Yoga Wear Profit for Vancouver’s Lululemon

During the early 2000’s, I was working my way through university and could only justify paying $100 for a pair of yoga pants because they were made in Canada, and I was supporting local workers.

However, around 2004 I discovered that Lululemon had just expanded their production to China. Opening up shop in China and charging the same price, for the same product and obviously paying these workers lower wages, I didn’t just think it was right.

Therefore, I wrote a disgruntled email to Lululemon headquarters and received a generic email response thanking me for my business and explaining the growth of their company, etc. How are they now any different from Nike, I thought? Well…at least they continue operate their main factory in Vancouver, I rationalized.

Lululemon has even infiltrated the Hollywood crowd, as seen purchased by Cameron Diaz.

[Source: popsugar]

Recently, the company’s profits have tripled in the last quarter.

According the the Vancouver Sun:

For the 13 weeks in the quarter, sales were $138 million US, up from $81.7 million US during the 13 weeks ending May 3, 2009. At the same time, costs of the goods sold increased only 37 per cent, from $46.7 million US to $63.9 US. As a result, profits jumped from $6.5 million to $19.6 million during the quarter, or 28 cents US a share compared to nine cents US a share a year earlier.

I like the description written on Wikipedia regarding what Lululemon Athletica has now become:

Originally marketed as yogawear, today the brand is best known by fans as very-well-fitting workout clothing that is more likely to be worn to and from the gym, on airplanes, and at home.

It’s so true! I never travel on international long-haul flights without my black Groove Pants, which I’ve had for over 7 years and they still look great. Seriously. I attribute my pants’ longevity to the fact they were actually manufactured in Vancouver! And I never put them in the dryer 😉

What do YOU think about Lululemon attire and their business practices?

How to Start Yoga

Confused with all the different types of yoga? Don’t know where to start? Fret not, Vancouver Yoga Review is here to explain it all!

1. Decide which type of yoga you want to try first: If you can’t decide, most beginners start with Hatha, as it is a slower paced yoga.

2. Find a class: Most studios offer ‘Intro to Hatha’ classes for beginners. Check out Semperviva or Open Door for their schedules, as they offer great beginners classes.

3. What to bring: comfortable, breathable clothes so you can stretch easily. Most studios in Vancouver provide mats, blocks, bolsters etc, so you don’t need to worry about them.  Do bring a water bottle and a light jacket, in case it’s chilly in the studio.

4. What to expect from you first class: Usually, students place their mat facing the teacher’s mat at the front of the room.  Make sure you leave a bit of space around your mat so that your neighbors have room. You can sit cross-legged waiting for class to start. Your teacher will take you through varies poses and will usually go around the room adjusting students’ alignment.

Anytime you feel dizzy or lightheaded, you can take child’s pose: drop to your knees, spread your knees as wide as the mat, keeping the big toes touching, bring your forehead to the mat, and stretch your hands out in front.

Your teacher will finish by saying ‘namaste’, which literally means “bow me you” or “I bow to you.”

What Yoga is REALLY about…

I have to agree with Devante. Brenna’s Saturday night yoga class at Open Door Yoga in Kitsilano is definitely one of my favorite yoga classes in the city.

I’m a bit worried about saying this now though… I don’t want so many people to start flocking to her classes that it changes them.  The thing about a Brenna yoga class is that it simply is what it is. I love that the classes are uncrowded and unpretentious. It’s not yoga, the trend. It’s yoga in its simplest, purest form. It’s about being in the moment, embracing the moment.

Basically, the best thing about Brenna’s class is what it is not. Brenna’s yoga class is not about trying too hard. It is not about trying to be perfect.

We’ve been to a lot of yoga classes in Vancouver and far too many where the instructor has been beyond obsessed with form. While most instructors say that yoga is an individual journey, and that yoga is for every body, few instructors truly embrace this concept. So many yoga instructors try to define your yoga practice for you. They say they are yogis or yoginis, but they are quite often simply athletes who merely practice yoga. Instead of embracing yoga, they seek to master it, focusing on its form and technique. They push. They correct. They are forever moving around the room, perfecting movements and postures. They tell you how to get the most out of your journey rather than to embrace it. “You need to stretch this way. Or do this. Or put your hand here.”

