I can’t tell you how many times I’ve fallen out of headstand before I was able to balance up there.
But somehow, upside down was never really a problem for me. When I was a young woman (warning, old person propaganda coming) life seemed so topsy turvy that standing on my head felt somehow…right.
Standing on my feet, however. That was really hard. I wanted to be in constant motion. Standing still was—and still is—very confronting.
Because then I am left with myself. And, more practically, my poor alignment.
See, here’s the thing. If we can’t stack ourselves up properly in mountain pose, we definitely shouldn’t be stacking ourselves upside down.
See this picture of me in headstand? Not a straight line to be seen. My back and neck hurt just looking at it.
Funnily enough, at the time the picture was taken, my back and neck did hurt. A lot.
So I stopped standing on my head. And spent some years learning to stand on my feet. I’m still learning, actually. And this is where I wonder whether it was just the pain, or whether it is because I got older (I totally thought I was a yoga rock star in my late 20s and early 30s).
Maybe that thing people say about yoga becoming more internal as we age is true. It has been for me.
These days, the rock star in me is having a nice cup of tea and a nap. I’m most interested in doing no harm—to myself or my students. I’m learning as much as I can about how our bodies work so I can pass it on to my students. It’s what has kept me teaching yoga after all these years.
I still do headstand occasionally. It makes me feel brave. It’s odd when I get up there these days—everything stacks differently. Turns out, in the evolution of man, er, I mean me, that headstand picture was pretty far down the scale.
But at least I thought I was the shiz, right?
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Apprentice Editor: Karissa Kneeland/Editor: Rachel Nussbaum
Photo Credit: Nadine Fawell