Hands On Pilates W/ Sandy Shimoda

Use of Hands in Pilates Part 1

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This is the first in the series of workshops on how to use your hands while teaching Pilates. With 8 years of Thai Yoga massage experience, Sandy Shimoda is a strong proponent of the use of hands as a powerful communication tool. Some of their many applications in Pilates include helping your clients stretch more, feel more strength, giving them feedback and stabilization, or guiding them to a certain direction or feeling. In this episode Sandy focuses on the use of your hands in stretching your client. Filmed at Vintage Pilates.

What Others Are Saying


  1. kdoc 2 years ago

    Thank you for this video. I found it extremely helpful. My client asked for a session that was strictly stretching. By incorporating the technics that you demonstrated with actual Pilates exercises and with stretch-oriented exercises on the reformer and Cadillac, he was pleased with the result. I was pleased with the method.

    • Sandy Shimoda Author

      Great news! The more your client gets used to moving with length, using the exercises to stretch and strengthen, the better he (or she) will feel and the more he (or she) will love Pilates!

  2. amorepilates 2 years ago

    Reminds me of my massage days.
    My question is, when you have the knee/thigh on the spine, is it actually on the spine or is it beside the spine? In massage we’re taught to not touch the spine, as it normally hurts going along the bony processes, but seeing that this is more of a static supporting hold, that may not apply, but I’d like to be sure. I will also practice this and get some feedback. Thank you Daniela

    • Sandy Shimoda Author

      Hi Daniela,

      Great question! I use both techniques depending on the body in front of me. Surprisingly, placing the knee on the spine usually feels even better than the sides of the spine if you allow the knee to assist in the lifting of the spine while allowing the client to do most of the work. Since the client is vertical and you are not bearing weight on the spine, your massage experience will allow you to feel how much gentle pressure to apply when lifting. Try it, and let someone try it on you!

  3. nicoletta

    I love it Sandy, thank you! Really good to learn! it is like you have anatomy in your hand,! Day by day hands go by them self in right way When they know what is the goal ….. Grazie molto utile

    • Sandy Shimoda Author

      Ciao Nicoletta!!! Enjoy using your hands to guide you toward your goal. Hopefully I will be able to use my hands to hug you soon! much love, Sandy

  4. Luna
    Luna 4 years ago

    I enjoyed your video so much because I am interested in using my hands during teaching pilates also I like hands on of Alexander Technique. After your hands on, they do perform 3 series more natural and effortless. I am looking forward to seeing your next video about hands. Thank you Sandy!

    • Sandy Shimoda Author

      Thank you for your feedback! I love teaching hands on techniques and am so happy you are finding it useful.

  5. Erica Van Stralen
    Erica Van Stralen 4 years ago

    Thank you so much, Sandy and beautiful models! This was so nice to see. Hands-on teaching is one of the things I am trying to do more in my classes. It’s such a powerfull tool, sometimes even like magic!

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