The Lost Art of The Benchmat™

 The Lost Art of the Benchmat

Sunday, May 3, 2020 | 10:00am-4:00 pm
@Pilates Lineage, Westerly Rhode Island

Taught by Sean Gallagher and Elaine Ewing

(5-hour workshop with an hour lunch break, lunch not included)

This workshop is based on the “Benchmat Series” and the Benchmat apparatus that Joseph Pilates developed, produced, and taught on in his NYC studio for many years. Using exact replicas of Joe’s original Benchmats, made by Pilates Lineage, we will focus on specific exercises that can only be performed on a Bench Mat due to its special features. These exercises have written instructions by Joe, images depicting how to do them, an order, exercise names, and more. The original instructions apply to the Benchmat Series but also truly describe how to accurately perform Contrology in general, and thanks to Joe’s words, we can practice the essence of the work as he intended.

The workshop will begin with a historical presentation on The Benchmat, in addition to study and practice of all the Bench Mat exercises. Bench Mat posters will be available for purchase at the workshop.

Bench Mats are available for pre-order before the workshop. To pre-order a Bench Mat to either pick up at the workshop or have shipped to your address, contact Pilates Lineage:

Location: Pilates Lineage, 38 High St. Lower Level, Westerly, RI  02891

Taught by Sean P. Gallagher

Sean P. Gallagher (BFA, PT, CPT, CFP, EMT, MS) is the owner of Performing Arts Physical Therapy in NYC and is considered a Master Physical Therapist through NYU’s physical therapy program. He is also a pilates teacher and Teacher of Teachers at The New York Pilates Studio® in NYC, Brazil, Mexico, and Greece. Sean has also been teaching pilates at Jacob’s Pillow in Becket, MA for 21 years.

In 1991 with the help of Romana Kryzanowska and Carol Dodge, Sean produced and copyrighted the first ever comprehensive teacher training manual and certification program, on which he continued to partner with Romana for 13 years.  This program is now considered the most highly regarded training and the origination of “classical pilates”, and is the one that most 2nd generation classical teachers were trained under. Additionally, he has been instrumental in getting the Pilates method recognized and taught around the world. Sean also developed The Pilates GuildTM – an organization of pilates teachers interested in maintaining the quality and integrity of Joseph Pilates’ method. 

Since 1995 Sean has been pioneering and presenting innovative workshops based on the science and history of pilates. To each of his workshops he brings the unparalleled perspective of 30 years of pilates and physical therapy as well as his unique knowledge of pilates history and Joe’s original work. A sampling of his workshops are as follows:

  • Pilates Developmental Sequence™ Workshop
  • How Pilates Works the Lymphatics 
  • The Mechanics of Pilates
  • The Natural Laws of Pilates™
  • How Authentic Pilates Works
  • The History of Exercise

Sean is also the owner of the largest collection of Joseph Pilates’ archival material, which includes film, photographs, audio tape, posters, blueprints, personal letters, apparatus, part of his library, as well as his property and studio in Becket, MA. He has three published books on pilates, “The Pilates Method of Body Conditioning” , “The Collected Works of Joseph Pilates” and “The Joseph H. Pilates Archive Collection”. 

As a physical therapist, he has provided backstage Physical Therapy care at over 170 Broadway shows, as well as at NYC Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Paul Taylor’s Dance Company, David Parson’s Dance Company, Hubbard Street Dance, SUNY Purchase, and the Juilliard School. 

Sean was the main presenter at Pilates at The Pillow™️ 2018 and his workshops were titled, “Was Joe 50 Years Ahead of His Time, Or Not?” And “Common Teaching Cues in Pilates”.  He also organized Pilates Jeopardy, taught the daily mat classes, Pilates 34 in 34(™), was a panelist in the panel discussion, “The State of Pilates Today”, and guided a tour of the historic property and studio that was originally Joseph Pilates’.


Taught by Elaine Ewing

Elaine is owner of Rhinebeck Pilates, the Hudson Valley’s only Authentic fully equipped pilates studio, located in Rhinebeck, NY since 2003. Equipped with Gratz apparatus, much of it vintage and original to Joe’s 8th Ave Studio. Her studio also showcases archival, rare, and original pilates images on the walls throughout. She is certified through the New York Pilates Studio and currently teaches both at Rhinebeck Pilates at The New York Pilates Studio. She has studied and practiced pilates extensively through workshops and classes taught by Sean Gallagher, MeJo Wiggin, Steve Giordano, Bob Liekens, Leah Chaback Katz, and Simona Cipriani, to name a few.

Elaine can be found on Pilatesology teaching the Archival Ped-o-Pul and as the model for a number of Sean Gallagher and Junghee Won’s instructional videos. She currently runs, hosts, and teaches at Pilates at The Pillow™️ along with Sean Gallagher and works with him on restoring Joe’s original studio and apparatus in the Berkshires.


$250 per person

To Register

To register for this workshop, first email to reserve your space and to obtain the proper paperwork, and then mail a check with the signed paperwork to Rhinebeck Pilates, or email for PayPal instructions.

Checks made payable to Rhinebeck Pilates can be sent to:

Rhinebeck Pilates
6400 Montgomery St
Rhinebeck, NY 12572

There is a 48-hour cancellation policy.