The Pilates Experience



Pilates is now part of my entire daily routine. It not only helps me stay in shape but has improved my posture and core strength.

Phyllis Botterweck


I have always tried to incorporate exercise into my life and have tried many different approaches -- do-it-yourself, personal trainer, aerobic classes, joining a health club, etc. With all of these I eventually "burned out" either because I didn't enjoy it or because it was too much work. And then I tried Pilates. I actually look forward to going to class and intend to do it for the rest of my life. It doesn't exhaust you - and yet you feel great. I don't have the aches and pains that I used to. Thanks Karen!




I am pleased to recommend Karen Stoakley's Pilates Experience which has helped me to bring under control recurring lower back problems. My posture has also improved through the core strengthening exercises. As an instructor, Karen's thorough knowledge of the Pilates concepts and her continuous concern for her client's needs and proper form make sessions with her productive. Without nagging or preaching Karen sets a good example and gives encouragement.

Ann Dervis

Dear Karen - Thank you for introducing me to Pilates. Your sincere dedication and concern for your clients is reflective in your very informative professional, yet personal instruction. Your humor makes the workout fun.

Polly Baran


Pilates has been so good for me and I'm very grateful to Karen and the Pilates Experience for being there. I'm older (darn!) and have arthritis (argh!!) and Pilates has helped me so much in my range of motion. Karen's attentive and gentle guidance has helped me stand taller and walk without the old hip limp!!! Plus....Karen is one of the nicest people God ever created! You can't help but just love her! So, my advice is to try it! You'll be addicted--just like me. It's fun!!

Kathy Kotecki Glen Ellyn



Karen's knowledge of Pilates, along with her background in physical fitness, helped me to live a much more active and enjoyable life, especially since I have arthritis.

Phyllis Sisto

I have been a client of Karen's for almost 10 years now. As an athlete, I spend a lot of time breaking my body down. Karen works with me each week to rebuild my strength, ease muscle soreness and correct any in-balances that can occur, especially after a big race. She targets specific muscle groups that I need to work on, and she is always presenting new techniques and ideas. I have remained injury-free, and my flexibility and overall body awareness has increased greatly. Karen's Pilates session is my favorite workout of the week!!

~ Diane V.


I want to write about how much Karen has helped me and how wonderful she is. Even though I am on Medical Leave to have hip surgery, among other medical issues, I realize how much patience and understanding she has. She has helped me control my arthritis and worked with me to prevent further arthritis problems for the future. She made me realize how important it is to keep moving, and keep synovial fluid going through the joints to avoid stiffness and freezing up. I can't imagine how bad I would be if I hadn't met her. Karen is not only a wonderful Pilates Instructor, but a knowledgeable, professional personal trainer. She is truly a caring and sincere person. A great friend. I can't wait to return after my surgery so I can get back to an active lifestyle again with her help and positive enthusiasm!

~ Phyllis S.


My story started with Karen and The Pilates Experience after a bad fall at work that resulted in 2 discs being herniated in my lower spine. The discs were pushing on the nerves going to my left hip and leg. I had trouble walking, sitting, or standing; basically anything; except sitting with a forward lean to my spine. This was the only position to take the pressure off the nerve and be free of pain.

After 6 months of cortisone injections, nerve blockers, pain killers and muscle relaxers, it was determined that my only other option was surgery to fuse the vertebrate and repair the bulging discs. I was very reluctant to go under the knife, but had no other medical options left. My sister suggested core strengthening to reinforce the muscles surrounding the back and spine. After researching my options I decided to try The Pilates Experience.

I started with Karen in Fall of 2013, with 2 sessions a week. Karen worked within my physical limit's and targeted the injury with her experienced techniques. After 2 months I knew I was on the right path. I was walking upright again for the first time in months and could stand for more than 15 minutes at a time. After 6 months I was relatively pain free. I have gone back for further MRI's and scans, and they consider my injury healed and the pressure on the nerves has been released. I can only attribute that to Karen (and Joseph Pilates). I have continued with Karen since that time, because i love the way my body has been slowly changing, toning and I am standing straighter and taller .. I am proof that The Pilates Experience can and will help you recover from injury, but it is so much more than that. Try it, you are worth it!!!



Hear Ye! Let it be known far and wide that I found Karen Stoakley and The Pilates Experience through serendipity. That could be good fortune, luck and being in the right place at the right time, etc. Karen is encouraging to me and a perfectionist who wants your well being at all times. She never seems to get discouraged with my limitations. I have been with her for four years, and the benefits are good. Thank you Karen, I am so happy to have found you as a Pilates Instructor and a friend.

~ D.B.


The Pilates Experience has enhanced my life and improved my overall well being. I never thought I would like it so much to stick with it on a regular basis but I truly look forward to it and want to continue to push myself to improve. Karen is a great trainer and makes sure you are well informed about the whole experience! I am so glad I finally decided to try Pilates. Thanks Karen!!

~ Barb R.


Came back to Pilates after a running injury forced me to leave that sport. I really cannot say enough how much Karen and the Pilates Experience have helped me to work around my problems (bunions and PTTD). Running may be out of the question these days, but I am finding myself able to try and enjoy different activities as the Pilates has given me new strength and flexibility.


Beside, Karen is a pleasure to spend time with! Going to Pilates has never been a chore...and continues to be something I consider essential to my health. It takes time...but Karen is one of the most patient people I have met.

~ Sharon