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
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.
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.
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".
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
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 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.