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Our Team


Meagan was inspired to begin as a student of the Pilates method in 2006. As her own individual experience with Pilates made her stronger, empowered, and more connected than ever before, she instantly knew she wanted to know everything there was to learn and teach about Pilates. Meagan received her first comprehensive Pilates teacher certification from Kevin Bowen in 2010. In 2012 she successfully completed an additional 700+ hour Classical Pilates teacher certification program taught by second generation teacher, Penelope Wyer-Barrow. Since her immersion into the Classical Pilates world, Meagan was honored to have been hand selected to receive on-going, intensive advanced teacher training and mentorship from Pilates extraordinaire Kathryn Ross Nash, who studied directly with first generation Pilates elders Romana Kryzanowska, Jay Grimes, Kathy Grant, Edwina Fontaine and Sari Meja Santos. Kathryn’s support, dynamic teaching style, and playful sense of humor have been a driving force in encouraging Meagan to pursue her dreams. Additionally, Meagan has received continuing education through national conferences and intimate workshops from many of the industries leading Classical Pilates instructors such as Jay Grimes, Brooke Siler, Mari Winsor, Chris Robinson, and Peter Fiasca. Studying the depth and purity of the Authentic Pilates method has opened Meagan’s eyes to an advanced understanding of the larger perspective of form and function. The unsurpassed teaching skills and relationships within the community have given RISE: Authentic Pilates the distinguished honor of being voted #1 Best Pilates Studio in all of Western North Carolina in 2015 and 2016! Meagan Koehler has also been awarded Best Physical Trainer in Western North Carolina for the past four years in a row (2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016) by Asheville’s Mountain Express Best of WNC. Meagan was so eager to share with everyone her exciting moments of strength and discovery from the Pilates method, she decided to leave a successful 10-year career in Social Work to become a devoted Authentic Pilates instructor and studio owner!


A lifelong runner and hiker who has always been passionate about fitness, Elise began to devote more time to Pilates after she and her husband retired to Asheville in 2011. Pilates work eventually led her to enter the Classical Pilates Certification program with Penelope Wyer-Barrow in 2013 and complete her certification in 2014. During her apprenticeship she started a Pilates program tailored to seniors which continues to thrive. While she enjoys working with clients at all levels, she especially enjoys working with people who are new to Pilates because “I love seeing the breakthroughs that people make in their bodies.” Elise has continued to refine her Pilates through workshops with some of the foremost practitioners today: Kathi Ross Nash, Chris Robinson, Mari Winsor, and Brooke Siler. As a former corporate training and development professional, she believes that continuing education is critical to helping her better serve her clients.

In addition to teaching at RISE Pilates, Elise is on the Health and Wellness Committee at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNCA, where she also teaches Pilates. For fun, Elise and her husband enjoy hiking, travel, and exploring Asheville’s culinary scene.


After Pilates quickly started to heal her old dancer injuries that had plagued her for years, Erin developed a healthy obsession with the Authentic Method. As a massage therapist, she knew this incredible form of body conditioning was anatomically balanced, safe, and effective. A few months later, she enrolled in the Authentic Teacher Training Program with 2nd Generation Instructor, Penelope Wyer-Barrow, which she completed in September of 2014. She taught with Penelope for the next two years at Pure Pilates Asheville, while also receiving training and mentoring from Meagan Koehler, owner of RISE: Authentic Pilates. Since delving into the method, she has had the pleasure of attending advanced training workshops with some of the best in the industry: Kathi Ross-Nash, Brooke Siler, Mari Winsor, MeJo Wiggin, Jay Grimes, Chris Robinson, Murat Berkin, Dana Santi, and Jon Owen. She loves to challenge her clients and feels full of joy watching them become stronger versions of themselves. In addition to teaching Pilates at RISE, she owns Sync Bodywork, a thriving massage therapy practice in Asheville where she was awarded “Best Massage Therapist of WNC” in the Mountain Xpress reader’s poll for 2014, 2015, and 2016.


Carolyn discovered Pilates in 1999, as an injured dance major in college. She was humbled by the difficulty of the work and impressed at the physical strength and energy of her instructor- a petite woman in her 60’s who was easily stronger than a room full of college-aged dancers. At the recommendation of the instructor, Carolyn had a private session and was instantly intrigued by the Pilates apparatus. She quickly realized that Pilates was something special.

In 2004, Carolyn completed her 1,000-hour Massage Therapy and Hydrotherapy degree at the Finger Lakes School of Massage in Ithaca, NY, beginning her bodywork practice.

