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Well this is juicy. Philly yogi Diana Vitarelli, one-half of the husband-and-wife team behind Dhyana Yoga, took to her studio's blog to reveal why she fled her role as Lululemon Ambassador of the brand's Philly store after one year.
Vitarelli's main gripe is that the program, which pairs yoga instructors with Lululemon stores in their area for a mutually-beneficial relationship fueled by swag, promotion, and referrals, easily tips toward "opportunistic and parasitic" on both sides of the arrangement. "In our experience, teachers bash Lululemon in general conversation but can't seem to sacrifice what they perceive to be free promotion," she wrote.
Part of this inauthenticity stems from the Lululemon brand itself, which as some would argue, just commodifies an ancient practice that's never really seen a need for a $98 pair of stretchy pants—until now. "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," blogged Vitarelli.
While Vitarelli isn't suggesting that all current Brand Ambassadors follow her lead, she does leave them with the following real talk: "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." What do you think? Does Lululemon have a place in the yoga studio? Or is the brand just transforming the yoga mat into another place where people don't fit in?
· Dhyana Yoga: "Why We're Not Lululemon Ambassadors Anymore" [Be Well Philly]
· We Don't Care What You Wear [Dhyana Yoga]
· Lululemon [Official Site]