In this interview, Intissar Benslimane, shares some insight into the life of a yoga instructor and the challenges of practice.
What do you do?
I am a digital nomad and full-time yoga instructor.
How did you get into the industry?
After 10 years in a 9-5 job, I decided in 2018 to leave and go to India for a spiritual journey. During this trip, I came across yoga training, breathwork training, pranic healing, and other energy work techniques. I decided then to get certified in all these disciplines and shift my purpose towards understanding, healing myself, and inspiring others to do so.
Share with us a story from behind the scenes.
When I came to Malaysia I challenged myself to create an event that is 100% free that aims to bring together facilitators from around the globe and the Malaysian community to give a better understanding of yoga, energy work, and so on. I was amazed how this simple wish manifested the right people to come my way and make it happen, all for free. It was called BWB fest (balance and wellbeing festival), and I had so much fun organizing that in Malaysia.
What’s food memory from your childhood or travels stands out?
I’m a foodie – mostly a dessert person. I love to eat sweets, and that is my best part during my travels. My best treat was a matcha tea, and white chocolate lava cake served with ginger ice cream. It was just the best taste ever!
What’s the best/ worst part of your job?
The best part is working with purpose. All my workshops and yoga sequences find their inspiration in my own struggle. The worst part is the dark journey of the soul. As yoga practitioners, we are far from the idea of being zen and grounded. We have to dig into our own mess all the time, then return back to the surface and share.
What food and beverage pairings do you enjoy?
I like hot chocolate served with gingerbread cookies. It gives me a sense of protection and warm love.
What’s your favourite yoga pose?
Triangle is a structure thought to be strong and stable, supporting huge amounts of weight and withstand great pressures.
In the essential yogic teaching, Trikonasana is the ability to understand and accept the cycle of three :
and destruction as it’s inevitable, we’ll all move through it fully at some point.
Performing Trikonasana keeps you aligned with the cycle of life.
What yoga pose took you the longest to master?
Chaturanga. I always thought I needed to build muscle so I could perform chaturanga perfectly. Until I met one of my anatomy teachers in India. He taught me how to use the mechanics of my body to perform challenging postures with not much effort. It was an epic moment!
What’s one of the hardest things you’ve seen behind the scenes?
My hardest moment was my first ever Bikram class I was about to teach. As Bikram sequence is very challenging to teach (we need to respect the time for each posture, correct students, know the dialogue by heart, and make sure we optimize our energy for 90 min in a 40-degree heated room). So my first class ever taught, I was expecting to have only a few students all beginners, but it turns out, it was a huge class, and all students were advanced and long time practitioners. I had a panic attack during the class, and I was trying to not make it show at all. It was so far the hardest session ever for me.
The perfect day off would be…
Oh, I like to pamper myself. The best day off for me would be spent entirely between the spa and a great restaurant.
A day in the life of Intissar Benslimane is…
… spent preparing classes, writing, and journaling about daily struggles and cooking.
What do you do for fun?
Before the pandemic, I used to travel to Bali often to surf, and that was my kind of fun.
What’s something you’d like guests to know about yogawareness_by_inti ?
My purpose behind it is to offer workshops, connecting all disciplines together with the only purpose to remind us of our original source as ONE soul.
What’s something you’d like people to know about being a yoga instructor as a profession?
I never thought of becoming a yoga instructor full-time. The moment we open the door to mindfulness and full consciousness, things start to manifest (good and bad), so we need to be very careful about what we share, the words we say, the energy work we use. it is magical but also challenging.