Mind & Motion

Bride Beautiful

Posted in Personal Essays by Meghan Pickrell on July 19, 2012

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I’m so sorry for my absence these last few months. I’ve had my hands full, to say the least, with running Mind & Motion and planning my wedding (another career within itself). I’ve also been dealing with some health issues which I’ll delve into in another post. Amongst all of this insanity, I’ve been hearing from those older and wiser, to “Enjoy this time. You will only plan your wedding once.” My response is simply, “Thank God.” I mean the pressure is just a little high at the moment and I’m hoping to not end up like a ringing kettle. I’m supposed to be glowing. Isn’t that what they say when you are in love? Instead I feel a little dry and exhausted. So, how am I getting “Bride Beautiful?” I figured I should be dieting, exercising like a maniac, buffing, scrubbing and facial-ing in order to get ready for the big day. But alas, none of this has happened. Instead I’m trying Quigong. 

Quigong is a practice of aligning breath, body and mind in order to move energy. It’s a centering and healing practice. When I’m practicing I feel open and connected to my body, breath and the universe. My goal is to have more “me” time. I’m taking long walks, sleeping at least 8 hours a night, eating healthy meals (with the help of the amazing chef Carlos). I’m also trying to find ways to let go. The apartment doesn’t always have to be perfect and ordered. A little messiness is healthy. I lost my wallet this week and have kept calm, knowing that it would return…and it did! (This is very out of character for me. I usually would have every card canceled and replaced by now). I know that by incorporating a laid back attitude will help also help me to relax on the wedding day. The wedding will proceed in the manner that it’s supposed to and it will perfect in it’s own perfect way. 

Morning Latte

Posted in Nutrition by Meghan Pickrell on April 11, 2012

This is a photo of my morning latte! (You can tell I’m running out of material, huh?) I received a Nespresso pod coffee maker (Carlos says it’s cheating) for Christmas. Every other morning I pop in a pod, froth a half cup of whole mike, add a touch of maple syrup (delicious) and have an amazing latte. I try to alternate between coffee and green tea. Studies have shown that a bit of caffeine before exercising will help burn fat. I’m sure that’s helpful for all of us. So, enjoy a latte before your morning workout.

A Present At My Door

Posted in Nutrition by Meghan Pickrell on March 11, 2012

Every other Thursday Carlos and I receive a bundle of local organic produce from Farm Fresh To You, a company that delivers of- the- season produce. This weeks box contained kale, lettuce, mushrooms, celery, spinach, oranges, mandarins and yams. Our box will usually feed us a few dinners and provide snacks for the week. Not bad for around $30. I like eating organic produce, I like lowering my carbon footprint by ordering from local farmers, but best of all, I like that it’s delivered right to my doorstep.

Jonathan’s Hundred

Posted in Fitness Tips, Health by Meghan Pickrell on February 17, 2012

 

It’s Friday… ahhh. Here is a little inspiration for the weekend. My client Jonathan is modeling the hundred for us in this little video I shot this week. Doesn’t this make you want to go to pilates? Have a wonderful weekend!

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Cat-like Reflexes!

Posted in Health, Inspiration, Pilates by Meghan Pickrell on February 10, 2012

Here I am at the studio balancing my weight on my hands. This is one of the postures I've been practicing in yoga.

I’m often times learning something just at the appropriate time to introduce it to my clients. When first starting to teach I already had a decade plus of movement experience to draw from in order to help impart wisdom to my clients. As an apprentice, I was stilling learning pilates and how cue the body in a specific way.

Now, as a seasoned teacher, I find that as I continue to learn within my own body, I continue to find new ways of imparting information when teaching. I started taking regular vinyasa yoga classes at Liberation Yoga up the street from my house. It’s a very charming yoga studio and it’s a great escape for me to go and practice there. No one knows that I’m a teacher. I am an anonymous student and it feels liberating. A new yoga practice has give me the ability to try new movements, new relationships to gravity (yay- inversions!) and a newly acquired sense of agility.

Part of what is great about pilates, yoga, dance, martial arts (I could go on…) is that we begin moving our body in ways not thought as possible. My upper body is finally getting strong from all of those forearm stands and chatarungas. The strengthening was much needed. But also came the idea that I can move in such a variety of different ways with confidence. My body is learning, and so is my mind.

Take this lesson to heart. The more you practice a variety of exercises and movements the more enriched your body (and mind) will be. A regular and varied movement practice establishes a comprehensive movement vocabulary allowing for agility and cat-like reflexes!

New Press From Larchmont Chronicle

Posted in Blog news by Meghan Pickrell on January 7, 2012

Larchmont Chronicle was kind enough to feature Mind & Motion in the January Health and Beauty section. A big thank you to  Larchmont Chronicle!

