The sun-splashed studio space of Mind-Body Connection speaks of exercise opportunities just minutes from downtown New Milford.

The bamboo-floored Pilates studio, in the former Robertson Bleachery building at the south end of West Street, is enhanced by its setting of full-blooming trees and boats in the marina, said instructor Karen Livrier-Horvath.

The studio opened in March with owner Marion Cooper sharing the instruction with Ms. Horvath and Gretchen Wolff McCarthy.

They had searched for a site with open space and handicap accessibility. The Bleachery offered possibilities all three women liked.

"It was Kismet," Mrs. Livrier-Horvath said. "We all had the same idea in our heads."

Ballet bars, floor-to-ceiling mirrors and a sub-floor with bamboo flooring surface for extra buoyancy were said and "energizing" colors were painted on the studio's walls.

Offering clients a lifestyle change they can take from the studio into their day to day is this team's goal.

Clients are taught to control every aspect of the body's movement as the exercises flow one to the next.

Working with a health ball, the bar, on a mat or on equipment, including the Wunda chair, clients progress from beginner to intermediate to advanced levels, the partners said.

"Through the lateral breathing, you get a lot of oxygen into the lungs," Ms. Cooper said. "That introduces fresh air into the blood stream. That increases your ability to focus and concentrate."

Overall stamina and energy are also increased, Mrs. McCarthy said. She said her discipline in Pilates had strengthened her "core" muscles, aiding in the recent delivery of her son.

"I had the strength, focus and breathing power to push him out and avoided a C-section," Mrs. McCarthy said.

All three came to Pilates through sports.

Ms. Cooper was an avid runner who strengthened her back and abdomen through Pilates, instructed by Ms. Livrier-Horvath.

Mrs. McCarthy was an avid kickboxer, and took Pilates to heal an ankle injury. All three earned certification as Pilates instructors.

"Whether for a client in his or her 70s, or a high school athlete, Pilates helps keep the upper body strong" while encouraging a fluid movement of the body in motion, Ms. Cooper said.

For Sara Drexler of New Milford, Mrs. McCarthy was the perfect instructor with whom to begin.

"Gretchen's upbeat, relaxed teaching style was exactly what I needed when trying Pilates for the first time," Ms. Drexler said.

"I was looking for a way to stay in shape without punishing my body," she said. "Gretchen's ability to teach while keeping me smiling and having fun was a great motivation."

Information on classes at Mind-Body Connection, 143 West St., Unit W, in New Milford can be found by visiting or calling 860-350-3643.