In life the more we overcome, the more we transform. Our desire is to hold a sacred space so our clients can choose grace in moments that challenge them. We believe the union of Classical Pilates and Yoga can bring this revolution of self. Choosing grace in moments of darkness allows us to persevere. When we choose grace, we invite courage; we cultivate strength and gratitude.
With our clients we create strong bodies and peaceful minds, and encourage them to share their stories. These are the stories that connect us, heal us, sustain us, and allow us to open to Grace.
A self-proclaimed “Pilates Nerd,” Alix Schaubhut left her career in nursing to pursue teaching classical Pilates in 2013. The Auburn University Alum, wife, and mother of two is deeply passionate about the preservation of the original work of Joseph Pilates. Alix began her education with a Power Pilates Comprehensive Certification. Shortly after completion, she was accepted to Real Pilates certification program studying under acclaimed second generation teacher Alycea Ungaro. As a third generation teacher, Alix is on a mission to continue to spread classical Pilates to the greater New Orleans Area. The long time dream to open Grace with partner Brigitte Martin came after Alix’s husband Carl was diagnosed with stage IV inoperable cancer for the second time. Alix emphatically credits both Pilates and Yoga as her “saving grace” through a very challenging time. Her dream is that Grace will become that place of refuge for all those seeking change, a place to honor the body, mind, and spirit.
Brigitte Martin is a dedicated and ever evolving mom, wife, yoga student, and teacher. She is the co-owner of Grace Pilates & Yoga. She has also for the past two years served as the Mentor to Michelle Baker of the 400 hr Swan River Yoga Teacher Training at Swan River Yoga. Some of the lineages that influence this training are Sivananda, Jivamukti yoga -with founders Sharon Gannon and David Life, and Ram Dass. She is grateful to teach yoga full time in New Orleans for the last 5 years and to have continued her training to include Restorative Teacher Training and Advanced Teacher Training.
Her mission is to offer healing and refuge to people who are in need. The ability to teach breath, build strength, and to cultivate gratitude for a healthy body is something Brigitte takes great pride in. Brigitte also received a certification in NYC in trauma sensitive yoga. She desires to work with veterans who suffer from PSTD to honor the life of her father Larry E Smith who was a Vietnam war hero.
Brigitte is honored to have the privilege of teaching yoga and looks forward to sharing this gift with others.
LEAD PILATES INSTRUCTOR
Sarah Hudson has explored many forms of movement, including dance, martial arts, and yoga.
Driven by a fascination with the natural world, Sarah earned her BS in Biology and for over 10 years assisted a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine. When she found Classical Pilates, she felt immediately that there was something unique and powerful about the method. For her, Pilates was the perfect intersect of her passion for movement and love of human physiology, and her dream of becoming a Pilates instructor was born.
Sarah completed her first 600-hour comprehensive certification through Power Pilates. Always looking to go deeper into the work, she has currently completed Alycea Ungaros REAL Pilates Teacher Training and is a third-generation Pilates Instructor.
Her passion for Joseph Pilates original method is reaffirmed with each client she teaches, and she is honored to be a part of the Grace family.
Mary Martha, wife and mother of three young adults, took her first Pilates class in 2003 and knew she had found the answer to her challenge with core strength. Katrina interrupted her Pilates practice, but she soon returned to Pilates and in 2010 earned her Mat Pilates certification through Power Pilates. She continued her studies and completed her 600+ hr comprehensive Pilates certification in early 2013. Last year she discovered the teaching of renown second generation Pilates teacher and author Alycea Ungaro. She was so impressed with a new depth and breadth of information as well as the new depth of work in her body that she bridged into a new comprehensive certification with REAL Pilates. She currently has over 1000+ hours of training.
She is a runner and has had a passion for fitness most of her life and in the last few years she has competed in endurance races, participating in marathons (including the 2009, 2012 & 2017 Boston Marathon), half-marathons, triathlons and a half ironman. Her latest accomplishment is the "Boston to Big Sur Challenge: 2 Marathons, 2 Coasts, 2 Weeks."
Mary Martha believes that she is an educator at heart, receiving a BA from Newcomb College and then elementary education certification at Tulane. It is her hope that through teaching her clients the principals of Pilates, they are able to gain strength and confidence in their bodies and therefore in themselves.
Nicole is happily married and the mother of two teenagers. She loves all physical fitness and has been practicing Pilates for nine years.
She first certified in Power Pilates mat and recently completed her Real Pilates Comprehensive training after discovering a deeper mind and body connection.
A graduate of LSU School of Design, and wife and mother of three boys. Her Pilates journey started 7 years ago when she was looking for a lower impact workout to help with an injured neck. She found more than she was looking for.
The full mind, body workout of Pilates and meeting Alix changed her life. As her passion for all things Pilates grew she wanted to learn more and got her Power Pilates mat certification this past spring.
She decided to become an apprentice with the Real Pilates Comprehensive Program at Grace to further her practice and hopefully to spread her love and passion for Pilates to everyone wanting to achieve their mind and body goals.
Tess was born in South Carolina, spent her childhood in the south of France, and grew up in Normal, Illinois. She earned a B.A. in Dance Performance and B.A. in Recreation Management from Illinois State University in 2014, and moved to New Orleans just a few days after graduation.
