At Suna Pilates our team of Qualified Pilates instructors train weekly and hold monthly sessions to refresh their focus on the exercises for that month. We know they put their heart and soul into taking their Pilates classes, and care deeply about helping our clients understand and enjoy using their own bodies. Our Suna Pilates instructors want to know your goals, so they can help you reach them. We believe that our Pilates instructors are the best in the field, and we know they are fantastic people. Read on to find out more about what makes them unique!
Susie - Master Trainer, Kinesiologist & Nutritionist
Susie is the Co-owner and Master Trainer at Suna Pilates, which she created in 2000. She is also a holistic lifestyle coach, a nutritionist and Kinesiologist.
Susie is a well known authority on all things fitness and wellness. She is the Newstalk ZB and Radio Sport fitness expert, was called ‘a one woman powerhouse’ by Judy Bailey, and is viewed by the thousands of people she’s helped over the years as a 'guru' of positivity, inspiration and motivation.
Susie is very real and authentic – her learnings have come from her own experiences, working on her own health and the very real demands of juggling a successful business and her role as the mother of two.
Susie’s goal is to ‘fix and help’ everyone she comes into contact with. She has a completely holistic approach to wellness that has developed over 20 years. The more she studied the more she came to see how the body and mind are inextricably linked and that for true wellness you can’t address issues in isolation - only by prioritising ourselves and working to align our thoughts words and deeds can we achieve real wellness.
Susie started out in the wellness industry as a Pilates instructor – primarily to fix her numerous injuries from snowboarding. She successfully used Pilates to alleviate her own pain and fix her body and then set out to spread the word and fix as many people as she could by founding Suna Pilates. But years of experience showed her that even the best and most natural exercise in the world couldn’t fix everyone on its own.
So she trained as a Nutritionist and Holistic Lifestyle coach - becoming an accredited Paul Chek Holistic Lifestyle Coach and completing her internship with America’s Dr Cliff Oliver a number of years ago. After many more years helping people she realized that although the combination of exercise and nutrition is vital and powerful it still couldn’t fix everyone and how important our thoughts are in achieving good health. This led Susie to kinesiology and she is now a certified Kinesiologist, having qualified under Dr John Kaye in Australia.
Libby Jeyes - Suna Pilates Head Trainer & Kinesiologist
Our Head Trainer and longest employee, Libby Jeyes, has been at Suna Pilates since 2006. We feel extremely lucky to have such a sincere, talented, upbeat and vibrant Leader in the Suna Team.
With her dedication to Suna and her natural passion for helping others, Libby was handpicked by our Directors, and has completed numerous Pilates training courses. We are proud of her many professional achievements and awed by how her talent just keeps on growing.
Master Instructor: Trained in sports rehabilitation and has the ability to fix people
Instructor Trainer: Qualified to teach courses for people who want a career in pilates
Head Trainer: Trains all Suna Pilates Instructors and ensures all our trainers meet our very high expectations and have a personal drive to excel.
Touch for Health Kinesiology
With a diploma in performing arts, Libby danced professionally overseas for many years. She has combined her dance skills with pilates to further improve her form, and to help prevent injuries. Libby says she has personally experienced many benefits of Pilates training. On returning to NZ, Libby realised she wanted to share her passion for Pilates with others… and here she is. Going strong, doing what she loves, and sharing her love of fitness, wellness and pilates.
A natural cheerleader and leader, Libby is naturally bouncy, energetic and encouraging. It is natural for Libby to be like this all day, every day - and we love having this energy at Suna. It is contagious and an essential ingredient for our positive environment!
Obviously, Libby is a big believer in Suna Pilates:
“At Suna, we are dedicated to helping people with their physical function, health and wellbeing. It is so nice knowing that we make such a positive difference in people’s lives. It’s also super fun. I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else!”
Libby is passionate about dancing, fixing people, drinking wine and having an abundance of fun. She lives a happy, adventurous and outgoing life, and she believes that her greatest achievement is her daughter. Libby is super proud of her gorgeous daughter, and has an enormous amount of love for her.
Libby says if she could be anyone in the world, she would choose to be herself. “I am the best person in the world at being me – no one else could do it better”. We think that’s a pretty great answer! Her super power would be to heal people with just the touch of a hand but “X-ray vision and flying would be pretty cool too”.
We love seeing Libby driving and motivating our Trainers to be the best Pilates instructors around. Go Team Suna! Come and see our lovely Libby teaching SunaFit, SunaForm, SunaJump and Express classes as well as SunaSolo sessions in the studio!
Gabby Redpath - Suna Pilates Instructor
Gabby brings an enormous amount of enthusiasm and dedication to the Suna team. She is hard-working and constantly strives to be the best she can be. With many years of experience in the sports industry, Gabby has always wanted to help athletes excel in their field.
With a huge passion for volleyball, she has represented NZ internationally. She loves both being a Coach and a player, and says she absolutely loves the thrill of improving her own game, just as much as seeing a student improve theirs. This thrill and passion for fitness is a formula for one amazing trainer!
Gabby was inspired to become a pilates instructor because it fits with her passion for helping people become the best version of themselves. She was captivated by how good she felt after her first Pilates session at Suna, and wanted the opportunity to help others to feel the same way.
We love having Gabby on the Suna team. Her drive, determination, humour and hardworking mentality are just a few of the things we love about her. You will see these qualities in her classes - she wants you to get results too, and will do her best to see that you achieve this.
