Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Romana's Pilates - Optimum Weight|
Actor: Romana Kryzanowska
Genres: Exercise & Fitness
Joseph Pilates developed a unique fitness system combining aspects of martial arts, gymnastics, yoga and ancient Greek training techniques, focusing on the coordination of the body, mind and spirit. Pilates pract... more »
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Authentic, Effective, and Proper Technique
Pilates Pupil | Gilbert, AZ | 08/22/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm a beginner/intermediate to Pilates and had been going to a local studio in AZ for about 2 months. My instructor just opened her studio so she was green too. At her studio, she teaches mat and Reformer. What I noticed is that when I left class I often hurt for days. Some things about the workouts just didn't seem right to me so I decided to check 'other' Pilates material: books, DVDs, etc. I even read material Joseph himself wrote. What I found was my instructor was one of the many that's churned out from some instructor-over-night certification class---and she didn't know much more than I did. She certified under Stott and I trusted they wouldn't certify them if they don't know what they're doing. Not true! Once I asked, "how should I be breathing?" I was told by the instructor..."I really don't think it matters that you breathe as long as you breathe." WRONG! In Joseph's writings he preached breathing is essential and is always done through the nose, never the mouth. He spent a lot of time going over the dynamics and impact of breathing to get the optimum results from the workout.
After purchasing Romana's DVD, I am certain I'd be headed for life long back pain and injury if I continued to let some just-certified(incorrectly)-instructor teach me poor technique. I feel that Romana's DVDs teach the proper techniques safely and that they help you execute each move to get the intended and maximum results. By doing the moves correctly, you're gaining strength, flexibility and a better body.
I read the reviews where people complain..."oh there's only one workout." You want variety....don't be cheap---buy another DVD. For my $15, it's the best money I've ever spent and it will take me time to master it. If you went to her studio to learn this very session, you'd be paying a lot more than $15--so what really are you complaining about?--the fact that you can't do the workout? Stick with your $15 DVD; it'll come. Romana has saved me from injury and given me a better workout. After all, Joseph Pilates only created so many moves to be executed in a particular order on the mat. True Pilates is done exactly this way and took he and his pupils, like Romana, years to master. Hell....if you're bored or have outgrown the mat, get a Reformer or advance to another apparatus. This is pure common sense! When you passed the first grade you didn't stay there....you went to 2nd grade.
Oh and by the way, for those who complained about it not being a weightloss program. I was a size 14 two months ago and now wear a size 10. Go figure...my doing the ONE workout helped me lose weight. I concentrate on the moves and apply myself each day I play the DVD. I improve DAILY. I plan to continue use of Romana's DVD, master it and move to the next level.
I think people should have realistic expectations and want to do Pilates for all the right reasons. It's seems that many of the poor reviews that were written came from people who either already worked out with Romana or are practically instructors themselves. Give me a break! The rest of us millions of average everyday people haven't been to Drago's gym or had lessons with Romana. You should consider yourselves blessed. The majority of the population would get GREAT benefit from this DVD, so your viewpoints were found biased and downright unimportant. If you're dedicated to your form and the workouts 3-4 times a week, you CAN change your body and the way you feel about yourself. I am emerging a better me thanks to THIS DVD! I recommended it to anyone desiring better health, strength and above all attitude. I have chosen Pilates and it is a lifestyle change for me. I am so excited about what's to come for me for integrating it into my everyday routine! My only wish is that I could one day meet Romana and share a workout or two under her instruction. She is truly an amazing lady!
Excellent high-intermediate Pilates practice
dnk | Boston, MA United States | 06/29/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Romana Kryzanowska is such a controversial person: on the one hand, she is revered as the person who received Joseph Pilates' blessing to carry on his teaching and methods, while on the other hand she is seen by some as turning a system of exercise into a secretive discipline. With those prejudices in mind, I waited a long time before I got my hands on this release. Now I'm very happy with it.
Romana comes across as matter-of-fact but with an appropriate sense of humor as she guides Petie, the participant for this video, through the routine. While the staples of the Hundred, the Rollup, and Single Leg Pull are included, she leaves out 3 of the 5 Stomach Series movements. However, although she leaves out the Rollover, she includes really tough exercises like the Full Corkscrew, the Jackknife and the Leg Pulls. Because of this, I would call this high intermediate, but I wouldn't quibble about calling it Advanced if someone insisted. As she instructs and corrects Petie through the movements, she makes knowing comments about the differences between the Rollup and the Neck Pull as well as remarks about some exercises she personally dislikes (Swimming, and possibly the Side Series Bicycle- perhaps Romana is predisposed to a weak back?). Her insights, though small and offhand, are valuable.
What I enjoyed most about this was how, even though the "workout" proceeded quickly (17 minutes?) and Petie was sweating halfway through (I need someone to explain to me why Pilates won't help with weightloss, because I always work up a sweat), she made it seem, if not effortless, not only enjoyable but also beautiful- no other way to describe it. People shouldn't, of course, feel that they have to do a certain discipline solely because of the way it looks, but I must admit that does add to the charm. The real pull, of course, are the results you can get from Pilates.
