Leila Sadeghee is a ritualist and healer who fled the London art world to study Buddhism in India and train with renowned figures such as Yamuna Zake, Sianna Sherman, and Tara Judelle. Drawing upon these experiences and her two decades of teaching, she brings a wealth of knowledge to her wellness practices, which include collective purification rituals in sync with the lunar cycle, yamuna body rolling and yamuna body logic, tantric yoga, yoga asana, and a number of other disciplines.
What inspired you to do what you're doing?
I came to spirit under extreme pressure, at a time in my life when it seemed like nothing was working. I started with meditation and Tibetan Buddhist practices, and was introduced to solitary magic, as well as sister circles around the same time. What I do now is a natural and totally uncontrived flow from my earliest days of struggling to get a grip on myself and my life, to know my true self-worth. I think what inspired me now to keep going is the sense that I could help people who are in a similar situation to the one I was in when I started out.
Do you think you'll ever change direction?
Anything and everything is possible. My commitment is total but I'm open to how life naturally wants to flow.
What advice would you give your younger self today?
Trust yourself, trust your experience, and trust the truth your experience is telling you. And all those people who seem to think you're shit? That's how they feel about themselves. Let them be and don’t waste time on them.
Do you consider your work a luxury or a necessity?
Being alive is both a luxury and a necessity. So living to the full and living the awakened heart—that’s also both. And that's my work right there. Living to the full, and living the awakened heart. And helping others to do the same.
Who/what was the last thing that made a significant impact on your thought processes/creative processes?
Moving to the sea. I now look out onto water every day, and sleep to the sound of the waves as they break. I never felt such a profound connection to the tides, the lunation, and to my body as fluid.
How do you keep yourself inspired?
How does anyone get uninspired? Life is an endless series of invitations to do more. I take those invitations as whole-heartedly as I can. That doesn't mean just saying yes all the time. It means recognising what the invitation is, the path that will open up more of what you want and less of what you don't want.
What do you do when you're not "working"?
Technically I am always “working”, but here goes for my extra-curriculars: under quarantine, I have been loving Dnice's Prince sets and have been busting out the solo dance party on the regular; watching shows like Never Have I Ever, which I consider breakthrough teen television; reading Octavia Butler and the New Yorker magazine; digging out all my favourite albums of the 90s; hiking along the coast; laughing on Zoom with a global network of healers who I call family.
What do you want people to take from your work?
I hope they take what they need and leave the rest. I hope they remember a bit more of who they really are, and love better because of it. I hope they remember that magic is real. I hope they free themselves from oppressive thinking.
What are you currently listening to, reading, or watching?
Right now, the Tortoise album Millions Now Living Will Never Die. I’m reading Lilith’s Brood by Octavia Butler and watching the face of an old friend on Zoom.
As a healer and ritualist, do you feel any obligations during this global pandemic?
I always feel duty-bound to serve wherever I can, however I can. Folks need re-frames for the changes in their life under quarantine, and I am offering this in my weekly movement classes, which are available for folks to pay what they can or receive for free if they are struggling. I am here for anyone who feels I can help out. Just reach out.
What do you think something like a global pandemic does to collective/individual creativity?
It seems like a lot of people have entrained themselves to access creativity through pressure, and in a big hurry—perhaps there is something here in accessing creativity through slowness, through a less oppressive space.
Does isolation influence your creative process?
Everything influences my creative process. Isolation has been juicy for me at the creative-personal level.