Esther NagleTeacher, writer, author, human
How you breathe is how you live
Hi, I’m Esther! I am a Yoga teacher, author, and writer. I help busy women to manage emotions, reduce stress, and enjoy living in the present moment through Pranayama, the Yogic art of conscious breathing.
Throughout the last few years, I have discovered some amazing tools for managing and soothing my emotions, healing old emotional wounds, and growing into the person I am becoming.
These tools were shown to me when I did Yoga teacher training, and it is no understatement to say that they saved me, and continue to save me from myself to this day.
A lifelong asthmatic with a dust allergy, who decided at 17 that cigarettes were a great way to deal with anger, and at 19 that marijuana was amazing (if it is good enough for The Beatles…..), I never really took very good care of my lungs, and was never able to use them properly.
I lived a life of endless stress and drama. Lurching from one disaster to the next, extreme highs and lows were the norm for me. When I was stressed out, which was very often, I would abuse my body in numerous ways, attacking my lungs with toxic fumes from the things I smoked thinking they were helping me. I developed a very destructive relationship with alcohol, not recognising for years that I was addicted.
Learning to breathe as part of my Yoga teacher training was such a revelation. Following advise to cut out dairy products cleared the permanent blockage in my nose, and I was able to take full, controlled breaths. Immediately my stress levels reduced, I was able to sleep and relax naturally instead of anaesthetising, and I was able to get a grip on my emotions. I became better able to respond instead of react to situations that triggered or angered me…. not always, I don’t get it right all the time, but most of the time I handle life, and myself, much better.
In 2014, 5 months into my training, I was able to step away from cigarettes, marijuana and alcohol, and have been sober and smoke free ever since. I credit this entirely to Yoga, and especially to learning to breathe.
Learning to breathe gave me a powerful tool I can always access when life threatens to overwhelm me. Which it does often. Getting sober, and practising yoga doesn’t mean that life doesn’t get challenging, it means that you have the tools you need to cope with the challenges.
How you breathe is how you live. If you take care of your lungs, and breathe in a conscious, mindful way, then it impacts your whole life. You become more connected to your body, more present in the moment, and more able to manage your emotional responses.
You have to breathe all day, every day, until you take your last. What have you got to lose, and what have you got to gain, from learning to do it well?
I was trained in the Gitananda tradition of Yoga. This is a very traditional approach to Yoga, seeing Yoga as a whole system for living with the aim of bringing mind and body into harmony so that we can achieve spiritual growth. It is rooted in the Eight Limbs of Patanjali, which offers guidance for how we live, how we interact with the world, and ourselves, how we care for the body, how we breathe, and how we use the mind.
While I focus mainly on teaching Pranayama, this is just one of the Eight Limbs. Therefore, my teaching also incorporates the Yamas and Niyamas (the morals and ethics of Yoga, and being human), Asana (postures, relaxation, and the release of tension from the body), and Praytahara, (learning to focus the mind). Through working with these five limbs, you can achieve harmony and balance in life. When we work together, we will incorporate all into our time together.
One of the main principles of Yoga is that of self awareness and responsibility. I can guide you along this path, but it is up to you to do the work. My own recovery truly began the day I realised that no matter who had hurt me in the past, my future was mine to create, and I had to start from where I was.
We cannot change the past. We cannot control the future. But you can look at where you are, learn from where you have been, and step along the path that can take you in the direction you want to go. I can help you along that path, and look forward to taking this journey with you.
- How To Breathe for Optimal Health with Esther Nagle – The Dr Lo Show on BlogTalk Radio (podcast)
- Balance and Breathe your way to happiness – Self Discovery Radio (podcast)
- Guided Walking Relaxation & Rejuvenation – The Prosperity Kitchen (podcast)
- Why Your Breath Is a Powerful Tool for Recovery – Workit Health (written article)
- I Found Myself on a Yoga Mat – Sober Mommies (written article)
- The Long Walk to Recovery – The Armchair Mountaineer (guest post)
- Fit in my 40s: ‘If you breathe properly, it will improve skin, sleep, digestion, mood’ – Teaching journalist Zoe Wiliams to breathe as part of her Fits in my 40s series
- What do all these women have in common? – Daily Express’
- Beating Addiction Through Yoga – Sky News ‘The Point
- Bent Back into Shape, Beating Addiction Through Yoga – Esther Nagle
- How to Look Good and Feel Great: Inspirational Short Stories and Insights for Women in Business (Aspire Business Growth Series) – I am Woman (contributing author)