New Hampshire native and sucker for sports, VEGA’s Pilates instructor, Katelyn Foley is a vital part of our movement team. She first got into Pilates after a serious back injury in college. “I grew up dancing and wanted to continue with it so I went to Hartford Conservatory, a dance and music school, and double majored in dance until my injury.” As part of rehab, Katelyn took Pilates classes and continued once she healed. “I enjoyed it so much and it helped me with my dance technique.” Katelyn moved to New York to pursue her dancing dreams, but ten years in the city and she was ready for a change in pace, as well as a change in career. “I was in class one day and thought, I can teach this, I enjoy teaching.” So, Katelyn studied Core Pilates and never looked back. Now, back in New England, she’s thrilled to be working in a personal studio, with customized plans, and not to mention to be around the sports fans she’s most comfortable with. Introducing the one and only Katelyn Foley:
How did you get involved with VEGA?
I was actually teaching here before and it was a similar idea; an integrative health facility. I was with them for a year, then the woman who was running it decided to completely downsize. One of the yoga instructors knew Ashley and that she wanted to have a grander scale of the small office she had been in. I was able to meet up with Ashley and asked if I could stay and she said, ‘Yeah!’
What style Pilates do you teach?
I was classically trained but since then, I’ve taken some courses to get more involved with the anatomy, injury and rehab. I started to notice that when I was teaching, people were coming to me specifically because they had injuries and I was just not prepared for that; how to manipulate the muscles, it was very specific. So, I started taking more workshops and I kind of combine the two. It just depends on the person. I always have the classical form stuck in my head because it was ingrained, so it’s a sequence that’s always in the back of my head. I always want to recycle the idea of moving the spine and flexion, extension, lateral and rotation through the session.
Do you teach off the reformer?
I stick to the reformer because that’s what people come for. It started in the 1920s, this guy named Joseph Pilates–a German man who was also a boxer–he pretty much formed his own method. He used to rehab war vets so I feel like that’s why a lot of the equipment looks like hospital beds because he pretty much just worked with what he had, which was a bed and springs. It’s really funny when I get a lot of men who think it’s just stretching and really girly, like, ‘How’s your yoga going?’
How do you differentiate reformer versus mat Pilates?
What’s great about mat is you only have your own body weight, so, it’s hard. The great thing about the equipment is it adds more weight to it but you can’t cheat. You can cheat on the map, kind of fudge things around but the carriage will show that; you have something else you have to control with your body and if you don’t then it’ll slam back in. The lighter the spring, the more you’ll have to use your abs to control it, the heavier the spring, the more you’re going to get into larger muscle groups, your hamstrings, your triceps. It’s a full body workout but the emphasis is on your core muscles. I feel like it got grouped into the girly group because it creates long lean muscle and that’s what most women want, so most women do it because they like the way that their body looks.
On those days that drag on, what’s something you do for yourself?
Little cat naps in the sun. Or a yoga class to recenter myself. And lots of coffee.
How do you take your coffee?
I’m not really that picky, although, if I make it myself, it’s usually pretty sweet. I’m not a sweets person at all but when it comes to coffee I am. That and soy milk.
What’s your favorite part about the job?
I like it when I teach someone and they discover new things about their body. Even little, mechanical things–like the muscles around your scapula, people don’t realize they have muscles that move that around. I really like it when they see results because a lot of people are visual so when they start to see definition, those are the times that I really like it.
What are some of the things you like to do in your free time?
I watch a lot of sports. I’m consumed with Fantasy Football right now. I’m a New England fan, I’m a Red Sox fan but I’m also a Mets fan because when I lived in New York I needed a team and it wasn’t going to be the Yankees!
What got you into sports?
My dad is a huge Patriots fan. So, growing up, every Sunday was the one day the whole family would actually get together, sit down, eat and watch. When I moved to New York, I didn’t know what I was going to do but I ended up forming friendships with a group of Patriots fans and now I’m back in New England, so every Sunday, I try to go up to my sister’s and watch the game.
What’s something not a lot of people know about you?
When I left New York, I was teaching in Australia for 4 months. I got an email from Core Pilates and there was a girl who went through the program and wanted to travel so was looking for someone to take her spot while she was away. It ended up falling a month after I left New York, so I went there and taught and it was amazing. It was their winter but it was 65 and sunny so not too bad. I got to see koalas and kangaroos… and lots of spiders!
Describe the VEGA space and atmosphere in five words:
Kindhearted, dynamic, collective, special, unique.