April 2013: Meredith Stevens

“For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been involved in sports. Whether it’s Soccer, Sailing, Lacrosse, Running, or anything else, being active is something that truly defines me. However, after suffering a full labral tear in my hip playing varsity lacrosse in college, I had to alter my workouts significantly. I was very fortunate to have the tear fully repaired surgically post graduation, but was given limitations on high impact activities, namely running. This was pretty devastating for me since running was more than just a staple in my workout routines, it was something I genuinely enjoyed doing. Having to make those life choices wasn’t easy, but I looked to supplement my workouts with a low impact form of exercise that yielded real results, leading me straight to Pilates classes at Fisique Fitness.


I was lucky to come across Pilates with Hanneke in the fall of 2011 during physical therapy, and immediately fell in love. I had done a handful of Pilates classes throughout college, but never found an instructor that got me hooked, and Hanneke’s class was an instant addiction. First and foremost, her high energy personality really takes the class to another level. Couple that with an upbeat tempo mixed with lots of core work and overall strength training, and you’ve got a top notch Pilates class. Hanneke’s classes have not only helped me get into excellent shape, but they have transformed all of the bulk I gained from lifting in college to longer, leaner muscle. Hanneke was totally understanding and willing to work with me while I gained full mobility back throughout physical therapy, and she also helped me focus on the proper form for every exercise to strengthen all the correct muscles.


Not only do I physically feel good, PWH has become the new staple in my workout schedule with light running, biking, and other cardio activities filling in the gaps, and I’ve never been happier. I’ve been a PWH Peep for over a year now and will be running in my first 10K this month since having my hip repaired. I can’t rave enough about Hanneke’s classes as she’s always working to incorporate new exercises or switching up the routine so every class is slightly different and more challenging. If you’re looking for a form of exercise that gives you a full body workout and a toned, lean look, I absolutely suggest you give her classes a try!”                                                                 ~Meredith



March 2013: Kate Guthrie

Our March success story, Kate Guthrie, is such a hard worker and has been with me since I permanently transitioned to Pilates, which makes her progress and success even more special to me! She once again remind and reiterate that Pilates is so great for you when recovering from an injury and keeping yourself strong and in shape after.

“My experience with Pilates began eight years ago as a member of the Duke University varsity swim team – Pilates was a critical component of our cross-training.  When I experienced an athletic career-ending lower back injury a few years later, core strengthening exercises as with Pilates or Yoga became even more important.  Basically, if I still want to be standing up straight in 50 years, I need to be doing Pilates!

For many years, I did one-off Pilates mat and yoga classes.  But I never ‘clicked’ with any of the instructors, only went sporadically and I was constantly concerned about doing something that would hurt my already-fragile back.  Then in July 2011 I decided to try out a private lesson with Hanneke, and everything changed.  Over the past two years, I’ve done private reformer lessons at Equinox, private mat lessons at home and group classes & workshops at South Boston Yoga.  Her DVD and YouTube channel help me keep up my Pilates practice while on the road.  It’s safe to say that I’m a PWH devotee!

No matter where I PWH, Hanneke always brings the same boundless energy, good humor and care to her teaching.  We laugh so much that I swear it gives my abs an extra workout during class!  Most importantly for me, with Hanneke, I know my back is in good hands; she tailors private sessions to work the muscles that will keep me standing straight and calls out modifications in group settings so I can avoid doing anything that could be potentially harmful to my back.  When I get frustrated by some of my limitations (like Teaser – it just doesn’t agree with my lower back), she helps explain the mechanics of why these moves are more difficult due to my injury, finds a challenging-but-safe modification, and keeps me motivated by pointing out how much progress we have made in other areas.

As for results?  I am confident that I’m well on my way to being a geriatric with good posture, but in the short-term I know Pilates is working.  I have much greater awareness of my posture and have learned how to use my core to protect my back when I do other types of exercise.  Working with Hanneke has also clearly had an impact on my muscle tone and definition – I swear my triceps look as good as they did when I was swimming 25 hours a week!

I can’t recommend Hanneke enough – as a teacher, friend & motivator, she’s the best!”



