Pilates Fundamentals

Romana Kryzanowska

“You can say what Pilates is in three words. Stretch with Strength and Control. And the control part is the most important because that makes you use your mind.”  – Romana Kryzanowska

The Passing of the Torch.

Romana Kryzanowska is the world renowned protégé of Joseph Pilates and has been teaching his method for almost 60 years!

Romana first met Joseph when she was 17, when he treated her for an ankle injury. A dancer, she was looking for an alternative to surgery. She soon realized his method strengthened more than just her ankle, and she was invited by the Pilates to move in with them in their New York apartment and study with both Joseph and Clara Pilates in their studio.

She worked under the direct supervision of her mentors until 1944 when she married and moved to Peru, but she picked it up Pilates again when she returned to the United States 15 years later.

She became Joseph’s chosen successor and eventually took over the studio. Romana made a commitment to Joseph and Clara Pilates that she would continue their life’s work, and she continues to deliver on that promise by traveling the world and teaching the next generation of instructors. Both Romana and her daughter Sari Mejia Santo act as guardians of the method that they’re now passing on to a third generation, with Sari’s daughter. They strive to keep Pilates pure and pass on the method as Joseph and Clara would have wished.

More than an exercise program . . .

Kryzanowska believes that Pilates is more than an exercise program—it is a way of life:

“You apply Pilates in everyday life, like how you sit, how you walk. You’ve heard a lot of people complain about back problems; it is because these people walk incorrectly with the last vertebra of their tailbone. They stick it out instead of pulling it in and down.” —Romana Kryzanowska


In Memory of Romana Kryzanowska (1923-2013)

It is with great sadness to announce the August 30, 2013 passing of one of the Pilates’ industry’s first generation teachers, Romana Kryzanowska (1923-2013).

Romana Kryzanowska (1923-2013)

Romana Kryzanowska

Romana was a powerful and enduring presence in the Pilates community, and her legacy will live on in the work of her students, many of whom represent her teaching methods proudly and pass it on to others through their own schools and studios. I am grateful to have been given the  opportunity to have received training that followed her inspiration.  I know that I—and others who also have followed her method—have received a great gift.

Her brilliance and special talents will be missed. We, at Pilates Fundamentals, offer our sincere condolences to her family.

She will be remembered far and wide with great affection and respect by her colleagues, friends, and students.

—Mary Jo Shear