Having seen the footage of Romana at the age of 80, I can honestly say that I am in awe and that I want to be just like her when I grow up. Very flexible and very strong- it would be an achievement to have her strength now (I'm in my thirties), much less fifty years from now- she is living proof of what regular Pilates can do."
Unique Pilates experience with one of Joseph Pilates' origin
Beth Cholette | Upstate NY USA | 12/11/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This video is part of a series by Romana Kryzanowska a student of Pilates founder Joseph Pilates and in fact the heir to his original teachings. Now in her 80s, Romana is simply amazing--a guru, a diva, and an inspiration all rolled into one. This DVD offers documentary footage (including "History of Pilates" and "Romana: Keeper of the Flame and Force of Nature"), and it is incredible to watch both Romana and "Uncle Joe" at work.
Of course, this is also an exercise DVD, and to me, the workout did not disappoint. In the main practice, "One on One with Romana," Romana leads a female student, Petie, through a Pilates mat series. This is a flowing segment which I would rate at a low intermediate level, with the most challenging exercises being the neck pull and the jack knife (oddly enough, though, the rollover is omitted). Romana sticks mainly to the classical Pilates sequencing, going from the hundred, roll up, leg circles, and rolling like a ball to the single leg stretch, although she skips the rest of the series of five to move into the spine stretch forward, open leg rocker, corkscrew, saw, swan dive, single and double leg kicks, neck pull, jack knife, an abbreviated side series, teaser series, hip circles, swimming (which she makes a point of saying that she does not like!), the rarely-seen leg pull (face down and face up), kneeling side kicks, mermaid, seal, and final stretch. Romana is quite humorous in her instruction, and I loved the little tips she provide here and there (although her comments sometimes resulted in an uneven number of reps being performed from one side to the other). Overall, I thought the workout had a very similar feel to Winsor Advanced Body Slimming; Mari Winsor, one of the many Pilates instructors interviewed for this video, was clearly influenced by Romana. In addition to Romana's coaching, there is also occasional voiceover commentary providing additional information, and a graphic comes on screen announcing each upcoming exercise (I thought that both of these techniques served to break up the flow of the workout a bit; I would have preferred listening to Romana only). The entire sequence is about 20 minutes long.
A second workout option is "Workout with Petie." Here, student Petie repeats the above mat series on her own to voiceover instruction only. The transitions between exercises flow more quickly here, and the workout time is a bit shorter, about 16 minutes total. Although the reps are even here and it is a well-designed workout overall, I definitely missed Romana's presence, and so I will turn to this version only when I am short on time. Finally, the DVD offers a few bonus exercise segments, including "Wall Alignment Warm Up," which has three students demonstrating some simple stretches at the wall, and "Around the Clock with Kathi," in which student Kathi performs the double leg stretch while revolving in a circle (ie, the outline of a clock).
I'm not sure that I'd want to collect all the DVDs in this series (this is the only one I've tried so far), but I'm definitely happy to have acquired this one. Although the workout itself probably only rates 4 stars, working out with Romana is definitely a 5-star experience."
Interesting Glimpse Into Romana's Teaching Of Pilates
Yoga Dad | 10/30/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have been doing Yoga daily for close to 10 years and have been doing Pilates every day before my Yoga practice for a little over a year. Pilates has made a huge difference both in how my body looks and feels and is a great compliment to a Yoga practice.
I currently have 35 Pilates DVD's and over 100 Yoga programs (between VHS, DVD and CD audio), so I'm a person whose practice is home based (aside from the weight training I do at the gym in addition to home). I just mention that to show my familiarity with using media for my Pilates and Yoga practice.
There is a session led by Romana which is longer and more detailed and then a separate one with Petie (led by a voiceover) which flows more and is only about 16 minutes long (it's the same session but much shorter because of the way it is paced). In the Romana led session (which is a "live" session, not a voice over) she points out certain details that helped me further work on my form in the exercises and I also thought her personality was very encouraging. She certainly knows her stuff and yet has a light hearted and joyfulness regarding the Pilates method.
I'll probably use the voiceover session more frequently because of the flow and the shorter length of time and use the Romana one on one session occasionally just to keep my practice in check.
As far as the whole "weight loss" thing, that certainly seems to be a marketing deal. Of course a person who is sedantary who does this should have some weight loss just by virtue of not being completely sedantary anymore. Still, I don't find Pilates to be a calorie burning practice as much as it is a strengthening and coordination (neuromuscular) practice.
I would rate this as an early intermediate practice though some of the exercises are treated in a more advanced manner than most of the other intermediate programs I have (such as lifting off in the "corkscrew" and her treatment of the "Teaser" in which she has you lower and raise the legs).
For me the documentary section w/ footage of Joseph Pilates himself was really interesting. In fact, when I saw that was included when I read the cover of the DVD it was what made me make the final decision to purchase it. I was also intrigued by seeing how Romana led a session as well.
I guess depending on what you are looking for in a Pilates program will determine if you think this program is for you.
I tend to like to mix my Pilates practice w/ more "classic" Pilates one day with a more Pilates "inspired" practice the next, this seems to work best for me because it keeps things interesting and my body doesn't do the same exact movements day after day."