Boditree Instructors and Staff
Risa Mathews, MA
Owner & Director
Risa Mathews has owned and operated Boditree Pilates & Healing in Vancouver since 1999. Prior to this time Risa was residing in Sydney, Australia, where she was attending grad school and also operating her first Boditree Pilates studio in Sydney’s Eastern suburbs. Risa sold her Sydney studio in late 1999, and opened Boditree in Vancouver soon after returning home. Risa has successfully integrated a number of healing modalities into the Pilates environment, which has shown to assist participants in managing pain and better prepare them for physical exercise. Risa has created, published, and trademarked a number of protocols that are now being shared via online course offerings . Risa has researched and created these protocols to help manage the following, but not limited to : chronic pain, injury, rehabilitation from surgery, plus a multitude of conditions such as but not limited to scoliosis, Parkinsons, MS, learning disabilities, joint replacement, emotional trauma, post-surgical rehabilitation, and pre and post-natal conditioning. These online courses are meant to give fellow instructors and movement therapists an opportunity to study with Risa, without having to travel to Vancouver. Risa holds a BA from Simon Fraser University (1990) and an MA from Macquarie University (1995), and has a background in dance, aquatics, teaching, publishing, and public speaking. Since creating our online workshops, Risa has presented workshops in Honolulu, New York, Toronto, and Vancouver. Boditree Releasework is now approved for PMA CEC points for all students who download these online workshops ! Throughout 2017, 2018 and 2019, Risa traveled to a number of cities in North America to present Boditree Releasework TM, a unique approach to pre-Pilates developed by Risa over the last 20 years she has owned and operated Boditree Pilates and Healing. MId 2019 Risa was invited to be featured in Darien Gold’s radio program, “All Things Pilates”. A few months later, Risa was invited back for a second interview, where she discussed her views on the late Ron Fletcher’s enormous contribution to the Pilates Method. In March 2020, Risa launched Boditree’s livestream Pilates Studio, which sees daily online privates and classes offered teaching participants in quarantine all around the globe. In summer 2020, Risa will be launching a new online school for the general public. This online library will feature pre-recorded classes, with each class focussing on solutions for common body pains, from head to toe. Each class will focus on a specific issue or area of pain, so customers can clearly choose which class is best suited to their needs. We specialize in pain management, and these workouts were designed to help people manage pain from the comfort of their own homes.
Christine Halicki, BA
Christine started dance in Stratford Ontario, at the age of 3, studying ballet, tap, and jazz, and progressing to competitive dance in the Russian style of Ballet, touring internationally and competing in all 3 dance forms. Christine completed her competitive dance career at the age of 17, and went on to study at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, completing a BA in Fine Arts, majoring in Visual Arts. Upon settling in Vancouver Christine attended Boditree’s Instructor Training & Apprenticeship Program, completing her studies with honors, in 2007. Christine has been teaching at Boditree full time since completing her Apprenticeship, and is now Studio Manager responsible for client relations.
Beth has been working out at Boditree for almost 10 years, as a committed Pilates advocate. In 2017 Beth decided to attend our inhouse instructor training program, and completed her studies in mid 2018. Beth’s background is in Law, and her change to being a movement educator has been an exciting and life changing experience. Beth now dedicates her time to teaching at Boditree 5 days a week !
SUNNI ALMOND: Virtual/Online Master Pilates Educator
When Risa realized she needed more staff to assist with the virtual side of the business, she looked no further than to one of her mentors, Sunni Almond! Boditree is thrilled to have Sunni on board to provide exceptional movement experiences for our valued clientele.
Sunni is a comprehensively trained classical Pilates teacher, she has been teaching for
nearly 20 years, and remains a student studying with the most gifted and solidly trained classical teachers. She is the creator and the only provider of Going More Joe mentorship (#GoingMoreJoe) for Pilates teachers. Sunni also holds educational workshops at Studio S Pilates and shares the Pilates wealth as it were.
She won Best Pilates FB group for Pilates Teachers 2019 and is a recent grad from Clare Dunphy’s Advanced Teaching Seminars.
Interviewed by Lise Kuecker
Interviewed by Darien Gold
Mat & Chat with Sunni Almond
Konner comes from an athletic background in soccer and competitive snowboarding. Through sports performance and injury recovery she developed an appreciation for Pilates to rehabilitate and empower her performance. Konner has been practicing Pilates for over 10 years and it has enriched her life in so many ways. From mind-body-spirit connection and breathing techniques to the physical and meditative practice, Pilates has found a way into all aspects of her life. She believes Pilates and movement truly is medicine.
Konner incorporates innovative methods into her instructing style that integrate movement modalities and address individuals needs. She is an enthusiastic proponent of Pilates because she believes it is the most effective form of exercise that can be practiced by people of all ages to gain strength and a better sense of well-being.
At 18 Konner went through Anusara Yoga immersion and training and, while obtaining her undergrad degree at UBC, went through Pilates Apparatus and Mat work training. She taught at several studios in Vancouver before finding a home at Boditree.
Konner received her undergraduate degree from UBC and when not teaching and practicing pilates and yoga, Konner is writing and performing music as well as enjoying the vast outdoor activities of the Pacific Northwest.
More about Rena coming soon!
More about Aisling coming soon!
More about Susan coming soon!
Alberto Bacigalupo: Virtual/Online Pilates Educator
More about Alberto coming soon!