Making Moves: Sofia Vergara's Pilates Instructor Debuts Her Own Fitness Studio

Studio Metamorphosis - H 2014
Trami Ngo

Studio Metamorphosis - H 2014

Jennifer Yates, who also keeps supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio in shape, brings her beloved boot-camp Pilates philosophy to Pasadena.

Dying for curves like Sofia Vergara or legs like Alessandra Ambrosio? Trainer-to-the-stars Jennifer Yates has debuted her first indoor cycling and Pilates studio in Pasadena, just in time for beach season.

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"I never thought I would be where I am now as far as a career path," said Yates, who studied fashion and business in college and then harnessed her interests into a sales position for Los Angeles-based denim brand 1921. But as soon as she started taking classes at Hollywood’s Pilates Platinum studio (formerly Pilates Plus), Yates became addicted to the workout, which tapped into her ballet-dancing background from childhood. Within five months, Yates was asked to sub classes at the studio, and she quit her job in fashion shortly thereafter. One year ago, Yates left to teach privately full time and to focus on launching Studio Metamorphosis (676 E. Green St., Pasadena; 626-219-7000) with business partner and boyfriend Alex Hartunian, whom she met while teaching.

"Alex researched Pasadena, and we thought it was such a great demographic," she explained. "There are tons of runners and cyclists. We felt there was a need for a studio here, plus it's a special community of young and active people. It doesn't feel like you're in L.A. -- it has a different kind of vibe." Formerly a rug store, the 2,800-square-foot space is home to 30 stationary bikes and 12 M3 Megaformer machines (which Yates dubs "the Lamborghinis of Pilates") and has full showers, a product-laden blow-dry bar and a dedicated parking lot.

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Yates heads up an education staff of seven, including a number of her former students-turned-instructors, teaching the revered Lagree Fitness Method. "Most people describe it as boot-camp Pilates," she joked. As to what makes her methods stand out: "I was in sales for so long. I enjoy talking to people and having that rapport." Consider us, well, sold.