About Us

Our Studio

ToLife! Yoga and Pilates, established in March of 2017, is located in historic Tannery Row in beautiful, downtown Buford, GA. Our studio has two group classrooms, one room containing Pilates apparatus, and one small room used for private yoga sessions.

Our Teachers

Marilyn Hildebrandt

Marilyn Hildebrandt

Co-Owner & Yoga Teacher

Marilyn brings to her classes a lifetime of teaching experience. She began dancing at a very young age and continued through college as an art and dance major. She started teaching dance in high school, and continued to teach while raising three children and helping her husband run their family business. In 1995 she decided to take a full-time corporate job that planted her firmly behind a desk. It only took a few years before she began to experience the aches and pains of a high stress, sedentary, corporate lifestyle. “Luckily I found yoga, the perfect combination of mind, body and spirit. It not only brought my body back into alignment, it relieved my mental stress and helped me focus.” – Marilyn

After practicing yoga for several years, and realizing the immense benefits that yoga had to offer people of all ages and in all conditions, she decided she had to go back to her true nature and share the gift of yoga with others. In 2010, Marilyn began training at Peachtree Yoga Center under the guidance of Graham Fowler and Elizabeth Nix. She continued to further her education to include the following certifications:

  • 200Hr YTT from Peachtree Yoga Center
  • Pranakriya Prenatal Certification from Jacci Reynolds
  • 300Hr Advanced Teacher Training (with a focus on the therapeutic applications of yoga) from Marlysa Sullivan and Tra Kirkpatrick – through The Center for Integrative Yoga Studies and the Pranakriya School of Yoga Healing Arts
  • Grounded Kids Yoga Certification from Amy Haysman and Sedef Dion
  • Currently working on IAYT certification

Marilyn says that she is forever indebted to all of the teachers that she has had the honor of studying with throughout the last 10 years. She extends a special thanks to her first teacher, Cybele Steen, for her continued support and guidance.

“I will always be a student, continually growing and learning, and I will always be a teacher, sharing my love and knowledge with all those who wish to receive it.” – Marilyn

Kari Dees

Kari Dees

Co-Owner & Pilates/Kettlebells/Stretch Therapy Teacher

Kari found her love for movement at the age of three when she began taking dance classes. She started teaching dance in high school and continued to teach into her twenties. Kari majored in dance in college, receiving a bachelor’s degree in Dance Performance and Choreography from the University of Alabama. After graduating college, Kari joined a professional dance company in Chicago. Throughout her years as a dancer, Kari struggled with many injuries. After multiple surgeries and years of physical therapy, she was forced to retire and get a desk job, but she always felt something was missing from her life.

Kari was first introduced to Pilates by one of her childhood ballet teachers. In the search to find a form of exercise that did not hurt her joints, she found Pilates again as an adult. “After my many surgeries, Pilates was the first form of exercise that I could do that didn’t hurt. The technique and apparatus allow me to strengthen my body, without irritating my chronic injuries.” – Kari

Kari immediately fell in love with Pilates, and felt it filled the void that she’d been missing in her life. She decided to get certified to be a Pilates teacher and started training with Power Pilates in January of 2011. Kari went on to obtain the following certifications:

  • Power Pilates Beginner and Intermediate Mat
  • Power Pilates Systems 1 (Beginner), 2 (Intermediate), and 3 (Advanced) – Apparatus Sessions
  • Certified as a Stretch Therapist through Kit Laughlin
  • Trained to teach Kettlebell/Interval Training classes

Kari taught multiple modalities at Studio Lotus Forsyth from 2010 through 2015. Throughout her years at Studio Lotus, she had the opportunity to learn from some of the best Pilates teachers in the region. She hopes to take what she learned from them and continue to grow herself as a teacher and student.

Erik Hildebrandt

Erik Hildebrandt

Thai Yoga Practitioner

Erik became aware of his physical and spiritual connection at a young age; he had an ability to bring peace and calm to others when they were stressed. This gift drove him to learn more about the ancient practice of Thai Yoga.  In 2016 Erik began studying under the world renowned Thai Yoga teacher, Michael Sitzer.  In early 2017 he became a certified practitioner of Thai Yoga Basic Bodywork and will soon earn his certification in Therapeutic Thai Yoga.  In his practice of bodywork, Erik focuses on presence of mind and self-awareness; he understands the importance of listening to the body, as well as the healing power of touch.   Erik’s clients have said that his touch is genuine and caring, and that they leave his sessions feeling completely relaxed.

An avid animal lover since youth, Erik has always felt an innate connection to animals.  In his free time he enjoys spending time with his rescue dog, Kira.