343-998-8786 info@brightenupfitness.com

Meet Karine Brighten

Certified Personal Trainer, Pilates Teacher, and Plant-Based Coach

About me and my approach to health and fitness

I’m an experienced NASM Certified Personal Trainer, Pilates teacher (Studied with Balanced Body & BASI), and people call me the Foam Rolling Queen! I have taught at boutique studios and gyms in both the United States and Canada. But I wasn’t always an expert, and it’s ok if you aren’t already a fitness type either. I was never an athlete growing up and was never really into sports, but I always enjoyed outdoor activities like biking and hiking. I was also always into taking various fitness classes like yoga, spinning, and bootcamp type classes.    

When I lived in California I joined a gym with a really great community, which quickly became my second home.  I heard there was an opening for a spinning instructor. I had been taking classes for a couple of years and thought it might be something fun to do.  So I got my spinning certification, started teaching, and fell in love with it! I even went on to become the Lead Spinning Instructor, in charge of hiring and training the new instructors. I also created, designed, and launched new classes which were very popular and sometimes even had waiting lists!

A couple of months after I started teaching I decided I wanted to learn more about the body and deepen my knowledge, so I became a Certified Personal Trainer and started working one-on-one with clients to help them reach their fitness goals. Soon after, I really got into Pilates and got my Pilates Mat Certification, and then did the full Pilates Comprehensive Program with BASI a couple of years later when I moved back to Ottawa.  

I taught a combination of Pilates, Bootcamp, Spinning, and Foam Rolling classes and worked with a limited number of clients one-on-one in addition to running a full time event production company.

I love working with clients one-on-one and in small groups settings.  I’m really passionate about helping clients reach their goals, give them a safe workout, all while having fun at the same time! I always encourage my clients to try things even if they don’t think they are strong enough, and often times people surprise themselves! I’m not the drill sergeant type, even though I was a spinning and bootcamp instructor 🙂 I’m more of a positive, supportive, and encouraging type.

As someone who has been dealing with knee issues for years, I understand and am very compassionate about this sort of thing and thrive on helping people work through their own issues. I will never tell you to push through pain.

I’ve experienced a lot of different instructor styles, but definitely rank Karine’s in the top best! I love how comforting she makes each workout while ensuring that it remains challenging. I’ve taken her pilates, foam rolling and spin classes and have seen her interactions with everyone in the room infused with positivity and helpful knowledge. She carries a wealth of experience and knowledge that make her a gifted instructor, but also a great companion on your health and fitness journey with her. Have a great time getting to know her as she works with you. I know I have and definitely miss her as she helps others hundreds of miles from me.


Karine is a great instructor and personal trainer. She’s a good motivator and exceptionally perceptive about individual needs and abilities. I wish she had not left my area – I’d definitely be using her service!


This woman is a wonderful trainer!!! She’s able to get me to do things I’d never thought I could do!


CONNECT WITH ME: If you live in the West end of Ottawa / Downtown I am available to come to your house for in-home training, and if you live anywhere else we can do virtual personal training and coaching. You can read more about my services by clicking here.


National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)

-Certified Personal Trainer

-Women’s Fitness Specialist

-Group Personal Training Specialist

Pilates Certifications

-BASI Pilates Comprehensive Certification (in progress)

-Balanced Body Mat Certification

Other Certifications:

Mad Dogg Spinning Certification 


I’m an experienced Pilates teacher who has taught at studios in both the United States and Canada, in both class settings and one-on-one private sessions. I have taught hundreds of classes, worked with clients of all ages (ranging from 21-78 years old), and all fitness levels (beginners to athletes). I am passionate about working with a variety of people on various issues and love being challenged and finding solutions.

I wasn’t always an expert. As I mentioned before, I was a gym rat and also a total yogi. I always thought that one day I would become a yoga teacher.  However, I started having knee issues and was finding yoga was aggravating my problems so I decided to try out Pilates.  I loved how much of a focus there was on the core, that it was low impact, but also hard and challenging! I started off taking mat classes, and then one day I tried a reformer class and was hooked right away.  I was able to get an amazing workout while working through my knee issues. I knew that I wanted to delve more into the world of Pilates and help others out.  

Due to my knee issue, I ended up really getting into foam rolling. I started incorporating foam rolling into my Pilates classes and private sessions, as well as giving foam rolling workshops so that I could introduce people to the wonders of it. I am so fortunate to be able to say that I have made an impact in many people’s lives.

Karine has a unique ability to make working out fun! As her Pilates student for the past year, I have seen her tailor programs to ensure that all participants are challenged, are able to keep up and feel like they belong there. She recognizes that fun and laughter are integral parts of fitness and that the way to encourage people to meet their fitness objectives is for them to enjoy it. My Pilates practice has improved dramatically with Karine and I finally look forward to my workouts”


“I have been a student of Karine for almost a year and I have to say she is an absolutely fabulous Pilates instructor. I have attended private sessions and classes. What sets Karine apart is her contagious energy and unique ability to connect with her students. She pushes her students to get the maximum they can out of their workout with a fun and positive approach. I always look forward to our sessions and hope to be a student of hers for years to come.”


“I was so sad when Karen moved back to Canada and left the SF Bay Area! Karine is a great trainer. I’ve watched her over the years learn and grow and blossom into an excellent trainer with Pilates and Fitness. I first met Karine when she came to my Pilates studio to observe classes, and then participate in classes and work with me privately when she had a knee injury. There is nothing that will make one a great trainer like learning to recover from your own injury. Anyone working with Karine will be lucky to have her as their trainer.”


My background and experience as a personal trainer, Pilates teacher, and foam rolling instructor gives me the tools needed to develop workout plans for people of all ages and levels.  My fitness programs are inspired by Pilates exercises as opposed to using traditional gym equipment and weights.

Whether you are new to Pilates, or have done some classes, I would love to create a personalized program for you that can be done from the comfort of your home with very little equipment.

My Approach to Plant-Based Coaching

I’ve been eating a plant-based diet for over ten years. I love helping people eat healthier by providing support, guidance, and sharing recipes and tips.  If you’re interested in transitioning to a plant-based diet, or just want to incorporate more plant based meals into your diet, I can help!

Deciding to go plant-based was an overwhelming process at first. I didn’t know where to start and didn’t know many other vegetarians or vegans.  There are lots of great resources on the internet, but nothing beats having your own personal coach to answer all your questions. Having someone helping you at the beginning stages is extremely beneficial and will get you on the right path in no time.  

It is important to note that I am not a certified nutritionist and will not be providing any medical advice.  I will however serve as your coach, help you throughout the way, and give you great advice and support.

In addition to the fitness journey I’ve been on, I’ve been eating a plant based diet for over 10 years and love helping people eat healthier by sharing recipes and tips.  If you’re interested in transitioning to a plant based diet, or just want to incorporate more plant based meals into your diet I can help.  Having someone helping you at the beginning stages is extremely beneficial and will get you on the right track in no time.

“Recently, I was coached by Karen on how to incorporate a more plant based diet. Even though I live in Texas, I was able to connect with her remotely. After our session I felt more empowered to make some changes. She made it so easy and it did not feel intimidating. She educates and empowers you in her classes and in the coaching.”



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