Leaders In Fitness

Entries in Marika Molnar (2)

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.

Why We Need Pilates Mentors


By Nicole Rogers

Mentorship is extremely important to the Pilates community, as Pilates elder Mary Bowen so eloquently demonstrated here. If Joseph Pilates hadn’t passed his knowledge on to the first generation of teachers, and if they, the Pilates elders, had not passed their knowledge on to the next generation, Pilates simply would not exist. The tradition of mentorship is part of our foundation and our history.

Over the years, Pilates mentor/mentee relationships were rarely formal, yet were profound and long-lasting. The glue of these relationships has always been passion: for the work, for movement, for health, and for improving the lives of others with Pilates. This passion doesn’t fade, rather it’s the fuel that drives Pilates masters to explore throughout their lifetimes and to build on each other’s work. We all learned from someone, and hopefully we all continue to learn every day. Mentorship is important all the way through our careers, not just at the beginning.

When I asked some prominent Pilates personalities about their own mentors, past and present, I was not surprised to hear that their answers were as diverse as the Pilates world itself. (From what they’ve said, it appears that everyone who was taught by Mr. Pilates received a different workout, so it makes sense that no two teachers are the same to this day.) Each mentor/mentee relationship is unique. Nonetheless, a few general themes about the value of mentorship emerged from these conversations.