Jennifer Interviews Meghan – Part 1
May 20, 2022 - Jennifer DeValue
What does a West Coast pilates instructor and an East Coast author have in common?
Well, in the case of Meghan Pickrell and I, we are both women growing our businesses. But you wouldn’t know all that from looking at us. In fact, if you were to put pictures of us side by side, Meghan is a slim, blonde exemplar of fitness and I am a plus size, rainbow haired paradigm of geekdom. You would hardly guess that both of us were dancers in our youth or that we share a mutual concern for chronic illnesses (pain, fatigue, etc.).
Perhaps most importantly, is our passion for supporting others.
Meghan is the inner voice we all wish we had come to walking-talking-rolling-stretching life. She makes caring about your body and understanding the steps towards improved wellbeing both comprehendable and tangible. After even just a short conversation with Meghan, you feel reinvigorated with the type of optimism you thought was only possible in a Disney movie.
With the 10 for 10 Challenge just around the corner, I wanted to know more about how Meghan harnesses kinesiology to (a) boost others’ self-confidence and (b) address concerns centered on chronic illness. As is her way, she found time within her busy parenting, instructing, and businessing schedule to sit down with me for an interview.
Here’s everything you’ve ever wondered about Meghan Pickrell and her journey towards establishing Mind & Motion’s in-person and virtual studios.
Let’s start with the basics…what is kinesiology?
Well, kinesiology (kin-eese-ee-ology) is basically the study of human movement. It can be broken down into a bunch of sectors, but they’re all about the mechanics of human movement. There’s biomechanics that applies mechanical principles to how the human body works and exercise physiology which is more about the body’s chemistry.
The focus of my degree, though, was motor behavior.
That’s all about how the brain and body communicate. I touched on the basics of it during my Instagram Live discussion with Jodie Goss. That part of my background is also why April’s newsletter and journal entries have been about the mind-body connection. I find it endlessly fascinating.
How did you “discover” your passion for kinesiology?
My interest in how the body works started at a very early age. During dance classes I found myself fascinated by the movements. You know, when you’re in a dance class you have to watch the teacher and copy her movements. Everything needs to be in alignment: movement, pacing, even the artistic tone of the routine.
It’s kind of like how a singer understands sound. It’s not just about pitch, but also the shape of her mouth. Now that I’m studying singing, I’m noticing that they are very similar. Especially, when my teacher points out how my mouth moves over the vowels. It’s all about being present with your body and learning how to control its movements.
What was your educational journey like to get to this point?
Well, my undergraduate training was actually in dance.
I still remember this one moment, though, when I discovered the path I was going to take. It’s funny these little memories that pop up… I was working with a friend and she asked me to look at her grand battement and tell her if she was executing the movement correctly.
As I started to cue her with “extend your leg” and so on I found myself enjoying the role of a teacher. I found that the voice and manner of instructing really suited me well.
Who or what inspired you to open your studio?
You know, I’ve been fortunate to have people in my life that direct and mentor me. We all have different blessings and this one is mine.
There was one person, in particular, who literally said to me: “you need to open a studio.” Rodrick McGrew one of the loveliest, nicest… just a gem of a human. He’s a music manager. Once he even managed Stevie Wonder for a while. Rodrick told me that he blindfolded himself for a week so that he could better understand how to be Stevie’s manager. He’s the one who pushed me onto this path.
After that I went and got my masters, then opened Mind and Motion in 2011. I had already spent time observing studio management etc. as a teacher for 10 years so it felt like about time I could run my own.
Where did the name “Mind & Motion” come from?
Gosh. I don’t think I have a specific moment as to how I came up with it or what it’s based off of. I know that I wanted to have something about the mind in there…and it’s a physical practice so I had to incorporate the body in some capacity.
The name felt like it had a nice fit.
People mix it up often though and say “Mind and Body” so I may rebrand in the future. I want to find something that reflects that my studios are all about daily movement practice.
Want to learn more? There’s still time to sign up for the 10 for 10 Challenge that Meghan and Lovewell (makers of yummy nutrition supplements) founder Teresea have created. The challenge is designed to encourage everyone that a healthy lifestyle is just 10 minutes a day away.