Our Instructors are all Classically trained in Pilates and maintain the highest standards of teaching through continuing education and self-practice.
My goal as a fitness instructor is to engage clients – body, mind, and spirit. Pilates, originally called, Contrology, is a very mentally focused form of exercise to not only strengthen the body, but also one’s connection to their body. The goal of Pilates is not to perform a perfect exercise routine in the studio, but rather to take the benefits of Pilates – strength, balance, physical awareness, posture, flexibility, coordination, stamina – into your daily life. My goal in teaching Pilates is to turn your body into a tool for healthy, pain-free living. More >
Cheryl Bigos has been teaching Pilates for eleven years, and is trained through Power Pilates of New York. She was introduced to Pilates through Darien Gold at The Los Angeles Athletic club where Cheryl worked as a personal trainer and cycling instructor. Her initial class made such an impact that she quickly started her teacher training and began teaching mat pilates at the LA Athletic Club, as well as, the Ketchum YMCA. After more intensive Pilates training with Darien to further work on her own body, she became more committed to the work by learning to teach the entire system. This included the 600-hour apprenticeship requirement.
Cheryl specializes in back and neck-related injuries for rehab and post-rehab clients, and focuses on maintaining a vigorous flow for the workouts of her more advanced students. The former dancer enjoys working at In & Up Pilates to keep involved in the Pilates Method. Cheryl is currently focused on building her new legal practice after passing the California Bar exam in 2015.
Sometimes in life we get more than we bargain for.
Dara Blaine had been living with back pain from a car accident for two years. So perhaps it was no accident that led her to agree to make a trade with Master Pilates teacher Niedra Gabriel—in exchange for photos for Niedra’s website, Niedra would give Dara Pilates lessons in her studio.
“After a few months, my chronic back pain was gone, and I was in love with Pilates!” Dara tells us. She decided at first that she would continue with teacher training just for herself, but quickly discovered that she truly loved to teach as well. “It was a life- and career- changing decision. My quality of life afterwards was dramatically better, and I’m continually grateful.” As a tall person, Dara says Pilates also helped her to stand up straight “after years of slouching.”
Dara received her teacher training through Power Pilates, and holds a definite teaching philosophy: “Pilates is about inspiring and empowering clients to achieve goals they might not even feel are possible in the beginning.” Dara considers it her business to help clients define their goals and break the work into small steps. “From there, anything is possible!” she says. “Some of my biggest successes have been when I can get clients to realize that they are stronger than they think.”
Motivation is easy for Dara: “I love that moment of awareness when a client finally makes a connection to an exercise and to their muscles. That’s the gold for me—helping someone feel more connected and powerful in their own body.”
Crystal has had a lifelong passion for fitness and movement. From early
childhood when Crystal was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, she has suffered from extreme tightness in her spine and muscles. For Crystal, movement has always provided healing and increased mobility. In 2008, she began learning the Pilates Method to improve strength and flexibility and following a serious RV accident in 2011, she intensified her practice of Pilates to aid her recovery.
Wanting to share Pilates with other, Crystal began her teacher training at In & Up Pilates in late 2015. Crystal is proud to have profoundly improved the movement quality of one of her clients who lives with MS, drop foot, and lupus with the Pilates Method and other fitness and healing modalities.
In addition to Pilates, Crystal continues to study Yoga, Russian Kettlebelling,
Tactfit, CST, Clubbelling, Aerial Yoga and Aerial Silks. She worked for a non
profit called Movement Therapy Foundation from 2010-2014 and learned about a variety of Movement Therapy Techniques. In 2012, Crystal began personal training and in 2016, began teaching the MELT Hand and Foot technique.
Patricia Amara Dean(a.k.a. Patty Pilates) became completed her Classical training in 2001 at The Performing Arts Physical Therapy Pilates Studio of Los Angeles. With her 15 years of experience, she has trained vast spectrum of clients from office workers with back injuries that rendered them barely able to walk to top-notch athletes and professional performers. Patty believes that what you put into your Pilates practice is what you get out of it. Her coaching approach is intuitive and tailor made for each client she trains. “Pilates is challenging, just like life; however, you can get through it!”
Niedra Gabriel has over 30 years international experience in Pilates, Yoga, dance, choreography and performance. She has trained under Joseph Pilates protégé, Romana Kryzanowska, and is a Continuing Education instructor and Teacher Trainer for In & Up Pilates. Niedra is a PMA Certified Instructor and teaches Pilates workshops and seminars internationally. She has inspired dancers, Hollywood actors, executives, athletes, and fellow Pilates Teachers to reach their fitness and personal goals.
