“...to understand and deal with things better for my own good. Your insights are very precious to one’s self development and I truly believe teachers that are looking at going deeper with who they are and where they wish to go with the Pilates Method or simply with themselves should have the chance to meet you.” (Note: Iva has been twice to mentor with Mary in Connecticut and has hosted her in, Switzerland to give privates and also present workshops)
Susan Branum, dancer and Pilates teacher, Susan Branum Pilates Studio, St. Helena, CA – (attended “An Evening with Mary Bowen and the History of Pilates” in San Francisco at EHS Pilates - 4 day workshop in February 2009.) “I was at your talk in San Francisco last Friday night. I was completely enlivened by ...read more
...your presence and your words! I feel that you spoke directly to me in some very important ways….I feel as though I am only scratching the surface…..I would really like to explore more of the psyche with you….to deepen my own experience. I need something more – something new. If one like myself is ready for this, when might we find time for me to come and be with you intensively? I would be coming to experience the combination of Pilates with the underlying psyche – open to discovering whatever there is to uncover!”
... the psyche. And then led me through the psyche into the body. At first body and psyche felt like two opposing poles, but through a deep creative process I have come to trust, she has taught me and I have experienced those two opposites uniting to make me.”
... the body and the mind are interconnected, cannot be separated, that the healing of one helps the healing of the other. Using both the Pilates Method and Jungian psychoanalysis, Mary Bowen reminds us that the learning experience can be joyous; the body as well as other parts of the psyche cannot be forced into change, but need to be invited, challenged and encouraged into well-being.”
--our time together – The words that come to my mind are: intense, grounding – I feel so calm, serene, happy--full of BREATH. I feel clear and more able to follow my destiny—more able to know myself—to know who I am.
What happened today between us seemed, to me, to be perfect. Everything flowed like a beautiful dance. I am very grateful for your caring and unselfish guidance.
I hope I can internalize the work intelligently. I wish to give it to my clients with compassion as you have given it to me.”
Iva (Mazzoleni above) is like a sister to me. We understand each other by gestures and glances. However, Mary characterized us as two absolute different (types). Iva’s words about her are so true, but my experience has a slightly different perspective.
My body does not accumulate tightness. On the contrary, it is free too much. That is why the concept of spine release and “letting go” was of no current interest to me. But Mary impresses me with her ability to get to the depths of each person in a room, even in a situation that is farm from private. As it happened in a large audience.
.. I was fully charged up with your energy and I am looking forward to applying all the ideas, especially the Jungian typology you presented. All of your ideas will help me to grow as a teacher of Pilates and as a student of life. Also, I wanted to let you know that I have already used one of your breathing exercises with my oldest client (she’s 87) today. Thank you again for your gifts.”
.. Mary started Jungian analysis. Both disciplines went so deep in her that they became parallel professional pursuits. After 20 years of study the analyst in her began synthesizing with the Pilates method. Each client could be viewed in all their in depth, and the combination of her professions helped her to engage with the whole person- conscious and unconscious. Mary believes that the greatest potential gift each one of us can give to the word is our cultivated Self. She is a life line to lost souls, and helping hand to all who wish to go deeper, an encounter with Mary of any size will be a treasure for a lifetime.”
... sharing weekend. Your presentation and information were so valuable. I will cherish the time with you. Thanks for giving your time and history of yourself and Mr. Pilates. There were some really great stories. The workout with you was just what I needed. I would love to come see you at your studio.”
... Mary, when you came to our studio in CT and you did a private lesson and teachers got to watch you teach, I felt it was so educational and really, magical. They got to see how the work could look in a loving and fun way. How 2 people could really be together. I don't think we get to see that much. I know you have changed me and I try to be that way, to just be with my students in their journey and to surround them with love. We would have one student receive your lesson, others against the wall observing SILENTLY. If you wanted to give commentary at the end or take questions, that would be nice - and up to you.
.. like a beautiful animal, just is, and who gives of herself unconditionally of what she has to offer.”
(Toni and her editor/husband George Tice attended the 3 hour ‘Evening with Mary Bowen and the History of Pilates presentation part of a 4 day workshop at the studio of Heidi Miller in Fort Collins.)
...I hope you know what a facilitator you are in waking people up through your infectious joy and deep wisdom – a combination that invites people to soften. What we both knew about you immediately is that your strength and gift is in your presence, not that your words are not powerful, too. (I’ve read your response to the Yoga/Pilates article. It was excellent!). You have immense energy around your being. People need to be in the presence of individuals like yourself so that they can know what’s possible.”
She has been my mentor, teacher and guide for several years. Our relationship has been all encompassing; every aspect of my life has gone through tremendous growth through our work together. Under her guidance, my own work has flowered in ways I could not have expected. With Mary, I have experienced true unconditional Love. She has been a life-line for me through times of total chaos. She has accepted everything about me and in doing so, enabled me to accept myself.
