60 Seconds with Mary Ann Briggs
by Clay Neely
Sixty seconds with Mary Ann Briggs Owner of The Pilates Loft, Lolita San Miguel Pilates Master and Teacher Trainer.
How did you wind up opening your Pilates studio here in Newnan?
We moved here from New England in 2005 where I taught Pilates out on Cape Cod. I opened up the Pilates Loft a year after we moved to Newnan.
What’s the most important aspect of your teaching?
Enhancing people’s lifestyles and bettering their movement principles in their everyday life. We work in strength and postural work so people can move better and thus alleviate their pain. A lot of pain is simply postural based and just by making slight adjustments, it can make a huge impact. I think some people might expect to come in and stretch like yoga, but once they get involved in the Pilates method, they’re amazed how their body responds in a positive way. It’s not yoga-esque, we move much quicker. People are very pleasantly surprised with the rewards it brings.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of your job?
Watching the transformation people’s bodies. Not just how their body transforms but also their body awareness. I think people are becoming more responsible for their own health simply because they’re realizing that they have to. One thing I’ve noticed, especially with my older clients, is that people are moving away from using a ton of medication to feel better. I think that with everything that’s going on with our health care now, people have realized they need to be more responsible and proactive. All these prescriptions are just a bandaid on a problem. I have clients with osteoporosis who refuse medication — they have simply decided that they’re going to move their body more. My mom was one of those people living on 25 pills a day. It’s nice to see this generation going away from going to the doctor for every little thing. Seeing the younger generation and their parents not reaching for medication to make everything better.
So you can see yourself doing this for a long time?
I can forsee myself doing this forever. It’s my goal. I look at Lolita San Miguel, the creator of this program, who holds the distinction of being one of the only two known practitioners to have been officially certified by Joseph and Clara Pilates. She’s 79 years old now and I want to be like her when I hit that age. I’m not going anywhere.