Romana Kryzanowska June 30, 1923-Aug 30, 2013

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Early this morning, August 30, 2013, Romana Kryzanowska passed away. She was Joe Pilates' chosen protege and his method would not exist as it does today without her profound influence. A shining light who showed legions how to live through her spirited, loving and beyond all, enthusiastic joy for life, Romana trained all of the instructors you find on Pilatesology and these photos come from their personal albums. If you have photos of Romana that you would like to add to this tribute--please send jpegs directly to: Romana's legacy lives on through her daughter Sari Mejia Santo and her handpicked team who run her worldwide teacher training program. Find a training center near you at: Romana's Pilates.

What Others Are Saying


  1. carmen
    carmen 7 years ago

    I met Romana only once about 4 years ago at True Pilates in NYC. She was doing some filming and I happen to be taking a lesson at the studio (as a prairie girl from Alberta, Canada I was in the “Hollywood” of Pilates in NYC:). I even got so lucky as getting my picture with her! The next encounter I had with her was by way of taking my teacher training at the amazing Re:AB Pilates Studio by her spirit-filled students Brooke Siler and Cary Regan…I count it as a great privilege to have learned Pilates as it was taught to them by their teacher Romana!

  2. allan menezes 7 years ago

    I never met Romana having trained under Alan Herdman and brought Pilates to Australia in the 80s.
    Still, I feel having been in the industry for over 30 years and not from a ballet background, I have the deepest respect for all that Romana has contributed to all of us, including those not trained by her. I often mention her to my clients as a spiritedly lady who gave her all at all times to her passion. Her example will live on in all Pilates devotees. She is a part of our collective histories.

  3. soul_eil

    I never had the pleasure of meeting Romana, but every time I take lessons from
    a Romana trained teacher, you included, had an amazing Romana-ism or tidbit to share that was appropriate to what I was learning at the time. I am grateful to even have
    my 3rd generation connection. She comes through loud and clear when you who knew
    her speak her intent from your experience. She lives through all the memories everyone
    continues to share.

    • Alisa Wyatt Author

      Sunni, if she had met you I know Romana would have immediately zeroed in on your warm inquisitive nature and go-for-it attitude. I can see her now saying something like, “Oh this one’s a daredevil!” 🙂

  4. Tbara 7 years ago

    She accomplished so much in her lifetime I can’t begin to imagine how many lives she touched and people she helped. Positive energy and sympathy to her family and friends, to all of us who will miss her.

    • Alisa Wyatt Author

      You said it exactly–Romana had such a gift for making each person she met feel like they were unique and powerful.

  5. How sad and what a big loss……I met her only once and all I can say is that you can only be touched by such a beautiful personality and charism. Without her, Mr Pilates work would have never been transmitted with so much passion and love.
    I introduced Romana’s pilates in my country, Mauritius island, and I’m very proud to have contributed , in a humble way, and thanks to my amazing and generous teacher, Cynthia Lochard, to keeping the legacy and tradition alive. Thank you Romana !

    • Alisa Wyatt Author

      And thank you for bringing Romana’s work to Mauritius, another wonderful example of Romana’s inspiration worldwide.

  6. I couldn’t have said it better Danielle! From those of us Down Under, deepest sympathies to Romana’s family, extended family, all all those who were lucky to be taught from an inspiring woman! Thanks Cynthia Lochard and Chris Lavelle, and all of you, for continuing the work, the passion and the love!

  7. Brooke Fanning 7 years ago

    I had her as a teacher at SUNY Purchase…she was warm and wonderful and kind to us dancers…she also made us work to our best, and pushed us as well…today is a sad day…I pray for peace and comfort for her family….I will teach Pilates in her style which is to infinity and beyond!!

    • Alisa Wyatt Author

      Brooke, I can hear Romana’s encouragement in your words, she used to say that didn’t she? To infinity and beyond! What a gift to have had her as a teacher when you were in dance school, way back in the early days.

  8. valegriff 7 years ago

    Thank you for sharing. Her legacy and Joe’s will continue to live on and thrive through her dedicated students.

    • Alisa Wyatt Author

      Yes, they both created a life force that seems unstoppable. Here’s to Joe and Romana’s legacy.

  9. pmab8803 7 years ago

    God bless the soul and family of Romana Kryzanowska. I am grateful for her gifts and mission while on this earth. This is a very sad day for the pilates community. Romana’s legacy is forever entwined with Joseph Pilates, as he intended. RIP to a most beloved teacher.

  10. kseifert 7 years ago

    Rest in Peace Romana! I had the distinct pleasure of meeting (and arm wrestling!) her at Drago’s Gym in NYC years ago. It was an unforgettable encounter with the charismatic matriarch of classical Pilates that will stay with me forever.

    • Alisa Wyatt Author

      Arm wrestling! How I wish we had a video of that to share, thanks for this fabulous memory.

  11. Alisa Wyatt Author

    From the first moment I met her, Romana captivated me with her absolute joy for life. She gave me a gift of being able to fully know my own body and to (finally) truly enjoy it for the amazing apparatus that it is. I will forever remember her pushing me to lift higher, reach farther and go beyond my imagined limits. Pilatesology would not exist if it weren’t for Romana, this method would not exist without her. Thank you Romana for teaching us how to live. Her favorite words: “Love all around.”

  12. DonnaLongo

    Well said, Alisa. Thank you for sharing this sad news with us. I’m sure she touched the lives of many people in different ways, in my mind and heart, she will be be remembered as a caring, fun and generous person who knew how to live life with zest and pleasure! Thank you, Romana!

    • Alisa Wyatt Author

      Thank you Donna for your thoughts, you are absolutely right, Romana was a great example of a life well-lived!

  13. Danielle Katich
    Danielle Katich 7 years ago

    So sad I never got to meet her… over here in Australia I’m so thankful for Cynthia Lochard, my mentor and all of you… her students. Keep up what she started, and keep teaching us as she taught you! Romana’s Pilates will just keep getting stronger in her memory 🙂

    • Alisa Wyatt Author

      Danielle, you’re so lucky to have Cynthia! She’s one of Romana’s most trusted teachers and a gift to us all.

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