ELLIE BROWN; Pilates Instructor, UK Athletics Running Coach and Principal
“I was first introduced to Pilates whilst suffering with sciatica during my third pregnancy. I found Pilates helped me considerably and I enjoyed it so much went on to train with Body Control to become one of their instructors. I am now a Body Control Pilates supervising teacher and support and guide new instructors in their journey to becoming an instructor. My love for athletics developed into coaching and in 2006 I set up social running groups; Greenwich Runners & Buggy Runners. I regularly compete in road and cross-country races and this year I completed my 12 marathon. I am currently President of Kent AC athletics club. I live in Greenwich, have a husband and three children and I love all sports, cooking and enjoying a glass of wine. I am a Qualified Advanced Body Control Pilates Association(BCPA), Pilates Pre and Post-Natal, Stretch Therapy Teacher, UK Athletics Coach and Body Control Supervising teacher.
AGNES MOSER; Pilates Instructor
“I have always been interested in a healthy and active lifestyle, swimming and hiking, spending as much time in the fresh air as I can, and eating well. In my early thirties after years of office work, sitting at a desk for the majority of my working day, I began to develop lower back pain. This worsened after being a little too ambitious moving some heavy furniture. A specialist recommended that I take up Pilates since I needed to strengthen my core to help me manage the injury. I noticed a big difference after only a few sessions; it gave me much better mind and body awareness, and improved my posture. I have been able to resume my active lifestyle and I also found the focus and concentration of the lessons very relaxing and soothing, leading to stress relief and inner calm. In fact I enjoyed practising and learning Pilates so much that I wanted to learn as much as I could about it. Subsequently I decided to become a teacher, to help others in the same way that I had been helped. I am qualified in Body Control Pilates Mat Work and on the Register of Exercise Professionals Level 3.”
ELLEN LEISHMAN; Pilates Instructor
“I discovered Pilates when I was on a surfing holiday to Spain. Pilates was an integral part of the training to improve our balance and stability on the board, and in just one week I could feel a massive difference: not just in my surfing but also in my posture, body awareness and general wellbeing. I found it both relaxing and rewarding, as after a few sessions I started to feel leaner and stronger. I mentioned to the Pilates teacher how much I enjoyed it and she suggested that I should consider training with Body Control Pilates. As soon as I got back I booked a course and quickly realised this was what I wanted to do as a career. Pilates is the best thing you can do for your body and mind. It will relax you, energise you, release muscle tension, improve your posture and make you look and feel better. My classes are fun and relaxed but with some hard work in there as well! I think the best way to approach any exercise is to enjoy yourself and do what you’re comfortable with. I’m a real believer that Pilates is for everyone so I look forward to seeing you in my class!”
RUTH TONGUE; Pilates Instructor
“I first started taking regular Pilates classes when training as a dancer back in my teens – at the time I have to be honest and say that I found it a little dull (we wanted to be jumping around on stage!). But having always used my body, when I stopped dancing I wanted to not only keep in shape, stay flexible and also reduce some of the injuries that were creeping in from lots of running, aerobics and high intensity exercise. Pilates was the natural choice!
I trained with STOTT Pilates yet I love to incorporate elements from yoga, dance, and strength training into my classes. When I’m not teaching Pilates in Greenwich, I work as a nutritionist and health editor, and also have the lucky job of running retreats in beautiful places across Europe.”
GINA LEUNG; Pilates Instructor
Gina is a Pilates teacher and a specialist in Antenatal and Postnatal Exercise. She is also experienced in working with older clients, hypermobile clients and those who are recovering from injuries or suffering from back pain. Gina grew up in Hong Kong and trained as a professional dancer in the US and later in London. After an injury caused by her hypermobility, she took up Pilates as a remedial practice and experienced the benefits of Pilates firsthand. Gina then trained to become a Pilates teacher with Jessica Moolenaar and whilst doing so, also discovered her passion for working with pregnant and postnatal women. Gina has completed Postgraduate Training in Prenatal and Postnatal Pilates with Rachel Rafiefar, as well as Pregnancy and Postnatal Pilates Specialist certification with Carolyne Anthony’s Center for Women’s Fitness.Gina is a member of the Pilates Foundation and a committee member of The Guild of Pre & Postnatal Exercise Instructors.
