Discussion #2700

Joan Breibart

115 min - Discussion


Joan Breibart is described as a renegade and an early adopter of the Pilates method. Her efforts and influence have been involved in key events shaping Pilates history and are frequently surrounded by controversy. In this discussion, we find out how Joan became involved in the Pilates industry and how she helped put Pilates on the map without being a Pilates instructor. She shares what inspired her to start the Institute for the Pilates Method with Eve Gentry and Michele Larsson, and what happened to them during the Trademark Lawsuit. She also tells us her opinion on the Pilates industry today and how she thinks we can continue to grow.
What You'll Need: No props needed

About This Video

(Pace N/A)
Jul 20, 2016
(Log In to track)


Read Full Transcript

Chapter 1

Introduction to Pilates

I'm here today with Joan Breitbart. I'm sitting in her home, her townhome here in Chelsea, in New York City. And this has been an interview I've wanted to do for a long time, so I'm very excited to be here. I have no idea how we'll get it all in. But before we start, I just want to mention that if you don't know who Joan Breitbart is, she is pivotal to, in my opinion, the preservation of [inaudible]. Uh, many key events have happened around you being either in the background or, or more overtly right up front. She began the Institute for the Palase method in 1991, which was the first [inaudible] organization, I think altogether.

And there's a lot more to say. So for context, can we just start with who you are? What, what is your background? I, you know, you know, I'm leading to how did you get to politics, but there are a lot before that. Well, I think then it all relates because I was working in New York as my first job after college. And, um, I worked at a company, we all know scholastic magazines and books, right? And so I, we started off in Educational Publishing and I was 22, so it's 1963 and I was in the library doing some research for one of the big shot editors there. Cause I was an assistant and I saw an article about Joe Polato days. It was a big article, I think it was a look magazine, I mean big pages. And I read it even though I was on company time, I sort of read. And the reason I realize now was that as a little girl, my father used to say to me, you know, you're related to the strong man of Europe, which when you're six or seven or so, when you don't even really know where you're a Biz, um, it doesn't mean anything. And it was a strong man of Europe.

And so I was curious because here was a European who was a strong man, right? And so that made me want to read it. But I had never danced. I did not do any athletics. Um, women of my generation. We didn't do this. And sweating was like so on feminine. And so it just wasn't part of what everyone just takes for granted today.

Right? So it stayed in my head and I remember to ask my father again about this guy, his name was, um, it was Sigmund Breitbart, but his stage name was Samson. And it was the kind of person who would go out and do these shows, big promoters, and of course take this steel pipe and bend it, right? But later, and this, this fast forward now, 10 more years, there's a movie made about him. It's called the invincible. And Vernor Hertzog made it a famous director opened up in New York and uh, 2004 reviewed in the New York Times, The New Yorker and the New York magazine, and opened at the Angelica. And it's all about my relative, right?

And from that, and then all of the materials that came out, I realized that he probably knew Joe. He's that he came to New York at the same time and he had his own institute. So his was not some regimen the way Joe and all of the invention, but was more like, how do you be a strong man, right. And Ben Pipes and that kind of stuff. So that made it even more interesting to me.

But he must've come to New York then. It wasn't, yeah, it was back in the, in the twenties twenties and, but then he went back to your my relative. Right. And Joe was here. Right. But so even though I saw this, this was 1963 I didn't rush over to the Palati studio because I didn't have any need to write. I was just interesting intellectually the connection. Wow. I just hear, I read this, but then about, you know, a few years later, skiing starts to be a big thing in New York. And I had never done any athletics and I was five foot six, maybe I weighed 106 pounds. I didn't, you know, I just didn't think I would be up to doing this, this kind of skiing. And would you consider, you said you weren't into dance or athletics, but would you consider yourself healthy or anywhere with it?

Even on the radar yet? I know the 70s nobody talked about it would be considered tacky to talk about your health. We smoked, smoked cigarettes. We, no, in fact, when we walked into the studio, we smoked cigarettes. Right? Okay. So it was this, all this stuff never existed and, and nobody was fat. So you know, it was a whole different time. So then I thought, oh, well my boyfriend is a big skier. I'm going to go skiing. I don't know how to ski. I sort of knew I wasn't up to skiing. Right.

So I, I had by that time left scholastic and I was at the American Management Association, which was on 50th and seventh and Corolla was on 54th and seven so even in high heels I could get there in five minutes. Right. And I just went there just one day. You, you go to Corolla, call up, you know, of course that's how you did it. You called up on the phone and somebody answered with this accent. And I show up. Okay. So we're in 1963 but it was, I don't, I don't think I showed up til 65 or so, whatever it was, somewhere around there. So you went by proximity? Yeah, it was, that was close. Right.

And that was the one that was in an article that I had also read about this major. So I knew that name and, and so I showed up, but it was also geographically desirable. Right. And what did you think you knew that bloodies was going to do something to help your skiing? You show up to Corollas. Can you tell us what that was like? To Walk? It was a, it was a, in an apartment building. This was in her apartment. Right. And she had all of this apparatus and I remembered, have to go back and remember people didn't, hadn't seen all the apparatus. We just take for granted and then went to gyms and had weights. Right. And there was a guy named Kaneski who did some sort of gymnastics, Miss Arden over at, um, Ms. Craig had Ardennes.

That was, was Elizabeth Arden had an exercise program. And she taught in high heels and fishnet stockings. So moves to me is really, this is just the way it was. Okay. And so I walk in and I s I see this stuff, I don't know what to call it, right? And there's Corolla the way she always was, you know, in a leotard. And, um, she comes up to me and she says, I'm not going to have you come here unless you can come twice a week with $7. That was like a lot of money. Seven for me. This is the first thing she says to get it clear, you had twice a week and it's seven hours and you have to buy these shoes.

She was just, everything was immaculate, you know, there was no like walking around here, dirty feet or anything, right? So I thought, okay, I'll try it, whatever. Okay. And that was it. That was just how I, you know, but I'm not a person who, you know, gets worried about something and things, okay, I can't do it or whatever. And so I, I leave because at that point I didn't have my shoes and my leotard that I had to wear. Right. Come back with all the right stuff. And, um, I think now that the first lesson or two, she was more or less in charge. I think so as I tried to remember it, but all these people who studied with Corolla, whether it was Jillian or Debra lessen or the Casa cove and all these other people, you know, when it, now when I think back on it, it's interesting because it's not what we take it to be today. They were there and they changed. They put the straps on your feet, they changed the springs quietly. And um, they moved around. Karola stood in one spot for 12 hours a day and she literally ran every single thing. Sure.

I was on every single person and then she'd come over and she'd make you punch your thigh every once in awhile to see how strong it was. And that's how yours should be. Right. She punched me. She'd make you punch her own time. Absolutely. Or she would punch it. And then you had to punch it right. And that would be it. And you know, it was, you just did what you were told. And that was about it.

I mean I think there were three or four reformers and there were two Cadillacs and then over in the side room there were two mats and then two chairs and no one used the chairs with me cause I wanted to build up my legs and she invented an exercise for me on the spot, which I still do, which is what it's used. It's a standing exercise and you're pushing down standing and you go through, articulate your foot and then come up really contracting your calf and you know that's right then and there. But I never saw anyone else go near that. The chair period. Right. Do you remember who was teaching at the time you were going as a student? Hi. I don't remember who they were, but they were like people who were in their twenties and young who were flooding around and who were I guess dancers? Judith, maybe your friend friends.

Probably Fam was there. Yeah. And so, but you weren't aware of them in that sense? The [inaudible] relationship, and remember there wasn't, they weren't talking to you, right. So there wasn't any instruction on when to breathe, when not to breathe, lower your right hip or shoulder? No, no, it wasn't anywhere but during number, this was a small number of people and they were, you know, more or less fairly young and everybody was thin and it wasn't what we, we think of today. It wasn't anything like that, you know. Did, what did you think of Philadelphia? I mean, right from the start, nevermind Corolla for the now, within six weeks there was a noticeable change in my body. Okay. Six weeks. Now at that point, I mean I was five foot six, probably weighed 106 or so. So it wasn't like a, you know, I had any issues, apparent issues. Right. But there was a noticeable change around my hips. Right.

And then women used to win. People never talked about their health or how much they weighed or whatever. But they had figure figure faults. That was the, that was their fault. That's what they would say in fashion. I said someone's figure fault that you'd have to camouflage. Right.

So my figure fault in my terms was that my hips were not the right shape, you know, that whatever. And there was just a noticeable change really. But that was it. You know, I mean, I, there was nothing wrong with me other than that. It was an aesthetic channel. When did you ski? I started skiing almost immediately. Okay. So you can't really compare it I suppose because you weren't the king beforehand, but okay. And you know, drive six hours up to Vermont and go skiing. You know, it's just something that people did, even though it seems crazy. But anyway, let me take you back to Corolla then. Um, did you ever, how long did you take from her? Do you remember that? First of all, I'll tell you, I don't, I'm trying to think of that exactly and I'm not sure, but I'll tell you one thing I remember, and this gives you an idea of how these things worked. She closed her studio for six weeks. Every summer I went to aspen.

So all of this thing now people have to get their work in and whatever. It wasn't anything like that. It was like something, and especially when I went to Bendel's to the potty study there, it was like on your social calendar, right? It wasn't anything to do with your health and it wasn't as if you missed one, your body would suffer. It was just, it was on your social calendar. So you just knew Corolla was leaving for six weeks and then she left for six and it was, I thought, wow. I mean, you know, no, there was no substitute to run the studio. It was just like, oh, forget it. Right. And so, and I remember I came back and all of that, but it was just, it was the first time I realized that this was, um, you know, when she could fit you in and when it was, whatever, she had to take six weeks off and that was it.

Do you think she was a good business person? She was. She was very, yeah. Come on. No, she was very good. It was just that it didn't, if a studio today that you were going to close for six weeks, you would be, well my body, but nobody thought like that. Hey, I see. Because nobody had any health problems. Right, right. And I think too, the way studios are run is you have to be there. You can't take six weeks off. You've got to keep it afloat. You know? That's part of it is. Yeah. So, so it was good. What about her? What, did you ever have a conversation with her too? She did. How did you find her person? Her personality? Um, she was, uh, she was very, she was an elegant woman, I think. And maybe that doesn't come through, but she was, and um, she was strong. Uh, she had suffered a lot coming over here from being in Germany.

And um, did you know that then? No. No, but, but you, you had a sense of the past, right? And a struggle. Yes. And also she was, she just commanding, I mean, it's amazing. I mean, she probably didn't even reach five feet tall. I mean, you know, eve was supposedly five-year. I think nurses for 11, I think for a month. I mean they were tiny people who were commanding, which is interesting so that I know you went to Bendel's and for uh,

Chapter 2

Bendel's Department Store

for those that don't know, there was a bloody studio at the top of Mandela 1964 he opened up and it was theirs. I still haven't, it's yellowed, but I have the actual New York Herald Tribune big spread on his going into Bendel's and it was not so much that it was a, a, you know, unique, um, boutiques and expensive clothes and designers in one heard of like Sonia Rykiel or whatever. And it was the first, it was that idea of a boutique and they were, it was, it started the, a whole different kind of retailing. Tell me, so don't Joseph now is just the studio in Bendel's, the top of Mandela's, um, that Kathy grants and the people no later worked in owned or ran. Um, why did that matter with what was going on in New York? Why did it when, when he has a studio down the road, why does that matter that he opened up and up? Well, I mean it's was the right place to be. Okay.