February 2013: Abigail Jansen-Lonnquist

We often look at success as big huge noticeable accomplishments. Do you ever stop and give yourself credit for the smaller stuff? Your dedication, your commitment and effort that you put in to accomplish your goal? Our PWH February success story does exactly that! Abigail is one the most dedicated students I know. She’s been coming to my classes at South Boston Yoga since November 2011, almost never skips a class! Yes, yes no big deal, but: Abigail lives in Brookline and works close to theBoston Common! All in all Abigail puts in more than an hour to make her PWH classes! And here’s why!

“I started going to Pilates with Hanneke in November 2011. I had tried endless gyms, workout studios and one-off, “give it a try” classes. After a particularly awful random class with a boring, half assed, teacher that left me with a muscle spasm, my friend and fellow PWH devotee, Meg, told me she had finally found a class she liked and that I should join her. The catch – it was in Southie and I live in Brighton – deep, end of the green line, Brighton, but for a little BFF time and the possibility of finding a workout that wasn’t horribly dull and disappointing… I went.

It took one class and I was hooked. Hanneke was tough but funny, pushed me but was encouraging and didn’t scowl, but rather laughed when you scoffed at how hard somethingwould be because she was going to make you do it anyway. I quickly fell for Pilates, and theway I felt after a class both mentally and physically – not to mention Hanneke and my new foundcircle of PWH friends.

All of this lead me, without second thought travel an hour + on the T, each way, to SBY every Monday and Wednesday and weekends for workshops. Even in my fast paced, stay late, busy, busy job, everyone knows that Monday and Wednesday evenings are off limits – “I know, I knowyou have pilates today”.

After over a year of commuting up to 2.5 hours roundtrip for pilates, it is totally worth it! My body changed, my clothes fit better, I have abs (never ever thought that would happen), I am the most fit I have ever been and found a instructor that not only challenges and encourages me butcreates a community feeling that keeps me coming back for more …. even if it is on the otherside of the city.”




Are you a PWH Success story? Email pilateswithhanneke@gmail.com and your story!


December 2012: Kerri Blume


Wow – what a Hot MAMA, is really all I can say about our success story this month! Kerri (left) was 30 weeks pregnant when this picture was taken and 33 weeks in the pic below! Read how Pilates kept her energized and fit during her pregnancy. She came to all my mat classes at Equinox, including fusion and bootcamp.

“I am very grateful that I decided to take a Pilates class with Hanneke. When I became pregnant I was probably in the best shape of my life. The classes that I was taking were extremely high impact and I knew that I couldn’t continue to exercise at that level during my pregnancy. I was afraid that I wouldn’t find a class that would continue to give me a great workout and that my options would be limited.  The first Pilates class that I took with Hanneke I knew that it was going to be the perfect fit for me and my fitness routine throughout my pregnancy.

I started her classes when I was about 2 months along and she instantly made me feel comfortable and part of her class even though I was limited in what I could do.  I didn’t have to go take special prenatal Pilates classes because she made it possible for me to participate in her classes throughout my pregnancy. Hanneke always took the time to show me modifications and talk to me before and after class to see how I was feeling. She has this way about her that is extremely professional yet genuine and energetic. My pregnancy has been extremely comfortable and stress free.  I have been able to maintain a great weight, stay toned and have energy during my pregnancy which I didn’t think would be possible. I believe it is all due to Pilates with Hanneke!

Once our daughter is born I plan on getting right back to Hanneke as soon as I can as I look forward to what she has in store for me next!”

~ Kerri Blume



Novermber 2012: Meet Tonya Lopes Harley

Our PWH Pilates Bride, Mrs Harley, share secrets on how she got her beautiful body wedding ready!

“Like most girls, as soon I got engaged I immediately thought of – THE DRESS (!!!) – and my master plan on how to get in the Best. Shape. Of. My. Life.  Already I was pretty active, working out 3-4x/week, but now I needed to step up my game.  In addition to various cardio (i.e. those crazy stop-til-you-drop-but-feel-great-after classes), Pilates mat, and yoga (good for the mind) classes, I wanted to start back-up with Pilates reformer sessions.  For me, the Pilates reformer would be that extra umph I needed to solidify my core and tone my upper body (think: strapless dress).

