Why we opened our studio

Pilates and Gyrotonic gave me my life back...

Laura had been teaching Yoga, Mindful Movement, Hula, and Strength Training, along with doing massage therapy, at a resort on the Big Island of Hawaii. In 1999 Laura was training for her 1st degree black belt in mixed martial arts along with preparing for her third Hula competition. While rushing to work one day, a work injury (slip and fall) left Laura with a "severely" herniated disk and a torn disk in her low back, several bulging cervical disks, and a tear in her shoulder joint along with unrelenting pain. Barely able to walk, sit or get dressed without pain, she feared she'd not be able to test for her black belt and/or continue training for the upcoming dance competition. She knew mindful movement would help her heal these injuries just as they helped to heal the injuries of her past patients. However, Laura found that her lifelong practice of Yoga and strength training only aggravated her back condition, but did not understand why (at the time).   A friend suggested Pilates equipment training. Pilates taught her an important lesson: extrinsic strength (big muscles) is different than intrinsic strength and stability (small "core" muscles around the spine and joints). Laura had developed great extrinsic strength (she owned two Gold's Gyms in Southern California training bodybuilding and fitness competitors) yet had insufficient strength in her deep core and joint stability muscles which made her more prone to injury - thus the severity of her injuries from one fall. Through a combination of studying and training/certification in STOTT PILATES®, the Australian Method of Spinal Stabilization and Rehabilitation training, neuromuscular and myofascial massage (along with Mindfulness meditation and Chi Kung), Laura found she was able to heal her injuries and continue her active lifestyle. She has successfully tested for two black belts with these rehabilitated injuries and took first place in her black belt division as well as first place over all in a Creative Forms Competition in 2000 (photo at bottom left) and danced in multiple Hula and dance shows and competitions.

​In 2003, Steve was introduced to STOTT PILATES® and Massage through his wife Laura. Steve watched as these modalities allowed his wife to move from a place of fear and pain to ease and freedom. These same modalities later helped Steve to quickly and completely recover from a major shoulder surgery. His joint was re-built following several dislocations due to Moto-cross injuries (yes, that's Steve jumping his race bike high in the air - bottom right). Steve's surgeon at Queen's Hospital was shocked with how quickly and completely Steve was able to rehabilitate his shoulder. He was intrigued to learn more how Pilates and Massage made that possible. STOTT PILATES® and Massage also help to keep the nagging injuries that he experienced through years of intense sports (motocross, skateboarding, soccer, and kickboxing competitions) at bay.

In 2005, Laura and Steve were introduced to the Gyrotonic Methodology by Instructor-Trainer Matt McCulloch, Owner of Kinected (formerly with Pilates on Fifth) in New York City. Both found that the circular, spiraling, and undulating movements of Gyrotonic exercise showed them places that their bodies weren't moving since their accidents/surgeries (ways that had remained hidden with Martial Arts, Pilates and Yoga). Steve and Laura became certified Gyrotonic Trainers (and Laura a licensed Gyrotonic pre-trainer). By adding Gyrotonic exercise to their lives, both have found joy and ease in pleasurable fluid movement and enjoy assisting others in finding the same feeling.

In 2017, Steve and Laura moved back to Southern California to be closer to their son and their roots. And they brought all of their knowledge and expertise with them. Laura now offers STOTT Pilates sessions at Claremont Sanctuary Pilates and Gyrotonic exercise sessions and STOTT Pilates sessions at their private studio location in Montclair CA. 

Steve is currently recovering from two major knee surgeries. Steve will be returning to teaching once his recovery is complete, hopefully at the beginning of 2019.

Laura winning the Black Belt Creative Forms Division


Steve flying high with MotoX