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Meet Kristen Sweeney of Edge of the Mat in Quincy

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristen Sweeney.

Kristen, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started Edge of the Mat as a personal passion project in 2012. At the time I had been teaching yoga for about a year, and I felt like I had more to say that I was able to fit into a 60 or 90-minute yoga practice. I wanted to spend more time thinking and writing about yoga and the incredible transformation it was having on my life, so I grabbed the domain and started a blog.

During the last 5 years, I’ve gone through a significant personal evolution. I shifted my career focus from performing (singing and dancing) to yoga. I met my husband and relocated from NYC to Boston. Edge of the Mat has evolved too. As I got clear about wanting to transition it from passion project to viable business, I thought a lot about who I could help most. And the answer was: yoga teachers.

Today, Edge of the Mat helps teachers align their yoga business. My goal is to provide tools and training that help yoga teachers build better careers. A better career is one that’s financially sustainable but also spiritually rewarding. There’s kind of a myth in the yoga world that you can’t have both, but I believe it’s absolutely possible if you build your business in an intentional and strategic way.

Has it been a smooth road?
It has not been a smooth road! I spent a long time really unclear about who I could help. For a couple of years, I described Edge of the Mat as “yoga…. plus life,” with accompanying hand gestures, because I was so unsure of what exactly I was trying to accomplish!

I also started this business on a shoestring budget, and as it turns out, it’s a lot easier to make money when you already have money to invest in the business. Not to mention, I’ve gone through many of the same struggles as my fellow yoga teachers: guilt over not getting to my own yoga mat often enough, stress over taking on too many classes or saying yes to the wrong opportunities, and trying to break into the teaching world but not having a concrete plan for moving forward.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Edge of the Mat offers tools and training to help yoga teachers align their businesses. We do that through free content (blog posts and resources), online trainings (courses coming soon), and private and small group coaching. What differentiates Edge of the Mat is that unlike some of the other “yoga business” brands out there, we’re not telling every yoga teacher they need to be building an online business to be successful.

It’s our belief that most yoga teachers want live, in-person interaction with their students, and that most students actually want the same thing. So there’s a time and place for websites, newsletters, and social media, but we really want to work with teachers whose main focus is those live interactions, whether that’s in group classes, private sessions, or yoga retreats.

I am most proud of the level of detail in the great content we’re creating. It’s specific, it’s actionable, and it really helps yoga teachers set and achieve meaningful goals that propel them forward.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
It’s interesting because most of Edge of the Mat is actually an online business. That said, I do think Boston is a good city for starting this business because there are plenty of yoga studios and a ton of teachers living and working in this community. I think a recommendation would depend on the kind of business someone else was trying to develop, but Boston has been good to me so far.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Gregory Modzelewski

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