Tam spent some time with Anielka Azarian (aka Pretzel Girl) – former au pair, D.C. based yoga instructor and Fabletics Brand Ambassador.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi! My name is Anielka (Ah-nee-elle-kah). I’m a smiley human being, travel enthusiast, healthy-lifestyle devotee, and yoga nut! I’m the creator of pretzel.girl, a DC-based yoga lifestyle Instagram account.
Can you tell us how you got started?
Four years ago, I created @preztel.girl to have an online yoga portfolio. I thought a yoga-only Instagram account would allow me to keep track of my progress without annoying my friends. I soon began joining yoga challenges and asking my husband to take pictures of me doing the “pose of the day.” Then it evolved into a regular routine, and he became my main photographer. On weekends, we go out to take yoga pictures at local nature parks, spots in downtown DC, and any cool-looking place we happen to see while driving (colorful backgrounds are great!). We have a lot of fun coming up with ideas for creative shots that really convey the beauty of yoga and the overall lifestyle. We bought a professional camera as a mutual Christmas gift two years ago, and that’s the camera we use for all the pictures. Our photos have been featured in articles by Washingtonian Magazine and Women’s Health Magazine, and I have served as a brand ambassador for companies like Nordstrom and Fabletics. I became a yoga teacher 2 years ago, and now you can catch me teaching private classes around town!
What’s your background? How does your background influence your path in life?
I grew up in a big family in Southern Mexico. My parents didn’t have the time or resources to take us to any after-school activities. I spent my teen years eating unhealthy, drinking alcohol, and even smoking cigarettes! When I moved to The States six years ago, I joined the local gym and tried a yoga class for the first time. I started noticing how good my body felt after stretching for an hour and how my mood would change immediately. Through yoga, I could get a break from stress and anxiety, and that had me coming back to class day after day. I would go home and show my husband the postures I learned in class. After a while, gym yoga classes started getting too repetitive, so I decided to use a coupon for a free month trial at local yoga studio — and that’s where everything started. An obsession for the asana practice developed, and I knew I’d found my passion. Being upside-down made me feel like a child in a playground. Today, I have to have a daily dose of meditation, arm balances, and handstands to keep me sane!
Describe your style.
What motivates you?
What are some words you live by?