Shortly after the birth of her first son, Carolyn resumed a consistent Pilates practice and began her Pilates apprenticeship in Asheville with Brooke Tyler, where her training took her to Seattle to study and certify with second-generation instructor, Dorothee Vandewalle. Carolyn completed her 1,000+ hour Authentic Pilates training in the spring of 2011.

Carolyn is devoted to deepening her knowledge of the Pilates method. Toward that end, she has attended continuing education seminars with some of the the most respected Classical Pilates instructors in the world including Kathi Ross Nash, MeJo Wiggin, Mari Winsor, Brooke Siler, Chris Robinson,  Blossom Leilani Crawford, and many others.

Carolyn finds that her two professions complement each other perfectly. She finds no greater joy than to  help her clients resolve injuries or painful patterns so they are able to move with, as Joe Pilates said, “spontaneous zest and pleasure!”


Elizabeth was introduced to Pilates through dance. Assured it would improve her technique and alignment, she quickly learned that Pilates also cultivated a stronger, efficient, and more integrated body. “It can be as rigorous as it can be therapeutic. It has made me a stronger, more precise dancer, and has helped me prevent injuries. Pilates has impacted and improved my day-to-day life.” It is thanks to this life-changing experience that Elizabeth is an avid Pilates practitioner who wants to help clients begin or continue their Pilates practice.

Elizabeth is a Classically and Authentically trained Pilates Instructor. Her dance training is in modern release technique, Limón, and Ballet. Elizabeth studied dance, education, and Pilates at Appalachian State University. She received her Pilates certification from Penelope Barrow (2nd generation Pilates instructor) and attended Pilates workshops from Mejo Wiggins. Elizabeth continues to develop her dance training by attending release technique workshops at LaCantera in Mexico City, Mexico. In addition to Pilates, she teaches dance technique, improvisational dance, and somatic dance.


Deanna discovered Pilates in 1996 while looking for something to support her running, cycling, hiking and rock climbing activities, then later found it to be the springboard into healing a fractured knee and lumbar disc herniations. After spending the first act in her professional life flying a desk while practicing law and working in the non-profit sector, in 2002 Deanna stepped into a new life phase: teaching movement. She received her foundation training in Pilates in Boulder, Colorado, completing a year-long study and four-year apprenticeship with Lara Kolesar, a kinesthetic savant who trained with Steve Giordano, a protégé of Romana Kryzanowska. Since that time she’s eagerly sought out teachers from whom she could deepen her knowledge of Classical Pilates, including Colleen Glenn, Richard Rossiter, Wendy LeBlanc Arbuckle, and Penelope Wyer-Barrow. Recently, she spent an inspiring year studying with Kathi Ross-Nash in New York City and received an Advanced Teacher Training certification. She is delighted to share the Pilates gifts she’s received over the years with her clients.

In addition to teaching Pilates, Deanna is very excited to offer the GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM® to our clients at RISE! She is a Level One certified instructor in both GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® and has studied with Sebastian Plettenberg, Jurgen Baumgartner, Clyde Rae Jolie-Ashe and Adrianna Thompson. Deanna loves how the two systems compliment each other: Pilates reinforces the foundation of core strength and focus, and GYROTONIC® exercises increase the body’s ability to integrate movement and to find its fluidity and expansion, hence the name. The system focuses on all of the waving, spiraling, bending, and arching movements that make our spines happy and the whole body healthy and resilient. Deanna will be teaching group and private GYROKINESIS® classes and privates and duets on the GYROTONIC® Ultima Pulley Tower.

* GYROTONIC®, GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM® and GYROKINESIS® are registered trademarks of Gyrotonic Sales Corp and are used with their permission.


After a 20-year career in estate and trust administration, Diane was ready for a new challenge and inspiration. She began taking Pilates in 2011 and was impressed with the Authentic method, philosophy, discipline and life-changing improvements to flexibility, mobility and strength that the Pilates practice helped her achieve. Diane completed her teacher training program under Penelope Wyer-Barrow in November 2013 and teaches both group classes and private instruction. Diane has attended continuing education with nationally known Pilates instructors such as Kathi Ross-Nash, Brooke Siler, Mari Winsor and Chris Robinson. She feels honored to play a part in helping people improve their lives and bodies and work toward alleviating chronic pain. She especially enjoys working with people new to Pilates to enhance their overall journey toward functional fitness, wellness and strength. When not in the studio, Diane enjoys playing tennis, volunteer work, reading and spending time with her husband and two young boys.