Your Lululemon Bag is Lying to You. ~ Andrea MacDonald

Via elephant journal
on Jan 5, 2013
get elephant's newsletter


You will not find enlightenment in the perfect pair of pants.

Your Lululemon bag is lying to you.
It’s encouraging, shallow platitudes
suggesting you could be a better person
if only you wore
more flattering pants.

It’s a comforting, condescending symbol
of your inflated morality,
a lifestyle purchased on credit
against the better judgement
of your balanced budget
and your “non-attachment” to material things.

It will encourage you
to “do something every day that scares you”
but never acknowledge
the fear of non-belonging
that sold you in the first place.

It will tell you
that friends are more important than money,
while Chip lines his pockets
with the viciously reduced overhead
of his conveniently distant ladies labor force.

It will tell you
that simply breathing is enough,
so long as you have
the outfit to match.

The Lululemon bag is lying to you.
It’s that feeling,
that gnawing in your belly,
the tickle at the back of your mind,
that something about this fabric on your skin
isn’t quite right.

 Listen to it.

Open yourself up
to your honest interpretation
of this televised spectacle,
a marriage between consumerism
and our lost self esteem.

You will stand in a room
full of pre-packaged
spandex normality
and claim liberation, freedom
and individuality.

You will not find enlightenment
in the perfect pair of pants.
Just admit it—
you were probably hoping
the answer was that easy.

I know I was.

andrea_mcdonaldAndrea MacDonald is one of the founders of Community Yoga Vancouver – an accesible and anti-oppressive collective of teacher, eccentrics and healers. Before becoming a yoga teacher Andrea spent several years as an organizer and volunteer coordinator. She worked on many issues from oil-tankers to affordable housing. She brings a passion for social justice and community building to her teaching and strives to make her classes safe, accessible and empowering. Her teaching utilizes a consent based-approach and encourages students to discover authentic embodiment by honouring their desires, needs and boundaries. Her writing has been published on elephant journal and in UBC’s Ignite Journal. You can read her pieces and see her updated teaching schedule and anti-oppression policy at

This piece was published previously on my blog with a slightly different title.


Editor: Lynn Hasselberger & Elysha Anderson

Like elephant yoga on Facebook.


About elephant journal

elephant journal is dedicated to "bringing together those working (and playing) to create enlightened society." We're about anything that helps us to live a good life that's also good for others, and our planet. >>> Founded as a print magazine in 2002, we went national in 2005 and then (because mainstream magazine distribution is wildly inefficient from an eco-responsible point of view) transitioned online in 2009. >>> elephant's been named to 30 top new media lists, and was voted #1 in the US on twitter's Shorty Awards for #green content...two years running. >>> Get involved: > Subscribe to our free Best of the Week e-newsletter. > Follow us on Twitter. Fan us on Facebook. > Write: send article or query. > Advertise. > Pay for what you read, help indie journalism survive and thrive—and get your name/business/fave non-profit on every page of Questions? Send to [email protected]


14 Responses to “Your Lululemon Bag is Lying to You. ~ Andrea MacDonald”

  1. YogiAnna says:

    Why dis a company that encourages people to participate in a healthy, active lifestyle? I think the sayings on their bags are lovely to believe in.

  2. Debbie says:

    I did not like this post. Yes, I wear Lulu. I like the fabric. I like the design and cut of their clothes. It's where I give myself permission to spend a little bit more on clothes only because I spend so much time in them. Not only on the mat, but while gardening, lounging or going out for a run. Your post is judgemental and has a bad energy to it which is ironic. Anyway, if it wasn't Lulu, it would be something else. All students of life are on some journey to find themselves and we have all searched for it in the wrong places. Until we discover our true essence we will do foolish things. Targetting one company specifically is weak.I think there was a better way to say what you had to say. Why not try being loving and encouraging next time since you are a so-called healer? Namaste

  3. Jamie says:

    ‎"You will not find enlightenment in the perfect pair of pants." – Exactly. You should stop worrying about what other people wear and focus on your own yoga practice. Maybe write an article on how important it is in yoga to be non-judgmental.

  4. I really love this poem– & I don't find it to be judgmental. It's important to address consumerism as it impacts yoga culture. Of course we have to be pragmatic. In most instances we have to be dressed, purchase mats, etc. But we can be simply pragmatic about our consumptive needs, as opposed to enamored with brands & corporate personalities. More reason to challenge Lululemon & corportocracy:

  5. earl says:

    What a great piece, makes you think really what is happening within any type of activity. Yoga has a long tradition and commercial clothing was not part of it. I agree with the article and am glad that this is out there for us to read and comment. I must say I do believe in using things that will last, so maybe instead of a lulu there is a local person who makes and designs clothing for yoga that considers all body types. EB

  6. Laura says:

    Wow. People. Andrea, in my opinion, isn't wrong. It may not feel good to read, but I don't think it's wrong. I have to admit I have a bit of a hate-on for lulus. Yeah, yeah, yeah, the "cut," the fabric…whatever. How much did you pay for another piece of clothing made in china? For me, I don't think Lululemon walks their talk. But I think the same way about a lot of yoga studios and the practitioners within. In fact that's actually where my dislike of lululemon was cemented. On the floor in a yoga studio in an increasingly wealthy neighbourhood where I was literally surrounded by thin, seemingly fit, tanned, midriff baring bodies, each one clad in Lululemon. It was all so surface it actually made me feel sick. And prompted me to vow to myself I would NEVER own an article of clothing made by lululemon, cause I don't want in on whatever THAT was. Sure, buy it if you believe in what they're espousing, but in that case I feel you should be buying it because you believe in what they do, not what they say.

    Lululemon is a brand, it was marketed to you, and you bought it. They're not a higher consciousness, a more mindful life, or a better you. if you really bought them because they're just pants then the poem shouldn't bother you. But that's just what I think.

    Thank you Andrea.

  7. studentmidwife says:

    I think this is amazing.

    I own Lulu lemons and I wear them to births as a student midwife. I will probably never do yoga or believe that wearing lulu's is going to make me better if I ever tried. Lulu is a brand washed in a bunch of consumeristic garbage to make you believe that you're not being hoodwinked. They do make comfy pants though.

  8. Karl says:

    I loved it! Very fun piece: old-sco railing against corporate oppression, in this case even worse, as it is masked as “mindful”. Don’t let the haters bother you, this is a good post.

  9. Sara says:

    I have been purchasing lululemon for the past ten years and will continue to do so. Also, I love that I am supporting a company that is dedicated to health, wellness and being active. Yes it is a higher price point, but the quality of the product is worth it.

    Thank you for reminding me how much I really do love lululemon.


  10. stacy says:

    Clearly there's an overwhelming amount of personal negative emotion expressed here, it's interesting that you reside in Vancouver.

  11. Er Magerd says:

    The apostrophe (on line two) between the t and s of that possessive 'Its' is lying to you. You don't need it. Why pick on pants that last for five years? But yeah, the lulu culture is pretty corporate and skeezy. Or maybe it's for real, who can say?

  12. Tinvin says:

    Yes Andrea!

  13. […] 2. You don’t have to afford Lululemon to practice yoga. […]