Use of Spine Shapes with Sandy Shimoda

Use of Spine Shapes in Pilates (with Italian translation)

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Join Sandy Shimoda in this foundation-building workshop to learn all there is to know about the role of the spine in Pilates. Spinal shapes are a great teaching and learning tool for their ability to train your eye to look to the center of the body - where all movement originates. In this workshop, Sandy explains how you can use the movement of the spine to tell if an area is blocked, tight, weak or imbalanced, and to determine what kind of help the body needs in order to find the necessary connections and restore its optimal movement. To get the most out of this workshop, bring a mat and be prepared to work - the greatest part of the learning experience requires your active participation in exploring and finding each particular movement within your own body in order to fully understand it. Visit Sandy at Vintage Pilates in West Los Angeles, CA.

What Others Are Saying


  1. Parthenope
    Parthenope 2 years ago

    Beautiful and very useful Worksop.
    Thank you Sandy!!!

  2. Noor
    Noor 4 years ago

    this is so insightful Sandy thank you so much! it makes me look at all the exercises differently now.
    Its just recent that I’m starting to see all the 5 Shapes and finding my way into them while I’m doing the work.
    I have heard you mention it a couple of times and also attended a workshop of yours explaining them and how to use them as a tool; but now that I’m experiencing the work everyday in my body it just somehow starting to click!! (At least I hope it is!)
    It’s making more and more sense to me. I see things differently now which is making all this very exciting!!

  3. Luz Alejandra Lovern

    Beautiful and very useful Worksop. Thanks Sandy always learning from you. Beautiful morning stroll too; love the nature and the delicious fruits that we got it! The pine cone that I collected is in front of me right now. Thanks to Joe Pilates; to give the opportunity to keep loving snd moving xx

  4. arlene
    arlene 4 years ago

    So much insight here, a goldmine really. Mahalo Sandy for sharing how to simplify as a learning tool to better understand the immensity of Joe’s work. It’s very easy to make it all more complicated but the ultimate challenge is to simplify our objectives and develop a strong sense of what is important. I am so grateful that you are teaching me and helping me get closer to what Joe wanted this work to do.

    • Sandy Shimoda Author

      Arlene – so glad you are finding this useful. Let it be the beginning of many many ways to simplify.

  5. tanyapaty 4 years ago

    Yes! I understand 🙂 Thank you for your replies. I used your workshop as my focus when teaching my sessions this afternoon. Transformative! Very exciting.
    Thanks again 🙂

  6. tanyapaty 4 years ago

    I wonder if you have identified a 6th Pilates spine shape: The 100 shape. A flat lower/mid back and flexed or curled upper back with head in alignment with the upper body to protect the neck and get into the abs as you were talking about in the pull-ups on the trapeze. We see this shape so often in the work.

    • Sandy Shimoda Author


      Okay – now you are starting to understand that although the concept of spine shapes is easy, it isn’t simple. The exercises are all combinations of the shapes that we want the spine to move through, but the spine shapes are round, tall, side bending, arched (or back bending), and twisting. I use the term “spine shapes” to simplify the way you see the body. If you add a spine shape for every combination of shapes we use in Pilates, you are back to complicating the way you see the body, Does that make sense?

  7. tanyapaty 4 years ago

    Thank you Sandy! You have given me a new depth of understanding of ALL of the exercises. I see now that I was looking at spine shapes in many of the exercises, but not all of them. I will now begin teaching about “spine shapes” in my classes so that my clients can discover the work in their bodies more deeply and I can “teach less”. Wonderful!

    • Sandy Shimoda Author

      Hi Tanyapaty, I am so excited that you are understanding and applying the spine shapes in your teaching!

  8. joesmat 4 years ago

    Well done Jack and thank you.

  9. joesmat 4 years ago

    No video in Scotland!

  10. Sandy Shimoda Author

    Thank you blspilates! Jack and Alisa, I also don’t get any video. Thank you!!!!

  11. blspilates 4 years ago

    There is no video. I only get the description. Is it just me?
    Thanks, Bette-Lynn

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