Is that really how to get the most out of my yoga experience? What about yoga being a personal journey? Don’t I know my body better than anyone else? So long as I am guided through the posture verbally by the teacher, with any safety considerations pointed out, I should be able to take my body to its personal sweet spot during that class. Whatever I can do and feel in that moment is what I can feel and do in that moment. Nothing more, nothing less. That is, after all, the beauty of yoga. It’s all about feeling the moment, seeing where I can go in that moment.

So excuse me if I don’t want to be taken out of my moment by someone else hovering over me, defining my moment for me, telling me how to feel it.  It throws me off focus, gosh dang it! Seriously. Unless there’s a safety concern in the way I’m doing my posture, please just leave me to my moment. And a good teacher knows this.

Besides,  while everyone is on an individual yoga journey, isn’t the idea of practicing yoga in a class about sharing in a yoga practice? So what does it say when the class teacher doesn’t share in the moment?

So, props to you Brenna Coupland for actually embracing the very essence of yoga. Your classes are what yoga is really all about…

P.S. — We did a bit of investigating and Brenna teaches a few weekly classes at Yogacara in Kitsilano as well. She also calls herself the Yoga Bee and has a blog and youtube channel…

(Stay tuned — next week we’ll blog about Vancouver’s best yoga  instructors. Besides Brenna, there are a few worthy of mention here).

My First Introduction to Yoga

My first introduction to yoga was through my mother, in the early ’90s.  My family and I were living in Brunei, South East Asia, at the time and lived in the same housing complex as K. R. I. Jagadish – an Ayurveda master from India.


Jagadish, or ‘Jag’ as he is affectionately known as, offered Ayurveda therapy in his home to locals and ex-pats. My mother would sing his praises – Jag could heal holistically, without pharmaceutical drugs. Nutrition, yoga and massage were the main components of his practice, along with herbology and aromatherapy.  Holistic health, nowadays being quite mainstream, was a new experience for many western ex-pats living in Brunei. How fortunate they were to learn from such an amazing practitioner!

During my early teens, now back in Victoria BC, my mother once again attempted to show me the benefits of yoga, but I was resistant.  Perhaps I was too young to understand yoga’s benefits or had too much energy and not enough focus. Now, being in my mid-twenties, I have started practicing yoga as often as I can.  Yoga is truly about being in the moment and listening to your body.  I have listened to my body, and my moment to dedicate myself to practicing yoga is now.

For more information about Jag Therapy, visit the website:

What do you need for Hot Yoga?

Preparation is key in order to get the most out of your hot yoga class.  The following are some guidelines yoga studios ask that you do:

• Make sure you’re well hydrated: drink 2 liters of water BEFORE you start class.  Don’t forget to bring a large bottle of water to keep you hydrated throughout your class.

• Be prepared to SWEAT like you’ve never sweated before! Wear the least amount of clothing you feel comfortable in, without being naked! Women like to wear tank tops and shorts, men will usually just wear shorts.


• Try to refrain from eating 2 hours before your class, as it’s best done on an empty stomach.   If you’re starving, have a piece of fruit to tide you over.

• Bring your yoga mat, a towel to lay over your mat, and a hand towel to dab the sweat off your body.  You’ll be glad you have the hand towel when sweat starts dripping in your eyes!

• Hot yoga is always performed with bare feet, so leave shoes in designated areas and all other belongings in lockers provided by your yoga studio.

• Try not to talk during your yoga class.  This will disrupt the flow of the class and disrupt the concentration of other yogis.  If you have a questions, ask your instructor before or after class.

One of the most important things to remember is: don’t be hard on yourself! Your first class will be intense and you may even hate it.  But don’t give up, and try and finish the class. Lie down on your back if you’re feeling over-heated or dizzy. The more often you practice, the better you’ll get and the more adjusted your body will be to the heat.  You even might start to enjoy it!

How do you prepare for your Hot Yoga class?

What is Hot Yoga/Bikram’s Yoga?

Bikram’s Yoga (sometimes referred to as Hot Yoga) is a type of yoga developed by Bikram Choudhury, in California. It is a series of 26 yoga postures practiced in a hot and humid room.  The temperature of the class is normally 40.5°C (105°F) with 40% humidity and classes are usually 90 minutes long.

