Samira Shuruk, teaches Pilates & fitness classes in Columbia, MD. She is an ACE certified instructor registered with US Registry of Exercise Professionals, has been practicing Pilates since 1983, and teaching fitness and movement since 1986. She is also a certified Sports Conditioning Specialist, and an avid retreat leader who is continually inspired by her fabulous students and their results. 

As a leader, Samira is passionate about clearly presenting proper technique and combines that with humor and enthusiasm. Her dedication to health, fitness and wholistic well being results in classes that are both physically and emotionally effective and rewarding. Her classes all combine consistent exercises and technique with new movements, to keep your body working, your mind-body connection strengthening, and coordination growing.

Samira teaches twelve Pilates classes a week at The Yoga Center of Columbia, plus workshops. 
Below, you'll find benefits of Pilates, class schedule, registration link, student testimonials, bio and more.
We have been voted Howard County's favorite yoga studio every year since 2000. 

For the best benefits, do Pilates more than once a week! 
Registration is always open for ongoing classes. 
The ongoing session is currently open for registration. Here’s the Current Session schedule. You can register for the whole session, a partial session, or do drop in classes!

Pilates is great strength and flexibility. Most of the exercises you’ll find cross over with physical therapy exercises. I encourage you to supplement Pilates / Pilates & Stretch classes with some cardiovascular exercise.
You deserve to take good care of YOU!
Join us for our annual fundraiser to benefit HopeWorks of Howard County, Yoga Salutes Non-Violence. March 14, 2020.

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Samira encourages and helps her regular students do Pilates at home. 


Here are props we frequently use in class, helpful books, traction socks and more. Practice at home!


Here is a page with many of the Pilates tops Samira wears often in class.

Pilates Benefits


Pilates Classes in Columbia, MD


The Yoga Center of Columbia

Location: 8950 Route 108 Columbia, MD 21045
Has changing facilities
Provides mats, blankets, yoga straps, therabands, weights and all other props needed
Has a liberal make up policy each session
Runs four sessions a year, with full & partial session discounts
Has drop in classes
"No shoes in studio" policy, to keep our floors clean. Traction socks welcome.

Upcoming Workshops & Mini Sessions

Pilates on the Ball: July 21, Sept 1.

Pilates 1 Mini Session:  5 week Mini Session Oct 10 - Nov 7.

Next HopeWorks fundraiser, Yoga Salutes Non-Violence is March 14, 2020.


9:30am Pilates 1
10:30am Pilates & Stretch 1-2
5:15pm Pilates 1
8pm Pilates 1 - 2

4:30pm Pilates 1 (mini session ends Nov 7)
6:15pm Pilates 2

Click here for class descriptions 

Pilates Class Schedule - 2019

9am Pilates & Stretch 1
10am Pilates 1-2 Plus
5:15pm Pilates & Stretch 1
6:15pm Pilates 2

6:15pm Pilates 1-2
8pm Pilates 1


Registration for all classes and workshops
The Yoga Center of Columbia


Pilates Class Reviews


5 Stars! From Samantha Jones
I love the Yoga Center! I started with Rimmi in Yoga to reduce stress and it worked like a charm. Rimmi is sweet, funny and very knowledgeable. I've since moved on to Pilates because I wanted to enhance my workout regimen. I've been attending Karen's Pilates 2 class. In one session I can see that I'm much more toned and stable. Karen is also very knowledge with a great personality. She will push you to YOUR limit never more than what you can handle. She's a great teacher!

5 Stars! From Ann Anderson
Love, love, love Pilates with Karen. I have been going weekly since last summer and have noticed a lot of differences in my core. She integrates stretching with Pilates exercises and describes each exercise so well. At 22 weeks pregnant I was still able to do most exercises and she helped modify them so I was still getting a workout without putting pressure on the babies. I have less back pain and discomfort this pregnancy due to Karen's expertise on strengthening my core.

5 Stars! Patti Willard Dean
I love the Columbia Yoga Center for so many reasons. Every teacher I have ever had is fantastic. The Center is absolutely focused on the mind and the body, striving to enrich both your mind and your body. I also love the sense of community between the students and the instructors. I especially enjoy Pilates with Karen Best, Core Yoga with Rimmi Singh and Yoga 1/2 with Bita Jenkins.

5 Stars! Google User
I have taken Pilates classes for over 5 years with 4 different instructors and Karen Best at the Yoga Center of Columbia is by far the best instructor I have ever had. Karen is technically trained and certainly understands the proper Pilates forms and techniques. She is excellent in her descriptions and how to achieve proper technique. She also keeps the class going at a great pace. Not rushed, but you get an awesome workout. She also makes class a lot of fun. She is great!


5 Stars! From Katy Mahoney Kerwin
I really enjoyed the Pilates and Bone Density workshop with Karen Best. She shared great information and specific exercises to work on bone density. It was also a great forum for participants to share experiences with each other.

5 Stars! from Jonlun Pisoki
I am a former fitness competitor and I am currently a Registered Nurse. I drive 90 minutes to take Karen's Monday morning Pilates classes...simply the best!

5 Stars! Joellen
This is the best yoga/pilates center I have ever attended. The instructors are awesome and incredibly knowledgeable. Highly recommended.

5 Stars! Google User
I've been going to the Yoga center on and off for over 5 years. Always the best instruction. Karen's Pilates classes keep bringing me back. She's funny and warm and somehow makes us want to work hard! 
Find more Pilates Testimonials here! 


Samira Shuruk, an ACE certified instructor, was first exposed to Pilates in 1983 as a high school student taking dance classes at the University of Connecticut. She further developed her Pilates, dance, and sports medicine knowledge as a dance major, starting in 1985, at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She is also a certified Sports Conditioning Specialist and an avid fitness (and culture) retreat leader.

Teaching fitness and movement since 1986, Samira continually deepens her Pilates, dance, pedagogy, injury prevention and sports conditioning knowledge through workshops, training and research. She also publishes articles and provides fitness expertise for research and articles.

Samira is passionate about clearly presenting proper technique and combines that with humor and enthusiasm. Her dedication to health, fitness and wholistic well being results in classes that are both physically and emotionally effective and rewarding. Her classes all combine consistent exercises and technique with new movements, to keep your body working, and your mind-body connection growing.