And so then the right people would be there. Okay. And whereas the one over, I mean if remember New York was dangerous, then it was dangerous. I mean you'd walk down the street but not that straight. Right. And he was over in this area, eighth avenue, cause never walked there without a gun. Okay. I mean it's just, and sure that was where there were dance studios and dancers and whatever, but it just wasn't an area anyone would want to go into, at least my kind of people. Right. So, and Bendel's was the place people went to. Who were the kinds of people that could afford this? Right. How did he get in there? And I'm trying to remember the name of the president.

I think it was Geraldine something another. She wanted it there for her own self. She was the head of Bendel. She had started, she was a very powerful woman, retailing and she didn't want to go over there to eighth avenue. That was okay. She did not want to go over it. And so she just, the sixth floor Bendel's was the beauty floor and you'd get off the elevator. And there was Paul Mitchell, Mitchell's a huge name in his, and then there was spa services that didn't appear in America and places for 1520 years. Right.

They had facials and all sorts of things and it was very beautifully done. They're sort of a Moroccan decor. And then you'd walk in the back and there was the bloody studio is beautiful black and white tiles and everything had been made to be at this level of taste and service that was Bendels. Right. And then nose was known at that time. And of course, you know, people look differently. But as a place where you couldn't buy a size eight, I mean real size that you couldn't buy. Now of course you could, but not too many.

So everybody there was a certain size, right? Or they wouldn't shop there. And there was that beautiful studio. And then there was its own dressing room and I can remember there was sterling silver topped um, dispensers for things like powder or anything. I mean it's just done. Yeah. So why is that, why you went, how did you get there? Well, I, first of all, it, I, it was close to you. It was close to where I was working at that time is proximity is important in New York, right?

I'm looking at and looking and then a friend of mine told me that they weren't going to put in some kind of annual thing where you'd pay one fee and you wouldn't have to pay each time. And I said, I better get in on this. This sounds like good deal. Right. It didn't happen to me, Italy, but it seemed like that because that's how, you know, stores run. They have more of a commercial sense of what to do. And I thought this would be great, you know, just pay once and then you can go as much as you want. So you, did you care who was teaching there? Did you? Nobody had about those. That, okay. Who was teaching? It was a woman that her real name was Dolores Corey and she became nausea.

Corey. Madeline black saw her a lot and I did in a lot of other people looking back now at the other people, whether it would be, you know, eve or Romana or curl or whatever. She was the only good looking one. I mean she was, yeah, she was good looking. I mean she looked like you want to look like I haven't found pictures, I haven't found pictures and I [inaudible]. It's amazing how it, and I think a lot of that is my fault because by the time I left New York in 1988 you know, I was years before, it was three years before when we started this thing. And I didn't bring her into it. I didn't, I didn't go back and try to get her, but interesting was so you have to remember, okay, so he died in 67 right. Okay.

And then the exercise fitness thing hadn't started. It's, it's, they dated from 1970 right, right. Okay. So, oh this, you know, thing like that didn't exist. Anyway. So what happened was when it started, it started with aerobics, right? But as the running things running then, and then we had the aerobic machines and then that morphed into in the 70s a world like dancing. I mean I, and then by the end of the, I mean really by the end of the eighties it was just, everything was just as high intensity aerobics. Right. So something like polities or Lottie Burke, which became bar nobody was caring about. Right. It was just, you know, some of these people that sort of kept doing it. Yeah. Right, right, right.

And so that was a very bad time plot. It actually became, because Joe always got a lot of publicity. I mean he got a lot of publicity. Right. And then even in the 70s there was some, but by the 80s there was nothing. So these few studios were running, so against the tide. Right. And Nacho was still teaching at Bendel's at that point, wasn't she? She left about 1970 and then they brought Kathy Granton and she moved around the corner, more convenient to me and say, but they're right. Stayed with her. And that's when, and that was interesting and I was telling you about how it was so tough to do a business. Then she started, she started with Yoga, then she, she started doing mat classes. She did everything she could to try to keep people coming in because nobody wanted to come in. She even brought in, this was funny, she brought in a treadmill and there weren't too many treadmills around.

She brought in a treadmill right into the studio and, but nobody could run on it because she kept stopping you because your foot placement wasn't writing. You can't do that yet. Good move. So, so she was very creative in trying to figure out how to keep her business going while everyone was moving into aerobics. It just occurred to me. Do you know how she, I'm assuming she, she'd learned from Joe. Oh Duh. Of course. Right. So how do you know how that transition happened? That she left him to start her own and if he, do you know if he's supported? I know he, by the time he was [inaudible] he had sorry, but um, yeah, he actually put her in. He was when he started the Benos one with, with her.

Yeah. Okay. Yeah. And she a, her, she's really lost and I know Madeline black does a lot in something probably on your side talking about her, right? Yeah. Yeah. I think she's wants to know more where, you know, how can we find out more about her? Um, yeah. But my sense of it is just privacy that she's not really interested. I don't know. I would love to know more. She's dead. Oh, okay. But then maybe it was her daughter Natalie and talks about trying to talk to that was the, yeah, no, there was that. Yeah. And, but you have to remember something, which is really what we're going to get into is that everything was always under a cloud because even though Karola had a studio and it was fine once Joe died and Ramana was with Klara, no one really knew if they could do what they were doing.

They didn't really know that. Now, theoretically, and Ron said many times, Klara said to me, go out to California and just do it and keep going with it. And whatever. Eve left, the year after Joe died, she moved to Santa Fe. Right? But, and she had the name Palladio's in her little brochure, but of course it was so quiet that I was living there for three years. I didn't know she was within spitting distance of my house. Right. So, so whatever there was going on, whether it was, but of course Herdman was over in England. So that was really far away. Everyone was sort of tentative about it. And by everyone you mean those teachers or you mean people who took, oh no, we didn't know anything, want anything. But then the businesses, nobody could, nobody could say like nausea couldn't have said or Corolla, I'm going to hire someone now I see this fitness thing is going, it's the, it's 1982 and I'm going to be part of it. Right.

And nobody could take those steps. I'm not saying that they understood that they should have, but they wouldn't have done it. Because again, this whole ownership issue. So you felt like it was like that just right from the start that they, it was always a cloud, always a, as a cloud of not knowing if they could really do this and when, when the shoe would drop. That was it. It was always they who would drop the shoe. Well, I mean it was a very odd situation because once Clara died and then there was just Romana and that was 10 years after, so that was like 77. She almost immediately she hooked up with these ice, had toner people who again, rich clients and they had that Glob and they were gonna make things, whatever.

And she was always looking for somebody. She was smart enough to figure out that she couldn't do anything on her own. She needed, um, people with business sense marketing money to explode this. And um, and so she was after these deals in a way or they came to her. Yeah. Yeah. And that was when, that was when she registered the name. Right.

And of course too, nobody even knew anything as a, as a client, you didn't know about this name stuff, whatever. But whenever you would get into talking about it with anybody who was a teacher, there was sort of a pushback. Okay. Cause it was, it was cloudy. And I can remember when we opened up the institute in 1991 and it started to get publicity and having people would call us up and say, are, you know, I took a lesson there for Dah, Dah, Dah, Dah, whenever I want to do it. But isn't it patented? Isn't it patent death? And I would say, well, you know, what are you, what's known? And know that universal reformer had a patent which expired.

We ultimately one of the, one of the forums that we did, it sounds crazy. Now we devoted all to intellectual property, which was a named, nobody even knew. Right? And it was, this is a copyright, this is a patent and this is a trademark. This is a service moment of all this kind of stuff. Because people thought it was, yeah, they thought it was patented. Right. And of course the name was trademarked and yet it was never the name that Joe used. I mean he used what? Control and G. Right.

Took me about 20 years to get that name right. And nobody wanted to use that name because it sounded like Scientology. All right. And at the animals also wondered why when and why it changed. It just wasn't the name you would use. Let me back you up. When you were working with Nada cause that was after Corolla, is that right?

What did you know about Romana or any of these you've at this time, did you know about them at all? Did I know? I knew that the studio was over there and there was a person named Romana but it wasn't the interest I was, this is, I was working in publishing. Right, okay. I was not going to be trying to become an a teacher. In fact, they would no one even use those terms. You just went there. There was equipment. Remember this is a very different thing and it's a, I was trying to remember all the details cause when we started the institute, Michelle said let's do it the way it was done in New York. And how was that? It wasn't one-on-one. That was for sure.

You have to remember that it was this kind of what we called open gym. So you'd come first as a new client and you'd have like three so-called private lessons or sort of private, and then you would have your little workout thing and you'd come in and you do it right. [inaudible] and um, that was it. Now it didn't work. It didn't work. Okay. Hold that thought. I want to come back to that. But we need to know how you even got to Santa Fe.

Chapter 3

Moving to Santa Fe

We went to Santa Fe, my family, my husband and my two little children were living in New York. And as you probably don't remember, but 19th 1987 stock market crashed. Right.

And we had some sizeable properties in New York and in the country and Vermont or whatever. And my husband said, and his company had just sold his company and my company, which I'd been in this huge hairdressing company at the very top level, it bought me out of my contract. And so we were sort of liberated in a way, and it was pretty scary at that time. And my husband said, we should cash out in New York. This was the time to cash out. And we looked around and we went to Santa Fe, Y fe. We figured out that we could live there on the money we would cash out of. Right. And that it was an interesting enough place that, you know, it wouldn't be such a shock, you know, because there was the art scene and there were good things in the opera. I don't know. It was, it was just a hard, I mean, was it a place he love to travel through prior to that or it was just what it offered in and of itself, which is to offer something. And we, we had looked at the Napa Valley and, uh, we thought if we'd never vineyard, it wouldn't work. And it was one of these decisions that people were gassed at.

They really amazing. You're gonna leave New York and go to this place. You know what quintessential New Yorkers, whatever. But we did it. I didn't know you at all. And I, I had heard that too, you know, early in my employee's career that you were leaving New York and I was like, who's doing my part? Why should we, and I don't know if I ever knew. I don't think so. It was, it was so shocking in a way. Okay, so you go to Santa Fe, you, you had been at this point, what year did you go? 1988 and I met even Michelle in early 91 and as I said, it was then that I found out that their place was around the corner from where I live and I never heard of it. Okay.

So you had been doing polities with somebody throughout all that time? No, no. From, not at all. Of course not. There was no, I didn't know the writing police went before leaving New York before, so, okay. But I also by then was, was trying other things. I had gone into this aerobic dancing kind of thing. I had joined a health club, but actually my husband had printed something for the vertical club, which was the first really fancy club, you know. And so we got free memberships at this place and we went over there, um, you know [inaudible] okay.

