The First Lady of Pilates, showing how it's done.

The First Lady of Pilates, showing how it’s done.

Like many other Pilates teachers, I came to Pilates via an injury.  A car accident in my early 20’s left me with back and neck pain.   Chiropractic adjustments helped me manage the pain from the whiplash, but they didn’t stop the muscle spasming, which continued for the next 8 years.  Yup, a 15-second car accident can do that to you.  Fortunately for me, I eventually walked into a Pilates studio in Evanston, Illinois and met the woman who would change my life, Romana Kryzanowska

Romana and Joe in the 1950s

Romana and Joe in the 1950s

Within a month, 90% of my back pain was gone. This “older lady” obviously knew something about bodies, pain and how to get them fixed up. Within 6 months, I was so hooked that I shifted my work schedule so that I could apprentice with the grande dame herself.  You see, she’d been hand-picked by Clara Pilates to carry on the tradition started by Joe in the early 1900’s

Romana  met “Uncle Joe” as a teenager. She’s currently age 88 and is still teaching teachers, wearing high heels, drinking coffee and champagne and flirting shamelessly with all the men she runs into. I’m so fortunate to have met her just when I needed to.  

That’s Romana’s voice in the video background. The last exercise in this video is called Star — we’re working up to it in the evening group reformer classes at Nike!