When I have done reformer sessions in the past I felt leaner, stronger, a lot more flexible (I have tight hip flexors), and my posture really improved.  The reformer is different than the mat class…the resistance really works your body and the personal adjustments from the instructor allows for your form to be spot on.  I think it’s important to incorporate mat and reformer sessions on a weekly basis because they truly complement each other.  Of course I thought about personal training (Equinox is known for the best personal trainers), but I already felt their classes kicked my butt pretty well and my best investment would be with the reformer.

I had met Hanneke at her weekly Saturday morning Equinox Pilates mat class. It’s a mix of heart-pumping cardio and Pilates guaranteed to make you sweat and work your core like never before (If you haven’t gone yet…get there…you’re welcome).   She has a lot of energy, fun music, and challenges you (I like someone who pushes me to the point where I am cursing them in my head, but always say “thank you that was great!” at the end of every class).  I knew from this class I needed to sign-up for weekly Pilates reformer sessions with Hanneke, this was going to be exactly what I needed to achieve my goal of losing some extra lbs and toning up!

My weekly sessions with Hanneke were amazing!  I did a mix of private and duet sessions (with other brides as well), which gave me the flexibility of saving some money with the duets but also the extra personal attention with the private sessions.   Her sessions are tough I’m not going to lie, but they are also fun.  While pushing me with the ab series (“keep going”), plank (“lower on the count of 10”), side leg series (“how does your bum feel ”), and the many arm/shoulder series (“think of the dress!”), Hanneke kept me motivated and laughing along the way.  Our weekly sessions were also a chance to have some girl talk…guys, fashion, work, etc.  A great way to just decompress from your day, get a serious workout in, and feel like you were making friends along the way.

Each week I could see how much I improved with the various workouts, but also I noticed how my body was changing.  My arms and shoulders were getting tone, I was losing inches from my waistline, and my core was incredibly stronger.  Not only could I see the difference in my Pilates sessions with her (including mat classes), but also in my other cardio workouts.  I was all-around stronger and a lot more flexible.

Another great aspect of PWH is the fact that Hanneke has a DVD and a YouTube Channel.  Since I travel for work, I’m always looking for some variety from the hotel gym but I also wanted to make sure I still kept up my Pilates on a weekly basis.  With her selection of workouts (ranging from 5-30mins and targeted areas – arms, legs, etc.), it was a perfect way to make sure I stayed on track and it easily fit in my work schedule on the road.

I cannot thank Hanneke enough for her passion and motivation over the past year and helping me achieve my goals.  In the end I lost 12 lbs and toned my upper body (and legs!)…I can definitely say I was in the Best. Shape. Of. My. Life.

p.s. I still continue my Pilates sessions with Hanneke to keep in shape and can definitely say I gained a great friend .”

~ Tonya Lopes Harley


October 2012: Meet Marcela


Pilates makes the world smaller! This month our success story is that of a different kind.

As many of you may know, Pilates was not my first career. Before coming to Boston, I studied in South Africa and then worked as a money broker in London and New York City. Living in different countries has been fun as I’ve met so many people from all over the world.

One of these people was my last roommate – or as we call it in London, “flatmate” – Barbora. I met Barbora through “The Gumtree,” the UK’s version of Craigslist. Barbora was a very interesting Slovakian girl who had studied in France and was looking for a flatmate in London at the same time as me.

We were flatmates for about nine months until I transferred to NYC, but we still keep in touch via e-mail and Facebook. Recently I received an e-mail from her … an e-mail that made my month!

It turns out that Barbora had just been visiting a friend, Marcela, in Slovakia who had decided to change careers and become a Pilates instructor. Barbora was quite surprised, and as she began asking questions, Marcela told her about a woman in Boston who had left her career as a broker to become a Pilates instructor. Needless to say – that woman was me! She had found me via my YouTube Channel!

So here is a South African (now living in Boston) and a Slovakian, roommates in London and years later connected via someone living thousands of miles away from both of them. And it’s all thanks to Pilates! I love how Pilates has truly brought people together and made the world a little smaller.

Barbora and I surprised Marcela with the Pilates with Hanneke “Balance your Life” DVD as a good luck gift. And, this month’s success story is a wish of great success to Marcela, Barbora’s friend and a PWH peep! Congrats, Marcela, I hope you LOVE your new career!


September 2012: Meet Mary Bodzy

Read all about how Mary bounced back to her pre-baby body with Pilates and strengthened her core to help heal old back injuries.

