≡ Menu
YogaDork

Why These Yoga Teachers are Lululemon ‘Ambassadors No More’

in Yogitorials

lululemon-ambassador

When the Lululemon shiz hit the proverbial fan, namely with the latest public gaff from founder Chip Wilson (just one of many over the course of his lulu career), many discussions arose, not just from customers and practitioners, but from the community of yoga teachers culled as Lululemon Ambassadors finding themselves questioning their alignment with the brand’s philosophies and ideologies. Diana Vitarelli and her husband John, co-owners of Dhyana Yoga in Philadelphia, recently sent in their letter of resignation to become Lululemon “Ambassadors No More.” Below is a post Diana wrote on the studio blog sharing she and her husband’s experience being ambassadors, why they ultimately chose to say no and why they encourage others not to be afraid to do the same. Republished with permission via dhyana-yoga.com.

WE DON’T CARE WHAT YOU WEAR

My husband, John Vitarelli, is about the most drama-free person you could ever meet. Nothing sticks to this guy, he just has a good vibe inside and out and because of that, drama doesn’t get too close to him. So last week when John said, “Send the letter,” I knew it was time to finally send the letter.

Our letter asking Lululemon to consider us “Ambassadors No More” (coined via Jennifer Kries) was a simple one, opening with “This letter comes after a long time of consideration regarding our personal affiliation with your company, Lululemon, for which we served as “Ambassadors” in 2011.  We do not feel aligned with Lululemon, and are sending this letter as a request for Lululemon to cease using our images in any way and to remove us from all contact lists.”

Now I should back up and mention that when Lululemon first came to the Philadelphia market many years ago, the manager of the showroom at that time asked to me to lunch. She brought a bag of clothes and was talking about this “Ambassador” thing, which I didn’t quite understand. The whole Brand Ambassador title wasn’t part of the Yoga culture lexicon as of yet, or at least, it hadn’t hit Philly. I took the clothes home and tried them on. They didn’t fit and were too athletic looking for me (I’m more Bohemian swirls than sporty stripes) and a few days later I returned the bag to an absolutely stunned looking Lululemon representative and just said, “thanks, but I’ll never wear these. Maybe try giving them to some other girls at the studio.” That store manager was never nice to me again. I was just being truthful and not taking a bunch of clothes that I wouldn’t wear just because they were “free.”

I should have stuck to my gut. But when Lululemon approached my husband and I to be “Co-Ambassadors” many years later, we agreed. I have to say, John probably could have cared less. He practices in what is reasonably clean and won’t get in his way in Marichasana D. But I thought it would be fun to do together, and that having him by my side would make me feel more comfortable doing whatever we had to do. I don’t know what they do everywhere, but here, the Lululemon staff comes to your class and brings you a big bouquet of flowers or a giant plant and makes a big fuss over you in front of people when they ask you to be an Ambassador. It’s kind of like being asked to the prom in the middle of the High School pep rally. They don’t tell you what the “job” entails or educate you about their company and product, they just ask you out and then everyone hugs and takes pictures. Then you get invited to the store for a New Ambassador meeting where you meet the other Ambassadors, and they give you a bunch of self help books to read, and a folder of papers explaining what a “goal” is and how to crush one! Yay! Usually the person coaching you on how to “goal crush” is half your age. One of our teachers tells a hilarious story about this happening to them and it ends with the Yoga teacher saying, “Look, there are no goals in Yoga.”

As the months went by, we were required as Ambassadors to offer free classes to Lululemon shoppers. This is pretty standard fare, and basically your payment is the gift card they give you to pick out “free” clothes in the store. John and I did what we agreed to do, but as I got increasingly pregnant and dealt with an extreme case of morning sickness that lasted 3 months, John taught more of the classes alone. One thing you will notice in these free classes is that there are A LOT of people. Sounds great, right? Lots of people doing Yoga. The next thing you will notice, though, is that there is one teacher sprinting from one end of the room to the other trying to adjust people. A large majority of the people are just trying Yoga out and many even show up in shoes and jeans, so a lot of adjusting is needed to keep things safe. Also, you are either in a Lululemon store with all the clothing rounders pushed somewhat out of the way or you may be outside which presents all kinds of other complications, like people cranking their necks to see what’s going on because they can’t hear the teacher. Put simply, it might be a fun time, but in our opinion, these classes are generally unsafe. After our year tenure was up, Lululemon continued to ask us to teach these classes, and still does to this day. We politely decline.

