"Tonya combines a background in professional dance and extensive Pilates training with her passion and knowledge of the human body to help people regain function and excel. I have confidently referred a variety of patients, from seniors to Olympic athletes, for her guidance. Whether you are looking to recover from an injury, prevent injury, or improve sport performance, I highly recommend Aspire Pilates Center and Tonya Amos."
- Adam Benjamin, DC
Tonya is a remarkable Pilates instructor. She is able to use her professional dance background to great advantage. Not only is she acutely aware of how movement feels in her own body, but she is able to observe it and teach it with precision. She uses unique and creative imagery to coax even the most reluctant muscles to come out of hibernation! She is able to tailor her exercise intervention to an appropriate level for a wide range of clients. This, combined with her warmth and enthusiasm, makes the overall experience in her studio a very positive one.
Kathryn Thornburg, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT
Taylor & Thornburg Physical Therapy, Inc.,Oakland, California
"This was really an amazing experience. I never expected to see the changes I did so quickly"
- Starla S., M.D
“The strength of Tonya’s Pilates practice is her personalized and individualized approach with her clients which is focused on injury prevention, symptom reduction, and strength training. She takes the time and has the ability to teach anyone Pilates with positive results. I know first hand because it has worked for me.”
- Ardis C. Martin, MD.
"The class went above and beyond my expectations! The instructor was more knowledgeable than anyone I have spoken to in this area of expertise. As a physical therapist I am already aware of my body, but this class has taught me how to be even more aware of how I move. I love every bit of it! Tonya, you are my muse for body awareness! You have prolonged my injury free career! Thank You."
- Connie G., Physical Therapist
“Aspire Pilates Center is faaaaabulous!! If it weren’t for Tonya and Charlie, I don’t know where I’d be right now. She saved my life and I am now 84 pounds lighter”.
I feel like I rediscovered a younger self I had given up on. I feel this training will give me healthy movement habits for the rest of my life."
- Jennifer B., Walnut Creek, CA
Aspre has changed my body and my life. No matter how bad a day is or how rough a week it has been, going to Aspire makes me walk out revived and ready to take on what is next.
“Tonya, you have tremendous patience, and I truly appreciate the time you take to make sure I understand what I'm doing so I do it right and I don't get hurt. You have a great ability to meet everyone where they are. I walked into your studio not really knowing what Pilates was all about, but after working with you, I realize it's the best thing ever! I feel taller, stronger, and more limber than when I was 20! This is awesome.”
- Alicia M., Concord, CA
This experience has really made me much more aware of my body and movements. I am definitely thinking about what I do and how I do it... before I do it.
-Lynda B., Concord, CA
I love working with Tonya. She is very knowledgeable and giving of spirit which puts me at ease with my present inabilities.
- Anita J., Concord, CA
"In this fascinating world of either hyper-focused sports training or complete couch potato that children live right now, Tonya provides a great balance, training, and awareness of body performance. I find my children (3 of them!) not only have learned strength, grace, and injury prevention techniques, but also a greater appreciation of their body and its role in the arts."
- Lisa C., San Francisco, CA
“I had no back pain for my entire pregnancy and I had my baby in 10 minutes, with only 4 pushes! I know it was the Pilates!”
- Paola C., Concord, CA
Having recently given birth to my baby, Pilates felt like it helped me heal and strengthen my muscles. Every time I get out of class my stomach feels a little tighter and I feel awesome and stronger. I am now able to go for long walks and exercise without pain. I am more aware of my posture and alignment. Love it!!
-Sandra K., Pleasant Hill, CA
Only a half hour of great pushing. Thanks Pilates!!!!
Yes! And I am doing stomach exercises while I PUMP. Multi-tasking!
- Linda J., Pleasant Hill, CA
“This class has given me my body back. Without it and what I’ve learned, I wouldn’t be able to be strong for my family”.
- Monica T., Pleasant Hill, CA
“Tonya was knowledgeable and very in-tune with what I needed along my pregnancy. I learned lots of things I can use to build strength and relieve pain. She was welcoming, fun, and helpful and the work was enjoyable while not too strenuous."
- Kristin C., Pleasant Hill, CA
I delivered a healthy baby girl on September 28th! I had my heart set on an epidural, but everything happened so fast that they didn’t have time to give me the drugs. I think that all that work that we did really helped me have a quick delivery. It took about 25 minutes of pushing, but everything happened so fast that they didn’t even have time to admit me into the hospital until afterwards. Thanks for your help! I’m positive I couldn’t have done it without those core muscles being strong!
- Melinda C., Walnut Creek, CA
“Tonya not only has helped me become a healthier person in a healthier body, but has also helped me to become a better swimmer. She is creative in her approach and exercises, customizes the program to my needs, and allows my learning process to take its own shape. She is a kind, generous, and intelligent woman who has inspired me on a personal and athletic level. I have gleaned so much information from her vast knowledge base that my whole experience as her student has been and will continue to be invaluable.”