“I first discovered Pilates in St. Marteen on vacation after deciding to take a free class at a resort. I was amazed how strong I felt after just one class! I pushed myself too hard throughout my life physically through sports and running, which resulted in several injuries. The instructor and I discussed our previous back injuries, and she raved how her back problems completely resolved with Pilates.

I became pregnant and decided to wait on Pilates and took prenatal yoga instead, but quickly sought Pilates classes two months after the baby was born and found Hanneke! I showed up at her door weaker than I have ever been in my life and experiencing pains I never knew existed!  Thankfully, she so wonderfully reviewed all the postnatal changes that my body endured, such as the muscles separating in my abdomen, and ways to bring me back to life. Every week I grew stronger using all the knowledgeable Pilates moves Hanneke taught.

Over time, those stomach muscles slid right back where they belonged! She was also very good at providing modifications when I pulled my knee and hurt my wrist from over use picking up my toddler over and over.

Amazingly, thanks to Pilates with Hanneke,my back is near perfect after enduring two years of pain from a slipped disc that resulted in severe sciatica and permanent para numbness in my left leg and foot. Additionally, every postnatal change mended and I felt like a stronger version of myself. I could not have done it without Hanneke! She is truly a fantastic teacher and a genuinely good-natured person.”



August 2012: Meet Our Lovely Couple Scott and Skye


Read how Skye got Scott hooked on Pilates and now the couple has a fun activity to help them stay fit together!

“We have been together nearly 16 years and rarely in that time period have we found a physical activity that we both enjoyed doing equally (other than a brief stint competing in ballroom dancing back in gradschool.) Scott was always a runner; Skye preferred martial arts or biking. We’d each placate the other and occasionally join in—but there was never a consistent and life-long exercise that we enjoyed doing together. That is, until, Pilates with Hanneke…

In May of 2011, Skye dislocated her shoulder so badly she needed help to dress and even wash her hair. For the next six months, Skye’s workout routine was non-existent due to the pain and lack of mobility as she worked with a physical therapist to stabilize her shoulder and, hopefully, prevent surgery. As she built back her range of motion and strength, her physical and massage therapists both recommended Pilates as a potential option for continuing to build back her core and shoulder muscles.

Skye found her way to Pilates with Hanneke through her friends David and Todd (the owners of SouthBoston Yoga) and—knowing she’d need a workout buddy to stay motivated—convinced Scott and some other friends in their condo complex to try it out as well. Scott had been looking for something to supplement his daily running regimen and was convinced—after just one butt-kicking class—that Pilates would more than do the trick. Even though he’s always been reliable about putting on the miles, he has never been able to get properly motivated to maintain a core and abdominal workout on a regular basis. Pilates with Hanneke changed that, giving him a core workout that he actually enjoys doing and can stick to regularly.

Hanneke truly has this uncanny ability to make working out fun and addictive, and she’s able to push you to do more than you physically thought was possible (teaser what??). Even as the class is gasping from the burn in our abs—“three, two, one, and…….HOLD!”—Hanneke is making us laugh and motivating us throughout the whole class with quips like, “Think of how you’ll look at the beach this summer…or naked!”

Hanneke has been amazing at modifying the planks and a few other positions to help Skye better support her shoulder recovery, and she’s great at motivating Scott to continue to push for improving his form and strength. The great community of “Pilates regulars” Hanneke has built also serve as supportive “partners in pain” as we groan and sigh and work hard together.
Finally finding a workout activity that we both enjoy and are seeing physical results from in such a short timeframe has enabled us to keep each other motivated and coming back for more twice a week. Perhaps you could call us “partners in pain”—but only the good kind and with a little laughter thrown in!”

~ Partners in Laughter and Pain
Skye Schulte and Scott Magee


July 2012: Meet Joe Strening

Joe is our July Pilates with Hanneke Success Story, read how he stays fit after heart surgery!

“I’ll be the first to admit the thought of getting into yoga or pilates never really crossed my mind. I was the typical gym rat who hit the weight room 5 days a week and tried to play as many intramural sports as I could fit into my schedule. All of that changed last year when I was told I needed emergency open heart surgery to fix an issue I was born with but went undetected my entire life. I endured a lifestyle change that I wasn’t ready for and had a hard time accepting. My days in the weight room were over and so too was my strength and physique. Or so I thought…….