And we, you know, when you, if I look back and I tried to count how many times I am done [inaudible] in a private or one of these open sessions, I don't know what number I would come up with cause this is, we're talking many, many years, but it might only come out to be once a week or even less. And that would be because you would be away or you be, and it wasn't this, it was something that you stayed aware, stayed aware of. And I always liked it. But then thinking back, I don't believe that anyone, and this includes all of these, you know, master first generous teachers, anyone really understood the uniqueness of plots, even the people that were there at the studio. And that later went on like Corolla or Ronde and eve to do things and they don't. And the reason was, or one of the reasons, and this is important, they didn't have anything to compare to thinking that cause that's what all they did. Yeah. That's all they did. And they had nothing to compare it with. And even when some of these things started, it was, I mean, and today, this very day, I mean a couple of weeks ago I went to Barry's bootcamp.

I've done crossfit. I was like crossfit. I'm 75 I've been, there's under 30 right? And I'm still doing it right because I want to see, yeah, why do you do it? I want to see what, what's out there. Cause I do also think of you as not following the trends, but often my mind creating, or at least being there, I want to see what they're doing and where's it going and how's that gonna Affect us. Right. So I go out and I look around, I try it. I see. And they didn't have that, right. They didn't do it. Now, the one thing that eve did was that she got into felled in Christ and that changed her dramatically, dramatically. And Ron developed his own kind of dance movement thing. So that is, and in my opinion, if you want to know how I know I would know all those people, those to the made the contribution that has enabled [inaudible] those to Fletcher and Eve made melodies. They, they, what they did as enabled Pele's to become what it has become a household name because of the variation. Where did they, because rally thing for, no because, and I'm not saying it was a conscious thing, but it was, it, we all benefited. Ron went out to la and opened up a pottery studio that had an unlisted telephone number. That's how exclusive it was. Right. He was very clever, very clever and, and he just had yeah.

And he just knew how to drum up interest in whatever and then all these celebrities went there. Right. Okay. That was it. And if they hadn't gone there it'd be a whole different story. Right. Okay. Cause it had to do with timing because I can remember being at nausea quarries and I think it was, it was bill Murray was on that next reformer. But could you ever use his name? Of course not. Right. Okay. Or was it Bendel's maybe. I don't know if somewhere, but that was really important. What happened?

Eve came out and she had that strict Romana kind of pull lattes that was ever all they ever knew. But then she got into Feldon Christ and that started her thinking about movement and these little mini moves, which when we did that first workshop right, that's what it was and nobody even knew what to call it. So everybody called her pre Polonius. I saw some recently on the site, somebody called [inaudible]. I then came up with the name of joy ray, I think, who worked versus good name Smith, the fundamentals and then everybody who went through that program has taken them out. We now have 28 and people may be Stott uses 10 or somebody, but this whole thing of where does the movement come from and where's the pelvis, where is this gap that came out now not that Eve said, Oh let's create these. She just did these things and try them, whatever. And then I scooped them all up and categorize them and you know, made it a thing. Okay. So far it's if someone didn't watch any of the legacy project and they started here, I think people are gonna wonder when did you start teaching? And I know, I know of the answer that you never started teaching. So there's a big gap. We have to explain how in the world did you as a non teacher become the, okay, so here's what happened. I mean this, it was the funniest thing that ever. So we were just starting 88 you moved to Santa Fe, you don't know eve at this point. No you don't.

In 1991 I need her. And, and this is also interesting because all the years, even though there was a little bit with nausea, Dolores Corey and a little bit with Corolla wasn't really nobody really focused on my body issues. It was very much an aesthetic thing. Right. You know, how did your thighs look? Right. Right. Okay. And then the machines would just take care of the rest too is sort of what it was. Okay. But when I met Eve, she saw the restriction in my thoracic. She saw that my tendency, which I was someone who thought about it a long time ago of my, um, kyphosis towards it and forward head and she saw things right.

And she tried to start work with these and figure out if she could. But by then I was 50. Right. Did you say this isn't [inaudible] to her? We know? No, I wouldn't because I'd already looked at other things. I had already been through some Alexander. Okay. I'd been roped. Right. I was rocked by either rolls, protege, Rosemary, fight us in 1981. You know, once I sort of got this and then my curiosity was what else was there? Right.

Is that what it is? Is a curiosity, I mean, is it curiosity about techniques? Is it curiosity about what it can your own body do? Is it curiosity about why is the industry [inaudible] fitness, I guess we'd call it eventually in there. Why does it take the turns? What makes you curious? You've been in this whole area of the body. Yes. Yeah.

I think this is a really going back a long time ago to like the forties and 50s. Well obviously if there's no PC stuff then, and um, you know, after the war or you saw people were starving all over Europe and the ones content, whatever. And I was a very skinny kid, skinny, but of course everybody was thin, but I was really skinny. And so there was no PC would come up to you and say, yeah, you're having skin and bones, why don't you eat something skin and bones, you know, whatever. So I always felt like I was not attractive. So that's one of the tension to your physicality. Even as a little kid, you know, like too skinny. And then of course we had Marilyn Monroe and I really felt skinny. Right? Okay.

So that was me in my body. Okay. But we, you know, people didn't dwell on these things a lot and that was vetted. And then I can remember all of a sudden from nowhere the switch and twiggy is, becomes the model with him and how it goes always on their off waking. Right. And so on Thursday I'm like too skinny and why don't I gain some weight? Right? And then on Friday people are saying, oh, what are you doing to maintain your figure? And I'm thinking, wait, who are they talking? That's your mamay. Right. You know, so at that moment, and I was like 19 or something, I thought, boy, this is really, this is an interesting, this we're getting into dangerous waters here. I could see this, I could see this thing happening with people and obsessions with their body.

And then it went into, you know, weight watchers started in 1963 and the dieting thing, so I was, it was intellectually interesting too. It was like you're just observing a lot with some lands and became, and it still is the lens through which I look at society. That's how it is. So it was intellectually so interesting to see how people would be drawn into these things and embrace them and have these ideas and, and, and all the rest of this kind of stuff. Care, you know? So those, and then I had at Bendel's a moment of truth about this whole body thing. Okay. And it was a strange moment.

I was on one reformer and there was a woman on the other reformer who we had the same initials, JB, she was Jay Bay and I knew her. She was a well known socialite in New York. Anyway, a certain moment. We both stood up now at Bendel's then I want to touch thing. We wore these little pastel leotards and no tights. I mean you could see right through them.

You can imagine trying to get people to wear that to tiny little pink, whatever. Can't get them out of black and beat whatever. And she stood up and was standing right by her reformer and there was all mirrored wall and I'm standing and we were the exact same height, right? Exact same height. We look quite a lot. We had probably had the exact dress size. We weighed the same thing, whatever.

And I looked in the mirror at her and she looked in the mirror and I saw it that second that I could do 25,000 teasers. I would never have her body that she had a better body than I did. Now to the anybody else, we look like twins, right? We're clones. But I saw there was a little less there, a little more there, whatever. And I knew at that moment the limits of all this, and that was in the sixties late sixties I knew that I sought, I sought, that's, you know, that's reality accepted. Right?

But then of course we start selling exercise, right? And people are, you know, they're, they're believing that they can have any, yeah. We're selling that limit actually, aren't we? Yeah. That you can be anything. Yeah. Just sell. Right. You know what, I just do this. Just just do this. And that's what's gonna happen. So, so those were the things that, that early pivotal moment of going from being unattractive to, oh, what are you doing? Right, right. And then I have an effect. Yeah. And so I knew this was going to be something this, okay. Thank you.

That's very helpful, I think because now you go to, you're in Santa Fe, you've now met even Michelle two years later. Are you taking lessons? Yes, of course. Immediately I want to say, oh good, here I am. Right. But do you know the fun the phone call was? The first one was Michelle. And of course I didn't know I'd been given the phone number by someone. Oh, I've been given the phone number by a chiropractor and I, my neck had become very locked up. It's always one of my areas. And I didn't, I wasn't accustomed to going to chiropractors, but I was there and someone said, go to the person. And the people were quite a bit different than they are now. They would tell you the truth. And he said, I can't do anything for you.

They will tell you the truth about your button. No, I don't think so. But anyway, um, until the, you'd paid them a lot of money. Maybe. But anyway, I mean, after one time he said, man, I can't do anything for you. You should go to this woman. Her name is Eve gentry and she can probably help you. Did you [inaudible] didn't know what it is? [inaudible] I had no idea.

And I said, well, what does she do size? I don't know. She has this weird equipment there and stuff. This isn't guy in Santa Fe, a chiropractor. And remember eve was a living treasure, right? She was still living treasure that that was because of her arts and dance and whatever. Anyway, of living treasures is an actual title and no, in New Mexico, well this is this part of it, just the way it is. In Japan, they had taken this thing, so she was an important person. So I don't know what she does. I'm just got this, but it gives me the number of scribbles sit down. So I go back to my apartment, my house, I'd have a huge house area anyway, and I dial it up and Michelle answers and she starts, I said, Joel, what do you say since she starts? So I said, and I scream, you just like that. I mean she probably going to hurt me without the phone cause she was so close.

Right. I mean I could not believe it. The next day went over there and then there was, I mean they had two reformers. One of them was one that Joe had made for eve and you know, like she was not five features less, right? Small. It's tiny. We actually have that in her bio or one of her videos, very small, running, very small. And then, um, Michelle had gotten one from current concepts that wasn't balanced body, which was a normal size. Wow. Okay. And then she had a one to chair. I went over there and it went like this and he was clean the dust.

And of course that was my first thought. There was death. Yeah. Chris, no one was using that one to chair. And I had through another coincidence, I knew every single chair exercise, every single one. I mean, even people would say before Romana died that, you know, she didn't even know, well, if this was just a coincidence and when you learned or where or whatever, that makes no sense for anyone to understand this. But I knew every single one of them and eve didn't know any, you know, she had this little thing or whatever. So, so I suppose they're taking lessons and talking and whatever. And I then read that article in the New York Times about, hey, maybe it's time for Polaris to come back. Right. Um, will you say a little more about that? I mean, I'm in Santa Fe, but of course I'm still reading New York Times. It's a Sunday. It was April 14th, 1991 and that was my 50th birthday.

So I, I'm reading this article in the New York Times by Penelope green saying, well, now the real tired being, you know, Arnold Schwarzenegger wannabees and you know, where robotic bunnies and all this, maybe we should go to the real stuff. Go back to the real stuff. [inaudible] this tiny article, I still have it in yellow door to look to see that. And that was wow. I mean there I am reading it, it's my birthday, it's a major birthday. And I think, wow, I guess this is something I have to think about here. And so, but you were, you were doing bodies. Yeah, I was doing.

But then I started to thinking about what does that mean? Is something going to happen now? That's what I thought. Could it happen? And so what happened was that I, I went over and talked to them about it. They didn't really understand what I was saying to Michelle and you need, I talked to them. What were you thinking? Like we've got to get on this. Well, we need to start a worldwide organization. You know, you're in a little town in this small street in Santa Fe, so they didn't, but you see, I had come from years of educational publishing years and years and years. So it's been my background. I was in publishing so, and the most pivotal one was when I worked at the American Management Association in 1964 to 68 and that was the beginning of making management into something. Before that it was just, you know, we went to work and whatever. So I knew how to do all this.

