Testimonials

"I am glad to have found this studio over Groupon! It’s by far one of the best things that I’ve done for my body. I always feel so welcomed when I enter this studio by Kayla! She is such a lovely front desk Staff. The instructors Julie, Dawna, Christi, and Cyndi are amazing. All of the instructors give you plenty of personal attention and help you improve everyday that you are there. I look forward to letting it all go and giving it my full effort when taking their classes. I never thought that I would miss working out even while on vacation! I was so excited to come back this week to join the wonderful team again. I remember having a few minor injuries in the beginning of the class and Julie definitely helped with fixing it. Hot Pilates has made a huge difference in the way my body feels and have added an element of joy to my life. The energy of this studio is simply amazing. As Julie would say, “ love your self today to empower yourself for tomorrow”. Do yourself a favor and join Soul Pilates!"

- Linda Phan

"Soul Pilates has helped me emotionally and physically. On June 10, 2013 my brother past away, I was in a very dark place, I stopped working out and moving forward was very hard. I knew I had to do something to get me out of the place I was in.

In August 2014 I tried out a local boot camp (it was ok), then a friend told me about Soul Pilates, I bought the Groupon and tried it out on a Saturday in September. My first class was with Cyndi, her energy was refreshing. For the first time in 14 months for that hour it was just about my mat and me, it was a great feeling and over time the depression didn't take over me. I kept going 2 to 3 days a week, now in 2015 I have been going 5 to 6 days a week. Finding the studio was a blessing. Dawna, Cyndi, and Christi, are so awesome they motivate me and they get to know me.

Physically I can see my body getting toned, I have more strength, energy, I detox, and feels like I get a facial every time I go. I love going and tell my friends and co-workers that they have to try the studio, those who have tried it love it too.

Soul Pilates #1 fan!"

- Mayra Marquez

"I'm so glad I found Soul Pilates in my neighborhood! The instructors are all supportive and super nice which is super important to me when finding a new boutique gym. I have been going to Soul Pilates since they've open and I can honestly say I'm addicted! Hot pilates has changed my body physically and mentally. I love going to class knowing I'm going to feel amazing after. I have told a number of my friends and co-workers about this place and they all love this studio and all the instructors as well! I definitely recommend this studio to newbies, this will change your life and transform you in a positive way!"

- Jolyn Kou

"LOVE this place!!! I always feel my muscles after i attend a class here and it feels good all the time cuz you kno u got a great workout! This place.. Its more than just getting your workout done, staff and instructors are Super FUN, bubbly and so Energetic!! I always feel like i both get my workout done physically and emotionally~~ the atmosphere they build during class gets you so excited and it is one of the best way to start your day! It is the BEST place to practice Pilates and trust me, i been to so many pilates places around. Summer is only couple months away, and if you want to prepare yourself physically and mentally.. SOUL  is place to start!!"

- Hyo Lee

"Soul Pilates is a hidden gem in Downtown Willow Glen! I cannot thank my friend enough for introducing me to this place. It's exactly what I needed! I’ve taken Yoga and Pilates classes at other locations before, but none that compares to the classes here. If anyone knows me, they know that I absolutely hate cardio. However, Julie, Cyndi, and Dawna incorporate cardio into their routine in a way that is fun and manageable. They really motivate you and keep you coming back. Kayla, the receptionist, is really sweet and always welcome you with a smile. It didn’t take her very long to remember my name either! 

I have a desk job and don’t get much exercise during the day, which caused my body to be very tense. After consistently going here for a few weeks, I noticed that my back aches have subsided, and my neck is less tense. Physically, my body is more toned and clothes are starting to fit better. I have a long way to go, but am excited to see the results!

I am notorious for joining a gym and then quitting shortly after, but I have a feeling that I am going to stick with this one for a long time! :) "

- Tina Phan

"I love writing testimonials especially when they are easy to do.. I have been training with weights for years and could never lose that spare tire no matter how hard I tried. Soul Pilates has taken my exercise routine to the next level and I have finally gotten in the shape I want to be in. On top of these classes being terrific workouts... The atmosphere, the trainers, the people are warm and I always feel at home and among friends when I am there.

I would be lost without these classes."