My difficulties and needs have been held by her embrace and my tight spots loosened up by her joyous and infectious sense of humor. Working with Mary is an experience that truly heals. She herself is the embodiment of what is possible when you work with the whole person. We don’t have many examples of what that looks like; because of that she is a bit of a hidden treasure. What she has to offer is so original and unique for each person and it just keeps unfolding. All of us who have been touched by her are most fortunate. She has what we all search for, and she’ll generously point you toward it if you are willing to take the journey.
... host Mary Bowen’s Lifelong Pilates Program at our studio (May, 2009). Mary’s infectious personality enlivened both our teachers and our clients. She reminded us each of the sheer bliss one can attain by moving purely from the spine, with breath and ease, allowing the animal to move from its true nature. Our entire studio agrees that her presence here was a validating and enriching experience, allowing us the freedom of experimentation to meet our clients’ needs with humor, insight and authenticity.”
The new Queen bans her beautiful, fabled stepchildren to serve in the scullery and the stables from now on, for fear that her own, glorious ones, might be overshadowed. The King consents, because the new union promises greater lands, maybe even peace for a while. And in time biographies and seasons achieve their affairs: more land is gained, the kingdom and the new children prosper; the old ones slowly are forgotten. Peace though, doesn’t hold.
It didn’t hold in my life. It didn’t hold in our country. It probably didn’t in most of my ancestors’ or contemporaries:’ to send the unwanted to the dark, only creates more darkness. But here we are.
Mary Bowen came into my life (as Obama came to be President of this country) to lead these children out of the darkness. Not as a Fairy who clothes you to lead you to the prince, or to provide you with the magical sword to slay the dragon – in other words not to perform the accustomed task, but to lead you into the wide open brilliance of where we don’t know. All we know is that ALL parts are part of the whole.
To me, it is a sacred, authentic path, which unfolds and unfolds like leaves do. In this way, Mary midwifes the abandoned stepchildren out of the scullery, the dark stables, not necessarily into the light instantly. Sometimes, even darker woods need to be crossed, but the fact, that they are moving at all, is an attest to the universal law of constant movement, creation – unknown to us, maybe, but left to their own authentic grace, always benevolent. And in Mary’s universal, utterly compassionate way, which knows the humor of the human condition as well as its delights and grief and desperation, she guides these dark parts to suddenly see the light of day – and so be released back into their Royal heritage of being full human beings.
Mary’s work then is not so much “work,” in my eyes, as a de-construction, the courageous witnessing and therefore release of perceived, habitual, conditioned obstacles and fears. She is a blessed and blessing midwife to the natural unfolding of the universal law of creation. This is what her skill, her love, her genius keeps opening in my life, and I can only hope that her insight and light will ease the labor of many, many more souls. I owe her and most gladly give my deepest appreciation and gratitude.
.. especially Mary Bowen for their passion for the work of Joseph Pilates and a huge charge of inspiration”. (dedication in her new book).
... Jungian analyst and a Pilates practitioner and teacher, Mary Bowen works with the whole person. Whether you are with her in an analytic session or a Pilates class, you find that her approach consistently engages mind and body, brain and psyche, intellect and intuition. She is patient – and persistent – in helping you identify the root cause of any dilemmas that you bring to her or that arise in the course of your experiences together. She enables you to work immensely hard because she inspires you to believe that you truly can be better. She takes you seriously, and yet she makes you laugh.
Christine’s primary teachers have been Kathy Grant for many years and Jean Claude West with whom she studied 8 years and into the present. She has also taken courses from Irene Dowd, Andry Vleeming, Robert Donatelli, Louis Schultz and courses at Westside Dance Physical Therapy.
I have worked with Mary Bowen for 35 plus years, which is pushing half of my life. At this moment in time, when it seems that we can “know” people instantly through the “information highway,” I have come to know Mary, through the back roads of work – the work of unraveling the mysteries of who I am and what this thing called life is really about.
As an artist, life for me is about the work of discovery, or perhaps “un-covery,” and the shards unearthed in the process are sometimes called art, often just stuff, but always important to me as part of the unfolding story of the self.
We each have a personal story which we live out with varying degrees of consciousness. The more we can come to know about the roots and the trajectory of this story, the deeper and more meaningful life becomes. Often having a guide whose “experience” and “fearlessness” one can trust is incredibly valuable, and at times, should the path lead into the darkness beyond what we can “know,” it is quite possibly essential.
Mary is a fearless and experienced guide, who understands through her own creative “work” the necessity of developing all the tools of the body and whole psyche in order to realize the full potential of who we are and who we can become.
We have had the privilege of hosting Mary at the Pilates Center of Austin annually for about 6 years. Along with becoming dear friends, each visit and workshop has been richer than the last. Mary embodies an incomparable vitality, along with the ability to see people for who they are and who they are becoming.
Through her historical understanding of Joseph Pilates’ vision, uniquely coupled with her extensive background in Jungian psychology, she has passionately dedicated her life to enabling the integration of the whole person – body, mind and soul. Mary is a life dancer who inspires others to discover their dreams, and we are happily and totally caught in her web.