The 26 Bikram Asanas (Postures)

1 Standing Deep Breathing
2 Half Moon Pose with Hands To Feet Pose
3 Awkward Pose
4 Eagle Pose
5 Standing Head To Knee Pose
6 Standing Bow Pulling Pose
7 Balancing Stick Pose
8 Standing Separate Leg Stretching Pose
9 Triangle Pose
10 Standing Separate Leg Head To Knee Pose
11 Tree Pose
12 Toe Stand Pose
13 Dead Body Pose
14 Wind Removing Pose
15 Sit up 16 Cobra Pose
17 Locust Pose
18 Full Locust Pose
19 Bow Pose
20 Fixed Firm Pose
21 Half Tortoise Pose
22 Camel Pose
23 Rabbit Pose
24 Head To Knee Pose with Stretching Pose
25 Spine Twisting Pose
26 Blowing In Firm


In Vancouver, companies such a YYoga and West Coast Hot Yoga, and the newly opened Moksha Yoga, have developed their own unique hot yoga classes like “Power Vinyasa” and “Hot Flow” – which are practiced in moderately heated rooms: around 30°C- 32°C (86°F – 89.6°F).

Power Vinyasa integrates the breath with movement and builds strength, flexibility and core stability. Sequences include standing, balancing, seated, twisting and inverted postures that keeps the class fresh and lively.

Hot Flow includes basic sun salutations, standing and balancing postures, yoga-core specific postures, introduction to arm balancing, and hip and spinal awakening postures.

So while Bikram’s Yoga is always hot yoga, not all Hot Yoga is Bikram’s style!

Have you tried hot yoga? What do you think about this intense style of yoga?

Vancouver and a brief History of Yoga

Anyone who has been to Vancouver knows that it is a very fitness conscious city.  In fact, Vancouver was ranked Canada’s healthiest city in 2008 by Best Health Magazine . It is easy to see why Vancouver is Canada’s fittest city, not to mention one of the healthiest cities in North America. On any given day in Vancouver’s Yaletown and Kitsilano neighbourhoods, bicycles, running shoes and, of course, yoga mats are ubiquitous.

So, you may be wondering…what’s the deal with yoga? Who dreamt up this twisty, bendy exercise series anyway?

Yoga has its origins in the Indus Valley (India). Some research suggests that the practice of yoga could be more than 10,000 years old.  It was first practiced to help people reach spiritual enlightenment but has recently become popular for its overall contribution to healthy living and weight management.  Yoga has also evolved over time into various forms and styles.

The word yoga, in Indian sanskrit, has many meanings, most of which relate to  “joining” or “uniting.” This translation is not surprising, considering that yoga is often associated with meditation and, originally, the combination of meditation and movements were meant to unite yogis with their higher selves. Essentially, yoga began as a way to unite the mind, body and spirit.

In 1893,  Swami Vivekananda attracted a lot of attention in America when he spoke about the benefits of yoga at the Parliament of Religions in Chicago. However, the number of people practicing yoga remained few and, when practiced in the west, yoga was interpreted as merely a physical practice rather than as a spiritual one.

It wasn’t until Indra Devi made history by opening a yoga studio in Hollywood, in 1947, that yoga became more widely practiced in America.  Since then, aided by an increasing number of celebrity followers who have sworn by its benefits, yoga has been sweeping North America. While most North American yoga studios do still focus on the body over the mind, there is an increasing number of studios bringing a spiritual aspect back into the practice.


These days, many celebrities and professional athletes are committed yogis. Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Aniston, Madonna, Halle Barry — to name a few — are often snapped leaving yoga studios. Southern California abounds with yoga studios, as does the Canadian and American west coast in general. In Canada, Vancouver is now home to some of Canada’s most advanced and largest yoga studios.


When they are in town for promotions or filming, celebrity yogis are always impressed by Vancouver’s yoga studios. Quite recently, while in Vancouver filming the latest Twilight movie, Peter Facinelli was snapped leaving a downtown yoga studio. Steve Nash has also made state-of-the-art yoga studios an important part of his new Steve Nash Sports Clubs, in downtown Vancouver and Richmond.

Have you seen any celebrities doing yoga in Vancouver lately?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...