After an exhausting long day of the “Final Practice Teach” and an impassioned “Closing Circle,” we celebrated a successful conclusion of our training with a festive party at Muna, a local Indian restaurant in Gotanda. This would be my second annual party held at Muna and the owner Bista, is always nice enough close the restaurant for us. He generously presents a prix-fixe menu of assorted appetizers, curry dishes, rice, naan and drinks, especially mango lassis. We had all changed into nice outfits right after our closing ceremony and Bindis were given to everyone.
Closing parties are so incredible because everyone is relieved that the training is over and they get to be themselves. We were having such a great time together and became more lively and animated as the evening wore on. One of the students, Takako Ito, made special flame chocolate deserts as party favors–so fitting for the bright and radiant energy of this group.
Moreover, these 32 students, thoughtfully gave me gifts that would not only travel light, but that were loaded with symbolic and personal meaning–a card that turned into a jeweled crown for my upcoming birthday; an illustrated scrap-book of photos of them doing yoga poses with personalized comments and drawings that made me burst into tears!; and finally, a gorgeous lavender colored “lotus fan.” Sobbing openly, I thanked them all. I also made a special thanks to Yuri Nakamura Hayashi and Kosai Kato who I was immensely grateful for working 11 weeks by my side, diligently translating every word spoken by me; every question asked by a student; transmitting the information back and forth over and over, each hour of our days in the training. As a team we accomplished an arduous task.
As the evening wore on it became more difficult to say goodbye. At last we drifted together in a large group towards Gotanda Station. Once there, we stopped and hugged each other tearfully. I then turned away and walked to my tiny apartment and then began packing way into the night for my return to LA the next day.