Meet The Team
Ann van Messel
BASI Pilates Instructor
Zhao Catherine Xu
Polestar Pilates Instructor
I love moving – swimming, biking, skiing, hiking, snowshoeing, climbing --name it and I probably want to do it. But my movement patterns usually left me in a ball of pain for weeks —until I discovered Pilates.
After a few months of Pilates twice a week, the numbness I had in one leg for several years disappeared for a few hours! I was hooked. I sought out my teacher’s teacher – Rael Isacowitz. The way my body felt after a session was magic so I knew I had to learn more. I completed the BASI Comprehensive Teacher Training in 2015 and started working with people daily. Over the years since, I have augmented my teaching with other courses - including Pathologies and Injuries; Pilates for the Athlete; Pilates for Neurological Conditions.
In 2019 I attended the BASI Mentor Program in order to extend my learning into human movement. Endlessly curious and constantly seeking, I love finding new ways of approaching movement.
My sessions are driven by the needs of the body that presents itself at that moment. My hope is that through becoming conscious of their own movement patterns my students will find their own freedom of movement, propelling them to move more and better without fear!
Pilates found me about 10 years ago, halfway through the pregnancy of my first daughter and starting to experience all sorts of body pain. I was fascinated by how some ‘simple-looking’ exercises could help me breathe more easily, feel taller, more balanced, and more in-control overall -all in a relatively short period of time. I was hooked; prior to Pilates I had little interest in sports aside from some yoga and a little badminton.
The more I practiced, the more I wanted to know. I enrolled in Polestar Pilates Teacher’s Training Courses - Mat and Reformer which I completed from beginner through advanced work in 2020. And my study continues.
I hope to help my students improve their ‘mindfulness’, so they may have a better mind-body connection, moving more freely, aligned and at ease in their bodies.
Classical Pilates Instructor
After completing my training in classical pilates I started a home studio (Spring Punk Pilates) in 2018. In 2021 I transitioned to teaching from commercial studios, specializing in duet and private sessions for clients with a variety of activity levels. In addition to my classical training, I have also been incorporating influences from other lineages (Stott & BASI) and drawn inspiration from other styles, e.g. Fuse pilates (Mariska Breland) and Glo Pilates (Anula Maiberg). With a background in biochemistry and science, my teaching philosophy is to join my students on a journey of exploration to learn their own bodies' preferences and pattern new, more balanced ways of movement. My focus on 'harnessing the power of the spring' in the various pieces of pilates equipment, essentially relies on the feedback of the springs as teacher to and inform different muscles/ muscle groups during dynamic movement. I view Pilates as the supporting platform which enables my students to do what they love to do outside the studio with strength, balance and resilience.