About Rhondda Yoga
Who am I, what is Yoga, and why should you think about giving it a try?
Meet Esther Nagle
Your Yoga teacher
If you met me before 2014, you might not have expected that one day I would be a clean, sober, healthy yoga teacher. I was an angry, stressed, sweary, hard drinking, smoking, high maintenance mess. Not that I realised that, but I definitely was. The breakdown I had in 2013 was my salvation, leading me to dramatically change my life, give up my job, and train to be a yoga teacher.
In my training, I learned not just how to do the postures I knew and loved, but I learned how to know and love myself! I learned to soothe myself so I didn’t need to turn to drink and drugs. I learned to make peace with a lot of pain in my past. I found ways to forgive those who had hurt me, including myself. I recognised patterns of behaviour that I was able to change. And I was able to find freedom from the addictions that had blighted my life for 20 years.
I used to think that Yoga was just about looking good and being bendy. Once I realised its depths, it had the power to heal me and make me into a better person!
Author of Bent Back into Shape, Beating Addiction Through Yoga
Presenter of the Wellbeing Wednesday show on Rhondda Radio
Motivational speaker, writer, blogger, fundraiser
In my Yoga room in my house. This photo was taken by the very talented Dan Wood as part of his Gap in the Hedge project
I was absolutely delighted to be able to present a Beatles themed show on Rhondda Radio! #lifegoalsrealised
What is Yoga?
There might be more to it than you realise!
Yoga is presented in the West as a physical exercise practice. While there is a very strong focus on the body in Yoga, fitness and a sleek Instagram body are not really the goals of Yoga.
At its core, Yoga is a spiritual practice that aims to unite mind, body and spirit, so that the practitioner, or Sadhak, can establish a deep and profound connection to the Divine. This connection is called Samadhi, or Enlightenment. Most of us won’t achieve that in this lifetime (Yoga emerged out of the Hindu tradition, and its ideas of reincarnation), but we can work with the practice and concepts taught in Yoga to live happier, healthier lives in harmony with ourselves, our fellow humans, and the world we live in.
While the classes I teach don’t really look at the deeper aspect of Yoga philosophy, there are many benefits you can gain from regular practice and attendance at class.
Through the breathing practices, postures, and relaxation we practice each week, you are increasing flexibility, improving balance, releasing tension, reducing blood pressure, and much more to promote general good physical health.
Yoga is a powerful tool to promote good mental health. It has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, depression and much more. Yoga promotes good self esteem, and can help you release tension and process emotions in a healthy way.
One of the best parts! The final posture in a Yoga class, Shava Asana, might be the most important part, as it is when you are finally able to bring mind, body and spirit into alignment and let go of the busy-ness and distractions of the world.
Yoga will help you to develop a strong body, but don’t expect to develop muscleman pecs or washboard abs – the priority of Rhondda Yoga classes is strength through resilience to stress and self care. developing physical but also mental strength.
Yoga is an amazing tool for stress relief. When you learn to breathe, when you stretch and ease the tension out of your muscles, when you learn to still the mind and relax the body, you will discover that life doesn’t have to always be stressful. The more you practice on the mat, the easier life off the mat will become. It’s the gift that keeps giving!
Yoga is all about deepening your connection with yourself, the world around you, the people you interact with, and wherever you find spiritual connection. We have a lovely community in the Rhondda Yoga classes, and have made friends as well as tended to our own needs.
Happy Students Say
I contacted Esther to check if the limited movement in my knees would be an issue and she quickly replied to reassure me that she could adapt practices to suit my needs. So, with some trepidation I arrived at the first class.
The room was full, the classes are popular and well attended, by regular people of all ages, shapes and sizes, almost all new to yoga and eager to learn. Esther’s classes are friendly, unpressured and inviting. I feel welcome and really look forward to the class. My body appreciates the new stretching and strengthening and, even though I might feel stiff the next day I am confident that I’m not causing strain or injury.
Esther is a great teacher, caring and considerate towards us, gently encouraging us to try but never pushing us to do any movements that might be unsafe.Sian Thomas
I was so happy to hear that a new yoga class was beginning at Clydach Vale Community Centre. It was something I have wanted to try for a long time but always felt nervous about going to an established class!
Esther welcomes us newbies with open arms and a warm welcome. Yoga is for young, old, unfit (like me), for anyone who wants to try it. I’ve loved the classes I’ve attended so far and feel week on week I find I can stretch myself that little bit more. The breathing techniques are great when you feel stressed, just think back to your yoga class and what you did and you will soon feel relaxed once more.
Everyone needs a bit of Esther and her yoga moves !Lynfa Harris
Through working with Esther, I was finally able to gain a new perspective on issues affecting my life. Recovery is not always about rapid progress, but having patience with the process, and this was something I had apparently overlooked before making time to talk with Esther. As a result, I now know that peace is possible.Casey B
Ready to Make a Change?
Come along to one of my classes, or get in touch if you want to know more. You can email esther @ rhonddayoga.co.uk, or use the contact form below.