Today we’d like to introduce you to Cat Aldana.
Cat, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started teaching Yoga immediately after college in 2011. I suffered from the typical, “I’m lost, I’m confused, I don’t know what to do with my life!” complex that happens to most people when they graduate. I quickly became a full-time Yoga Instructor running around teaching classes all over the city. Five years later, I realized I was burned out, stressed, and still lost. How was that possible? I was a Yoga Teacher! I was living my dream. What happened?
I thought about why it was I wanted to become a Yoga Teacher in the first place – it was to take it easy, to not take life so seriously and to have fun! I realized I attempted teaching yoga the same way anyone else who had a “9-5” or corporate job would: Like a crazy person eager to get to the top with no appreciation for the journey. Late 2015, I decided things would be different.
I started a blog called EAT STRETCH NAP where I wanted to help people navigate tough choices – like the one I made to become a Yoga Teacher full-time. Eventually, my blog turned into a boutique wellness company that offers international retreats, events and programs. My intention now is to help people relax, find themselves, and enjoy the moment through yoga, meditation and mindful living.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
There’s definitely been a lot of internal struggle.
It’s no secret that being a Yoga Teacher isn’t the most lucrative career choice. So navigating insecure, fraudulent feelings of “not making enough money” and “not being a real business owner” definitely get in the way of growing and expanding my company at times. I’ve learned to ignore these negative messages and take action despite whatever’s happening in reality – or in my head.
I am a first-generation Asian American woman. My parents grew up in the Philippines and my younger brother and I were raised in Bartlett, Illinois. Their dream for us is the typical “American Dream” of working a corporate job, living in the suburbs, and starting a family young. My non-traditional career path, crazy travel schedule and inability to fit the status quo has always been a point of contention and has caused a lot of stress in our relationship.
I’ve learned that sometimes following your dreams isn’t always what it’s hyped up to be and certainly doesn’t always make everyone happy, but you got to keep going and trusting your inner self.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about EAT STRETCH NAP™ – what should we know?
EAT STRETCH NAP™ teaches you how to slow down, turn your mind off and not take life so seriously. We offer retreats, events and 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. Our wellness retreats are our most unique experiences!
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 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 approach to yoga, meditation + mindfulness. We keep things simple and light-hearted while producing life-changing and transformative results.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Jim Kulackoski of the Darshan Method http://darshancenter.com/jim-kulackoski/.
He is my teacher, my biggest mentor and #1 influence in my life when it comes to all things Yoga. He’s taught me everything I know when it comes to living a yogic lifestyle and fulfilling my life’s purpose.
- Website: http://eatstretchnap.com/
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: eatstretchnap / cataldasana
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cataldasana