Our teachers

Clare Axon-Saunders

Clare Axon-Saunders

Principal Pilates Teacher

Clare is the proprietor and lead instructor at In the Log Cabin. Clare began taking Pilates classes over 12 years ago in the hope that it would improve her horse riding (it did!). She quickly started to see and feel the benefits of regular Pilates exercise both on and off her horse, and attended classes as often as she could.  After completing a year long apprenticeship, Clare is now an experienced and intuitive teacher who is passionate about helping her clients achieve their goals. Clare mostly teaches Classical Pilates, staying close to the original teachings of Pilates whilst staying up to date with best practises. Her special interest is Pilates for horse riders due to the huge benefits she has seen.

Clare is fully qualified to teach all mat work and Pilates equipment including the Reformer, Cadillac, Chairs and Ladder Barrel to name a few.  She continues to develop her training and skills, keeping updated with the latest Pilates concepts and continuing to train with other experienced instructors across the world, including Andrea Maida and Clare Dunphy Hemani.

Everyone agrees that Clare has an eagle eye for detail! Her classes are challenging and progressive and she will always do her very best to help you. You will learn at a pace suitable for you and be supported throughout your Pilates journey. Clare’s classes are often filled with laughter as she believes working hard should also be fun! Her kind manner and style of teaching ensures her classes are always very popular. 

Clare’s Pilates classes are recommended by Physiotherapists and Osteopaths and clients are often referred to her to help with back pain and core strength.  Clare is always happy to speak with a clients medical practitioner, osteopath, etc to discuss any specific exercises or problems that need to be worked on in a particular way.

Clare sees her horses twice a day and rides regularly, training them in dressage to an advanced level. She is also a keen yogi, practising Ashtanga yoga and additionally practises pole dancing. Clare has an Italian greyhound who keeps her busy and a husband who she sometimes gets to see!

Rita Young

Rita Young

Pilates Teacher

Rita has recently joined In the Log Cabin and teaches several classes. After more than 25 years of taking regular Pilates classes to an advanced level, Rita left behind her corporate career in Human Resources and Employment Law and embarked on a year long apprenticeship at the Fit From Within Pilates studio in 2016. During her apprenticeship, Rita participated, observed and assisted sessions with several teachers, learning various teaching styles and enhancing her knowledge of technique.  In parallel, Rita also completed an online course in Human Anatomy & Physiology and commenced teaching groups and private clients, successfully building her own client base from June 2017. 


With clear instruction, a friendly and helpful personality, Rita draws upon her many years experience of teaching, training, counseling, mediation and problem solving from her 30 year corporate career and applies this to her Pilates teaching and within her client communication.  Rita brings a good mix of knowledge and compassion to the team with excellent organisational ability.  With a passion for Pilates, Rita continues to develop her knowledge and experience working with clients to achieve their personal goals. 

In her spare time, Rita also enjoys practising yoga and taking her two dogs for regular countryside walks.

Wayne Starkey

Wayne Starkey

Pilates Teacher & Massage Therapist

Wayne has been practicing and teaching Pilates for over ten years to people of all different backgrounds and levels of ability. He has a wealth of experience in the Pilates Method and teaches his classes from a place of friendliness, fun and genuine care for his student’s wellbeing. His classes are both diverse and challenging allowing participants to grow and develop at their own pace that is right for them. Classes are taught in a non-competitive environment and in a non-judgemental and supportive way that helps build confidence and strength in all who participate.

Wayne has studied many styles of Pilates including Stott and Fletcher and brings his  experience into his classes for all his students. He is experienced in both mat work and apparatus Pilates. In his classes additional props are explored and used which brings variety to every session for all students. 

Wayne has a life-long background in various disciplines such as Martial Arts, Circus, Dance and Yoga. He is also a Sports Massage and Manual Therapist helping his clients with pain-relief and rehabilitation. Additionally, he is a qualified postural alignment specialist in the Egoscue Method and Muscle-Balance-Function and a certified functional fitness trainer in TRX (suspension
fitness), ViPR (loaded-movement training) and MOVNAT (natural human movement).

Wayne has previously competed at a national and international level representing Great Britain in Chinese Martial Arts and has won several gold medals and was the Official British Tai Chi Champion. 

Sanna Karhu-Craig

Sanna Karhu-Craig

Pilates, Barre & Body Balance Teacher

Sanna is a trained ballerina and has performed across the world with various ballet schools including St Petersburg, Florence, New York and Marseille. Sanna has danced professionally in ballet companies in Finland, Florence and France.

Sanna has attended Pilates classes for over 20years and completed a one year apprenticeship before travelling the world dancing. She is now ready to return to her Pilates training and is working alongside Clare whilst studying and updating her Pilates qualifications.

Sanna is also fully qualified to teach the New York City Ballet Workout and Body Balance which combines ballet, yoga and Pilates. Sanna’s passion is sharing her knowledge and experience with others. Sanna’s Barre classes are perfect for those who take their ballet and flexibility seriously but want to have fun too!

In the log cabin
Visit Us

16 Butterfield Lane

St Albans


Contact us

07729 919586

(01727) 420747


Open Hours

M-F: 8am - 8.30pm

Sat: 8am - 2pm