The Spring Pilates Post

The Full moon rises behind me while the sun setting shows Venus bright, bright above me in the sky, with snow mountains and water on my left and beautiful Russian friends on my right, I walk the path in Big Bear, thrilled by the air and flocks of birds flying in changing patterns and by strong health that has returned. Thought I was slowing down but invitations keep coming so I will leave my mountain fantasy and meet you in person to share my passion and experience to motivate and organize your Pilates body,equipment, and career.

Everyone else, just add in one good thing, like a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in your water glass or stretching in bed, and take out one bad thing, like fear or laziness & shut off the TV for music.

The Spring opens the Earth to new possibilities, walk, soak in water, watch a candle or fire to still yourself. to listen to your direction. Keep moving,stay in your trance and cross over the ocean of life, taking as many people in your boat as possible and,
“Don’t worry the One who rotates the Earth will take care of your affairs.(YB)”

With love from 7000 feet,

Siri Dharma Galliano

SDG available for VIP training in Big Bear or your studio

Stretch them! Work them out! Fix them! The entire Pilates System made Black and White simpler! Secrets and choices of success….

Want to work on feature films? Hollywood movie lots?
Travel the world with billionaires?
Produce workshops and conferences?
Buy,sell,change your equipment?
Understand the history of Joe Pilates, and what has happened the 50 years since he died? Be more confident?

Learn the differences in equipment brands?
How to make it safe and effective

Make it all just common sense practical?
Lift people’s butts instead of lick them?

My fire will inspire.
Don’t be political, be powerful and independent.




The Pilates Post December 18, 2016

You never know WHAT the Mystery has in store for you, certainly never imagined I would be sailing to Sweden, eating a Danish in Denmark every day, and taking a photo doing the mermaid next to the Little Mermaid!

Teaching is a destiny that can bring magic.

The desire to learn more on how to prevent pain, or take more responsibility is a wonderful energy.

When I ask all these teachers what do they NEED, the most common response is “Inspiration.” Results give you inspiration, and you as a coach,must inspire others. Pampering is not inspiring, Setting goals,having a plan is. In other pilates courses, too often you are on the sidelines watching, or listening to someone’s theory. Movement is what heals, not just the body, the sluggish will.

Make the system simple, just do what you need, and then find ways in your house or travel to keep technique. Stretch in the shower! Stand in the line!

I give out easy recipes for applying Pilates to the body and the body to the apparatus. Common sense formulas. Romana’s 3 R’s .

Language is important and I like what Joe Pilates called the exercises and equipment. It was not the Cadillac and Guillotine or Electric Chair. It’s the Rehabilitative Table, The Gym in the Door, and the Exercise Chair.

The equipment is a big key. Let me make it simpler for you using Joe Pilates original approach of “corrective and progressive resistance” meaning, the springs support you while the apparatus aligns you and strengthens you, for the healthy or not.

I hope you have Pilates not just in your head, but in bed and in your home.

Just “doing it” on my Pilates’ Spine Corrector  at 7000 feet,

Siri Dharma Galliano


The Pilates Post November 19, 2016

Hello ! How exciting for me to be out of the USA and be writing this from Denmark and Sweden(Thank you Sara and Petra!) I had no idea I would ever be at the top of the globe, and six year old Danielle never knew how much he loved Big Bear moose pajamas!

After meeting the incredible Romana in 1989, I joined her self-appointed mission to preserve the original method of Joe Pilates, not only educating, but enlightening teachers to the possibilities of independence from the mental and political games of the educators who are profit and dangerous control freaks. Rather then spending thousands of dollars going to the PMA or PTA, instructors who don’t want to waste money and time at a party walking the red carpet(really?) or pretending they are on a magazine cover (seriously?) are attending or producing intimate workshops for a marathon intensive review which uniquely includes an equipment checkup and studio makeover.

My impressions of Denmark and Sweden: people are whole here, in good marriages, good health and spirits, alot of men training in Pilates, teachers co-operating rather than competing. When in doubt, ask, are they giving me something or wanting something? Away from the Diva personalties, the Pilates System, under the kindness of the much used and abused Bob Liekens, is strong and correct with the Pilates Standard. I just help with my huge career in working with 50,000 bodies(and minds) and deliver humor, and warnings of equipment and people.

Join me: Carmel in June 2017, London in June and July, 2017.


For those of you completely distressed by politics, remember, on this planet, God is the government. I get strength, peace,and perspective from watching the night sky. Although Mars is the planet of War, Venus, the planet of Love, is always there, close to the Sun. Especially now. Trust the Universe.


