Alanna Zabel

I would like to introduce you to Alanna Zabel, the founder of AZIAM Yoga. Alanna holds a double BA in Psychology and Child Development, with a minor in Theatre & Dance from the University at Buffalo.

Voted “Best Yoga Instructor in LA” by Los Angeles Family Magazine in 2011, and one of “Hollywood’s Hottest Trainers” by Shape Magazine in 2013, Alanna is a certified yoga, fitness, Pilates, and dance instructor, who is passionate about teaching holistic and organic wellness. Alanna has been teaching yoga for 20 years.

But she is more than just a yoga teacher, Alanna is also the designer for AZIAM Active Wear, and an accomplished author. Alanna is the author of As I Am: Where Spirituality Meets Reality, Alanna has also written and illustrated seven childrens yoga books, including The Seven Doors, a children’s book teaching Deepak Chopra’s Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. Alanna has also been featured in Self, Fitness, People, InStyle, Women’s Health, Men’s Health, Origin, Mantra Yoga + Health, Details, C – California Lifestyle and Yoga Fit magazines.

In this interview, Alanna talks about yoga and her business.

Ysmay: How did you get started with yoga?

Alanna: I began teaching dance at age 17, and fitness at age 18, so teaching movement has been a huge part of my life for a very long time. I started practicing Ashtanga yoga as part of the practices that I used to discover who I am. There came a point when I could not find a class that I liked, and at that point I knew that I had to teach.

How has yoga helped you transform?

Yoga has made me more aware of my purpose, as well as giving me the tools to allow my life to unfold with ease. The world is full of dog-eat-dog competition and I always remind myself that at the end of my life, it was only “me being me.” If other people want to sacrifice their dharma by competing and being inauthentic, that is their choice, but I choose to be organic, original and authentic in everything that I do.

What are some of the challenges you see new students struggling with?

Getting attached to the more egoic, “showy” poses and bypassing the systematic essence of yoga.

What advice do you have for a new yoga practitioner?

Allow the journey to unfold. Don’t force it or rush it.

Tell me a bit about AZIAM. How did the brand get started, and what does it stand for?

AZIAM literally stands for “Alanna Zabel I AM.” After moving to Los Angeles from NYC to film a TV show, I realized that I had literally manifested the character that I had been rehearsing for over 2 months. I decided that I was not going to play anyone other than me, nor be directed by anyone in any manner that does not match who I am. First, I had to figure out who I was, though.

What sets AZIAM apart from other yoga brands on the market?

The authenticity is pretty obvious, and this feedback is the most common that we receive.

What can I expect to see next from you?

I have a long list of exciting new projects that I cannot wait to share with you, but I have to keep them under the lid until they launch early 2015. 🙂