1357 W Grand Avenue | Chicago, IL 60642

312-829-VITA (8482)

Our Staff

Marilyn D'Andrea, Founder and Instructor

Marilyn D'Andrea, Founder and InstructorMarilyn Glielmi-D'Andrea holds a Master’s Degree in Exercise Science and Cardiac Rehabilitation.

Additional certifications: Pilates, Yoga, Personal Training, Pre and Post-Natal Pilates, Thai Massage, Muscle Activation Techniques and CPR.

Lecture, seminar and coursework:
Economics of Obesity---Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Nutrition for Health Promotion & Disease Prevention---University of California, San Francisco

Public Health and Global Environmental Change---Harvard University

FAMI, Functional Anatomy for Movement & Injuries---The Mount Sinai School Of Medicine

Anatomy Trains---strategies to improve stability, coordination and resolve long-standing compensations in postural and movement patterns.

As Owner of Sana Vita Studio, I am passionate about working with individuals of all ages and fitness levels to help you reach your potential. My Master’s degree in Exercise Science and my knowledge base in anatomy and biomechanics assist me in assessing clients I work with. I believe it is essential for my clients to aspire for consistent progress, not perfection. My greatest desire is Sana Vita Studio will be a haven for clientele devoted to life-long physical health.

I was bit by the "Pilates bug:" This is precisely how I discovered this career. I was a dedicated client who witnessed a complete transformation of both my mind and body by Pilates. I wanted to be an instructor, then sought to open my own studio and now, together with a team of talented, passionate, like-minded instructors, Sana Vita has grown into the studio it is today.

In private sessions, we will focus on the specific exercises you need to complete in order to reach your goals. I have experienced great success with my clients because I address their concerns. Work of any real depth must be one-to-one. I choose to work with people who need and want to go deeply into themselves in this lifetime. This is difficult to achieve in a group setting or by teaching the same thing to everyone. Each of us is different. My work is to honor that difference by supporting each client in his or her own particular journey, into the body with Pilates and also into one’s whole person, conscious and unconscious. It’s not about what I want for clients; it’s about what clients want for themselves. I am just your educator. My training methods are systematic and I am dedicated to clients leaving an individual session feeling a sense of accomplishment, with exuberance and willing to return for the next challenge. I’m resolute in giving clients a tailor-made training program where they will achieve results, and avoid the pitfalls of becoming discouraged. I concentrate on this aspect of private sessions.

With extensive experience in both clinical and fitness settings, my expertise includes working in cardiac rehabilitation at several Chicago hospitals and personal training. I have delivered lectures on various health and fitness related topics for numerous corporations in the Chicago area. I enrolled in an apprenticeship program in 2000 to receive my Classical Pilates Method Certification and I am deeply committed to the philosophy conceived by Joseph Pilates and the power and the depth of the method he originally developed. I teach both Ashtanga and Hatha yoga and find yoga brings qualities of clarity, mindfulness and peace into our lives. I am committed to empowering women and have worked with women who suffer from eating disorders, assisting them in enhancing their body image and self-esteem, while focusing on internally motivated, empowering approaches to eating and exercise.



Ebony Bitner. Pilates and Yoga Instructor

Ebony Bitner is originally from Ft Wayne, Indiana and came to Chicago to pursue her BA, completed in 1998, in Dance Performance & Choreography from Columbia College.  Ebony was first introduced to Pilates later that same year when a friend enrolled in a Pilates teacher training program and needed "mock volunteer clients" to complete her hours. Instantly intrigued by the art and science of Pilates, two years later Ebony enrolled in the same program. This decision propelled her into a fulfilling fitness career...and she loves teaching.  Her desire and ability to foster a personal connection with her clients and those who come to take her classes, is one of her greatest joys in life!  In addition to teaching Pilates and group fitness, Ebony is also a RYT-500 certified  instructor. This is a 500 hour Advanced Certification Program approved by Yoga Alliance for teachers wishing to deepen their teaching, practice and understanding of yoga. She also teaches various styles of yoga and Yogalates (Pilates & Yoga fusion) classes.  