The Pilates Post September 19, 2016

On top of the mountains at 7000 feet, I hike at sunset, watching Venus in the West rise in the sky, Mars appear brightly above me with its legend of war, and the Full Moon rises in the East. Literally, I still myself ,FEELING, it is the earth that is turning.

As the galaxies start to appear, my awareness goes up,opens, and looks down, down on the billions of people, and, billions of shit going on in their heads. I try not to take their craziness, or my own, too seriously. Today, saw a coyote, rabbit, hawks, lizards,a variety of birds,fish, insects, but am most affected by the wind as it whirls across the Pacific Coast, gasp as the gold and red leaves float down, and at their reflection on the low water of Big Bear Lake.

Nature and the Universe, the beauty and the Mystery, the senses and the pleasure, we are here for this. The trees are doing just fine, sharing the elements, why can’t we co-exist? These days I enjoy reading old yoga scriptures,practicing kriyas, trying to improve my cooking, watch athletes and children, and even though I have to battle the greedy and the grind, I remind myself, I just had Mass with Papa Francesco, had peace, self- forgiveness, and a wake-up call!

What I have learned and experienced in the real and subtle world…..these I would love to share, to give. Keep looking, not at all the creeps, but at the Creation.

Feeling blessed-
Siri Dharma Galliano

Romana Kryzanowska’s Favorite Champagne

hist_sign-yellowRomana Kryzanowska’s favorite champagne was Veuve Clicquot.

Most people don’t know that her original tradition of serving champagne came from Drago or Dracoutine-nobody could pronounce his real name when he came to America as a soccer player. His nickname was Lazo and nobody could pronounce that either so he involuntarily became Drago, a name he hated but it stuck.
In 1949, Drago worked for Nicholas Kounovsky, who taught his gymnastiks method downstairs from Joe Pilates’ Contrology Studio. Nick would give out incentives when someone achieved something, and when you did ten classes you got a glass of champagne.

In the 1970’s Romana, after teaching Pilates, would twice a week stop in on her way out of the building and for a half an hour flip around the rings, tumbling and hanging from her knees, swinging to relax before she would go teach ballet. Thirty years later when Romana would need a place to move the last of Pilates’ inventions and clients, Drago, who had opened his own gym on the sixth floor on 57th street between sixth and seventh avenue, would put one Reformer in a room, which was too small, so he knocked down a wall and soon, they had two, three, five, then eight Reformers. They continued the champagne tradition if it was someone’s birthday, for good health, payday on Friday, any excuse.
Drago was the partner and rock in Romana’s career, taking care of the appointments with a pencil, and collecting the monies at the front desk.
Having gotten to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Friday afternoon, September 13th early enough to light a candle, I had a good seat on an end pew and every time my eyes opened, I would see familiar and somewhat familiar faces. But when a man sitting up in the front reserved rows with the family, stood up his full white hair flipped the solemnness of the occasion into equal joy to see the heart of Drago on the face of Drago, Romana’s trusted partner, friend, and confidant.

The cathedral holds over 2000 visitors and it was packed. Mejo Wiggin walked by looking energized and instantly I hopped up and we embraced. Her independent career was on fire and she had just returned from Australia.
The legendary physical therapist Fatima walked by next, and after our greeting, it was exciting to hear she is now the Pilates coach to the Olympic skating champions! The Chicago factor was further represented by the dependable, delegate, Juanita.
Between time, surgery and different hairstyles, it was hard to recognize everyone. Two ladies wore workout outfits with “Power Pilates” emblazoned on their backs. Someone in a tight white sleeveless jumpsuit strutted her stuff down the 350 foot aisle like it was a runway or she was a bride, prompting someone from behind me to exclaim, “Didn’t she get the note this isn’t about her?”
But everyone recognized the dark redheaded Edwina escorted down the aisle, by the independent Moses Urbano, now residing in Berlin, as another burst of love murmured through the crowd. Edwina was just 12 when she met Romana, five years older than her, at the Balanchine School in the early 1940’s from where Edwina, had also been sent to Joe Pilates as an injured dancer. Decades later when she closed her own ballet studio and needed a job, Romana would give one to her and Edwina would arrive at the studio at noon, always reviewing the fundamentals for old and new timers. Someone asked Edwina if she was still teaching. “Well, why wouldn’t I be?” she quipped back.
It was time for the eternal and our eyes were lifted up and our ears fully attentive to hear the golden robed priest’s welcome. You would think he knew Romana the way he captured her in the eulogy:

