Founder of the Sheppard Method Teacher Training Program

Noted as one of the most sought-after Pilates Instructors in the world by both celebrities and individuals with life-changing injuries, Risa Sheppard is dedicated to the methods of classical Pilates and the many benefits that accompany the practice. While her life’s work is dedicated to helping others achieve personal perfection and maintain optimal health at any age, her practice and teachings are deeply rooted in the mind, body, and spirit connection as they tie directly to personal empowerment.

Risa began teaching “The Pilates Method” in 1975 where she fell deeply in love with the work and decided she would never look back. Having gained her formal Pilates training education by working directly with Ron Fletcher, legendary Pilates elder and founder of Fletcher Pilates®, Risa’s work undeniably incorporates the Graham-based elements of movement and dance into the equipment-centric structure of Joseph Pilates’ original creation.

Since then, her practice incorporates an understanding of the thoughts of the mind and how they affect our lives and bodies. Through every classical Pilates class taught at Sheppard Method Pilates, the trainings are based on teaching and healing, expression of the authentic self, and allowing the body to move in a fluid, efficient, powerful, coordinated, and relaxed manner. Through this method, it is Risa’s hope that the results will allow each client and student to move beyond their limitations, allowing them to feel more and more comfortable in their own skin. With this, Risa’s practice and The Sheppard Method is movement with grace, agility with beauty, and power with a gentleness that brings out your true inner spirit.

Not only is Risa the founder and owner of the Sheppard Method Pilates Studio based in Westwood, but she is also the founder and remains as one of the head instructors of the Sheppard Method Teacher Training Program, a Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) certified program with successful graduates who teach throughout the world.

Trained Under The Elders of Pilates

While there is an endless amount of incredible Pilates instructors, few have been trained under the elders of Pilates. Risa, on the other hand, began her Pilates career alongside Pilates Elder Ron Fletcher and is the only remaining instructor with a studio in Los Angeles who trained in his LA school. In addition, she continues to preach the original goals of Joseph Pilates as a restorative art

Mindful Movement: Heal Your Back Pain with BAM Therapy

by Dr. David Tannenbaum D.C. & Risa Sheppard
Risa Sheppard and Dr. Tannenbaum have poured over seventy years of combined experience in healing into Mindful Movement, along with cutting-edge medical research that supports Body and Mind Therapy (BAM). Read More:
Barnes and Noble
Apple Books

Notable Achievements

  • Some of Risa’s earlier classes can currently be seen on Pilates Anytime.
  • Risa travelled through Russia with Richard Simmons.
  • Risa is the inventor of the Wheel of Fitness, now known as the Ring Flex, which is sold worldwide.
  • Pilates Style Magazine named Risa Sheppard’s DVD, “A Gentle formula for a Strong Body” the best DVD for beginners.
  • Risa is a also a prolific writer on fitness having authored Risa Sheppard’s Fitness Formula for a Firm and Flat Stomach and is on the advisory board of Pilates Style Magazine.
  • Risa has been a Pilates instructor for many clients, which include Ashley Green, Katherine Ross, James Earl Jones, Jack LaLanne, Reba McEntire as well as studio executives, celebrities, professional dancers, and athletes. Her work continues to inspire and touch many thousands of lives by bringing out their very highest potential.


  • Formal Pilates Training, Fletcher Pilates®
  • Bachelor of Arts, University of California, Westwood

Features & Appearances