Kate Nicholson – yoga teacher, LMT, Assistant Director of Student Wellness at Bowdoin College, & doTERRA wellness advocate.

Learn more about my Maine Women in Wellness Blog Series Here!

KATE! She is one of those people you want to give a big hug to when you see her. I was lucky enough to be introduced to Kate through my manager at Athleta. She is one of my favorite connections since working there.

We have a lot in common – Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, passion for women’s & maternal health, teaching yoga, spreading wellness, essential oils – let’s just say we can talk for hours!

I have a sweet spot in my heart for Kate. Every time I’ve partnered with her, or simply been in her presence, the space she holds is serene, loving, gentle, relaxing. I don’t think I could ever feel “stressed” around Kate. Her easy-going vibes and smile are contagious!

Kate and her friend Mae Corwin, owner of Sundara Yoga, are hosting a yoga retreat in Costa Rica in March! Ignite Your Inner Nature is a yoga and wellness retreat for women to

hit pause on the pressures of daily life to immerse yourself in the rich & diverse natural wonders of Costa Rica. This retreat will be an opportunity to connect with a supportive community of women while living artfully in nature and exploring inner and outer landscapes with fresh eyes and renewed energy.”

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AH. MA. ZING! One word comes to mind when I think about this retreat: NOURISHMENT.

Here is a little more about this busy mama bee!


Name: Kate Nicholson

Location: Brunswick, Maine

Occupation: Yoga teacher, Licensed Massage Therapist, doTERRA Wellness Advocate, Assistant Director of Student Wellness Programs Bowdoin College

Age: 41

Where can we find you? Bowdoin College and Sundara Yoga

Social media: @katenicholsonwellness & Facebook page

On her nightstand: doTERRA Serenity blend in my diffuser, tea, books

Random item in your bag right now: Cuticle cream, Dr. Haushka deodorant, essential oil clutch, keys to the many different places I work

What book do you always recommend to people: I am absolutely adoring Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer, Yoga of the Subtle Body by Tias Little, The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk & Educated by Tara Westover

What does your self care/love routine look like? Messy! People think my routine looks super consistent and ultra-healthy. In reality, I’m a mother first and foremost which keeps me on my toes, is unpredictable and not really Instagram impressive 🙂 The ‘yoga of motherhood’ has taught me to bend and sway and surrender to the ‘weather’ more than anything. So, my self-care routine looks like 2x weekly strength training at gym, warm water with lemon every morning before my hot coffee, some mornings I meditate in some way and some mornings are a hustle so I’m catching my breath in the car, settling my focus for the day ahead. I have a diffuser in my office(s) and choosing which oil feels just right for my mood or energy is a simple practice in mindfulness. I get monthly massages and occasional reiki which also manage to reset me in deeper ways. When life derails me, I just take notice, ask for more help from my partner and take some time and space for myself to realign. I think real life, especially with kiddos, just doesn’t resemble yoga journal or social media often although these are great sources of inspiration… and that’s OKAY. Someday my house will be clean and quiet and I will miss the mess so better to just appreciate my practice however it feels available to me day to day.

Describe your fitness/movement routine: In the winter, I love to x-country ski and in the warmer months I love my road bike and cycling around mid coast Maine! Yoga year-round and weekly strength training. If I am lucky, my friends will make me go salsa dancing on occasion too! When I’m in my body I feel happy, healthy.

Kate+an+Mae+partner+dancer

Hunter or gatherer? Gatherer.
Favorite Maine activity? gardening & paddleboarding
Favorite vacation spot in Maine? Popham Beach
Favorite season? Summah.
Go-to ice cream?
Gelato Fiasco – dark chocolate with hazelnut
If you could do anything right now, what would it be?
What were you like in high school?
Sporty, rule-follower, kind
Last gift you gave someone?
40th birthday care package
What type of vacation would you plan if you had all the money?
I dream of a 6-month service trip with my family in latin america
What are you working on in your free time?
Yummy winter cooking
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How long have you been in the wellness business? 12 years.

