Sandy Shimoda

Sandy Shimoda

I am not sure if we create our destiny or if we spend a lifetime making peace with it.

I haven't often known what I wanted or manifested my world intentionally, but I have done pretty well at staying true to myself and my heart's wisdom.

For me, it began by building a relationship with my heart. When I was a young girl I looked inside myself for guidance because it felt like a safe place for exploration. My wants were quiet and protected inside of me. There, they could grow and change without needing approval.

My heart loved to dance, and my mother guided me to dance concerts and classes where I could experience a feeling that would bring me joy for my entire life. Dance helped me access the most treasured parts of my being, and I believe it always will.

When I dance I feel free, happy, and in flow with the world around me.
I will always be grateful for the decades spent getting paid for freedom and happiness, but I do have a secret I'd like to share. I couldn't admit that I was a dancer - for years.

Most of my dance jobs lasted from one day to one year so I always considered them temporary. When a stranger asked what I did for a living, I would say, "Well right now I am working on..." During my years spent dancing, and sampling life in other cultures while working abroad, I discovered new loves and untapped parts of myself. I found that I had a sense of design and aesthetics and an attraction to textiles, color, and space. I learned to trust my intuition in work, in relationships, and in play.

When living as an American in Germany with Japanese, Hawaiian, and Chinese cultural influences, I cobbled together my own moral code - all based on the discovery that if every culture has a different idea of absolute right and wrong, then there is no absolute. It was during my years away from home that I asked myself important questions that would lay the foundation for the years to come.

Upon my return to the U.S., I wasn't prepared to feel like a misfit in my own country. It took a couple of years to feel comfortable in my skin while keeping my belief system intact and releasing the need to fit in. Had I not come home, I may not have pursued Pilates, and I certainly wouldn't have met the mentors that have filled my cup with their guidance and wisdom over the years.

Pilates intrigued me. It caught my heart's attention immediately. I can't describe how, but I remember hearing a voice inside of me saying that I would teach it one day. Not asking, not wondering, just telling me. So I put it out of my mind, traveled the world, and ten years later, found myself studying at a unique and wonderful training center in Seattle.

Pilates tapped into the part of me that loved to help others. I had been teaching as a dancer for years, but Pilates transformed the way people felt about their bodies, and in their bodies. Since my very first day as a Pilates teacher, I have seen it as a privilege to use my natural love of movement to help others move better.

What makes Pilates so special is that the structure has been laid out for us by Joe Pilates. It is when we work as individuals, using the structure (which Joe called a method), that the transformation takes hold. Every body is unique, as is every discovery, but no matter what, it always takes a lifetime.

Was it destiny that led me to Pilates? I believe so, even if there have been chunks of time where I wished I hadn't listened to my heart. Not because I lack love for it, but because I am never done learning, and it is never done teaching.

Sandy Shimoda
Owner of Vintage Pilates

Sandy Shimoda