You might ask, if it’s so bad, why are there so many Ambassadors? I might answer by asking, why are there so many Ambassadors? It’s not really even a special thing to be asked, eventually they get around to almost everyone in a market. But there’s another side to this that no one is really talking about, and that’s what we, as Yoga teachers, are getting out of the whole deal. Yoga teachers get what they see as “free promotion” by having a huge photograph of themselves in their local Lululemon store and by the store employees supposedly referring shoppers to their Ambassdor’s classes. This is going to take some radical honesty from Yoga teachers, like us. I have personally heard something along the lines of, “just take the free clothes and the free promo” from Ambassadors I know. Which is why an important part of our letter to Lululemon reads,“In our experience, teachers bash Lululemon in general conversation but can’t seem to sacrifice what they perceive to be free promotion from the local store by being open and honest about it. This is akin to being in an unhealthy relationship. Both sides, yoga teachers seeking promotion and Lululemon stores seeking advertising by outfitting those teachers, are being opportunistic and parasitic. It is our aim as not only yoga teachers, but as parents, and as people seeking to better ourselves, to not engage in what we find to be inauthentic relationships.”

If you are one of those “Ambassadors,” one of those teachers taking the free gear but making snarky remarks about the Lululemon brand in general conversation or even in your head, then you should not be an Ambassador. If you look at your colorful pile of Luon pants differently now that you know more about the company, then you should not be an Ambassador. If you have thought about how to cover up the little reflective logo so you can keep wearing the one piece you really like, then you should not be an Ambassador. I’m not trying to rally an “Ambassador No More” movement, but I am saying if you don’t love it and live it, if you don’t defend it when other people are trashing it, if you aren’t proud to walk down the street in your head to toe Lululemon outfit, if you can’t stand behind their marketing campaigns and public statements, then you have no business using them for promotion.

In fact, I don’t think Yoga teachers should sell out and be “Ambassadors” of or be “Sponsored By” anyone at all. If you like something, wear it, use it, share it, promote it, go actually work for the company! If it’s really what you use and suggest, let people know in your blog or on Facebook. But I think it’s kind of gross for teachers to get all free-geared up by any one brand, and that it’s a distracting goal for so many young teachers to nab these “Ambassador” titles be it for shoes, jewelry, or clothing. We regretted it from the beginning, but we really liked some of the Lululemon staff people and managers, so we never made  a big deal out of how we felt. I did personally meet with one of those staffers and pass on our feedback along with complaints I had heard from other local teachers as well (at the Lulu staff’s request for such “feedback”). We quietly gave away all our free clothing, much of it with the tags still on. Like I said, John is drama free. Until recently, and I think the Steven Colbert piece was the tipping point, he has encouraged me to just chill on it and enjoy my sabbatical.

I want Yoga teachers and studios to know that it’s ok to say no. Our local Lululemon store recently asked to make the Dhyana Yoga Seva Center, a studio set up as a charitable foundation with the goal of donating all profits back into our community, the “Studio of the Quarter.” This is another one of these free class scenarios Lululemon promotes, wherein you open your studio up to a weekly, complimentary class for Lululemon shoppers and they write your studio name on the big chalkboard in their store and presumably promote your studio above others during the months that you have this honor. John and I had already talked at length about disassociating from Lululemon, and so we did the only thing that felt right. Regardless of the fact that we would be sacrificing their promotion of the Seva Center, we said no to Lululemon. It really is ok.

Lululemon, by the way, is an athletic company with a clothing store. It’s not even necessarily a “yoga clothing store.” A “Yoga Brand” would very likely appeal more to the sensibilities of a person actually dedicated to Yoga by offering organic cotton tops and bottoms and items that you can wash and dry for years and still look great like Prana and Patagonia do. Lululemon is just an athletic clothing company that focused on the yoga population because there was a need in the market for brightly colored leggings and matching tops with thumb holes in them. My overall feeling is plainly that they should keep to their business in their stores and stay out of Yoga studios and stop trying to subtly advertise in those studios by giving the teachers who stand in front of the rooms free clothing. A lot of those teachers are poor and struggling. They are going to take the free clothes because they are broke and probably need them. They cannot afford to actually shop in Lululemon though, and given a choice even if they could afford to they might choose another brand, like AthletaZobhaHydeTeekiLiquidoBe Present, or Hard Tail.

