Shelley Ballestrazze – Owner/Instructor
Growing up in Boulder, CO, Shelley was very active in sports but struggled constantly with injuries and chronic lower back pain. As the most injured player on her high school basketball team, she now knows the importance of regular stretching and a flexibility program. She tried Pilates in early 2001 as a means to cure her repeated running injuries and to alleviate muscle tightness. After steady practice, she discovered she was able to live pain-free and became an advocate for the Pilates Method. She worked in the corporate world for 20 years and prior to becoming a Pilates instructor, she finished up her corporate career as a computer technician and software trainer.
Going through a very rigorous and comprehensive 650-hours initial training program, she earned her Pilates certification in 2003 through Body Kinetics, under the tutelage of Master Instructor, Carol Appel . After completing her training and internship at Body Kinetics in Mill Valley, CA, she opened her first studio in 2005, Pilates of Marin. Her clientele quickly grew and in 2008, she expanded, doubling the size of her previous studio. In 2009, she relocated to Oregon and in 2010, decided to sell Pilates of Marin to a trusted friend and colleague. She opened NW Core Balance in Tualatin (Portland), Oregon in 2011.
As a breast cancer survivor, Shelley has worked extensively with individuals post-cancer treatment. Undergoing two surgeries and radiation therapy treatment has truly helped Shelley to understand the physical needs of all cancer survivors.
When not teaching Pilates, Shelley enjoys mountain biking, running, snowshoeing, and spending time with her husband and two dogs.
Jen Lynagh – Instructor
Jen became a student of Pilates in 2010 following the second episode of a mysterious and debilitating lower back “outage” that left her determined to repair it by way of a thorough understanding of the human body and consequently proper exercise. While she had been active her whole life and participated in triathlons and half marathons, it wasn’t until she became a student of Pilates that she understood how the whole body could be strengthened, aligned and conditioned and with a healthier and more focused mind to boot! Her love of Pilates led her to the rigorous BASI (Body Arts and Science International) teacher training program through Studio Blue in Portland. In addition to holding a BA from the University of Washington, Jen is certified as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner through the Nutritional Therapy Association (NTA). Today she gets to do what she loves – help people achieve optimal health through nutrition and Pilates.
As a teacher of Pilates, Jen pays close attention to the needs and goals of each and every client in addition to developing an understanding of their innate physical strengths and challenges on which she creates programs designed to get each client closer to his or her goal in a safe, challenging and fun way.
Sara Servi – Instructor
Sara is a certified Pilates instructor and personal trainer who moved to Portland from LA, where she worked as a TV writer. For Sara, a fitness and health fanatic who loves the outdoors, sitting all day in an office was wreaking havoc on her body and mind. She discovered Pilates several years ago, when she was suffering from a hip-flexor injury and lower back pain. Since then she has practiced it diligently as it continues to bring her immense relief and joy. After she completed her BASI (Body Arts and Science International) Pilates Teacher Training, she followed her heart to Portland to teach full-time.
She believes strongly that Pilates is the best way to evenly strengthen the body and build a stable foundation for all other forms of exercise. It can improve a tennis swing or swim stroke, as well as heal an injury. Pilates makes Sara feel strong, healthy, and empowered, and she strives to help her clients feel the same.