Can you describe how your career in health & wellness start?
In a former life, I was a high school teacher and completed yoga teacher training because yoga had a significant impact on my anxiety and coming ‘home to myself’ in my mid-20’s. YTT led to massage therapy school which led to reiki training, shiatsu, craniosacral, yin yoga, mindfulness, ayurveda, chinese medicine, etc. etc. My path is anything but straightforward but it always manages to lead to the next fascinating thing! This past year I started working at Bowdoin College directing their student wellness programs. This is a dream job for me combining all my different skills and experiences while reaching even broader groups of people! I feel so grateful for the opportunity to have an impact like this- I wish I had so much support around my wellness when I was in college!
When do you feel the most successful?
It’s really easy to underestimate the impact of teaching a weekly yoga class or workshop. So, when someone shares a significant personal experience they had as a result of that class (i.e.- healing through miscarriage, spontaneous tears in svasana, how yoga has quietly loved them through an eating disorder, etc.) then I am reminded how important this work really is and why I do it.
What is one challenge you faced getting to where you are now?
When you go into business for yourself, it takes immense trust and confidence that you are enough and that what you have to offer serves and resonates. That was a huge struggle for me. It can be hard not to take business life personally when you are offering a service that feels really personal! Being in circle with other female entrepreneurs who want to grow and support each other has been key in transcending limiting beliefs. I still struggle at times, though. For example, how much I prefer sharing in the public eye and when it feels more true to keep parts of my life closer to home, private, sacred. Social media is such a funny space and one I really preserve a healthy, skeptical eye around but also appreciate for sense of connection and community.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
I remember when I first moved to Maine, having left my full-time teaching job and choosing to start up on my own with yoga teaching + massage therapy. I was naturally insecure about my abilities and if I could be successful in a new community, etc. I quietly compared myself to everyone else and felt like I was in competition. Something clicked for me during the years of teaching prenatal yoga, sitting in weekly circle with a group of women in an exciting but vulnerable state where I only wanted the best for everyone else. I realized that feeling competitive was only hindering my growth and that when I truly wanted everyone else to succeed then doors started to open and my work really started to blossom! I am proud of this inner shift and one of my favorite things now is to champion other women in my life – just like you and this wonderful blog!
What advice would you give women who want to enter the health & wellness industry? 
Sometimes this industry feels saturated but I still believe wholeheartedly that there is a still a collective dis-ease in or health and people need alternatives, support. That’s always been my underlying mission- to fill out areas in women’s health where modern medicine is under serving (i.e.- postpartum, miscarriage, menstruation, perimenopause and general sense of agency in our bodies). You don’t always know your ‘why’ when starting out so just
share what you know and watch where opportunities lead you, pay attention to what lights you up.
What has been your favorite continuing education, certification or training?
I was definitely a training junkie for years! To choose just one, I would say my REIKI trainings may be the most valuable to me. Regardless of what I am doing in my work (yoga, massage, birth support, etc.) my reiki hands are always ‘on’. When I can’t sleep I do self-reiki lying in bed. When my kids are unwell, we do reiki with essential oils. Also, I am excited to start a student reiki clinic at Bowdoin College this spring- it’s so cool how many of these modalities are finding people and kids younger and younger!
Best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
One of my first yoga teachers, 14 years ago, made an important distinction for me. At first, I would try hard to impose an experience in my yoga classes, like, have some big agenda and plan. My teacher offered a bite of humility when she said, ‘Your job isn’t to create an experience for your students. Your job is to create a space for your students to have an experience.” It taught me to not assume I know what any student needs but to trust the process more.
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Kate,
Love ya, first and foremost.
Thank you for bringing your girls to my events. For showing up with love and intention. For spreading wellness and showing how it can be a beautiful windy road of learning about yourself, supporting women, and pursuing what you love.
Keep doing all the things – I’m so excited for all the new things on the horizon for you!

Enjoying this blog series?
Let me know  by commenting below or on social media @liz.merci.
XO + OM
Liz

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