Tom is an internationally recognized fitness and movement specialist. Beginning his full time career in personal training in 1984, Tom designs programs for health and life performance for working professionals, people rehabilitating from injuries and world-class athletes including Olympic Gold Medal swimmers Natalie Coughlin, Jenny Thompson and Misty Hyman. Teaching Pilates since 1995, Tom is a Master Instructor of Pilates and CoreAlign for Balanced Body. His teaching approach integrates several mind/body practices including Pilates, yoga, Shiatsu, stretching, The Franklin Method, BodyCode System and life coaching. Tom is committed to his own daily meditation and movement practice, which broadens his effectiveness in designing programs for balance and optimal health. In 2003, Tom produced the exercise video "Combining Pilates & Yoga for Balance." Tom and Center of Balance have been featured in several national magazines, newspapers and television programs.
Together with Tom, Karen owns and manages Center of Balance. She oversees the business, planning and financial matters of the studio as well as designs the marketing materials and maintains the website. Karen's background is in non-profit management and fundraising, communications, and international political advocacy. Her work has been mainly involved in global environmental and human rights issues, with focus in Central and South America. She was the Development Director of Pesticide Action Network and National Press Director for Oxfam America, an international development and disaster relief agency. She holds a BA in political science from Tufts University in Boston. Karen has been practicing Pilates and Yoga since 1997, and completed PhysicalMind Institute's Initiation 101 Pilates Mat training with Tom in 2001, and CoreAlign 1 & 2 in 2010.
Bridget keeps the studio running smoothly with her warm welcome and attention to scheduling. The "glue" of Center of Balance, she responds to inquiries and requests, schedules appointments, and manages our client database. She brings to Center of Balance a wide range of skills and experience in administration, data management and reception work.
Amy is a certified Pilates instructor, CoreAlign and Elvis "the Pelvis" instructor. She completed her training with PhysicalMind Institute and Tom McCook at Center of Balance. An experienced teacher by trade, Amy enjoys motivating and encouraging confidence through goal setting and personalized instruction. Her passion is to help clients improve postural awareness and develop efficient, healthy movement patterns for everyday living. Through Pilates and a balanced lifestyle, she has experienced her own healing from neck and shoulder pain and brings energy and enthusiasm to helping others experience freedom of movement.Back to Top
AnnaLena comes from a background of dance, competitive gymnastics and running. During her maternity leave from her Engineering Manager position at Applied Materials, she decided to get certified to teach Pilates. She quickly realized the benefits in her own body and the positive differences it made in her clients, and decided to leave the corporate world to make her passion for movement into her new career. She has been studying with Tom McCook at Center of Balance since 2006, when she received her Mat and Standing Pilates certification from PhysicalMind Institute, and completed her full equipment certification with Balanced Body Education. In 2010, she completed the CoreAlign teacher training. AnnaLena brings energy and spirit to her sessions, and is dedicated to helping each client reach their potential as they gain strength, balance, and flexibility, and inspire them to bring healthy movement into their daily life.Back to Top
Evangeline came to Pilates at age 16 because of back pain and it became a vehicle for her healing. Wanting to share this with others, she took part in Ellie Herman's San Francisco Pilates certification in 2000. She has a B.A. in Dance from Mount Holyoke College where she also studied biology, anatomy and music. She has led Ellie Herman trainings in Korea and the US. She studied Pilates-based rehabilitation with Lizz Roman and Nora St. John, and became a Balanced Body Faculty member in 2007. Since starting at Center of Balance in 2008, Evangeline has added BodyKey, CoreAlign and Yoga to her teaching repertoire. She completed a 500-hour yoga teacher training at YogaWorks in San Francisco. Evangeline regularly assists Tom McCook in leading new students through the Balanced Body teacher training process. Today, she takes every opportunity available to improve her teaching by continuing her own education in anatomy, scoliosis, yoga and the latest Pilates concepts. In her classes, she promotes a noncompetitive environment and teaches students to develop strength and relaxation through a disciplined and mindful practice.Back to Top
Juliet is a certified Pilates instructor through PhysicalMind Institute with an extensive background in classical ballet and a certification in Anusara-based Yoga. Teaching Pilates since 1999, she is skilled at working with beginners to advanced movers. With her deep and broad knowledge of functional movement and anatomy, she guides clients to not only understand an exercise itself but also how their body best performs the exercise. Juliet’s goal for her clients is that they gain an intimate understanding of the Pilates technique and how it applies to their individual body, so they may use it in all movements they do. This helps each student understand how to prevent or heal from injury and keep the whole body balanced and aligned.Back to Top
