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Meet the Owner...

Ayanna Makalani, owner of HEAL: Pilates, spent her childhood competing as a gymnast and turned to modern dance in college. Introduced to Pilates during rehabilitation for knee surgery, she found it to be the most effective therapy for her. Pilates stabilized and strengthened her knee & guided her back into her body with patience and understanding. Ayanna's also used Pilates to manage chronic back and neck pain. She is a certified instructor through BASI-Body Arts and Science International, and has been teaching Pilates since 2007. 

Synthia Malina

In New York City, Synthia studied dance through her twenties, Pilates integral to her training. Studying anew, parallel to a career in fundraising and adventures in parenting, Pilates offered rich pathways through spondylolisthesis and a shoulder injury. Synthia uses Classical Pilates principals coupled with contemporary movement and thought in classes and private instruction.

Elise Smith

Elise is a body positive instructor who came to Pilates and the GYROKINESIS® method through studying ballet as a young person. During her 15 years of classical ballet training, Elise discovered that the more seriously she trained the more frequently her hypermobile body was injured or in pain. Her ballet background and personal injury rehabilitation experiences inform her teaching on physical and emotional levels. In 2007 she received a comprehensive Pilates Instructor Certification through Long Beach Dance Conditioning under Marie-Jose Blom. In 2019 she became a certified GYROKINESIS® instructor. Elise has a trauma informed and harm reduction approach and works best with people healing from injuries, hypermobile people, queer and trans people, dancers, and people with eccentric personalities.

Vanessa Naja

Vanessa Naja is a Rehabilitation Specialist, Postpartum Corrective Exercise Specialist, Dancer and lover of nature.

Vanessa’s interest in anatomy, kinesiology and the therapeutic application of movement led her to Pilates in which she is comprehensively certified through Balanced Body University. She has done extensive studies both privately and academically in anatomy and body mechanics and she uses this knowledge to help her clients achieve balanced and effortless movement in their activities of daily living as well as any sports or dance activities in which they participate.

1053 Solano Ave. Albany, CA 94706 (510) 679-5055