Good health — in both body and mind — can be hard for stressed-out city-dwellers to find. Traffic jams, busy streets, packed tube stations, and the stress of looming work deadlines can be overwhelming. In the midst of the madness, wellness and yoga expert Leslie Saglio works to get Londoners back on track. She helps run the London outpost of SERENE Social, a women’s wellness and networking community that combines social gatherings with events like rooftop yoga, meditation, and Tantra workshops. Saglio tells us how we can counteract these daily stressors and live a healthier and more balanced life.
What’s the first step we should take to stay healthy in the city?
First of all, identify the potential factors that cause physical, mental, and emotional toxins in your life. Try to concentrate on five main areas: your finances, your workplace, your physical relationship, threats to your physical health, and irritants you come across each day.
OK. What would the second step be?
Next, think carefully about how these areas may be draining, or causing a negative impact on your life. Perhaps you’ve developed harmful habits in your personal relationships, or maybe someone is causing you anxiety at work.
Once you’ve become mindful about these five areas, you need to either a) eliminate the stressors you can control, or b) consciously adjust the way you react to them… with conscious effort, everyone is capable of shifting their energy to live a more purpose-filled life. This could involve putting more positive energy into your relationships, or taking up an activity that allows you to reconnect with your inner self. That’s where powerful disciplines like yoga and meditation come in.
How does yoga help people stay healthy in the city?
Yoga has both mental and physical benefits. Firstly, it promotes good posture and boosts your fitness and immune system. Secondly, it encourages deep relaxation and helps combat conditions such as anxiety and insomnia – both common conditions among city-dwellers. Regular yoga can also improve your concentration, which impacts your professional life, too.
Why do you love this city?
I’m originally from L.A., but the beautiful green spaces and incredibly diverse people make me love London. I also love how London is a walking city. If you don’t want to take a bus, hop on the tube, or flag a taxi, you can still walk to so many places. You can also see some of the greatest works of art in various London museums and galleries, or check out the wonders of nature for free. I especially enjoy this city on a warm summer day, when the whole city flocks outside to enjoy the sun – it’s never taken for granted.
When you’re not working, how do you like to spend your time?
I just enjoy hanging out in Notting Hill, my local neighbourhood. You’ll find me either at the local Life Centre, having brunch with my girlfriends at Granger & Co., or perusing Portobello’s Friday market. Sometimes I’ll have a picnic with family and friends in Kensington Gardens, or I’ll catch a flick at Westfield London – being from L.A., I enjoy my movies!