Since coming to Haven on the Lake as general manager in 2018, Kevin Shaffer has been a source of abundant optimism, humor and positive energy, even during the more difficult days of the pandemic.
Now, as we all work through Haven’s upcoming closure, Kevin was kind enough to reflect on his favorite memories and what sets the Haven community apart. He remains rooted in gratitude for the healing, growth and good times shared — and firmly believes that our personal yoga journeys are far from over.
What brought you to Haven on the Lake?
Kevin: I’ve been in the sports and fitness world for about 35 years. I was an overweight kid who got in shape from running, and it fueled my desire to help other people feel their best.
I came to Haven in 2018 after a fitness journey in Arizona that included managing a country club spa. During my time there, my personal journey with holistic healing and yoga really deepened, since it helped me heal from rheumatoid arthritis without medications. So when I saw the job description for Haven, it almost sounded too good to be true. After getting the general manager job, it didn’t take long for me to realize it really was that good! The amazing people were a big part of that.
What’s your favorite thing about the Haven community?
Kevin: That they truly care about each other. When word got out that Haven was closing, Heather and I were worried about our members — but they were concerned about our wellbeing! It sounds cliche to say Haven is like a family, but it really is this caring, compassionate and welcoming community, from our instructors to our members.
Do you have a favorite story or most memorable moment from your time at Haven?
Kevin: My favorite times would have to be the Haven Open House events. They were incredible and like nothing I’d ever seen. They encompassed the whole day; the October before the pandemic, we had a full day of special events planned from 8 am to 6:30 pm. At one point, we had a scheduling mishap and Heather had to teach a yoga class for almost 50 people with about a minute’s notice. And that spontaneous class was so beautiful and memorable, you could just feel the good energy in the air.
After being at Haven for 10 hours, I would come home energized instead of drained. That’s just a sign of what an amazing environment it was. All of the big events with lots of people stick out in my memory as the best times.
How has Haven had a lasting impact on your wellness journey and life?
Kevin: It’s impacted everything for the better. I believe my mission in life is to help people, and Haven allowed me to have a positive impact. If I hit the Powerball someday, I’ll do personal training and yoga classes for free. To me, that’s giving back and people truly need it. I’m always that fat kid in my mind, so yoga has helped keep me calm and bring back the wise knowing hippie in me. Haven has fortified my journey; it’s let me know that this is the right space for me.
What else would you like people to know about Haven on the Lake?
Kevin: Although Haven is closing and we’re all feeling that loss right now, the community still goes on. I never looked at other yoga studios as competition, because there’s room for all us. The message is that the journey should still continue, whether you’re doing yoga here or somewhere else. It helps humanity and it makes us all connected. I’m forever grateful for the time we spent at Haven together and will always carry those memories and lessons with me.