Well+Good: "New York City's Pilates Gurus"

Pilates Guru Jennifer DeLuca

Pilates in New York isn’t about the studios, it’s about the gurus—the posture-perfect instructors who teach us how to activate our cores, breath correctly, and align our shoulders over hips over knees with the precision of a Swiss watchmaker.

Many of the city’s top Pilates teachers today were trained by Joseph Pilates’ protege, Romana Kryzanowska. And each of these leaders carries a profound respect for the classical movements, while adding his or her own vision, flair, or expertise to create a slew of nuanced approaches.

And in a town where 12-pound handbags and chronic desk slump can create a culture in need of postural correction, let’s just say these anatomy-obsessed professionals are pretty busy.

Here, we introduce you to New York’s ten Pilates gurus…


Jennifer DeLuca

Jennifer DeLuca trained with Romana Kryzanowska, and she opened Body Tonic, a popular Park Slope studio, just over 13 years ago. And much of Brooklyn owes their solid core and long, lean muscles to her.

DeLuca’s a tough teacher who’ll run you through the choreography of classical Pilates exercises on the Reformer, as well as on the Cadillac, Chair, and Ped-o-Pul springs.

And yet she understands the motivation issues that can plague the proper-posture-seeking person, having published Pilates for Wimps: Total Fitness for the Partially Motivated in 2003.

The book shows off her gift for humor while correcting your anatomical weaknesses from a Pilates (and perfectionist) perspective. To that end, DeLuca both honors her Pilates lineage and allows her instruction to be influenced by her additional trainings in yoga, dance, and barre.