About our teachers

Katie Atkins-Castillo

Choreographer/Dancer/Certified Pilates trainer. A native of Arizona, Katie’s career began on the West Coast. She danced professionally in San Francisco before she graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of performing arts with her MFA in 2000. While at Tisch, Katie studied with Pilates Elder Kathy Grant. Kathy is one of only two people to be certified by Joe Pilates himself.

In October of 2001 Katie moved to Boulder CO. to be the artistic Director of Bolder Moves Dance Center. While running Bolder Moves she also received her Pilates teacher certification from the most rigorous training program in the nation, The Pilates Center, Boulder. With over 980 hours of required training the Pilates Center Boulder is considered the Harvard of Pilates teacher training schools.

Katie opened Life Pilates in 2008. Life Pilates is a full service Pilates studio specializing classical Pilates for everyone from extreme athletes to those in need of injury rehabilitation. Life Pilates gives Katie the opportunity to use her deep knowledge of the body. This comes from many years of dance performance, over 10 years of accredited training, and her love of teaching. Katie’s students learn to live without unnecessary pain by being empowered to know, love, and ultimately respect their body’s unique challenges and gifts.

Martina McLerran

Martina has always been interested in the health of people. After years of kickboxing training, tae bo, yoga, and Pilates, Martina decided that Pilates was the best exercise option for overall physical, spiritual and mental health. She understands that all the right food without the proper exercise will not get you into the mental and physical shape that you desire.

After having her son Gabriel in 2007 she had a lot of back pain and returned to her Pilates regimen to help overcome the back pain. After 10 years of being a student of Pilates Martina decided to get her Pilates Certification. After 980 hours for study and practice, Martina graduated from the Pilates Center in Boulder Colorado on August 25, 2011. She is excited to share the Pilates method with others and inspire people to take charge of their own well being.

Ellen Schmelzle

Ellen graduated from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada with a double major in Psychology and Sociology. She was employed as a Juvenile Probation Officer several years, before deciding to remain at home to raise her four children. She volunteered at her children’s schools, held several PTO Board positions, worked part-time as a District Manager for a children’s book company, sang and competed with Sweet Adelines, and earned a Second Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do.

When she was sidelined by a painful low back injury in 2004, many attempts to relieve her pain were unsuccessful and surgery was recommended. Having heard about the non-invasive wonders of the Pilates method in relieving back pain, she signed up for some lessons. Within a relatively short period of time, and after practicing the exercises consistently, she became completely pain free! In addition, she felt stronger, more flexible, more energetic and more uplifted in general. She was enlightened about the founder’s ‘mind-body-spirit’ philosophy in relation to lifestyle and healing, and discovered that Pilates was not just a short-term fix, but a ‘natural path’ to long-term health and wellness!

This life-changing experience inspired Ellen to become a Pilates Teacher, in order to share the multitude of benefits with individuals of all ages. In 2008 she graduated from the highly esteemed Teacher Training program at The Pilates Center in Boulder, CO, and in 2013 she became one of their Host Advisors/Teacher Trainers. Her many extra-curricular interests include rowing, biking, skiing, golf, sewing, traveling and reading. She is looking forward to exploring the wondrous beauty surrounding her new Oregonian home, having recently moved to the state from Alabama.

Lydia Lunsford

Lydia was first introduced to Pilates in 2005 and instantly fell in love. The movements, combining both flexibility and strength, felt like a perfect fit for her body. Soon after, she was blessed to learn that she was pregnant with her son and was lucky enough to have found the method to keep her body healthy, strong and mobile throughout pregnancy, through birth and even post-natal. Not only was Pilates the key to her fitness and success with pre-and post-natal, it was also the exercise method that felt the most right to her body and soul. In 2006 she was certified in Mat and Standing Pilates through The PhysicalMindInstitute while apprenticing on all the apparatus with a mentor. In 2014 she completed the Comprehensive Pilates program with Polestar Pilates and soon became a certified member of the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA). In 2016 she completed the BASI (Body Arts and Science) bridge program with Rael Isacowitz to add to her Pilates teaching and personal practice. To compliment and add variety to the essential Pilates foundations, Lydia also instructs the very popular Barre fitness classes, attaining certifications in both the BootyBarre methods and BarreConnect. Lydia continues to attend Continuing Educations Courses, where she is able to learn to treat specific populations with pathologies through Pilates such as people with osteoporosis, scoliosis, joint replacements, back pain and neurological disorders. Along with ailments, Lydia loves the challenge of enhancing sports activities such as golf, tennis, weight lifting, and both summer and winter sports with the Pilates repertoire. Her excitement to learn and grow with all that Pilates has to offer never ceases.