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Catherine De Francesco: How To Slow Down To Do More

If we spoke to ourselves in the sense that we were a five-year-old, you would be so gentle and so kind, patient and soft, so that is how you have to speak to yourself nowadays. Ask how you want to live this life: rushed or in happiness? You are meant to feel both good and […]

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If we spoke to ourselves in the sense that we were a five-year-old, you would be so gentle and so kind, patient and soft, so that is how you have to speak to yourself nowadays. Ask how you want to live this life: rushed or in happiness? You are meant to feel both good and bad in life, so when you connect with your breath, you can tell yourself to slow down. No one has a perfect day every day- you have to work at it. Just be mindful.


As a part of my series about “How to Slow Down To Do More” I had the pleasure of interviewing Catherine De Francesco.

A business visionary, health warrior and CEO with SOL Yoga, Catherine De Francesco is not only elevating the yoga landscape with her creative play on the traditional, but the SOL Yoga brand is providing wellness seekers with a one-of-a-kind, all-encompassing body and soul-loving destination like never before. Since opening her flagship location in Wynwood, Miami last year, the media buzz, increased demand and momentum for SOL Yoga has spurred the development of more locations, including Fort Lauderdale, followed by South Beach and international expansion. Drawing inspiration from her worldly travels, Catherine keeps a steady pulse on the latest health, beauty, wellness and lifestyle products and services. She’s also a champion for women, believing they are better when collaborating, supporting and encouraging one another. In De Francesco’s case, this includes an infrared-hot yoga class, followed by a healthy smoothie and LED skin treatment, in-line with the multi-purpose trend that a yoga studio should offer: more of what women want and need for their health and happiness, without complication. Self-care is the message Catherine spreads, and for good reason.


Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us the “backstory” about what brought you to this specific career path?

Diagnosed with cervical cancer during her college years, she gave birth to her firstborn at just one pound. It was during those years that she dove head-first into healing herself naturally. Following certification in holistic nutrition, Catherine adopted a plant-based diet paired with regular exercise, while raising four children. Her business focus shifted too — researching and acquiring innovative health and lifestyle brands based in Canada and the US. But it wasn’t until she experienced yoga, did her life really take a profound turn. While juggling career and family, and with a yoga teaching certification under her belt, Catherine envisioned and developed her most exciting undertaking yet: SOL Yoga, the ‘Secret of Life’ (SOL), and hasn’t looked back. One step inside and the transformation is immediate. Along with stunning, infrared-heated yoga studios, featuring surround gold lighting, there are luxe amenities for SOL patrons, curated retail boutiques featuring the highest quality body and skincare products, a smoothie bar, Bella Luce Atelier (LED skin rejuvenation) and the friendliest SOL Yoga Concierge teams ready to serve.

According to a 2006 Pew Research Report report, 26% of women and 21% of men feel that they are “always rushed”. Has it always been this way? Can you give a few reasons regarding what you think causes this prevalent feeling of being rushed?

Everyone in the world puts everything ahead of themselves- meetings and appointments, not just parents. To get rid of this, you have to connect to the breath and live in the present moment. But no one is living in the present moment. So I tell people all the time when they are driving and look in the rearview mirror, they are holding their breath. Even when a woman is putting on mascara, she’s holding her breath. No one can do everything right at the same time. Pick your battles and do them right. Remember to connect to your breath, relax your whole central nervous system and be in the moment. Everyone is expecting an automatic reply with today’s technology, but you have to choose how to live your life.

Based on your experience or research can you explain why being rushed can harm our productivity, health, and happiness?

Stress causes inflammation and inflammation causes cancer and that’s why so many diseases are on the rise. It all boils down to stress. You are what you think, so whatever you are thinking in your mind will control your health and happiness.

On the flip side, can you give examples of how we can do more, and how our lives would improve if we could slow down?

If we spoke to ourselves in the sense that we were a five-year-old, you would be so gentle and so kind, patient and soft, so that is how you have to speak to yourself nowadays. Ask how you want to live this life: rushed or in happiness? You are meant to feel both good and bad in life, so when you connect with your breath, you can tell yourself to slow down. No one has a perfect day every day- you have to work at it. Just be mindful.

We all live in a world with many deadlines and incessant demands for our time and attention. That inevitably makes us feel rushed. Can you share with our readers 6 strategies that you use to “slow down to do more”? Can you please give a story or example for each?

-connect to your breath- I do this with the stressed-out moms that take all of my classes

-live in the moment- when I am with my kids, and family, I am fully present

-ask yourself what brings you joy and happiness- Be honest with yourself — who are you kidding? I do this every day when I wake up in the morning

-talk to yourself before you act- Before I start a class, I have a gentle conversation with myself

-meditate- I do this in my car

-do what you love — Read, play music, leave time for the things you are passionate about- that’s why I started SOL Yoga

How do you define “mindfulness”? Can you give an example or story?

Connecting to your breath and treating yourself like a 5-year-old — doesn’t matter what age you really are. Taking a yoga class or meditating is a simple example.

Can you give examples of how people can integrate mindfulness into their everyday lives?

There is a sense of taking yoga off your mat — you can figure out how to do this and take it into the world.

Do you have any mindfulness tools that you find most helpful at work?

Only to connect to your breath and to remind yourself throughout the day- music for some people or meditation in the car. It’s different things for different people.

What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources that inspire you to use mindfulness tools or practices

LOVE GOOP podcasts and all of them — everyone in the world can listen to — talks about health, relationships, meditation and life. Oprah has some great podcasts- Supersoul.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

I grew up with my dad who speaks in life quotes and they are “sleep is the best medicine”

Another is “you are what you think” “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say it” those sum up life.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Be kind to yourself because we are so hard on ourselves and are so critical that when you are kind to yourself, you will be kind to others.

Thank you so much for these insights! This was so inspiring!

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