Dance, Sing, Floss & Travel: Yoga Cults & Lululemon’s Manifesto.

Via Brooke Kochel
on Mar 12, 2012
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Brooke Kochel

One fine, cold August day in Australia (they have opposite seasons than the United States, I found out the hard way), I ventured out to see, what else, but Sydney’s Opera House.

It’s a beautifully odd structure you can stare at from across the harbor. Built in the 70’s it’s won architecture’s highest honor, the Pritzker Prize. But, even better, it makes a great backdrop for cool yoga poses to share on Facebook and make your friends jealous.

Oh, I’m kidding. We yogis, don’t have pride. We’re egoless and perfect. We just post such pictures to share our vision of unity as Citizens of the World, to put power behind the idea of non-duality.

Perhaps we somehow think it would be harder to hate a place and a people if you see one of your own standing on that very ground. Now, of course, we’re not at war with English speaking Australia.

But what if I’d posted myself in Warrior I (pun intended) in Tel Aviv, where I plan to go next month. Or in front of one of the triangular-shaped Seven Wonders of the World in Egypt, maybe then it would be,

“a small world after all”  as Walt Disney so wisely asserted.

But doing yoga poses in the August “winter” is, well, cold. So, I headed to the nearest yoga outfitter, as fate would have it, Lululemon Athletica. All bubbles and smiles, it’s a luon wonderland! I suited up and strolled out with my handy, reusable, save-the-planet bag.

Brooke Kochel

Once I’d properly stretched my jet-lagged bones with an amazing vinyasa flow yoga class at BodyLifeMind, and was wide awake in my hotel at 3:00am (3:00pm U.S. time), I read that “green” red and white Lululemon bag which held all my sweat wicking goodies. It took me a good hour to flip the bag around and read it’s manifesto of 31 secrets to living the good life.

(Photo: Brooke Kochel)

Like any good cult should do, I was completely sucked in and decided then and there I would live and die by these 31 rules. I’d done a 30-day yoga challenge before, I could do this.

A lot happened from Rule #1 to #20. But it’s what happened in living by Lululemon Athletica’s Rule #21 that stopped me from going to #22 and made me quickly read the fine print to see if I could escape without giving up my firstborn.

Rule #21: “Dance, Sing, Floss & Travel”

I’m still unsure why these four sacred tasks are lumped together, but whatever, I’m in Australia. I’m singing in the shower. I have a trophy in my attic from an award I won in junior high for “Best Dancer.” I’m pretty sure they made up the category just to so I wouldn’t be left out and back then I was bound to go on tour with Britney Spears (I’m still not willing to give that dream up, she’s making another comeback, ya know).

So I’m dancing. I’m taking Natarajasana, Lord of the Dance Pose, to new cosmic, cultish heights.

And I’m flossing! This is where my new straight-and-narrow-way-of-life takes a turn for the worst. How can flossing be a bad idea? My dentist and I are still asking that same question. He said he’s never seen someone because they had flossed too much, only the other way around.

I had literally flossed one of my fillings out of my mouth, then was forced to crawl around on my hands and knees for an hour to find it because my motherly instincts told me it was a choking hazard for my one-year-old.

No matter the spiritual path you take in life, it usually attempts to teach universal truths, and more importantly, it teaches you about yourself. I saw a t-shirt recently that said “On Step Four.” Apparently that’s an inside joke for people working a 12 Step Program because Step Four, which states:

“Made a Searching and Fearless Moral Inventory of Myself”

 tends to stop people dead in their tracks.

So after flossing my singing, dancing, traveling heart out, I made a fearless moral inventory of myself and found I needed to work on balance. Whether I’m working, mothering, yoga-ing or flossing, I do it with all my heart. And while living heartily, you can still be living unhealthily.

So I challenge you in your practices and in your lives, to live with more balance and less extremes. It’s not to say you don’t challenge yourself with that pretzel pose you’ve always dreamed of, but throw in a Vrksasana, Tree Pose, to balance yourself out and maintain your stability.

And by all means, stay away from Lululemon’s Manifesto #3:

“Do one thing a day that scares you.”

The mother in me wants you all to me safe…everyday!


Editor: Kate Bartolotta.


