Martha has been teaching Pilates since 1990, was certified in Gyrotonic® in 2003, GYROKINESIS® in 2005, is a Level II certified Gyrotonic® instructor, and is a Gyrotonic® and GYROKINESIS® Pre-Trainer for instructor candidates. She is currently in the Gyrotonic® Master Track Program.
Pilates Training: From 1990-93, Martha studied Pilates with and taught under the guidance of Romana Kryzanowska, who inherited Joseph Pilates' studio in New York City. She also was greatly influenced as a teacher by Bob Liekens, who was her mentor during the certification training.
Martha was the first instructor in Massachusetts to have participated in the (then) only national intensive, 2-year certification program, and taught many of the first-generation Pilates instructors in this region. Martha is proud to have Upward Spiral Studio be a Participating Training Center with Power Pilates®.
Gyrotonic® Training: Martha was drawn to Gyrotonic® exercise in 2001 when she felt the need to open up her spine and other joints as an aging dancer. She trained with Sebastian Plettenberg and became certified in 2003. She attributes Gyrotonic® exercise for extending her performance career into her 40’s.
Influencing Martha's teaching and knowledge of movement are her 19 years of classical ballet training as part of a 35-year dance career involving modern and African dance, circus arts and had an international career. and had an international choreographic, performance and teaching career spanning 23 years, including ten years directing and touring with Snappy Dance Theater. Martha has a keen eye and a warm heart. She is strict, loves to laugh and helps clients to improve while enjoying the process. Martha works with many professional athletes and dancers as well as with an aging population dealing with the issues that arise with time, gravity and wear & tear. She has rehabilitated both her own knees after bilateral ACL surgery, as well as her back, after upper and lower disc issues. She thus has much interest regarding knees, disc injuries and working with disabled clients (click here for article written by Kate Wilson). Martha has completed therapeutic trainings in Gyrotonic® Applications for Hip Replacement with Hilary Cartwright, Shoulder Girdle/ Cervcal Spine Issues, Pelvic Girdle/Lumbar Spine issues and Applications for Scoliosis with (either or both) Paul Horvath and Uwe Herbstreit.
Martha was a guest teacher at the Roy Hart Theatre in Malerargues, France in 2001—is fluent in French—and has taught on the faculty of the Boston Conservatory and the Boston Ballet Summer Program, and Jose Mateo's Summer Ballet Program. Every year, she and her husband spend time in a special town in Provence (they have a home there that they rent to clients) where she loves to bike and cook.
Bess is a classically trained dancer in both ballet and modern dance, and brings that background to her teaching. In dance, she has trained with the School of American Ballet, Joffrey Ballet School, Parsons Dance Company, performed with Ballet Theatre of Annapolis (now Ballet Theatre of Maryland), and was a member of Boston's internationally touring Snappy Dance Theater 2000-2007. Pilates helped Bess develop deep core strength and stay in top shape for partnering (lifting men!) and performing with Snappy. After managing an office and needing a career change, in 2003, Bess became certified in the classical style of Pilates through POWER PILATES®. She studied with veteran master trainers from New York City. In 2007, Bess became certified in Gyrotonic® exercise Level I, studying with Adrianna Thompson. Gyrotonic® exercise helped her find an even deeper awareness of her body and learn to move with strength and ease simultaneously, to not work so hard in the joints.
Bess’ teaching style emphasizes precision and quality of movement, while moving fluidly, finding strength and grace simultaneously. She enjoys helping a client find a deeper awareness of his/her body and what it is capable of. She teaches one to exercise mental focus while working the body, to let go of tension and stress, and to find relaxation and ease in the body’s workout. Outside the studio, Bess enjoys spending time with her husband and their son Max, being outdoors, choreographing and dancing, and practicing power Vinyasa Yoga when she can.
Paula Spina's interest in movement began with and grew out of her early experience with gymnastics. During the 1980s, her interest was sparked again as a result of her studies in dance with former Boston Ballet dancer, Jimmy Raye, whose concept of movement was enriched by a concern with elegance and line. In the course of her studies with choreographer Tomas Molinaro, Paula began to participate in Pilates mat work as a warm up for dance, and soon progressed to Pilates as an independent discipline.