Happy New Year

Posted in Blog news by Meghan Pickrell on January 1, 2012

Carlos Santa was very generous to Mind & Motion this Christmas. I arrived to the studio last week to these awesome new shades that both block sun and advertise my business. Take a glance over as you drive down 3rd St if you are in LA.

I also received this unique “wave” sculpture which now sits in the Mind & Motion book shelf. Ahhh… calming.

I’m very excited for the new year and am planning new ventures for the studio in 2012. Come take a free class if you haven’t already! Look inward, move your body and reward yourself this year. Be good to yourself!

Happy Holidays

Posted in Blog news by Meghan Pickrell on December 13, 2011

Happy Holidays (once again… yikes) from me and Mind & Motion. This has been a busy year for me and Mind & Motion. I graduated with my master’s degree in kinesiology, I opened up a new pilates studio and I my fiance proposed to me! That’s a lot!

Despite holiday madness at this time of year, I like reflecting on accomplishments and goals during December. I also like to see where I am right now in this moment and where I want to go from here. I’m quite pleased with the growth at my studio and am interviewing young women to bring on an assistant (Hallelujah!).

Just a reminder: we do offer gift certificates so if you would like to purchase a few pilates classes for a friend or loved one, now is the perfect time. Email me and we can discuss options.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season! Let’s have an epic… do I dare say?… 2012. xx, Meghan

Pilates and the Practitioner

Posted in Health by Meghan Pickrell on November 27, 2011

As promised (a week late… we have turkey and lots of pumpkin pie to blame), today’s post is dedicated to my master’s thesis research. Ok, don’t stop reading just yet. I know “research” does not at first elicit the most enticing of thoughts… it might even sound a bit boring- numbers, stats, results and conclusions. It’s all very scientific. However, research can also bring light to new ideas and even validate an intuitive “hunch.” We can even scientifically prove the reasons behind feelings and experiences through research.

I am interested in the unconscious experience. I parred down my research to the field of psychophysiology (psycho: mind, physiology: body, = mind + body). The field of psychophysiology uncovers the science behind the mind + body exchange. Even more specifically, I dealt with the realm of coregulation. Coregulation occurs when two systems start to synchronize with one another. For instance, as you yawn, others yawn around you – have you  had this experience?

As a somatic practitioner, I have always been quite interested in the relationship between a practitioner (or therapist, teacher etc) and the client. Through my research, I looked at the physiological relationship between a practitioner and a client during a pilates session.  The main physiological features I measured were differences in heart rate and respiratory rate. Does the physiological state of a practitioner have a physiological effect on their client?

Using the LifeShirt, a physiological monitoring device which measures over 100 physiological attributes, I was able to measure moment by moment differences in heart rate and respiratory rate between me (the practitioner) and the client (15 female kinesiology students).

Here’s what we found. Although our power was too low to bring statistical significance to the study, trends were discovered between the practitioner and client. As the practitioner increased or decreased heart rate so did the client. Trends were also found in how these two subjects shifted from the sympathetic (fight or flight) to the parasympathetic (rest and digest) nervous systems. Coregulation was found between shifts in the autonomic nervous system (the autonomic nervous system is comprised of heart rate, respiratory rate, digestion etc. – the unconscious part of our body which runs without conscious thought).

Here’s what this means. We effect one another- not only consciously, but unconsciously. This means, as pilates teachers, we may effect the autonomic nervous system of others in some capacity. Our demeanor and physiological state can influence our clients. Keeping our bodies and mind in a healthy place may help promote healing for others. See, research can be pretty cool.

I always say, as a rule, you should feel safe and secure with any health and wellness practitioner or MD. I believe that the relationship you have with those who serve to keep you healthy is as important as the mediums they are using. If you don’t feel safe then you are too tense to allow healing to begin. Trust your instincts when committing to your health. The healing relationship may go deeper than we now know.

 

Happy Weekend

Posted in Blog news by Meghan Pickrell on November 11, 2011

Driving over the bridge during my last visit

I’m heading to San Francisco tomorrow for my cousin Belena’s wedding. After graduating in the spring and then quickly opening Mind & Motion in September, a short weekend away is truly needed. But before I take off I wanted to touch base and write a little note. I’m thrilled with all of the energy and new clients at Mind & Motion. We are getting a steady flow of new people every week and I couldn’t be happier with the turn out. 🙂

Next week I’ll be writing a short post about my research during my Master’s program. It was quite an interesting thesis topic which I will share… Well, ok, here’s a hint… Ever wonder why you get so tuned into someone else’s emotional experience? There’s more to it than meets the eye. Stay turned and have a wonderful weekend!