About Brooke Kochel

Brooke Kochel is a Tadasana Festival Ambassador and student of Shiva Rea. Her baby yoga mat, bendibaby, debuts this summer. I’m a lover of two soul mates: husband and babe. Jet-setting citizen of the world, foodie and cultural junkie: I’ll try anything twice. She is currently on a farm in Arkansas living off wild game, fish and fowl. Rantings of her satisfied soul can be found on her Yoga/Food/Travel blog, Yogastronomy and Facebook.


21 Responses to “Dance, Sing, Floss & Travel: Yoga Cults & Lululemon’s Manifesto.”

  1. Hope you enjoy! Would love to hear your thoughts 🙂
    Love and Light All Ways,
    Brooke Kochel

  2. Connie L says:

    I love the article! Balance is something I could use a little more of. Thanks for the reminder!

  3. […] Dance, Sing, Floss & Travel: Yoga Cults & Lululemon's Manifesto … Comments […]

  4. […] Dance, Sing, Floss & Travel: Yoga Cults & Lululemon's Manifesto … This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged arkansas, australia, britney, brooke, culture, king, kochel, lululemon, travel by admin. Bookmark the permalink. […]

  5. Vision_Quest2 says:

    About that #3—One would think it would be the daughter in you that doesn't want your old-girl mommy (old enough to be your kid's grandmother) to fall out of handstand … (no dancer or gymnastic childhood or adulthood in the house) ….

    Oh, but I have learned to parent myself and to embrace my inner daughter.

    Anyway, proof positive that you did not drink the Kool-Aid …

  6. Yes, balance is on of those sneaky things I will be mindfully reminding myself of everyday! For instance, I'm drinking my first cup of coffee right now with a morning full of promise… Should I really have that 2nd cup? 🙂
    Here's to a beautifully balanced day!
    Love and LIght All Ways,
    Brooke Kochel
    Twitter: @BrookeKochel

  7. I love it!!! My father took up yoga about two years ago. He can't stand for me to know more about a subject that he does. That got really interesting when I became a midwife years ago. lol. Anyway, I'm proud to say he has now mastered headstand! He's always reminding his 2 grand babies their grandpa can stand on his head!
    Love & Light, Rightside Up and Upside Down,
    Brooke Kochel
    Twitter: @BrookeKochel

  8. I'm not sure about the other 30 rules, but I've got #21 down! 🙂
    ~Missy via Facebook

  9. Didn't know Australia has opposite seasons to America? Wow. Self involved Americans…
    ~Narelle via Elephant Yoga Facebook

  10. Mandy says:

    Recently in Greece, and re-reading myths and history, I was reminded of the ancient Grecian values: 1) Know thyself, and 2) Balance in all things.

  11. I love that! They were a smart, mindful culture!

  12. reminding myself daily to keep life beween the lines

  13. charles kochel says:

    reminding myself daily to keep it between the lines

  14. Tanya Lee Markul says:

    Just posted to "Featured Today" on the Elephant Yoga homepage.

    Posting to Elephant Yoga on Facebook and Twitter.

    Tanya Lee Markul, Yoga Editor
    Like Elephant Yoga on Facebook
    Follow on Twitter

  15. […] though I cannot handle authority and teachers and “gurus” in yoga- I become arrogant and critical towards them- the essence yoga is so much part of me, that I cannot […]

  16. Thanks Tanya! Wishing you a beautifully "balanced" day 🙂
    Brooke Kochel

  17. I enjoy the humor in your articles and always look forward to reading them. I laughed out loud at this one picturing you looking for the lost filling! I would have done the same thing!
    ~Jeanne via Facebook

  18. LOL, I'm a mother and all for doing one thing scary every day… although the words I would use are Bold or Audacious…
    ~Well Heeled Guru via Facebook

  19. […] matter where you find yourself in the world, you find yourself in the world. So why not celebrate the world this April on Earth […]

  20. […] matter where you find yourself in the world,you find yourself in the world. So why not celebrate the world this April on Earth […]

  21. Jean says:

    Lululemon manifesto is complete washed out bullshit you’ve heard 1700 times before and it’s nothing new and I don’t understand why anyone would worship a company that believes in child labor camps making clothes out of fiber that is not healthy for your skin claiming that it came from nature although it didn’t whose employees literally murder each other because competition is so fierce to work for free for a company that has no regard for anyone but it’s own profit… I could go on… Anyone that takes yoga as life and not marely a statement of a lifestyle will know better then to support this or else you’re just a cog in the machinery.