Katie Vason - Swan Instructor

Spotlighting another one of our awesome instructors with a new #SwanQ&A! Katie is a southern transplant after our own hearts. Teaching at both our Brooklyn and Manhattan locations, Katie brings an ease and happiness into each of her sessions. Check out her bio on our teacher page and sign up for a private!

Can you tell us a bit about your philosophy of teaching, what interests you about the body, and any influences that have shaped your practice and your teaching? 

I like to meet the client where they are, and get a feel for their holding patterns and habits. Through releasing, aligning and strengthening we address certain issues while also looking at the body as a whole. I come from a dance background and after experiencing dance related injuries early on, I found Pilates to assist in rehabilitation, and rely on it as a grounding force, where I can check in when my body feels 'off'. Right now I am really interested in the understudied yet growing information on fascia and the role it plays in holding patterns, both locally and when looking at the body as an entire unit. As a mover I value longevity more and more and want to help people move pain free for the long haul. 

What is your favorite at-home Pilates move?

An exercise that I often do myself is one that I learned from Kuan Hui Chew at the Kane School, where I received my certification, that works the psoas incorporating breath. Place a squishy ball or block under the pelvis and float both legs in towards the chest past 90 degrees, heels dropped, pelvis in neutral. Extend one leg up towards the ceiling and slowly lower that leg on the exhale, pausing on the inhale. Keep the psoas engaged throughout. You can add in tiny circles once the leg is at hip height or lower the leg all the way to ground and take the opposite knee out to the side for a deep front of hip/psoas stretch. I feel it every time! I'm also a sucker for release work with the small ball and working the deep rotators through side leg work. 

Where do you go in the city to feel like you are not in the city?

Prospect park, any season. I'm lucky to live close by and try to spend time there when I can. Green space is so necessary on so many levels. 

If you could pick one musical artists or group to create the playlist of your life, who would you pick?

Oh man. Tough question. I feel like I alternate between several genres especially when considering different periods of my life. I have a soft spot for hip hop from the early 2000's, Nina Simone, Michael Wall for reflective textured soundscapes, James Blake, and who doesn't love Beethoven when you need a good dramatic march? This list could get long.

What is your favorite bone or muscle and why?

This might be a generic Pilates teacher response but I think the psoas is pretty cool; how it bridges the back body to the front, and the effects a tight or loose psoas can have on posture is profound. 

Fiction or nonfiction?

Non fiction. Currently need some recommendations so let me know if you have any! 

Anything else you want to share with The Swan community?

I am originally from Atlanta, Georgia and love peaches (when in season). I might get in trouble for this but here is a tip for when summer rolls around: peaches from South Carolina are better then Georgia peaches!