Gabby feels she fits in with the Suna Pilates team and mentality:
"Suna has given me endless opportunities to extend my knowledge of what the mind and body need to stay happy and healthy. Everyone here is so supportive of each other that for me ‘having a bad day at work’ no longer exists!”
As well as being passionate about volleyball, Gabby loves to travel, and told us that her greatest achievement so far was surviving South East Asia for over seven weeks, going to remote areas, living life on the edge, exploring and experiencing new things…. “What a ride!”
Gabby said that if she could be anyone in the world… she would be herself. She is happy being who she is, and we can see why. We love having this vibrant, upbeat and strong person in our team of pilates instructors. Look for Gabby teaching SunaForm, SunaFit, SunaJump and Express classes in studio!
Vini Rodrigues - Suna Pilates Instructor
Vini is our enthusiastic, energetic Brazilian Trainer who brings with him a lot of knowledge to our team. He co-owned a Pilates studio in Brazil and has been in the fitness industry for 11 years.
Vini was inspired to become a pilates instructor as he wanted to have a strong core to protect his body from sporting injuries, to improve his range of motion on movements, to have a great posture and look more presentable. We can vouch for him that he has done this exceptionally well.
Vini is a real asset to our team, with his amazing energy and drive for a cohesive team. One of the best things about Vini is his genuinely caring nature. He told us “I want to grow up with everyone on my side”. How beautiful is that.
Vini told us why he loves working at Suna Pilates:
“I love the environment - everyone is happy most of the time and ready to help each other out. I really feel accepted and welcome!”
Outside Suna, Vini loves nature and how life is constantly evolving.
Vini has many skills outside of pilates. He has various qualifications in the fitness field and has also been trained to look after the elderly. He believes that his greatest achievement so far is constructing a life in NZ. He left his family and friends behind to follow his goal of creating a better life for himself. The path has been really challenging for Vini, but he isn’t a quitter!
Our driven, loving Brazilian instructor said that if he could be anyone in the world… he would be himself. The only thing he wants is to travel the world more, meet more people and speak more languages so he can communicate with more people. His superpower would be to make peace in the world. And this is truly our Vini. We see this every day with his kind heart and beautiful smile. He wants everyone to work together and eliminate all the problems in the world. Let’s hope one day we can show him this is possible.
We’re lucky to have such a warm, genuine, caring guy in our team of pilates instructors. Look out for Vini teaching SunaForm, SunaFit, SunaJump and Express classes in studio!
Renske van den Braak - Suna Pilates Instructor
Renske learnt basic Pilates and functional exercises from her Dad, who is a Physiotherapist. As a dancer, Renske was driven to learn more, as she knew the benefits of Pilates for Dancers. At the end of each dance class, she would teach her dance students Pilates, to make them better dancers, to help with their core strength, prevent injuries and so much more.
When Renske moved here from the Netherlands, she saw our Suna Mat Basics Instructor course and signed up straight away! We fell in love with her drive, ambition, and natural instructor ability - so we invited her to be part of our Suna Team.
Renske says “I’m SO thankful for the warm welcome the Suna team gave me, from the first moment I came in. I do miss my family back in the Netherlands, but I think I found a second family here in New Zealand”.
Renske has a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Management and brings her experiences as a Dance instructor in kids dance, hip hop, street dance and Zumba to her understanding of how people think and move. Renske is hard working, determined, open minded - and a bit of a perfectionist - but we love that about her, and Renske is a strong addition to the Suna Team.
We asked Renske why she loves working at Suna and she said “People here care, and there are a lot of happy and loving vibes”.
Outside of her family here at Suna, Renske loves dancing, playing basketball, hiking, exploring and camping in New Zealand’s beautiful nature, as well as reading. She names her decision to follow love, move to New Zealand and to just go for it as her greatest achievement!
We asked Renske what super power she would choose, and in typical Renske style, she said turning sad faces into smiles :). We know when you meet her, she will turn those frowns upside down even without a super power… try her classes and you will see.
We are so lucky to have such a hard-working, caring, warm and determined person in our team of Pilates instructors. Look out for Renske teaching Reformer, HIIT and Fit classes in studio!
Abbi Sim - Suna Pilates Instructor
With 20 years as a dancer, then professional dancer and dance tutor, Abbi has an innate understanding of movement which she brings to her Pilates training style.
"I had the joy of passing on my knowledge to aspiring dancers for seven years, and now am loving teaching Pilates!"
Abbi taught dance professionally for 7 years and has a Bachelor's degree in Sport and Recreation, majoring in sport science and sport management.
After five years as a qualified Personal trainer Abbi wanted to help people to learn about their bodies and help more with injury rehabilitation, so she made a shift within the fitness community to training in Suna Pilates, and became a Qualified Pilates Instructor with Suna in early 2019.
Abbi is passionate about the power of Pilates for rehabilitation and finds it extremely rewarding to see a person’s function and strength return to their body after an injury. Abbi also really enjoys teaching classes and says:
"Suna classes are amazing to teach, they are always joyful and full of laughs! Our clients are a great group of people, and always so willing to learn about their bodies."
Since joining our team of Suna Instructors, Abbi has discovered that the team is "an awesome bunch of people, who are so willing to pass on their knowledge."
Abbi’s sense of joy and passion in movement make her classes engaging and fun. Her years of experience in Health and Fitness and her general warm personality have given Abbi an exceptional ability to connect with her clients - and get results.