I had to alter our 5am walk. The normal way was putting Quinnie toe to toe with a skunk which was putting me toe to toe with worse. So we adjusted. Animal didn’t like it and tried as hard as heady dogs can try to get things back to the way they were, and I just kept telling her that the old way isn’t always the best way.

It was always Albrights Donuts. Small black coffee, no lid, w/ sleeve, buck fifty.  I usually paid with change. If there wasn’t anybody tending the counter, or even if there was, I would just put all the coin on the glass counter-top and say YumYum. Fact is, Albrights is on a legitimate street corner, and i don’t trust Quinn outside by herself for too long.  Too much sketch lurks at this hour, and she is not perfect. She has giant ears, and tweaks on things from time to time. Certain critters. Certain sounds. Certain homeless.

So we were now walking a slightly different way to get our coffee. Next to an unpopular fireplace showroom, I noticed a discreet little yoga studio for the first time. It was still pitch black.  A flickering candle of some sort was lighting up the lobby at this Divinitree Yoga studio. There were numerous flyers taped on the window. One in particular caught my eye. It was a giveaway they were calling the Humble Warrior Giveaway. There was of course a picture of somebody doing an incredible Humble Warrior pose, and the giveaway prizes were to die for.

It read: In 100 words or less, tell us why it is that you practice yoga. That simple. 100 words or less, why yoga.

The winner was to receive a six month pass at Divinitree, a six month spa and fitness membership at the exclusive Chaminade in Santa Cruz, PLUS a free inclusion in a three-week Yoga Training scheduled for spring 2016.  Wow!

There wasn’t too much small print either. The deadline to submit the entry was in five days. All entries needed to be received via email. Of course you had to be affiliated with this particular studio. The winner was to be announced on Friday, October 16th. I think that was about it.

The next day I joined this yoga studio. I had been meaning to surrender to yoga anyway, so I bought a two month unlimited pass. Therefore, just about the time my two month membership expiration would come due, that would also be about the time they were going to announce the winner to the giveaway.  Timing is clearly everything.

I now was a brand new yoga student.  I suppose I had done my share of Bikram in the past, and other forms of bending. This time though, I just knew deep down that this was going to be the breakthrough effort and the very beginning of a spiritual practice that was sure to reawaken me and prove that I am actually still alive.

But first thing was first.  The Giveaway.  I had four days to get my entry in, and I thought a lot about it. Do I use all 100 words? Do I use no words? Should I be funny? Should I be sad? Do I tell them that I have entered this contest just for the incredible prizes? Decisions.

Why do I practice Yoga? By Aaron Lubell

How’s it going? I’m a new student. I’m that guy without a smile. The guy drinking from the half empty glass. I appear to resemble a guy that has been unfavorably pigeon holed.  Do you know the term?  Well I do, and the aftermath has me feeling so raw and insecure that sometimes I am too emotional to even come out of Child’s Pose. But this is NOT who I truly am, and that is why I practice yoga.

For the next seven weeks, I made a point of getting to one class per day. If I felt too tired, I went to class. If I was too sad, I went to class. If it was too hot or too cold, I went to class. When I didn’t want to go to class, I went anyway.

On Friday, October 16, after the Hatha Flow class with Rosanne, Yogi Tom pulled me aside and asked if I had submitted an entry for that one giveaway. I told him I had forgotten all about it, but that YES, I did submit an entry. He reminded me that today was the day they were announcing a winner.  We made small talk, and he said he would see me on Monday for practice.

When I got back to the space I now call home, I checked my email. There was something in my inbox from Divinitree.

Dear Aaron, We received 93 entries for The Humble Waririor Giveaway, and your entry was chosen as the winning entry. Congratulations!! We are holding your prizes at our Westside Location. Please fly out of your pigeon hole and come see us tomorrow if you can. Yay!!  Again, congratulations. Namaste, Sheila

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