Feature Teacher Spotlight: Hayley Haberman


Congratulations to Hayley Haberman who recently graduated 300-Hour Advanced Yoga Teacher Training and has now completed over  5oo hours of Yoga Teacher Training!

Learn more about Hayley:

Where are you from and when did you start practicing yoga?

I grew up in Toronto in the 70's and 80's. My grandmother and mother both practiced yoga.  As an adult, I tried the odd yoga class at gyms or studios; and although I liked the way I felt during and post practice, I never stuck with it regularly.  

After my second child was born, I was exhausted, stressed out, and stuck in some unhealthy patterns.  Nothing I normally did was working to get me out of my slump and the quick fixes I tried proved frustrating. In desperation, with my mother and grandmother in mind, I turned to yoga.  

I blocked out time and committed to developing a practice even though I had no idea what the outcome would be.  I started going to classes, reading about yoga, and practicing at home.  Yoga helped me to detach from my frazzled state, and connect with underlying calm. 

 After some time, the spaciousness I uncovered on my mat was accessible to me in other parts of my life.  Now, when life gets frantic or I get sad, I use my practice to find peace, clarity and gratitude.


When did you start teaching yoga
and where did you train?

When I signed up for my first teacher training in 2011 at Empower with Gregor Singleton and Claire Este MacDonald, my intent was to deepen my practice, not to teach.  I've experienced bouts of anxiety in my life, and at the time, I was going through a period of social anxiety.  I couldn't imagine being able to speak to a group of adults in public let alone lead a yoga class.  

As the training got underway, I fell into my usual groove of wanting to hide in the back and observe, instead of fully participating and risk showing my real, imperfect self.  Eventually though, my facade became impossible to maintain because so many parts of that 80-hour training required me to put myself "out there" and be vulnerable. I hated it....and it was so good for me.  

Halfway through, I realized that teaching yoga might be a way to face the fear that was holding me back and making me feel constricted.  I started by teaching some beginners who I recruited, and later I taught community classes.  Forcing myself to confront my aversion to public speaking was difficult and I often felt awkward and nervous.  Yet there was something liberating about showing up week after week and taking center stage without pretending to have it all figured out.  

In time, I felt more at ease, and even confident; and teaching became fun. I will always be introverted by nature, and I certainly don't have everything all figured out; but I no longer feel the need to hide.

I have been blessed to have exceptionally knowledgeable, intelligent, inspiring and encouraging teachers throughout my yoga journey.  In May of 2013, I completed a 200-hour training with Elizabeth Huntsman DeAngelis and Tricia Philpott at Empower.  

I just completed a 300-hour teacher training with Natasha Rizopoulos at The Down Under School of Yoga in December 2017.  I consider my peers to be my teachers too.  I work with smart and generous yoga instructors who l learn tons of new things from all of the time.  I'm so grateful for our supportive yoga community.

Where and with whom do you live?  Are there any other interesting facts about you?

I live in beautiful Rockport, by the ocean, with my two middle school aged sons and our silly rescue dog.  I feel fortunate to be able to spend time outdoors in nature every day.  Before moving to the North Shore, I lived in Tucson, Arizona.  I loved the desert climate and surreal landscape.  I have a Masters degree in elementary education from Syracuse University and before having children, I was a schoolteacher for about 10 years.


Is there a quote that resonates with you?

Yoga does not just change the way we see things, it transforms the person who sees. - B.K.S. Iyegar


When/Where do you teach?

I teach at Empower:

Tuesdays at 12 pm Power Hour

Wednesdays at 12 pm Power Hour

Thursdays at 12 pm Power Hour

Fridays at 11 am Power Yoga (75 minutes)

I will be doing two special classes at Empower in March:

Saturday, March 3

Back to Basics Workshop: A slower paced vinyasa class in a warm room, where we will focus on alignment and modifications in all poses and transitions (including Chatturanga). 

 Appropriate for all students who occasionally find themselves wondering if they're "doing it right".

Saturday, March 24

Inversion workshop: Inversions are a playful and safe way to conquer fear, and they also have powerful therapeutic applications. In this workshop, we will do a short warm up then some simple and accessible prep poses building towards handstand, forearm balance and headstand variations.  Appropriate for all levels.

Join me :)