Tess has completed both mat and reformer Pilates teacher training through Balanced Body, and has been teaching Pilates professionally for 4 years. She is a recent apprentice graduate with Alycea Ungaros Real Pilates, and is thrilled to be expanding her knowledge and growing her Pilates practice.
Tess truly believes that as Joe said, change happens through movement, and movement heals and strives to help her clients create positive change in their lives through Pilates.
Mary has been in the Fitness Industry for 30 years - from owning and operating a Jazzercise Fitness Center, to working for a Corporate owned hospital Fitness facility. There she taught many of the exercise programs - Les Mills Body Flow, CXWORX, Body Attack, Barre classes and was the Lead Pilates Instructor for their Pilates Program for 10 years. She went on to work for a smaller privately owned Studio while continuing her Pilates education.
Wanting to further deepen her Pilates training she discovered Alycea Ungaro's Real Pilates Teacher Training Program. She has since then become a graduate of the program, and looks to the future for more in depth work that she can share and teach to others.
Amanda Day Vance (Mandy) has been practicing yoga for over 10 years. Why yoga? Because it is unity, it is one-ness, it is healing + strength + balance + surrendering + freedom + it is love and inspirational, it is life. Practicing yoga is how we become who we are and how we become strong, so that we can serve not only ourselves, but others as well. Mandy's life mission is to guide and heal through the beautiful teachings of all kinds, not only yoga, but in dharma, meditation, ayurveda, reiki and just life itSelf.
Mandy will give her heart to each and everyone who comes to the mat and those who just grace her life to share the teachings of her Soul.
Mandy is a graduate of 400 hour Swan River Teacher Training in New Orleans. She is currently training in Ayurveda and will soon graduate to become an Ayurveda Yoga Therapist. She is also completing her Reiki 1 series to help harmonize the energy within you. When not in the yoga studio, you will find Mandy traveling with her beautiful family and cooking and sharing recipes from her garden of life for her blog.
YOGA INSTRUCTOR/REIKI MASTER
Tim VanDerKamp is an author of two books: How to Conquer Negative Thinking; and Life Farming - The No-Luck required guide to getting what you want (available on Amazon.com).
He is a 350hr certified Yoga Teacher, a certified Reiki Master, and is a dedicated student/practitioner of yoga therapeutics/yoga alignment for older students. He also teaches meditation, and classes that are based on lessons from the Bhagavad Gita.
Rachelle was born and raised in New Orleans, is a Cabrini High School alumnae and graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2009 with a B.S. in Marketing and Legal Studies.
After graduating college, Rachelle moved to Denver, CO where she began to have a passion for fitness, specifically yoga. "Yoga saved my life and I always knew I wanted to share this passion to any and everyone." She always dreamed of teaching yoga, but something consistently held her back from signing up for teacher training in Denver. In 2016, she moved back to her hometown and without knowing anyone, signed up for Swan River Yoga's 400-Hour Teacher Training. She is excited and eager to share her love of yoga and the healing properties yoga can have on your body and mind with the community.
In her spare time, you will find her spending time with her family and her two furbabies. She loves being outside, at music festivals, trying new things, and traveling.
Harmony has been taking yoga about three years and enjoys that yoga connects her to her inner self, and also connects her to the community around her. Yoga gives us the ability to heal and nourish ourselves, so that we can take care of others more fully. She thinks that yoga can play a very important part in people’s lives.
Harmony graduated from Swan River’s 400 hour Teacher Training in Mid-City. She would love to expand her knowledge even deeper into yogic philosophy and the seven chakras. She is looking forward to continuing her education and to learn how to teach restorative and beginner classes as well.
Harmony spends her free time with her husband and his family and loves reading yoga books that she can gain more knowledge with. She also loves to travel and to meditate.
Michael has been flirting with the yoga practice on and of since he was a teenager. He is a retired dancer and has performed on stages all over the world, but truly feels drawn to the grounding and steadiness of yoga. He completed the 350hr Swan River Teacher Training in 2014 and has been teaching consistently ever since.
Ashtanga is his earliest and greatest influence, but his class style has grown to include a strong focus on alignment and modifying the practice to fit the practitioner. May all beings have the opportunities to be who they truly are.
Elesha Kelleher is a nutritionist as well as a devoted, busy mother of two. She enjoys Pilates, yoga and is part of many philanthropic organizations. She has over 15 years experience in nutrition counseling. Elesha worked as a Registered Dietitian in the clinical setting at Ochsner Medical Center and East Jefferson General Hospital. She also worked in sports nutrition at Ochsner’s Elmwood Fitness Center. Elesha is highly skilled in weight management, medical nutrition therapy, youth nutrition, eating disorders, and food allergies.
She has conducted a variety of nutrition seminars, including medical conventions. Elesha has written monthly articles for local publications in Health and Fitness and Greater New Orleans Living magazines, and has had many television appearances including Fox National News. Elesha earned a masters degree in Public Health from Tulane’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.
Nutrition services include: Meal Planning to meet specific individual lifestyle needs and goals to achieve maximum health; Tips on dining out; How to maximize your workout routine with better nutrition habits; Grocery store tours; Kitchen “food make over” conducted in your home.