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 have gone through the Balanced Body Pilates Teacher Training Program - which offers a nice blend of classical and contemporary Pilates styles. We are all trained to work with a variety of individuals and special conditions such as; pre/post natal, seniors, athletes, osteoporosis, scoliosis, other spinal issues, hip, knee, shoulder issues and more. Many of our clients work with multiple instructors each week giving them variety in their sessions. We encourage this idea so that you are constantly challenged in new ways however if you prefer a certain instructor that's fine too! 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.
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.
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.
Kristen first took a Pilates class in 2006 and fell in love with it instantly! She loved that it was challenging while also leaving her feeling fantastic afterwards. She decided to go through Balanced Body teacher training program at Awaken Pilates in 2008. After completing her certificate she began teaching at Awaken and has been there ever since. She continued her education becoming a certified Balanced Body Master Instructor in 2018 and assists with the Pilates Teacher Training program at Awaken with Karin Twigg.
Kristen continues to learn about the body and loves helping people feel their best through movement. She is also a mom to three young children, which helped her develop a passion for working with prenatal and postnatal moms. When she is not teaching she loves spending time at the lake with her family, playing tennis and listening to live music.
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.
Summer is our Studio Manager and has been a client of Awaken's for over 13 years. Summer practices Pilates 3x a week and loves how it makes her feel. She manages studio scheduling, new client inquires, helping support our staff and clients in so many ways. Summer is also a mom to two thriving young girls. You can always reach her by emailing [email protected]
Kelley Hedge found the healing power of Pilates following a debilitating car accident nearly 20 years ago. Several back surgeries failed to bring her lasting relief, and daily mobility was a struggle. After years of managing life with her 4 young children in persistent pain, she was facing yet another surgery when a healing doctor suggested she try Pilates first. From that first class forward, she’d found a path to lasting relief.
It’s from her own experience that Kelley truly understands the healing power of Pilates. She studied for several years as she began her own practice and now has Level 1 in Peak Pilates and joined the Balanced Body Bridge program at Awaken Pilates. She has finished her Level 2 and on her way to finishing her Level 3 in February 2021.
Kelley’s passion is helping people get strong from within, by following the Pilates principles, so they can achieve their goals, whether they’re new to Pilates or working on advanced movement.
Kelley holds a degree in Sociology and Anthropology from Ripon College, in Wisconsin.
In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing sports, gardening, strengthening her own Pilates practice and spending time outdoors.
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.
Kimberly started taking Pilates in college at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she earned her BFA in dance.
After moving to Minneapolis to work with a dance company and pursue a competitive curling career, Kimberly noticed Pilates helped her perform better in both activities, keeping her body balanced, mobile and strong.
After feeling this difference in her own body, Kimberly began her journey in teaching, hoping to help others find their own sense of strength and mobility. She feels movement is an act of self-care and hopes all of her clients find a positive experience in the simple joy of moving. She is trained through Balanced Body Pilates.
Lilly recently discovered Pilates after encouragement from her parents who have practiced for a few years. She was hooked after the first session and realized this was going to be more than a practice for her. Lilly started the teacher training program in March of 2022 and started teaching in May.
Though Lilly’s lifestyle has always been active, the functional movement of Pilates made for an immediate fit.
Karin and Awaken have been the perfect place for Lilly to learn how to practice and teach Pilates.
When not practicing Pilates, Lilly is with her husband and family, spending time on lake Minnetonka or at Rustica bakery in Minneapolis.
Elinor grew up in a modern dance company and studied West African dance at Oberlin College and the University of Ghana. She started teaching yoga in 2008, adding barre and spin to resume. She found pilates in 2010 and fell in love. After returning to Minneapolis from NYC in 2019, she began practicing at Awaken. She loves helping clients find their strength and length and always takes classes when she travels; pilates is an international language.