In November 2000, ‘Pilates’ was deemed a generic term by the courts. This means anyone can call what they teach ‘Pilates’ regardless of whether they uphold the principles and standards of Joseph Pilates’ authentic system.  Pilates Southwest is committed to upholding the authentic method taught only by professionally trained and certified instructors affiliated with Romana's Pilates.

A Brief History of Authentic Pilates

During World War One, Joseph Pilates worked as a nurse in an internment camp.  Sick of watching the wounded wither away in their hospital beds, Pilates developed a system of exercises that allowed the bed-ridden to strengthen their bodies while recuperating from their injuries.  Using what was available in the hospital, springs from beds and other equipment, Pilates designed apparatus that provided a challenging workout for the wounded soldiers. From this experience, he began to develop an innovative exercise regimen called the “Art of Contrology”, now know as Authentic Pilates.  After WWI, Joseph Pilates moved to New York City where he opened his first gym. His method of conditioning immediately drew the attention of  famous dancers, professional athletes and the general public.  

Among Joseph Pilates’ most devoted students was Romana Kryzanowska. She trained and taught under Joseph Pilates for 30 years. After his death, Pilates’ wife asked Romana to carry on his legacy.  Six decades later, Romana remains dedicated to teaching the Authentic Pilates method as created by Joseph Pilates.  Based in New York, she oversees elite international teacher training studios that require over 700 hours of apprenticing, testing and training before awarding certification.

What is Pilates?

Pilates is a series of precise exercises performed on specifically designed apparatus that strengthen and stretch the body as well as provide an aerobic workout.  The focus of Pilates is strengthening the upper and lower abdominal muscles, lower back and buttocks called the "Powerhouse".  A strong "Powerhouse" stabilizes the torso, and allows the arms and legs to move more freely, increasing strength and flexibility.

No one can describe Pilates better than Joseph Pilates himself.  In his book, "Return to Life", he describes Pilates as, 

"complete coordination of body, mind and spirit.  Pilates is designed to give you suppleness, natural grace and skill that will be unmistakably reflected in the way you walk, in the way you play, and in the way you work.  You will develop muscular power with corresponding endurance, ability to perform arduous duties, to play strenuous games, to walk, to run or travel long distances without undue body fatigue or mental strain.  And this by no means is the end".  (p.6)

Pilates sessions are tailored to meet each client's needs, goals and physical capabilities.  We teach both men and women whose ages range from 16 to 80.  Because Pilates is personalized for the individual, everyone benefits.  Pilates allows you to be the best you possible.  The benefits of Pilates are endless and include: increased flexibility, strengthened and toned muscles, improved posture, increased lung capacity, uniformly developed muscles, improved range of motion, improved body awareness, increased energy, and a more balanced body preventing muscle and soft tissue injury

About the Authentic Pilates Certification Program

The teacher-training program for Authentic Pilates is rigorous. Prior to being accepted into the program, a student must complete a minimum of 75 private Pilates sessions, as well as interview and undergo an assessment. Once enrolled, students attend 3 weeks of intensive seminars taught by Romana Kryzanowska, her daughter and Master Instructor Sari Mejia-Santos, and Instructor Trainer Dorothee VandeWalle. The seminars provide students with detailed teaching techniques for more than 500 Pilates exercises and how to properly and safely use all Pilates equipment. These seminars, and the subsequent 600+ hours of apprenticeship, prepare the students to effectively teach clients in any physical condition. The program also requires students to pass three lengthy written and practical exams.

Pilates Southwest

Pilates Southwest is dedicated to providing our clients with the highest quality Authentic Pilates instruction.  Our focus is on the individual.  Sessions are customized to meet our client's goals and needs.   We use Gratz Pilates equipment designed according to the original specifications of Joseph Pilates' own equipment.  Pilates Southwest is a member of the Pilates Method Alliance, Romana's Pilates, the Pilates Guild and participates in required annual continuing education programs.

Holly Geringer received her certification in Authentic Pilates from Romana Kryzanowska, and has studied in Paris, Seattle, New York and Orlando.  She has trained professional athletes, people new to exercise, and clients suffering from injury and illness.  Prior to moving to New Mexico and opening Pilates Southwest, Holly lived in Seattle where she taught at Pilates Seattle International, elite health clubs, colleges and privately.

With all the hype surrounding Pilates today, it can be confusing trying to locate a reputable source.  Many people have jumped on the bandwagon, with various degrees of training that range from weekend certification courses to just a few months.  Although some may be talented teachers, many teach exercises based on ideas and concepts of Joseph Pilates work that are combined with elements from other techniques or methods of exercise.  These changes fundamentally alter the nature of the exercises.  They may resemble Authentic Pilates, but are really something very different.  As a client you put your body on the line so it's important to know the extent of your instructor's training.  Don't be shy to ask a studio about the qualifications of their instructors.



(505) 275-1009