She likes to provide an atmosphere in her yoga classes where students can find that space for themselves to take care of social emotional needs as well as build stamina and strength. She hopes all her students find the love of yoga and challenge themselves to try new things and leave with a peaceful heart. Her goal is to continue to always be a student as well as a teacher of yoga, attending workshops and growing and evolving, learning new techniques, and challenging herself.
Yoga came into my life in 2017, and truly changed my life for the better. It took me awhile to build a consistent practice and maintain that connection, but over time - I kept coming back to the mat and it eventually grew into the practice that I have today.
Yoga has helped me immensely in developing a true loving relationship with myself. It helped bring alive my connection with love, with spirit, and with God. It inspires me everyday to live a life full of compassion, kindness, and gratitude.
In my classes, we will combine a healthy balance of playfulness and stillness throughout the sequences to help you leave feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. But most importantly, in these practices that I teach, I hope to help you blossom in the connection and relationship you have with your breath, your mind, your body, and your spirit.
Paula Countryman - Owner of Soul Yoga in Kyle,
Janice Kearley - Support Staff
Janice became connected to Willow Gardens through her daughter Ruth’s love for yoga. She enjoys the variety of classes Willow Gardens offers such as, Hatha, Vinyasa Flow, Yin, Ashtanga, Pilates and Hot yoga.
Janice works in the lobby on weekend mornings and helps with the website and other various tasks to support the teachers at Willow Gardens. When she is not at Willow Gardens Janice is homeschooling her daughter, working part-time as a Montessori school substitute, and volunteering with the Friends of the Buda Library, gardening, cooking and various handwork endeavors.