Meet the Team cropped

Meet the Team

At Breathe we pride ourselves on the experience, training and expertise of our Pilates teachers, all of whom possess Pilates qualifications, alongside additional experience and training in injury rehabilitation, physiotherapy, sports massage, personal training and yoga.

Click below to read about each of our teachers’ experience and personal Pilates philosophy.

Nina Hartley

 

I started my career at the age of 19 as a gym bunny, teaching range of studio classes. I have always loved working with people and enjoyed activity, so it seemed like a no-brainer to work in the health and fitness industry but after a few years I was becoming bored and frustrated, so I left for London and quickly immersed myself in city life. Working long hours and socialising soon took over, and as my modelling career took off so my health and fitness deteriorated. After 5 years of madness, this lifestyle really took its toll on my mind, body and spirit, leading to yo-yo weight gain/loss, severe loss of energy and depression. Restoring my physical and emotional health became a priority, so retreating back to the Peak District, I got back into fitness, yoga practice, meditation and nutrition/hydration.

Having been on this journey I realised that my own experiences and knowledge could help me to help others with the same struggles. Experiencing first-hand the negative influence that the fashion world can have, I also wanted to help young women with issues associated with body image and low self-esteem. So I threw myself into studying to search for answers and found Paul Check, a holistic guru. I became a qualified Holistic lifestyle coach and followed this up with personal training and sports massage certification, enabling me to help my clients achieve their goals from weight loss to living stress-free.

I continued with my holistic approach to living and followed my passion for yoga, which has benefited me on so many levels. I have undergone teacher training in the practices of Kundalini Yoga (as taught by Yogi Bhajan) and Hot Yoga with my beloved teachers Hari har Ji and Jozef Wiezel. My yoga journey is constantly evolving and I find myself exploring more and loving sharing discoveries with my students.

I have now been a part of the Breathe team since 2010. I love Classical Pilates and I am finding huge results in my own body. I have gained a deeper knowledge of physical anatomy and have benefited hugely from feeling strong and balanced by studying the classical method. This deeper wisdom enables me to teach clients to find and maintain new connections in their own bodies too.

I thoroughly enjoy teaching classes and one to ones here at Breathe. It’s so great being part of this team as we work together, train together and discover new ways to help our clients. We pride ourselves in our fantastic delivery of the classical method, and love helping you guys achieve your goals…whatever they may be!

Pilates Qualifications and Training:

– Corpus Pilates – Foundation & Level 1 Matwork, Chair, Cadillac (Ongoing)
– Classical equipment, Classical Pilates UK (ongoing)
– Classical Pilates Matwork, Classical Pilates UK (2015)
– Balanced Body Reformer Pilates Level 1 (2011)

Yoga Qualifications and Training:

– Camyoga Hot Yoga Certification (2013)
– Sahje School of Yoga Kundalini Yoga Level 1 & 2 (2012)

Other Qualifications and Training:

– Body Talk Fundamentals (ongoing)
– Myofascial Release, Levels 1 & 2, Myofascial UK (2016)
– Level 3 Sports Massage, Manchester School of Massage) (2011)
– Level 3 Personal Training REPS qualified (Premier) (2010)
– Level 2 Instructing Health Related Exercise for Children (2010)
– CHEK Institute Holistic Lifestyle Coach Level 1 & 2 (2007)

 

With an active childhood in South Africa, a major portion of which was spent in trees, a love of movement and particularly expansive movement was instilled in me. My background of eight years in classical ballet (Cecchetti) and competitive artistic gymnastics, for which I received provincial colours, evolved into a natural continuation as a group exercise instructor at the height of the aerobics craze in the ’80s and early ’90s.

At this point I had moved to Greece, where I taught aerobics for seven years, whilst simultaneously studying for a BA majoring in communications, anthropology and criminology. Taking a short respite to raise my children, I found Pilates, or possibly it found me in 2007.  At my very first session, the feeling of empowerment and well-being I felt was enough to convince me to learn more.

I was certified by Power Pilates NY, under the auspices of Bob Liekens, in 2008. This classical, systematic and integrative certification took place in Athens, Greece. My teacher, Evgenia Papadopoulou, is herself a second-generation teacher and was classically trained and certified by Romana Kryzanowska. Romana was one of the first generation teachers who studied directly with Joseph Pilates himself and carried the torch for the method. I completed over 600 hours of the practical, oral and theory of the method and certified in December 2008.

