AGE: 28. LIVES IN: Lakeview. CLAIM TO FAME: Owner of boutique wellness company Eat Stretch Nap (Eatstretchnap.com) and yoga instructor at Equinox, AIR and JW Marriott Chicago. FREE SPIRIT: Aldana got into yoga while studying abroad in London during her last year of college at DePaul University. “It was a big eye opener for me in terms of relaxing,” she says. Having grown up in a strict, first-generation Filipino family, the experience gave her a sense of freedom. “When I came back to Chicago, I decided I didn’t want to work. I wanted to do something fun — and if I [could] make money doing it, even better.” MAKINGS OF A YOGI: Upon her return, Aldana became a full-time yoga instructor in 2011. “I fell in love with the practice. I realized it was so much more than just stretching — it’s a philosophy and lifestyle.” STARTING A BUSINESS: Last year, she started a wellness blog called Eat Stretch Nap. “I started attracting corporate [readers], so I thought there must be something here,” she says. With that idea, she transformed the blog into a company, going to businesses around the city to lead yoga, meditation and mindfulness classes in their own spaces (classes start at $100). OUT OF THE BOX: Earlier this month, she hosted a four-day yoga retreat in Puerto Vallarta, but for the rest of 2017, she’s thinking even bigger. “I would love to do corporate retreats — get an entire company to go somewhere and be out of their element,” she says. FINDING PEACE: For those who don’t have access to a yoga mat at work, Aldana suggests an alignment-based meditation. “It means focusing on sitting up tall, closing your eyes for a moment and trying to picture your body in a nice, long straight line,” she says. “It’s also great for your posture.”
Shot on location at the Darshan Center yoga studio (626 W. 18th); Photo by Ramzi Dreessen
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