Mind & Motion

I’ve Stayed Away Too Long…

Posted in Inspiration, Personal Essays by Meghan Pickrell on May 5, 2013
Los Balcones Del Rioja in Basque Country

Los Balcones Del Rioja in Basque Country

La Sacragada Familia- the modern day vision of heaven

La Sacragada Familia- the modern day vision of heaven

Seabass at Mugaritz

Seabass at Mugaritz

Carlos and I in San Sebastian

Carlos and I in San Sebastian

I’ve stayed away too long… I know, it’s tragic. After my wedding in September and subsequent health issues my focus was pulled between my health and my new husband. That coupled with an insanely busy pilates studio this year, has occupied me to no end. But do not fear, I hope to begin posting on a regular basis once again. Yippee!

SO, what’s new people? As I wrote about last October, Carlos and I postponed our Spanish honeymoon last year from which we have just returned. It was amazing- Spanish tapas, historic art, and the Basque countryside all laid the perfect groundwork for a romantic honeymoon. The highlight was reading our vows overlooking San Sebastian. I feel so…blessed.

The vacation also helped bring us to a place of deep relaxation. A feeling that is rarely experienced in day-to-day life unfortunately. That being said, our promise to one another is to stay SANE now that we are back in Los Angeles- to keep stress at bay and laugh at the trivial stress impostors (if I may) that seem magnanimous when piled atop one another. It’s all about perspective, right? The scrapbook fillings and photos are scattered over our dining table, the bed is unmade (something that would normally drive me a little nutso) and I am OK with it. I take a breath, relax my body and find the same soothing relaxation while writing this blog. Please enjoy some of the photos above!

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!

Morning Stretches!

Posted in Morning Energy by Meghan Pickrell on May 24, 2011

As promised, here are a few yoga stretches that I like to warm-up my spine in the morning. A bit of movement to wake up my back makes it easier to perform tasks throughout the early hours. Please be gentle if you try these stretches at home! Your body is not yet awake so take caution. These are only suggestions and other stretches may be appropriate for your body. This is just what feels good to me!

Here I am in my studio looking tired because it’s so early. Sad. Don’t worry, it gets better. I’m already getting blood flow through my muscles as I reach up to the ceiling and lift up out of my waist. I have my arms straight, fingers interlaced and index fingers released. As you may notice, my ambition is to reach through my waist upward and into my feet downward. I am then creating a side bend (a half moon shape). As I stretch to the right, my right side engages and my left side stretches. I will hold this for a few seconds and then try the other side.

See, now I’m warm! And happier as I stretch to the left.

Now I’m stretching my chest, shoulders and upper spine by creating an arch in my upper back. I could go further but I’m choosing to be gentle. I wouldn’t want to force my back into anything precarious so early in the daytime (gentle = happy spine). However, I let my head hang and reach my sternum up to the ceiling.

Aww! The beloved forward bend. (Please take note: I’m quite flexible in the hamstring arena so your hands might not touch the ground. That’s ok! Lean onto the edge of a bathtub or dining chair so that you have support from your hands while maintaining a light hamstring stretch) I am then bending one leg at a time and alternating every few seconds as a warm-up. I’m really feeling my hip sockets and lengthening the back of my leg. This feels so good that…

I place my hands around the back of my ankles and pull my body closer to my legs. I hold the stretch for around 10 seconds. It feels great! Now I’m happy and ready to teach.

Do you have an early morning stretch routine?