Our Teachers

Emilee Garfield, Owner

Emilee Garfie

After battling cancer twice, Emilee believes that no matter how hard life can be, with the right support anyone can empower themselves to live a more joyful life.

She now helps women thrive during cancer recovery, particularly those who have suffered from gynecological cancers.

Although she began practicing yoga at the age of sixteen, her own health challenges and those of others led her to discover its healing benefits. In 1999, Emilee embarked on a career teaching in the Iyengar style, focusing on alignment, sequencing, and timing in the asanas for a pain- and injury-free yoga practice.

In 2003, Emilee discovered Pilates as a means of recovering her strength following multiple surgeries during her time fighting cancer. In learning about the method’s capacity for improving posture, alignment, flexibility, and core strength, she realized that Pilates would be the perfect complement to yoga and incorporated it into her class offerings.

Emilee’s clients feel more grounded, strong, joyful and hopeful after working with her, and remark how she always “teaches from her heart.”

She lives in Santa Barbara, CA where she founded The Loft: Emilee’s Pilates and Yoga.

Emilee has trained extensively with Iyengar teachers Nancy Roberts, Felicity Green and Elise Browning Miller.

One of the long term side effects of childhood radiation to the abdomen and pelvis is the development of scoliosis. Emilee has a huge heart to help young girls (and basically everyone) feel positive about their bodies. She teaches her students to work smart and modify exercises as needed, and not to judge their bodies for looks or limitations.

She earned her certification as a Yoga for Scoliosis trainer under Elise Browning Miller, and completed the Pilates Therapeutics Scoliosis Management Program with Dr. Suzanne Martin.

In addition, Emilee holds the following certifications and degrees:

●    Cancer Recovery Specialist with NFPT
●    B.S. in Biopsychology with a minor in Dance from the University of California, Santa Barbara
●    Pilates certification with BASI Pilates (Body Arts and Science International)
●    PMA (Pilates Method Alliance) Certified
●    Booty Barre certification with Tracey Mallett
●    Davinci Board certification
●    SmartSpineTM Therapy with Marie-Jose Blom

Alexis Pittmon, Teacher

Alexis is a sensitive and conscientious teacher.  She has worked with various ages, injuries and fitness levels, offering challenging sessions, which are attentive to each client’s needs.  Through her personal experiences of teaching and rehabilitating, Alexis considers Pilates to be a journey of self-discovery.  

Along this journey, her practice continues to evolve through the attendance of educational workshops and conferences, learning from inspirational colleagues, and of course . . . practice.
A native of Santa Barbara, California, she lived in London, England for three years where she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design.  

Later, she discovered her love of Pilates while training extensively with Emilee Garfield during rehabilitation from injury.
Alexis completed her Comprehensive Teacher Training Course through Body Arts and Science International®, is a Licensed Buff Bones® Instructor and has successfully completed the Pilates Therapeutics Scoliosis Management and Breast Cancer Restoration Programs with Dr. Suzanne Martin.
You can learn more about Alexis on her website www.pittmonpilates.com

Ilana Cass, MD

Vice Chair, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Specialty: OB/GYN-Oncology
Clinical Areas: BRCA (Mutation, Positive, Carrier), Cervical Cancers, Fallopian Tube Cancers, Gestational Trophoblast Disease, Ovarian Cancers, Pelvic Mass, Postmenopausal Bleeding, Uterine Cancers, Vaginal Cancers, Vulvar Cancers

Research Profile
Ilana Cass, MD, focuses her work on molecular biology of hereditary gynecologic malignancies. She has examined the clinical characteristics, phenotype and clinical outcome of gynecologic cancers that occur in familial genetic cancer syndromes as a result of hereditary genetic mutations such as the BRCA and DNA mismatch repair genes.

Medical School: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, 1991
Residency: Yale School of Medicine, 1995
Fellowship: Montefiore Medical Center, 1998
Cedars-Sinai Affiliations
Cancer Institute (Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute)
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Awards & Activities
Golden Apple Teaching Award, Cedars-Sinai Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Department, 2001, 2009, 2013
CREOG Teaching Award in Obsterics and Gynecology, 2004, 2013
Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine Program for Women, 2008-12
Commendation for Research in Gynecologic Cancer, National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, 2002-06
Gynecologic Cancer Foundation, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Career Development Award, 2001-03
Cass I, Walts A, Barbuto D, Gross J, Karlan B. A cautious of putative precursors for serous carcinoma in the tubes of BRCA mutation carriers. Gynecol Oncol. 2014;134(3):492-497.
Cass I, Baldwin RL, Fasylova E, Fields AL, Klinger HP, Runowicz CD, Karlan BY. Allelotype of papillary serous peritoneal carcinomas. Gynecol Oncol. 2001;82(1):69-76.
Cass I, Baldwin RL, Varkey T, Moslehi R, Narod SA, Karlan BY. Improved survival in women with BRCA-associated ovarian carcinoma. Cancer. 2003;97(9):2187-2195.
Languages Spoken: English