Today we’d like to introduce you to Cat Aldana.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Cat. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I always feel like I have to start from the very, very beginning. As a child, I was well-behaved, well-liked, and super smart. In high school, I was in a gifted program called the Science, Engineering + High Technology Academy at Bartlett High School. In college, at DePaul University, I majored in PR and Advertising with a minor in Graphic Design and was also in their Honors Program. Getting good grades and following the rules always meant a lot to me and I tried my hardest to make my parents and teachers proud by fitting the status quo. I got straight As, had the perfect resume, and worked every job/internship under the sun.
It wasn’t until I studied abroad my senior year of college that I finally “woke up” and realized that life did not have to be so fast-paced and based on what other people thought I should be or what I was “supposed to do.” When I graduated college, I said no to the path laid out before me for the first time in my life – and it felt great! Saying no to a corporate 9-5 “American Dream” job was challenging, but I couldn’t seem to find purpose in it no matter how hard I tried. I decided to do something more meaningful to me instead – and that was learning + teaching yoga. I soon became a full-time Yoga Instructor. I fell in love with yoga, ayurveda, meditation… and slowly realized yoga was so much more than just stretching — it’s a philosophy and lifestyle. I eventually started my own company, EAT STRETCH NAP, to help people slow down, relax and be more mindful, as I’ve come to learn that is truly what life is about. So that’s what I focus my energy on today.
Has it been a smooth road?
It definitely has not been a smooth road. I’d say one of the biggest struggles I’ve dealt with when starting my own company is my managing my own self-criticism and doubt. There was a long period of time where I felt guilty about doing my own thing and creating a life that’s right for me, especially after years and years of conditioned people-pleasing. To go off on my own felt like, “Who am I to be doing this?” It can be very isolating to go against the norm because it feels like you don’t deserve to be happy and free, but you have to remember who you are, why you’re doing what you’re doing and keep on creating what you envision for yourself and others.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the EAT STRETCH NAP™ story. Tell us more about the business.
Our wellness retreats are our most unique experiences!
EAT STRETCH NAP™ teaches you how to slow down, turn your mind off and not take life so seriously. We offer international retreats, events and corporate wellness programs to help you feel less stressed, more focused and more inspired. We like to bring travel and mindfulness together so you can actually relax.
I am most proud of our ability to bring together diverse groups of humans from all walks of life – retirees, recent grads, men and women of all ages in career/life transitions – all together in a new place, only to realize that we’re all the same. We all worry about the same things. We all want the same things. We’re just at different stages of our lives. An EAT STRETCH NAP™ lifestyle is universal. We all want to relax. We just don’t always know how. That’s where ESN comes in.
What sets us apart is our playful approach to yoga, meditation + mindfulness. We keep things simple and light-hearted while producing life-changing and transformative results.
We also recently just launched a video Masterclass, specifically to help business owners + entrepreneurs be more focused, have more energy, and be more productive. As a business owner myself, I understand how important it is to get as much work as possible done in the shortest amount of time so that you can spend MORE time napping ;), traveling, exploring, hanging out with friends + family and simply enjoying life. It gets tough managing it all so I want to share all the tips + tricks I can! Here’s a link to the Masterclass: https://bit.ly/2G3AxPq
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
In the wellness industry, in the next 5-10 years, I see more people leaning into the “woo” and a more holistic way of life. I think there will be a big shift towards people wanting to understand themselves on a deeper level whether through yoga, meditation, energy healing, life coaching, crystals, reiki, Vedic astrology, akashic soul readings, chakra cleansing, and all the metaphysical stuff that is much harder to grasp at first. But I think people are ready to explore more of the “unseen” parts of themselves and life on a more energetic level.
- EAT STRETCH NAP Retreat // Puerto Vallarta, Mexico // January 12-19, 2019 // Eco-Chic Suite Single Occupancy: $3,885 per person
- EAT STRETCH NAP Retreat // Puerto Vallarta, Mexico // January 12-19, 2019 // Eco-Chic Suite Double Occupancy: $2,885 per person
- EAT STRETCH NAP Sunday Stretch Session // Ace Hotel Chicago // First Sunday of every month // $15
- Website: eatstretchnap.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: eatstretchnap
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cataldasana
- Other: http://cataldana.com/
Naza Quirós, See + Feel Co, Kyle Goldberg