To most, an instructor and a teacher might be the same thing. But, for teacher-yogini Borkha these two terms mean two distinct identities. Perhaps this stems from her personal journey from being a skilled yoga instructor to a wholesome guru/teacher of body, mind, and soul.
How do you know when you have found your true passion? One of the ways is that you never stop being interested in it. There is always something more that you would like to do in the field. Learn more, experiment more, work more, etc. That is the kind of relationship Brokha has with her passion- Yoga.
In an interview with SocialBoat, Borkha talks about her incredible journey of finding Yoga and discusses her aspirations to learn and teach this practice of spiritual healing.
Finding Fitness, Finding Yoga
During school when Borkha was being bullied by her family members for being overweight she started going to the gym in Assam. Fitness was like a fresh breath of air in her life and since then it has been an important part of her life. Although Borkha had studied and practiced Yoga in school, she had never been interested in it until the pandemic lockdown at the beginning of 2020.
“When I started Yoga then, it interested me extremely. I became so passionate about it that I would practice for eight hours a day. I wanted to learn and perfect every asana.”
Borkha’s passion and dedication were such that she learnt all the advanced asanas on her own. She also cured her back pain problem through Yoga. Yoga had helped her get through such a time of stress and she realised that everyone needed it. When she recommended Yoga to her friends, they started asking her to teach them. That’s when Borkha thought she could become a Yoga teacher and help people heal themselves. Within a span of two years, she had learnt a lot on her own, spent a couple of months in Rishikesh perfecting her practice and theory, and also got her certification. When she started out as an instructor, she would take 8-9 sessions in a day. Borkha was enjoying teaching. Besides, she could see her lifestyle becoming healthier and less stressful.
After some introspection and self-reflection, Borkha knew that she had become a Yoga instructor, but she wanted to be a Yoga teacher, and actually add value to people’s lives. Along with this, she also wanted to keep learning on her own.
Asanas are just one part of Yoga, it is more.
Spending some time in Rishikesh and learning about its history ad theory, the most important thing that Borkha learnt was that Yoga is a philosophy, it is a way of living life. It isn’t just about a couple of hours of the day but about all of the day. Only a good Yogi can truly be a good Yoga teacher, and to be a teacher, the focus must be as much on the spiritual as on the physical. That is where lies the difference between a Yoga teacher and a Yoga instructor.
This lesson that Borkha learnt encouraged her to take up students who challenged her expertise as a teacher (she likes to call them “students” and not “clients”).
One of Borkha’s students is a physically challenged woman who had lost her hands from the elbow in a tragic accident. Initially, Borkha was hesitant to take this up, wondering if she would be able to do justice to her student and to Yoga.
“Then I thought that Yoga isn’t limited to the ‘physical,’ and hence the physical aspect of the body shouldn’t be a limitation to Yoga.”
Borkha made up her mind to teach Yoga to her student and in the process gained a lot more from her exceptional spirit and dedication. This, for Borkha, was a true example of the ideal dynamic between a teacher and student.
“Our textbooks, the Upanishads and Vedas have talked at length about this. But we don’t learn from our own history. Nowadays, the West is more interested in Yoga than we are.”
There is always more to learn.
Yoga is Borkha’s passion and she wishes to dedicate herself completely to it. In her most recent job, while Borkha was doing well but she wasn’t getting the time to better herself.
“There is so much that I don’t know and want to learn.”
Last month, Borkha quit her job to focus on her practice. She is still taking one on one sessions with her individual clients. Soon, she will be moving to Indonesia, where she will be teaching Yoga and will also get the time to better her expertise.
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