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Towards the end of the class now, and I’m exhausted. Shadow Yoga always does that. Often I feel like I want to puke. Or cry. Or fall on the ground in a heap. Or all of those things put together.

Every movement is both not enough and too much. I can’t find the way to stop the ache in my body, but I’d rather not stop. If only my legs wouldn’t shake.

We need a bolster each and I stand taller than ever, gliding over to the props. The soles of my feet are tingling, but not in that pins and needles way. More in the every-part-of-my-body-feels-vibrantly-alive-and-yet-its-my-feet-that-feel-it-the-most kinda way.

They all look the same more or less. Long and roundish. Some blue, some lavender. And yet I notice I’m searching for the one I want above all others. Which strikes me as absurd. Still, in the mass of sameness, I crave differentness. I crave my preference. I seem to have some idea of what that preference is, despite a complete lack of distinguishing features from one to the next.

And then we lie over our bolsters, feet on a block, shoulders on the ground and relax. And I couldn’t care less.

That bolster-want was superfluous, of course. Redundant, but noisy nonetheless. And if I’d allowed myself to listen, I could’ve driven myself nuts and/or missed another minute or two of relaxation. It’s a tiny bit of insanity, is it not? To care about which bolster among so many is the best one for me?

Some would say that desire for a bolster is the same as the desire for enlightenment and understanding one’s essence nature…

There’s a searingly profound honesty in this yoga. Or perhaps it’s doing this kind of yoga at this specific time in my life? Or both? Anyway, it’s hard work and not just physically.

Every movement challenges what I think I know about myself because it’s all so unusual, supremely physical and requiring me to think about my body in ways I normally don’t.

Much of what we do churns the spinal column from the base of the skull to the tail bone and in so doing, churns those other hidden repositories of emotion and fear. The fear plays out in what my mind allows my body to do or not do. The emotion spews forth in the volume of my perspiration, and how often I feel like I’m about to vomit tears onto the floorboards.

Afterwards, it takes all I have to float down the studio stairs and out into the day…