YOGA STARS is a weekly feature at Vibrant Yogini where an amazing yoga teacher or enthusiast is interviewed about their beautiful journey and views as a yogi! It has been created to try and remove the gap between our confident and expert yogi’s, and those who have just started to practice yoga or who are curious to learn more about it. We never want you to feel intimidated or discouraged. Therefore, it is important to remember that each and every yogi started fresh from the beginning as a newbie once upon a time! Our aim is to motivate you to continue your journey no matter where you are on it.
Designed to inspire your yoga practice and encourage you to follow your dreams.
“Yoga teachers are some of my favorite people in the world. They’re thoughtful, curious, and generous of spirit. They’ve got a wanderlust that leads them to interesting and unexpected places.” ~ Kristen
Yoga Star: Kristen Sweeney aka @EdgeOfTheMat
Where are you currently based?
Boston, MA (United States of America)
Where are you originally from?
Safety Harbor, Florida (United States of America)
When did you start practicing yoga and why?
I started practicing yoga in 2009 when I was living in Las Vegas, Nevada on an acting contract.
After swimming competitively in high school, I struggled in college and my early teen years to find some kind of physical activity that I enjoyed doing consistently.
What got you hooked?
The discipline and the sweatiness.
I fell in love with yoga in a Bikram class.
I’ve since grown to love the softer side of yoga as well as other styles, but at the time the Bikram sequence very much appealed to my personality.
What is your favourite asana and why?
It embodies surrender, acceptance, and a oneness with everything around you.
Other poses help you be stronger or more flexible, savasana just allows you to be.
Which asana have you found the most challenging within your practice?
I’ve struggled with back bending, mostly because my spine is pretty flexible and this led me to use it in ways that weren’t always safe or well-aligned.
Back bending now is a lot of grappling with my ego and only going as far as I can safely, rather than pushing myself to go as far as possible.
Where did you do your training/s and what courses have you completed?
I have completed:
- 200-hour vinyasa (in New York City)
- 100-hour hot (in New York City)
- 40-hour prenatal trainings (in New York City)
- 20-hour postnatal training (in Boston)
How has yoga impacted your life?
It’s become my North Star.
Which type of yoga do you teach/ specialize in?
Vinyasa, Bikram-style Hot, Prenatal, and Postnatal.
What do you love about this style of yoga?
I love the variety of styles I get to teach and students I get to serve.
What’s your mission as a yoga instructor/ enthusiast?
To help people find union through yoga: body and mind in the same place at the same time.
This is presence, this is fulfilment.
If you could give only one piece of advice to others who are looking to start yoga what would it be?
You don’t have to be flexible!
If you’re inflexible, that’s a great reason to go to yoga.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone who is just starting out as a teacher what would it be?
Work with me as your business coach 🙂
What has been one of your favorite highlights of your yoga journey?
Realizing that teaching was something that could be fulfilling for me very single day.
What has been one of your biggest struggles during your yoga journey?
As a student, definitely healing from an injury and learning to conceive of my practice in a different way.
What are you currently focusing on the most in your yoga journey right now?
As a student, continually working on deep core strength and letting my asana emanate from there.
Where is your favorite yoga place in the world (and why)?
I have lovely memories of a studio in Brooklyn on warm Sunday mornings.
Who inspires you the most within your yoga journey?
The teachers who dedicate themselves to exposing students to yoga all over the world.
What is one of your favorite mantras or affirmations that you don’t mind sharing?
“You don’t have to fix it, you don’t have to change it. You just have to notice it.”
What is one of your favorite yoga quotes?
“Even after all this time, the sun never says to the earth: you owe me.
Look what happens with a love like that: it lights up the whole sky.”
If you could have a secret power, what would in be?
I’d like to fly.
Do you have any additional secret talents?
I’m a singer, although that’s not so secret. 🙂
What type of outfit do you prefer to practice yoga in and why?
Usually leggings and a tank top, but I’ll also wear sweats.
I like my arms to be free to move, although I’ll often start class in a sweatshirt or long sleeves.
As for the bottom half, it’s really just about being able to step into those long stances like Warrior 2 or a High Lunge without my clothes getting in the way.
When choosing a yoga mat, what type do you normally go for?
I love a Jade.
Connect with Kristen online:
Kristen teaches vinyasa, hot, prenatal, and postnatal yoga classes in the Boston area of America.
Find out the dates of future yoga events, workshops and classes by visiting: EdgeOfTheMat.com
Plus, don’t forget to check out and follow Kristen’s beautiful feed;
- Instagram: @EdgeOfTheMat
Additional Yogi Extras!
Browse available yoga and wellness retreats around the world;
Why not spend your next vacation experiencing a yoga retreat?
There are so many to choose from!
Whether you prefer mixing it with a bit of surfing in Costa Rica, or your would like to visit the worlds heart of yoga in Rishikish, India.
Perhaps you are in need of a refreshing detox retreat, or simply a relaxing and luxurious stay in paradise which offers you spa treatments, sightseeing tours and daily yoga classes.
You are sure to find one that suits your needs perfectly!
OR book a hotel already within your dream wellness destination.
Don’t worry, I get it!
Some of you just don’t like the idea of being restricted to a yoga retreat, or you may be with friends or loved ones who don’t fancy being restricted to a retreat programme.
Perhaps then, you are more in favour of staying at an independent hotel but within a yoga destination?
Have the best of both worlds!
Hotel comforts AND attend daily yoga classes in your dream wellness destination.
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This is fantastic news because, like many Middle Eastern Airlines, their flights are always so comfortable with high quality and attentive service, great meals (for an aeroplane!) and in-flight entertainment!
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Almost there, but first let’s find you the correct gear to take with you…
When packing to go on a wellness holiday, it is useful to take your own personal travel mat and gear.
Finding the correct equipment that fully suits your needs is important to prevent injuries and help you reap the benefits of yoga and exercise.
When I first started yoga, I personally had to have a slightly thicker yoga mat than average otherwise the lower part of my back doesn’t feel cushioned enough making me feel so sore after only one or two sessions!
Barefoot yoga supplied a wide variety of sustainable and comfortable yoga props and gear.
Are you getting enough vitamins during your travels? or even, at home?
Sometimes when we go travelling, we can be limited to what food is available at the destinations we travel to.
This often makes us feel sluggish and tired.
You can overcome the common negative effects of travelling with yoga stretches. Read the guide here.
Plus, you can supplement stretches with nutritional vitamins.
Us health-conscious yogi’s usually travel with organic supplements to help keep us healthy while on the road -the last thing we ever want while on vacation is to become sick!
Would you like to be interviewed for the weekly Yoga Stars feature?
Well that’s all for now! Make sure you keep an eye out for the Yoga Star featuring at Vibrant Yogini next Friday!
Connect with Vibrant Yogini
Would you like to take part in the weekly Yoga Stars feature at Vibrant Yogini? Whether you are a yoga teacher or a passionate enthusiast, we would love to hear from you! Please send an email to the following address:
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Wishing you a life full of opportunities in abundance,
P.S. Leave your feedback for the wonderful Kristen in the comments below!