Rima Thakker, a 40-year-old housewife, yoga instructor and resident of Chembur, Mumbai, started training in yoga to combat depression and backache. Today she runs her own classes in yoga and power yoga.
“I started learning yoga from Usha Karnik, 8 years back. At the time that I started learning, I was going through a rough phase personally and was going into a depression. I also had frequent back pains, but after I joined yoga I saw the changes in me. I changed totally as a person,” she says citing the advantages that she gained from yoga.”
“I used to hate exercising initially since I was a housewife I never felt the need to workout or take my health seriously, but when my back ailment got serious I took up yoga, that was the turning point in my life.”
Today, Rima is a yoga instructor for traditional as well as power yoga. “I got involved with yoga so much that I knew then that this is sort of my calling. I took a teachers training course from the Yoga Institute from Santacruz and I started training teachers after my course completion.”
“Slowly after, I gained the confidence to stand up on my own, I started my own classes. But had it not been for my family’s support and motivation I would have never made it. My in-laws made sure that I did not feel guilty about leaving my son at home when I started my classes,” she adds.
An ex-student of St. Anthony’s Girls High School, Rima did her graduation from Jai Hind College and always wanted to be a Fashion designer.
“In fact, I did pursue fashion designing, but I quit after I was pregnant. I was a complete housewife. When my son was 10 years old I pursued my career in yoga because by then I knew that yoga was my passion,” she says.
Her day begins with one and a half hours of practice every day, which includes pranayama and the traditional asanas, followed by some time dedicated to power yoga.
Noting the benefits of yoga, Rima says that, “Yoga is a very useful tool for a person to control his emotions. Pranayam helps to that and also increases stamina. It increases one’s concentration power, helps to relax the mind and sharpens the awareness senses. Some people don’t prefer traditional yoga as they feel it’s very slow, so for them, we have power yoga which is a mixture of traditional yoga and the modern aerobics,” says Rima.
Keeping in mind the demands of changing times, Rima did her Power Yoga course from fitness guru Leena Mogre and has recently started her classes for power yoga.
With respect to the difference between the two forms of yoga she says, “Traditional yoga is only about the asanas and pranayamas. There is slow music even in traditional yoga and the exercises are the same. The only difference is that in power yoga you have music and the tempo of the exercises is higher, so it’s almost like a workout in the gym but the relaxing effect is that same.”
In her free time, Rima works on creating personalised programs for her students keeping in mind their ailments and problems. “I try to do something different in every class. And for that I get my inspiration from anything, it could be a dance step I saw on TV or some movement which I think, done better, can help in stretching. Sometimes referring to yoga books also helps,” she says.
Ask her why she chose to start teaching, and she replies, “When I saw the benefits that practising yoga brought in me in a just a few months, I thought I should spread the message. I wanted to tell people that with the right mindset and an hour of practising yoga you can combat any problems, whether physical or emotional.”
Today, Rima has grown her passion for yoga into her profession, with her own classes. “Having ventured into starting my own classes has given me a sense of independence, which I never knew earlier. I think every woman should be independent and stand on her own two feet. It gives you a feeling of great self-worth,” says Rima.
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