And it’s not just the teachers in the studios that are being influenced. I was surprised at how Lululemon seemed to be running the Philadelphia Wanderlust Festival earlier this year and you guessed it, they offered every teacher on the bill that day a free Lululemon outfit to wear the day of the festival in front of all the attendees. A friend even texted me, “(Lululemon store employee name) from Lulu asked me to teach at Wanderlust,” to which I responded, “Really? The Wanderlust people aren’t making those calls? Is it a Wanderlust event or a Lululemon event?” John and I were not on the advertised roster of teachers, but instead our friend Simon Park, who showed up to headline the event in Be Present pants and a “No Corporate Yoga” tee shirt from what I remember, secretly invited us to “surprise” guest teach the last class of the day with him. I’ve always loved Simon’s renegade spirit.

Did you know that Lululemon also pays for Ambassadors to go on special trips where they all meet up to “Create Awesome”? One “Ambassador No More” gives a well written peek into her experience in a brainstorming session on one of those trips in her recent Huffington Post article. I remember another Ambassador telling me, “Lululemon is flying me to Hawaii!” and me saying, “for what?” and getting the response, “Some festival or something, who cares, it’s Hawaii!” Do people have to pay $98 for a pair of pants in order to cover the expenses from these trips? It almost feels like the “Pay for Play” technique record companies used to employ to get radio stations to play certain bands…before that became illegal.

We closed our letter with the following statement : “Quite simply, what we learned from our time spent as “Ambassadors” is that we don’t wear Lululemon clothing and we don’t represent the Lululemon brand… A clothing store, it’s owner’s antics and politics, and it’s advertising and marketing campaigns have no place in the yoga room. Yoga teachers do. Yoga students do. All that matters when you practice is THAT you practice, not what you wear when you do it.”

John and I know first hand what being criticized publicly feels like and because of that I can tell you with certainty that if you can shoulder it, if you can accept that you made mistakes and not try to blame everyone else, and if you can put your ego aside for a bit, it is really there for your own benefit. If you are willing to let it be a catalyst for change, you will transform into an even higher version of yourself and you will make better choices moving forward. It’s not easy to take, I know, but everyone who puts themselves out there garners a few critics along the way. Criticism is feedback from the universe about what you have done, how that worked out, and how you can do better in the future. I think a lot of brands, and a lot of teachers, can do better. “Be the Change You Wish to See in the World” is not just a slick slogan to print on a bag, Gandhi knew what he was talking about!

Overall, we don’t care what you wear, we are just Yoga teachers striving to make better choices for ourselves, our daughter, and for all the people of all shapes and sizes that get on the mat to heal, not to be made to feel like it’s another place where they just don’t “fit” in.

image via lululemon.com

——

Earlier

Sheer Madness: The Definitive Lululemon Yoga Pants Controversy Roundup Featuring Stephen Colbert and the ‘Worst Apology Ever’

41 comments… add one

  • MiMi

    I applaud your decision to stand up for your personal beliefs. Thank you for being strong enough to say “No”.

  • Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this. It speaks volumes to the Lululemon situation as whole, the importance of aligning with our missions as yoga teachers, and of course your and John’s integrity.

  • Mandy

    I applaud your decision, however be aware that nearly all of the stores you list do not carry plus size clothing. Athleta carries only a limited stock, and none in their stores. I’m young plus sized woman trying to improve my mind and body and falling in love with Yoga. This can be difficult when all images and stores seem to say that yoga is not for me. Lululemon is certainly a perpetrator of this, but they are not alone. We need to work to make yoga a place where everyone can feel safe and welcomed.

  • tom

    Shop at the Nike outlets in the Men’s sections

  • wendy

    lucy Activewear has always embraced women of all sizes and shapes (0-18). Namaste

  • Jenifer

    Regardless of what clothing companies and magazine images assert, yoga truly is for everyone.

    As you are starting your practice, avoid all the main “yoga culture” things like yoga magazines, fancy clothes, or anything that makes you feel “other” or “not welcome” — and that includes studios or teachers who are not welcoming to you and supportive of you *as you are*.