- Joe Racine

"I have an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) due to radioactive iodine treatment. There are a lot of symptoms when you are a hypo:tiredness, cannot tolerate cold and weight gain. For the past two years my weight has been going up. Two months since I enrolled here brought my weight down, reduced my lower back pain and helped improve my posture too! You will really feel your muscles are burning/toning. Instructors (Dawna, Julie, Cyndi and Christi) incorporate weights, a ring or any props in every class, it makes the class even more fun. You might want to give up after your first class but DON’T! After every workout, I feel refreshed, relaxed, and reinvigorated and most of all – de-stressed. You will too…"

- Malen Diestro


The idea of hot pilates always seemed very intimidating to me.  I'm not in great shape and I'm not someone that has had a regular work out routine their entire life.  I was worried I wouldn't be able to keep up or even last the entire hour in the class.  After taking my first class about a month ago, my views have completely changed.  First off, I feel comfortable and at home the minute I walk into the studio.  Kayla is the first person to greet you every day at the front desk and she always does with a smile.  The studio also has everything you need to take the class; mats, towels, even a water station to fill up your water bottle before/after class!  So far I have taken classes taught by Cyndi, Dawna, Elena, and Julie and they are all fantastic instructors!  They are very motivating and really give you the strength to keep going.  For the hour I'm in the class my mind is completely free from thoughts surrounding my day.  I can honestly say it's addicting.  I try to go at least three times a week and have already noticed a change in my body and stamina in the month I have been attending classes.  I have already told many people about this studio and strongly urge others to give it a try. I have never enjoyed sweating so much in my life!"

- Colleen Benham

"I love Soul Pilates WG! The location is HUGE plus, it is  awesome to be able walk to class and not fuss with parking! I appreciate the  front desk staff as they so  welcoming and knowledgeable about the classes and class schedules. The studio size is small but the class size allows the instructors to  really make a connection with everyone. I really enjoy the instructors( Dawna, Cyndi, Christi and Elena) they really know how to motivate me to be mindful that quality movement over quantity yields results and builds my practice. I find the core workout to incredibly challenging so I appreciate the  reminders to “return to your breath”   it helps me power through to my edge . Even though the classes are tough,. I am committed to building my core strength and the classes at  Soul make me sweat until I sparkle!"

- Natasha Haulman

"I am so glad that I stumbled upon Soul Pilates on groupon! Before joining Soul Pilates, I had a gym membership which I mainly used the facility to lift weights and utilize the weight machines as apart of my workout regiment. After my schedule became even more hectic as ever, I slowly stopped making time for the gym let alone have time for myself. Coming into Soul Pilates I had no clue what pilates was all about, yet after the first class I knew this was the perfect fit for me as I wanted to try something new. By staying consistent, I started to see results quicker than ever before! You definitely lose that water weight and tone every part of your body! Results that took me months before came in weeks here at Soul Pilates. Not only did Soul Pilates helped me get back on track physically, but also mentally. If anyone knows me, knows I am always on the go with a full plate which keeps me stress. After going here for a few months, I notice my stress level is now under controlled and I have the wonderful staff here from Kayla, the front desk receptionist to Dawna and her amazing instructors such as Julie,Cyndi, and Cristi to thank for. Not only are they motivational, their choice of music playlist will also keep you engage. Definitely one of my favorite places to be at throughout the week and I always look forward to the classes! I love recommending others to this studio, so do yourself a favor and come join us all on the mat!"

- Jennifer Nguyen

"I found out about Soul Pilates through a coworker who got us all hooked on attending as many classes as we could! This is by far the best workout I have ever had, for many reasons. The instructors Julie, Dawna, Christi and Cyndi actually care about you and make sure if you have had a stressful day you leave with a peaceful mindset. I have been going to this studio since it opened and I am so happy everytime I walk in. I definitely recommend at least trying one class- because you will fall in love as well!"

- Lindsay Catalano

I have always sought out workouts that don't involve weights. I prefer using my body's own resistance to get stronger and maintain flexibility. The workouts at Soul Pilates have been, by far, the most effective (and sometimes grueling) I have ever endured. My wife and I have enjoyed both Julie's and Dawna's expert interval routines - a gentle build into strenuous floor work, then up on your feet for cardio, and back down where the heart settles into Savasana. Each week we get variations from the instructors, often incorporating small weights, the ring, or surprisingly inventive uses of the towel. I have come to rely on these workouts not only to build my core strength and flexibility, but to give me the mental and emotional confidence day-to-day life tends to erode. Soul Pilates has an excellent pilates team who really strike a perfect balance with their passionate instruction.

