Angelia Brown (pronounced AN-jeh-luh) knows a thing or two about being a busy mom. The mother of three—Ashton, 16, Tyler, 12, and Alexia, 8—says that “it’s fun having children (in my forties) and still having a core and being able to work out with (them) and teach them how to be stronger.”
“I’ve always loved fitness, and I’ve always exercised,” Brown says. “But after the third baby, no matter how much I worked out or how much cardio I did, I just couldn’t get my body to change.” Then, someone introduced her to pilates, and it was love at first burn.
Angelia’s newfound passion inspired her to open Pilates of Jackson (1491 Canton Mart Road) in 2007. Her studio is a short distance from three schools—St Andrews, St Richards, and Jackson Academy. The location appeals to moms who stop by for a workout after dropping their children off at school. It’s not just for moms though. Brown says. Anyone can benefit from pilates. Working individuals can pop in for a quick workout during their lunch break and go back to work.
“Typically, you don’t sweat,” she says. “You don’t need a shower right after pilates even though it is a real workout.” But if it’s sweat you want, Pilates of Jackson has a workout for that.
The elegantly decked-out fitness studio, which includes a private lesson room and an infra-red sauna for a holistic detoxifying experience, offers two types of classes: Reformer Pilates and Power Pilates. Reformer Pilates, which is named after the machine used, allows you to fully engage targeted muscles whether standing up, lying down or sitting. It is especially effective for those who cannot do floor work.
Power Pilates includes all of the benefits of Reformer Pilates, while incorporating a bit of cardio and weight training. Angelia warns that “you are doing something that will actually make you sweat, like adding a piece of equipment, like the jumper for instance, onto the Reformer, which mimics jumping on a trampoline in a lying position. Or you’re standing up using a kettle bell. You burn more calories.” Both routines focus on core stomach and back muscles but are full body workouts designed to strengthen and lengthen the body, stabilize balance and build lean muscle, which burns fat. The difference is that Power Pilates has an added element that will get you heart rate up.
No matter which class you choose at Pilates of Jackson, “you are not ever shortening a muscle you are always lengthening,” Brown says, and lengthening is essential in preventing muscles along the spine from fusing together, creating shrinkage as we age. Beyond increasing strength, pilates increases elasticity throughout your range of motion, which helps prevent injuries. Brown adds, “even in our foot work you are giving the muscles more elasticity, more range for bending and extending” to guard against foot and ankle injuries.
The multi-disciplined Brown, who is also a speech pathologist, has an eagle’s eye for assessing a client’s needs, and quickly gives advice and helpful tips. She shares success stories of clients— professional athletes and senior citizens among them—who have come back from injuries and some who remain injury-free thanks to the conditioning of pilates. “I can’t think of anything that pilates cannot fix,” she says.
For class schedule and rates visit pilatesofjackson.net or call 601.991.3201. Ask about group rates. Walk-ins are welcome. For more information, find Pilates of Jackson on Facebook.
An edited version of this story first appeared in BOOM Jackson July/August 2014 issue published on July 2, 2014.