    Because *as you are* is just perfect. It’s perfect for living, it’s perfect for yoga. You don’t need to change. And anyone who is trying to tell you otherwise is just trying to sell you.

    What yoga will be for you will unfold over time. You’ll discover what it is that draws you to it, and what it is that keeps you close.

    Good luck, and enjoy the journey.

  • This article bugs me.
    I liked her initial point about ‘ if you don’t love it and live it, then leave it’…Very true.
    But as far as I have seen over the 6 or 7 years I have seen Lululemon work with yoga teacher friends of mine is Lululemon helping teachers with personal and professional development, hence those sinister books and retreats, she mentions. I was never an Ambassador but I definitely saw how the experiences my friends where having was not just influencing their careers but their positive self-image. Not in a vain way but in a way where they felt supported and validated. Is using their stores for free yoga classes to a general populace a bad thing?? I taught at one store and there were many beginners, people who for some reason were less intimidated to take a class in the mall than make it to a studio for their first class. Entry point to a life-long interest and practice, I hope. I was grateful for the opportunity to teach and grateful for the discounts and free clothes. As she points out yoga teachers don’t make much. My job requires multiple changes of sport clothes, sometimes in one day. I need a lot of that stuff! And this writer listed many other clothing companies who are just as, if not more expensive! Lululemon doesn’t just sponsor ‘star’ teachers. They support a lot of teachers. Each store picks a few yogis in the neighborhood and helps promote them. You get free clothes. As far as I can see it’s a win/win. Lululemon hires local teachers to teach their staff at their corporate offices and many of their employees are die hard yogis and teachers. I would say, being from Vancouver, they are a yoga clothing company. They get involved with studios, make international introductions for teachers they support. For instance, you are from London, you are an Ambassador, you may get an intro from Lululemon to a studio they work with. Because Lululemon has faith in this teachers ability, the LA studio will meet and work with them…It’s not sinister. It’s community building.

  • Laura

    Well written, thank you

  • I’ve put my lululemon lunchbag into the recycling. The replacement is casually polka dot and i will wear my true values of my heart on my sleeve. Let me be judged by my actions, by my yamas and niyamas… namaste x

  • yogisunshine

    If you are going to post this position, which seems to be loud and angry, perhaps its worth it to read other perspectives as well. I am also left questioning Diana’s motivation for this big public break up. Could it have something to do with the fact that she is an Ambassador amongst many and as she said herself, it’s not really that special anymore. Being one of the first Ambassadors can be pretty special and a stroke to the ego for a yogini “hippie chick”, but when more Ambassadors come along, it can be a bummer.

    Here is another perspective that seems more balanced and clear:
    http://bramlevinson.wordpress.com/2013/11/10/the-wolves-in-sheeps-yoga-pants/

  • Eva

    Absolutely spot on! With 60% of American women over a size 14 now they should seriously reconsider the income bracket of making more products available for all sizes.. I think a lot of people are turned off by them and their antics now. In Yoga we are all seeking the truth. Even when it’s ugly and raw.

  • Jamie

    A gaff is a stick with a hook, or a barbed spear, for landing large fish. I think you meant “gaffe”

  • matt

    and I think your husband “couldn’t” care less.

  • Leeanne Porta

    Brilliant! I love what you wrote. Don’t forget about the Lucy brand of clothing. That is another one of my favorite places to shop.

  • JCashish

    Dhyana Vitarelli, appears to be an accomplished yoga instructor who with her husband runs a successful business selling and teaching yoga classes. DV clearly describes how she and her husband made a choice to become “ambassadors” for Lululemon and what transpired so that they chose to stop being ambassadors.

    My impression is that DV tried to be clear and open about her entire experience and she makes an important call for all yoga teachers to up their game when it comes to ethics. I commend that call for in-depth examinations of one’s ethical responsibility as a teacher.

    I was a bit disappointed by the extent to which DV went to paint Lululemon as some predatory force corrupting yoga teachers at every turn. After all Lululemon is a for profit business and just like ALL for profit businesses, they have one ultimate goal, generating a profit. To imagine otherwise is absurdly naive.

    There seemed to me to be some degree of defensiveness in the manner that DV wrote about her experience. A sort of “yeah I made a mistake BUT look at how bad that predatory company is and now look at how wise I am for learning from my error!”

