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Beth Merrill-Belval


Qualifications: Balanced Body Pilates comprehensively trained and CoreAlign® trained. Ten years in the fitness industry as a marketing professional. Former ACE-certified personal trainer and group exercise instructor.

Why I teach Pilates: I’ve always loved working out, but stumbled, professionally, into the world of fitness after I helped a good friend lose 50 pounds, and I realized how rewarding it was to be a direct facilitator of a healthy life. During my decade of working in the Pilates industry, I’ve seen some truly miraculous examples of recovery through Pilates. And I wanted to be a part of that. I enjoy helping people overcome challenges, whether that be weight loss, gaining more body awareness, or just being introduced to a new way of working out. The cool thing about Pilates is its versatility. It’s great for the person who has never worked out, the elite athlete, and everyone in between. I hope to help people discover how to feel their bodies are working with, instead of against, them. 

Favorite Pilates exercise: All of them! But I especially love Parakeet, and Circle Saw using the Tower. The movement of each feels so yummy on my spine and stretches everything. Plus it’s one of the only times I feel graceful.

My personal path to Pilates: “Pilates” was a word I’d seen in fitness magazines and from friends who did Winsor Pilates DVDs and loved it. One of my best friends was a Pilates teacher, but I never tried it… until one evening she had me try Rolling Like A Ball for fun. I couldn’t do it. I – cardio queen, weight lifter, gym rat – couldn’t duplicate the movement of a roly-poly bug. 

But the Pilates bug didn’t truly bite until a couple months later when I started working at Balanced Body, THE place to get Pilates equipment, accessories, and education. They started offering classes at lunchtime, taught by Balanced Body employees/Pilates instructors. I took advantage of the opportunity and discovered how different Pilates was from what I was used to in the gym. I had burnt out on teaching fitness classes and personal training, but when I saw what Pilates was all about, my passion for teaching was renewed and reminded me why I got into the fitness industry in the first place.

In my free time: I love traveling and being outdoors, running, camping, hiking… whatever, when my allergies aren’t going haywire. I also drink a lot of wine and am working towards becoming a certified Sommelier. To go along with all that wine, I eat as much great food as possible, hopefully with great friends, and sharing my culinary adventures on Instagram as @SactownWinoAndFoodie. When I’m not stuffing my face and enjoying the vibrant Sacramento cocktail and brewery scene, I’m a homebody who loves hanging out with my wife and three senior doggies, cooking, reading, writing stories and song lyrics, vegging out in front of the boob tube, or playing marathon games of Yahtzee or cribbage. And, of course, studying up on Pilates!