Today we’d like to introduce you to Catalina Gonzalez.
Catalina is a mother, wife, Certified Counselor, Yoga Alliance Certified Instructor, Substance Abuse and Recovery Coach and a Wounded Healer from past sexual abuse and eating disorders. She is originally from Cali, Colombia and began practicing yoga in Houston TX in 2015. She studied and gained a deeper understanding of the practice and in 2016 she received her Certification with Life Power Yoga.
She has over ten years of experience in recovery herself and through supporting sexual abuse victims in their recovery process. Her passion lies in accompanying people through the scary process of mending what is broken from peoples past and present. She is a Jesus Follower and a Yoga lover and it is through her faith and her yoga practice that she found her life purpose, peace and the art of letting go.
That experience gave her the joy of sharing her passion for yoga. She would love to share this joy with you in a yoga class. Her classes are inspirational and powerful. She is a motivational teacher who gives you newfound confidence in your body’s ability to heal and strengthen both on and off the mat. Her classes emphasize self-care and using breath become grounded in the present moment. She encourages to move in ways that are authentic in hopes of cultivate healing.
When not practicing or teaching yoga, Catalina can be found volunteering in the addiction and recovery community, running, reading and spending time with her husband and two boys.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Let me tell you what I have learned through my experience of recovering from past sexual abuse. I grew up lost, scared, on guard, and alone. I was unsure of everything especially myself. I did not know who I was, what I wanted, or which direction to go in.
Childhood abuse makes it impossible to sustain all those things that make life worth living. I feel that it was only through the grace of God that I didn’t take my life. Just existing is no way to live. Dragging yourself through your life can be exhausting and unfulfilling.
It hasn’t been a smooth road, I struggled with eating disorders, codependency, anxiety and depression for many years but the process of healing is worth it, recovering from what has happened to you starts with accepting that you were a victim. This will allow you to begin releasing your shame and recognize that those who abused you were responsible for what happened, not you.
Finding recovery brought me to people what would care about me and love as I was. These people brought me to the professional help that I needed. That help brought me to people who understood me and have lived in my shoes. That help brought me closer to God and through that process and after many obstacles I found Yoga.
Yoga thought me to take care of my body and to love myself unconditionally, something I didn’t know how to do, since I was struggling with eating disorder I found mindfulness in every breathe and movement, I found myself in the present moment. I believe many victims of rape and sexual abuse, develop eating disorders, as a way to numb their feelings. Some use weight as a barrier against the world, or maybe you’re anorexic as a way to feel some control over your life as I did.
God gave me this gift of Yoga as a tool to heal my mind, body and spirit. I allowed my pain to teach me something rather than keep blaming people or something for what happened to me. I have found gifts in my traumatic experience of abuse. It has taught me how to be humble, compassionate, and most of all empathetic to other people. If anything, I have learned more on how to truly connect with others. Pain can have a strong transformative power and way of leading people in the right directions. It definitely has for me. Allow it to be your compass to find the light at the end of the tunnel.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Yoga Cata – what should we know?
Yoga Cata was founded with the intention of helping others heal from life struggles. What sets me apart from others is my story of healing. There was a time when I believed I would never share my story with a single soul. I could’ve never imagined those long years ago how untrue that would become.
Every time I share my story, I feel more and more powerful. I’m not longer a victim- I’m a survivor! Sharing your story is not about incriminating the wrongdoer. It’s about validating yourself, owning you experience, and committing to living your best life. I love what I do because I get to share my story and my life struggles with my students while I teach, I like to remind people that there is nothing to be ashamed about. I like to teach in every movement and every breathe that there is hope in life, that they deserve to come from that dark corner into the light. The weight feels lighter with every word you speak, with every asana they practice.
I believe that if more people realized how liberating it feels to finally share their story, more people would turn experience the love, freedom, and peace that they so desire and so deserve.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I thank God, my family, my friends, for supporting me and especially my husband for his unconditional love and belief in me.
- Website: www.yogacata.com
- Phone: 832-213-9929
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @yogacata
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/yogacata
Gaby Barradas Photography