I operated my own small home studio for eight years, which gave me the wonderful opportunity to give the incredible benefits and sense of well-being that Pilates is capable of to others. I love the fact that Pilates is non-competitive, that it is able to challenge and reward every body and everybody without the need for judgement and criticism. I love that within a structured classical format, there is enormous scope for an individualised programme, that clients leave a session feeling energised, healthier and radiant.

I arrived in the UK in August 2016 and feel honoured to be teaching at Breathe Pilates. I am so happy to have found my niche in the UK.

Pilates Qualifications and Training:

– Power Pilates NY, Comprehensive Certification (2008)
– Group Exercise Instructor (Aerobics), Beverley Hills Aerobics, South Africa. (1987)

Suki Wong

 

My love for movement began at the age of four at my first ballet class back in Malaysia. So, when it came to deciding what I wanted to study at university, physiotherapy seemed like an obvious choice! I moved to Sheffield in April 2012 to work at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals as a rotational physiotherapist. I am currently working as a senior physiotherapist at the Spinal Injury Centre, where I support the core stability class alongside other physiotherapists.

In 2014, I was looking into developing my rehabilitation skills and decided to embark on a 2 year journey to obtain my Pilates teaching qualification with Polestar Pilates. This has opened the doors to my amazement and excitement to continue learning about the human body.

I have always believed that ‘prevention is better than cure’, so the fact that Pilates allows the practitioner to be more body aware, honing efficient movement seems like a great idea, doesn’t it? In my class, I like getting my clients to think and feel what is happening in their body throughout the class with some brain-teasers to test their co-ordination and a few bad jokes and weird imagery for a bit of fun.

Pilates Qualifications and Training:

– Polestar Pilates Comprehensive Rehabilitation Practitioner, Polestar Pilates (2016)

Other Qualifications and Training:

– Bobath Introductory Module 1, 2, & 3; British Bobath Tutor Association (2015)
– BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy, Keele University (2011)

 

Helen is a professionally trained dancer and aerialist. After gaining her degree from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance she moved to London to pursue a career in aerial acrobatics. In 2001 she travelled to Montreal, where she was selected to work for world-renowned Cirque Du Soleil. Whilst touring worldwide for 10 years with the company Pilates quickly became an essential part of maintaining her physically demanding routine.

After retiring from Cirque Du Soleil Helen completed her Stott Pilates qualifications and began her career in teaching.  She now works with a broad range of clients, and particularly enjoys using her knowledge of high level performance to help clients increase their athletic potential.

In 2014 at the peak of fitness, Helen suffered a rare allergic reaction which resulted in heart failure and critical open heart surgery, followed one year later by a second operation to rewire her breastbone back together. During her recovery and rehab she used her years of training and her Pilates knowledge to stay positive and rebuild her body. Now her heart has fully recovered, and, thanks to Pilates, she has regained full mobility and continues to strengthen her body back to full athletic fitness.

Helen’s experience as a professional aerialist, along with her own rehabilitation and keen interest in physiology, strongly influence her approach to Pilates instruction. Her goal is to help clients get the most out of their body, whether they are training as an athlete, rehabilitating from injury or wishing to improve their overall physical wellbeing.

Pilates Qualifications and Training:

– Intensive Cadillac, Chair, Barrels, Stott Pilates (ongoing)
– Injuries and Special Populations, Stott Pilates (2015)
– Intensive Reformer Level 1, Stott Pilates (2013)
– Barre Instructor Foundation Course, Stott Pilates (2013)
– Advanced Mat Work Level 2, Stott Pilates (2103)
– Intensive Mat work Level 1, Stott Pilates (2013)

Other Qualifications and Training:

– Certificate in Advanced Personal Training Level 3. Premier International, Liverpool
– Diploma in Circus Skills, London (1999)
– BA Dance, Northern School of Contemporary Dance (1999)

Sam is a matwork Pilates teacher who embraced the Pilates practise after a knee injury from martial arts. Since then she has worked a lot with clients to help them with injury prevention, managing conditions through movement and guiding people on how to connect with their own unique body’s needs. She has worked extensively with aerial circus performers, climbers and the elderly and has also completed her pregnancy and postnatal training. She has also qualified as a Thai massage therapist for a more balanced and deeper approach to the helping the body and mind.

Pilates Qualifications and Training:

YMCA Level 3 Pilates teaching diploma, London, UK. (2015)

Pilates Instructor and First Aid, Pilates Foundation UK, London. (2010)

Other Qualifications and Training:

Thai Yoga Massage, School of Thai Yoga Massage, London. (2015)

Pre-and postnatal certification, The Thoughtful Body, London. (2011)