For our Livin’ Life The Yoga Way – Interview Series, we have Alanna Zabel as our next guest. A 40 year old, radiant yoga instructor and founder of AZIAM Yoga. She loves Vinyasa Flow Yoga as much as she loves the grace of fitness, Pilates and dance. Truly passionate about teaching holistic and organic wellness, Alanna enjoys leading yoga retreats nationally and internationally, including her Detox Yoga, Surf & Yoga and Seva (service) retreats.
By dedicating almost two decades of her life to yoga, she now defines yoga in her own unique way. A vehicle of self discovery and realizing your life’s purpose. When asked about her beliefs, she proudly replied, “I am a believer that less is typically more when it comes to living authentically.”
Well, not much argument with that. So, here are the few excerpts from her interview:
- 1. Witnessing transformation through yoga, you became a yoga instructor and found your life’s purpose in sharing your wisdom. But, not everyone can be an instructor. So, tell our readers how they can find their life’s purpose through yoga?
- 2. Do mention what was your first tryst with yoga was like?
- 3. Apart from mental peace and physical strength, how has yoga changed your life in general?
- 4. Tell us something about your yoga practice.
- 5. Our readers would love an advice from you Alanna.
1. Witnessing transformation through yoga, you became a yoga instructor and found your life’s purpose in sharing your wisdom. But, not everyone can be an instructor. So, tell our readers how they can find their life’s purpose through yoga?
Alanna: Yoga and meditation are incredible practices to bring awareness of present moment reality. Once we become more present, our awareness increases. That awareness initiates a-ha moments as we realize what was always there – our truth and purpose. This purpose can be expressed in infinite ways, and there is great power in aligning consciousness of self-realization and life choices.
2. Do mention what was your first tryst with yoga was like?
Alanna: I started teaching Dance to girls ages 7-18 when I, myself, was a mere 17 years old. I began teaching Fitness at the age of 18, and never stopped since. I was working at Equinox in NYC during my early twenties and my fitness manager suggested that I take a yoga teacher training. Honestly, I brushed her suggestion to the side, thinking it was too slow of a practice for a passionate girl like me. Yet, her suggestion intrigued me to take a class. I walked into a 7 pm Flow class. I had to change trains and stations to get to my class. Yet, after this incredibly powerful experience, I have no idea how I got home that night.
I was floating on the clouds, incredibly relaxed with a rush of presence that I had never felt before. I am amazed by yoga every day, both for what it does for me, as well as what I see it do for others.
3. Apart from mental peace and physical strength, how has yoga changed your life in general?
Alanna: I have a saying, “If it wasn’t for yoga, I never would have met myself.” This is what inspires me to teach and practice daily. I do find that my memory and relationships have improved, but mostly I seek to continue understanding the magic of life and Universal consciousness as best that I can before I leave this body. I seek to increase conscious, positive moments and decrease fear-based, ignorant ones. There is only one of you, and that you is worth knowing.
4. Tell us something about your yoga practice.
Alanna: I try to do some sort of practice every day – even if that is only a few Sun Salutations and some stretching. I am pretty bendy by nature, so I work on maintaining alignment and not over stretching. I love back bends – I just feel so vast and joyous when in back bends. I like to practice at home. I studied Ashtanga Yoga, so my roots are in self-practice.
I know many people who have not only been inspired to practice by witnessing my process, but also having gone on to teach. It is such an honor and I feel connected to the entire yoga and positive consciousness movement that we are awakening together.
5. Our readers would love an advice from you Alanna.
Alanna: Try not to compare yourself to others. Live true to who you are.
Alanna is also the designer for AZIAM Active Wear and author of “As I Am: Where Spirituality Meets Reality” and seven childrens’ books. She has been featured in Self, Fitness, People, InStyle, Women’s Health, C – California Lifestyle and Yoga Fit magazines, as well as several yoga/fitness productions.