Dan Koeppel has been doing Classical Pilates for fifteen years, and began pursuing teaching in 2011, originally as a means of deepening his own practice. Dan received his Mat Certification from Equinox and is currently completing is Comprehensive Teaching Certification at In & Up Pilates.
In “real life,” he’s an established author, having written four books, including the recent best-seller “Banana: The Fate of the Fruit that Changed the World,” which has been published in seven languages. He is a contributing writer to magazines such as Outside, National Geographic, Runner’s World, Bicycling, and Backpacker, and currently serves as the outdoor and sports editor for thewirecutter.com, one of the world’s most respected gear review sites. He is also a pedestrian advocate, and leads the annual “Big Parade” – a free, two-day walk across Los Angeles. He lives in Highland Park with his wife, Kalee Thompson, and their two sons.
For Irene, a life-long ballet dancer, her first encounter with Pilates left her intrigued. When she met her teacher, Jill Cassady, in 2000 to begin her teacher training, she realized what a tremendous role Pilates played in her discipline—that of developing her core strength. “My biggest personal success was finally gaining abdominal strength,” she enthuses. “My whole life prior to Pilates, I could never dosit-ups or anything that required the use of my abs! It has helped me tremendously with my overall strength in ballet.”
As a ballet dancer, Irene has a deep understanding of technique and precision—the very things she loves about Classical Pilates. She loves how the focus on technique transforms the body. “That’s when you really see and feel a change.” Irene wants her students not only to do the exercises, but to understand why they’re doing them. She prides herself on being present with her students during a session to ensure each student gets the most out of the Classical system and every exercise. Irene prides herself on helping students gain strength and become free from pain. “My goals are to really make my clients understand what they are doing, and to really break a sweat,” she tells us. Irene has continued her own education studying under Jay Grimes and Karen Frischmann of Vintage Pilates and Niedra Gabriel.
Renda began her Pilates training in 1984 and after 600 hours of instruction in the Pilates Method of Body Conditioning, she graduated in 1997 under the direction of world renowned Mentor and Master teacher, Romana Kryzanowska. Ms. Kryzanowska was the direct protege of Joseph Pilates and training through Romana is recognized as the professional standard.
All instructors trained in the Authentic Joseph Pilates Method are held to the highest standards of ongoing professional training. Renda continues her training through regular, rigorous classes and workshops with master teachers who include Sari Pace, Trish Garland, and Jay Grimes.
Renda’s background is as a trained classical ballet dancer. Her early training and dance were in Beirut, Lebanon where she was selected for a scholarship to study ballet abroad at the prestigious Legat School in England. In Los Angeles she continued her ballet training with the Los Angeles Ballet Company school.
It is Renda’s unique understanding of the use of body as form and the importance of precision in movement that led her to appreciate the fluidity, strength, and beauty achieved through the Original Pilates Method.
From the time Maria was three years old until her late teens, she studied classical ballet and gymnastics. At eighteen she decided to pursue a career in culinary arts. After being a professional chef for over fifteen years Maria knew all too well about the downfalls of this work. Coming from a place of pain and injury, she was encouraged to try Pilates. She soon realized this was the missing link to what her body truly needed to get strong again. Her search for healing led her to start on her classical Pilates training at In and Up Pilates in Los Angeles. Having studied Pilates for over three years she continues her education and is humbled everyday by its endless possibilities. She has also acquired her MELT hands and feet Certification in myofascial release which she likes to incorporate in her classes from time to time. “I’m passionate about the classical Pilates System and want to motivate my clients to reach their goals in a patient and fun environment.”
Tara Thomas has studied a variety of yoga styles, including Kundalini, Anusara, Ashtanga and Iyengar.
She is certified in both Hatha and Kundalini.
Over the years Tara has seen the benefits of yoga and believes it to be a healing influence for the individual and the planet.
Her classes are fun, energetic and sometimes challenging. Tara focuses on the breath and how that all important connection can get you through just about anything.
Katy was introduced to the Pilates Method as a way to rehabilitate from an ankle injury. Always an active person through yoga, running, biking, hiking, swimming and outdoor activities, Katy fell in love with Pilates as a way to achieve better posture, strengthen her core, obtain muscle tone, and maintain healthy joints. As an added bonus, she also found that Pilates fosters mental focus. Wanting to reach an advanced level in her own practice, Katy enrolled in the very rigorous 1000-hour advanced training program offered by The Pilates Center in Boulder, CO. Her appreciation for the healing properties of Pilates deepened, and it is this passion for health and movement that she brings to the classes she teaches. She believes that exercise should always be fun and engaging regardless of how hard one works.