    I was intrigued by this so I took a look at DV and her husbands website. Here it is if you want to take a look.
    http://dhyana-yoga.com/category/retreats/

    When I came to DV’s “retreats” section one thing jumped out at me. The information looks like a paid advertizement for Gerald Scott the owner of Stowe Mountain Ranch Inc. I could only find yoga mentioned once, in one sentence about offering daily yoga classes. Nothing about what retreat attendees would be taught or experience related to yoga at the retreat.

    I grew up on a farm in the Midwest and I started my first business before I graduated high school and I started ran and sold several more so I understand why DV would advertize for Gerald Scott, it makes business sense. But I find her tone and stance in the article does not hold up to scrutiny. There are many pitfalls that a teacher is confronted with when they choose to offer yoga as a business and any discussion of how to navigate those pitfalls is a step in the right direction.

  • VQ2

    Too many yoga studio owners have sold out and ventured into the endorsement business …
    Wotta gold rush …

    Doesn’t have to be a Chip Wilson, could be Mr. (Dr. ?) Scott ….

  • JCashish

    Hello VQ2,
    All yoga studio owners are running businesses or well I should say nearly all of them are. It seems to me that endorsing a product is not, by itself, an ethical issue…after all they’re already selling their own product (yoga knowledge/instruction and a space for it). It seems to me that transparency is the key which Dhyana Vitarelli did a fine job of advocating. She said basically if you don’t truly believe or use a product then endorsing it is unethical.

  • jesus_finkelstein

    I’ve know Diana (Dhyana) for a long time. I don’t work with her any more, because she’s horrible. Basically a ‘mean girl’ in stretchy pants. Quite possibly a sociopath.
    criticism is feedback from the universe? ever since my last interaction with diana, i thought criticism was a reason to fire you and threaten you with legal action. i’ve never met chip, but i can’t imagine he is much more awful than diana is.

  • VQ2

    Been around the yoga scene here in NYC area enough to have heard bad things about that studio, too … but more along the lines of, that that place was running a real cult …

    Considering the New York place where I heard this discussion, was itself numerous times accused of being a cult (and suspected of as much by me– turns out only a somewhat money grubbing, unabashedly commercial branded yoga place-which in my book — is bad enough) … THAT must tell you something …

  • tsoukalicious

    I have no idea where this “cult” thing is coming from. But it is way off the mark. And just silly gossip. I practice in the “Philly scene”, been to numerous studios, and made Dhyana my home. But whatever, whisper about things you have no knowledge of on the internet…

  • Barbra

    People will just believe anything that they read. Come on people use your minds and think about what is being written! The letter by Diana is full of dergetory remarks toward Lululemon based solely on her own subjective opinion and point of view with little bases for information filled with facts or any good cause. I could label the act but will refrain in hopes that Lululemon will eventually have their own Savy reply. I think that Diana’s letter is an attempt to seek publicity, sympathy, and marketing on her own behalf.

    First, did Diana take the initiative to ask any questions to Lululemon up front? Why is she belittling the company for giving free merchandise to yogis who can not afford it?

    Are Diana’s own Buisiness persutes so pure and devoid of gaining profit from others? Does Diana use the Seva Center as a non-for profit entity, her yoga retreats, and continuing education classes like Depak Chopra’s $10,000 Ayurveda certificate as tax write offs? Are these her rights as a Buisiness owner? Really? Quietly and subtly gaining profit from the system. Who is paying for Diana’s Buisiness? All of the tax payers are. Maybe Diana has not noticed in her yoga bubble that the country has been in a resection for a few years now. Almost everyone is struggling to survive including small and big Buisiness. Diana professes to support small Buisiness. Really? Where is the cut off between small and large? For that matter, who cares where the cut off is? If you can’t support others then shut-up. Who am I to make such comments in return? I don’t know. Maybe I am a person who has not arrived at the stage of enlightenment like Diana thinks she has. Diana’s letter is made for people who are unable to think critically. An uneducated following of people who know nothing except following hype and hysteria.

    Her twisting all kinds of principles including checking ones ego in order to be a better person were forgotten in her public whiplash against Lululemon. She could have simply, quietly, and respectfully severed her relationship with the company rather than twisting facts and principles and making a public controversry to gain sympathy from others.

