Jocelyne Pelchat - The Cornerstone Pilates Interview
Updated: Jan 9, 2022
The Cornerstone Pilates
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I am someone who never ceases to learn and to challenge herself. I believe in feeling good on the outside and on the inside, and for me, Pilates is the gateway to doing just that.
What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months?
Essential oil diffuser and oils. I love aromatherapy, it sets the mood, it promotes a sense of ease and well-being. My favorites are Elevate by DoTerra and a combo of Cypress and Lemongrass also by DoTerra.
How do you want your chosen field of exercise to change in the future?
I would love for Pilates to be more consistent across the world as a biomechanically driven form of movement which is truly beneficial for the nervous system and to promote well-being.
How did you first get into pilates or yoga?
I got into Pilates 16 years ago. It was easily somehting I could commit to, it never felt like a chore or like I didn't want to go, but forced myself. It always has been and still is what my nervous system preferes, it's my happy place.
In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?
Making a list. As a small business owner, class and one-on-one instructor, student completing her Masters, mom, wife, home owner...the list goes on, if I didn't write everything down I have to do, I wouldn't get things done. I am always busy, but rarely overwhelmed. I have learned what my max load of responsibilities is for one day and if it doesn't fit on the list, it goes to another day. It helps me be disciplined, it helps me say no and it is also strangely satisfying to cross off items off the list.
How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favourite failure” of yours?
Trying to do it all! When I first started out in the movement industry, I wanted to learn all the methods, I am a lifelong learner so I dove in head first to anything I could get accreditation for. I learned in the long run that this is expensive, it's also not sustainable and most importantly, since our brains only retain about 10% of what we learn on any workshop, it actually became redundant. It reminds me of the quote that says "jack of all trades, but master of none". I prefer to master one skill and hone in on that skill.
What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made?
Education and travel. Seeing the world, discovering what drives people, immersing myself into different cultures. In all my memories, the best ones are the ones where I was learning through experience.
What is the most significant thing that someone much younger than yourself has taught you?
This is a great question. Having a child has taught me to be the best role model and the best example I could be. You cannot give up when you know your child is watching.
What advice would you give to people wanting to start pilates or yoga?
For Pilates, I would definitely recommend to work with someone one-on-one first. Even if it's just for a few sessions. The lifelong journey they're about to take will be enriched and they will be better practitioners for having started in an educated manner.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
I'm a Neuroscientist in training so I'm in the learning stage now and will soon be able to synthesize the 2 fields.
Tell us about someone you admire and why you admire them?
I admire Alex Honnold. I know it's left-field for my industry, but I admire dedication, hard work, authenticity, discipline and focus. He embodies every single one of these traits and has accomplished tremendous goals.
What is a 'hack' you have for success that most people don't know about?
Discipline. ALWAYS show up.
How would you describe pilates/yoga in 1 word?
What are you NOT Very Good at?
Being extroverted. It's really exhausting.
What's your star sign?
Most satisfying experience practicing yoga/pilates?
My biggest satisfaction is seeing the miracle of movement start to shape someon'e life. When their pain dissipates, when I can visibly see the changes in their gait, their posture, their behaviour and mostly, their smile.
Most embarrassing experience practicing yoga/pilates?
I'm generally goofy by nature so embarassing and awkward moments are my forte, I can't really pinpoint any that would stand out.
What are your biggest pet peeves about the culture/community of your chosen practice?
As I listen to many science talks and podcasts, I am irritated that everyone always mentions yoga and never Pilates as their source of wellbeing. I am a certified yoga instructor, I know the benefits firsthand, but I do not believe they outweigh the benefits of Pilates and I look forward to one day standing on a big stage speaking of science and mentioning Pilates. Stay tuned...
What is your favourite thing about the culture and community of your chosen practice?
I love how social media has created this massive international community of like-minded people. I can travel anywhere in the world and meet a fellow instructor and participate in one of their classes or privates. It has opened doors for our industry and brought us together on a world wide scale.
Do you tend to use a lot of different equipment when you practice?
I actually love all things Pilates. The reformer is probably my favourite piece of equipment, however I love a good mat class. I think mat classes are underrated. If you get a good instructor, with a proper class plan, who can flow from one exercise to another with an incredible build-up, you will never need equipment. I teach one every Monday at 6:15pm EST on zoom. I'd love for the readers to join!