Here at Pretzel Kids, we bring together the growing fields of yoga, mindfulness, fitness and health. We are a fully-branded and proprietary kids yoga and mindfulness company. For the past 13 years, we've offered classes, special events, in-school workshops for kids and
teachers, birthday parties, products, and live and online yoga teacher training courses.
And now, we're on a bold mission: We want to offer our training to Boston public school teachers - for free. This will allow these educators to instill the tools of mindfulness and yoga at an early age to thousands of kids.
Pretzel Kids: A Proven Curriculum
Now is the time for Pretzel Kids to launch this innovative pilot program. We know our curriculum and classes work. And, we have the training tools to make this happen.
Let's Back up: We're on the Forefront of Yoga-Tech
Pretzel Kids is in the right place, at the right time. After extensive research, we recognized that the best way to expand Pretzel Kids was to create an accessible and affordable way to train as many adults as possible.
With that, we launched our online Pretzel Kids school in beta mode in 2016 and began promoting our school in 2017. We now have the ability to offer both live and online trainings at an affordable price-point to adults around the world. This gives moms, preschool teachers, yoga instructors and anyone interested the ability to take our online course for less than $300 ($200 for iFund Women backers). While our courses offer yoga and mindfulness training, they also help adults around the globe start a yoga business or side hustle teaching kids yoga classes. And, 99% of our certified Pretzel Kids teachers are women!
You may already know that yoga is the new frontier when it comes to health and fitness. According to a survey from Yoga Alliance and Yoga Journal, the number of Americans practicing yoga was more than 36 million in 2016, up from 20.4 million in 2012. This makes yoga as popular as golf, according to a USA Today article.
Yoga and Mindfulness for Kids Offer Lifelong Benefits
Did you know that children who worked on mindfulness techniques had 15% better math scores, were 24% less aggressive and considered themselves 20% more social? They also outperformed other children in cognitive and emotional control, optimism, empathy, and mindfulness.
This is where Pretzel Kids comes in
To kids, Pretzel Kids means fun, fun, fun! To parents, we’re the answer to helping children stay physically fit and handle the pressures of school and peers. To teachers, we give you the tools to teach amazing classes and create a business of your own in the growing children’s yoga market.
Past, Present and Future
Pretzel Kids got its start back in 2005 when Founder Robyn Parets began teaching kids yoga classes under the umbrella of her Boston-area yoga
studio. She decided to bottle this successful program and drew upon her background in journalism and business to develop a curriculum and training manual.
Now, with our newest online school initiative, adults from around the world can teach Pretzel Kids yoga. Some use our materials to play yoga games with their own kids, while others have launched children's yoga businesses.
Pretzel Kids is truly a kids yoga business-in-a-box, complete with a branded curriculum and the best name in the kids yoga biz!
Help us Launch Our Pilot Program
Our growth strategy is two-fold:
It starts at home and for us, that's here in Boston. If we hit our funding goal, we'll launch a pilot program to train a group of Boston public school teachers at no cost to the educators. From there, the sky's the limit and we hope to roll this program out nationally.
We know from experience that the best way to instill the benefits of yoga and mindfulness into a maximum number of children is to teach more adults. I like to think about it this way – instead of teaching one class of 25 kids, Pretzel Kids can focus on training 25 instructors to teach 25 kids – that’s 625 kids learning yoga and mindfulness techniques in just one 45 minute period! Imagine how many kids will be positively impacted if these same 25 teachers teach 5 classes a week in their respective public schools! That's 3,125 kids learning yoga and mindfulness techniques. There is power in numbers!
-- In order to roll out our pilot program in Boston and then to more cities, we need to hire someone. We envision this person as our "community accelerator," helping to launch the program, and market Pretzel Kids nationwide.
-- Now is the time - the time for Pretzel Kids to publish our first board book for early readers, card deck for all ages, and a Pretzel Kids pose app. We envision families and teachers using these resources to entertain and educate youth about the benefits of yoga in an engaging and fun way.
We know we need to start somewhere. Our goal is to EXCEED $5,000 and with your help, we think we can achieve this. Our seed funding will eventually grow into a tall tree with many branches, reaching out to kids and adults around the world.
Together we can make a difference in countless lives by "Spreading Joy From Head to Toes, It All Begins in Pretzel Pose™."
