SportsFit Physical Therapy & Fitness | Pilates | Santa Monica CA


Complement your physical therapy treatment with one-on-one Pilates training at SportsFit Physical Therapy. Pilates is an innovative system of mind-body exercises evolved from the principles of Joseph Pilates. At SportsFit Physical Therapy Pilates exercises are utilized to facilitate body awareness and improve posture, as a result improving flexibility and economy of motion. Due to Pilates' focus on core strengthening, it can help reduce low back pain. By emphasizing proper breathing and correct alignment, our Pilates instructors at SportsFit Physical Therapy work on making movement control more efficient. Pilates helps elongate and strengthen muscles, therefore improving muscle elasticity and joint mobility. With a proper balance in strength and mobility, the likelihood of injury is reduced. Pilates aims to balance and condition the entire human muscular system, helping the practitioners enjoy daily activities as well as sports with greater ease while reducing chances of injury. Pilates has been shown to be safe for many patients attending physical therapy as many of the exercised can be performed in a controlled environment (i.e., reclining or sitting), most are low impact and require only partial weight bearing.

Meet Our Pilates Instructors:

Rick Rafael

Melika Rafael

Owner, Director
Pilates Instructor

Melika is a graduate of the California State University of Long Beach and is a native of California. Melika was previously the manager of Sportsmed Physical Therapy at the SportsClub/LA, and has years of experience in management, billing, marketing and health insurance. As the co-founder of SportsFit Physical Therapy, Melika has dedicated herself to creating an inviting, motivating, and invigorating facility focused on quality of care and healing. Melika has remained committed to continuous education in the newest and most proper forms of exercise technique. To perfect her craft, Melika completed her course work and hours in Brent Anderson's Polestar Pilates course. Prior to this Pilates certification she completed her training with the Pilates reformer and mat course at Alternative Body System, certified through Sally Landen’s program. She has years of experience in training elite and amateur athletes of all ages. Melika enjoys Pilates, dance, skiing, running, biking, hiking, and spending time with her daughter Ava on her free time.

Treatment Philosophy:
Exercises should offer a logical yet organic flow of movement while the body is healing. A positive and happy environment will allow the body to move without rigidity. Each exercise should be performed with mindful control through proper form and breathing technique. Listen to the body while in therapy and temporarily remove aggravating activities from your routine until other muscles are conditioned to help the aggravated muscles. Work on adding new challenges as your body becomes stronger.

Kimberly Christopher

Kimberly Christopher

Certified Pilates Instructor

Kimberly is native of California. She brings with her over 16 years of experience as a Massage Therapist and has been Practicing Pilates for over 12 years. Kimberly has worked extensively with medical practices, medical spas and fitness facilities assisting patients with various physical challenges. Her area of expertise is with those who suffer from chronic neck, shoulder, or back pain, postural deficits, and sports injuries. Kimberly had practiced dance and movement just about her whole life, so Pilates was just a natural addition to her practice. Kimberly’s passion for what she does is best described in her own words: “I love to be a positive part of someone's day. I love to work with people on achieving goals, from a simple goal such as mastering a specific exercise to longer term life-goals such as getting in shape for an event down the road or healing the body through correcting imbalances in the body.” She enjoys being with family and friends, travel, anything outdoors, hiking, being in or around water, scuba diving, snorkeling, and has a passion for fine art, architecture and design.

Treatment Philosophy:
My goal is to help you strengthen your core and obtain proper alignment and balance on your body. This is the key to a strong healthy body. It's like building a home. You need a strong core structure/foundation so that it will last a lifetime.

Aleyse Bradford

Aleyse Bradford PMA-CPT

Pilates Method Alliance - Certified Pilates Instructor

Aleyse is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma where she received a BFA in Modern Dance Performance and is originally from Michigan. She received her Pilates training from The McEntire School International in 2010, where she trained under and worked for the former president of the Pilates Method Alliance. She is also certified in Buff Bones®, a medically-endorsed system of movement for bone and joint health. Aleyse has a passion for helping others experience the amazing benefits of Pilates and what their bodies are capable of. Whether she is assisting someone in alleviating pain, in order to increase functionality in daily life, or acting as a coach for someone who wants to be pushed to their athletic limits, Aleyse brings her vast knowledge and dedication to achieving her client’s goals. She enjoys dance, Pilates, yoga, biking, being outside, trying new restaurants, exploring the coast and spending time with her family and friends.

Treatment Philosophy:
Exercises should be customized to each person’s needs. Challenge the body in a way that is safe and effective, bringing both increased strength and flexibility. When breathing is the foundation of the movement, the body responds by correctly activating the muscles and finding that crucial mind/body connection.

Ania Krawiec, Certified Pilates Instructor

Ania Krawiec

Certified Pilates Instructor

Ania has a deep passion for travel, fitness, nutrition and maintaining overall well-being and balance of the mind, body and spirit. Over the past years she has had the opportunity to teach internationally in places such as Thailand and Australia.
Ania Krawiec with client

Being exposed to movement ranging from competitive sports, gymnastics, yoga, and the aerial arts has inspired her search for Pilates. Pilates is what helped her develop her awareness and strength of her own body. It is a type of movement that is challenging both physically and cerebrally and allows one to really gauge their progress. Plus it's fun!

In 2009, Ania received her Pilates certification in Classical Pilates in Los Angeles. To expand on her interest of the bodies mechanics in India in 2011 she completed her teacher training in Yoga. She likes to carry in some of the yoga principles such as deep stretching, mindfulness, and complete body awareness and connection into her sessions. Her dedication to her own pilates practice as well as her continuing education continues to strengthen her eye for detail and allows her to tailor each session to the client’s rehabilitative needs.

Through listening, care, encouragement and enthusiasm, Ania is able to help guide clients in the development of their own bodies’ strength and awareness while providing a challenging and fun workout.