Pilates and Yoga Center of St. Louis
Certified Instructors at the  the  Pilates and Yoga Center of St. Louis

Instructor Bios

Karen PrechtlMary ZorichRebecca Milton Inessa SantosValerie Kit Love
Karen ProperMartha Allen • Tami Lowe Diane CarrJacqueline Fritz
Amber Specter Sarah HuxMelissa Murdock Patty St. John Webb
Lucy T. HolmesAnna WelkeVicki Atlas Israel

Our Pilates Equipment Classes are taught only by certified Pilates instructors

Karen PrechtlKaren Prechtl
Karen Prechtl is the owner of the Pilates Center of St Louis. Karen has been in the fitness industry since 1993. She is at her fourth and favorite location in Ladue which has been open since 2008. Karen has an extensive knowledge about and experience with movement. She has a degree in music and a background in dance. She started teaching fitness classes in St. Louis and found that teaching Pilates would be the next logical step. In 1993, Karen opened the first Pilates studio in St. Louis and never looked back. Karen had the privilege of doing her initial training at the Pilates Center of Boulder with Pilates elder, Romana Kryzanowska. She learned about the importance of form and was reminded that Pilates techniques really could help heal improper movement patterns and help relieve stress and pain. She recently became a certified Teacher Trainer with Balanced Body, an internationally acclaimed certifying organization. The Pilates Center of St. Louis hosts workshops for aspiring teachers and does ongoing training for our talented staff of instructors. More than ever, Karen enjoys sharing the wonderful benefits of this method of conditioning the body and awakening the mind.TOP


Mary ZorichMary Zorich
Mary Zorich studied Pilates in 1998 with Karen Prechtl to help with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue and arthritis pain. It helped so much that after a year, she was off disability and started teaching Pilates part-time. In 2003 Mary graduated from the PILATES center in Boulder's well-known teacher training program. Mary loves working with all types of clients, but particularly people with any kind of chronic pain syndrome. Prior to her pilates life, Mary was an executive with the May Company, where she traveled extensively overseas, developing all areas of merchandise as well as quality control programs. TOP


Rebecca MiltonRebecca Milton
Rebecca has had a life-long interest in physical activity. Involved in dance at an early age, she began realizing the importance of form, coordination, and confidence. She received her BSN and in 1994, she became an RN, working in women’s and children’s health. She got involved in group exercise around the same time and taught fitness in the St. Louis area. In 2005, she became certified as a Health Fitness Instructor through the American College of Sports Medicine working as a personal trainer. With this certification, she was able to combine her two passions: helping women with wellness through both health and movement. Her mission is to help clients achieve a healthy balance between self-improvement and self-acceptance through exercise, nutrition, and self-appreciation. In 2010, Rebecca completed her Pilates certification through the Balanced Body University Teacher Training program here at the Pilates Center of St. Louis. Since then, she has been teaching here at our studio, leading students through sensible, yet powerful workouts. She has helped students gain confidence and self-acceptance, and to have an understanding of their bodies through Pilates. Students leave their workouts with Rebecca feeling strong, centered, and with a great knowledge about movement. TOP


Inessa Santos Inessa Santos 
Inessa Santos has been studying the Pilates Method since 2007 and is certified through Pilates PhysioServ (Applied to Physical Therapy), in Brazil. When she learned the Pilates Method, she fell in love with it and has yet to stop developing herself and discovering new techniques, including personally taking advantage of it during her two pregnancies. Inessa went on to graduate school in Brazil, where she has acquired her knowledge about anatomy, biomechanics and Physical Therapy. Inessa also has specialization in Neurological rehabilitation and she has trained all types of clients, in particular, people with injuries. She loves working with challenging exercises to make the clients stronger and satisfied. TOP


Valerie Kit Love Valerie Kit Love 
Valerie Kit Love brings 42 years of practice and instruction in Yoga & Pilates to the studio. Valerie is certified in Pilates through Boulder & Stott Pilates and completed her Yoga training at the Kripalu Center of Yoga & Health, where she eventually became faculty in the specialty of Integrative Yoga Therapy. She developed the Life Mastery Yoga Program and served as Director of the program for 13 years. Valerie holds a number of Certifications and Degrees which have given her a well-rounded approach to both Pilates and Yoga. She is a Registered Occupational Therapist with a Fitness Exercise emphasis, which was acquired from the University of Tulsa and is certified as a Resistance Training Specialist. Valerie started her own business, Valerie Kit Love Yoga/Pilates of Oklahoma City, which operated successfully until she chose to relocate to the St. Louis area.  TOP


