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Meet Robyn Parets of Pretzel Kids in West Roxbury

Today we’d like to introduce you to Robyn Parets.

Robyn, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I founded Pretzel Kids ( 12 years ago after experiencing a lack of curriculum-based yoga classes for kids ranging in age from 2.5 to 17. At the time, I was teaching yoga and running Breathe Joy Yoga, a yoga studio I opened in Sharon, Ma. in 2004 and sold last year. It was a natural to begin running Pretzel Kids classes out of my studio. I soon expanded and began teaching Pretzel Kids classes at local YMCAs, gyms, recreation centers and schools. Before I knew it, I was getting more requests for classes than I could handle. Right then and there I decided it was time to bottle the curriculum and train others to teach Pretzel Kids classes. I teamed up with two other yoga instructors, who were also school teachers, to create a curriculum and training manual. Once we had training materials, we began running weekend teacher training courses so that others would have the tools and skills to teach Pretzel Kids classes.

In 2015, after more than a decade of successfully running Pretzel Kids certification courses and kids classes throughout Boston and the United States, I decided that it was time to take the next step in the evolution of Pretzel Kids. And, that meant creating an online version of our curriculum and training course. In late 2015, we introduced our brand new online course. This gives yogis, school teachers, moms and anyone else the ability to take the course online in the comfort of their own home – at a fraction of the price of our live teacher training course.

But, in addition to our training courses, classes and events, we also wanted to become a one-stop resource for information on yoga for children, youth wellness and other topics related to raising and teaching kids. Before I opened my yoga studio and created Pretzel Kids, I was a journalist and business writer. In fact, I still am a content marketing writer and editor. So, I decided to blend my interests and skills and create a Pretzel Kids blog – offering stories about everything from top yoga poses for kids, to how to plan affordable children’s activities, to how to cook up healthy snacks with your kids.

These are stressful times – not just for adults, but for children, too. Pretzel Kids classes incorporate yoga postures with fun, imaginative games and relaxation techniques. By using games, breath work and visualization, children and teens naturally relax and learn to appreciate what they can accomplish – in a judgement-free zone.

Here at Pretzel Kids we can’t wait to see what the future holds as we continue to educate both children and adults.

Has it been a smooth road?
I believe you need to experience struggles – even failure – to ultimately be successful. Launching Pretzel Kids was not easy as I did this on a shoe-string budget and on my own for the first several years. I often bit off more than I could chew, so to speak. I also learned that I simply can’t do everything on my own – at least not well.

I’m now at another crossroads and facing growing pains. Pretzel Kids could be a much bigger brand but I struggle with how to best expand without losing the integrity of who we are: A company on a mission to help kids and teens get fit, deal more effectively with stress and appreciate their own uniqueness. We have been in talks with several larger companies in the kids’ activity space, as well as yoga corporations. We even were in negotiations at one point for a potential sale. But, the timing wasn’t right and nor was the structure of the deal. I am still open to a sale or partnership with the right company – but it has to be a harmonious fit for all. Our motto is: “Spreading Joy from Head to Toes, It All Begins in Pretzel Pose.” If we can spread this joy in a bigger way through the right partnership, I’m all for it. The key for me is to take it one day at a time, stay positive, and be open to any and all opportunities.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Pretzel Kids – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Pretzel Kids is a children’s yoga brand and company. We offer classes, events, workshops, birthday parties and, of course, our live and online training certification courses. To kids, we’re fun, fun, fun, to parents, we are the answer to helping your kids stay physically fit and deal more effectively with the pressures of school and peers. To teachers, we offer you tools to infuse mindfulness and yoga into your classrooms. To anyone who wants to teach kids yoga: We give you the training and skills to teach classes or form your own kids yoga business – starting right now.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Boston is my home! I was born in the Boston area, moved to Los Angeles for 14 years and came back to launch my yoga studio and Pretzel Kids. I love that Bostonians have embraced my business and been so supportive over the years. Boston has an unbelievable community of yogis and I’m proud to be part of this. Not only that but, as we all know, Bostonians truly value what it means to get a good education and continue learning. This bodes well for Pretzel Kids as we teach both kids and adults. Last summer, Pretzel Kids partnered with The Highland Street Foundation to teach 400 Boston city youth at the TADpole 10 playground on the Boston Common. We loved having this opportunity to work with the kids in such a beautiful outdoor space – right next to the Frog Pond. We are grateful to be based in such a thriving and energetic city.

Honestly, the only thing I don’t love about Boston is the cold weather. But you can’t change the weather!

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