Paula has been a practitioner and devotee to the method for well over thirteen years, during which time she has studied with various Guild certified instructors. She received her certification through Peak Pilates under the instruction of Master Trainer Clare Dunphy, and Pam Garcia, Senior Trainer for Peak Pilates and Progressive Body Works. Thus far, her ongoing education in the art has been furthered through workshops with Micheal Fritzke, Ton Vooght, Micheal Rooks and Lolita San Miquel, and will surely involve more workshops and comprehensive study in the future.
As an enthusiastic and committed teacher, Paula focuses on helping clients to fulfill their personal goals and reach their fullest potential. Her mission is to stay true to the method as it was designed by Joseph Pilates. Her philosophy is to trust the method as it unfolds, and to watch the magic of the work as the client becomes stronger, more flexible, and more aligned. As clients develop their mind-body connection through breath and flow, they gain access to a deeper level of work. Paula aims to enhance her clients' capacity to reach this level of depth, and to make new discoveries about their own power to change. Her varied teaching experience includes work with senior citizens and athletes, as well as with clients who want to attain greater levels of fitness, focus, and discipline.
Paula feels grateful for the gift of being able to teach, and especially for her three gorgeous daughters, Marcella, Sofia and Natalia.
Barbara, a Swiss native, holds a M.Sc. in Neuropsychology and Clinical Psychology from the University of Berne, Switzerland. Before moving to Boston, Barbara worked in the Department of Worksite Health Promotion of a company, developing and leading several projects to improve the employees' health behavior and reduce stress-induced illnesses at work. With a lifelong passion for movement, more than 10 years of modern dance, trampolining, ballet and Power Yoga training, Barbara started her Pilates Certification training after relocating to Boston in 2008. She received her comprehensive certification through Power Pilates® in June 2009, studying with Nora Gomez-Dears and Kathy van Patten.
She believes in life-long learning and keeps her knowledge and passion alive by taking workshops and classes with teachers such as Bob Liekens, Lolita San Miguel, Susan Moran-Perich, Nora Gomez-Dears and more. She believes in Pilates as a way to develop a strong and healthy mind-body connection. Barbara is a faculty member at the Dance Division of the Boston Conservatory, teaching Pilates to dance students. She is also involved in ongoing research studies at Umass Medical School in Worcester, combining her background in Psychology and Health Promotion with her knowledge and passion in movement and exercise. When not teaching Pilates, Barbara loves to cook, read, hike and be with friends.
Patrishya began her early dance training in Australia and Brazil. She holds a BFA Cum Laude in Modern Dance from the University of Utah, and was awarded a teaching fellowship to gain her MFA in Dance Choreography and Performance from Smith College. She was twice awarded scholarships to the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival. After performing professionally for over 20 years Patrishya became a Certified Instructor of The Pilates Method of Body Conditioning (2000), training in New York City with Master Teacher Romana Kryzanowska.
She is a certified Level I GYROTONIC® exercise Instructor (2006) training with Master Teachers Kathy Van Patten and Adrianna Thompson. In 2008 Patrishya retired from teaching Ballet at the Boston Ballet Center for Dance Education after 19 years. Patrishya continues her studies in Pilates, Gyrotonic, dance and Anusara yoga. She honors Margot Parsons, Leah Chebac and Pamela Gaither as her most influential teachers.
Having always been inspired and enthralled by the physics of movement and alignment, her eclectic teaching style synthesizes her dance, yoga and extensive anatomy and kinesiology training to enable her clients to experience the joys of moving freely.
Specialty Focus: dance and sports injuries, hypermobility, arthritis.
Karyl Maheras began studying Pilates in 1994 with Martha Mason, founder of the oldest Certified Pilates studio in Massachusetts and became certified in 2000 through the Pilates Guild in New York City under the instruction of Romana Kryzanowska. She continues to work with Ms. Mason today, and through the years has worked with many other prestigious instructors, including Master Trainer Bob Liekens, Master Trainer Clare Dunphy of Peak Pilates, Patrishya Fitzgerald and Debra Salkov (Physical Mind).
In 2001, Karyl began to study the Gyrotonic Expansion System® with Martha Mason and took the intensive GYROKINESIS® level one certification course with Master Trainer Sebastion Plettenberg. Later, under Master Trainer Kathy Van Patten, she took the Gyrotonic® exercise level one certification course. She also took beginner level 2 GYROKINESIS® with Adriana Thompson in 2008 and continues to improve her understanding of both disciplines through workshops and private practice.