Karen ProperKaren Proper
Karen Proper began her Pilates practice in 2006, and quickly fell in love with the Pilates method and what it did for her body. Having also been an accomplished triathlete and cyclist, Karen has great appreciation for the feeling and benefits of the low impact nature of Pilates. Karen became certified through the Balanced Body program so that she could share her passion for Pilates with others. TOP



MarthaMartha Allen
Martha’s love for Pilates dates back to her high school days when she was a student dancing at COCA in St. Louis, MO. After a dance injury, Pilates was instrumental in her recovery. Her passion for Pilates continued through her college years as Pilates was part of the dance curriculum at University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA where Martha received her BFA in Modern Dance. After dancing with Dayton Contemporary Dance Company 2 in Dayton, OH Martha returned home to pursue other dance opportunities.  In August of 2013 Martha began her certification training under classically trained Mary J Brown, through The Core Center. Martha is thrilled to share her love of Pilates and knows first-hand the transformative qualities Pilates has for the mind, body, and spirit. TOP

Tami LoweTami Lowe
Tami has dedicated over 15 years to the fitness industry.  She is a Master Pilates Instructor and Personal Trainer.  She has trained all levels of fitness from the beginning novice to the professional athlete.  She is certified with Balance Body and Peak Pilates, being trained in both classical and contemporary methods.  She was the Pilates Coordinator and Teacher Trainer for Lifetime Fitness, training and mentoring her students to be certified instructors.  Tami spent the last few years operating studios in Boca Raton and Boynton Beach and is thrilled to be back home in St. Louis and at the Pilates Center! TOP

Diane CarrDiane Carr
Diane Carr has been teaching classical Pilates in Los Angeles since 2003. She recently moved back to her hometown St. Louis, where she is a Pilates instructor for the Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University, her alma mater. Diane has worked with men and women of all ages and abilities, and specializes in helping those who have been injured or are dealing with chronic physical challenges. She has taught for some of the most recognized names in the business, including Mari Winsor, and has been an avid student of many other schools of thought on the healthy development of mind, body and spirit for over 30 years.

Some of the clients Diane has had the pleasure of working with over the years are: Olympic gold-medal swimmer Ous Mellouli; photographer and filmmaker Anton Corbijn (U2, Depeche Mode); actor Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy); and actress Kate Walsh (Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice). TOP

JaJacqueline Fritz
Originally from St. Louis, Jacqueline was introduced to Pilates in her teens while dancing at Pacific Northwest Ballet and State Ballet of Missouri. She received her Pilates certification from the Kane School of Core Integration in New York, where she lived for over a decade and danced with numerous contemporary choreographers. She holds a Master’s degree in Global Communications and Design Studies from The American University of Paris, and has taught Pilates, yoga and dance throughout the United States, France, Japan and Costa Rica. She is well versed in anatomy, identifying biomechanic inefficiencies in the body causing pain, and facilitating rehabilitation from injury, ranging from hip replacements to navigating rheumatoid arthritis. Jacqueline’s instruction focuses on enhancing the overall quality of her clients’ lives by creating movement programs that encompass the needs and goals of each individual.  TOP

Amber SpecterAmber Specter
Amber Specter has been practicing Pilates for 11 years. In February 2016, she began the Balanced Body Instructor training with Rebecca Milton and is excited to share the joy of this exercise as an instructor. Pilates gives her energy and strength and has completely changed her body and the way she moves in everyday life. When Amber is not working or studying Pilates, she loves to travel and spend time with her husband and two young boys.  TOP


Sarah HuxSarah Hux
Sarah Hux started practicing the Pilates method in 2012. During this time, she has completed 5 half Ironman races and 2 full Ironman races and to help further diversify her personal fitness goals, Sarah started practicing Pilates while living in Brazil. She quickly recognized the benefits Pilates could bring to improving her overall fitness level and health. In February 2016, she began the Balanced Body Instructor training with Rebecca Milton. Pilates has become an integral way of life for her and a way to supplement her Triathlon training to make her a better athlete.  TOP