St. Patrick’s Cathedral

“Most mortal people don’t do that much, ” was one of his many summations after talking to the immediate family , also acknowledging the grief of her absent son Paul and his family who stayed behind in Texas.
“Romana gave people jobs, instruction, set up an industry, and was an important part of people’s lives…” he continued, talking about how Jesus served and took care of people. ” When we die, “the father said, “God will look into our hearts and see if we helped, if we shared, if we offered others a hand” He presided over a sweet Mass and communion and blessings were offered as another priest’s beautiful devotional singing filled the old gothic cathedral. It was the regal and elegant ending of a lifecycle Romana, at 90, had wished for in the same church she had taken marriage vows seventy years ago.
I could feel her smiles at the “love all around ” her passing had, at least for a few hours, united with her death. I wept, not for Romana, but for her children who lost a mother, and the grandchildren who lost their grandma. I wept because we were fools. I wept for my father who I was finally able to let go in the sacredness and safety and certainty of that ceremony, and I wept for myself, for my doubts, for my darkness, and everyone’s separation from the One Soul.
The mass was over and the dignified Anthony Rabara spoke how Romana made each person feel special and no one was beneath her. Her great-grand niece, Monica further comforted us by sharing Romana’s last peaceful hours, taking the event to the next spiritual level of grace, and the mood was then lightened by the entertaining Michael Levy, whom the priest finally stood behind and had to ask, twice, to end his long reminiscences, as another group was scheduled after us .He didn’t step down, going on to share an anecdotal reference of dancers.
The profundity returned when Anthony carefully carried a large pink urn out and it finally hit home, the end of an era.
Afterwards still basking in the benediction on the Cathedral’s front steps in the heart of the city, the effervescent women and men kept introducing or reintroducing themselves, making alliances or avoidences as they landed back into their individuallness. There were Pilates husbands, people I didn’t know, many I did, delighted conversations, and embraces: the curious Ray from Santa Fe, Kathy Grant’s protégé the graceful Blossom, the warm hugs of the Colorado sisters, the light of Dorothee, who warmed up the litigious Sean Gallagher standing alone, watching, in a white Buddhist shirt. There was the jovial Jerome, the impish Tone and Michael, the humbled Rosencrans, the under recognized Joy George, the clever David Freeman, the giggly Romanette Pam, the chatty Cary Regan, the 5’13” Brooke Siler, the fortunate Mari Winsor, the always intelligent Alycea Ungarro, the gypsy Norma Jean who finally found a permanent home at the true True Pilates, the tiny, tenacious Joan Facciobene, and Brett Howard, Jay Grimes, and Jennifer Kries whom I had just hosted at the Big Bear Romana tribute a few short weeks ago and hadn’t expected to see again so soon.
To keep glowing in the fading bliss, I steered clear from and the stiff back of Peter Fiasco who had just dumped Clare Dunphy from his self-appointed list of experts. Clare, who had driven down from Massachusetts with her enlightened surgeon spouse, was somewhat confused by the high school antics and I assured her his authority and preferential judgments had no meaning considering the merit and notoriety from creating one’s own careers and we didn’t need to belong on anyone’s approved list.
It wasn’t just old timers: the next generation of younger, innocent teachers, like the Jet-Blue engineer Regina, and the delicate, affectionate Alexandra Bohlinger who just moved to, and came from, the UK zigzagged through the crowd. Lauren from Seattle came up to me and I was also delighted to exchange sincerities and possibilities with the beautiful, black Cynthia from down under.
It was impossible for everyone to see everyone that attended, and for many it was impossible to attend. I heard the South African engineer Basil was there and I would have liked to personally thank him for helping Romana for 13 years, and for teaching me a lot about equipment, and Gail Eisen, instrumental in publishing the first book on the Pilates Mat, and who gave me an original Joe written document Romana had entrusted to her. So thank you, Gail and Basil. (I also did not see the PMA there who plan on their own tribute, which is odd since Romana wouldn’t teach for them.)

