28. Kathryn Nicolai - yoga, sleep and bedtime stories
This week’s guest, Kathryn Nicolai, has a voice that soothes the soul, and since her podcast, Nothing Much Happens, launched in April 2018, she has gently encouraged more than two million people to snuggle into their duvet and fall asleep. When we were little, if you were lucky, I bet someone read to you to see you off to sleep, but remarkably, at some point we forget the pleasure that used to bring us, meaning that bedtime stories for adults are just not a ‘thing’, or they weren’t until now.
There clearly is a need though, as Kathryn’s podcast has become an international sensation. But before Nothing Much Happens, Kathryn was - and still is - a yoga instructor, and owns her own studio in Michigan. So today’s episode covers two areas really - firstly, how Kathryn found solace in yoga at a difficult time in her life, and how she started her own business at a relatively young age; secondly how the simple, perfect idea of bedtime stories for adults took shape in the form of Nothing Much Happens, and how trusting your gut can lead you down paths you never expected.
In this episode we discuss:
- Kathryn's early life and her desire to be a writer from a young age
- Studying Italian and Spanish at school and university, and never using either of them in her professional life!
- How she found yoga as a respite from injury, exhaustion, anxiety and an eating disorder
- Her early yoga teachers and the mentors she had in her yoga career
- The growth of the yoga industry and how Kathryn has kept her business constant in a time of shifting trends
- Starting a business at 25, and why a lack of fear means starting a business at a young age can be a positive move
- How a good idea comes from having a lot of ideas, and moving forward with them if you think that's the right thing to do
- Goat yoga!
- The rise of women in yoga, including as teachers, from an ancient tradition of male leaders, and building a feminist angle into her yoga business
- Where the idea for Nothing Much Happens came from and she went about launching the podcast
- Finding a need, and filling it with something quality to build a successful business
- Her evening pre-sleep routine
- Whether the stories are autobiographical and where the ideas come from
- The science of sleep
- What's next for her - the book deal is on the horizon!
Where to find Kathryn:
- The Nothing Much Happens website: https://www.nothingmuchhappens.com