Cat Aldana is the voice + creator behind the guided meditations from the 2017 #CHAARGSBFP. She’s helped us practice mindfulness by prioritizing awareness of our mental health. She may have helped you realize there’s so much more to fitness than physical strength ++ if not, she hasn’t…yet ; ) Read on to learn more about this ray of sunshine —
Tell us a little bit about yourself! How’d you become a yoga instructor?
I went to DePaul University in Chicago. CHAARG didn’t exist yet when I was there but I taught Beyonce + Lady Gaga dance classes + ab workout classes at DePaul’s fitness center sooo technically I was an OG in helping free girls from the elliptical 😉 I majored in PR & Advertising with a minor in Graphic Design. I had every job//internship under the sun including working at DePaul’s Career Center, Chicago Tribune, + National Health Service of London. As soon as I graduated, I threw my Creative Advertising dreams away [couldn’t seem to find purpose in it no matter how hard I tried!] + became a full-time Yoga Instructor instead! I fell in love with the yoga and slowly realized it was so much more than just stretching — it’s a philosophy + lifestyle. I eventually started my own company, EAT STRETCH NAP™, ++ that’s what I focus my energy on today!
What’s your yoga // fitness philosophy in one sentence?
Yoga is truly my way of life, so I’d consider this more of a “life” philosophy:
Get to know yourself, make choices, ++ be responsible for them – for me, that’s all there is.
Tell us about EAT STRETCH NAP™!
I started EAT STRETCH NAP™ because I wanted to take Yoga out of the studio + bring it somewhere people would take it more seriously — THEIR WORK! We put so much pressure on ourselves about what our careers mean + what sort of jobs we have. I believe yoga philosophy can change the way you think, feel, + act about work. It helps you find purpose + meaning in everything you do — even if you “hate your job.” I discovered yoga while I was in search of meaning in my life and I truly believe the philosophies of Yoga, Meditation + Mindfulness can help companies + their employees create their own meaning + reach their full potential.
What’s your morning routine?
Wake up. Brush my teeth. Splash cold water on my face. Mediate for 30 minutes. Eat breakfast. Shower. Write. Work. Work. Work. Work. Work!
What’s your fav place to meditate?
In my yoga room! I finally have a dedicated yoga room in my apartment + I’m in love with it! I used to meditate on the floor in my living room by the radiator. It wasn’t perfect, quiet or zen, but I made it work! You don’t have to be in a quiet room or complete silence to meditate, yes of course it’s A LOT easier if that’s the case, but when you’re meditating, the whole point is learning how to focus — despite whatever else is going on. Outside distractions will happen all the time IRL, but you try + stay focused.
Who is your yoga inspo?
My yoga teacher, Jim Kulackoski. He is the wisest, strongest, smartest, most spiritually aligned + authentic person I have ever met. He instantly makes people feel at peace, present + completely aware of themselves when they’re around him. In my opinion, he is a true yoga guru because he has no interest in fame, money, or acknowledgment of any sort. He simply teaches + inspires by being a living example of his truth.
Fav health // wellness // meditation podcast?
I really only listen to business podcasts! “How I Built This” is my favorite one right now.
Weekly workout routine?
Physical yoga poses//asana when I feel like it + right now the #CHAARGSBFP!
Fav sweat sesh other than yoga?
Dance bbs! I dance whenever and wherever I can. I’ll dance in my yoga room for cardio or in my kitchen while I’m cooking. I’ll take a dance class or just go out + dance at night! Yes, sometimes with a drink in hand #balanceiskey!
Biggest lesson you hope to teach through being a yoga instructor?
I want to teach people how to get their bodies, mind + spirit to work together as one integrated + cohesive unit not only during a physical yoga practice but in life.
What is your fav way to indulge [#treatyoself]?
So many ways!! But my favorites are probably napping + watching [embarrassingly] mindless, girly TV like Sex + the City, Girls + Scandal.
What do you imagine your life to look like 5 years from now?
My husband + I living in the city raising kids! We live by the lake, ride our bikes + have family picnics in the summer. We have 2 dogs – a big one + a small one! [a beautiful black lab ++ a pup that looks like Katy Perry’s dog!! They’d be adopted of course :)] I run EAT STRETCH NAP™ completely from home + spend the majority of my time taking care of my family, cooking, cleaning, reading, doing yoga, meditating, dancing — pretty much doing everything I am doing now but with kids!
What FitGoal are you working on right now?
Strength Training! I’m working with a personal trainer for the first time in my life to officially learn how to lift weights + get REAL GOOD at it!! #CHAARGSBFP inspired me!
If you could give one piece of advice for CHAARG girls…
Don’t worry so much. You’re good. You’re good. You’re good! Trust yourself! xx
Thanks, Cat, for inspiring awareness + mindfulness with our meditation practice! <3