This coming weekend marks the 25th Anniversary of Pilates Seattle International. When we first started the studio up on Capitol Hill, we were one of a handful of “classic” Pilates studios on the west coast and one of the few in the country who had made the commitment to Romana Kryzanowska to become a center for instructor certification. Equally important was our ability to offer Physical Therapy, especially by Physical Therapists who are certified Pilates instructors.
Now when you drive around any one of Seattle or Edmonds or the Eastside’s expanding neighborhoods, you are almost certain to find a Pilates studio right next to the neighborhood dry-cleaner and Starbucks. In business for 25 years, we take a certain amount of pride in the knowledge that many of these studio owners and practitioners were originally trained at PSI.
Every year Romana, Joseph Pilates’ longtime student, would visit PSI. We’d all be on our best behavior and Romana would put us through our paces with thoughtful often humorous but rigorous workshops and training sessions. Instructors didn’t receive their certifications until they had been observed teaching by Romana herself.
We all truly loved and respected her, she was more than the embodiment of Joseph Pilates’ exercise philosophy. She was our inspiration. She is often quoted as saying that Pilates is “stretch with strength and control, with the control part being most important because that makes you use your mind.”
This weekend two teacher trainers Cynthia Lochard and Cynthia Shipley, both devoted students of Romana’s, continue her tradition of upholding Joseph Pilates’ teaching standards by offering workshops and lessons. PSI is firmly committed to hosting quarterly training sessions for apprentices and clients alike with guest instructors. We’ve done this consistently since 1993. Read more about this weekend’s sessions.
PSI has moved three times since our early days on Capitol Hill. We’ve weathered the boom times and a couple of recessions. Now nestled on Dexter Avenue North, we are busy training a whole new crop of apprentices. There are six dynamic Pilates-trained Physical Therapists in residence. And we take great satisfaction in the fact that on any given day a client who has been with us for most of those 25 years is working out on a reformer alongside someone who may be trying Pilates for the first time.
When we first had the crazy idea of starting the studio, we never had any doubts. We knew it would be hard. Landlord issues, cash flow, changes in the insurance industry. But we also knew we’d be surrounded by all kinds of people from all walks of life – dancers, football players, desk jockeys, people who were dealing with all kinds of issues – recovering from injuries, needing to build strength and/or maintain physical fitness. We knew that Pilates would help them all because we believe that Joe was on to something. As he said: “Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness.”
So when we say “enhancing the quality of life through exercise,” we really mean it.
Please join us on Saturday, June 16 at 6:45 pm for a reception in the studio. We will raise a glass to Romana and to all those clients, teachers and apprentices who have come before, are with us now and who will help define the next 25 years.