Our Staff


Meet Our Staff

Marla RiceMarla Rice

Pilates Instructor Marla Rice’s whole life changed with Pilates.  Her children were grown and on their way to paving lives of their own. Exercise and a healthy lifestyle had always been part of her life.  She started to take Pilates in 2001 and quickly realized that this was going to be her future.Marla received her certification from Physical Mind Institute and also holds a certification from Gyrtonic ™.  She worked at the Body College in Potomac Maryland before she opened her own studio Core Essentials Studio in Bethesda, MD. Her love for helping people has allowed her to remain true to her philosophy of providing a personal approach to each of her clients.


Irene Thumbnail

Irene Koegel

Irene Koegel has been teaching Pilates for over 10 years. She holds certifications in Pilates from the Pilates Method Alliance, The Articulate Eye, Physical Mind Institute and Hole In One Pilates, Inc. Irene has studied and continues her studies in other movement modalities, anatomy, injury prevention and rehabilitation programs which she incorporates into her teaching. Whether teaching in a private or group setting, Irene focuses on each clients independent needs and goals.


Laurie Goldstein

Laurie was working in Marriott’s public relations department when she discovered Pilates.  She loved Pilates so much that she quit her day job and got her certification from Power Pilates, which required 600 hours of training on all Pilates equipment.  Laurie teaches private and group classes at Core Essentials

Heather Web EditHeather Ruth

Body Energies – Acupuncture, BodyTalk, Reiki Nationally Certified and Licensed to practice Acupuncture in Virginia and Maryland, Heather Ruth received her Master’s Degree in Oriental Medicine from the East West College of Natural Medicine in Sarasota, Florida, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 2002.A northern Virginia native, Heather began her training in holistic health care with the practice of Reiki in 1995, receiving her Level III Advanced Practitioner’s certification in 1997. Pursuing her passion, Heather began her training in BodyTalk in 1996 and continues to maintain her certification in both basic and advanced techniques.Combining these energy bodywork modalities – Acupuncture, Reiki and BodyTalk – along with her studies in nutrition and structure of the human body, Heather brings to her practice a depth of knowledge and understanding from both traditional Eastern and Western allopathic perspectives.Heather feels that the best results occur when people dynamically participate in their healing process, as no one modality is able to fix and maintain a person’s wellbeing.


Susie Web EditSusie Homan

Massage Therapist Susie Homan is nationally certified through the Potomac Massage Training Institution (PMTI) with a specialization in Deep Tissue and Swedish massage.  She has been certified since 2002, and began her training after a successful career as the Women’s Volleyball Coach at George Washington University.  Susie caters each massage to the individual needs of the client, to ensure the most comprehensive and deeply relaxing massage.

Kari WillfordKari Willford

Kari is a licensed massage therapist that specializes in John F. Barnes myofascial release. With over 15 years of experience in the spa industry, private practice, and clinical settings she uses traditional therapeutic techniques, Thai massage stretching, and myofascial release to offer a nurturing approach for pain and prevention of injury, postural misalignment, and body awareness. Kari believes the key to resolving physical pain is to work through the many layers that may be the cause of it. Within those layers may be emotional, mental, or physical releases.  The basis of myofascial release is to not force, but allow for the body to let go of the tension. Releases that occur from gentle yet sustained pressure are permanent. She has been practicing at Capital Integrative Health in Bethesda, MD, since 2015.  Prior to living in DC, Kari resided and worked in beautiful, sunny Arizona. Kari has studied many modalities in massage and bodywork, from subtle energy work to deeper therapeutic techniques. She believes that identifying the right approach to address the issue is critical. Sessions support pain resolution, stress relief and/or part of any wellness practice.