    She writes as though Lululemon threatened her by offering free merchandise. So many accusations about the company. And as she blames them for interfering in her pure and self proclaimed integrity she attemps to make herself a victim and then a hero for her professed morals and self righteous way of thinking.

    Diana recommends other brands including Athletica who actually own Lululemon, Patagonia who’s website states Outdoor Clothing and Gear, and others who’s prices are comparable to Lululemon. So what is Diana’s point? She states that none of this belongs in the yoga classroom. Then why is she continuing the discussion publicly ultimately tying it all back to her and her own Buisiness? WHY IS THE CONTENT OF FABRIC A SOURCE OF THOUGHT, CONTROVERSEY, ENERGY, SPECULATION, and JUDGMENT IN ANY WORLD LET ALONE THE YOGA WORLD? If facts were really known synthetic fiber is actually less expensive than organic. So where do ‘Diana’s yogis’ fit in there? Where do those who can only afford polyester tights or sweats from the thrift shop fit in? And really, who f****n* cares???????? If you care about yoga read the Vedic text and stop your modern, secular controversies that serve nothing.

    I’m closing Diana appears to me as a power driven snob who is attempting to market herself and mani police the Philadelphia yoga community. Stop your antics Diana and grow up!

  • On being asked to be an ambassador…”It’s kind of like being asked to the prom in the middle of the High School pep rally.” That statement speaks volumes. It shows how Lululemon prey on ambassadors’ egos to basically enslave them into promoting their products and teaching free classes. It also show what little spiritual development many ambassadors have not to see Lululemon’s ploy. I like that she uses the term “high school” because that is feeling I get when I talk to Lululemon people (ambassadors and sales staff)…like all they see about life is that it is some big “competition” with goals to crush.

  • Kim B

    I love the karmic energy of a group of yoginis who release into a great yoga practice. I have rarely found it in freebie groups. Their energy is different. Committed students, even if they are new, bring that energy to the group. Lulu simply doesn’t get it. It is up to us as instructors to lead our friends on the right path.

  • Kay

    Thank you for sharing! I think for anyone who works in the health and wellness industry, it is hard to balance between wanting more business to make a living, and wanting to be true to your values and genuinely be helpful to others. Kudos to these teachers for sticking with their values!

  • Thoughtful introspection about our individual connections to business is always a good idea, yogi or not. But especially as a yogi, I feel I have the obligation not to support consumerism and indulgence. Aligning myself with one product or another just feels wrong to me. I make my purchases based on need and after consideration of the product and the company. Because doing that requires alot of time and thought, I don’t buy much.

  • Stacey

    Beautiful.
    No Corporate Yoga.
    Thank you!

  • Thank you for this! I don’t judge the people who do wear lulu clothes because they’re pretty darn cute, but it’s not ‘The Yoga Brand.’ Thanks for putting in a good word for Patagonia, which is a great brand for outdoor clothes in general, too. That said, you can totally wear your old cotton tank tops to yoga. :)

  • well stated!
    #shopsmall
    #heidihat
    http://www.heidihat.com/

  • Mandy

    Or how about the time Lululemon took an oddly aggressive stance against battered women… can we talk about this?

    http://dallas.culturemap.com/news/life/10-28-13-lululemon-northpark-center-partners-card/

  • Jenifer

    Around 2000, I got in my head that I only wanted to buy and wear fair trade clothing. It was an interesting process to transition to fair-trade clothing. So much of it was so expensive and so limited in it’s design. But, I ultimately streamlined my wardrobe, found affordable providers, and went from there.

    Shortly after this time, lulu came into town and started visiting local teacher’s classes. I was then invited to a meeting to talk to a representative — who was very friendly and sincere — and given clothes to try also.

    I immediately went home and learned about the company — discovering that their clothing isn’t fair trade. I never tried on the clothes, and a few days later, I met up with the representative again, and I said that I couldn’t wear the clothing because they weren’t fair trade. Simply, the company wasn’t aligned to my values. She totally understood, got me information about the specific chinese factories to convince me that they were good producers, but I still said no-thanks.

    Over the years since, I have been approached many, many times by lulu. They have offered a lot of different carrots — the big one being really promoting my studio — but ultimately, because of the company’s ethics and behaviors, I simply couldn’t participate. For me, it was just not right to align myself there.

