Welcome to episode 21, The Power of the Breath. Today I interview a colleague who became a friend who I met at an interesting conference in Boston on trauma a number of years ago. We clicked and spoke about many aspects of the field and our lives that are important to us. Esther’s real gift is a commitment to the body, to yoga, and to creating space. In our interview today, I really discovered a real lightness of being that I can only imagine people benefiting from when they can be in her presence. 


When all the noise fades away in our lives, when we are on our own, when we’re trying to fall asleep, maybe we’re on a plane and it’s quiet, we come back to our breath. I know for me, I’ve had a religious yoga practice for many years. There’s always a moment where I am able to reconnect with the depth of my breath. Esther has a lot to say on this and I’m gonna let her speak for herself. But there’s something about breathing that underscores our entire life. 


If you remember in an earlier podcast when I interviewed Sean Smith, he went to great lengths to talk about the fact that these primary drives, like breathing and eating, they are always unconsciously there, they are always a priority, and they are often beyond our conscious awareness. So it seems important then to slow down and take some time and to talk about breathing. 


I felt my breath actually many times in the conversation with Esther, just bringing our attention to being present which I know has become somewhat of a cliche. It’s become fetishized. It can even be a critique of somebody you’re with: “Hey, come on. Be present with me. I haven’t seen you in a while.” To be honest with you, I don’t think that a lot of what is conveyed in the mindfulness movement and notions of being present goes all the way. It feels to me like it is a stepping stone to what lurks underneath. But to be able to feel ourselves breathing and to reconnect with our breath is a luxury and, I know for me, a very powerful way of centring myself. 


So, without further ado, I want to introduce you to Esther who is a psychotherapist, a yoga teacher, an artist, an art therapist, a creator, and someone that really has devoted her life to connecting with others and creating space to breathe. Esther has had her own multifaceted journey to becoming a psychotherapist, art therapist, and student of yoga and meditation. Please listen in and enjoy our conversation.

Show Highlights:

  • Why breathwork is such an important part of healing.
  • What a breath signature is.
  • How your breath controls your mind and emotions.
  • The dangers of having a shallow breath signature.
  • How breathwork creates community.
  • What the experience of deepening our breath does for us.
  • The power of silence.
  • The cultural differences in breath.
  • Why we should experiment with different ways of breathing.
  • Why, even though there are consequences for breathing a certain way, there is still no one right way to breathe.
  • Why breathwork isn’t about you.

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Supporting Resources:

Esther on Instagram


Mitchell Smolkin is a sought-after clinician, speaker, and author. For media and interview requests please contact his publicist Randy Phipps at randy@rpcommunications.net. For all other inquiries, please send mail to info@mitchellsmolkin.com.


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