Risa Mathews, MA
Owner & Director
Risa's personal practice in the Pilates Method began in 1987, whilst studying at SFU, attending dance classes on campus & at the Dance Gallery
, and working in aquatics for the Vancouver Parks Board
A chronic knee condition led her
to eventually give up dance and begin Pilates
In 1993 Risa
was involved in a motor vehicle accident which left her
unable to walk the following year.
The combination of aggressive rehabilitation involving chiropractic, osteopathic, physiotherapy, massage therapy, and rehabilitative pilates, assisted the healing process.
The focus on personal well-being also set the ground for a change in careers from academics to movement education.
Apprenticeships in a number of established Pilates studios took place in Sydney, Australia, where Risa
was attending post-graduate studies in Communication.
Her many years of teaching (swimming, aerobics, movement for rehabilitation, as well as teaching in academics) combined with a personal need for ongoing physical rehabilitation, set the foundation needed for moving full-time into physical medicine.
Risa's first studio "Boditree Physical Conditioning Pilates Studio
" opened in 1995 in Sydney, Australia, seeing regular referrals from local Osteopaths, Physiotherapists, and Massage Therapists.
In 1999 Risa
Sydney studio to return to her
hometown of Vancouver, BC, to open Boditree Pilates & Healing in Kitsilano.
Since 1996 Risa
has presented workshops in Canada, the US, & Australia, in addition to training and apprenticing Instructors through Boditree's
in-house educational programs.
Since becoming a parent in 2004, Risa
has developed a comprehensive protocol for pre and post-natal workout designs, catering to the multitude of needs associated with pregnancy, childbirth, and the months of physical changes that often follow the birth experience.
Risa's dedication to assisting people with pain management has resulted in the development of a number of in-house systems, applications, and protocols that are used to help participants transition from a pain-relief styled exercise program to one that is more athletic, and focussed instead on gaining strength, control, balance, and improved flexibility.
Clients with conditions such as chronic pain, post surgical atrophy, c-section recovery, scoliosis, hip relacement, migraines, and arthritis have motivated Risa
to continuously explore and develop new ways of helping people eliminate pain, and get on the path towards moving with grace, power, and ease.
Risa is a founding member of the Pilates Association of Canada, and served on the Board of Directors for 3 years.
In 2004 Risa
participated in a focus group made up of Instructors and fellow studio owners, to develop standards for BCRPA Pilates Matwork fitness leaders.
was first recognized as a registered Pilates Instructor by the APMA in 1997, and upgraded to practitioner level 2 status (7000 hours of teaching), in 1999.
also holds certification in Touch for Health levels 1-4, Hyperton-X stretch and release systems levels 1-4, and is studying cranial-sacral therapy.
Since 2004 Risa
has created a scoliosis protocol that has been recognized by BC Women's and Children's Hospital
, and sees many referrals from physicians working with teenagers diagnosed with the condition.
Nicola trained under Risa Mathews
in the first instructor training and apprenticeship program Boditree
offered in Canada, in 2000/01.