Mind & Motion

Spring Newsletter

Posted in Health, Inspiration, My Practice by Meghan Pickrell on May 2, 2016
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Here I am cutting the rug at my wedding

It’s May! I can’t believe summer is around the corner. Of course in LA that means a shift of about 20 degrees. Regardless, time is passing, as it should.

The year so far has been good to us. The studio has been steady: classes full, new clients coming in, people feeling better. It’s wonderful to watch self-discovery through movement and observation. You notice the pattern, you understand, you change, you feel better! You get stronger and feel accomplished. You are empowered. This is what we teach. It’s a blessing to experience this progression.

I have been working on my own movement practice as well. I’m resuming ballet classes, moving on the pilates apparatus and even went out swing dancing (an old hobby of mine) a weeks back. Years ago I went out social dancing weekly (several times a week, in fact). I was hooked. I traveled, met new people and was part of a lindy-hop community. It consumed a huge part of my life. It was tons of fun. Of course, I still love dancing and love the idea that I can cut the rug anytime, anywhere with any stranger who has the same dancing skills as I . The magical thing about social dance is that for a small moment in time (usually about the length of a 3 minute jam) you connect with this other person in a completely non-verbal way. The link is the music and how you are both hearing and translating the music. You are totally engaged in the cues you are receiving from one another. It’s conversation through movement. Sometimes it’s utterly thrilling and other times super intimate. After the song is up you say thank you and that’s it. You may not even know each other’s name. It’s wonderful. Everyone should experience it.

Whether your hobby is swing dance, rock-climbing, golf, running marathons, a regular pilates practice can keep you in the game. It keeps you able to do all the things you love in life. So, hopefully this summer brings a bit of adventure. Get outside, experience the world, try a new hobby! Come back to class, restore and then get back out there. I will see you in class. Happy spring! Meghan 😉

 

New Studio- ooohhh! ahhhh!

Posted in Blog news, My Practice by Meghan Pickrell on September 27, 2011

Here are a few pics of the new space. Carlos bought those cypress trees to frame either side of the door. I think they look quite nice if I do say so myself.

The waiting room. Let’s actually call it “The Library,” shall we? The bookshelf to the left is filled with exercise, anatomy and pilates books for your perusal. Soon I will serve tea for you to enjoy pre-session.

The studio – where you can get your sweat on.

The cadillac – where you can hang like a monkey (I know that’s been your life’s ambition)

The reformer – enough said.

Your educational tool in understanding how your joints articulate. Please visit my website to schedule for a free introductory class www.mindandmotionpilates.com. I’d love to have you.

Grand Opening Party

Posted in Blog news, My Practice by Meghan Pickrell on September 25, 2011

Yesterday was the grand opening of my new pilates studio, aptly named Mind & Motion, Pilates and Beyond. I kick started the day with free classes starting at 9am. Classes ended at 4pm and the reception was held that evening. My stepdaughter, the lovely Melina Hannemann, was kind enough to help out with the admin duties during classes and photographic duties for the party. Here are a few shots of the studio and party last night.

We have four reformers and a trapeze table…

The lovely Lucy playing with a blue ball, one of the many fun props we have at M & M.

The party in full swing

Gigi and I enjoying some wine

Sherri, Jane and I

Chatting with Linnea

Carlos with the very talented Paul Wehby.
My website is also up and running where you can book classes online www.mindandmotionpilates.com. Sign up for a free intro class when you have a chance.

My new wall!

Posted in Blog news, My Practice by Meghan Pickrell on September 2, 2011

 

So, since I posted last, I’ve had a bit of drama with a certain “yellow wall.” After a clever suggestion from my lovely future mother-in-law my yellow has a lovely fade. Now it looks like the sun rising. How cheery cheery. And, YES, those are my new reformers in the corner. Isn’t it calming? Ahhh…

 

my new studio in transition

Posted in Blog news, My Practice by Meghan Pickrell on August 29, 2011

So construction on my new space has begun! The past week has been insane: demolition, picking paint colors (urg), designing the new website, flyers, business cards, refinishing the apparatus and purchasing fun new toys from Balanced Body. Plus, all 3 of my neighbors in my 4-plex apartment are moving out! It’s been a lot. 🙂

I’m hoping to create a beautiful, warm, inviting space where you can come and focus on you- sounds simple, huh? Time will be spent on mindful movement, exercise and relaxation. What more could you want in your day?

Ohhh – it’s on!!!

Posted in Blog news, My Practice by Meghan Pickrell on August 21, 2011

Just after signing my lease at the new home of Mind & Motion pilates studio

I have some exciting news! What could it be? you ask? Well, I’ve just signed a lease for a brand new space on 3rd St. and La Brea. Mind & Motion (me) will be relocating in less than a month’s time. YAY! The new larger space will have room for intimate group classes of up to four people. YAY! AND… it’s conveniently located to Ralph’s as you can see in the above photo. YAY! I will keep you posted about my process as I make this charming space my new home. New posts coming soon… YAY!

The Pilates Moves…

Posted in My Practice, Pilates by Meghan Pickrell on July 24, 2011

I dragged Carlos into the studio this week to take a few photos of me on the apparatus. None of my promo material (in the past decade) has ever included photos of me performing fancy exercises on the apparatus. I always felt that showing advanced exercises as a teacher didn’t prove that you could actually teach, right? But, I caved. I figured I would model all of the fun moves we can do on the apparatus when you schedule your session. I’m trying to entice you to take pilates from me!!! It’s awesome people!

