When I was young, my mother frequently chided me about my posture saying, “Stand up straight.” . The problem was she didn’t know how to teach me what “Stand up straight” (or correct posture) meant or looked like, even after multiple lessons of balancing books on my head. Forty years, three herniated discs and one failed back surgery later, my pain management doctor said, “I know this great Pilates instructor who I think can help you with your chronic sciatica and low back pain.” I thought, “Really?”

Two years later, I have lost more than 40 pounds, stopped taking 4 different prescribed medications for pain, and fired the house keepers and landscapers. With Lisa and Pilates a part of my pain management team “I’m ready for the next 50 years!”.  Mind you, I participated in High School soccer and Collegiate rowing, lifted weights at the gym, did my yoga in the yard, and was treated at world-renowned hospitals in Boston for disc issues. Incorporating multiple healing modalities and lifestyle changes, is also helping me manage my chronic pain. However, my whole body posture has become the main focus of my body awareness. I still have pain, but much less. I still take a prescribed pill for pain, but it’s not a narcotic.

One might say, “What does standing up straight have to do with chronic pain?” I’ll tell you, A LOT! Having a highly knowledgeable and impassioned teacher like Lisa is a critical component to learning how to get your body in balance. Even after years of using my body in poor postures, she has taught me proper alignment for my whole body, not just my lower back.  Moving through my day with better body alignment helps me work with how my body was designed to work, lessening the strain on my spine and thereby lessening the degree of my pain. It is a process and I have learned how to respect this healing process.Having someone who can assess and then teach you how to get your whole body back in balance is an incredible gift.

Lana B – Scientist


Twenty years ago, I walked in on what I thought was a stretch class taught by Lisa Ortega Loya at a gym in Honolulu; it was during that first class that I thought, “I’m home.” In Pilates, I’d found a way to go deep inside my body; and in Lisa, I’d found an exquisitely tuned-in teacher whose precise clues helped me make small but important adjustments.
How often do you hear laughter in a Pilates class? With Lisa, it’s all the time. She weaves in hula, surfing, yoga and breathwork, demonstrates with Leonardo, the studio skeleton, and creates memorable names for our home practice. Because she believes in applying Pilates to counteract everyday habits like slumping at your desk or drooping over your cell phone, Lisa is quick to connect our moves in class to our movements in real life.
Speaking of real life, mine has included a car accident, ovarian cancer, and a hip replacement. The strong foundation of health that Lisa has helped me build through Pilates has helped me heal. By connecting on a personal level, Lisa’s clients become her friends and her classes become ‘ohana or extended family.
We may live on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, but Lisa travels to conferences and brings in other experts to constantly raise the bar. Her enthusiasm and talent for sharing the great wisdom of Pilates feels like a gift to me, and to all of Lisa Loya’s lucky students.
Claudia Johnstone
Teacher (retired), Punahou School


On Balance: it’s the sign you see when you walk into the studio and the way you feel when you walk out.
In connecting with her students—body, mind and heart—Lisa helps those she teaches to connect with themselves.

Howard Wolff
CEO Full-Height Advice


Pam taught me to walk again, properly this time, and generally how to properly use my skeletal system in all motions- sitting, standing turning and so on. I have used what she taught about walking with two friends who were starting to stoop walk and complain. Both have thanked me and are again happy walkers. At 74 I now get good comments on my posture and bearing.
Thank you Pam!

John Stallman


I have taken Pilates classes from Lisa  for over 14 years.  Lisa is an incredible teacher and as a result of weekly sessions with her, I have gained strength, increased my flexibility and I have learned to pay more attention to my body.  Her classes are always challenging but I feel a sense of accomplishment and “balance” at the end.  And, to top it off, it’s fun!

Shirley Tsukano
Instructor/coordinator at Kapiolani Community College


I don’t know of any other studio/ trainer/ club/ team/ gym/ fitness class/ halau/ etc. where continuous improvement has ever been sustained over a period of several years with just one hour per week.  The incredible evidence to support this includes: (1) the number of regulars who have maintained a practice at On Balance over the years, and (2) the significant degree to which our practice has become more advanced.  Expectations are clear and consistent; Lisa has cultivated a language and vocabulary for Pilates that is concise and well understood.  At the same time, small changes and surprises keep it fun.  This is such a great environment for practice, and I know this doesn’t just happen by accident.

John Chock
Competitive Swimmer


The best workout is the hike at Mariners ridge and Pilates at On Balance Studio “Lisa will transform your whole body!”

Valerie Cruz
Actress — Off the Map


Working with Lisa and her very gifted staff of instructors at On Balance Studio has been one of the reasons I still,  at the age of 74, continue to lead a pain-free and active life style which includes weekly classes in Pilates, hula and tap dance.  My life would be much poorer without On Balance.

Carol Egan