CARLY O’HARA; UK Athletics Running Coach
Running on the road, a muddy trail, with friends or just my own thoughts, I simply can’t get enough of it. It started as a race entry on a whim at the end of 2008 has resulted in me diving head first in the world of running and opening up a can of running worms. There is something quite special about the running community and through my pursuit of PBs and new adventures, I have met an incredible array of individuals who never fail to make me smile, challenge and inspire me.As the miles have clocked up and trainer addiction intensified, I have become more and more interested in what is the best way to run. Having gained my qualification as an England Athletics Coach and Barefoot Instructor, I have been fortunate enough to train and work with numerous athletes are various stages in their running careers that has enabled me to explore this. As a coach I always aim to look at how we can refine our technique to make us stronger, faster and injury free runners. To be able to pass on what I have learnt to other runners, who in turn can then improve their performance and surpass their own expectations is an achievement that I love to share with them. There is no better feeling than crossing that finish line and reaching your goal.
RONNIE HAYDON; UK Athletics Running Coach/Buggy Runners coach, Personal Trainer, England Athletics Mental Health Ambassador
“Running changed my life for the better. Since taking part in my first five-kilometre Race for Life ten years ago, when the endorphin-rush to the head sent me scurrying to join a running club, I have been obsessed. There is very little about messy modern life that doesn’t look better after an early-morning run: work stress, family tensions, petty irritations, all fall by the wayside as you patter along. Running motivates you, prepares you for everything the day holds, empowers you.
I want everyone to love running as much as I do, which is why I trained as a coach, and, latterly, as a personal trainer (with special emphasis on running fitness). I firmly believe that we can all be better runners. Of course there’ll always be faster runners, but good runners are relaxed, easy in their bodies, strong and flexible. At 53 years old I am still seeking to improve my running, still seeking PBs over all distances, working harder on recovery and building up my muscular strength and endurance. I am constantly working on my own form and knowledge, so I can pass this on to my clients. Joining the inspirational Ellie Brown’s Buggy Runner coaching team, and, more recently, using my Mental Health Ambassador role to work with Ellie on ‘Mummy Walk & Talk’, a postnatal fitness and mental health initiative, means I can combine my two loves: fitness and babies. Having raised three children, and as a doting grandmother, I am confident around babies and am also very aware of the demands pregnancy and breastfeeding makes on the body.
MEDEA VACZY; Pregnancy Yoga Teacher, Mother & Baby Yoga Teacher
Firstly, I was drawn to yoga for its physical aspect. I was ten years old, flexible and happy I had found something I was successful at. My practise was not consistent, I was rather in love with movement in general than with yoga.
Years later my path of discovering movement turned back to yoga, my practise became deeper and determined, attempting to discover the limits of what is possible. I became more aware of what my body and mind were telling me. Through a mindful daily practise I discovered yoga`s transforming power. Yoga helped me to let go, let go the result of my actions, pain, hurt and loss, limitations and judgement. It liberated my thinking and give me the courage to change my career path. In 2014 I qualified as a Vinyasa Flow Yoga teacher, accredited with Yoga Alliance. My style as a teacher comes from the devotion to teach yoga from the heart with awareness, compassion, sensitivity and clarity. I am devoted to developing my knowledge and teaching skills progressively and systematically. My interest lies in helping people to find a way to live a mindful and balanced life, fully and freely in the high demands of everyday life.
