Penny Nicholas

I am a mindfulness instructor based in Dorset. I’ve been teaching mindfulness to groups, individuals and organisations for over 10 years through Steps Ahead.

Through my own practice and working with others, I have experienced the power of mindfulness to help people to live more fully, develop kindness and compassion, and find a sense of calm and stability. I started Deep Breath as an initiative designed to share meditations to support and inspire during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Throughout my career I have worked with material that I myself have found helpful. I delight in work that involves bringing people together to learn and to feel cared for.  

In 2008 I came across mindfulness and knew that I had found the material that I would work with for the rest of my career. Mindfulness came my way as my children became teenagers and I valued and benefited from the stability, the wisdom and the skills that mindfulness encourages.

In 2009 I trained as an MBSR mindfulness instructor with Bangor University. I am particularly passionate about supporting people with their practice far beyond the MBSR course and spend much of my time developing and presenting courses that enrich and develop the core material covered in MBSR.

I am on the UK Listing for mindfulness instructors and as part of the Mindfulness Network I am an approved supervisor for the MBSR post-graduate programme. I attend regular training days with Exeter University as well as ones held at both Bangor and Oxford universities. I am committed to my own daily practice which is supported by regular supervision and attend retreats at Gaia House and other respected centres.

Deep Breath is here today because of the huge support and encouragement that I have had from my family, my friends and the many clients that I have been fortunate enough to work alongside. Thank you to you all for keeping me at the coal face.

I am delighted that Deep Breath now has a growing Development Team.

Anna Nicholas continues to encourage me and, at times, question some of my ideas which I find very helpful. Anna has been central at developing the various platforms that I am now using as well as patiently teaching me how to work with them myself.

Lucy Nicholas has joined the team to helm the development of a Deep Breath App. With experience in the field of HR Technology I know that she will bring much to the table.

I am also very thrilled that Caroline Rice-Varian, a long term friend and well respected mindfulness instructor, will be also be joining the Deep Breath team. Caroline brings with her a deep understanding of mindfulness and a strong commitment to her daily practice as well as a wealth of professional qualifications. Her current work is with the NHS within the Dorset Pain Management Service.

I am so grateful for their time and commitment and excited about what we might be able to do together.

I look forward to continuing my work in the years ahead – do join me when you can.


Qualification Details:

  • BSc Human Biology, Kings College, London 1986
  • Dietitian – Nat.Dip.Dietetics, Leeds  1988
  • Family Caring Trust Facilitator – 1996
  • Pacific Institute Facilitator 1999
  • Life Coaching Diploma 2002
  • Mindfulness Training – Bangor University 2009
  • Supervisor Training with Exeter University – 2014
  • MBCL (Mindfulness Based Compassionate Living) Training – March 2017