Awaken Pilates has some of the best instructors in the Twin Cities! With various backgrounds and styles we all offer something unique for everyone. All the instructors at Awaken teach with a contemporary approach but are also trained in the classic Pilates method. Many of our clients work with multiple instructors each week giving them variety in their workouts. We encourage this idea so that you are constantly challenged in new ways and never get stuck in a workout rut. Meet our instructors below!
Karin Twigg, the founder of Awaken, initially discovered Pilates while living in San Francisco. With her background in dance, Pilates was intuitive and in sync with her personal style of exercise. She loved the way it made her body feel and wanted to share that experience with others. Karin received mat training from Physical Mind Institute then her full certification in The Pilates Method at A Body Prepared in West Hollywood, CA. In August of 2002, Karin moved to Minneapolis to be closer to family and by April of 2003 Awaken was open for business. Karin has done countless trainings with The Pilates Studio of Boulder, CO and went through the Gyrotonic foundation teacher training program in 2004. Karin is a faculty instructor with Balanced Body and is proud to offer the complete Balanced Body Pilates Teacher Training program at Awaken. Karin is a mother to two beautiful girls and is passionate about working with women to heal from pregnancy and birth. Karin is a Doula and loves to help women through the birth process.
Karin is PMA certified and holds a B.A. degree in Marketing from the University of Iowa.
Christian has always had a passion for challenging movement and exercise. It was through studying yoga on the road while touring with musical artist Pharrell Williams that led Christian to Gyrotonic. Christian was immediately drawn to this rhythmic movement system originally called "yoga for dancers". Christian now holds trainings in Gyrotonic, Gyrokinesis, Thai Yoga Massage, TRX, Pilates and Yoga. He loves to utilize all these amazing disciplines in his sessions to help people open the body physically and energetically. He has a passion for teaching those who really want to change their bodies and deepen their understanding of movement. Christian became a certified triathlon coach in 2015. He loves working with athletes to create plans that lead to successful outcomes and no injuries! Christian was written up in Metro Magazine and The Star Tribune (Oct. 2007). Christian loves to run, bike and swim as often he can while also being a Dad to daughters, Eleanor and Savannah.
Kristen V. Wozniak started her pilates journey in 2006. She began to study the classic method of Pilates in Minneapolis, later becoming certified through Balanced Body University at Awaken Pilates in 2008. Kristen has worked with a variety of people ranging from marathon runners to clients with scoliosis and Multiple Sclerosis. Kristen likes to create a comfortable environment, which brings better student-teacher communication, thus leading to a better overall experience for the student.
Kristen attended the University of Minnesota, receiving her Bachelor of Art’s in Global Studies with a Minor in Anthropology. In addition Kristen loves to travel, especially to Italy, and continues to speak Italian when ever possible. She has a passion for making people feel their best through the practice of Pilates and her goal at the end of each session is to have people feeling stronger, more flexible and relaxed.
Jackie first experienced Pilates as a graduate student in Madison, WI. Jackie earned her Bachelors of Science in Sociology and Molecular Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She also completed a PhD at UW-Madison in Endocrinology and Reproductive Physiology and a 4-year post-doctoral fellowship in Cardiovascular Research at the University of Michigan.
In 2009, she moved to Minneapolis and began practicing Pilates in earnest. She enjoyed how the work balanced and integrated her body and stimulated a mind-movement connection. After a few years practicing on the Reformer, Tower and Chair, she wanted to deepen her understanding and share it with others. She completed the comprehensive instructor training through Balanced Body at Awaken Pilates in 2012.
Jackie has run three marathons, enjoys lifting weights, and loves being a mom to her two girls. Her intention has always been to help people lead healthier lives and feels that sharing her passion for Pilates is a great way to do so.
Gretchen fell in love with dynamic movement as a child and hasn’t stopped moving since! In 2014, she received her BFA in painting and dance from the University of Wisconsin Stevens point, where Pilates was part of the curriculum. Fascinated by the clarity and lightness that Pilates helped her to discover in her body, she developed a deep appreciation for mindful movement and eagerly began her teacher training through Balanced Body. Gretchen aims to spread the wealth of knowledge that Pilates can offer in an upbeat and personal atmosphere. Warmly welcoming people from all walks of life, she strongly believes that this versatile practice can transform anybody’s body, mind, and life as it has her own.
When Tara began her personal Pilates practice she was attracted to the total mind/body focus that the exercises demanded. Now, as a mother of 3, she uses Pilates as her avenue to a clear mind and a healthy body.
