Pilatesology Interview w/ Author Gail Eisen

Interview with Gail Eisen co-author of ‘The Original Pilates Book’

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We had the delightful opportunity to visit Gail Eisen, co-author of the first book published after Joseph H. Pilates' own books, Return to Life and Your Health:  The Pilates Method of Physical and Mental Conditioning  Gail shares about how she and Philip Friedman created the '6 Principles of Pilates' that many Pilates instructors mistakenly believe came from Joe. You'll see photos of Romana teaching both in her own original studio and at SUNY Purchase as well as outtakes from Gail's own workout and her priceless stories of working with Romana to prepare for the book that bring it all to life. Our gratitude for making this interview possible goes to Moses Urbano.  

What Others Are Saying


  1. Gina Jackson 3 years ago

    Just turned 60 last week. I have been practicing and teaching for 15 years and resonate with thruth in Gail’s comments about the ‘elegance of getting older’ as a result of the strength, lift and vitality of Pilates in my body.

    Smiling from ear to ear watching this beautiful story be told. Thank you Alisa and Gail. You are right, the book and the method are timeless gems, indeed.

  2. ScotPilates 5 years ago

    Great interview. Is it possible that the “concentration” comes clearly from Return to Life – ” Concentrate fully on each exericise lest you do it improperly”….

  3. alison372

    I love Gail’s choice of words at the very end of the interview, when she refers to “the elegance of growing older.” She is a wonderful example of this!

  4. Elin 6 years ago

    This was so wonderful. I never wanted it to end!
    Thanks so much. This was indeed my first Pilates Book purchase.

  5. Alisa Wyatt Author

    Hi Everyone,
    I wrote to Gail to ask more about Jon Winters, here is her reply…”John Winters was a quiet man. You would never have heard him raise his voice or bark corrections. I didn’t work with him very much.”
    It’s great to hear you’re all wanting more because we loved hanging out with Gail and will be sure to visit her again next time we’re in New York.

  6. Alexandra Bohlinger
    Alexandra Bohlinger 6 years ago

    Priceless! Thank you Alisa!

  7. soul_eil

    I was left wanting more…..

  8. Andrea Maida

    Thank you for this amazing interview. I had no idea that Gail and Philip were not Pilates teachers themselves. I enjoyed watching this video so much. Gail’s simple statements on the profound effect that Pilates has on the aging body are so lovely to hear. Yes, I wanted to hear more about John Winters too, aaarrggh. 🙂 Wonderful! And thank you for sharing it.

    • Alisa Wyatt Author

      It’s killing me that we didn’t come back to the Jon Winters conversation! Gail, we are looking forward to the next interview in which I will grill you endlessly on Jon Winters, haha!

  9. pilatesbabs 6 years ago

    Thank you Alisa.This was my first book about the method that I owned.It’s great to see Gail
    Eisen and hear her description of writing this book ,.the wonderful stories of Romana.

  10. belinda stevens 6 years ago

    For those of us who are growing older, I loved hearing from someone who had done Pilates for many years — especially the “walking tall, balloon head, presence” comments! So often this field is filled with very few “women of a certain age”.


  11. kathy taylor 6 years ago

    So wonderful! A new perspective on such important history. Thank you for sharing! A great interview and one I will watch again and again – but first I will buy the book!

  12. ladyjane 6 years ago

    Lovely interview Alisa! Thank you !

  13. Martin 6 years ago

    I just adore these interviews with people from the Pilates community at large. They have so much to offer so that we might all gain a better understanding and perspective on the work we are so passionate about. I can’t wait to see what you have up your sleeve next Alisa!

  14. joesmat 6 years ago

    I was indeed fascinated when I logged into PILATESOLOGY this morning to see Gail Eisen being interviewed by Alisa, and to hear about the famous book she co-authored – The Pilates Method of Physical and Mental Conditioning. And about her time with Romana Kryzanowska.
    I really liked how Gail Eisen defined the 6 Principles, and particularly, her understanding and interpretation of “Centering” that Alisa so quickly picked up on.
    Likewise, how the book is “timeless”.
    The video was so revealing, and uncomplicated in its content and so well articulated by this self-effacing lady.
    Thank you Alisa for making it possible.***** STARS

  15. pilatesgal50 6 years ago

    Gail is awesome! So interesting to hear her comments. She is just lovely!

  16. Luz Alejandra Lovern

    Alisa can I order the book from Amazon? Thanks xx

  17. Luz Alejandra Lovern

    That is a great and educative video ever! I love this lady Gail Eisen, very simple sowing kindness in each step of the interview; the way she explain to us is simple and real. Thanks Alisa great job!

  18. presspaws

    Thanks Alisa, really enjoyed this – Gail briefly mentioned John Winters, did she talk any more about him off camera?

    • Alisa Wyatt Author

      We never returned to the topic of Jon Winters, argh. I promise to get Gail’s thoughts on Jon and will post them here. I recall talking about him before the interview and she said what a nice man he was, quiet and thoughtful.

      • presspaws

        Thanks Alisa! It’s amazing to think that 2 students of the method, (not even teachers) created the first manual. I have just ordered a used copy on Amazon so I can check it out!

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