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Staff Instructor Alissa Gibbins BenPorat:
Alissa’s approach to holistic fitness uses the inner power of the body to uplift the spirit and mind. She believes that physical movement and health form the center-piece of a deeply satisfying life. She earned her BA in American Studies from UC Santa Cruz in 2007, and began studying dance and martial arts at age seventeen. After experiencing the healing power of Pilates practice first hand, Alissa completed her certification in Pilates apparatus and mat work through Integrated Teacher Training, of the San Francisco Bay. She specializes in athletic Pilates, pre and post-natal Pilates, and injury prevention and recovery. Alissa’s also an avid vocalist, pole dancer, meditator, hiker, and magic maker. She was born and raised in Oakland, Ca.
Visit Alissa at: www.movewellwithin.com
Senior Instructor Lila Heller:
Visit Lila at: www.LilaHeller.com
Senior Instructor Melanie Clifford:
For most of Melanie’s life, she has been involved in movement, and the study of movement, eventually getting a degree in Dance, with a focus in Kinesiology. Along with her college experience, she has integrated Pilates and bodywork into her style of teaching. She continues to study biomechanics by taking workshops, courses, and classes with Pilates elders and masters. Melanie is currently on the faculty of Balanced Body as an instructor trainer, and has recently become certified as a yoga instructor.
Staff Instructor Ryn Singley:
On my ninth birthday, my mom surprised me with what she thought would be the best gift, tuition to a ballet class. Having grown up in Texas with an older brother in a neighborhood full of boys, I looked at this gift with ultimate distain. Though I wouldn’t tell her this for many years, her initial insight proved true. I loved dancing, and the full awareness of my body in space actually made me better at climbing trees, building forts, and playing flag football (not to mention walking like a “lady” and all the silly stuff that Southern girls are supposed to do.) As a pilates instructor, it is a complete thrill to help someone discover that connection with their own body and subsequently feel how it improves their daily lives. My passion is to blend technical expertise and contagious enthusiasm to help clients reach their goals whether they are new to exercise or are already a fitness buff or professional athlete. There are so many layers to the pilates method, that it continually gets more challenging as you practice and is appropriate for almost anyone. It is truly an exercise that will stay with you for a lifetime. Ryn has been practicing pilates since 2005 and is certified by Ellie Herman Studios.
Staff Instructor Magdalena Dittmer:
Magdalena is a Bay Area native who was initially drawn to Pilates because it helped to correct her Scoliosis. Over time she found Pilates to be a powerful tool for healing injuries, correcting posture and building self-confidence. As a result she is a passionate believer in the healing abilities of Pilates and is dedicated to helping others stabilize and align their bodies so they may live free from pain! She graduated from the Ellie Herman Pilates teacher training in 2011 and became a rehab specialist after years of continuing education. She completed the “Movement Medicine Rehab Program” at Turning Point Studios in 2013.
Staff Instructor Marisa Kelly:
Marisa Kelly is a graduate of the Innercore Pilates Teacher Training and Innerstellar’s Pilates Program Manager. As a wellness coach, CoreAlign and Pilates instructor, Marisa creates a warm, judgment-free learning environment where all of her students are invited to start where they are and find new pathways to vibrant health and well-being. She brings her passions for conscious breathing, alignment, functional movement and somatic calm to every class she teaches. With an MA in Integrative Health, Marisa offers a unique understanding of the intersection of Pilates and conscious movement with other aspects of health and healing. She loves her life, and is deeply committed to helping others in any way she can!
Staff Instructor Rachel Parker:
I have been hooked on Pilates for close to 15 years. I love how it makes me feel – strong, centered and present in my body. It’s empowered me to adapt and thrive over the years as I’ve transitioned from dancer, to journalist to busy mom. I am so thrilled to share my passion for Pilates with others. I love to work with students at every level: newbies, folks wanting to regain strength and Pilates veterans looking to go to the next level. My philosophy is to see everyone for their unique gifts and challenges, reinforce foundation exercises and have a some fun. It’s my pleasure to partner with people as they discover new, liberating ways to move and experience their bodies. I have completed the Balanced Body Pilates Instructor Training Program and continue to study and attend classes. When not in the studio, I like to hike, go to yoga class, dance, cook and stay in step with my very spirited little boy.
Visit Rachel at: www.RachelParkerPilates.com
Staff Instructor Rebecca Vasile:
Rebecca Vasile is a lover of life and movement. A dancer since her toddler years, she has continued to move, shimmy and glide through the world as an instructor and performer of various movement genres – her main dish being bellydance, yoga and Pilates. Dedicated to helping people, and particularly women, understand, heal and feel proud of their bodies, Rebecca has researched and studied bellydance, birth, the pelvic floor and numerous movement modalities. She is a certified pre and postnatal Pilates instructor through The Center for Women’s Fitness and is certified in The Center Method for Diastasis Recti Recovery. She became a Certified Stellarflow yoga instructor in 2013 under the tutelage of Kiki Lovelace, Michelle Cordero, Destiny Eurkus and Colleen Millen and has had the pleasure of assisting both Michelle and Kiki in their classes. Rebecca studied Pilates Mat instruction with Tom McCook and completed her entire apparatus education in Kiki Lovelace’s Innercore training. Her classes combine all her various knowledge and experiences in an easy-going and joyful manner. She loves to assist others in feeling more connected to their bodies and revel in the fun, curious ways in which we can move.
Visit Rebecca at: www.RebeccaVasile.com
Staff Instructor Megan Fenske:
Megan Fenske is part alchemist, part showgirl, and part science nerd. After a series of injuries took her away from dance, rock climbing and cycling, Megan plunged into her physical healing journey with Pilates and has been hooked ever since. She takes delight not only in the mechanical workings of the human body, but also fascinates on the interconnectedness of our physical and emotional selves, the life-altering metaphors that Pilates brings into focus, and the powerful way that creativity and movement come together. Pilates has been instrumental in her life for it’s ability to heal her injuries, its transformative effect on her relationship with her own body, and for providing a formula for growing through and overcoming weaknesses, making the impossible happen. Megan ignites a passionate curiosity in her students and brings an empathic enthusiasm and playfulness to teaching and pretty much everything else.
Staff Instructor Hannah Joy Tamezoujt:
Words from Hannah: My approach to healing through movement & alignment is deeply rooted in my background as a dancer and yoga practitioner, cultivated by my training in Pilates & GYROTONIC, and consistently nourished by my current studies in the Somatic Psychotherapy Masters program at CIIS. I view my work with movement clients as an exploratory collaboration, a co-discovery. I particlarly enjoy working with pre-and-post-natal clients and clients recovering from spinal injuries – my intention, curiosity and attention to detail support transition processes of all kinds. Inhabiting our body is truly transformative. I live for the small sparks of awareness. The “aha” moment when a client feels the connection between their core and the ground beneath their feet for the first time, the joy on a clients face when they reclaim the full range of motion in their pelvis. Strength, grace, healing and beauty are rooted in these experiences. They come from within.
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