Ellen Acuña, Pilates Instructor

Ellen Acuna Pilates Instructor Sana Vita StudioEllen Acuña began practicing Pilates seven years ago with the expressed purpose of toning and strengthening her body. It was an unrelated back pain, however, which led her to increase her practice and knowledge of Pilates. She became so enamored with Pilates, she immersed herself as a student and completed the Body Arts and Science International (BASI) Teacher Training Program. The BASI curriculum covers physiology, applied anatomy, the theory of movement, the principles of alignment and posture, exercise assessment and teaching methodologies, as well as an in-depth introduction to the classical Pilates repertoire and its appropriate application. Modern scientific knowledge has also been incorporated into her teaching method. With her newfound strength, energy and pain-free lifestyle gained from Pilates, Ellen strives to afford the same benefits to her clients. Similarly beneficial, Ellen is bilingual, speaking both fluent English and Spanish. When she is away from the studio, she is still teaching: Ellen is also an accomplished high school Spanish instructor. We are sure you will enjoy Ellen’s sunny disposition, sense of humor and expertise as she helps you master the benefits of Pilates’ form and function.

Pamela Paul, Pilates and Prenatal Pilates Instructor
Pamela Paul Pilates Instructor Sana Vita Studio

Pamela Paul is an east-coast transplant with fifteen years’ experience as a student, instructor and performer of a variety of dance and movement forms. She spent ten years studying at The New York Theatre Ballet's training school, and completed her 500-hour training in classical Pilates via Core Pilates NYC. Likewise, Pamela also holds a group fitness certification via AFAA. Continuing education in Pilates is very important to Pamela. She is able to quickly "read" the body in front of her and adapt to factors like age, gender, injury, experience and learning style to assist each client on a personal level. When not in the studio, you can find her biking around town, hanging out in bars, coffee shops, clutching a pair of knitting needles or perusing through old junk in thrift stores.

When not in the studio, you can find her biking around town, hanging out in bars and coffee shops with a pair of knitting needles or perusing through old junk in thrift stores.

Helena Reynolds, Pilates Instructor

Helena Reynolds Pilates Instructor Sana Vita StudioHelena Reynolds has been teaching Pilates for over five years. Her experience includes private and group classes in corporate fitness and Pilates studios with individuals of all fitness levels from the novice to high-level athletes and professional circus artists. She is a performing aerial artist, and Pilates has been a vital element in her strength and conditioning, as well as rehabilitation from performance related injuries. This experience has helped her to develop a personal understanding of how Pilates can balance the body through both flexibility and strength; she brings this knowledge to each Pilates’ lesson. The Stott Pilates 5 Basic Principles are extremely important to her teaching style: Breathing, hip placement, ribcage placement, shoulder blade movement and head/neck placement.

Angie Palomo, Pilates Instructor
Angie Palomo Pilates Instructor Sana Vita Studio

Angie Palomo was introduced to Pilates as a dance student in 2003.  After several semesters in college, she immediately knew she wanted to embark on a career teaching Pilates. After graduating with a BA in dance, she eventually completed a comprehensive teacher training program on all apparatus through Power Pilates in Chicago. She completed over 600 internship hours in 2009. Angie has personally discovered how movement and Pilates have assisted her in overcoming difficulty with her back. She has a keen understanding of whole body functional movement and how movement heals the body. She is passionate about helping others learn about this new language for the body. She understands that attention to detail and focus with clients is imperative. Additionally, Angie continues to dance independently as a contact improvisational dancer.

