Our Team

ingrid JOHNSON

While attending the University of Michigan on a full piano scholarship, she fell in love with exercise and fitness. She earned her Master’s Degree in Exercise Science at Oakland University. She went on to study Pilates with STOTT PILATES® (2000), high-performance corrective exercise, and golf conditioning at the CHEK Institute in Encinitas (2001). She is also certified with ISSA as a personal trainer.

At the forefront of golf fitness, she has produced her own line of Golf Conditioning DVD’s and her own weekly Golf Conditioning TV show.

In 2006, she moved to Encinitas to train exclusively at pillarPERFORMANCE. She also runs weekly Rock Steady Boxing for Parkinson’s patients classes. She believes in staying on top of the latest research in exercise and fitness, so her workout design is of the highest scientific quality. She doesn’t follow fitness fads, but rather uses proven techniques to bring results to her clients.

“As a classical pianist from Sweden, this is my approach to fitness…Think of your body as an instrument. Much like learning how to play an instrument, a physical training program needs a solid foundation, a logical progression, should value discipline and consistency, and include an appropriate repertoire of movements” – IJ

• Masters Degree in Exercise Science

• Personal Trainer, International Sports Science Association (ISSA)

• Pilates Instructor, STOTT PILATES® Advanced Level II

• CHEK Practitioner Level 2

• CHEK Certified Golf Biomechanics Specialist


kirstin FENDER

Kirstin Fender is the owner of The Fit Equestrian. Her passion for health and fitness is rooted in her athletic background and affinity for anything food related. She started riding horses at the age of 8 and it continues to remain a large part of her life. While she has successfully competed in the sport of eventing, it has taken a back seat secondary to her desire to improve rider health and fitness through EQUESTRIAN PILATES ® and nutrition counseling.

Although keen on working with riders, Kirstin enjoys anyone who is enthusiastic about enhancing their physical fitness and well-being. Her style is patient and supportive, yet challenging.

“Nourish your mind, body and soul with how you eat, think, speak and act.” – KF

• Pilates Instructor, STOTT PILATES® Advanced Level II

• Equestrian Pilates, Level lII

• Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

• Functional Movement Screen, FMS Level I



Trish DaCosta is a Pilates instructor and Personal Trainer on a mission to boost her clients’ performance and longevity in whatever athletic pursuit they love. She is trained in both classical and STOTT PILATES®, studied under a Second Generation Master Pilates Trainer and holds several certifications from NASM, Spinning and ACE.

Trish also runs Barbell Pilates where she coaches strength and recreational athletes online how to integrate Pilates into their training to elevate their performance and master their bodies.

“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” – Francis of Assisi

• Pilates Instructor, STOTT PILATES® Level I

• Instructor, Monkey Bar Gymnasium Level I

• Group Fitness Instructor, GFI, ACE


raquel ROBLES

Raquel (aka Rocky) has always been fascinated with the body for as long as she can remember. She loves how the body constantly changes especially throughout our lifetime. Being in alignment, structurally, spiritually, nutritionally, emotionally is crucial to longevity and vitality. Her approach to each client is tailored to each individual based on where they are at. She looks at the entire body system not just how you look physically, but inside out.

She has worked with clients helping them correct their posture, alignment, mobility, strength conditioning, and nutrition/immune system. She continues to apply the knowledge she has learned and loves learning on a daily basis. She loves what she do and do what she loves. Outside of work, she spends her time in nature, from the ocean to the mountains.

“Life is meant to be fun. Simplify, Smile, Love, Laugh at yourself often, it is healthy!” – RR

• CHEK Practitioner

• BioStructural Correction Practitioner

• Corrective Exercise Practitioner

• Health and Wellness Coach



Susie Waloch Leisten was born and raised in southern California. Her interest in fitness started in high school when her mother became a group exercise instructor. After graduating from Vista High School in 1979, Susie took the appropriate training to also become a group exercise instructor. Her love of dance and exercise continued to grow, and she then took the necessary steps to become a certified personal trainer.

The joy Susie gets from working with students in her classes and one on one with her clients is undeniable. Susie especially enjoys working with the more mature adults whose needs include balance, bone density and overall strength so they can live their lives to the fullest.

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

• Personal Trainer, Athletics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA)

• Group Exercise Instructor, AFAA

• Mat Pilates Instructor, Power Pilates

• Cycling Instructor, Schwinn & Mad Dogg

• TRX Instructor


justin McPHAIL

I developed a passion for Strength & Conditioning while I was in high school competing for a position on the varsity baseball team. As I saw myself become stronger and more skilled, I was given the opportunity to play baseball at Westmont College. I decided to pursue Kinesiology and enjoyed learning about human performance. My involvement in sports and strength training drove me to Personal Training.

I am a Certified Strength & Conditioning Coach (CSCS) with a Kinesiology degree from Westmont College. As a strength and conditioning coach I utilize the versatility of periodization and movement based on the clients needs and wants. My aim is to help clients
achieve their goals while improving joint integrity and reducing the chance of injury.

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” – Ernest Hemingway

larina DENISON

Larina Denison has been in the Pilates industry for twenty years. After her initial training she was hooked and this led to a lifelong learning and studying Pilates. After facing a physical setback in 2010 during her pregnancy, she used Pilates to rehabilitate her body. Larina teaches with passion knowing how it has changed her life. Her lessons focus on flow, proper muscle recruitment, precise alignment and working deep. Larina lives in Cardiff and is a wife and mother of three. She enjoys running, biking, climbing, and now surfing. Pilates allows her to keep up with her kids and live life to the fullest. She
believes it can do the same for you!

“A body on the couch wants to stay on the couch, and a body in motion wants to stay in motion!”

• Full Comprehensive 500 hours studio training

• PhysicalMind Initition 101

• PhysicalMind Initition 201



• Basi Pilates for Injury and Pathologies

Studio Address

1010 South Coast Highway 101 Ste #107
Encinitas, CA 92024


(760) 479-1944



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