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Who was Joseph Pilates

Born 1880 in Düsseldorf Germany, Joseph H Pilates developed his work from a strong personal experience in fitness. Unhealthy as a child, Joseph Pilates studied many kinds of self-improvement systems. He drew from Eastern practices such as yoga and Zen Buddhism, and was inspired by the ancient Greek ideal of man perfected in development of body, mind and spirit. On his way to developing the Pilates Method, Joseph Pilates studied anatomy and developed himself as a body builder, a wrestler, gymnast, boxer, skier and diver.

After WWI, Joseph Pilates briefly returned to Germany where his reputation as a physical trainer/healer preceded him. In Germany, he worked briefly for the Hamburg Military Police in self-defense and physical training. In 1925, he was asked to train the German army. Instead, he packed his bags and took a boat to New York City. On the boat to America, Joseph met Clara, a nurse, who would become his wife. He went on to establish his studio in New York and Clara worked with him as he evolved the Pilates method of exercise, invented the Pilates exercise equipment, and of course, trained students.

Joseph Pilates taught in New York from 1926 to 1966. During that time, he trained a number of students who not only applied his work to their own lives but became teachers of the Pilates method themselves. This first generation of teachers who trained directly with Joseph Pilates is often referred to as the Pilates Elders. Some committed themselves to passing along Joseph Pilates work exactly as he taught it. This approach is referred to as “classical style” Pilates. Other students went on to integrate what they learned with their own research in anatomy and exercise sciences.

Joseph Pilates’ New York studio put him in close proximity to a number of dance studios, which led to his “discovery” by the dance community. Many dancers and well-known persons of New York depended on Pilates method training for the strength and grace it developed in the practitioner, as well as for its rehabilitative effects. Until exercise science caught up with the Pilates exercise principles in the 1980s, and the surge of interest in Pilates that we have today got underway, it was chiefly dancers and elite athletes who kept Joseph Pilates’ work alive. Joseph Pilates passed away in 1967 at age 87, he called his work, Contrology. He defined Contrology as “the comprehensive integration of body mind and spirit.”

What is Romana’s Pilates?

Joseph Pilates developed his method of body conditioning, originally called Contrology, using a series of unique movements performed on specially-designed apparatus. The method works from the inside out to strengthen what Joseph called the “Powerhouse”, which incorporates the muscles of the abdomen, back, inner thighs and buttocks. Exercises are taught in a system using the six key principles of centering, concentration, control, precision, breath, and flow.

Upon his death in 1967, Joseph Pilates’ New York studio passed to his protégé Romana Kryzanowska, who carried on the work as she had learned it directly from “Uncle Joe” for over six decades. Romana travelled worldwide training teachers and visited Pilates Unlimited in 2003. This was a wonderful experience for the studio. Pilates Unlimited is the Romana’s Pilates Training Centre here in New Zealand.

The studio’s instructors all hold internationally recognised Romana’s Pilates Certifications. Romana past away in 2013.

Who are our Master Teachers?

Master Teacher and Romana’s daughter, she had the opportunity to train directly with Joe & Clara Pilates and taught by Romana’s side for over 30 years. Sari is based at True Pilates New York. Along with her role in the USA, Sari also travels to Europe and South America to train instructors and grow Romana’s Pilates internationally.

Cynthia began learning the Pilates Method in 1976, as a dancer with the New York Ballet. During this time she practied the method at Joseph Pilates’s studio in New York with Romana Kryzanowska. By 1987 Cynthia moved to Sydney and returned to New York in 1994 to study as an instructor under the guidance of her teacher and mentor Romana. Returning to Sydney later that year, as a certified instructor. Cynthia opened “The Pilates Method Studio and Training Centre” in Surry Hills. Cynthia became a Teacher of Teachers in 1998 and is now a Level 1 Teacher Trainer for Romana’s Pilates and the IITP Programme.

Cynthia reguarly visits the studio and  travels the world teaching Seminars, Continuing Pilates Education along with presenting at Romana’s Pilates International Conferences.

Juanita is a Level 1 Master Teacher based in Chicago. Juanita did all of her training with Romana and is a wealth of knowledge. Like Cynthia Lochard, Juanita also travels around to many studios, primarily in America, teaching Seminars & CPE’s. She also is a key presenter at the International Conferences.

DARIA PACE, Level 2 Instructor
Grand-daughter of Romana & Level 2 Instructor Trainer. Daria has spent her life working alongside her mother Sari & her Grandmother. In recent times Daria has travelled with Romana around the world.Today Daria is the Principal Officer of Romana’s Pilates based in Florida.

CYNTHIA SHIPLEY, Level 2 Instructor
became a student of Pilates in the late 1980’s when referred by the Dance T heatre of Harlem where she was dancing. Cynthia first became a practice body for a trainee of the Pilates program and eventually became a trainee herself. After almost two years of study, Cynthia was certified in Romana’s Pilates and remained under the tutelage of Romana Kryzanowska and Sari Mejia Santo until Romana’s departure. To this day, Cynthia remains under the watchful eye of Sari Mejia Santo, assisting in all areas of instructor training, conducting workshops and training clients. In 2014 Cynthia visited the studio and taught several workshops and lessons.

JEROME WEINBERG, Level 2 Instructor
Jerome completed the program with Romana in 1998. He traveled throughout the world with her for five years, assisting her in her teaching. At Romana’s request, he performed on the legacy DVDs. Currently, Jerome teaches at Dragos Gym/True Pilates NY in New York City. In 2011 Jerome visited the studio and taught several workshops and lessons.

ZANZI MANN, Level 3 Instructor
Zanzi Mann has been a certified Romana’s Pilates Instructor since 2001. Zanzi was trained under Master Teacher Trainer Cynthia Lochard in Sydney.
Zanzi was promoted last year as a Level 3 Instructor trainer of Romana’s Pilates and she always brings inspiration and integrity into her teaching. Zanzi also visits New Zealand to teach lessons and present the first part of the Training Programme with Carole Fraser at Pilates Unlimited.

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