DR. KAREN ROBB; Pilates Instructor & Physiotherapist
I have worked in clinical rehabilitation settings for over 20 years and am a specialist in cancer care and managing long-term conditions. The physical nature of my work puts a real toll on my body and I was introduced to Pilates by a colleague to help improve my core strength and my posture and to help prevent injuries. It quickly added a wonderful new dimension to my own fitness training. In 2013 I was approached by Body Control Pilates to lecture at their annual development weekend and share my knowledge of breast cancer rehabilitation. I later completed my training as a Body Control Pilates teacher and now enjoy being able to incorporate Pilates into my clinical work and teaching activities. I am convinced that Pilates has lots to offer both physically and emotionally for clients recovering from injury or illness and my ultimate goal is to for clients to surprise themselves with what they can achieve. I can’t deny there will be some hard work in the sessions with me, but there will be also be a fun and personalised approach to help you achieve your goals.
ALENKA HERMAN: Pregnancy Yoga Teacher
Alenka was introduced to yoga during her dance training and she was struck by both the physical and mental benefits of yoga. For her, yoga is a practice of tuning in and connecting to oneself, and being fully present with whatever arises. Alenka teaches an energizing but calming yoga class, encouraging students to listen to their bodies whilst working at their full potential, with the full use of breath.Her yoga classes reflect her awareness of movement and alignment from many years of dance training. She very much enjoys teaching pregnancy and postnatal yoga and is inspired by seeing how supportive, empowering and resourceful yoga can be to women in this precious stage in life. Alenka holds an Advanced 500hr teacher training certificate in Vinyasa Flow Yoga as well as specialist Pregnancy and Yoga Nidra teaching qualifications.
LAURA BROWNE: Pilates Instructor
“I first started Pilates out of interest really. I had heard a bit about it and after sustaining a shoulder injury at the gym, I decided to give it a try. I realised I had been exercising and using weights incorrectly, putting unnecessary strain on my shoulders and back. Soon, my once a week class turned into two, then three. Pilates made me feel amazing. I loved the control, the focus and the huge difference it made to my posture and strength. Not just during the class but in the way I moved day to day. After three children, all of whom liked to be carried on one hip, I found the imbalances in my body had started to even out. It was like I finally owned it again.After a few years I decided to train to teach and am now a qualified level 3 instructor with BCP (Body Control Pilates) and level 3 REPS (Register of Exercise Professionals). My passion lays with helping people, to see how Pilates makes a difference to how they move and how they feel. I want them to walk out of a class feeling like I still do, every time.”
DAMARIS BOOTH: Yoga Teacher
Damaris’ love of yoga was first sparked in her teens and has grown to become an integral part of her life along with other practices such as mindfulness meditation and Qi Gong. She was first drawn to yoga as she loved how it made her feel, and soon the positive effects of a calmer mind and more easeful body began to reflect in her life off the mat.
She believes yoga and mindfulness are invaluable tools for dealing with the stresses and challenges that life likes to throw at us. She trained at one of London’s leading yoga centres, Triyoga, on a two-year course (accredited by the British Wheel of Yoga and Yoga Alliance USA) under the inspirational guidance of Jean Hall, Mimi-Kuo Deemer, Aki Omori and Carlos Pomeda. She is a fully insured, qualified yoga teacher with the British Wheel of Yoga.
ALISON HENNING: Yoga Teacher
Alison has been practicing yoga for over 15 years and teaching in Greenwich and across London for the last 7 years. Her intention for every class she teaches is to leave students feeling better at the end than at the beginning – more grounded, but a little lighter in step.She teaches asana with a focus on healthy alignment principles, integrating movement with the natural pace of the breath to encourage and gently challenge the body’s own strength, steadiness and ease to be revealed. Her approach is non-dogmatic and she holds a cheery and supportive space for all to practice.
CHIARA FAVARETTI: Pilates Instructor
Currently based in London, Chiara holds a Master Matwork Certification and teaches Pilates classes for all levels (from beginners to advanced) including Classical Matwork, Pre & Post Natal.
