Pilates is often framed within a “fitness” context, however the founder, Joseph Pilates, intended the work to be a rehabilitative practice that leads to an extensive development of one’s whole self - body, mind and spirit.


Pilates focuses on the development of the Powerhouse to create a balance of strength, stretch, stability and stamina throughout the body. The Powerhouse is much more than just the front abdominal muscles. It begins in the low ribs, extends through the abdominal muscles (all of them), lumbar spine, pelvis, pelvic floor, hips, bottom, and connects into the upper legs.


Concentration, Centering, Control, Precision, Breath and Flow are core principles incorporated into every exercise, movement sequence, and client's progression. At Elevate Pilates we teach Classic Pilates, honoring and sustaining the system of Pilates as Joseph Pilates intended. Exercises on the Reformer, Mat, Tower, Small Barrel, and Chair are selected based on each client's individual needs and goals.

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Pilates in a Post-Birth Context 

Offers postpartum mothers a safe, gentle, effective, and proven approach for holistically redeveloping the Powerhouse while addressing alignment challenges.


Each pregnancy and birth changes a mother's core and pelvic floor. In Pilates we say, no matter our level of physical well-being before birth, we all become “beginners” after birth. Our bodies change physically, emotionally, and depending on how the birth went, our social-emotional relationship with yourself can change too. Pilates is designed to help people develop a positive interconnectedness of body-mind-spirit.

At Elevate Pilates we use modified Classic Pilates mat exercises to support the needs of postpartum mothers. We combine this with clear, compassionate education to help each person reach their goals and return to their active selves.  We take a no-assumption approach to help people Find, Engage, Sustain, Breathe with, and Use their Powerhouse.

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>> Maternal Mental Health & Pilates >>

A Trainer Like No Other

Jessica (post-birth mom) says "I have participated in Pilates under three instructors and no one else focuses on the importance of walking through the fundamentals of what your pelvic floor and core is and how to property engage it like Dannell does. She is amazing. All women, mamas or not, should work with Dannell."

>> Real Results: What Clients Are Saying >>


Meet Dannell

Dannell Shu is a Certified Pilates Trainer known as a strategic educator who inspires people to live engaged lives through soulful resilience. She is an insightful listener and coach who motivates students to physically engage with clear and focused attention. 

A Post-Birth Specialist, Dannell is trained to work with post-birth moms. She also has personal experience using Pilates for mending Diastasis Recti, post-birth recovery, bereavement, and more.

An Integrative Provider with Pregnancy and Postpartum Support MN (PPSM), Dannell is the first movement specialist to be included in this vetted list of providers who are trained to support moms with mental health needs

A veteran professional dancer, Dannell holds a BFA in Dance, a Masters in Christian Worship Studies, an expansive somatic movement training, and a professional dance career spanning two decades.


Mother of two boys; one on earth, one in heaven.


Get in Touch

Additional Resources

PPSM Moms & Mental Health

Real Results: Client Testimonials

Moms & Mental Health blog series

More About Elevate Pilates

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Private Sessions

     Post-Birth Recovery

    Addressing Pain Issues

    Reformer & Mat & Tower

Scheduled directly with Dannell

All sessions will be Online via Zoom during COVID-19

© 2018 Elevate Pilates MN