I mean I was there at the beginning and you know, somebody we did with aid have a newsletter, right? And then the newsletter would get turned into a book and that would get turned into a seminar and that would get turned into like a little film thing or a slide. But you know, there wasn't, to what end? I mean, I guess, yeah. To what end when you say we've got to make go worldwide organization. Why? I guess I thought that this is strange that I'm here 2000 miles from New York and there's a Pilati studio and I don't even know about it. Right. And where are the rest of them? Right. And then we found out where, because Ken Adelman gave us his list, which was a big 225 names worldwide and half of them were dead. Right.

We're not even doing anything. And I thought this is nuts. Yeah. Did you feel compelled, did you feel like it was a purpose? I mean, that sounds a little bit like that, which is I felt like I could, I mean, I could do it, you know, I knew I could do this because I had done it. I had worked in organizations that had built industries. Right. And then I was in the hairdressing business for a long time. 12 years. I had that point. No more than 10,000 hairdressers.

They needed a continuous training. Right. Okay. So it wasn't, I guess what I'm trying to figure out is because it was a big deal too to us. And um, it still is. And so what, was it because you wanted to continue being an educator or create the educational manuals, or was it you wanted to make sure Polonia stayed alive? Was it in? It was, what was the ultimate w was it a new career? You know, is it even, can you pinpoint it? Maybe not. I can't. Okay. I know it just seemed like, okay, I can do this. I'll do it. Okay. Okay. Okay, so you're back with Michelle and even then, and so I'm trying to explain to them what this is. I'm saying, look, we get these things. We put this out, we do this, we, we use kennels.

[inaudible] and, but Michelle was a good student. She was good students. She sort of immediately saw, hmm, this could be something here, whatever. And Eve was very supportive. Right. Very supportive. But we member, and this is the important point, then we had talks with Ken Adelman. This was in, this was before we, I decided around April 14th we opened officially June 19th I mean that wasn't even from this or as Michelle, what would you call it or what was it already called? Institute. We came up with the name Institute for the pilates method. It was a disaster to do that. A disaster can, Edelman told us not to do it.

He came up with the name Pollstar, which later became Paul Star because it was a registered trademark. Pele's people forget. I mean what we were doing, even though we didn't believe it. And we were very, uh, poorly, um, in informed by all the legal people who took our money for a long time, long, long time. We, what we were doing was illegal. We were doing something that was illegal. It was a registered trademark. Meaning by using the name, yes, it was illegal. So, but I, you know, if you were part of that group of people who knew people doing it and then you saw these names and whenever you didn't feel it and you knew it wasn't a legitimate trademark, I don't care. You just felt it wasn't. But what did we really, I didn't know that much about intellectual property then I'd been, and I think now and I could practice it, but whatever

Chapter 4

The Institute for the Pilates Method

Santa Fe has been called charming, quaint, and unique. The city different, founded in 1620 is home to three distinct cultures.

It is a special place, 7,000 feet above sea level with bright sunny skies, warm days. And cool nights, even in the summer. It is a vacation destination because of the landscape, the weather, the arts, and the opera. And now because of its most recent attraction, the institute for the Polonius method [inaudible] Oh, where was Pilati zinc at this point with Sean Gallagher. And Romana had, they hadn't done anything like that. Here's what it was. It was the worst period for Romana because she had been, you know, she had the isotonic thing didn't work out and then somebody else, and then she was with in this very informal way with we tie, or who was this guy who had gotten, it was gonna put her on the map. Right. And that all had all fallen through and federal marshals would come in and close the studio and she was just hanging at some place on third avenue. I mean, she, she was studio lists more or less. Um, nobody knew what was happening. And Steve Giordano and, uh, Sean were, I don't know, they were trying to do some, nobody knew what they were doing, frankly. It was that way. But they all thought there was something to do. Right. So we opened up, right. And we did an actual place institute the, Oh yeah, we, it was big.

Beautiful. Okay. Actually I think Michelle showed us. Yeah. Yeah. We had, we were over in second street studios. I mean, well first we didn't, I didn't want to have that kind of commitment. I had a big house, we had an office in my house and then around the corner was eve studio, which we spent money renovating cause it was like a fire trap there. And we were going to have our first workshop there. Well you couldn't put five people there, but we were going to do that. And then all of a sudden it seemed like this was September. We'd only been around boat if there was something in the air.

And we went over and rented space and these studios and we had a big place with equipment and a studio and an upstairs and downstairs and all the rest of that kind of stuff. Right. We were in, we're okay. So we officially was you, Michelle and eve. That was, that was it. Okay. And the name, this name in stew for the [inaudible] method. And so obviously that was not just risky. It was, it was really, it was illegal. Okay. So the, this you have to go back. If you looked at the first newsletter, which went out in September, 1991 and this is really an important thing.

We had all of these people. First of course there was Joe and Clara on the front page. And then inside we had what we called master teachers, right. And that was Corola Kathy grant. Ron Bruce King. Ramana. Okay. Those were those pictures. Mona was there. Why did you stop there?

We later put married Bowen in, but we had all the people we thought were well known enough that we had to put those people in right over there. Was there, we didn't have Lolita, but no one knew about Lolita anyway, so we had more and people looked at that. And what was the point of it? Do you know what the point of that was? Um, I could guess, but go ahead. Why don't you just tell me. It was obviously there was the, the point of having some credibility. I mean, who are we to start this right? Some credibility. Oh, because eve is now in that list. Yeah. Yes. Eve gentry and remodel these people that we now call the first generation, which I will later to say was probably the biggest mistake in my life ever doing that. Worse than calling it the instant with Buddy Smith. But anyway, so we had all this and it was high.

It was like ambushing Romana if you really want to know the truth, they gave us the credibility, but we had her with all these people. So it was as if you can't attack us because you're with them and there's more with us than with you. So by now there's already this us against them thing. Not initially. Not Officially, cause Sean hadn't bought the trademark, which, right, okay. But it was, it was, there was the, in the air, it was in the air and we thought something could happen, but it did not happen for a full year. We had that, that was our first year was like keeping your potential enemies close. Right?

Yeah. Yeah. That's it. Yeah. Keep your friends close. Enemies closer. Right. Right. So that was it. So there was Romana in with all those. And so how could she speak ill of us? Right. It was very, once Sean got in, it was very awkward. Right. So he got in with her, right. And we, it was 1992, I think it was July, so it would now we'd been in over a year in business. Everything is looking good and we get a letter from him saying, you pay me this amount of money and you can be polite. [inaudible] of uh, New Mexico. And we already thought we are [inaudible] of the world.

I still have that letter. I was, I did some spring cleaning and I was, it's funny in incentive, my being nervous and scared by this letter. I was just sort of, you know, if this was insulting to me, I mean, item small thinker, New Mexico, come on, there's 2 million people in New Mexico. Riders said, I remember being insulted and, and Michelle being scared, Michelle was already scared. She was scared. She was already scared. And um, so that was the beginning. That was the, the real beginning. And it was shortly after that, maybe it was almost a year after that, that, and we had all of these lawyers paying money to all of these lawyers and lawyers and lawyers anyway. And then nobody really understood what they could tell us or not or what it was meant. But then we filed, we were advised by one lawyer, it seemed to be okay that we should file a cancellation of trademark in Washington. And that took us almost a year of work and paying lawyers.

And we filed the first cancellation, I think it was filed in 1993 and we got the answer from the u s trademark office in 94 in the summer. I can remember it was so hot and it was, it's an interesting case, but we need a full court thing. In other words, we're not going to cancel based on this. You go into a trial and we'll review all the evidence that was really went on. You have to go through that just to cancel the trademark. Oh of course. Sure. I mean the fact is that's the most, one of the most amazing things about how stupid this was and Kenyan Olin didn't do, he didn't realize this was so risky, more than we did. Um, is that if a, if a name has been on the u s register for 10 years, it's a serious name.

Whether it was registered fraudulently, whether it's become generic, whether it was abandoned, you know, its length of time, seniority here. So it had been there because she had registered it in, you know, early eighties or something. You know, once, that's right. Okay. Okay. So, okay. So we have this trademark, whatever he theoretically gets it from, we tie, we also later on learned, I certainly in the whole lawsuit that he had not paid what he told people he had paid. He really didn't pay it when he said he was. And so he really, maybe at that time in the letter, he really didn't even own it. We don't, I don't, I don't know. But we file this big case with a lawyer in Washington to cancel the trademark and then what comes back is we thought we would cancel it. We thought it was a good case, right? It comes back, no, you have to go to a full whatever. And um, so that was really, that was a real big shocker here because we had lost the next week we were sued by Shawn and Ramana officially suit official where just had probably had it all ready and they're just waiting for this to see what happened with officially suit. That was the beginning.

It's so calm now in PyLadies compared to what it was in the 90s. So calm. First of all, you have to understand. So we are sued. I mean an official big lawsuit, trademark infringement, all sorts of other bad stuff, interference with business trade. [inaudible] a big long thing, right? We have to hire a lawyer, a law firm. It's serious stuff. Meanwhile, what can I say?

We are trying to build the industry. We are trying to get it out there. So one thing is going ahead. The publicity was going ahead. We had gotten a few stories. I remember the one in Dallas morning news was a big one. And what did I do? I remember there was no internet, right? We didn't have a PR agency.

Every time I'd get a story I'd attach it to this letter that I wrote. I still have it in different versions. Candice Bergen does. It's the Gurney weaver and you know, the Dell says, so when I'd have all these names I would string there. Right. And so you should too. And then there would be the story, right? The latest story through then Gutterson says, um, in her interview that she thinks you put a lot of these on the map.

Do you think, what do you think she means by that? I'm, I'm thinking that, cause that sounds like a key time for really getting it out there. So I came from a background of education and publishing, but also marketing, right? So I understood this, what is really known, this kind of push, pull dynamic. Okay. Everybody who was there, who became the second generation, they were interested in teacher training. And my view was and still is. Oh that's great. And you know, it was buddy, are you gonna move around on the reformer if there are no bodies. Right. So I was trying to do two things at once.

I was trying to get more teachers trained properly so that you wouldn't have an entire, I mean, they were entire states then, didn't they? It wasn't one studio, they didn't have one reformer and whatever. Right. And then get publicity. So people would want to do it and there was this, this kind of whole thing. So, so you'd get, you'd get a fabulous article, right? But this is really important. At this time, we had moved into the celebrity culture right there in the 90s right then and there. And so you could say Candice Bergen did Peloton and her manager would not call you up and say, you can't use my client's name. Right. Because everyone then at that point was, who cares?

As long as my name is in print. Right. That was a huge shift. Whereas before, you couldn't say, oh, Joe Claiborne, I knew j club. She did it right. She around the corner from me on West End Avenue. I'd sit in the whatever sandbox with her and her kid, but you couldn't use the name, couldn't use the name. All of a sudden we could use names. That was huge. And of course Ron had made all these names or id had processed all these names, right?