Erica Rapoport, Pilates Instructor

Erica first started practicing Pilates in 2001 to help strengthen her spine and core. After personally experiencing remarkable results in strength, alignment and balance, Erica was inspired to pursue a career as a Pilates instructor. She is certified through the Body Arts and Science International (BASI) teacher-training program, which emphasizes functional fitness through the education of anatomy and kinesiology. She continues to explore additional educational venues through workshops emphasizing  alignment & posture, kyphosis and osteoporosis, and biomechanics of the rotator cuff. Her strong knowledge base of the body allows her to tailor the Pilates Method to each individual’s needs and goals, while assuring every session is safe and beneficial.

Her passion and ability to motivate people has transformed the beginner client into dedicated Pilates enthusiasts. She celebrates as her clients progress and achieve their goals, witnessing improved strength, injury rehabilitation and increased mind-body awareness. She looks forward to her continued growth as a Pilates instructor and sharing her fondness for the Pilates Method with others.

Teri Virgilio, Yoga and Pre-Natal Yoga Instructor
Teri Virgilio Yoga Instructor Sana Vita Studio

As a dancer, actor, artist, musician, bicyclist and teacher Teri Virgilio, is constantly striving to find harmony between strength, flexibility, knowledge and learning. Her inspiration comes from all art forms. She has been a student of yoga since the late 90's. As someone with deep compassion and an ability to connect with others, yoga is the perfect outlet for her to explore this further.

Teri is passionate about the ability to use yoga as therapy and for special needs. Yoga provides the opportunity to always bring lightness and humor, as well as, equilibrium with spirituality into one's practice. She believes yoga can provide a balance to the physical and emotional stresses of our environment and is committed to inspiring others, as she has been inspired, by this practice of mind, body and spirit. She is grateful to her many teachers including Steve Nakon, Tracy Pristas, Rhonda Kantor, Rita Knorr and Dorie Silverman.

Annette Gryniewicz, Pilates Instructor

Annette Gryniewicz, Pilates InstructorAnnette has been teaching since 2000, having received her certified from The Frog Temple in Chicago. She also received her PMA certificate in 2012 and in 2015 completed The Master's Program at The Pilates Center in Boulder, CO. Her passion for the Classical Pilates Method has driven her to explore additional education at The Pilates Center. Learning never stops, she says. She strives to increase her knowledge of the body and it's ability to improve physical well-being. It is her mission to empower each student to live a healthy life. She strongly believes the Pilates Method is both healing and transformative. She has personally experienced it's healing properties as she recovered from various injuries, weight issues and depression. Her style is very accommodating, the result of working with people of all ages, sizes and special needs for many years. From the first session, she is committed to helping clients see results leading to a life of happiness and vitality.

Dara Pogoff, Pilates Instructor

Dara was introduced to Pilates while pursuing a BFA in Dance and Choreography from Columbia College Chicago. It took a few classes before noticing the benefits of this practice and positive influence in her dancing, lifestyle, and over all well-being. She became certified in 2013 under a Classical Pilates Method. To add a more contemporary approach, she completed her second comprehensive program in 2015 through Pilates Chicago. Her teaching style draws from her background in dance, yoga, Feldenkrais, and martial arts. She has a keen level of awareness of anatomy and kinesiology, posture/postural analysis, and gait function. Dara has been a licensed Massage Therapist since 2010, graduating from The Cortiva Institute. She is also a certified Personal Trainer through the American Fitness Institute. She enjoys working with multi level clients, from rehabilitative work to the highly athletic. She loves giving the gift of personal awareness and achievement

Jessica McCluskey, Pilates Instructor

Bio coming soon......

Deanna McCarthy, Yin Yoga Instructor

Deanna (200 RYT) began exploring the benefits of yoga on the recommendation of her physician to control chronic pain which was caused by a serious injury.  As she developed a deep relationship to the practice, she detected the transformative changes in both her body and overall well-being. After completing her training in Vinyasa Flow and Yin yoga at The School of Sacred Arts in Bali, Indonesia, she furthered her education with specialized training in Yin yoga under the direction of Master Paulie Zink. She has also trained with Ana Forrest, Shiva Rhea, Kino McGregor, and various other masterful teachers. This ongoing process of learning is what provides the fresh insights which inspire her teaching. Healthy breathing, alignment and balanced energy flow are the hallmarks of her classes. You will leave her class feeling renewed and invigorated.

