Safiya Bouhouch

Photographer: Alex G Harper

Photographer: Alex G Harper

Name: Safiya Bouhouch

Current City: Los Angeles, CA 

Hometown: SF Bay Area, CA 

Occupation: Entrepreneur, Writer, Yoga Instructor. 

California native Safiya Bouhouch is a multi-passionate creative who is now dipping her toes in the entrepreneurial world through I Am Well, a space and platform she's created for females to connect and share their experiences via mindfulness and holistic approaches. The inspiration arose from Bouhouch's own healing journey with yoga and meditation, and in turn, she felt compelled to help others who felt the same exhaustion from living a high-stress lifestyle.

To learn more about Bouhouch's journey and I am well, read on below!

Prior to launching, I Am Well, a safe space for females to connect and share their experiences, you were working in production. What led to the jump in careers? Was there a defining moment where the universe just spoke to you? 

The jump in careers was something that I felt for a while, and my body tried sending me signs that I ignored. I remember having a full-on anxiety attack at work convinced that my body forgot how to breathe, and feeling like my body was outside of my control. I turned to yoga and holistic wellness when my doctors didn't have clear answers about the health issues that started popping up, and I soon realized that the career I was in was not a great fit for me. I started connecting back to my own inner wisdom through yoga and meditation and eventually felt called to take the leap and leave my full-time career to pursue teaching yoga and wellness to others.

I had the pleasure of attending your event, Poetry for Self Compassion, and it was such a marvelous evening. Do you have any other events or collaborations coming up in the future that you’d like the readers to know about? 

Thank you! I enjoy hosting others which is why I love running events. I have a meditation evening event happening in July that I'll be announcing soon, and a couple other events that are still in the works. My events are posted on the I Am Well Community website and social media as well!

Photographer: Alex G Harper

Photographer: Alex G Harper

What other services do you offer outside of events? 

I am also a holistic health coach outside of running my wellness events, and I'm super excited to be launching my beta 1:1 wellness coaching program at the end of June for women who are looking for support in healing from anxiety and adding practices in their lives that ground them. It can be difficult to start the process of recovering from burnout alone, and I want to equip women with the tools that not only work for them but are also enjoyable and not just another to-do on their list. 

I also run wellness retreats, and I'm already counting down the days until my Marrakesh summer retreat next year! My dad's side of the family is from Morocco, and I grew up surrounded by a lot of the culture, so I feel grateful to have the opportunity to show other women around this magical place while also giving back to a local non-profit.

What aspirations do you have for I Am Well in the future, and how would you like to see the platform and community grow? 

I would love to see I Am Well expand beyond LA and support communities of women in other cities. I see I Am Well becoming more than an events and retreats platform but a space for likeminded women to make meaningful connections and receive support with their health and wellbeing. It would be amazing to host conferences across different cities in the US and internationally in collaboration with women in wellness and healers, and bring their tools to a wider audience. 

Mental health is becoming more of a popular topic, but I believe there are still misconceptions, and I want to educate women on how to take care of their health and well-being in a way that is accessible and works for their individual lifestyles.

You talk about yoga serving as your saving grace, how long have you been practicing, and do you have a favorite type of flow? 

Yoga was definitely my saving grace when I was in a place in my life where I felt disconnected from my body and intuition. I've been practicing consistently for four years now, and I've been enjoying Hatha style yoga recently, which is less about flowing,  and more about sitting in poses and breathing through them. It's a great practice if you're feeling like you need to slow down but you still want to build some strength.

Photographer: JC Olivera

Photographer: JC Olivera

Additionally, how did you get into breathwork?

I got into breathwork through my yoga teacher training program, Zuna Yoga. I attended their 200-hour YTT in Bali, Indonesia, and fell in love with all the breathwork practices they taught us that are a part of the yogic tradition. When I first started practicing yoga,  I didn't realize the importance of breathing deeply, and breathwork has helped me to cultivate the habit of breathing deeply which has helped decrease my anxiety dramatically.

Outside of wellness and trying to build a radical community for women, what interests you? How do you spend your free moments? 

Outside of I Am Well, I really enjoy spending my time out in nature hiking or at the beach. I also find writing, reading, and creating art very therapeutic. I love to spend my free time traveling, listening to live music, exploring new food spots, and cooking when I'm at home.

Photographer: Alex G Harper

Photographer: Alex G Harper

If you could give one piece of advice to young individuals around the globe, what would it be and why? 

My piece of advice would be to trust your intuition or deeper knowing. So many of us are conditioned to ignore what the small voice inside us says, and instead just follow along the well-traveled path. I've found that the more in touch you are with your inner knowing, the easier it is to pursue your purpose and live life in line with the values that truly resonate with you.

Discuss the importance of paying it forward. 

Paying it forward is such a small but powerful way to live your life from a place of gratitude and abundance. So many people have supported or encouraged me along my own journey with no expectations of receiving anything in return, and I continue to keep that in mind and give from a place of love and generosity.

Who are some of your greatest influences and why? 

My greatest influences are people I know personally who have inspired me with their talent, vision, and generosity. My father is someone who's always supported me along my own entrepreneurial journey and has been encouraging me since I switched paths to pursue work with more purpose. 

My mentors Lizzy Okoro, Amy Everhart, and Amelia Travis are all incredible and trailblazing female entrepreneurs who have guided me and shared with me about their own journeys honestly and vulnerably.

What does empowerment mean to you? 

Empowerment to me means taking your life back into your own hands and taking responsibility for your own well-being and happiness. It's a state of confidence in your ability to be able to powerfully create the life you dream of living.