Our last pranayama class was beautiful. Geeta knew that most of us were leaving and I could tell she wanted to be sure we understood what she was teaching. After class was over we paid her our respects and she seemed to soften as she told each of us Namaskar. I don’t know how this month will effect my teaching. I feel I don’t know where to begin with what I have learned, but feel certain that my yoga practice has been irrevocably changed.
Then it was hurry up and wait for our driver from Pune to Mumbai. We had ended up with a rather small car, and we had to tie some of our luggage to the top, as Tina from Seattle joined us for the drive. The waterfalls that I saw at the beginning of the month were gone as it hadn’t rained for some time. The Arabian Sea was silent and grey. A good hour of our four hour drive was making our way through the streets of Mumbai, where the pollution seemed more intense than when we arrived. We ate a wonderful dinner at the Leela hotel before we headed to the airport.
The scene at the Mumbai airport was surreal. We must have shown our passport to eight different people, our carry-ons were x-rayed twice, every person was “wanded” twice and we were not allowed to carry drinking water onto the airplane. There were soldiers with machine guns everywhere and we had to go through Indian Immigration on the way out. The process felt quite violating, and what we go through here in the States is minor in comparison.
I got teary-eyed as the plane touched down in Newark. I now know why people want to kiss the ground of their home. Karen and I said goodbye at my gate. Karen – thanks, I couldn’t have asked for a better companion. When my plane dropped down through the clouds and I caught my first glimpse of the Columbia river I started getting emotional. My husband and son met me at the airport and I was overcome with happiness. Twelve hours of sleep later I feel almost normal, but still somewhat stunned at being home. Best of all, today is my 46th birthday and I get to celebrate surrounded by family.
Thanks for reading my blog. I loved sharing and reading your comments. Writing was an important connection to home and helped me make it through this most incredible, challenging month!