We got pulling them out and mentioning them in this letter that I wrote to all these people. So this we're drumming up this machine's publicity machine. Meanwhile, if somebody then is in Dallas or well that was a big city, there were, there were two Pilati studios then neither one of them doing any business. But there were two, four years later, there's 20 and they're all doing business. Right? Right. And so, and the ponies world didn't really understand what I was doing this do this. Then that and pulled back on whatever was, you have to keep building the market while you're getting people trained to supply the market. Right?

And of course you see how complicit the media is in these things. So they would put this fabulous story in some big thing like go women's sports and fitness or shape about ponies knowing full, well there might've been 20 studios in the whole country, right. So they're telling millions of readers about something that's fabulous and they couldn't get it. They couldn't find it. Right, right, right. It wasn't there. Well, and then from my perspective as a teacher and during that time it was instead of just trying to get the word out at all, it became either it is Valadez or isn't [inaudible]. Right. And that made it really, yeah, there was all that cause it is this place, this is not whatever and back and forth and back and forth. And so that was a, when I'm saying it's all it all drama because of the lawsuit, all of a sudden all the people, particularly the west coast people were all in the, like the Kennan woman institute camp.

So we're now denigrating everything that Romana is doing. Right. That led to the neutral. It was the perception, right. That was it. You know, it was because we're in battle, right. This battle. Right. So it couldn't just be about a name, it had to be well, but we're, what we're doing is whatever. And then there was a little bit hedging. So maybe they do keep the name and we can have our form of polarities that we'll call something else or whatever. And you could go back and got more and more. Right. And you could think, was this a mistake?

Because she know what Sean Gallagher said and he was absolutely right. He said, Joan Breitbart and Ken and Milan are building this market and I'm going to own it. And he said that in 1994 let's ride. How was he writing that? Because once we got into it even further, and Gordon, Troy and whatever, cancel hare trademark is about the hardest thing you can do. I mean, it's probably easier to solve global warming, right? I mean, it's hard. Okay. And so it was, you know, to do what happened to, to accomplish that? We didn't, I didn't realize I was so firmly believing that it shouldn't been a trade more. I didn't realize that it was almost impossible to do this.

So if I look back and once I came out, you know, once I came up with the name physical mind institute, someone would've said to me, why didn't you start with that name then? You wouldn't have been obviously, and I could say to them, but there was no body mind in 1991. Right. Right. I'd came up with that in 1995. Right. So it wouldn't have made any sense. Why would you struggle to find a name at that point either? Yeah. I also, I mean, you can argue this a hundred ways back and forth. I mean, I could say I should have done Pollstar, which is what Ken's name was, should have done it. I wouldn't have been sooner, Dah, Dah, Dah, whatever. And then I'd say, but there was nothing tonight, these people scattered around cause there were, you know, a few hundred scattered around other than Paul hotties. Right, right. So, I mean, what do you, you know, what happened to the institute and when did it become physical mind and how are

Chapter 5

PhysicalMind Institute

they different? Well, um, a lot of things happened in 1994 we were sued, Eve gentry died. Michelle Larson had cancer.

So there were some big ones. And my husband then was at that very point, diagnosed with probably the worst disease you could have. And he began to die. So there I was, um, really alone, you know, alone. Two little kids, you know, they were 10 and whatever, and these lawsuits and you know, it was certainly pretty bad. Right? You mentally and know or, you know, how did you fair? Well, I mean, I was in battle, you know, it wasn't that I was being attacked from everything of your relative invincible, you know, didn't, did you recall any of that? And think I made of this? I mean, I'm just the, I'm the kind of person who, and this is not a good, I mean, I, I'm looking at a glass that's empty and, and cracked and I'm thinking it's going to be filled in an hour. Right. This just ridiculous. I mean, just the, all the other things that I would do. So I just kept plunging ahead. Right.

And trying to find better lawyers and whatever. Now remember we had designed the first real collapsible. I mean Joe had done it in the 50s reformers called the mini reformer and we had tried to get a deal going and that deal Ramana and Sean ruined. We did have a deal was it was the deal with Sean and Romana? No, no. The deal was with Nordic track.

Nordictrack backed out of that deal because of showing them Romana. We had a signed contract. They were going to put that out. This is just part of a huge thing, so the deal fell through. Ultimately we did the infomercial and what happened was, because they own that name, this was very important and very confusing. It was our patent. They licensed our patent.

Fiscal mind wasn't some insert with parties method. It was, we called our corporate name was Pi Limited. They licensed our patent and they licensed Palase name from Shawn and then what happened? It went into an infomercial, which Guthy Renker did and we at that point changed our name. We were still in the lawsuit because we felt like we had to have a different name because the polite, whatever, it was just a huge mess. So we changed the name. The infomercial went out there. I would say now looking back, that every single thing I did, I did too early.

I mean the idea of starting then I should have started later. I should have gone slower. I should've done everything Michelle used to say, you have only two speeds. Fast forward and collapse. And I didn't collapse really years and years and years and years, but as fast forward, so we started in June, 1991 and within a year and a half we had the first newsletter, which went out quarterly without fail, it's never missed. We had the first video working out the Palladio's way.

We had the first manuals, the reformer manual, the mat manual. We have the first certification program. We had the first workshops, we had the web. It's like just shh. And then we also had the mini reformer and the mini reformer was not aimed at a consumer market. That was Dustin heard of it was my thought that how would we train instructors when there were no studios so we could sell them a video via, you know, VHR or VHS, whatever it was called, and they could get a mini reformer and practice those and then come to Santa Fe or New York or something else. It was this whole big thing of moving cards around to see, you've got to grow this and didn't get that up there and whatever.

Meanwhile fighting off the, the lawsuits and the illnesses and, and you know about 20 other things. So no, you really didn't have time to sit down and worry anything. You had to just be your, it was battled and then of course there was, it was, but there was, remember there was a lot of drama. There was a lot of controversy, but good things come out of that. People don't, I mean now it's also tame everybody's friends, but people hated other people. And there was, this was denigrated and this was right and this was wrong or whatever. But things came from that. Do you mean the friendships and things like that? Or friendships and also exploration of the method, getting into it, being able to look at it, examine it, position it, explain it. That was what was always missing. I mean the people who learned it, these dancers on their perfect bodies, they really couldn't sell it cause they really didn't understand it in the sense of understanding in the context of what the consumer wanted. You have to, how do you sell it right now? Of course, once we had the celebrities it was, and I remember what was happening at this time, so, so Americans, everybody started exercise 1970 you know, it took 20 years. But you know, so the people are doing, there's Jane Fonda own the 80s right. You know, so we have that all going on, right. And then that started 1972 the low fat thing.

So everybody is starting the first nutrient manipulation thing right before the people used to eat food, remember, okay, made food. By the 20 years after that started and were into like 1991 the diet industry just craters, craters. I mean, they went into a five year slump, like they thought they'd never come out of it. Weight watchers, Jenny, Craig, nuisance, all the dyed companies, American, it just said, screw it, we're 20 pounds heavier. We've been dialing for 20 years, jumping up and down and hurting our bodies with this fat burning exercise. Right. That was, that was how it's sold. Right? So we had our opening pos, so you really wouldn't, even if any of these people had been able to market or do things, it was the wrong time. The high aerobic seventies and eighties and everything was about fat burning and polys wasn't fat burning. And so it was just, there's so many things that were in the air coming around. I have a sense that it is somehow not okay to sell Palatium, you know, or it's not okay to market PyLadies or by the very teachers who want to just be in the work and teach the work and not worry about all that other stuff. I mean, it doesn't make sense to me either or in the same way that, um, when so many people will say it's not about the money from me. And I'm thinking, okay, that's fine. But at what point do you, does the survival of the actual business matters?

I mean, that's a very interesting thing. And because I'm a big Alexander Fan, I can speak to this, there was a point when people could have said, you know, I don't want this to grow beyond a small cult, which is really what it was a cult. And that's, that's choice. And that's fine. Twice my now how Alexander is, I mean you go walk out in the street, you ask people about housing, you know, hardly anyone knows what it is, right? You already know some places, but all these same people who are saying it, or at least some of them, they wouldn't be running around the globe giving workshops and putting out DVDs and they can all kinds of money and having franchising opportunities and all the rest of it. So you can have your cake and eat it too. Sorry. You know, it just doesn't work. So you either said, okay, I'm going to expand this and we're all going to have a lot of opportunities. Right. And where am I gonna have brands and build up my whole thing and followings and all the rest of it. Or You just stay. I don't care about the money. So fair to say you care about the money and you care about growing? No, the whole industry. I mean, I personally have never cared about the money because I don't have to care about them on it. Okay.

But I thought that I wanted to give everyone opportunity. I thought that was it. I thought it was, and I thought also that it was, I still believe, of course I'm a, you know, but it's been doing this for a long time. I still believe it's the best, the best method. I still believe it. So I thought it was good for the public to habit. Right. Okay. And then I thought that it was important for people to be able to earn a living, not just, you know, when, when I met, when I met Michelle, she told me how much she charged an hour. And I said, well, how many hours a week she and she do you build that? And she said, Oh, well I guess about 10. I said, you make more money working in Walmart. Right. And she didn't like that, of course, but not ms drew. So, you know, I said that Michelle, that's, you're not going anywhere with that. I mean, you know, and then she immediately, you're right, I wanna, I want this.

But that brings me to, you asked me, how did I come to teach? To want to hear the story? Yeah. Yeah. Well I was actually thinking you didn't teach, but you're going to tell me that you did now. That's cool. Well, okay. It was a very strange situation. So we were only open a very short time, six months, a year, whatever. Now, of course, I'd gotten much more involved with understanding the exercises and not just doing them and whatever and helping put these manuals together and looking at all that. So I was, it was more conversant with and all of a sudden the phone rings and we were upstairs was the office and danced was the, the whole gym and training facility. And I'm upstairs and Michelle comes running upstairs cause she'd answered phone and she says, all these people arrived in two o'clock and you have to teach.

I said, what do you mean, what do you mean I'm going to have to teach? She said, I just got a call. And Joseph, who was her boyfriend at the time before I introduced her to this wonderful man who's taking care of her. But anyway, um, it has been an accident and he's in the hospital. So I said, so you're just going to run. I remember, what could I say? Of course, you know, so I'm just going to go. And she was the only teacher right at this point, we hadn't trained those other people. So I said, okay, all right, go ahead. And so the regular group, I think it was a Tuesday, came in at two o'clock and these were people who had been coming for a while, but not for so long cause we were not that came and, and um, I came down and I said, listen, Michelle's been called away and so on it here, I'm it. So I thanked it, you know, I just did stuff and I, you know, kept them entertained and we did things and whatever. And um, you weren't immediately called to keep going. Yeah. And so then this is funny, they were two, they were the Tuesday, Thursday.