Melissa MurdockMelissa Murdock
Melissa fell in love with Pilates in 2013 when she took her first mat class at her local gym on her birthday. Her appreciation and passion for dance moved her to introduce Pilates into her fitness routine. Although not technically trained in dance, Melissa has been dancing since she can remember mainly to Latin rhythms from her native Venezuela and neighboring Latin American countries. Melissa is a tirelessly inquisitive learner who has found her niche in Pilates and is forging her path to create a brand that helps athletes, artists, and those interested in living life to their fullest develop into the best version of themselves by incorporating movement awareness into their lifestyles. Melissa is a dedicated, enthusiastic, and compassionate instructor who is being mentored by Rebecca Milton as she completes the Balanced Body Instructor training. Melissa is a firm believer of whole living, combining the pillars of spiritual, mental, and physical health into daily life. She enjoys doing life with family and friends, cooking, eating, learning about people and cultures, languages, and traveling.   TOP

pattyPatty St. John Webb
Patty St. John Webb is a certified and qualified professional massage practitioner, with over 20 years experience in clinics and therapy centers in Missouri. In 1997, Patty established the St. John Relaxation Center, building a strong client base in Kirkwood, Webster, Rock Hill and South City. The Center is currently based in South City and Webster. TOP



Lucy HolmesLucy T. Holmes, C.O.T.A., Yoga Therapist, has been practicing and teaching yoga for over twenty years. Her background includes training in the Dynamic, Iyengar, Anusara, Astanga, Kripalu, and Bikram traditions of yoga. She completed her first 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training at Kripalu in 1994, and from 2002 to 2004 she attended a state certified, 723 hour advanced studies program in Piedmont, California where she focused on Yoga for Disabilities. In addition she holds a degree as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant and has worked as a home health caregiver since 2009. Lucy has worked with a variety of populations, including seniors and those with mental and physical disabilities. Her approach is also informed by her practice of massage therapy 1989 through 2004, and through her participation in Native American and Buddhist ceremony and teachings, experiential education, music and dance. She currently practices Tai Chi and Therapeutic Horsemanship, and has a strong love of the out-of-doors. In January 2016 Lucy traveled to Kerala, India for an immersion in yoga philosophy, meditation, chanting, and ritual. TOP


Anna WelkeAnna Welke, started her Pilates training with BBU's Karen Sanzo in Dallas and finished here at the Pilates Center of St. Louis with Beth Ruder.  Prior to Pilates, she trained to be a Yoga teacher with Pam Schulte of Just Practice Yoga. Anna, a former lawyer, left corporate America nine years ago to fulfill her dream to teach; a dream that began sixteen years ago when she journeyed into a yoga practice which then led her to Pilates.  Anna taught at this studio until three years ago when she moved to Dallas.  She is delighted to be back.  She takes great joy in assisting her students' self explorations through the medium of Pilates and seeing them enrich their lives through improving their well-being. TOP


Vicki Atlas IsraelVicki Atlas Israel, CGIP
As a Certified Mind-Body Therapist, Vicki is passionate about helping people thrive with meditation. After years of suffering with anxiety and sleepless nights, Vicki rediscovered the power of Guided Imagery and meditation. What is special about Vicki is that she has a trained radio voice to help others heal and transform their lives. She will help you unleash your inner wisdom through a technique she calls “Mindful Visualization.”

Vicki has attended workshops and training with Dr. Joe Dispenza, Best-Selling Author, Neuroscientist and Chiropractor featured in the movie, “What the Bleep Do We Know.” Learning the latest on neuroscience, brain plasticity, and the impact of guided meditation to help calm and rewire the brain, Vicki uses this knowledge to help her clients in workshops and custom sessions. She also has been trained and is certified as a Guided Imagery Practitioner through One Health Academy for Integrative Medicine.  Now she owns Heart Talk Now…Power Up Your Life Through Guided Mediation.

As a former Radio Talk Show Host, with a “soul-soothing” voice, Vicki is also a Media Specialist and owner of Atlas Media Productions. She has won numerous awards for her videos and documentaries, and has conducted live business training. She brings this same enthusiasm and expertise to her custom sessions, workshops, and original programs for Heart Talk Now. TOP


Pilates and Yoga Center of St. Louis
Pilates and Yoga Center of St Louis
9825 Clayton Road, Ladue, MO. 63124

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