Along with my heart issue, I’ve dealt with a herniated disc in my lower back. A friend of mine mentioned that pilates would really help the problem, so I decided to look into it. I found Hanneke’s class at South Boston Yoga and strolled in one Friday afternoon not knowing what to expect. After only 45 minutes, I was hooked. Totally blown away with a workout I never knew existed, I felt energized and loose. I was excited that I might have found something extremely challenging that I was medically cleared to do.

I played sports my entire childhood and for part of my early adult life and at no point was there a coach that could command and keep my attention for more than a few minutes. I’d always lose interest or totally space out because whatever we were doing was boring or completely repetitive. Hanneke, on the other hand, has some innate ability to keep me totally focused on what I’m doing when in her class. She keeps the room full of energy and the mood light-hearted. She keeps a close eye on everyone to ensure proper form and technique and will make sure to bust your a** if you’re dogging it.
After 8 weeks, I feel as strong as I ever have and have seen significant changes in my physique. Two months ago I thought I’d never play golf again (back issue), now I hope to play a full round by August 1. I’m upset with myself for never giving pilates a chance because I’d always considered it to be a “girls” thing, but I’m also happy that I finally discovered something that’s truly life-changing. I’d recommend Hanneke’s class to any and everyone who is looking to get into something that’s both challenging and rewarding.

And to all of you meatheads out there who think you’re too tough for this stuff, I’d challenge you to try a class with Hanneke. She might be half your size, but she’ll push you to places you never thought possible.” ~Joe


June 2012: Meet Megan Mills

Meet PWH Success Story: Megan Mills, she has been coming to Pilates with Hanneke since last year! Read all about her experience and road to achieve her fitness goals!

“Through my 20’s I have been in search of finding the right combination of fitness and nutrition to help me stay strong, in shape and feeling good about my body. I was trying all different types of exercise. Yoga is great for the mind and body; but its workouts left me wanting more, running is always good – but not something that I could engage in year round because of the cold and dark winters. Gym memberships sound like a good idea; until you actually have to go.

I had never tried Pilates before but after reading countless glossies featuring interviews of famous actresses and their even more famous figures there was one constant in their workout – Pilates. I decided that I had to give this workout a try. I found Pilates with Hanneke after researching online for localstudios. I went to my first class at South Boston Yoga; her infamous Wednesday night PILATES STRENGTH. I was instantly hooked and began following her around Boston to try all of her different classes.

In January of 2012, I made an oh-so original New Year’s Resolution of wanting to get fit and healthy. I wanted to track my progress so I took my measurements, kept them in a notebook and documented them monthly. I also incorporated a gluten-free diet to my regimen. My fitness workout included 2 to 3 days a week of Pilates with Hanneke. If I couldn’t make it to all her classes I popped in her DVD and if I was on the go or traveling I tuned into her YouTube Channel for a quick workout.

I have to say that Pilates is not a loose weight quick workout, but the results are everything you are looking for. Since January I have lost inches – off my arms, waist, hips, thighs and calves. I have better posture, flexibility and strength. I feel graceful and light as a feather.

The best part of Pilates with Hanneke is that going to her classes are fun. Her workouts are tough but her instructions allow you to modify movements so you get the most out of each session while maintaining proper form and building strength. With help from Pilates with Hanneke, I am looking forward to Summer and continuing working towards my fitness goals.”~Meg


May 2012: Meet Julie Tolek

Meet Julie Tolek, our very first Pilates with Hanneke Success story,  you may recognize her from class! Julie has lost 6lbs by incorporating Pilates with Hanneke in her fitness routine! Read how she did it!

“As of this writing, it has been exactly two months since I started doing Pilates with Hanneke! I have been athletic for several years, but foot surgery set me back last year. I also recently gained about 10lbs during sedentary and time consuming law school finals and the holiday season. Since I am petite, 10lbs makes a huge difference in how I look and feel. I was ready to get back on the proverbial horse and get back to a healthier weight and mental state.

I was not new to health and fitness, but I wanted to try something different. Many of my friends told me that I would enjoy Pilates. I found Hanneke at South Boston Yoga (which is not conveneient for me, but I now make the trip just for Hanneke!). I was a bit nervous starting out, but I felt my form and strength improve in just 3 classes.