So they came on Thursday and joy, who was our first and only employee at that time came down and said to them, and Michelle always tells us in the funniest way, she tells it better than I do. Um, well, um, okay, just, you can just start to getting, Michelle will be down in a few minutes and Michelle says, the reaction was Michelle and Michelle. Whoa, where's Joel? Well, I entertain them. Right. OK. I, I obviously entertain them and move them around and try different things and whatever. So then, you know, obviously from that point on I would, but I, of course, I don't have the personality to be a teacher, you know, you know, what does that, I'm not patient. No, I'm not really compassionate or sympathetic or whatever and I'm not interested in hearing people's stories or excuses or you know, so it's, it's really not the right thing for me. Now, occasionally I have taught a workshop with a lot of people and I get up and that's different. It's to me more of a performance [inaudible] and I can talk right. But you know, it's, do you know, taking care of the body, like Maurica has just 96 dancers. Those bodies are interesting to think about it. That's not for me. Okay. No, that's it. And also I don't like to repeat things. So what's, what I don't really like about teacher training either. So even though I started this thing, the idea of organizing and planning and doing all these things, that's your forte, that's challenging intellectually, but then having to just keep repeating it and repeating it.

So the physical mind institute really became the training organization as a

Chapter 6

The Pilates Forum

result of the lawsuit or prior to Oh, prior to that I thought. Okay. Right. I mean that was the last one I find. And that was where I really didn't understand the people that I was supposedly helping. And this is, this is the story that I, I mean it took me 10 years to understand something that anybody else would have understood. We were in business, I mean three weeks and we get a call from a guy named Craig Phillips. He's still well known in the plays world, who's a physiotherapist from Australia. I mean, I don't even know how he knew we were already, you know, this was time and you have to go back to this when you, if, if you made a long distance call, you'd sit there with an egg timer. I mean, this could cost you $100 or something. Every right. And I'm thinking he's calling us. Right.

And he started talking to me and it seemed that I didn't really get why he was calling. He had heard about that there was nothing because I just found, I literally, I was doing spring cleaning about a week ago. I found a list of names of [inaudible] teachers in Australia that went on from pages and pages who are members because they had nothing. That's one thing we haven't talked about is just thinking what, what did the membership mean if I didn't, did you have to go through the training? Cause I know I went through part of it. No, you just had to send in money and we sent you the newsletter and you can buy the things. We were producing videos and books and all the rest for discount and it had nothing to do with having to be in the training program. Okay.

So there were lots of members. Was there, was there anything around it being that we are a collective group and um, I guess I wondered if it was in response to the lawsuit that there was a membership or was that always the plan that we started from the very big, very good. And the first thing we did, that first money that came in was a result of taking, taking Ken and Lynn's list, which is a faxed us this 225 names. And some of them eve knew and some of them Michelle know and we maybe added some, a few more we knew and we wrote them a letter, a letter from Eve January about we were starting this organization, I still have the letter and the letter was that the annual membership was $60 but if they will be one of the founding members, they would get it for $30 and then Kathy Cory joined us to start writing and we, and so, so, but we were the only source of information that was coming out on a regular basis. We had this newsletter, this printed news and people used to save them and whatever. You probably remember them. Yeah, yeah. Oh definitely. And so we were always publishing things and then we were coming up with these manuals, right. And we had workshops, you know, Kathy grant came and gave the first chair workshop, right? Everybody was there, rail and Gillian or whatever. So we were a repository of information coming out.

Meanwhile, of course then they started in New York. Sean started trying to do the same thing, but he was so involved with the suing and all that. And then of course we had the first teacher training manual and then they came out with theirs. I still have it, you know, which was similar to ours, but little less detailed. That was about, it was, you know, you were putting out information and people were reading it and buying it because they thought that this might happen or I don't know if people were totally clear, but then it would be this kind of thing. You see, you know, with all this drama, personal tragedies, legal issues, trying to build it on and on and on. You had this thing of the great publicity machine. It was just going and going and going and article after article, I mean cooking light in 1995 at a big article on [inaudible].

It was like whatever. And so we'd go from, and I was from the start wanting to bring in people in the exercise business from idea and and from, you know, like fitness to come bring them to Santa Fe. Like I did an Arctic track to help build this expanded, right. I, that's what I wanted to do. I thought we needed partners and so you'd have people come and you would see that they weren't interested. They weren't interested at all. Most of the time, whether it was an individual trainer who happened to me and said, you know what I'm saying by this place, people wanted to go and they heard about this or it was a company person. You could see, and this is 1991 two three four it was an older, the nineties pretty much they were not interested. They were not only not into, they were frequently openly hostile. That's what fitness people towards the polities. Absolutely hostile. Why?

Why do you think a lot of things you could to think about some of it they were, it was obvious that they couldn't comprehend. And this is funny now with Boutique fitness, right? Why would anybody they could they, I remember when the guy, somebody who's going to go to some places and do an hour on this kind of exercise, you can be in a health club and spend the whole day in. So it seemed impossible to do boutique. I mean, and when I told the journal this recently that this is it and it was the New York, I said, no, we created this. Joe Created, it was the first personal trainer, you know, and, and you know, because there were none of those things. So it seems preposterous that anyone would do this, number one to the Venice rule number two. It was, it was too complicated.

Right? It wasn't fat burning. Right. It was, you know, they had a whole lot than that. They weren't interested. But then occasionally there'd be an article, a big article like Yoga Journal, I'd 14 pages about this. And what would happen is you'd have people calling you up and people would never been in a room with a reformer, an exercise teacher, and they wanting to get certified. Right, right. They'd never been in a room even. Right, right. So it was not, uh, it was not without, um, funny events happening every single day and dramatic events. I mean, Sean Gallagher came to, Oh, this is amazing. One, he came to Santa Fe, I think it was 1993 or four was before eve died.

And before he sued you, um, before he sued us, he came here and we knew he was coming and he went to the Santa Fe reporter, which was the town paper, right, which was owned by some Rockefeller or something, you know, some trust fund person whenever, Neverland, real journalism or something. But everybody read it and he gave an interview saying the institutes of fraud and it, they don't, and I own [inaudible] and on, on printed the whole thing. And they printed exactly what he said. Right. And I show this to eat and she wrote the most beautiful letter. I just found it about a week ago, the most beautiful letter saying, I remember this one had been here since 1968 she was the living treasure dye that year and she died that year and whatever that, I mean it was, she wrote this beautiful letter and they publish the letter. Right.

But I mean it's such an insult knowing that by this time we had started this when we were making jobs for this little town we had hired, we were making an industry right here and bringing people and they did that. But Michelle had another view of this whole thing. She said, I think we have to hire a guard. She wanted to get an arm guard to be at the institute. She was that nervous. Wow. And I said, Michelle, this is like overreacting. I think, you know, she felt threatened. This is bad for her. We didn't do that.

But she felt as it's as it's shown, Gal would walk in and torch the place or something. I mean, so, but remember, everything was high tension. It was high tension, right? Everybody was stressed out. It's hard to think that way now if you're even when everybody's friends and you'll never, but, but you know, it was, it wasn't then. And she was scared. She said, we should get a garden, whatever. So, so you can imagine what every day was like. Meanwhile, I had two children and my husband. Anyway, so the point is that there were things happening and there was lots of good things happening and then there were really some very negative things happening and then it would, they would change. And every day was exciting. That's really exciting. And there were breakthroughs happening with the method, right? There was, people were, I mean, I remember asking Maurica about this.

I remember I said to her, you know, I mean, all we did was Tuck, Tuck, Tuck, tuck idea on the reformer tucking. That's all you know, went why? And she said, that's the way it was in exercise and physical therapy. We were taught to tell people. And then this idea of a neutral spine came in, right? So that was the big divide. Right? But remember, that's, that was an issue that was a, you know, whoa. That was Joe wrong. Right. And you know, I'll tell you my feeling about this, when I looked back over this cause it was everybody was taking sides and I said, well let's just fill in some gaps there I think because I still think people are asking. Um, but I think neutral spine or pelvis became associated with one group of teachers and tucking or imprinting, which ironically is how it was called even though eve supposedly made that [inaudible]. Yeah, exactly. Um, but is with another group. So it became almost a war of territory more than, oh well yeah, I think it was definitely that way. Yes.

And it was going to tell you if you were a good teacher you learned or whatever it was. Yeah. People used to call and say, so do you use imprinting or do you use neutral spine? That would be the first question. And even even clients. Got It. Cause it wasn't, yeah, it was published. Yeah. So that was like a big issue. And I thought back on it after it was all over. Right. And I realized because I haven't been on a grots reformer in a long time. And then I was over at a studio in New York recently and they have grants for farmers there. And I thought to myself, you know, that's it. I mean, once current content, balanced body. And then we had, we in beating only four springs and there was five sprints, right.

And then we started changing how many we win from having the strongest resistance. Right. You know, look what a garage reformers like in the way it is in the four. You had to be in that tough position. You really had to be it. I think that them, especially if for some skinny little person, some skinny little dancer nursing doors to every rule. Yeah. And you were to have to do it at a certain speed and whatever you had to do that, right? So it really was built into the equipment that way and remember the size of the people and all the rest of it. So I look at it that way.

That's why it happened. And then we got new information and then we had different reformers. Remember different reformers, different spring tensions, five whatever, and it wasn't all of a sudden, oh, four springs per football. Right. I mean, there were times now, I mean, think about the neutral. I was, I remember people saying they were actually, they actually thought that if you didn't do short spine before, whatever was used to be whatever, then it wouldn't work. In other words, they thought the order isn't the order essential to make the magic. I think the order, by the way I hear it told is there's reason for the order which I weevil. Everybody's changed the order every month. I mean, come on.

Originally you'd be on the reformer, off the reformer, put the box on pegs on whatever. He was like, yeah, and that was really the better order. But now we have these classes. People are lying supine for 40 minutes. That wasn't what Joe wanted. Well, you can say, I don't know. I mean, I don't know. Would he have evolved or changed or saw this opportunity? Probably what? How he would have handled it. I don't know.

But you know for sure he would've changed things. Yeah, absolutely. For sure. Let's move on then. So the lawsuits now ended,

Chapter 7

The New Phase of PhysicalMind

you are officially a physical mine institute for many years and a training organization. Where does the physical mind institute stand now? Well, as of next week. Oh, security. She should ask you, we'll go on our new website and you will not any more imagine that you're reading about a police training organization. We have officially moved into a new phase, which is why, which is we are not doing what I would call basic certification, you know? Oh, okay, let's learn how to teach teaser. Um, we have a, a specialty certification that we're going to launch and um, but we're not a training organization. We are now focused on making Pilati studios, teachers, um, into people who can evolve into getting, um, more business and being more successful and more profitable. I want to grow what's there, I want to give them tools, whether it's a business course or it's products or it's promotions or whatever.

So I think there are, you know, plenty of Palani stagers now, right? And I think we need to make them all more successful. So if I'm a physical mind institute trained teacher and my still one as if next week, I think that of course we still have those, all those people we've trained and they still have their continuing Ed. We've changed our continuing ed about two months ago and we have made this all much simpler and more creative cause that's what I think is needed to creativity. And this came out, you know, we're not doing workshops anymore. We had the Paris that are workshop. It was April 23rd and it was, we sold it out. Can Imagine 2016 you don't sow out. Pull out these workshops so much anyway. And people said who couldn't get in?

