Posted: Monday, March 19, 2018 – 4:25 PM
Mari Winsor, considered responsible for popularizing Pilates exercise, will be the beneficiary of events to be celebrated in honor of her birthday Tuesday, to help offset the cost of her battle with ALS.
Winsor, who will be celebrating her 67th birthday, was diagnosed with Amyotrop0hic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disesase, in 2013. She gave up teaching nearly two years ago as the disease began to take its toll. “I’m letting go of my studios because I can’t handle it,” Winsor told PEOPLE magazine in 2016. She passed the torch to instructor Saul Choza to form Winsor Choza Pilates.
Winsor is credited with being the first to popularize Pilates when, in 1990, she opened her first studio in Los Angeles. The once-obscure workout soon became popular with a wide range of celebrity clients, who helped to popularize the training.
Clients include Drew Barrymore, Jamie Lee Curtis, Miley Cyrus, Minnie Driver, Daisy Fuentes, Jewel, Melanie Griffith, Meg Ryan, Emma Stone, Sharon Stone, Marisa Tomei, and more.
Pilates became even more popular when Winsor took to the airwaves. In 2003, this pioneer created the first infomercial. The record-breaking success of the Winsor Pilates workout series and award-winning infomercials was unparalleled. Thirty videos and over 50 million programs were sold.
Winsor is also the author of three books: The Pilates Powerhouse: the Pilates Pregnancy:Maintaining Strength, Flexibility and Your Figure; and the Pilates Workout Journal: An Exercise Diary and Conditioning Guide. She has a series of Pilates DVDs, and kits, and her name is associated with Pilates worldwide.
Pilates, the gentle, healing and transformative workout, helped millions of Americans to healthier lives. And now, she needs your support.
It costs $250,000 per year to provide care to the ALS patient in need. Mari is wheelchair-bound and non-verbal; her support community includes some of the most prominent instructors in the world. They will all be participating on Tuesday, when Winsor Choza Pilates, Bodyline Pilates and Hot Pilates help raise funds for Mari Winsor’s care.
“Though she can no longer speak, her eyes twinkle,” according to a message on the Winsor Choza website. “Her smile fills the room and her spirits remain high through it all. But the medical expenses are taking a toll on Mari and her husband Elliot. The 24/7 home health care is $12,000 a month. Mari has a hospital bed with lift ($15,000), ongoing therapy, a wheelchair accessible van home visits by healthcare professionals, hospital visits and insurance copays nursing support for medications trial drug medications the list goes on… 100% of the funds, minus GoFundMe fees, will be used to support Mari’s medical needs.”
“Whenever a Health & Fitness pioneer needs help,” said celebrity trainer Dion Jackson,”I’m there. They’ve paved the way for so many… That’s the least I can do.” Jackson will be at Hot Pilates tomorrow to benefit Mari Winsor.
In Beverly Hills, Bodyline’s Maria Leone will also have a host of celebrity professionals to bring it home to Mari Winsor at 9171 Wilshire Blvd. phone 310-274-2716 for details.
Winsor Choza Pay it Forward day starts 10:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. with a celebration at 6 p.m., by calling 323-653-8767. For Hot Pilates at 8604 Sunset Blvd in West Hollywood call 310-360-8889.
Teachers for these events include Saul Choza, Ana Caban, Inelia Garcia, Trish Garland, Jillian Hessel, Fran Hoyte, Rael Isacowitz, Miguel Jorge, Maria Leone, Michael Levy, Molly Niles, Chris Robinson, Marian Tarin, Moses Urbano and more.