After spending years encouraging others to experience Pilates for themselves, Tara decided to begin Balanced Body Teacher Training so she could be the one to introduce this functional movement to them. As an instructor, she has a great appreciation for Pilates adaptability being able to meet her clients wherever they are now, and continue to build from there.
Tara enjoys spending time with her three young children. As well as reading and cooking.
Jill Patterson absolutely loves the feeling of being in mind-ful motion, and for most of her life that desire has been fed with dancing. Jill has worked professionally for many years, performing and teaching locally, nationally, and internationally. She began her Pilates training while earning her MFA in Modern Dance, from the University of Utah. The way Pilates made her feel connected and “whole” in her body-mind has always stayed with her. Jill continued her movement research, and Pilates training, with Karin Twigg through the Balanced Body program. She loves the approach that Awaken takes in particular; a real world movement practice for every body. Jill looks forward to meeting each client where they are, and creating a program that will guide them towards a sense of simultaneous ease, strength, length, and awareness within the body-mind.
Jill teaches Dance at Gustavus Adolphus College, and in her free time she loves to read, garden, and spend time with her hubby and two sweet girls.
Cindy has always enjoyed movement and athletics. Drawn to holistic health and complementary medicine as a teenager she earned a degree in Exercise Science from Bethel University and continued her studies in Sports Medicine, Qigong, Thai massage, and Yoga. Cindy took her first Pilates class when she was a personal trainer and was intrigued by the mind-body integration, focus on breath and the fluid moment of the exercises. She has been teaching Pilates for 15 years and continues to be passionate about the intelligence and comprehensive exercises of the Pilates method. She teaches with enthusiasm and has a strong desire to help her students develop optimal health and vitality in their lives. Cindy lives in Deephaven with her husband Michael, two daughters, Lily and Ellison, and a sheep-a-doodle named Bear. She loves her morning coffee, going for hikes, digging in the dirt, and camping adventures with the family.
Pamela Lundequam first experienced Pilates while in Physical Therapy school, and she was instantly hooked on how great she felt. She completed her comprehensive Pilates education through Balanced Body University here at Awaken in 2008. She has earned a bachelors degree in Kinesiology from the University of Minnesota and a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Washington University in St Louis. She has specialized in pediatrics within her physical therapy practice and uses Pilates regularly with her patients.
Pamela loves working with clients at Awaken, assisting them towards their goals. She integrates her Physical Therapy and Pilates skills to help all ages create healthy and strong bodies. Currently on maternity leave.
Heather is a Balanced Body certified Pilates Instructor and NASM Personal Trainer. She discovered an early love of movement through dance, and after many years of performing and choreographing she discovered Pilates and loved the graceful, intuitive yet challenging nature of the movement. Heather’s style is intuitive and focused, and she coaches her students to a deeper awareness of movement and strength, moving beyond functional training and toward integration and awareness of the whole body. Heather loves to use many different modalities and is trained in TRX, GTS, and also teaches dance and barre. Most recently she was the post-rehabilitation fitness director for Rancho Santa Margarita Physical Therapy in Orange County, CA, but is very happy to be back in her hometown of St. Paul. In her spare time she enjoys cooking and eating good food, performing on stage, yoga, singing and playing guitar and soaking in the amazing arts and culture scene in the Twin Cities.
Renee Keller has been actively, passionately involved in fitness for over 30 years. She started taking Pilates in 2006 to support a friend fighting breast cancer. She quickly realized that it was the perfect cross training regime to strengthen, tone, and stretch her body as well as focus her mind. Renee received her Pilates mat certifications from both the PhysicalMind Institute and Balanced Body. She completed her comprehensive Pilates certification through BB here at Awaken in 2008. Renee is excited to work at Awaken to share her love of Pilates and health with others.
Renee graduated from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management, with a B.S. in Management and an emphasis in Information Technology. Prior to teaching Pilates, she worked at Target Corporation for 18 years.
Jenni first discovered Pilates in the Spring of 2003 when she took her first Pilates mat class at Awaken, shortly after Karin opened the Uptown studio. She started incorporating reformer classes in her practice and immediately noticed a difference in her body. She found that Pilates helped with her lower back pain, helped improve her posture, and the overall strength and flexibility of her body. Jenni loves how Pilates has challenged her body and mind with new and creative movements. In March of 2016, Jenni began the teacher training program through Balanced Body and in July she began teaching at Awaken Pilates in Minnetonka.
Jenni lives in Minnetonka and when she is not teaching, she loves to cook, read, run, ski and spend time with her two girls and husband.