My yoga has been erratic lately (though better than my running which has been non-existent): a couple days last week with Michaela, then nothing on Monday (a holiday) and an evening led class on Wednesday. So when I finally saw Philippa again this morning, she asked 'Have you had some time off?' Translation: yes, people do notice when you don't come to practice. Oops, self!
Speaking of the led class: first off it was packed - as this one always is - and secondly there were so many vinyasas I thought my arms were going to fall off. Luckily nearly everyone else felt the same and so there was I think one guy doing the 'optional' vinyasas between sides. Also, it went through more of the sequence than I do on my own. It was good to have someone count the breaths and remind me of all the little details of the poses, which sometimes I forget/ignore. But mostly, I just missed my self-practice.
So, I finally got back to it this morning, and while I was extra tight (longer than usual break between classes followed by a shorter than usual break between practices) it was great to be back. I could feel myself loosening, loosening, and also getting stronger. And then. The most amazing thing happened. Someone talked to me in the changing area.
If you're not English, this might not be so amazing to you. But if you combine general locker room 'keep-to-your-self'ishness with traditional English reticence, you'll understand why this is such a surprising moment for me. She started by asking for the shampoo (there are two showers, no doors, side by side, so it was a little more intimate than I really would have liked) but then we kind of chatted the whole time we were getting ready. We discussed differencees between teachers (one who lets you break the rules of Ashtanga, and one who, well, doesn't) and why we take the moon days off (her theory: because Guruji was a Brahmin and too busy with religious things on moon days to practice, not the 'you're more likely to get injured' idea that's often passed around). She even tried to encourage me to come to the Primrose Hill practice on a Saturday morning because everyone goes out to breakfast. Shocking. Then we exchanged names, which if you've read Kate Fox's Watching the Englishyou'll know is tantamount to having sex.