- Allison Wagner, Olympic Silver Medalist Swimmer
client of month
Before Pilates I was doing tons of sit-ups to strengthen my core, which gave me a great six pack, but not a stable core. With Pilates, I learned how to really engage my hamstrings which increased my overall strength and speed. I also realized that I was not stretching important muscle groups which inevitably led to injury. Tonya's keen eye is able to see unhealthy movement patterns in just a short time. I never thought Pilates could be so beneficial."
photo with client of month
“I'm in my mid 50’s and still competing at amateur golf at a high level. Tonya has taken the time and effort to personally identify bad habits, weak muscles, stressed joints and provide specific exercises that have not only eliminated my pain, but increased my strength, flexibility, balance and improved my golf game. I am able to play and practice more and my body mechanics have really improved, which allows me to swing the club more effectively to produce more club head speed. Pilates has really changed my life and taught me about my body and its unique traits.
“Tonya helped my kids get to the next level. We expected core strengthening. What we got was overall top level conditioning, improved line, and less injuries. Her eye is top rate and her background as a gymnastics coach makes her ideal for bringing the power of Pilates into the gymnastics world”.
- Kim Rich, Sutton Gymnastics Level 9 coach, Chelsea Piers’ Director of Gymnastics, New York, NY
"I can kick higher with less effort!"
- Walter D., National Tae Kwon Do Gold Medalist, Antioch, CA
"I've been doing the "PrePilates" exercises you showed me last week and all I can say is...WOW! I've been able to kick, stretch and even do my ab exercises on the chin-up bar at the gym with substantially better results and no PAIN! A whole new world has opened up...so my heartfelt thanks!”
- John H., Martial Artist, San Francisco, CA
"I've avoided [hip replacement] surgery for the time being. In less than a year, I have gone from experiencing debilitating pain most of the time, to occasional, moderate pain. And my posture is now as it should be. I never thought that I'd be playing tennis or cycling, let alone jogging ever again. I have a new lease on life".
"Thanks to Tonya Amos' patient and gifted expertise, I have gained an enhanced mind/body awareness that has changed my life on many levels. Now the quality of my life is one of joyous freedom from pain that previously had prevented me from successfully participating in many physical activities. I feel a new world of possibilities has opened up for me.”
- Kathleen D., Concord, CA
Tonya is awesome! I don't know any one more knowledgeable about the muscular structure of body and how to fix what ails it. When I first told Tonya about the foot pain I was experiencing every time i woke up, she said - I can tell you how to fix that. Then she showed me some exercises. I did them every day, like she said, and I haven't had any pain - not one bit - ever since. And I had been having that pain off and on probably for decades. Tonya is a magician! If I lived closer, I'd go to all her classes too. She knows what she's doing, and she's fun too!
Pamela G., New York, NY
I was in the United States Navy when I had a knee injury which resulted in surgery. Over the years I have developed Arthritis in my knees and they felt very unstable. I had given up hope on anything helping. I have done physical therapy and other avenues. When I first met Tonya and she spoke about Pilates my feeling was Pilates is for women. So we developed a friendship and I really wanted to see what she did, so I took some classes. I was amazed when my knee started to feel stronger and each day my pain level in my knee went down. I am a believer now and forever. There is no-one more dedicated to your bodies success.
Dwaine D., San Ramon, CA
photo with client of month
"I literally had to stop 4 times on a drive home from Lake Tahoe because the pain was so bad sitting down. After seeing a sports therapist that 'rearranged' things and helped it for about 2 days, taking pain pills, muscle relaxers, heating pads, ice packs, and everything my doctor prescribed/suggested, I was basically desperate. So I started at Aspire. I was skeptical because I am not in very good physical condition, and wasn't sure how Pilates was going to help..... "I tell you, I AM 100% PAIN FREE! NO JOKE!!!"
“I slept all night with no leg pain!!! Which means my husband did, too! Amazing!! Thanks so much.” & “Tonya’s cautious approach helped me ease into strengthening without pain. She addressed individual needs without taking away from the class. She educates every step of the way”.
- Terese M., Concord, CA
photo with cient of month
"I was having pain down my right leg and I could barely lift up my leg because it hurt so much. I no longer have ANY leg pain and my back pain is very limited (which I now know how to decrease if I get uncomfortable after a long commute)... My husband said that my shoulders don't slouch over like they used to. I definitely have better posture".
photo with client of month
"As I got older, my body started locking up on me. I had really lost my flexibility and I always hurt so badly. I had trouble getting out of bed and standing up again after sitting. Movement was very painful and the pain made me unhappy, moody and tired. I felt like I was becoming a miserable person.... All of a sudden, I noticed that my happy go lucky attitude was back and I was starting to enjoy life again. I'm more consistently in a good mood and I catch myself whistling, which I haven't done in years. I'm thrilled to know that my bad moods and unhappiness were not who I was becoming, but were due to pain. I am so grateful to Aspire Pilates Center for helping me get this back".
photo with client of month
"The first couple of weeks in private sessions, we worked on breathing exercises to get my core muscles to kick in. It doesn't sound like much, but I was in pain and too weak for anything else."