- David Knight

I have a herniated L4-L5 disc in my back, resulting in sciatica in my left leg. After joining Soul Pilates, the sciatica is gone. I can't recommend them enough. But I will keep writing for those who want a more detailed review.

After two years of pain and multiple epidurals, I decided to try Pilates. I auditioned 4 studios and ended up at Soul Pilates. Here is my story. Wait, that was my story.

Instead, let me give you the perspective from a 30-something male who hates trying new things.

While auditioning studios, SP stood out from the rest with their proactive and friendly communication. I have a good BS detector, and it's never gone off--not even once. They communicate the way I want to (texting, email, whatever--I hate talking on the phone). They understand my limitations because of my back. I feel so vulnerable while rehabbing my back, and I can feel safe in their hands.

Anyway, here's what SP is like for someone new to hot Pilates. Hmm. About that. Bikram yoga is kinda scammy, although more because of the rigidity of routine than the heat itself. I don't necessarily endorse SP because of the heat (90 degrees and humid, like doing Pilates in Florida), but because the Pilates itself is taught well, with attention paid to those with "special needs."

You have to promise yourself you'll go for a couple weeks. Here's why: After the first time you're going to have the absolute worst headache for about 12-18 hours. They say it's because of "toxins." I don't know about all that, but it's something to be aware of. Because I was already taking naproxen for the sciatica, I couldn't take more for the headache :)

Also, you'll be sore if you haven't already been doing a lot of core work. That's a generic caveat about Pilates or any sort of different workout routine for that matter. Just try to walk around a lot and make sure you go back the day after. The one thing the heat and humidity does provide is relief. Also, the headache won't come back. That's just after the first class.

By the third class most of the soreness will be gone. Your general mood should be a little better, but I could be biased because of the relief I had personally. Based on 25 years' experience of working out, though, I can tell you I'd never experienced a change in mood like I did after Soul Pilates.

You can bring your own mat and towels or borrow theirs. You just have to wipe the mat down afterward. (They have those Clorox wipes.) Just in general they do a great job keeping the place clean and the air filtered. An enclosed hot, humid environment is a great place to grow bacteria, but they do what's necessary to keep it from becoming an issue.

If you're blind like me, you can either leave your glasses with the rest of your stuff outside the studio or wear them in. During the class you'll need to take them off, though. If they don't slide off, they'll fog up on you. When you're super-nearsighted like me (-9.75 and -10.25!), having an understanding of Pilates basics helps so you don't have to see the instructor demo the moves. If you wear contacts, I have no idea what it's like to get sweat in your eyes.

It should also be said: I'm usually the only guy in there. Sometimes there's one other guy. I can't see during the class anyway (remember, the glasses), so I have no idea what's going on. Like any self-focused class (yoga, Pilates, kickboxing, whatever), no one is looking at you anyway. Everyone is too busy trying to do the moves right.

And about that: The instructor will help you as much as you'll let her. It's always better to learn the first time than have to unlearn it afterward, right? Some studios will let you struggle, but not here. And if you need to modify because of physical limitations, they can show you all the moves.

Staff in general:

*Kayla seems to be the one who works the desk the most. I've never seen someone be so friendly and helpful all the time. She's always in a better mood than me, which is hard to do. If I want to reserve a spot in a class, I can just text her. It's amazing. (You can also do it with an app, but it's not working for me right now.)

*Julie is the instructor I work with the most. Her background runs deep, and she knows what she's talking about. Despite being one mistake away from a lumbar discectomy, I feel safe in her classes.

*Cyndi is a hoot and a half. She also demos all the moves and will show you the modifications you need and even calls out why you would need them.

*Elena is a more traditional Pilates instructor and a great way to go if you've never done Pilates before.

So in short:

1) Go every other day

2) You'll have a terrible headache after the first time; it's OK

3) Leave your glasses at the door

4) The staff are more helpful than any other studio I've been to

I live down the street, and I wanted a place I could walk to. I can't speak to the parking, but your best bet is probably to park on Blewett and walk 5 minutes.

Anyway, your search is over. The pricing is reasonable, too.

