legs stretching on machine

Our Mission

Simply Balanced offers a variety of group, individual, online, and in-person sessions with the invitation to explore the value of functional movement. Our intent rests in giving individuals the tools and support for enjoying life filled with strong and balanced daily movement. 

Our History

Simply Balanced, located in Pacific Heights, was one of the first movement, Pilates, and wellness studios in the San Francisco Bay Area. Founded in 1994, the studio aimed to bring ease of movement to folks of all ages and abilities. Twenty-seven years later this commitment continues through dedication to our clients and their individual process which has developed into a reputation for excellent service.

The instructors customize the sessions to your needs, and they are really caring and thoughtful about how they help you progress.- K.A.

Our Team

Grounded in heartfelt service, our dedicated and experienced team of professionals are committed to ensuring an outstanding customer experience. With a depth of educational backgrounds, our trainers offer a range of expertise that translates into customized, engaging, and enjoyable sessions.


Susan Himes-Powers

Susan Powers, PMA-CPT, was trained in classical Pilates at The Pilates Center in Boulder, Colorado, in 1991. However, in the years since that training, she has learned so much more from her own life experiences as well as from the experience and responsiveness of clients.

Susan includes a hands-on approach to releasing tension patterns and regaining mobility. She also has first-hand knowledge and experience in recovery from breast cancer treatment in regaining strength, stamina, range of motion, and prevention of lymphedema.

In addition to her Pilates training, Susan is a professional actor, a classically trained singer, a certified massage therapist, and a Franklin Method Educator Level 2. She approaches sessions with a disposition of open-mindedness, inquiry, adventure, and fascination with movement and the biomechanics of the body.

Creta Valiente

Creta completed her Pilates training through ITT Pilates Certification here in San Francisco. She has performed professionally as a synchronized swimmer, as well as worked as a television programmer and creative manager of choreography. Creta is a native speaker of Spanish and brings a positive and enthusiastic quality to her teaching. Currently, she teaches dance as well as Pilates with a passion for inspiring students, whether beginners or advanced, to their full potential.

New Project

Noé Serrano

Noé Serrano received his early training at the Conservatorio de Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico and the Universidad de Puerto Rico. He subsequently performed with Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico under the artistic direction of Lolita San Miguel. While receiving his training in Puerto Rico, he was introduced to the Pilates Mat Work taught by Lolita San Miguel, one of the elders who was trained and certified by Joseph Pilates to carry on his work for the next generation. She is one of four “Distinguished Elders” of the Pilates Method Alliance. In San Francisco, Noé studied with BASI method with master trainer Larry Hall and has been teaching Pilates throughout the city. Also, he is currently studying a Pilates Master Mentor Program under Lolita's tutelage. Noé brings to his teaching and training of the Pilates Method his dance background and knowledge of how the body works to be at a peak performance.

Laura Torres

Laura comes from a dance background and has enjoyed moving and teaching movement her whole life! She was a Dancer, Choreographer, Licensed Massage Therapist, and Personal Trainer specializing in rehabilitative exercise in NYC before returning to her native San Francisco in 1991. In San Francisco, Laura became a certified Pilates instructor and developed and taught Pilates Teachers’ Training curriculum.

Laura returns to Pilates, Massage, and Bodywork, after taking time off to raise her two young sons, to continue her beloved mission: to support people in experiencing the pleasure of living in their bodies. She is particularly inspired to work with older adults, beginners, people recovering from injury, and overworked moms!


Laura teaches off-site classes customized for seniors.


Brian Johnson

Brian is a personal fitness instructor as well as a certified massage therapist with over twenty years of experience. With an eclectic movement background, including the martial arts of Aikido, Shintaido, and Iyengar Yoga, he also enjoys practicing lesser-known movement arts such as Indian Club training, Kettlebell training, and other joint mobility exercises.

Brian trains in Balanced View and teaches people of all ages and abilities. He is particularly interested in inspiring kids to include movement in their everyday life and helping adults maintain vitality and move with greater ease as they age.

Charlotte Penenberg

Charlotte Butler Penenberg has been teaching Pilates since 1998 and is the owner of Streamline Pilates Studio in Brooklyn Heights, New York. Trained through PhysicalMind Institute in New York City and a member of the PMA, Charlotte brings 18 years of experience in massage and structural bodywork to her Pilates practice.

While learning the Lauren Berry Method, she apprenticed for three years and studied corrective muscle techniques. She enjoys working with people of all ages and levels, from those rehabilitating injuries or suffering from chronic pain to those who want to stay fit and strong. She recently completed her Master’s Certificate in Pilates from The Pilates Center in Boulder, Colorado. She is honored and excited to be a part of this team!


MaryBeth Lague

MaryBeth can’t remember a time when she wasn’t passionate about caring for babies and children. Along with receiving her B.A., she has acquired over twenty years of professional experience, including a therapeutic aide to children with special needs, house parent for teen mothers of newborns, nanny, baby-nurse, post-partum doula, and consultant to parents with newborns.

MaryBeth has training in Somatic Movement Therapy, Infant Developmental Movement Education, and Infant Craniosacral Therapy, and is educated in Short Moments, a grassroots organization that provides training and ‘education in the nature of mind for the benefit of all. Her last five years have included developing personalized education systems for parents/caregivers that provide optimal support to their baby’s movement and brain development.

MaryBeth schedules in-home visits.