BodyTonic Becoming; A Letter From BodyTonic Founder, Jennifer DeLuca

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“I sing the body electric
I celebrate the me yet to come
I toast to my own reunion
When I become one with the sun”

According to astrology, through pinpointing your exact birth time and location, your orientation in the universe reveals what you are all about. My mission, my m.o., was revealed as transformation. When I heard that word, it completely made sense; the way I wake up in the morning, the places I've moved, the books I read, the things I think about at night, and certainly the way I approach my work at BodyTonic with clients, staff or apprentices or even the space itself. I desire to be an agent of transformation.

There are 19+ years of our BodyTonic community behind us and our 20th Anniversary ahead. There have been so many bodies and lives transformed as a result of opening these doors. I see the 1999 version of 5th Avenue with its dark, shuttered storefronts, flanked by the memories of other businesses that have sprouted and endured or have come and gone. Inside the studio, I look around and remember clients with broken bones, or life-shattering events that came to BodyTonic to heal and I see what they have become. Through marathons of running or childbirth, celebrating joyful milestones and suffering life's setbacks, the combination of grounding and flight to be found in BodyTonic has everyone perpetually in a state of becoming. The offer of hope that your session will leave you feeling better, the promise of decades of agility, the trust built through fulfilled Pilates hours while enduring our everyday lives---these things are always on offer. At BodyTonic you are always becoming, by leaving old self-perceptions, habits and injuries behind and unwrapping the strengths and abilities you have inside of you.

I look back on what cosmic event brought me here. My first Pilates mat class was in 1986 at the High School of Performing Arts in Manhattan where I met my best friend who lived in Park Slope. But if I had to pick a single event that has us all here today, it was during my own Pilates session a decade later at Drago's Gym when someone swung--literally swung, into my vision. A lean and limber woman, with gray hair in Olga Korbut pigtails and a Bjorn Borg sweatband across her forehead, wearing a black scoop neck leotard and ballet slippers had just finished her Pilates session. She was probably in her mid-60's and improbably, swinging fearlessly and joyfully from gymnastics rings. When I teach, I want to offer that. I want everyone at BodyTonic to embody that.

I leave 2018 reeling from the possibility that health and vitality can bring me and all of the teachers and staff at BodyTonic hope to bring to you. 2019 will bring new opportunities to experience more Pilates equipment, more experts in mind, body and soul with BodyTonic Radio, more continuing education workshops and classes for teachers, more videos, BodyTonic residencies at outside locations and a deeper sense of community as we develop and deepen relationships with like-minded people. We promise more opportunities for the you yet to come.

This song and performance somehow came back into to my life at this perfect moment to share with you all, from the movie "Fame" which I happened to re-watch last weekend. My favorite part is actually around the 3:07 mark as the chorus rises up and we begin to see the faces of the people singing. In true 1980's style, they filmed normal everyday people, not models with an overdub.

And as the close-ups of these beautiful souls begin, they remind me that we are all magic--at some point in some way.

“And I look back on Venus
I look back on Mars
And I burn with the fire
Of 10 million stars

And in time
And in time
We will all be stars”


 

Wishing you all good things for the New Year and Beyond,

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Jennifer DeLuca