Soon the crowd was getting into cabs and starting to walk the few blocks over to the studio some still affectionately referred to as Drago’s where the reception was being held. I was escorted by the confident and whimsical Jose from the Pilates Challenge, the handsome Italian Santo, and Russell, Gratz’s sales rep, discussing handstands and repaired shoulder rests, and strap lengths.
The reception at Tom’s Pilates, was illegally packed beyond capacity with over a hundred sitting on the floor watching a slide show of family photos narrated by the granddaughter shining through her pregnancy and being the recepient of so many condolences. She had politely and publicly asked the covetous Sean Gallagher to return the archival photographs and films Romana had loaned him , but if he did they were not part of the images, which included a youthful, light haired curly Romana draped in a fur coat clutching the hand of a tiny, tiny, native child, her daughter. Another hundred people began taking photos of each other, exchanging goodness and contact info and another hundred crowded in.
There were hundreds of stories, this one is just mine.

Although the wine had long ago disappeared , people were intoxicated just being there. I propped myself up between the parallel bars, which had very cleverly been turned into a bar next to all the multi stacked Gratz reformers and Sandy Shimoda, beaming in a royal blue dress, , kindly offered me her glass of champagne.
There was a final “Nasdarovia” for Romana and the crowd, collectively starving, started to thin out. The Annointed Pilates Union(APU) was having a predictable dinner I was predictably not invited to. I was much more interested in studying the white Electric Chair built by Joe Pilates and comparing its secret to the only other one built by Joe for Bendel’s that I had acquired.
Michael Johnson, recognizable from his sensible, sensually online videos, was at the other end of the studio talking with a long haired jeweled jester and wanting to complement Michael on his teaching style, I moved over, waiting for a break to introduce myself and offer my respect. The shorter of the two guys was Steve Giordano, now residing appropriately in Woodstock. This man I had never met, this man I had only read about in the trademark lawsuit, but I had bought my first Cadillac from him 20 years ago. Before we could discuss anything, Michael, who works with the 1% of New York’s wealthiest and oldest populations, indignantly replied one of his videos had been kicked off the popular Pilatesology website by Kathy Ross-Nash’s competitive opinion that he was not classically correct, so he would be removing the remaining videos out of principle.

“Why don’t they just rename the website, ‘The Red Thread?'” I joked, telling him I also had been removed, not for my teaching, but for my observations that she is not classically correct: unable to remove your arms from Chris Robinson during a three minute introduction, saying “good girl” every exercise as if students were like the dogs she breeds, and as the alpha bitch, she must dominate every pack, and, in a Teutonic system of minimalism, bragging she owns 20 toe correctors in different colors during a 40 minute foot class. Her ultimatum: she is the profitable star, therefore, fire me.
The men just laughed and I felt comforted to have found kindred souls, reinforcing it never benefits to join any Pilates Pyramid scheme. The talent, the unknown teachers of Romana numbers into the thousands and I was motivated to write about, promote, and invite more people to present to the non-classical world.
My adrenalin finally fell and exhaustion and hunger struck me from missing my flight, two days of standing by in airports, no sleep, changing in a Dallas bathroom and almost missing the memorial.
Politics and controlling people controlling people always makes me nuts and years ago Romana had personally referred me to her very special student Moses to keep me grounded and have a one-faced, friend. He was engaged with another of her favorites, Roxanne (Rocky), pure and perfect like poetry, absorbed now in being a mother, and not obsessing with Pilates and Pilates people . A refreshing concept.

Michael Johnson and Moses Urbano

With plans to continue the grace of the night by breaking the fast with my wise friend, Anna Strasberg, I grabbed a cab to central park west. Anna always felt better knowing Romana was in the world, who, with the work of Joe Pilates, had affected the lives of hundreds, thousands, and millions of people, as had Anna’s husband, the late Lee Strasberg. We always talked about the organizations, from the egos and the drama, to the responsibility and pure delivery of the teachings.
The compassionate Anna, no stranger to truth, insincerity, lawsuits or legacies, and I caught up with events over a nice home cooked meal served in her dining room.
Having crafted my first published articles in her apartment years ago she asked when my story of Romana and Joe would be finished.
I had been stuck for an inspirational, unsarcastic ending, but, had found it today, at church.

Siri Galliano. copywrited February 22, 2013

Tribute to Romana

She lived blessed and passed blessed in her sleep at 90.

100 people gathered for the Romana tribute (during the 2013 Big Bear Pilates Festival), with films shared by Barbara Ligeti and Brett Howard, and music and gymnastic performances.

Romana-certified teachers, myself, Jennifer Kries, and Carrie Macy shared their training tips from Romana with the Big Bear Festival attendees from around the world.

Romana, you would have loved the show and are forever in my heart and in my pilates body and work.  Thank you for 18 years for friend and mentorships.

I will share your generosity and love.