Hanneke knows her stuff! Not only have I lost 6lbs since starting to do Pilates with Hanneke, but she has also taught me how to maintain proper posture during my daily life, which at times includes sitting and studying up to 10 or more hours daily. Personally, it is a physical relief for me to be able to apply the Pilates moves that Hanneke has taught me to the things I do every day. I catch myself out of alginment, and I can now correct it. Working with Hanneke has made me more sensitive to how I carry myself.

In my workouts prior to Pilates with Hanneke, I would lift weights for strength training and alternate with cardio most days of the week. I was fit, but I did not feel fluid. I was flexible, as I have practiced yoga for a while, but I did not feel graceful or elegant. Since working with Hanneke, I feel leaner, longer, and more graceful, which I love! Pilates seems to be a more natural fit for me.
I look forward to doing my Pilates workouts. For me, it is a chance to take care of myself and get out of the spinning wheel in my head. With Pilates, you have to focus on so many different elements – posture, zipping up your abs, keeping your shoulders down your back, breathing properly – that it is a welcome medtitative break from my day. There is no possible way to think about anything else but the present and the work that you are doing when you are doing Pilates…if you can think about anything else at the same time, I don’t think you are doing it right!

One of the reasons I am addicted to working with Hanneke is because she helps foster that mental escape. Obviously I still have to do the work, but Hanneke’s energy and motivation in class really set the stage for a successful practice. I swear when class is over, I always think, “Already done?” It goes by so fast because she puts you in a different place. At least this is the result for me. Even in her DVD and her youtube videos, Hanneke instructs you just as if you were really in class.

I have been to one other teacher during my exploration, and although she was very well trained and a good teacher, I found she was not as passionate and entergetic as Hanneke, which is what I enjoy and what I need.


Hanneke’s passion is so obvious in her class and in every other aspect of her business. She makes time for students when they have questions, she has videos on youtube, she is all over twitter and facebook. She even offers class online so you can take her class anywhere. AND she has a great DVD, which I take with me whenever I travel. Convenience is very important for me to incorporate fitness into my lifestyle, so I love that Hanneke gives me a variety of ways to connect with her.

My Regular routine includes:
– Class with Hanneke at South Boston Yoga most Fridays, or as my schedule allows.
– Hanneke’s DVD and/or youtube videos 3-4 times a week (sometimes I will try new things online at pilatesanytime.com, but I honestly find few of the instructors are as energetic and motivating as Hanneke).
– Cardio, usually running or interval running, or walking about 3 miles or 45 min., 3 days a week.
– I follow the 80/20 rule for nutrition: I eat clean 80% of the time and let go and live the other 20%.

I know did the work, but it would not have been possible without Hanneke’s passion, energy, and motivation.”~Julie


“I have been taking classes with Hanneke for over a year and she has taught me SO much about pilates – everything from the appropriate techniques and forms to how far I can push myself. She is an enthusiastic teacher who really cares about her students and knows how to motivate them and push them to their full potential. She never let’s you get through an exercise without doing it correctly and always offers helpful tips on how to make necessary adjustments. I highly recommend any of her classes!”~ Hillary Benoit


“I first started doing Pilates with Hanneke in 2009 when I was looking for a way to stay in shape despite an injured ankle. In our one-on-one reformer sessions, Hanneke gave me clear (and patient) instructions on the basics of Pilates exercises and methodology. She also went out of her way to constantly incorporate new and challenging exercises that wouldn’t put any strain on my injury. Two and a half years later, the ankle is healed, but I’ve stuck with Pilates and with Hanneke. Her mat classes are always an incredible, full-body workout and she brings the same enthusiasm and attention to form to her classes as to her one-on-one sessions.”~Ilisa Horowitz


“Thanks so much for the pilates workshop – it was great! I’ve been doing pilates for about a year now, but never truly had a lesson on the fundamentals and a focus on proper form.  Your mat class was the best I’ve ever taken!”~Leah Ratnofsky


“Pilates with Hanneke not only makes you want to work hard and get your body mind and soul at it’s tip top shape, but it is also fun. As a beginner who just had a baby, I felt gross about myself and thought I was never going to be able to do it. But Hanneke modified the workouts for me and made me feel great every step of the way.  In the end, I found myself looking forward to class every week.  Pilates with Hanneke is a decision you and your body will not regret!”~Karyn Ruggiero