- Joel Edelman

I was so excited when Dawna told me about her new studio opening.  Soul Pilates is a very unique studio, the staff at the front desk are so welcoming and always smiling.  The instructors are extremely knowledgeable and very encouraging.  The studio atmosphere is like family and everyone is extremely kind.  I hope to see more studios open in the future Dawna is an exceptionally awesome owner, offers reasonable prices.  I will continue to refer all my friends to Soul Pilates and look forward to the years to come.

- Teresa Firestine

I started dancing at the age of 4. By high school, I was spending up to 9 hours per day sometimes practicing and preparing for our annual show and loved it. While in college, I continued taking classes and ended up getting accepted into a tiny local dance company. I graduated college and got one of those "big girl" jobs, so it ended up being really tough to find time to incorporate dancing back into my life. I went through my fair share of gyms, yoga studios, and at-home workouts but nothing seemed to resonate with me. I finally got a new career in June of 2013 which allowed me enough work/life balance to be able to start taking a strength and conditioning class (much like Cross-fit) in 2014.  I made a good group of friends in these classes and thought I was getting in shape again when I found out that I had 2 herniated discs in my lower back in the Fall of 2015. I asked my doctor what caused this issue and he simply said, "living life." Not what I wanted to hear... My doctor recommended that I stop all Cross-fit classes and begin focusing on physical therapy instead. Thankfully, I had hit my deductible for my insurance already by this time and the physical therapy sessions were only $15 out of pocket per session, twice per week. That didn't last long. By January 2016 my deductible had reset and the 2x/wk sessions were now $75 each! I spoke to my doctor and begged him to give me an alternative solution; I asked him about yoga and Pilates. He instantly turned down yoga due to the flexion and stress it could put on my spine but to my surprise he was enthusiastic about Pilates! That same day, I began researching various Pilates studios online and making a list of the best ones I could find. I asked my best friend which one she wanted to try with me first and she picked out Soul Pilates. We attended our first class in January/February of 2016 and never tried another studio. The timing of the classes worked with our schedule, the instructors are all very well educated, the front desk staff is extremely helpful, and the classes give me some of the best workouts I've ever had. Before Soul Pilates, the pain in my back ranged from a 4-6 out of 10. After going to Soul Pilates for 3-4 months now, the pain in my back is at a pain level of 0-1 out of 10. My core and back gets stronger every day and now my spine is supported in a much healthier manner. I no longer have to prevent myself from doing the things I love because of my back. Just this last weekend I went and hiked a "moderately" difficult-ranked trail over boulders in between trees, etc. and had zero problems. I have such high hopes moving forward and can see the light at the end of the tunnel in terms of my fitness goals. I can't thank Soul Pilates enough for the encouragement they've given me. Thank you!

- Camille Rozeira

Soul Pilates is by far my favorite studio I’ve ever had the chance to experience.  The instructors are absolutely amazing, along with the owner Dawna Taylor. They offer a variety of heated high intensity interval training (HIIT) and every class works the abs, which is my trouble area.  There is no drama or pretentious attitudes and feel that I acclimated with ease to the comfortable environment.  Although the workouts are challenging and not for the timid, it forced an immediate change in my strength and overall well-being. There is a sense of community and have made some great friend while attending class.  We have fun enjoying the best workout in town.

- Nicole Viscarra

I started Soul Pilates last year @ end of Jan. I was about 235 lbs -felt like I was on my last leg. I came across a FaceBook friend who I went high school with she happen to be an instructor at the studio. Her name is Cyndi Kramer- In a nut shell I was depressed and not motivated at All. I reached out to Cyndi to ask her what the studio and workouts were all about?! She encouraged me to come try the studio out But I was still so nervous -

Day 1 -I came up the stairs feeling so intimidated & scared;didn't know what to expect - After the first class I was so sore I could barely move but I enjoyed the studios environment and positive vibe as it set me at ease -everyone was warm and inviting including the staff.

I kept going to more classes each week I started to feel a lot more comfortable about myself and with the workouts -The motivation was starting to increase -so much i first started in the back of the room progressively moved to the front of the workout room.

Fast forward a year later -I've lost over 60 lbs in a year attend 4-5 classes a week. I can honestly say I'm in the best shape of my life as a 48 year old male I wasn't in this great of shape 20 years ago. 

To wrap up my testimonial I will be completing my Certification Training to instruct a HIIT Hot Pilates class summer of 2016. I'm living proof that things aren't as bad as they seem just look where I started from where I am now! 

- George L Gutierrez