Meet the

Instructors

The Pukka Pilates exercise tutorials and taster classes are taught by experienced teachers who are passionate about Pilates. If you’re looking for studio or online classes, you’ll be in safe hands with any of them.

Angella Wagner

Angella has been practising Pilates for over 20 years and still finds exercises to challenge her body and brain!

Angella's love of Pilates began in Portugal, where she studied Body Control Pilates with Maria Larsen. Inspired by the method and teacher, she decided to train to become a Body Control Pilates instructor herself when she moved back to England.

Angella teaches Pilates on the mat, reformer, tower and springboard, and when she's not in the studio she works as a supervising teacher for Body Control Pilates across the Buckinghamshire area, helping to train new teachers.

Angella is a Level 4 Lower Back Pain specialist and Back Care Professional.

Anna Kirakowska

Anna started ballet classes at a young age in Cork, Ireland and went on to enjoy a thrilling dance career, performing in theatres, circuses, festivals, and on film sets around the world.

The dancing took a toll on her body, however, leaving her with excruciating lower back pain. She started Pilates for rehabilitation and, little by little, the pain went away and her spine was re-aligned. She was soon dancing again, and owes it all to Pilates.

Anna has been passionate about Pilates ever since and teaches it because she knows from experience that it works.

Level 3 Pilates qualified (HFE) and level 3 qualified to adapt Pilates for pre-and post-natal clients (HFE), nothing brings Anna more joy than to see improvements in strength, birth-rehabilitation, alignment and overall wellness for her clients.

Alex Estornel

American-born Alex discovered classical Pilates in 1998, when he started using it as a rehabilitation tool. A professional dancer, he was in demand - performing for top recording artists, appearing in films, and dancing on T.V. shows such as Dancing with the Stars and The X Factor.

Due to the strain on his body, he suffered from various injuries, and credits Pilates with rehabilitating him and elongating his career.

He now devotes his life to bringing the transformative approach of Pilates to the masses, with his teaching style firmly rooted in the classical exercises, as Joseph Pilates taught them.

Alex also runs over 20 Pilates retreats a year in Spain, Greece, Austria and Italy, via his Sky Pilates and Yoga Retreats company.

Ceza Ouzounian

Glasgow-based Ceza is a qualified Pilates and Burlexercise Instructor, an accredited Energy Alignment Method (EAM) Mentor, a Beyond Wellbeing Lifestyle Prescriptions© Provider and an International Bestselling Author.

After a back injury in 2010, Ceza embraced Pilates to help her heal. Amazed by the difference it made to her quality of life, she trained as a Pilates instructor to bring this life changing fitness method to others.

Qualified in mat, equipment, reformer and Barre Pilates, Ceza’s classes are fun, mixed-level, and no two are the same. Some focus on strengthening, some on flexibility, and others on mobility.

Ceza loves seeing her client’s fitness and confidence levels increase as they become more body aware. She focuses on developing this in her classes.

Cesar Pastri

Brazilian-born Cesar has always been passionate about health, fitness and body-mind exercise. But it was a serious back injury in 2013 that led him on the path to becoming a Pilates instructor.

Initially unable to walk or even stand up straight, he took up Pilates to help rehabilitate his back and saw first-hand how powerful it can be. He went on to complete his Mat Pilates and Equipment accreditation and a Comprehensive Pilates Instructor Training Program in Sydney, Australia.

Cesar is passionate about helping other people reap the benefits of Pilates. His priority is postural strength and alignment, control and breathing, plus precision in the body and the movements, control and breathing.

Alongside his group classes, and many celebrity clients, Cesar teaches Pilates to people with Multiple Sclerosis through the MS Society.

Corali Sacerdote

South African-born Corali moved to the UK in 1996, to work as a personal trainer, kinesiologist and sports massage therapist.

The intense massage work caused painful thoracic spasms, which led Corali to Pilates for rehabilitation. It made such a difference, she decided to train as a teacher, and hasn’t looked back.

Corali's classes are never planned. She asks her clients how they’re feeling and structures her classes around their needs, meaning no two classes are the same.

Corali believes that fascial rotations are beneficial for anyone experiencing stiffness in their bodies, so she incorporates a lot of rotation and 360 degree movements into her classes. She also likes to challenge balance.

Emma Samuel

Emma is a classically-trained Mat Pilates instructor, based in London. She’s was introduced to Pilates 18 years ago and is passionate about using it to educate people about their posture, body awareness, body control, strength, flexibility and the importance of a strong core.