She discovered Pilates eight years ago alongside her professional dance training at Trinity Laban College of Music and Dance. Initially approached as rehabilitation and injury-prevention, it soon enabled her to find deeper connection, strength and flexibility, within her own body. Wishing to assist and enable others to cultivate their own body awareness, Chiara qualified as Body Control Pilates® Teacher in 2014. Since then, she has been continuing her professional development whilst teaching private and group matwork classes both in UK and abroad.Particularly informed by her teaching experience at a buddhist monastery, Chiara likes encouraging relaxation and awareness through a mindful approach to movement, believing that “a thoughtful way of moving can also inspire a mindful way of living”.Still focusing on Pilates’ traditional principles – correct alignment, breathing, and core stability – her classes are naturally influenced by her dance background, integrating flow, elegance and precision.
CAROLINE EVANS: Running Coach
I like the freedom and simplicity of running. So long as you have your trainers, you can run anywhere, anytime, and in any weather (!). It’s a great way to clear your head, get creative or work off stress. And it’s sociable too: some of my favourite runs are with friends: chatting and running, followed by more chatting and coffee, or wine, depending. After years of running for fun and in races over all sorts of distances and terrains (I especially like muddy and grubby), I trained as a Leader in Running Fitness. I really enjoy working with runners at all levels: helping them train, develop and realise their ambitions. And I love working with the Greenwich Runners team: they’re highly professional, inspirational coaches, and all round lovely people
ESMELOU FOLLEY: Yoga Teacher
With a background in music therapy Esmelou has spent much of her time supporting and working empathically with adults and children who are facing challenging times. She chose to teach yoga as an expansion of this as yoga can often reach deep into the soul and allows students to do much self reflection and self care simply by being present, opening the heart wide and connecting fully with this beautiful vehicle, the body, which carries us faithfully throughout life.Esmelou teaches vinyasa flow yoga with a focus on safe clean alignment. Everybody is unique and approaches movement in a different way. She has a firm belief that yoga is for all and as a teacher, Esmelou’s responsibility is to ensure that her students work to their potential. Her classes will be creatively and sensitively themed and
accompanied by soulful music. Modifications and different levels will be offered to accommodate what is going on in her students bodies in the present time. Esmelou also teaches a vinyasa flow foundation course for beginners and those who want to go back to working on clean alignment and basic form of asanas. Esmelou trained in the appleyoga method, a flowing, graceful and strong style of yoga, with a focus on biomechanics, meditation and a deep yet accessible sense of spirituality created by the inspirational Katy Appleton who she is extremely grateful to and continues to study with.
YVONNE McKENNY: Pilates Instructor & Physiotherapist
I began my love of Pilates in my teens as a swimmer, using it to add variety to my training and found it challenged me in way that other exercise had not, allowing me to tune in to my movement and address any weaknesses that were evident.Originally from Australia, I am registered physiotherapist and APPI trained Pilates instructor. I have worked in physiotherapy clinics, and across orthopaedic rehab wards and have continued to find Pilates beneficial across all stages of patients recovery.As a physiotherapist, I am able to apply my experience and knowledge of Pilates to help patients of all abilities better understand their bodies, heighten their movement awareness and improve motor control, in order to reduce pain and ultimately help them perform and move better.I continue to practice Pilates regularly myself and believe it will keep me in good stead mentally and physically as I train for my first London Marathon in 2018. I also enjoy cycling around London and getting outdoors whenever possible.
Krista Wills: Yoga Teacher
Krista first stepped onto a yoga mat in 2003 during her final year at university, she was looking for something healthy to ‘do’ having spent the first two years socialising and clubbing! She soon realised that yoga wasn’t really about ‘doing’ and instead found that it bought stillness, space and focus into her life and made her recognise just how stressed out her hectic schedule was making her. Yoga soon became integral to her daily life and in 2013 she completed the 2 year Teacher Training diploma at Triyoga, one of London’s leading centres, with Jean Hall and Mimi Kuo Deemer. More recently she completed training in restorative yoga with Roger Cole and Judith Lasater and is currently undertaking further training in Yoga for Athletes.
