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 will have completed 10 marathons in 10 years. 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.”
ELLA PORTER; Pilates Instructor
“I have always enjoyed an active lifestyle and have tried every fitness trend going, from ballet to bikram to bootcamp sessions. I discovered Pilates in my late twenties and finally found something that stuck. I was amazed by the strengthening effects the Pilates exercises had on my body – without having to drag myself through the mud! As well as improving my core strength, it began to correct bad postural habits developed from ballet classes at a young age.
After many years working as a health and beauty journalist in the magazine industry, I wanted to look beyond the confines of my desk-bound job and decided to train as a Pilates teacher with Body Control Pilates. Since training, I have been inspired by countless tales from clients of how Pilates has helped them overcome back pain, mobility issues and sciatica, to mention just a few!
As a born-and-bred Greenwich girl, I am thrilled to be teaching in my hometown at Greenwich Pilates. I inject energy and enthusiasm into my classes as well as hard work! I love working with each individual to encourage everyone to work to the best of their ability. My advice for anyone wondering whether to give it a go? Don’t be put off if you think you’re not flexible – it’s not important!”
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 RALSTON 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. It’s all about baby steps! It’s wonderful, though, to see how quickly women can train to peak fitness after childbirth. Many say they feel faster and fitter having had children. At my Buggy Runner classes in Greenwich Park and Peckham Rye Park, you can expect a combination of aerobic exercise, from dynamic stretches through power walking to jogging to steady-state running, as well
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.
JACQUIE BIGGS; Pilates Instructor
I have been working with movement my entire life, having started dancing at two years old. I ﬁrst discovered Pilates during my training and career as a professional dancer. Pilates taught me to work my body, which was used to working to its extremes, with more control, correct alignment and calm concentration and helped keep me free from serious injuries. I became increasingly more interested in rehabilitation and injury prevention throughout my career and in 2009 gained my Matwork teaching qualiﬁcation through Body Control Pilates. As we are constantly learning about our bodies, what they do and why they do it, I continue my training, take teaching courses, learning and improving my knowledge. I am still working within the dance world, I also love to work out, either at the gym, swimming or in a yoga class, where I can continuously apply my Pilates technique to reach and push my goals. Being able to help other people understand and have more awareness of their own bodies is such a wonderful part of teaching Pilates.
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.”
ADELE PRINCE: UK Athletics Running Coach/Buggy Runners Instructor
Having been an active child, mostly horse riding, cycling and dancing, I came to running as an adult, starting with a 5k Race for Life, which I carefully trained towards on a treadmill. I continued running on and off, taking a break during pregnancy, where I found swimming more comfortable for a while (I swam right up to the birth, which was bliss!). I gradually came back to running, taking my son to playgroups in a running buggy and rediscovering my love for getting out of breath outdoors. When I heard about the possibility of parkrun coming to my local area, I jumped at the chance of being involved and helped to establish Hilly Fields parkrun in 2012, hot on the heels of our wonderful Olympic Games. This involvement grew my community immensely and gave me the confidence to join a running club and qualify as a UK Athletics Running Coach. I have since gone on to coach the girls at my club and also adults, as trainer for GoodGym Lewisham, which launched in January 2016. I find it incredibly rewarding volunteering at Hilly Fields parkrun and now our junior parkrun, seeing runners of all abilities striving and then reaching their goals. I love being able to support runners on a journey, giving people of all ages a chance to build their fitness and to have fun whilst doing so, running hard up a hill is so much more enjoyable with a group to share the view with when you reach the top!
JANNET RICKETTS; UK Athletics Running Coach
“Since going for my first run in the steamy summer of 2006 and joining a running club I have had the very great fortune to encounter some very inspirational and enthusiastic coaches and fellow runners along the way that have coaxed, encouraged, cheered and pushed me not only to be a better runner but more importantly want to run.
I have always felt that running has given me so much, not only reaping the benefits of what fitness can bring but also, meeting other like minded people. For the past couple of years I have wanted to put something back into the world of running and felt that coaching could be a perfect opportunity to do just that.
For me, spending time coaching and helping people achieve their goals and watch them grow in confidence is my way of putting something back into a sport which has endless scope for anyone; and when we have the back drop of Greenwich Park at our disposal who wouldn’t want to get their trainers on and run.”
SKYE MANNAS: Pilates Instructor
“I was recommended to Pilates after suffering a motorbike accident in Thailand and damaging my knee. I began attending a Pilates class once a week and was amazed at how quickly my knee became stronger and more flexible, my whole body was changing. I was addicted, this relaxing exercise was amazing for my posture, mind and made me feel amazing.
I was looking for a career change, so decided to sign up to Body Control Pilates teacher training course. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made, and I am so happy to be part of the Greenwich team.
I am a firm believer that happiness is directly linked to a healthy wellbeing and for me Pilates highly contributes to a healthy lifestyle. I continue to develop my own Pilates practise as well as my journey to complete many other courses in Pilates and Yoga. I am constantly amazed as to the never ending benefits of Pilates and how life changing it can be.”
DAMARIS: 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.