First – my journey with Pilates

In 1959, at 29, I began to learn the Pilates Method. I was in NYC as an actress/comedienne/musical comedy performer – with a recurring back problem. (Click “Historical Video,” “Who is Mary?” for more of the story).

How did I discover Joe? I saw an article in a newspaper. There was this man standing with his bare barrel of a chest, bare legs, swimming trunks and a white mane of hair. Joe was an intriguing sight – a human lion! Who was this man?

In the short article he said “I base my method on the baby and the cat!” I had never had a baby or a cat, but I took it upon myself to find Joseph Pilates! That was the beginning of a life “root.”

My back improved after only two lessons with Joe. Since walking into Joe and Clara’s studio fifty years ago, I have taken one to two lessons every week for all those years.

My NYC Pilates teachers have been:

  • 6 and a half years twice a week with Joe, Clara and Hanna
  • 7 years with Bob Seed
  •  7 years at Romana Krysanowska’s
  • 7 years with Kathy Grant
  • 7 years with Bruce King and Jean Claude West concurrently

And since 1995 with Christine Wright and ongoing

The time and expense of lessons over the years has insured the deepening of my Pilates work. I recommend that all Pilates teachers should find someone excellent to watch over and guide their own Pilates practice. This can be pivotal to the development of oneself and one’s teaching.

Second – My journey into the Psyche…

In the same year that I began Pilates, I started Jungian psychoanalysis. Both disciplines went so deep in me that they became parallel professional pursuits. In 1971 I began my psychoanalytic practice and just four years later started teaching Pilates. For years the two careers were side by side. Pilates was directive – analysis was non-directive. After twenty years the analyst in me began entering and combining with the Pilates work. I couldn’t help seeing each client in depth, and began to engage the whole person, conscious and unconscious.

I maintain a practice as a Jungian analyst in NYC, Connecticut and Massachusetts. In the world of Pilates I am known especially for my integration of Jungian analytical psychology with the Pilates Method. With some clients I stay only with Pilates, but for many others the work has expanded beyond conscious ego understanding to working with what is in the unconscious – the whole psyche – the whole person.

Every week I travel between three states, three homes (each with an analytic office) and two Pilates studios. We take care of a varying number of pets (old age lowers our census of cats and dogs – we’re down to just 4 cats now, from 11, and dogless – Pebbles lived to 17). We daily feed birds, raccoons, deer, squirrels, chipmunks, bunnies, whatever is trying to make a life for itself “out there.”

Greatly important is sharing life with my loving husband, Alec Martin, who has built my machines, my two studios (with another larger one in the works), maintaining everything and then some! To NYC I travel alone by train. To Northampton we go together, Alec, the cats, suitcases, an ice chest and many more bags in our trusty volvo station wagon.