Living Well in Litchfield County, Connecticut

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Jennifer Beecher

Conversations with Marion Cooper Farrell

Marion Cooper Farrell, a graduate of New Milford high school, never thought she’d return to the area after she left for college. An avid runner, she discovered Pilates while living in Hawaii and experiencing lower back pain. She became hooked. As fate would have it, after spending 22 years in corporate America, she came back to work in Litchfield County and eventually opened her own pilates studio.

1. What is Mind Body Connection?

Mind-Body Connection Pilates is a co-op of Movement Professionals. While I own the studio, hold private and semi private sessions, I also maintain the studio and all the equipment. My team of instructors bring their clients into the studio and share the space and the equipment. The studio is fully equipped with Balanced Body Reformers, Cadillac, EXO chairs, and more. Of course we are using all the recommended CDC protocols and are thoroughly cleaning the equipment and spaces after each use.

2. How did you start the business and when?

I started the business in 2011. After spending 22 years in corporate America, I was ready to go out on my own. I wanted clients to experience Pilates fully by using different types of equipment to help deepen their Pilates work. I also found many clients had specific injuries that I needed different equipment for in order to support their healing.

3. What is Pilates? What types of classes do you offer?

Pilates is a unique exercise system based on the idea that all movement is initiated from the core. Pilates works to lengthen and strengthen muscles to allow for balanced muscle development. After practicing Pilates there’s a sense of well being, a feeling that you may have grown a little taller, a little lighter and movement is more fluid—easier. I often hear clients say Pilates is the hardest exercise they’ve ever done and they love it!  Please be assured, Pilates is a full body workout.

Photo by Jennifer Beecher

4. Why do you focus on using the Reformer in Pilates?

I initially began taking Mat Pilates classes twice weekly and experienced what a difference it made. I then gave the Reformer a try and immediately loved it. The Reformer was challenging, fluid, and supportive all at the same time. The Reformer’s resistance allowed me to lengthen and strengthen my core and muscles in a way they never had before. You feel the difference immediately.

5. Being a small business owner, how have you adapted to the new changes necessary to fight Covid-19?

Following CDC guidelines we’ve adapted the schedule to ensure sessions are scheduled 15 minutes apart, we created a single use entrance and exit, we allow one instructor to one client in the studio per hour, teachers and clients are wearing masks during the sessions, and the equipment is thoroughly cleaned between appointments.  It’s what we have to do to stay healthy and safe.

6. Your space is so beautiful. Tell us about the location.

Mind-Body Connection Pilates is located at The Bleachery alongside the Housatonic River in New Milford. The Bleachery was once a textile mill and is more than 100 years old. It’s a beautiful brick building with large windows, old wood beams, and so much natural light. The space has a wonderful energy.

7. How are you different from other fitness studios?

I work to understand the client’s goals inclusive of their emotional and physical needs. I then design sessions to affect those. I want clients to feel strong and flexible, to address any issue or injury, to allow them to do whatever they want effortlessly.—

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