Mary Fazio, Yamuna Body Rolling Instructor
Mary Fazio Yamuna Body Rolling Instructor Sana Vita Studio

Mary Fazio, is a Licensed Massage Therapist since 1982. She is a certified Trainer and Instructor in Yamuna Body Rolling and Certified in Yamuna Body Logic. Yamuna Body Logic is a one-on-one session which creates space in your body for improved movement in daily activities and a sense of well- being. The effects of Body Logic are often longer lasting than massage. Mary Fazio developed an interest in massage while attending Southern Illinois University; after obtaining her BS in 1981, she enrolled in the Chicago School of Massage Therapy. She successfully completed coursework and began private practice Massage Therapy in 1982. In 2002, she completed her training in Yamuna Body Rolling. As her interest deepened, she became a certified Level I instructor in Yamuna Body Rolling in 2004.

Elijah Peterson, PTX Posture Alignment Therapist

Elijah Peterson, PTX Posture Alignement TherapistElijah Peterson completed his education and training as a Posture Alignment Specialist. In 2011, he began working in a Chicago-based clinic, liberating people of chronic physical pain. Elijah is currently in private practice which serves both the city and suburbs. He abets an amalgam of people, all of whom seek relief from pain and aspire to achieve and maintain peak health. Elijah's compassion and professionalism proceed from his experience healing from accidents, injuries, and major surgeries.  Elijah applies an altruistic and staunch approach to the therapy, which results in lasting success for his clientele.

Kelli Bonomo, Nutrition Coach

My dream of walking across a stage continued to inspire me on a drive to lose weight. On October 27th, 2007, I realized my dream by taking the stage for the first time. Shortly after, I competed in the Figure Category in August 2008; I ended the year with the Flex Bikini Model Search at the 2008 Mr. Olympia competition in Las Vegas. This experience led me to be the spokes model for several companies including Egg Whites International, where I was featured in Oxygen Magazine in an array of advertisements. My bodybuilding and figure story was also presented in both Natural Bodybuilding and Fitness Magazine.

After writing my book, The Phat Chick: Now I Eat to Live and Don’t Live to Eat, I started a personal training and nutrition company, coaching clients in their homes and inspiring them to transform their mind, body and lives. I have now created a partnership with NY Times best-selling author of Body Confidence, Mark MacDonald. As the owner and CEO of Venice Nutrition LLC, Mark has appeared on CNN, HLN, Dr. Oz, and has personally coached several celebrities, including Chelsea Handler, of the “Chelsea Lately” show. Mark founded Venice Nutrition on the importance of educating the masses on blood-sugar stabilization. This concept of blood-sugar stabilization is based on physiological research relating to the re-action of the body to stable blood sugar.  When the blood sugar is stable, the body operates correctly.  I have now expanded the company, Nutrition 360 Inc. Sports Performance and Weight Loss, working nationwide with athletes, diabetics, yo-yo dieters, competitors involved in all recreational activities or sports, men, women and children.

Kelli was featured on CNN and HLN in June, 2014, with Mike Galanos and Mark MacDonald segment, “New Body, New Life” discussing the importance of breaking the cycle of yo-yo dieting and refining the mind to create a healthy lifestyle. This is about lifestyle, not dieting, not restrictions, not deficits. I am on a mission: Claiming “it doesn’t have to be the way it; you don’t have to surrender to the “diet mentality;” or it’s time for you to become “A BETTER YOU.” … Let’s do this thing!!

Sana Vita Studio 1357 W Grand Avenue Chicago, IL 60642 312-829-VITA (8482) www.sanavitastudio.com

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