I Hate Lululemon. ~ Abby Stoddart

Via elephant journal
on Aug 29, 2011
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Materialism-I Want EverythingWhy the Overindulgent, Modern Yoga Culture Is Full of It

To some, Lululemon represents the best of the best, top-of-the-line yoga wear that’s essential to advertising one’s yogicity to the world.

I step upon my mental soap box each time I view the little, stylized “A” – chosen to denote the company’s former name, Athletically Hip – on a pair of yoga pants or a sports bra. To me, it represents needless excess and a fundamental contradiction to the modern yogi culture.

To be fair, this profound distaste extends well beyond Lululemon and to all pricey yoga gear. It extends to $50 bolsters (glorified cylindrical pillows), $24.95 “artisian” yoga straps (run-of-the-mill yoga straps with exciting patterns), and $99 all-in-one yoga bags (yoga purses).

Think Gandhi maxed out his credit card on $86 yoga pants or a $118 jacket? Self-entitlement should not be confused for self-enlightenment.

Along with this goal of self-enlightenment, the modern yoga culture correlates closely with larger political and societal issues such as green living, wellness, conscious consumerism, etc. In other words, the modern yoga culture correlates closely with being mindful of our fellow man.

At least, that’s what we put on the sides of our $25 Sigg bottles.

While these corporations claim to peddle the conduits to inner peace and a collective unconscious of, well, consciousness, are they really doing anything more for their consumers than Kellogg’s or Chevrolet? Seemingly akin to the importance of inner peace is the nourishment provided by Special K or the “freedom” provided by one’s own vehicle—all lofty goals aimed at bettering individuals.

Regardless of the sincerity of these companies’ intentions, we consumers have free will. We can choose to purchase the $7.95 yoga strap and tolerate its austerity. We can choose to hire our crafty friend to create a bolster in exchange for dinner.

We can choose to spend our money more humbly.

We strive for the authenticity of our yoga practice, but on the tablets which prove 3,000 years of yoga lineage there were no stylized As signifying pants by Lululemon, no Manduka mats, no Sigg bottles.

The values of the yoga culture should be more than a punch line at parties or ego boosters on our Facebook pages. When it comes to seeking balance in our bodies and minds, perhaps we should work more diligently to keep our feet on the ground in how we allocate our resources.

Abigail Abby StoddartAbby Rose Stoddart is a nursing student, doula-in-training, former cynic and current outdoor enthusiast. Previous occupations and preoccupations include physical anthropology, philosophy, military service and pharmaceutical sales. Follow her on Twitter @AbigailStoddart.



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20 Responses to “I Hate Lululemon. ~ Abby Stoddart”

  1. Marta says:

    "We can choose to spend our money more humbly."

    I like that. I am also aware that every time I am tempted to buy a yoga gadget I'd be much better off just doing some more yoga instead. As a beginner I was mesmerised by all the snazzy gadgets but now I just buy basics, and from my local shop so no jetting them around more than it's already done.

  2. Yogini5 says:

    I buy a cheaper yoga pant that may not last as long as a Lulu. I buy the poor, thinking man's Manduka—the Aurorae mat. I get away with doing those things BECAUSE I mostly practice yoga and related disciplines at home in my underwear ….

    I'm even cheaper than I am green …

  3. Tanya Lee Markul says:

    Thanks Abby! I really try to not buy stuff I don't need – I actually find myself spending most of my money on workshops and organic food versus expensive yoga clothing, but I have to say, sometimes a good quality, more expensive pair of yoga pants is worth it in the long run, if you know what I mean. And, I think most of us can see when others are trying to 'be' something other than who they really are.

    Posting to Elephant Yoga on Facebook and Twitter.

    Tanya Lee Markul, Yoga Editor
    Join us! Like Elephant Yoga on Facebook
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  4. Tanya Lee Markul says:

    By the way, are you on Facebook?

  5. Casey says:

    Brilliant Ab. I could not agree more whole-heartedly.

  6. […] this isn’t meant to be yet another Lulu-bashing post (sympathetic to them as I may be). Because simply harping on Lululemon the makes the larger issue […]

  7. […] this isn’t meant to be yet another Lulu-bashing post (sympathetic to them as I may be). Because simply harping on Lululemon the makes the larger issue […]

  8. tytbody says:

    All I can say is thank you. This is truth. Love it. The pants don't make you a yogi no more then a mat with a *Name* on it.

  9. Tree says:

    I'll admit my big problem with LuLu is that I'm a fat yogi who is "not allowed" to wear their clothes because I'm bigger than their undercut size 12, but I too find it so odd how many yogis who espouse peace, acceptance, respect of environment and all the other wonderful aspects of yoga will put up with the pervasive bad behavior of this company and buy their products. It's very "un-yoga-y."

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