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Q&A with Leslie Glickman on Yoga, Health Awareness and Her Journey

Leslie Glickman Yoga Journey

Ever wanted to have a chat with a yoga champion? We did, and wrote it down, so we could share it all with you (our hydration heroes). A few tips and tricks from one of our long standing clients Leslie Glickman, owner and awesome motivational founder of Yoga Journey.  

_____A Q&A with Leslie_____

OW: What inspired you to open a yoga studio?

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Leslie: I have been teaching for almost 25 years and have always been very active in the fitness industry. I felt like I wanted to be fully engaged in yoga and not so much fitness, so I started to teach in different studios. It came as a natural progression that I opened my own space, to teach yoga, hold trainings and build my community under one roof. My studio came after almost 20 years of being in the business.

OW: What is your advice to those who want to start a business?

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Leslie: My advice would be to give it a lot of thought. Small businesses are not easy. If they are going to take that leap it should be a labor of love. They have to be passionate and really involved in every aspect of the business. Really do their homework, build a team and share some of the work so they don’t end up in a situation when their responsibilities outweigh the pleasure of what they are doing.

OW: What are your inspirations in business?

Leslie: The people. They come in wanting to feel better, live better and they keep coming back for more. It has become a beautiful relationship. We are in the business of service, people are not just coming to buy a product and leaving. They are actually having an experience everytime they are with us. This is exciting and inspirational for me. We are creating experiences that are changing people’s lives each and every day.

OW: How did it become a movement with the Something Big annual event gathering 2000 people? 

Leslie: That started from us just celebrating our aniversary in the studio. We rented a big space in the hotel so we could accommodate more than we usually do on a daily basis. We wanted to bring our entire community together and realized that even a ballroom wasn’t big enough. The vision was my husband's idea, I think he was kind of joking that we should rent the amphitheater. We thought that is crazy! But something sounded really right about it and we just did it. Everybody else seemed to be excited about it too and lots of local businesses supported the idea of making yoga accessible and connecting the community. Here it is four years later and we are excited to do it again.

Something Big 2016, NayaProtography.com

OW: I have seen your traveling posts to India. Has it been an inspirational trip? Do you advise yogis to travel abroad for understanding yoga roots?

Leslie: In 2009 I started doing trips all over the world to bring my students out of their normal routine. Giving them an opportunity to travel to very beautiful and exotic environments and to gain new perspectives. This was the first year I went to India, but I’ve done Bali and Italy a number of times, Mexico, Costa Rica and Africa too. We travelled to very beautiful places, each of them bringing their own unique perspective, but for sure India was a very special trip. We had an amazing experience, we were there for almost three weeks in total. We started in the South and then went to the North. The south is where my lineage of yoga came from, so we visited there first and then continued our travels throughout the country.
 
I plan to continue planning these types of trips because they are life changing. There is nothing like being able to get people out of their routine, to see and experience a different culture, eat different food, and realizing that yoga can be a steady part of their life no matter where they are in the world. We were challenged in India, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. It was an incredible trip for all of us. For every challenge, we also saw immense beauty and witnessed unbelievable parts of humanity. It was magnificent. We will be going back again in February 2019.

 

OW: What is your advice for those who want to start classes? There are more men coming to yoga classes, but still yoga is dominated by women. Do you think men are more insecure about yoga as a sport? What can we do to promote yoga more to men?

 

Leslie: I am very sensitive to that. My goal is to build a community and make yoga accessible to everyone no matter what your financial situation is or your physical ability, gender, race or age. I want people to know they can do yoga in a way that will be accessible for them. So every week in Boca, in a park called Sanborn Square, my husband and I do a weekly event that is just called Yoga Journey in the Park. We have over 200 people each week coming to do yoga. People attend with their kids, with their dogs, in every shape size and age. I make it very welcoming, so people can just come and try it. It is super casual and it’s free.

"Some people actually come and just watch for a few weeks and then get up the nerve to come with a mat."

It is a way of getting yoga into the community and making it accessible for everyone. That class is every week, even if you are in London (to interviewee Maria, co-founder of OW) you can tune in and practice. We have an incredible local community, but we have created a global community as well. People all over are coming together at 9am eastern time, (to whatever time it translates in other parts of the world) and practicing with us via live stream.

 

OW: What health awareness issues do you think our communities are not aware enough of? Is there fields to educated them more about?

Leslie: What I see gaining more exposure is the practice of meditation. Yoga has been around for many years, but this decade there has been a movement towards meditation and mindfulness practices. It is having a lot of traction because we need to slow down and reconnect with ourselves. Our world is moving at a fast pace, there is a lot of technology around and I think there is a hunger for remembering how it feels to be unplugged. I think in terms of stress levels and pressure, this is what people should be looking for to benefit their overall health. And if you are unable to do yoga or find it intimidating you might enjoy the practice of being still.

 

OW: What are your health tips? What gives you that skin glow?

Leslie: I think it is very important to pay attention to what is happening on the inside. Mindfulness practices paired with movement creates the perfect balance for good health. We need to eat clean and source our food and water from very good places, like Overseas. We need to be very concerned about what we are putting inside our bodies as well as on the outside. I have been a vegetarian for 25 years. I am certainly not promoting that, but I think it makes a very big difference. You are your own best advocate and it’s important to make choices that work best for you.

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Leslie Glickman Yoga

Photo credit: NayaProtography.com

 

 


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