Pilates Mat Assessment with Sandy Shimoda

Mat Assessment

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This class on the Pilates Mat work is directed at Pilates instructors who are looking to enter Vintage Pilates’ teachers program: The Work, led by First Generation Teacher Jay Grimes. In this assessment, Sandy Shimoda covers the exercises and skills that are required for entrance into the program. She teaches the session as she would lead an actual assessment, watching to see that her students know how to set up, how to practice the exercises, and how they might adjust the exercise for their own body. She also offers notes on what she is looking for in an assessment, for instance, where a movement originates or what she wants to see in a body as it works. Filmed at Vintage Pilates in West Los Angeles, CA.

What Others Are Saying


  1. LauraCotler
    LauraCotler 2 years ago

    Hi Sandy! I’ve been doing mat on my own and just revisited this–I can finally keep up with the pace! The last time I tried I was lagging so far behind!

  2. soul_eil

    Yes, thank you to everyone for sharing your assessment workout, no pressure there right?!? ! I felt privileged to watch, and I learned a few details also that I wasn’t totally clear on.

    • Sandy Shimoda Author

      Soul_eil, I agree, it is a privelage to see how Pilates looks and works differently on different bodies!

  3. CyndiMo
    CyndiMo 6 years ago

    This is amazing, and just what I needed today. I am going to put this is my bi-weekly mat rotation. I am learning to love mat. It was too hard for me for a long time, so I skipped it. But now it’s time! Thank you, Sandy

  4. CCpilates 7 years ago

    Thank Sandy!
    What a great workout and tips, you guide so wonderful.
    Wish you a Happy New Year!
    Greetings from Camilla in Stockholm

  5. CTSouthsea 7 years ago

    A really useful and encouraging video, especially the assessment tips as I head towards my first assessment with Amy Kellow of Everybody Pilates in UK. I find your style really informative and encouraging.

    • Sandy Shimoda Author

      Thank you! Pilates is very hard work but it should be enjoyable for your body to do. I wish you the very best for your assessment with Amy.;

  6. Martin 7 years ago

    Sandy, I noticed that in kneeling side kicks, two of the instructors had their hands on the sides of their faces as opposed to behind their heads, much like in “RTL”. Does Jay teach both variations?

    • Sandy Shimoda Author

      Hello Martin, Jay taught the hand position on the ear during his recent Mat Workshop for “the Work”. I find it helps me to open the chest and stabilize the shoulder/upper back for this difficult exercise. How does it feel to you?

      • Martin 7 years ago

        Hi Sandy! Great to know! I really enjoy it as well. I tend to have a tight chest and shoulders so the hand on the ear helps to open up my upper body while also giving me a deeper, and much needed, side stretch.

  7. lghammerle

    This mat class is inspiring to watch not only because the teachers did a great job with their workout, but also because they have such a strong motivation and desire to better themselves with entrance into the program. That internal dedication is inspiring to us all!

    • Sandy Shimoda Author

      Agreed! It is a thrill to see their progress in their bodies and as instructors. They are each wonderful in their own way.

  8. Sandy Shimoda Author

    Hi Colin, I am glad that you found the information interesting. I am grateful that these teachers agreed to show you how the work looks on their bodies as they work towards the goals of our program. It is my intention that all instructors who are interested in assessing into “The Work” have a good idea of what to work on. It is a demanding program and entrance into each workshop is the beginning of the learning.

  9. joesmat 7 years ago

    Very interesting indeed to observe these Instructors going through the mat exercises assessment which forms the basis of your assessment to gain entrance into your programme. Never thought I would seen this sort of thing being shared so openly.
    It is most generous of you. Thank you very much.

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