When's the next one? And I felt like, I don't know, I might, my mind was, well why aren't you asking me when it's going to be online? Because that's where it's going to be and that's where it should be. Right. So is it that you're, you, the teachers are trained and they can continue their continuing education with us with, but in ways that I think will be expanding their business and um, giving them new materials. And doing creative projects and whatever. So yes, we may do a workshop to launch something new, but that's a launch. And after that it is digital. I see. Okay. Which is where everything should be. Yeah.

Which is why I think [inaudible] anytime it's fabulous. And I'll tell you what I have done with pilates anytime. And I think, I think this is really where people can learn is I've given assignments to teachers for continuing ed where I thought they needed something very specific. And I said, look at this, look at 1427 and 1833 I want you to compare those two and write this up. I mean, you had this thing, I'll give you a perfect example to me, which had Clara a done for do this, a little tutorial writing. And I saw it last week. I think it's only about a week or two old. Yeah.

If it's um, hips over here. So I watched it, I know her and I thought, boy, this is good. This is solid, this is really good. It was well shot. It was really, really good. And then I took a step back and I said, what? Why? I mean know most people given the size of Americans are, shouldn't even do this exercise. I'm sorry to say they shouldn't even do it. So why are we spending this time? And then I said, no, no, it's where it should be. It shouldn't be a workshop. It should be the way it is online. So you have a studio, you have clients, and maybe you'll get in the next 20 years to who can do it.

So now you'll remember, oh, now I have how I progressed those people. But let's get real about the bodies we have. We have to look at the bodies we have now. Right. And so I feel that the, it's, you need to have the information. It may be helpful, but it's not a workshop. It's a digital thing. You can watch and get something and remembered.

Yeah. And hopefully even if you're not a teacher in that case, yeah. In that case, you might look at that and say, oh good, I'll never do that exercise. Yeah, that's true. Or maybe I shouldn't tell my teacher to look at that so that I, maybe I could or maybe I do it, but I'm not getting it the way I'm seeing. I don't know. So it's all these ways to really explore. Right. And the way you should not traveling to some workshop where, I mean I've been to too many workshops. I've started to me, we should have.

So you know, I mean having somebody sit there and pontificate, which is what's devolved into unfortunately is not worth anybody's time. You know? We've got to understand to have a path ahead. Do you have, what's your expectations for just [inaudible] in general for the consumer? For the, I'm thinking in terms of the numbers of people doing practicing. Yeah. Do you think it's, you have to grow those numbers and that means unfortunately we have to get the millennials got to get all 80 million of those people. I like to drown them all about snuck practical.

So we have to get them in as studios, you know? And you don't, I can remember when I came back to New York, you know, I was in Santa Fe and I came back 2001 and I get in the elevator and I'd hear people talking about how they just came from their Palladio's class. And it was just so strange to me having, because you know, I can sum up the entire, in my opinion, the entire [inaudible], um, outing, um, by my license plate. Did I ever tell that story? Okay. So I moved to Santa Fe and I had this cute little sports car, right?

So I decided I'm going to get a vanity license. But no, they're not supposed to put a trademark name on a license plate. But what do they know in New Mexico? So I go there and I tell them I'm on Palladia. So my license plate, right? Pill lattes, yellow license plate red. It was beautiful, right on my sports car. Right? And I can remember the first time, it must have been 1992 or three and it's parked somewhere and somebody comes up to me in your room. It's a big state with very few people, most of whom are Catholic. And um, somebody says to me, why do you have that religious then think Pontious pilot on your, that was, I said, no, no, no, it's not that. It's not that at all. This is exactly what the people thought. And maybe other people asked me, why would you have that name on you? You know, Christ killer. Oh, anyway, so wow. I said, oh, no, no, no, no. It's no, it's not that way.

And then about 1996 or seven, my car is parked and someone looks at it and says to me, I've heard that. And I then it's, it's a I, it's an exercise. It's an excitement. Oh yes. I read that article. And so there was that kind of thing happening. So we would see, they knew, they heard the name, they weren't sure how to pronounce it or whatever. And right before I left, it was 2000 I'm at a red light waiting at a red light, and I turn and someone's pounding on my window and [inaudible] says, where can I find a good police teacher? Wow. That's 10 years. What did that mean to you? It'd be, it had gone out and stock, you know, there, there people were interested, people wanted it and then of course the, you know, the name had just been liberated and then woo, it took off.

Right. Rally took off. So to me I used it. I came to a point where I was so tired all these years and even before I've explaining what this was, like someone would ask me what I'm doing in New York and it was dad, I did Palase and what's that? I'm thing you know, to where I'm hearing someone talk about it in the elevator. And then I came to another point, which is about five years later where I would be happy when I met someone who had never heard of it as all there's, so we're almost there. Right. How do you explain the ladies? How do I explain it? I think I don't have to explain it anymore. That's the difference.

Before that I had to explain it right. And that was always the hard thing to explain to people because I depended really didn't it on who asked? Yeah. It depend on who asked and why they were asking him whatever. But you know, I, you don't have to explain anymore. People know what it is. Right? They may, they may have the simplistic thing. It's a core. It's the core. We finally got that out there as the core right now, remember when we were trying to figure out in the 90s how to explain it.

We were luckily in the era where it was the six pack, you know, everybody was sort of focused on this. So that would gave us a starting point. Good people. Enough reason to even try it. Yeah. To think about, oh well you know, that was that kind of thing. So that was always one of these issues. But now body mind is category. So people think, oh it is. I mean I've always say to people, it starts in the mind, right?

It's just the body is coming from the mind. So, but the people know all this stuff. Now. How would you describe yourself in terms of what I do with plots or I'm, I'm really a renegade. I mean, I'm an iconoclast. Um, and that's, my family was that way. And so, and I'm extremely impatient. I'm what is called an early adopter now. I never knew that phrase. And I mean it must've been a few years ago on 60 minutes. They were talking about Tivo and they were describing when it came out and I'm listening, I'm thinking, oh my God, no, no. I was one of the first people. I was one of those hundred and 50 people. So I'm always ahead of things. Right.

And, um, I mean I have a letter from Jeff Bezos of the Amazon thanking me for being one of the first people buy kindle. So I don't really know what it is that makes people be relaxed about buying something that's new and untried. So when you asked me about going into Palladio's studio Corollas, it was, I didn't think, well maybe I know, I don't know this one thing. So that's an now that gets me into a lot of trouble and that's why I'm in a lot of trouble because all of these people, native men may have been early, like ray and Jillian and showman, they may have been early adopters as far as [inaudible], but then they got in, it started to happen and they're what I call the establishment. And I'm still the same person always breaking things down and going ahead.

Right. That's some still, that's how I am especially weird when you know I'm not a, you know, a young person. When you think you're getting into trouble, what do you mean? I think of you as someone who there is controversy that easily seems to come to you. Not, not that it's your controversy, but you're often, some people don't like you. Some people you know, you, I know you don't like some people and, and there's no, there's no, um, I'm Jen Miller. Describe righteous. I'm described as a person that you either love or hate. I mean, that's whether that has to do with plots or anything. And that is how people would describe me. I don't know where, what that means mean I'm not a PC person. Right.

So, but I mean I, I'm, you know, teacher training, I thought that was really excited getting that down in the men, whatever. And then I was like bored with it. Okay. Well what else is there? Okay. So, so no. So do you think the reaction is, is people feeling like they have to defend themselves or is it a fear of where you could take us? I mean, do you have any sense for yourself? Like you don't know what's in Sec? I, I, it's funny because we had that recent Paris set or workshop and I sent the first email to all the attendees. These are women were all women have been doing plays for like ages. This was like first generation kind of people for second and whatever. And I wrote them early adopters and if they're never called early adopters, anything else, I'm to, they thought that was funny, right? Cause so much from tech, but because Paris or is new and they signed up for it and then say, well, let's see what happens with this.

Of course was Maurica too that made it so they all wanted to come with Marie. Yeah. So then that's it again. Yeah. And so that was probably made it easier. But these are people move slowly. Then when we started, you know that when we started and I had an exercise, fitness people would come and whatever and they would have, they had done some due diligence and then you would, and they would say to me, you know, you pull out, but they have a reputation of being very slow. And I said, and I said, well what do you mean by that? They say, well, they've got two speeds, slow and stomped. And I said, well, there's some people saying stopped it in reverse. So it was like, but you know, I'll tell you something, there was a, it was a very funny time to see people's reaction.

And of course I could never understand that people, I did not understand that to the outside world. This did not look like great stuff. I could not understand that. That was one of my problems. Right. I was so sure it was great. And why didn't you say it? Right, right. And I wasn't patient to teach them. What would you say to people who said that or still say that?

Chapter 8

The Pilates Industry Today

[inaudible] elitist and um, or that the celebrity naming are name dropping, I guess is actually bad for polities because it alienates them consumers. Oh, I'm on American lives for celebrities. Come on. I mean, to me, to me, I always called Peloton the Madonna Oprah effect. I mean, you know that, that's crazy. We just started a whole life of celebrities, right? And so that's an honorable thing. And as far as something being elitist, too much money to buy. Look, we have Donald Trump who's the republican nominee. Please. You know, this is America. Let's face it. It's, we're materialists here. All right? So that's as are just some people haven't thought things through or don't want to accept what this country is. Right? And that's it. But, um, know there are big issues, whether we're part of the whole landscape now, we're not this little side thing like felled in Christ or Alexander. We're probably the whole landscape, the fitness world, exercise, business, diet, wellness, or the wellness world. So we, what happens to that happens to us.

Huh. So you've described yourself as a renegade. I'm an icon of glass. How well, how do you want people to remember you whether they're in this business is the only thing I want them to remember is that I did go out on a limb and start the thing. I really did. I took a big risk there and I had, I suffered a lot for that too. Um, so that was it. But then they, someone could say, well, you know, you're impulsive so you know, whatever. But I did do it. I mean, other people could have done it and maybe they would've done it better, but they didn't. Right. They were afraid or they didn't know how. I mean, I knew how to do this. I had done it in my work life for years and years. We had thousands of hairdressers who had to keep trying. I mean it wasn't, it wasn't hard for me to do these things, but um, you know, it was a, it was a big experience to see how people reacted to it. People took sides. Um, and then to win, to win, you know, but today, you know, there's so many things you need to do as a site. I mean the, I talked to people sometimes these young people, some of them I think don't even know there was a lawsuit. They don't, some don't that hopefully that's changing. I mean, but we, if one thing does to celebrate Joseph [inaudible] said we should be celebrating October 19th every year. That wasn't right. Yeah. Right.

So they don't know that. I think another thing, they think this is really far, I find funny. They think that when they hear that all of these people, we go first, Gen elders now studied with Gel. I think they have this idea because of theirs. That's right. Thing that, that on Tuesday, Joe would gather them all around and say, yes, let's, let's all talk about supine forward flection exercises. And what do you do when a woman has is a potential risk of osteoporosis? They have this weird idea that this was some sort of organized thing that it was, I don't think it's a weird idea. I think it's just helped.