A mother of two, Emma believes Pilates played an integral role in healing her body after child birth. By the time her daughter was four months old, she was back to her pre-pregnancy weight and body frame.

Emma teaches group and 1:1 classes. She focuses on helping her clients find an inner stillness and develop a strong mind-body connection through their practice.

Emma is also trained in Yoga and teaches Yogalates classes - a fusion of yoga and Pilates.

Elliot Lake

Elliot is the Owner and Head Trainer at the Pilates Circuit studio in Wandsworth and at the Bootcamp Pilates studio in Fulham. He has coached over 10,000 hours of sports and fitness training since qualifying in 1991.

Elliot discovered Pilates after landing an Area Manager role at Bootcamp Pilates. He decided to qualify as a Pilates Instructor in order to critique his team effectively. But, after getting the Pilates bug, he stepped down from the role in 2016, to take on the first Bootcamp Pilates Franchise.

Elliot teaches group classes and 1-1’s at both studios. His classes are always fun and he knows how to motivate you to focus on your technique.

When he’s not teaching Pilates, Elliot loves golf, snowboarding, freediving and mountain climbing.

Garry Mines

Garry found Pilates 6 years ago whilst in search of a natural relief for his anxiety. For him, the focused movements with breath helped relieve stress. Describing it as ‘his escape from the daily grind’, it had a profound effect on him, leading him to train as a Pilates instructor.

Give one of his classes a go and you’ll have a lot of fun. Describing them as ‘functional, fun and inclusive', he likes to mix up aerobic and non-aerobic exercises and play with progressions.

If you like to work out to music, Garry is your man. He crafts a unique music playlist to complement each class.

Keen to encourage more men to take up Pilates, Garry runs a regular men-only-class, (which stopped during COVID), but will restart when he is able to get back in the studio.

When he’s not doing teasers, Garry works full-time as an area visual merchandiser.

Jo Fernandes

Jo has been working in the fitness industry for 30 years and has enjoyed teaching a wide variety of classes, including Aerobics, Step, Body Conditioning, Aqua, Circuit Training, Chair Based Exercise for 60+ and many types of Dance. She qualified as a Level 3 Pilates Matwork Instructor in 2012.

Jo specialises in Exercise for the Older Adult and teaches Pilates in Residential Homes and 60+ Centres. The sessions focus on improving mobility, increasing range of movement, strength, co-ordination and balance.

Jo says of Pilates, “I love to see the difference that Pilates can make to peoples’ lives – not only to their bodies but also to their minds. I feel that the mind and body are connected so deeply that if you feel good mentally, you’ll feel good physically and vice versa."

Jill Harris

Before taking up Pilates, Jill danced in Hip Hop and Modern dance companies in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her "vocation" at the time was Public Relations which she did so she could dance.

Uninspired by office life, she saw an ad for a Pilates teacher training course and signed up, having no idea what it was all about.

Luckily, she fell in love with Pilates. She was fascinated by the leg springs on the reformer, which inspired her to design her own spring based exercise method – FitSprings.

Jill has been training private clients for over 24 years, most of whom are in their 70’s and 80’s. Her classes consist of a blend of Pilates, dance conditioning, personal training, physical therapy and lots of fun!

Laura Porro

Laura started practicing Pilates to address long-term postural issues. She had tried other activities, but found that Pilates was the only workout that 'stayed' with her - she didn’t just feel well at the end of the class, but for the rest of the week.

After qualifying as a teacher, Laura founded Equilibrium Studio, which embraces the principles Joseph Pilates advocated, while keeping up-to-date with the latest findings in the science of movement.

Laura loves to deepen her understanding of how the body works. She holds specialist qualifications in cancer exercise, bone health, arthritis, osteoporosis, pre and postnatal and post-rehab protocols.

Louie Lewis

Australian-Born Louie started dancing at a young age. A keen ballet dancer, he was invited to join a Russian Character Company, with whom he toured around Australia, and made various television appearances.

In 1983, he attended the Laban Centre, London, where he discovered and fell in love with Pilates. He went on to study it in more depth with Michael King, among others.

Louie brings his love of dance into his Pilates classes. Gentle, calm and relaxed, he combines dance principles with Pilates principles to ensure each movement blends effortlessly from one to the next, with a focus on alignment, flow, grace, strength and control.

