Solstice Feature Teacher: Kelly Haas

1. Tell us about yourself and what brought you to the North Shore.


I grew up in Buffalo, New York and swore I was done with winters. So,  I chose a college in Virginia and was attending nursing school in Baltimore when I met my husband. Young love temporarily made me forget about my seasonal affective disorder, and we settled in the Boston area in 1999. When I was expecting my second child, Boston lost its luster and I longed for a garage. So we ended up in North Shore because I loved Crane's Beach and skiing was more accessible from the North. We have been very happy with our random choice of the North Shore.

2. What/who brought you to yoga?

I was briefly introduced to yoga as a teenager by my mother who had a VHS tape of Raquel Welch doing yoga in Hawaii. I wish I still had a copy of that tape! I loved the scenery and the poses, but yoga did not stick the first time around. When I first moved to Boston, I was dragged to a Bikram class in the South End after a big night to "sweat out" the toxins with my girlfriends. I found myself going back to the Bikram classes even without needing the detox because there was something special about the poses and community. I got busy with life, marriage, work, having babies, etc. and forgot about yoga for a few years. I was drawn to Empower Yoga when my children were toddlers (1, 2 and 3 1/2 to be exact). I found myself in the parking lot in Beverly after my middle son had broken his leg and was in a full body cast. I was driving around trying to get the boys to nap and a magnet pulled me in to the parking lot. I took a schedule (saw they had babysitting) and went back as soon as the cast was off my son's leg. This was my first experience of Vinyasa Power Yoga and I loved it immediately. Everything hurt the next day, but I craved the space I had found in my head on my mat. It was the first time I had felt peaceful in many years. 


3. Why did you want to become a yoga teacher?

I selfishly wanted to deepen my own yoga practice when I decided to take a teacher training. During the training I discovered I wanted to share my love of yoga with others. Yoga has given me so much. Raising three boys who were very close in age and had different learning challenges was emotionally draining, and yoga gave me a sense of calm and an awareness of my own strength. I come out of a class checking things off my to do list - I worked out, had therapy,  and facial all in the span of 60-90 minutes!  Over the years, friends and family comment on my ability to stay calm in the midst of turmoil, I want to share that sense of peace with others. 

4. Why do you teach now?

I teach now because it fulfills the need I have to nurture others. I am not currently working in the hospital setting as a nurse, and I miss the patient contact. Teaching yoga allows me to share the same side of my personality I used as a caregiver and share a passion at the same time. I love teaching and practicing at Solstice because flowing power vinyasa practice feeds my soul. But, I also teach pre and postnatal yoga and mom and baby classes in the community to tie my career as a labor and delivery nurse with my yoga. 

5. What are some things you are grateful for?

As I answer this question, I can't help but to feel grateful for my dog, Sadie, who is curled up under my desk sleeping. She fills a special place in my heart and always makes me happy. I am grateful for the beautiful flowers I see looking out the window and the knowledge that Summer (my favorite season) is approaching. I am grateful that I have found my roots in the North Shore and am surrounded by a loving family and community. And, I am grateful for my practice that is ever evolving and changing. I have been very blessed to find the perfect teachers right when I need them and feel very lucky to have discovered yoga at a time when my life was especially challenging. 

6. What brings you joy? What brings you peace?

There are so many things that bring me joy lately. Looking back on this past month, I was joyful as I walked on the beach in Florida with my 16 year old son. Joyful that he wanted to go away with just me. Joyful about the sun on my back and the water lapping against my feet. I feel joy watching my children, cooking a great meal, reading a really good book, laughing and having wine with friends. I feel peace when I walk my dog, practice yoga, look at the ocean, and meditate.

7. What/Who inspires you?

This year I discovered podcasts in addition to mixing up my reading list. So, I have been inspired by some amazing people who think outside of the box and persevere when things get tough. Some of my current favorites are Alberto Villoldo (a shaman and medical anthropologist), Pedram Shojai (the Urban Monk), Peter Sage (an entrepreneur) and Wim Hof (the Iceman). I am inspired by stories of people who believe in themselves and have the grit to find their place and purpose despite obstacles that life always puts in our paths. 



8.  Do you have a favorite quote or saying that inspires you?


My favorite quote that I come back to time and time again from "The Art of Racing in the Rain" by Garth Stein -

"That which we manifest is before us. We are creators of our own destiny. Be it through intention or ignorance, our successes and our failures have been brought on by none other than ourselves."


9.  When do you teach regularly at Solstice?


Wednesday mornings 5:30 am Power Hour

Saturday 11:00 am Basics