Sheppard Mat at Sheppard Method Pilates

At a Glance:

Address: 2180 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025
Class Length: 60 min
Price: 1 mat class/$20, 10 mat classes/$150, 1 reformer class/$35, 10 reformer classes/$300, Studio also offers Zumba and mixed packages
Sweat Scale: medium
Energy Level: low

First off, I’d like to thank my Mom for all of those strict pilates DVDs she bought me as a teenager. Woman- you have saved me from embarrassment in this newfound world that we call ClassPass. I’d taken a different mat class here before (with Lisa, who was a joy), and was stunned to find out that I really did know all the moves. I knew immediately I had to try what is considered the namesake class.

Pre Sweat

This studio is small but in a great spot for Westsiders. It has very easy parking and the other businesses around them are a perfect fit (acupuncture and healing). The waiver is short, so you need arrive only 10 minutes early- but definitely be on time (we did some of the best moves first). I noticed many locals were there for physical rehabilitation, and this studio has a great setup for that. I was thrilled to learn that Risa Sheppard, the founder, would be teaching this class. According to their website, “The Sheppard Method is classical Pilates with a personal touch which includes: teaching and healing, expression of the spirit, and practice allowing your body to move in a fluid, efficient, powerful, coordinated, and relaxed manner.”

photo 1 photo 3


We did a lot of classic Pilates moves like hundreds and planks to warm up the body. Risa really wanted everything to flow so sections of the workout had moves with repetition. She was very attentive (small class sizes with a maximum of 10 people) and would pause and gently maneuver when she saw something out of place. Her manner was gentle, focusing on safety, and applauding your successes. Risa made jokes in-between moves about the fact that we weren’t robots, or how in our everyday lives we don’t always use our glutes (how else can we get a beautiful booty?), and finally touching on the fact that this is the type of Pilates you can do well into your 80’s! We then did what she called the “Sheppard Swoop”, a sweeping arm and leg section with round motions (you can feel it working), which I had never done before. This wasn’t a particularly challenging workout, but overall but a great experience, refreshing, toning, and perfect for tuning your form.

photo 2

Post Sweat

I love, love, love this little joint down stairs, ironically titled “That Pizza Place“—you can’t beat their lunch specials. The nail salon in the complex is very friendly and gives a good mani. Across the street are The Bigg Chill (froyo) and Poquito Mas. This studio is very close to the Westside Pavilion Mall, where they shot Clueless (Yes, I have pretended to live that fantasy) and currently New Girl and Modern Family. While there, check out The Landmark Theatre, which is fantastic.

Tricks of the Trade

  • I wouldn’t take this as a brand-spanking new beginner, we moved at a slightly faster pace compared to some other mat pilates classes.
  • Keep a lookout for Risa’s dog, Sophie, who is pretty adorable (as seen in the photo).

Give it upAbout the Author: McCall is an Actress/ Makeup Artist (currently working for Sephora), living in the heart of West Los Angeles. She is addicted to dark chocolate, Arctic Zero Dairy-Free ice cream, and a good dose of movie theater popcorn (specifically at The Landmark). Her ultimate ClassPass adventure would be either trapeze or horseback riding lessons. But overall, she’s down to try anything. If you see her at a class, or even at work, feel free to say hello!

Follow McCall on Twitter and Instagram: @mccallschenthal

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