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.
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.
Chelsea, traveler, scuba diver, music festival reveler, discovered Pilates as a Complimentary Alternative Medicine while studying for her Masters of Occupational Therapy in St. Augustine, FL. After graduation, she knew she had to learn more about Pilates. While working as a pediatric occupational therapist at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, TX, she completed Level I and II comprehensive certification through Peak Pilates. She later went on to complete Peak Pilates Level III comprehensive certification in South Carolina finishing her full comprehensive certification.
After moving back to Louisiana in 2015, she began working Children’s Hospital of New Orleans Outpatient Rehabilitation Clinic and continued teaching Pilates in New Orleans. She has seen the benefits of Pilates not only in her own body, but also within her practice as an occupational therapist and in rehabilitation. In 2018 she graduated and earned her certification from Real Pilates making her a 3rd generation Pilates Instructor under Alycea Ungaro. She has chosen two careers that foster a lifetime of continuing education. She loves to learn to improve her skills as a rehab therapist both in the clinic and in the studio.
After trying many different types of fitness and never really sticking to anything, Jessie took her first Pilates class about four years ago. Initially she was just looking for a workout that she liked enough to stick with, but found so much more in Pilates. For her, Pilates is a way to connect with and strengthen her body and clear her mind. It is the time during the day that she can commit to herself without concern for day to day stressors. Because the practice affected her so positively, Jessie became interested in learning Pilates more deeply. Initially, she began a mat Balanced Body certification and while looking for a studio that taught mat classes, she stumbled upon Grace Pilates and Yoga. She took her first class with Alix and knew that day that there was something special about this studio and the REAL Pilates method. It did not take long for her to decide she wanted to switch courses and become a Real Pilates apprentice. In 2018 she graduated from Real Pilates making her a 3rd generation Pilates Instructor under Alycea Ungaro. She is very excited to have worked with the best training program in the nation and in her (unbiased) opinion, the best people and instructors in New Orleans!
Jessie is originally from Michigan and moved to New Orleans in 2010. She works full time at Entergy in Supply Chain Management. She holds a BS in Supply Chain Management from Michigan State and an MBA from Loyola New Orleans. In her spare time Jessie enjoys shopping, traveling with her husband, Matt and exploring all of the food, festivals and fun that New Orleans has to offer!
A New Orleans native, Michele has always been physically active and dedicated to exercise. At a young age she was active in ballet, USA gymnastics, and USA swimming and later on became interested in biking, running, spinning, and CrossFit. In 2006, her curious nature led her to try a group Mat Pilates class. Pilates appealed to all her senses; the rhythmic and dynamic flow of the exercises, the focus on breath, the controlled movements and the challenge to always give a little more each and every class. Her desire to expand her understanding of Pilates and share these skills with others is what ultimately led her to Real Pilates and Grace Studio. She was fortunate to have an inspiring Pilates teacher who encouraged her to achieve this lofty goal to become a classical Real Pilates teacher.
In her spare time, Michele enjoys traveling the world, cooking and spending time outdoors relaxing with her husband at their country house. Mostly, she enjoys the simple pleasures of life, good friends, good food and great conversations with family and friends!
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.
Jessica Palma’s yoga experience has been about transformation. The physical challenges of yoga provided a natural familiarity for the former competitive NCAA gymnast, while the philosophy of yoga has given her tools she uses to approach life with a fearless attitude. Yoga has taught her the importance of living in the present and how one’s thoughts do not reflect one’s true self. This lesson and her continued yoga practice transformed her life.
Her classes are creative, athletic and challenging while remaining accessible for students of all levels. She guides her students step by step through intelligent and mindful sequences providing all of the components needed for each individual to feel successful. She encourages her students to challenge themselves while focusing on staying conscious of their body’s strengths and limits and making good decisions based on the present moment. Jessica’s emphasis on paying attention allows her students to create true change and growth, something they can take with them into their daily lives.
Jessica holds a Master’s Degree in Nursing and is a Board Certified Nurse Practitioner. She specializes in orthopedic care. In her practice, she emphasizes holistic self-care, patient education, empowerment and mindfulness based stress reduction. She leads both group based yoga and teaches privately in any setting. She completed her Vinyasa yoga 200 hour teacher training in Los Angeles under her friend and mentor, Liz Arch. Jessica lived in Honolulu from 2006-2018 and has since returned home to NewOrleans. Her husband is Reggie Palma, a bodyworker and structural integrative practitioner. Together, they are raising their beautiful son.
Caroline is a lover of movement, world traveler and devoted yogi. She earned a 400-hour CYT at Swan River Yoga studying with Michelle Baker, Kelly Haas, and Keith Porteous and has certifications in Restorative Yoga and Yoga Therapeutics. Caroline also studied Thai Yoga Massage Therapeutics in Chiang Mai, Thailand through the Sunshine School. Always looking to refine her skill set, she is currently pursuing a Personal Training Certification through NASM with a focus on muscular imbalances.
In her Restorative class expect hands on assist work for easing the nervous system and releasing tension. In her more challenging asana classes she combines yoga and strength training to create balance in the body’s musculoskeletal system. A lover of inversions and advanced asana, her classes are stimulating but meditative with a focus on mindfulness practices.
Rebecca was born and raised in New Orleans (well most of her life). She has tried to move away several times and the city always calls her back. She love the people and the attitude and how everyone comes together and still stay’s true to themselves.
Rebecca is a yoga nerd and not ashamed to say it and wear it proudly! After practicing on and off for 30 years, yoga became an integral part of her life in 2013. After a job change and a mind shift, she realized she needed more balance in her life and yoga spoke to her. Transform NOLA’s 200 Hour YTT found her and made her realize how much she wanted to share yoga too. Now she is looking to spread the word about yoga and its healing benefits to everyone.
She loves to bring high energy to her classes, with a variety of music and usually some witty repartee to keep the atmosphere light but the yoga intense. As a Certified Reiki Master, she also brings energy work and chakra study into all her practices.
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.
Megan is a New Orleans native, devoted wife, and mother of two amazing young boys. She grew up in Lakeview, graduated from Dominican High School, earned a degree in Massage Therapy from Delgado in 2008.
After practicing massage for 4 years, she branched out to start her own practice in 2012, and joined the team at Grace in Fall of 2018. Megan specializes in Swedish, Deep Tissue, and Sports Massage, and integrates all three into her routine.
In an effort to further her passion for healing the body, mind, and soul she completed the 400-Hour Swan River Yoga Teacher Training in Fall of 2018.