What else could they know? I mean, they're there. You don't get just the mentorship type training anymore. You don't just study and then teach day. You don't, you don't wait for it. The call for the actual teacher to be gone anymore and then step in. I mean that's how a lot of fitness trainers got started too. Yeah. I mean, but they do think of it and remember all of this as to who did Joe designate as his rifle and chose thought he would live forever. Come on. I mean, you know, he didn't have any children. He knew his wife couldn't run it.

Did he set up a whole structure to keep it going? Of course on you die. Do you think you thought you'd be around for 150 years? So, so, you know, all of that is, there's so many stories about us, not that it's terrible or means that much, but it makes people feel that, well, if this is what Joe Thought, then this is right. And that's whatever. I mean, people say to me always, well, you know Dale ask to teach classical Palati. So that's what they'll say to me. And they'll say, you mean the trademark losers on that gets people really angry because that was to enjoy that. That's, that's the, that's that's what makes people hate me. Right. I love to do that.

No, but, but really what is that? Is it just you want to state the obvious so much? Like what is that? Because it's hey, here's what my theory is. Sorry. Cause then they have to defend it and then they get stronger in their defense.

You know, whatever it is not, I'm saying would I provoke somebody? Well, I liked the truth. I'm attached to the truth and that is the truth. There was no classical palazzo days. There may have been original exercises, but there was no classical the day after they took here, it was, you have to remember it. Okay. It comes from a much larger thing. P P l a t p Pi. I mean I answered the phone for 10 years in our people who couldn't even say the name and then they thought it was, you know, punches pilot. So they, so then the day after they lose the trademark, they come up with this fabulous name, classical bodies. Fabulous.

And it's so much better. Right. So it's, it's that the name was, was the worst name t to use. I mean, I wish I could have come up with another name that would've been a better name, but you couldn't. And then you have to think about the man and all the rest of it. So yes, that's what there's the history of the name being such an issue in control. [inaudible] control. Ology. How do we say that? And nobody would ever know how to say the word. Yeah. It took me years to say [inaudible] just get it off. 10 Sec, 10 secretary. I still have trouble with that one. So yes, there's a history to it. Yeah, and but I will say that that was the trademark losers and then they whatever, but it, but it also breaks down this idea that there's a right way, there's a wrong way, and all of this sort of thing that I think is not positive. So positive.

Are there any misconceptions about you? I think very early on there were certain ones, some of the really smart ones like Debra lessen who saw this and con and she could think the whole big picture. We thought by, you know, W why is Joan Breitbart doing this? Or why is she here? She's not a [inaudible] teacher. And so from the start I didn't realize that that much. It was like, why we don't want her to be in on this. I feel that that's was, that was underneath it is the misconception. What's the misconception in that?

Like that he said that that people sub wanted thought that I was doing something to grow this when there were people who just, maybe it wouldn't grow, but we don't want her here. We don't want her. Okay. As if you had different intention than not different intentions. Like we don't want her. Okay. You know, that was about it. So, um, and of course let's, let's face it. I mean, I'm not going to tell you that I, that I'm thinking that one, when we used all those names and got all those people and eve was on a contact to them and we want to start this, whatever, I mean, that to me was a marketing ploy. The this first generation, second one, the whole lineage thing. That to me was, um, that was just a marketing ploy. Right? But it also solidified the ones who had actually been a Corolla studio or eve or whatever. It's solidified them. And then ultimately I thought that was great. It sounded like a great idea to me. And then I realized, no, it's not good.

It's not good. It's limiting to the future. How's that? Because you don't want to look back and you don't want to glorify people just because they weren't certain kind of place. You know, it, it's just forget it. Okay. That happened in whatever they were there. Whatever. Let's move ahead. Where are we going? What about knowing where you came from to understand where you are? I, that's such a moving target because where you came from was a time when there was no exercise, no diet, and people were in fat and it wasn't marketed to death and all the rest of it.

That's the where you came from. Okay. [inaudible] so it's beautiful. Yeah, you want to, it's a cultural thing. You have to look at this. This went from, this is wellness is a $3 trillion business from nothing. I lived through it. So you know, I think that's where he really came from. Leo. Okay.

Specifically, you know, his teacher and whatever. But that teacher was ignorant of it because they were in our product there. Right. And they were product of theirs and they didn't think about it in that sense of, you know, in there there could be people who would say, well it's too bad that it grew this big, but it's big. Right. And then people have had a lot of opportunity and a lot of people feel it's helped them, specifically clients. And, well, that's where it is, right? So I, I don't know, you can argue both ways because if people, they want things to say controllable and small and perfect, perfect.

And you know, I never think like that, you know? I mean, that's, to me, there's no such thing as perfection when people, and then Mary Bowen has actually been very helpful to me in explaining this, that way of thinking because I don't understand it at all. Right? And she meaning helping you understand those, those as you would on that people on whatever she said by explaining their union profile and mine, right? Which is very interesting understanding of what these people are. But people, there are people, of course, as we know, and most of them are blind teachers with that, you know, they're afraid, oh, what if I do it in? It's wrong. There's this thing, what if it's wrong? What if it's wrong? So then I would say, um, is it going to start world war three? No.

Is it going to exasperate global warming? Right. Well, so do it. No one's going to die. Do it. Try it. Right? That's the exact opposite. Right, right. So that kind of, and I see that now with so many Asian people are getting into it who have this reverence for [inaudible]. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Very interesting. All of this, I mean it's, it's, it's interesting just to look at even one person's journey through [inaudible] itself, but such an important piece of it in terms of so many things like publicizing it and institution institute and so on. I'll work on how I could summarize that, but just for my own self, because I think it's very interesting. But how, what, what is [inaudible] mean to you? I ask everyone, I mean for my own personal body or is it from just, yes. For Your own person. It could be everything. Like what did you, what does it mean to you? I, it's made me very much more aware really of everything of people and looking at bodies and now I see, you know, I look at people, I look at their bodies, right?

And you know, we, we hear all these numbers about the obesity epidemic, right? And, and those numbers that are official numbers just conflict with what you actually see, right? They really do. And I say to people, well you can, you, you can see it but you can't see it if you don't look, people don't look, they're turning away from looking at people where they should be looking at people. I think that helps them to be more aware of themselves. So it's been a huge awareness thing for me. And, and that goes into a lot of other, it's mostly in the physical realm, but it's another things too. It just makes you a sharper, more observant person. Right. I think that the functional benefits of polarities are just enormous.

Right. And they're so underplayed it because where were in this world where we have to battle it out with thin thighs, you know, is that, that's, but I mean they, that people can learn to move better and improve their coordination and balance and proprioception. Yeah. For me that's, that was a big thing. I never played sports and now I've been able to like take up something and get somewhere. I had my first ballet lesson when I was 50 I had my first tangle lesson when I'm 60 and I'm pretty good at these and I can, you know, play tennis and do the lot of things that I don't think I would've been able to do. It gives you a, I mean you can look at the movement and you can say, okay, I have to adapt it to my body cause you know your body, right? Yeah. So that's different.

I'm not just going in blindly to learning some new physical thing. I bring in good information for me. And I think that could happen for other people if they understood that part of it. Yeah. If they just understood it more. I think that we have to do that because that's really invaluable. You know, you've maybe are not going to have thin thighs, but then you can just take up something. Right. And that you wouldn't, you wouldn't have been, you'd been afraid to, you would have been right and actually get somewhere and do something that's important. All right. And that's what a rule teach you. Right.

And so it's too bad. People aren't. I'm promoting them more. I could actually just keep talking to you cause there's so much detail that we could go through. I mean you took me from 1962 to 2016 and on. I like to take you another 10 years. That's where I really want to tell Ya. Yeah. That's what I really feel is, that's what I really feel is the important time coming up. Tell me why.

Because people are getting smarter, right, and stupid at the same time, but they're smarter. It's fighting this back and forth and we can turn it to smart. I think we in turn is smart. Get them out of stupid. That huge article that the biggest loser in New York Times picked up everywhere. Everybody gave it to me. Tweet, whatever. That's important.

The fact they're quitting on dieting, that's important. They're gumming to the facts that get into the facts. We've been manipulated. Now let's find the right thing for us in our bodies. I think we can lead them. That's where the awareness comes back in, right? Ping. Being willing to look at yourself and take responsibility for, is that close?

It's knowing that you've been, you've been manipulated by the press, by business, by everything. Seeing through it and saying, okay, I'm gonna, I'm gonna do the what I know is right for me. I'm gonna learn what's right for me. That's a pretty good message to end on right there. I don't, I don't want to end, and I may have to call you for more detail, but thank you again for letting us come and see where we can lead people. Yeah. And we have to lead. Yeah. So I'm just John for that anyway.

I mean, from coming from, I mean, really, we came from being so dismissed. You know, I always think of that famous thing about Gandhi and I can't remember exactly what was first they ignore you, then they hate you, then you win. Right? So that's how I sort of see that with us and we, I don't think we've won yet. We got to have a winning platform, but the winning still has to come. So stay tuned. Thank you. John.

Related Content


3 people like this.
WOW!!!Very entertaining!!
Kristi you are an amazing interviewer!
2 people like this.
Thank you so much Joan and Kristi!! So informative and interesting. I would however like to hear what Joan thinks about the explosion of yoga and how it is obscuring Pilates in many cities across the country.
Thank you Jeanne! Joan is indeed very good at recounting her events for us too. It won't surprise you to know that Joan and I talked for 2 and half hours and I still have SO much more I could ask her (and hopefully will)!
2 people like this.
Loved hearing Joan go over the birth of the Physicalmind Institute. What a blast from the past, seeing the old newsletters and discussion on Eve. Thanks for having this interview on Pilates Anytime.
2 people like this.
Finally!! I've been waiting for you to interview Joan since the beginning. She's an integral part of Pilates history and one of the most interesting and irreverent personalities around. Thank you Kristi and Joan!!
I began listening to this interview intending to watch it over several days but I couldn't stop. Watched the whole 115 minutes. Such an inspirational woman. I deeply appreciate her sharing her invaluable stories and experiences on the evolution of Pilates as we know it today
5 people like this.
Fantastic interview! Thank you Joan for your whip-smart, no-holds-barred assessment of Pilates as an industry and thank you Kristi for eliciting such invaluable reflections of where we've been and where we're going. Kristi's reverence for the past and Joan's prescient grasp on the future are a formidable combination! I'll be staying tuned to both!
4 people like this.
As a 12 year PMI instructor, thank you Kristi and thank you Joan. Personally, this answered many questions and put things back into perspective. There is no need to question ourselves. Believe in our training and our abilities. It's OK to think outside of the box as long as we are teaching good, fundamental pilates.
2 people like this.
Very entertaining! Great that Joan has kept letters and articles.
2 people like this.
Pilates makes such a beautiful story and it´s put together piece by piece (or should we say bone by bone or vertebra by vertebra).Thank you for making thes interviews, please keep them coming!
1-10 of 24

You need to be a subscriber to post a comment.

Please Log In or Create an Account to start your free trial.

Footer Pilates Anytime Logo

Move With Us

Experience Pilates. Experience life.

Let's Begin