"Now I really understand what it means to use my core and am always surprised that now my stomach and legs are doing most of the work for me instead of my back.
"Finding Tonya was one of the true miracles of my life. To say that she taught me how to get in touch with many muscles in my body and how to use them properly would only hint at what I gained from my sessions with her. No teacher I have encountered since has given such personal attention to her students and made each movement a meaningful effort that must be made with careful attention. Tonya gives an extra dimension, far beyond the meaning of "exercise" to her work that makes every minute a discovery and a joy."
- Shirley M., Walnut Creek, CA
“She was a very energizing, encouraging coach. Tonya knows the body and seeks the underlying reasons for various body problems and tailors her work and assignments accordingly. She does not work from a text book but from an intimate, deep understanding of the human body! Amazing to watch her rework my previous exercise regime to achieve good results and eliminate unintended negative consequences. Tonya is the best from a deep background in dance and movement; she brings an understanding of how our lives have misshaped our bodies and uses that to tailor effective strategies to correct our problems. She brings so much energy and concern to each student, that if the student only meets her part way, great progress is assured.”
- Glen L., San Francisco, CA
“I had to tell you that when I was driving after our session yesterday, I had to adjust the rear view mirror -- I was sitting higher (straighter)! Woo-Hoo! Don't you just love progress?! And I had my monthly Chiropractor appointment today and she said that I am 'much straighter'! She said to tell you, 'Thank you!' from her! Thank you from me too! You're the best!!! Thank you again for your caring support."
- Sandy W., Martinez
“Wow, my lungs are at 270 today which is as good as they have ever been since I started testing. I'm imagining my lungs being at 450! With Pilates I feel it is very possible!"
- Teresa P., Clayton, CA
Tonya remembers the special needs of each of her students. She really sees what’s going on with your body and helps you understand. She makes the class fun with her imagination and kindness.
-Mary Lou M., Hercules, CA
"Tonya really bridges the gap between Pilates and dance. She has a fabulous way of addressing a dancer’s needs. She has helped me so much, even long distance over the phone! Her way of describing and explaining movement is so clear. She really understands what I need to prolong my dance career, helps me stay strong against injury, and keeps my extension gorgeous and pain-free. "
-Mindy Haywood, “Stomp” on Broadway & Metropolitan Opera, New York, NY
"Over the past five years, I've often called upon Tonya to help me with my post knee surgery recovery, a recurring hip injury and numerous everyday aches and pains. Due to her background as a professional dancer, she has extensive first hand knowledge when it comes to the body and how it works. You can only imagine the knowledge that she gained after completing her Pilates studies not once, but twice, on her own accord. Her dedication to her craft is remarkable. You can expect much more than just a good workout with Tonya. You will find her to be passionate, personable, efficient and honest with her work. She really takes her time in creating a program that works just for you so that you can reach your personal goals. Tonya Amos is a phenomenal person and teacher. Any association between her and her clients can only be mutually rewarding."
- Lisa-Marie Lewis, “The Lion King” on Broadway & Dance Captain of The Radio City Rockettes, former ballerina with The Dance Theatre Of Harlem, New York, NY
"I had my appendix removed last weekend, managed an audition-got the movie and booked a recurring role on a new series. I was up and on my feet the next day and people are amazed (even the doctors) at my come back. I actually attribute it to you and the lower -ab exercises you taught me. It got me up and around in days instead of weeks."
- Mark La Mura, Actor, Mark Dalton- “All My Children”,” Law & Order”, “The Sopranos”, New York, NY
"When I figured out how to connect my core to the rest of my body, my whole body became more flexible. My extension got higher without the "ginching" of my hip flexor. My turnout improved and I could suddenly balance for FOREVER."
Photo by Terri Carl
I'm so happy that I found you. Working with you has helped my body and my soul. For the first time in a long time, I see ballet class in my future. I always believed I would get stronger, but now I know I will. Thank you for the knowledge and compassion you've shared with me.
-Melinda B., Professional Dancer, Concord, CA
Anyway, thank you soooooooo soooooooo soooooooo sooooooooooooo much for helping me with all the audition stuff. You were absolutely amazing to work with; I found that I learned more and grew more as a dancer working privately with you in those few weeks than I have in my entire dance training. Even my parents were raving about how helpful you were.
- Allison C., Danville, CA
“My first session with Tonya was shocking- I could NOT believe how limited my body was… and I thought I was strong!!!! Where I am today is a testimony to Tonya’s ability as a teacher. Her knowledge and enthusiasm for this work have given me a fun and safe place to help my body grow in functionality. As a performer I knew I wanted my body finely tuned… what I’ve discovered is that even in my daily life, my body is my instrument, and it needs as much tuning as the strings of a guitar. EVERYONE needs this work, and if they are lucky enough to work with a teacher like Tonya, well….. Let’s just say I consider myself blessed!”
-Jessica Raaum, Actor, New York City
"Our (two) daughters, an opera singer and an aspiring actress, as well as our son, a baseball player, have all reaped the benefits from Tonya's inspirational and highly professional expertise."
- D. & Joanie C., Walnut Creek, CA