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PhysicalMind Institute Restructures, Preps for New Direction

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By Lauren Charlip

Recently, we got word of big new developments at the PhysicalMind Institute. We put in a call to PMI founder Joan Breibart, to find out just what was afoot.

PhysicalMind, which has offices and a learning space in downtown Manhattan, but has never had a large, central, working studio space, will be opening a studio headquarters on Manhattan’s Upper East Side in the coming weeks (near 80th Street and Lexington Avenue). Breibart has also announced a reorganized staff, and is in the process of making changes to the PMI teacher training curriculum.

“It’s a reorientation,” Breibart says. “We are forming this team and opening this new place because we’re looking ahead at the clients we’ll have in the next five to 10 years.” Breibart tells us she’s factored in the explosive growth that Pilates has experienced in the last decade, along with the hard reality that many Americans are more unfit than ever. “You have an overweight, aging population, and that’s very different from when Joe Pilates was around,” she says. “You also have a population with a lot of injuries. You have people who are full-time computer users [with problems from the ergonomics], and kids who spend so much time texting and playing video games.” All of this, she says, indicates a new direction for the Pilates work that PhysicalMind instructors will be doing with clients in the coming years.

“Looking at people, you have to face the music,” Breibart says. “Where I think we should be going is functional fitness, and let’s face it, Teaser is not functional fitness. We’re rethinking things.”

Breibart still hasn’t formally announced a PhysicalMind relaunch, and didn’t want to go into detail on the specifics of the new curriculum, but did tell us that mid-April, all PhysicalMind certifiying studios would be coming to the new New York studio to “get the new courses.”

Breibart has reorganized and assigned new duties and titles to the PMI staff, as follows:

Marika Molnar, Clinical Advisor
Lauren Piskin, Program Director
Maria Leone, Bridge Program Director
Julia Shanbrom, General Manager

Briebart will be staying on as head of the team. More information about the PMI staff, and their Pilates backgrounds can be found here. More information on PMI’s history can be found here.

Lauren Charlip is managing editor of Pilates-Pro.com.

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Reader Comments (2)

Being a PMI certified instructor, I'm really looking forward to this new "direction". My own personal practice of pilates has integrated functional bodywork exercises with amazing results.

Also, it makes me hopeful that the industry will continue to grow and evolve over time. While I understand the importance of doing the classical movement, I have a feeling that Joseph Pilates would have seen the needs of his clients too...and reoriented his approach to teaching pilates.

February 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnne Samoilov

Pilates was founded on the foundations of functional fitness and the teaser was the result of that evolution.

Much of the problem with Pilates today is that instead of starting at the beginning, the way that Joe did, we are trying to interpret the end result.

March 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStacey Redfield

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