    It’s always a good idea to really look at the companies with whom you may be aligning. And, it’s a good idea to see if you really align with them. And if you do, then good — you might have a healthy, synergistic relationship. And if you don’t, then it’s better to walk away.

  • Thanks Diana for a insightful and thought provoking piece. We believe sincerely that “Yoga is for Everyone” regardless of you age, race, gender, national origin, religion, physical or mental disability, medical condition, sexual orientation and of course body shape or size. As a clothing brand doing our best to lower the impact of our supply chains globally, people continue to be our core focus and although we sell apparel, we know that yoga is not and will never be about what you wear. Thank you for the mention and we look forward to continuing the conversations…

  • Barbara

    Dear Prana,
    You should be ashamed to have your name affiliated with her. Do not take advantage of the press just because she is making inflammatory remarks about your competitor. Dhyanna yoga is a rinky-dink outfit that occupies space in several small and/or run down spots. Dyanna is too cheap to utilize professional media. Dyanna uses tacky venues such as Facebook and Instagram which are free. Dyanna is a power driven operation who’s primary purpose is to manopolize the Philadelphia yoga market. Diana needs to get the hell out of Philly and take a personal permanent retreat away from the yoga community at large. Prana are thanking this entity for mentioning their name? Really? Yuck!

  • VQ2

    “Dyanna is too cheap to utilize professional media.”

    That’s actually in her favor. I had discovered one of the best places ever for a Hatha Yoga practice, through word-of-mouth only.

    However, as alluded to above, word-of-mouth is subject to the accelerator effect; and it also could work both ways. So, for my upcoming Philly trip (where I’ve close relatives), I should think I could explore elsewhere …

    You know what’s funny? Ignoring things right under your nose: I am in Brooklyn sometimes six days a week, and in the past 5 years, I’ve never practiced yoga at any studio THERE ….

  • I really enjoyed your article about Yoga. One of the things that always makes me feel connected is the point where the sea meets the earth. Beaches are a great place to practice and you can’t deny the feeling of being so close to nature.

  • Barbara

    Dear VQ2,
    If you want yoga come to Philadelphia. Philly is infested with yoga studios. Many of the studios are single entities and owned by people who are very serious about yoga and have little to no interest in publicity much less controversey. If the topic of small Buisiness is not a concern to you but authentic yoga is then there are pleanty of yoga studios not in the main stream in Philly that offer very very very good classes, workshops and alike. If you are an advocate of small business then it is my opinion that you may consider supporting a yoga studio other than dhyana yoga. It may be hard at first not to look that way as dhyana studios are strategically placed in a line and dispersed from South Jersey to West Philly. Diana is a legend in her own mind and systematically manipulates her Facebook page to market her business. There are many authentic studios in Philly who do not do this in order to hold true to their own personal traditions and moral values. These studios may take a little more effort to locate only because they are reserved in there repoire with the public. It is worth exploring all of the options and possibilities in Philly though. Don’t be caught up in the hype, propaganda, and notion to follow the crowd. Use your energy and interest in places that will nourish your soul not your ego.

  • Perhaps what dhyana is saying is biased to one direction as it is her opinion piece, but what I don’t understand are the legions of negative and quite frankly mean people commenting. Let’s keep this site cleaner than YouTube comments please. Geesh. There are many times I want to express my piece in the public blogosphere but because of you meanies, I may think twice! You can disagree. Do it nicely.

  • Justaguy

    It’s funny to me to see the nay Sayers to this article when she clearly states that if it doesn’t work for you don’t do it! And without saying it, because she obviously does not endorse this company, also means if it does work for you then stay with it! Thank you for your experience and empowering people to do their own homework and draw their own conclusions. At least that is how I read the article.

  • Wow thank you for your honesty and complete accounts of what happened to you guys. Powerful article and letter written to lululemon! That’s really awesome, I applaud you both.

  • As a current Lululemon ambassador in the Philadelphia area, I felt the need to respond to this as it was directed towards me. Check it out here: http://yogawithjake.com/askjake/

  • Barbara

    Dear Jake,
    It was nice to read your reply. Always stay true to yourself and never be afraid to speak about what matters to you or what you believe in.
    Barbara

  • jane

    but if you’re dhyana, don’t you dare…

Leave a Comment