At the time, headstand was this thing. This goal. This unattainable, top-of-Mount-Everest goal that I thought I would never achieve. Oh, sure, I tried the little egg preparation. I decided that was as far as I could go, as far as I needed to go. It gave me the feeling of being upside down without the vulnerability.
I didn't practice headstand for three years. I practiced with my hands in a tripod with my head and rested my knees on my elbows, and that was my headstand. And it's a fine pose and gives all the benefits and keeps you safe.
And then things started to change. I changed. I discovered social dancing, I opened my mouth about things I didn't like at work, I lost my job. I went into a deep depression. I wanted to feel strong again, so I started doing the Five Tibetans, which are these great exercises that align the chakras and strengthen the core and made me feel so strong and confident. I horsed around, showing kids at the daycare how to start a headstand with that little egg. And before I knew it, my feet were floating up.
I was shocked and scared. My knees came right down to my elbows again and I couldn't get them to lift. This went on for a while.
And then another day, I was putting a sequence together for a friend, and thought, well, some kind of inversion on the end would make sense.
So there I went, into my little egg, and my feet floated all the way up.
I was, of course, so shocked that I fell over.
But there it was - headstand. Something I'd let go of so thoroughly that I didn't even want it. It suddenly appeared.
When I was a child, my grandparents had a framed poster on their wall with a picture of a monarch butterfly. The quotation at the bottom was
Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.