For instance, in the above picture I am hanging around the studio. Boy, I could do this all day.

Testing out my muscles… Trust me, I’m sore from this today.

Weeee!!!! This is quite fun!

Some variation of a teaser…

Performing the hundred. Next time I’ll video so you can see the sweat running down my brow…

Finally, this one is for the postcard.

Are you just aching to schedule a session???? Settle down, we generally don’t begin with these exercises. But, overtime you too can make your mother proud! And Joe Pilates will smile down from heaven. Have a wonderful week!

Perfect Posture

Posted in My Practice, Personal Essays, Pilates by Meghan Pickrell on June 18, 2010

I happened to be in the bay area over the weekend for a family gathering. I’ve been having some trouble with my lower back the past few weeks and it was fortuitous that I had planned on heading up north. My mentor, Carole Amend lives and works in Marin County and I scheduled a session with her. As some of you know, it can be challenging to always workout alone and an additional set of eyes, hands and a new perspective are always helpful.

After a warm welcome Carole began the session by asking how I was feeling. I told her my thoughts, ideas and frustrations with my back; when my scoliosis takes over, my paraspinals go on strike. Finding my way back to a more aligned body takes some re-education.

When I think of “alignment” I think of the anatomy bone chart and how the pieces should fit together. My understanding is that when the bones come together in a way where gravity is working in our favor than our muscles can work more efficiently. This is what we call proper alignment. It’s sometimes challenging to understand how far I am from this ideal. This is when a session is really helpful.

Carole had me simply lie on the floor with bent legs and began the process of helping to direct my body back to an aligned place. Through instruction, both verbal and tactile, I began to feel very crooked. This is always a good sign. I generally need to feel way off in order to find the middle. Leaning my bones into the ground, rocking, nudging and feeling my support I learned which side was tight. It’s always the opposite of what I think! Carole has such an insight into the body that she can tell me exactly how to move so that I’m firing my muscles appropriately. The muscles that need to contract, begin to hold and those that need to lengthen, stretch.

After my spine had a chance to unwind a bit, I rolled to my feet. Just lying there with some direction, (a little nudging, rolling and relaxing) my back felt so much more supported. I stood and felt that both legs were the same length. This is an amazing feat, trust me. I had Carole take a photo so I could see how straight my back was at that moment. Unfortunately, I don’t have a before picture but my legs look pretty darn symmetrical afterward.

Carole is the only person I have met that can direct my body to a healthy alignment. The hypertonic muscles begin to release and the hypotonic muscles tighten. This is what we call muscle balancing. She does all this with verbal cuing, instruction and some manual touch. She directs my movement so that I initiate appropriately, while feeling my weight and keeping my form. Hopefully, my clients have a similar experience after a session with me. Our goals are the same: to direct the body to a supported symmetrical place, where gravity is working in our favor. Once the body is balanced, no one piece has too much load. It’s just like engineering, the load is equally distributed. From there we can learn how to move those pieces in space.

I walked out of the studio with a mobile, pain-free back, in two hours time. Thank you Carole!

What I do…

Posted in My Practice by Meghan Pickrell on October 15, 2009

I treat every “body” the same when in my studio, not in terms of content but in terms of care. I do not assess, judge or fix. I look at the body at each moment in time. I understand process. I help guide the body (and person) I’m working with into a more efficient relationship to gravity, where gravity is asisting and supporting the skeletal structure. I start to wonder (I guess this is my way of assessing): does this body need more strength? Or more range? Does this body need relaxation? Or balance? And I wonder about the person: How does this person approach movement? Are they eager or reluctant? Do they tend to push or assist? Do they posture against support? What is their goal? Where is their focus? Questions such as these are continually explored during a session.

I get curious about a body even if the person has a neurological disease, injury, chronic pain, functional disorder or is totally healthy. Although certain conditions inform me about how to create boundaries, I look at each body with what it can do today, in this moment. I never doubt potential, the mind or miracles.

When asking someone to perform an exercise, I look for alignment, relaxation and a sense of focus. I want them to feel their support, remain grounded and aligned. I want them to feel the weight in the given exercise (we are usually working with moving some kind of weight, either a dumbell or a limb). You cannot tense and feel at the same time. It’s a contradiction. In order to sense the weight of your body or a prop you need to be relaxed. Relaxed with a readiness to move. Relaxed with intention.

It sounds a bit poetic, this little post of mine. However, there is something about that moment… the moment when you are relaxed, the moment when you get curious, the moment when you begin to feel. It’s poetic when someone starts to move their leg in a whole way, or realizes a place in space exists where pain diminishes. It’s sacred. I try to open up a space for moments like these, where awareness begins and a new patterns emerge.

My Office

Posted in My Practice by Meghan Pickrell on October 7, 2009

The waiting roomI just want to take a quick second to promote my office in West Hollywood. If you don’t already know, I work with a team of professionals at a quaint and charming office off of Willoughby and Fairfax, called Pacific Medical Group. One of the many unique features we have to offer is that we are located in a an old 1920s classic house. In fact, a white picket fence surrounds our building. Acupuncture, massage, psychotherapy, myofascial therapy and of course pilates, are some of the many services we offer. All of the practitioners (my co-workers) are really excellent. We treat myriad conditions and see people from all walks of life. AND, we take insurance! Yay! If you are dealing with any kind of chronic pain, functional disorders, lack of energy etc., email me. We can most likely help you. That’s why I have this blog. To serve you. Let me know what you need. http://www.pacificmedicalgrouponline.com