Krista has a BSc in Physiology and Pharmacology and a background in medical research which gives her a good understanding of the human body. She is a runner and cyclist and believes that regular yoga practice compliments these disciplines by developing flexibility, strength, balance and mental focus.
Laura Hallett: Running Coach
I ran my first 10K over 10 years ago and loved the race atmosphere, sense of achievement and camaraderie but thought any longer a distance was beyond me. However, I caught the running bug and since then have had the privilege of running the London Marathon twice for charity, a fantastic experience I would recommend to anyone, at whatever stage. I’ve really appreciated the huge variety of benefits running gives you physically, mentally and socially and now wouldn’t be without it!
I love that running is so inclusive, something almost everyone can do, whatever age, ability or life stage, and can be done wherever, whenever, all year round. I enjoy being outside, exploring new places on runs, or just catching up with friends whilst running.
I trained as a coach as I love encouraging others to run and want to share the benefits it’s given me. It’s brilliant to see people achieve things they never thought they could and encourage each other along the way. Although I do enjoy running alone, I think there is so much to be gained by being part of a group, understanding running technique, strategy and having others challenge you. Keep on running everyone!
Katie Toolin: Reformer Teacher
“I first came to Pilates after suffering a back injury when I was 20. Pilates and physiotherapy quickly became part of my everyday life and was the support I could rely on to continuously strengthen my body back up to where I knew it was capable. So I thought, why not train? With a background of Psychology from The University of Edinburgh, I went on to gain a Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage with ITEC. This helps me to rehabilitate and relieve any pain and frustration that I know too well can come from injury. I then trained with Polestar to become a Comprehensive Pilates Instructor, incorporating all equipment into the Pilates principles.
I have been given an opportunity to become my healthiest self, and I look forward to continuously building my rehabilitation repertoire, as well as giving that same opportunity to others.”
Lucy Swann: Pilates Teacher
I discovered Pilates over ten years ago during my dance training and found it to be an important way of keeping healthy and strong, managing and preventing injury and reducing aches and pain. I still am amazed at how Pilates has helped me overcome injury and how I feel directly after a class and how I continue to feel better and stronger as a result or regular practice. I am particularly interested in pre/rehabilitation but I have come to love the way that Pilates gives you the opportunity to do something really positive for your body and your brain! It is really crucial to find time in our busy lives to be kind to ourselves and refill the energy tank and Pilates can really help with that.
After many years of thinking about it, I finally trained with Body Control Pilates to teach Matwork and through them have discovered how Pilates is accessible to everyone. I try and make my classes fun, using small equipment to add challenges and linking exercises together to create a nice flow. I want you to leave with a smile on your face, ready for the day and a maybe feeling just a little bit taller too.
I am also qualified to teach pre/postnatal clients and continue to deepen my Pilates knowledge through regular further training. I hope to see you on the mat soon!
Yasia Williams: Running Coach
If someone had told me 10 years ago that in the future i would run a marathon, i would have laughed out loud and quite simply said that it was not possible, but here I am, with that marathon and a few others under my belt, part of this wonderful team of coaches helping other people believe that anything is possible. I joined the Greenwich Runners after my second child with a plan to get fit and meet new people and not only did i achieve both of these things but i caught the running bug in the process. I’ve always been sporty but long distance running was something rather alien to me as an adult. When i started i could barely run for longer than a few minutes but with determination and support I ran my first 5k in that first year and I’ve never looked back. I’ve now run all kinds of distances, in different terrains in a few different countries, often with wonderful people but I’m also happy to plug myself into some happy tunes and hit the streets to blow off the cobwebs and give myself some time to think. Running for me isn’t about times or speed, its about the challenge, and the enjoyment, the freedom it brings, and the achievements it gives. Im so proud and happy to now have trained as a Leader in Running Fitness so i can help and support new runners achieve their own goals going forward.