Katja is a certified Pilates and CoreAlign instructor, personal trainer and Aikido black belt. She was introduced to Pilates as a way to recover from an Aikido injury and quickly realized how it helped her to heal faster, move more efficiently and develop a better understanding of connections within her body. Katja received her formal Pilates training with Tom McCook at Center of Balance and found her path to teaching by integrating her skills as a former teacher in the Swiss school system, her fitness background, and her 12+ years of Aikido experience. She believes that Pilates helps the body to move in a healthier, more functional way, expressing its natural strength and beauty. In her teachings, Katja is patient, kind, precise and observant.Back to Top
Leifann Brownstein MA, PMA®-CPT is a skilled instructor of Pilates and a proponent of its positive benefits for health and well being. Although practicing fitness at the time, Leifann discovered a passion for Pilates through her struggle to deal with debilitating back problems. She gained amazing strength and alignment with her Pilates training, learning benefits far beyond solely alleviating pain. Wanting to share these benefits with others, Leifann completed her mat and equipment teacher training from Pilates Unlimited (Karen Sanzo, 2006) and Pilates Core Integration (Virginia Nicholas, 2010, Eve Gentry lineage). She received certifications through the Pilates Method Alliance, ACE group fitness, and the National Posture Institute (NPI) as a Posture Specialist. She has served as faculty adjunct at Arizona State University teaching yoga and Pilates. She has also served as a Ki-Aikido instructor. Leifann enjoys helping others discover the restorative properties of healthy movement while assisting them in their fitness goals.Back to Top
Michiko Wade is a certified Pilates instructor and completed PhysicalMind Institute's teacher training with Tom McCook at Center of Balance. She was introduced to Pilates in 2002 because of her chronic lower back pain. She learned through Pilates how to eliminate/minimize pain with correct alignment and by creating length in the spine. In 2010, she completed the CoreAlign teacher training. Michiko enjoys outdoor sports including jogging and hiking in nature. She is committed to helping people who want to develop functional strength and flexibility and create balance in life.Back to Top
Owen has been teaching Pilates and Yoga full-time in the Bay Area since 2002. He is a certified Physical Mind Institute Apparatus, Mat and Standing Pilates instructor. He began his studies and teaching of Pilates with nationally-recognized Pilates Master teacher Tom McCook, founder of Center of Balance in Mountain View, CA. He credits Tom's mentorship & coaching as key factors in his rapid development and success in teaching movement full time. In 2005, Owen began studies with Eric Franklin, founder of the Franklin Method, combining vivid imagery and experiential anatomy to help people navigate their bodies with greater ease and facility. Owen is a Level 2 Franklin Method Movement Educator. He is also certified by Pino Carbone of Body Code Systems in Bodykey instruction and completed the CoreAlign teacher training in 2010. Owen's Yoga teaching is founded on a combination of his personal practice of Iyengar and Ashtanga Yoga and more recently influenced by the Core driven styles of Ana Forrest and Jill Miller, with whom Owen recently completed his Level 2 Yoga Tune Up® certification. Yoga Tune Up®, developed and created by Jill Miller, is a "whole body" regenerative fitness system integrating elements of Yoga, calisthenics and body therapy.Back to Top
Sue Meadows is a Pilates Method Alliance Certified instructor. She completed her Pilates certification training with Nora St. John and has trained with Valentin, Tom McCook, and Elizabeth Larkam, plus Stott and Powerhouse Pilates. She has been in the health and fitness industry since 1984 as a health promotion consultant, group exercise instructor and personal trainer. In the transition into the second half of her life, Pilates has been a major influence in Sue's personal and professional growth. She blends technical expertise, creative style and contagious enthusiasm, guiding clients to enrich their bodies and lives through movement.Back to Top
Therese is a Physical Therapist, Polestar Certified Pilates instructor and CoreAlign teacher. She earned her Master's degree in Physical Therapy in 1993 and has received additional training in McKenzie and Maitland based manual therapy. Therese began studying Pilates exercise with Master instructors Brent Andersen, P.T. and Elizabeth Larkham, M.A. in 1998. Through this experience, she learned how valuable Pilates work is in the rehabilitation of orthopedic and sports related injuries. Therese enjoys creating fun, innovative programs geared towards helping individuals restore balance, strength and healthy movement.Back to Top
For many years, Brody was our unofficial greeter and could sometimes be found beneath the front desk conserving his energy. Gentle and sweet, he specialized in human affection and may have licked your toes in exchange for a pat on the head. Brody passed away October 2008 and we miss him dearly. We adopted him from Golden Gate Labrador Retriever Rescue, an organization in need of loving homes for rescued Labs - particularly in this tough economic climate and home foreclosure crisis, pets are now much more vulnerable to abandonment.Read More About Brody...