New Pilates studio owner ready to help others live better lives

Published 12:27 am Sunday, October 15, 2017


NATCHEZ — For Jenna Aldridge, owning her own Pilates studio is not just a job — it is a dream 11 years in the making.

Now, the studio Aldridge has envisioned since she first began the fitness system is becoming a reality.

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Set right in the middle of downtown Natchez on Franklin Street, Aldridge’s Studio 411 displays little in the way of decoration.

There are simple wall hangings, a dark-washed, wooden upstairs loft and a hand-painted sign which reads, “We rise by lifting others.”

Empowerment, Aldridge said, is the motif of her new studio, which is set to open next week.

“This,” she said, gesturing to the room around her, “is in retaliation to the world. The world may be going crazy, but I know what I’m doing here. My spiritual gift is lifting people up.”

Aldridge said her fascination with Pilates began when after the birth of her son, Lennon, when she joined a class here in Natchez.

After getting certified — a complex process that took a year and half to complete — Aldridge began teaching her own classes out of her home.

For a while, Aldridge took a step back from teaching the class but she said even when she was not teaching, she was still attending classes whenever possible.

“I just can’t get this out of my system,” she said. “This is what I’m meant to do.”

As a former physical therapist, Aldridge said she respected the way Pilates works out the entire body.

“In a 45-minute session, it’s strength training, flexibility training, balance training,” she said. “That’s what Pilates is — you teach your clients how to live better in their bodies.”

She said she also likes the constant challenge and malleability of her workout schedule.

“What’s amazing about Pilates is you can do it your whole life,” Aldridge said. “It’s something you always have.”

Upstairs in the loft, Aldridge has set up stationary bikes for spin classes for cardio whereas downstairs it is all flexibility and strength equipment.

The most Aldridge said she would have in one class is five; she likes to keep a close eye on her students.

“Once you learn the biomechanics of your own body, you start to move better and feel better and as an added benefit, you look better,” she said. “So, it starts from a totally different nucleus.”

This weekend Aldridge released an app that shows the available classes and allows users to schedule their appointments. The app, Studio 411 Pilates and Fitness Club is available on the app store.

This January Aldridge will host a LuLuLemon Trunk Show in the studio, where she said she hopes to draw in customers.

Aldridge said she hopes to start holding boxing classes in the basement and maybe one day, expand to the neighboring building with more spin classes and a smoothie bar.

That is all pretty far away, however. For now, Aldridge said she is just excited to get started.

“This space opened up and I thought, I’m just going to go for it,” she said.  “This is my dream.”