Laura Crittendon is a movement education specialist with over 30 years experience and in excess of 10,000 hours of teaching, designing and managing programs in fitness, rehabilitation, dance, yoga, Pilates and other mind-body practices. At Kona Pilates she is a certified GYROTONIC®, GYROKINESIS®, & GYROTONIC specialized equipment instructor since 2005; a comprehensively trained and certified STOTT Pilates instructor since 2003; a Pilates "Master Trainer" (teaching the teachers of tomorrow) with Pilates Academy International in New York since 2006; a certified Yoga instructor since 2004, a trained 8 Elements/Rachel Brice Tribal Fusion Bellydance Instructor since 2010, and a Dance/Movement Therapist. As a life-long theatre and dance performer (including competitive dance), Laura brings a sense of flair and art to every session and does exceptional work with dancers of ALL ages. And finally, Laura is a licensed medical massage therapist (Hawaii), Therapeutic Exercise specialist, and holds numerous additional certifications and advanced degrees.
While Laura approaches movement training from multiple perspectives, she engages her clients in anatomical awareness and perceptual-motor learning so they may embody their experiences of improved alignment, strength, flexibility, coordination and balance and apply it to their daily lives.
About Laura: Laura is a third generation Southern California and grew up in Arcadia. Laura's first job, at age 17, was as a physical therapy assistant at a sports rehab center in Arcadia. She worked with all levels of rehabilitation from athletes to stroke patients. She was offered this job and was blessed to train extensively with this leading sports physical therapist after completing a lengthy physical therapy program for her knee following a severe skiing accident. It was this early experience, both as the client and later as the therapist, that helped to shape her career choice to date. (Learn about the History of the Studio.)
Professional Training: To date, Laura has accumulated over 30 years experience and thousands of hours of advanced clinical training and education in body-mind-spirit health, therapeutic exercise, and manual/massage therapy. She is Hawaii state licensed and board certified as an Integrative Medical Massage Therapist and Movement Therapist. Laura graduated from the Hawaiian Islands School of Massage with advanced training in Vodder Manual Lymphatic Drainage, CranioSacral, Myofascial, NeuroMuscular, and Exercise Therapies. In 2002, she graduated as Valedictorian from the University of Hawaii with an Honors degree in Psychology and a minor in Hawaiian. In graduate school Laura studied Transpersonal Psychology, Mind-Body Medicine, Integrative Health, and Consciousness Studies. Laura has trained with Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) founder Jon Kabat-Zinn. In addition, she trained professionally as a Transpersonal Psychotherapist, a professional Hula dancer (having danced in three Merrie Monarch Hula Festival/Competitions under Kumu Hula Etua Lopez), professional belly dancer, cabaret dancer/choreographer, and show producer, 2nd degree black belt martial arts instructor (and martial arts school owner), and visiting Master Teacher for a variety of dance academies across Southern California and Hawaii. Passionate about community service, Laura has volunteered thousands of hours working with the severely mentally ill in Kona and served for three years on the Board of Directors for a local Kailua Kona non-profit organization.
A message from Laura ~
I enjoy teaching Barre, Pilates, GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® sessions. And woven throughout and within is my passion of teaching Yoga. Within each session (private, duet or group lessons) I weave in my own vast and deep well of knowledge (both Eastern and Western) allowing me to offer you a depth of study and experience rarely found. My sessions are playful, educational, inspiring, and transformational. I believe that health comes from harmony of mind, body and spirit, and that exercise is a vehicle for self exploration, healing, wholeness, and joy. For me, teaching the joy of movement is my life’s path and I look forward to sharing this gift with you. Mahalo nui loa.
Meet the Owners
Steve Von Hargett has over 18 years experience teaching movement and 7,000+ hours of training in therapeutic exercise and massage/manual therapy. He is state licensed and board certified as an Integrative Medical and Manual Massage Therapist and is the Studio co-owner. He graduated from the Hawaiian Islands School of Massage with advanced training in NeuroMuscular, Spinal Muscle Therapies, and Structural Manual Therapy techniques. Steve applies a firm pressure in his work, yet balanced with incredible sensitivity and "amazing heat" (healing Chi Kung) from his hands. As a full scholarship recipient, Steve's undergraduate education was in the fine arts giving him "an eye" for proper structural alignment in both movement and massage.
Steve is a comprehensively trained, internationally licensed STOTT Pilates® Instructor, trained extensively in the STOTT Pilates Rehabilitation Program (with head physical therapist Melanie Byford-Young). (He also holds the rank of 3rd Degree Black Belt Instructor in mixed martial arts). Steve brings to the Studio a unique blend of knowledge and expertise of movement and the mind-body connection. Steve is the head instructor at our sister school Hawaii Freestyle Martial Arts (bringing character development and fitness to the youth and young-at-heart of Kailua-Kona.)
As a movement instructor, Steve brings to the Studio a unique blend of knowledge and expertise of movement and the mind-body connection. He exemplifies how Pilates helps an "X-games" athlete (surfing, motocross, skateboarding, BMX, kickboxing) age gracefully and perform better (as well as rehabilitate from injuries and surgeries as a result of sports injuries).
As a massage therapist, Steve specializes in Onsen® Structural Manual Therapy sessions (aligning the human structure so that the movement arts have their greatest affect). Steve is the only Hawaii Certified Onsen Technique® Therapist. In addition, Steve is our "shoulder specialist" (Both for learning new patterns of movement as well as therapy treatments to address chronic pain and decreased function). Steve's specialty is combining Onsen Therapy with the Movement Art of Pilates so that what is released and balanced during the bodywork session can be re-educated into proper bio-mechanical movement to ensure pain-free results that last.
Laura Crittendon, LMT, DMT, CYT
Studio Master Trainer / Owner
Kona Pilates & GYROTONIC of Chino Hills...
a luxury boutique movement arts studio
exclusively offering Stott Pilates, GYROTONIC® & Bootie Barre®
Nestled in Scenic, quiet Carbon Canyon, Chino Hills CA ~ Est 2003 with Aloha
The heart and soul of Kona Pilates is a dynamic husband and wife team who are talented professionals with a passionate commitment to the restorative and healing power of mindful movement and manual/massage.
Steve Von Hargett, LMT, COTT
"May the beauty of what we love be what we do." --- Rumi