Meet the Instructors: Reformer Pilates


Published Monday, February 18, 2019

Reformer Pilates is a growing trend in the fitness community, but its history dates back to 1920. Some call it “the original physical therapy” because of the practice’s focus on training your body to move in safer and more efficient patterns of motion.

As a part of our recent expansion, we built a brand new Reformer Pilates studio equipped with 6 Allegro® 2 Reformers & 6 EXO-Chairs. This new space enabled us to expand our Reformer Pilates program from private and duet sessions to group classes, opening up this exercise platform to even more members.

In this blog post, we introduce you to our three talented Reformer Pilates instructors: Eric Funderburk, Rachel Haffner, and Kristin Smith. If you see them around the J, introduce yourself and ask questions about how their program could benefit you. Whether you’re looking to lengthen and tone or recover from an injury, Reformer Pilates could help achieve your health goals.

Meet Eric Funderburk

Eric blends two body therapy modalities into his practice: the art of deep tissue, healing, and restorative massage and the total body strengthening, toning, and flexibility of Pilates.

Raised in Louisiana, Eric’s education and early career took him to Memphis, Santa Fe, Santa Cruz, and Los Gatos, with short stints in Puerto Rico and Australia. He earned his certification in massage therapy at the acclaimed New Mexico Academy of Healing Arts in 1995, and in 2002, he completed his Pilates certification with Polestar Education (a leader in rehab and post-rehab Pilates).

“I enjoy helping people discover how to use their bodies efficiently and effectively,” Eric said. “I’ve witnessed thousands of people gain a better understanding of their mind-body connection through Pilates.”

By offering concentrated exercises and stretches, Eric helps his students become stronger, more flexible, balanced, and coordinated. His students also walk away with self-care techniques that can be practiced while at work or at home to improve their health.

Outside of the studio, Eric plays golf and tennis, swims, surfs occasionally, runs, mountain bikes, and scuba dives. All of these activities give Eric a unique perspective to better work with all kinds of athletes, injuries, and imbalances.

Where you can catch Eric:

Multi-Level Reformer
Tuesdays at 9:15 AM
Wednesdays at 9:00 AM and 5:30 PM
Fridays at 9:00 AM

Reformer Circuit
Saturdays at 9:00 AM



Book a class with Eric 

Meet Rachel Haffner

Rachel is our newest Reformer Pilates instructor at the J, but she is no stranger to our organization. Rachel attended nursery school here and spent her summers as a JCC camper.

Born and raised in New Orleans, Rachel was a gymnast most of her life. She graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Kinesiology-Exercise Science. Rachel started her career in a traditional office environment, spending her days in meetings or at a desk but always missing her outlet for fitness.

After working several years in the fast-paced technology industry, Rachel found her way back to fitness. She earned certifications to instruct group fitness, Pilates, and TRX.

“I discovered Pilates after several injuries sidelined me from other exercises, and then I just knew it would always be an integral part of my life,” Rachel said. “I’m excited to share my fitness journey with members and guide them through their own.”

One of Rachel’s most recent achievements is converting her mom, Terri, into a Reformer Pilates enthusiast. Next up, she wants to see her dad, Jeff, as a student in her TRX class.

Where you can catch Rachel:

Multi-Level Reformer
Tuesdays at 5:30 PM
Thursdays at 8:00 AM

Mat Pilates
Thursdays at 12:00 PM

TRX Circuit
Thursdays at 9:15 AM


Book a class with Rachel 

Meet Kristin Smith

Kristin is a high-energy, motivating instructor with high attention to detail. Her motto: “Pilates is intelligent exercise effective for ANY BODY”

A native of Baton Rouge and a graduate of LSU, Kristen spent the first 12 years of her career in non-profit work. Fitness, especially marathon training and tennis, became a hobby during that time.

“I began taking Pilates classes to supplement my training and fell in love with the strength, stretch, and stability that it provided,” Kristin said. “After seeing the benefits myself, I decided to become certified to teach Pilates in 2011 to help others achieve their health and wellness goals.”

Kristen’s first certification in Pilates kick-started her next career path in fitness. Certifications in barre, group exercise, TRX, sports nutrition, and PIYO followed shortly after. Most recently, Kristen completed a comprehensive 900 hour Classical Pilates certification through Power Pilates.

In her time outside of classes, you can find Kristin trying out new restaurants, traveling, entertaining out-of-towners, playing tennis, or spending time with her husband Chris and their two Pointers, Murphy, and Junior.



Where you can catch Kristin:

Multi-Level Reformer
Mondays at 8:00 AM and 9:15 AM



Book a class with Kristin 

Sold on Reformer Pilates? Visit our Reformer Pilates page to learn how you can get started.


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