By the end of the class, you’ll have an understanding of how to link the Pilates exercises and principles together in a flowing sequence.

Maria Ester

Maria is a Master Pilates Trainer and Healing Facilitator. She’s been an advocate of Pilates ever since it helped heal her chronic backpain.

She now uses it, in conjunction with energy techniques and energy healing transmissions, to facilitate healing in herself and others.

A Reiki and meditation devotee, Maria’s Pilates classes are unique. She refers to them as ‘spiritual fitness classes,’ as they include visualisations, breathing work, meditation and energy connections with higher realms of consciousness.

Her classes are often choreographed to music, as it has healing qualities.

Rima Majed

Rima qualified as a fitness instructor in 1997 and taught a range of high impact exercise classes in gyms across London.

Everything changed in 2001, when she suffered a serious knee injury during a class. Looking for a low impact method of exercise for rehabilitation, she tried Pilates and was amazed by the results - not only in her knee but in her posture, muscle tone, core strength and joint mobility.

She made the transition from student to teacher to show other people that there's a safe alternative to high-impact exercise.

In 2011, Rima opened Pilates Body Shape, a boutique Pilates studio in West London. Attend one of Rima’s classes and you can expect a fun, varied and challenging workout. She knows exactly how far to push people out of their comfort zone to get results. And her many delighted clients see significant improvements in strength, flexibility and muscle tone – quickly.

Renata Gruda

Polish-born Renata discovered Pilates after a boogieboarding accident in Delaware left her with a fractured back. The timing of the accident was unfortunate, as she was in the middle of training for 100-mile charity bike ride. She was committed to the event so pushed through the pain to continue training, but it got to the point where she couldn’t walk.

As part of her rehabilitation, she was told to try remedial Pilates. Amazed by how effective it was, she went on to train in mat and reformer Pilates.

Renata’s specialty is athletic conditioning. Try one of her classes and you can expect to work each muscle group to exhaustion, try a variety of classical and modern conditioning moves, and leave feeling fantastic.

She puts a lot of emphasis on the mind body connection in her classes. A trained psychologist, she believes that Pilates is as effective as any talking therapy for mental health issues.

Susana Ceballos

Originally from Mexico, Susana took up Pilates to correct spinal issues related to her former career as a dancer. When she realised how helpful it was, she decided to become an instructor to help others reap the benefits.

Qualified in essential mat work and advanced Pilates equipment, Susanna is also a qualified Physical Activity for Children Instructor. She's passionate about teaching Pilates to kids, to create body-posture awareness and prevent health problems in adulthood.

She says of her company, Kids Pilates in Action, “we make Pilates accessible for kids, with short, fun, age-specific sessions.”

Shari Berkowitz

Before discovering Pilates, Shari was a professional musical theatre performer. During a performance of ‘Grease’, she suffered a serious injury that left her partially paralysed.

After 1.5 years of physical therapy, including 6 months of Pilates, Shari regained the use of the left side of her body.

Once Shari found her passion for Pilates had overtaken her love of performing, she started The Vertical Workshop, from where she runs a teacher training program alongside the studio’s regular client workouts.

Although Shari’s vocabulary of Pilates exercises is classical, her teaching tools, workshops and sessions cover every style of Pilates and modality of exercise.

Tara Riley

Originally from Philadelphia, Tara trained as a competitive gymnast for 18 years. After retiring, she struggled to find a method of exercise that challenged her physically and mentally without irritating the injuries she sustained during her former career. Then she found Pilates.

Tara is a Balanced Body® Certified Pilates Instructor, Fusion PilatesTM for pregnancy and postnatal certified instructor and a BootyBarre® Plus and BootyBarre® Flex & Flow certified instructor.

She's passionate about helping her clients achieve better wellbeing by pushing them to find their limits and smash through them.

Book a class with Tara and you can expect a fun, dynamic, high energy workout that will sculpt the entire body.

Yasmine Say

Yasmine developed an interest in Pilates in her twenties, when she started suffering from running related injuries. After a few classes she was hooked. It helped keep her mobile, flexible and strong when she couldn’t do any high-impact training.

Her passion for Pilates led her to leave her job in Brand & Marketing and re-train as a Personal Trainer and STOTT mat Pilates instructor.

Yasmine’s Pilates classes are dynamic, with a strong focus on the Pilates breath. She also has a keen interest in yoga, so you can expect some elements of Vinyasa practise in her classes, to improve flexibility and create interesting transitions between exercises.