At age 5, Karyl studied ballet, downhill skiing, gymnastics, and stayed active with softball, soccer and lacrosse through high school. She began practicing yoga in her early teens and skied with the Boulder’s University of Colorado ski team. After transferring to Colorado State University, she earned a BS in accounting with a minor in theater arts. Though not a professional dancer, she has extensively used modern, jazz, and ballet classes to improve her form, alignment and balance.
Throughout the course of her active life, Karyl sustained many injuries and surgeries. She has personally found great success in the rehabilitation process through Gyrotonic® exercise and Pilates because of the increase in core strength, proper alignment and coordination of breath with movement that they have provided her. Karyl’s background of yoga and concentrated studies of the Alexander Technique has greatly influenced her style of instruction.
Joanne is a recent transplant from Brooklyn, NY, where she taught on faculty at Mark Morris Dance Center from 2005-2011. Prior to that, she danced professionally with companies in San Francisco and New York, including Joe Goode, Jennifer Monson, KneeJerk Dance Project, OnSite Dance Company, and her own Gravytrain Dance Performance Troupe. In 2000, Joanne co-created a television show for kids called move it! and sold the program to Sesame Workshop. In 2008 she directed and produced Body Job a short documentary film profiling three people who transform sedentary jobs into physical ones.
Joanne enjoys bringing the experience of movement to dancers and non-dancers alike. The system of GYROTONIC®, which facilitates fluid motion and activates deep core strength, unlocks the body and allows people to discover new and invigorating physical patterns. There are many levels to GYROTONIC®— it is a challenging technique— but it is truly the sensation of the form— the delicious feeling of moving the spine and limbs in circular motions-- which keep her returning to it. She was originally certified in GYROTONIC® in 2002, and taught for a brief period at Village GYROTONIC® in Manhattan, before having her kids in 2004 and 2007. She was recently re-certified in the Boston area with Veronique Breen from Charles River GYROTONIC®. She is very pleased to join the team of inspired instructors at Upward Spiral Studio.
Josie first came to Pilates in 2005 as a dancer looking for an intelligent way to heal her body after many years of injuries.
Josie first studied with Bess Whitesel and Martha Mason and received her 600-hour certification from the Fitness Guru in New York City in 2007, where she went on to become a certified instructor in 2010. She has also studied at New York studios The Kane School, Kula Yoga Project, and Pilates on Fifth. In addition, she has training in Pilates for injury prevention and recovery, for pre- and post-natal women, and for breast cancer survivors, as well as yoga, TRX® Suspension Training®, kettlebells, and cardio/strength training.
In addition to her Pilates training, Josie is an accomplished choreographer. She has worked on several national tours, at the Kennedy Center, and on Broadway and currently has a production company in NYC and is in the process of creating new musicals for Broadway. In addition, she teaches acting at Emerson College.
Josie lives in the Boston area with her husband and their son, Redd.
Antonio is Pilates mat certified through the Equinox Training Institute in Boston. His Pilates journey began in college when he was looking for ways to gain a competitive edge and realign the damage done to his body on the tennis court. After a short stint playing APT satellite tournaments, he transitioned from the grind on the court to the grind in the office. With fitness and Pilates always being in his heart, he decided to follow his Pilates passion and pursue a formal certification.
Antonio loves teaching a range of classes from restorative to bootcamp; classical to cardio-based, all the while layering strength-building movements with traditional Pilates principles. His goal is to strengthen his students’ bodies and minds and to give them an enhanced physical awareness and confidence.
Sergio is a specialist in fitness for the older body. He has a genuine interest in improving people's general fitness and is open to meeting the individual's needs, listening to the client and their feedback and concerns. It is very important the client has a positive experience with their body conditioning. Sergio is certified through Power Pilates, the PMA (Pilates Method Alliance), and by the 'PACE ' foundation to work with people affected with arthritis. He is also a Pranavayu yoga teacher. Sergio Vinci teaches in several studios in the greater Boston area.
As a loyal practitioner and Pilates Instructor, certified in Power Pilates Mat and Peak Pilates Level 1 and 2, I believe in preserving the Pilates method in its classical form. The Pilates method taught in its classical form encourages proper breathing, control, centering, precision, and flow of movement. Embark with me on this empowering lifelong journey for balance, strength and vitality of the mind and body.
7 Temple St. (Entrance in rear on Bishop Allen St. at handicap ramp) • Cambridge, MA • 617.491.2940 • email@example.com