Meet Our Team
Robyn Parets, Founder and Director, E-RYT
Robyn is a certified yoga teacher, former owner of Breathe Joy Yoga studio in Massachusetts, and a content expert. She has taught hundreds of yoga classes and trained scores of adults to teach yoga through her 200-hour yoga teacher training course and the Pretzel Kids certification program.
Robyn originally started the Pretzel Kids yoga program to offer classes to children in her own community. She ultimately teamed up with two school teachers (also yoga instructors) to create a curriculum and training course so that others could also teach these effective classes.
Robyn graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in journalism and social sciences. As a journalist, she has written for Investor's Business Daily (IBD), The Los Angeles Times, Consumers Digest, National Real Estate Investor, NerdWallet, BeYogi, and many other publications and blogs. She currently specializes in writing about small businesses and financial topics.
Robyn lives in Boston with her family and dog. In her spare time, she practices and teaches yoga, takes road trips, works on her photography skills, and searches for flea market finds. She recently fostered her first rescue dog and can’t wait to welcome more canines into her temporary hotel for dogs. Learn more about Robyn and Pretzel Kids in BusinessTown!
Sarita Bhargava, Marketing Advisor
With over 25 years experience in marketing, Sarita has overseen and instituted the brand vision, positioning, and communications strategy across the disciplines of marketing, digital, social, publicity, advertising, and partnerships for a variety of multi-national organizations including PBS KIDS, The Walt Disney Company, Mattel Toys, and The Nature Conservancy. She currently also lectures at Georgetown University in the field of Integrated Marketing Communications.
Well-versed in reaching parents and families, Sarita has led marketing for the award-winning Cricket Media magazine portfolio with the responsibility of increasing brand presence and visibility on and offline among parents and grandparents. At the The Nature Conservancy, she oversaw the Nature Rocks program, an online platform designed to engage parents and their families with nature. At PBS, she worked as the Director of Brand Marketing and Promotion for PBS KIDS where she launched a long-running interstitial campaign featuring musicians, hosts and mascots. She began her career in advertising at the award-winning Arnold Advertising where she supported the New England region’s McDonald’s business. She continued to retain McDonald’s as client at Burrell Advertising, one of the pre-eminent leaders in African-American advertising.
Sarita received both her master's and bachelor’s degrees from Northwestern University.
Patricia Chilangwa, RYT, Mindfulness & Education Advisor and Pretzel Kids Teacher
Patricia started her career in the investment management industry, where she spent a number of years working at Scudder Investments and State Street Research. She later moved to the education field and worked as an early childhood educator and foreign language specialist.
Patricia came to the practice of yoga in 2000 and has never looked back. Motivated by her desire to positively impact children’s lives, Patricia incorporates mindfulness-based practices into her yoga classes. She draws on her years of experience as a preschool and elementary teacher to design and implement developmentally-appropriate curricula for children of all ages and abilities.
Patricia also serves on the Board of Directors at the United Nations of Boston, where she collaborates in educational initiatives to benefit girls and women. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from Boston College, and is currently pursuing a Master Degree in Mindfulness Studies at Lesley University.
Born and raised in Venezuela by Italian parents, Patricia has always embraced international and multicultural environments and hopes to help Pretzel Kids translate its curriculum into Spanish! She lives in the Boston area with her husband and three children.
Joel Lehrer, CTO and Branding Director/IP Advisor
Joel is a Boston-based intellectual property and patent attorney who specializes in working with start-ups. He graduated from U.C. Berkeley with a degree in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research. He also has his J.D. degree from Suffolk University Law School. Formerly an engineer and software consultant, Joel knows first-hand how beneficial yoga is as it saved his back!
Joel has been instrumental in developing the business and branding aspects of the Pretzel Kids program and has even been known to fix technology glitches.
Becky Ebling, New York Lead Teacher and Trainer
Becky has been teaching Pretzel Kids classes since 2010 and we are proud to have her on board as a lead trainer and teacher in New York.
Becky graduated from the National Personal Training Institute in Waltham, MA in June 2010 and has been working in the fitness and wellness field as a certified personal trainer ever since that time. She enjoys teaching yoga to kids of all ages and abilities. “There is nothing more rewarding then seeing young adults learn a new skill, accomplish a goal and have excitement for exercise.”
She graduated from the State University of New York College at Brockport in 2003 with a Bachelor’s degree in Recreation and Leisure Management and a minor in Business Administration. Becky is currently teaching Pretzel Kids classes in New York around the Utica/Mohawk Valley area.