the five yamas | brahmacharya


The artwork above is part of our shopper series exploring the yamas and is in stores now. To introduce you to the concept of Brahmacharya a little more, we asked Sandy Wei, dynamo EA to our VP of Planning & Allocations and Director of Merchandise, how she practises it.

If it weren’t for Brahmacharya, I’d be eating greasy Church’s Chicken while refusing to do much else except play with puppies and take selfies with said chicken and puppies. Brahmacharya has been the most impactful yama in my everyday life. It reminds me to practice moderation and non-excess, thereby consciously creating a better balance in mind and body.

All my life I have denied when enough was enough. Whether it was spending all evening on social media, or seeing my boyfriend for the fifth day in a row, or mentally preparing myself for the third round at the buffet, I've always had a hard time telling myself when to stop. And eventually, I hit rock bottom.

It was when I finally called it quits on an unhealthy relationship that I began to implement moderation in my life. I also realized how much I was also being unhealthy to myself. I was abusing my body by my own will, especially with food. Even before the breakup I always ate a lot—when I was sad, happy or bored. I took advantage of this because I knew I could get away with few obvious physical consequences, but I was seriously poisoning myself inside with the unnecessary excess of harmful foods. I was treating my body like it was a separate entity from me, just an object my mind happened to be housed in. It dawned on me that I had left an emotionally abusive relationship only to abuse myself.

I took this powerful opportunity to take action. I changed my diet, I applied portion size control and I took on my first 30-day challenge at the gym, where I began the process of learning to love to sweat. As a result, I learned to respect my body and my mind in more ways than I thought possible. Subsequently, I slowly gained balance in my life which, to my surprise, opened me up to new adventures and discoveries.

Brahmacharya makes us think twice and listen to what our mind and body deserves. If you catch me at the grocery store staring at a bag of chips it’s because that’s the new me battling with myself, making choices and practicing Brahmacharya.

read more related posts:


I understand that Lululemon is blogging about a person’s experience with brahmacharya, yet they’re a company that thrives on the ‘wantings’ of others to sell their products. They are based on the next new yoga apparel that a true yogi needs for yoga. Perhaps Lululemon should exercise some of it’s own bramacharya toward it’s own company.

Comment by Michelle — September 20, 2013 @ 1:58 pm

I understand moderation, as I apply it to my own life as much as possible, it’s a good to learn and want to teach to others. However, the bag that Lululemon has produced to represent things one should have and or enjoy in moderation (brahmacharya) is DISGUSTING. You will certainly not find me carrying it around, as a matter of fact, I intend on returning it to the store along with my products I just purchased on line. I don’t know what Lululemon is turning into but I believe it’s time I not support this company (and I am a long time buyer.) Some of the pictures on the bag in all honesty and truest respect for ones own body should not even be used. Cigarettes should be banned, they not only destroy the users body but all that are near by. A few things printed on the bag should have simply been left off. Disgusting Lulu. I also agree with the previous comment made by Michelle as well and that Lululemon should practice what they strive to preach. However, what I have found is lower quality product, higher prices and now this. Goodbye.

Comment by Stephanie — September 20, 2013 @ 6:22 pm

OK, it could have been said with a more kid friendly, mom friendly, mall, school, beach, grocery store, parents, grandparents,,,, really any where you would carry a shopper, PICTURES and VICES….condoms::come on!

Comment by barre — September 20, 2013 @ 6:50 pm

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and insights on this everyone. We created this shopper with the intention of sparking conversation regarding issues that are timely and relevant in our communities. Our shopper was not intended to be offensive. We value your perspectives and will pass them along.
~ Siya

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — September 21, 2013 @ 10:22 am

I honestly cannot believe that Lulu wouldn’t have checked the most common meaning of Brahmacharya, which is “celibacy” as outlined in Patanjali’s “The Yoga Sutra’s” , in this case “celibacy” is used to mean channeling our life force/energy (especially sexual energy) into merging with the Universe or “the One” and to focus on our spiritual selves. This doesn’t mean complete abstinence of sex is necessary, but Brahmacharya is DEFINTELY more related to sex and sexual energy and the right use of that energy for a whole and balanced life, which sure has to do with moderation, but this Yama is more related to moderation of sexual energy than general energy. So, yeah, Lululemon, you’re taking this Yama and stretching it out to mean what you want it to mean, not staying true to Patanjali’s meaning….which is much more about Merging with the universe and channeling sexual energy into that, than it is about moderation in general. I get how you and other get to the meaning on the bag, a lot of people define it a “self-restraint” and it is in a way, but it feels flat removed from it’s history.

Comment by runnerlyn — September 21, 2013 @ 4:08 pm

I wholeheartedly agree with the above comments. I have a young daughter and we practice moderation and balance. I normally love the lulu bags but I am offended by the pictures on this bag. Really?? I don’t want my daughter (or myself) using drugs or smoking even in moderation. After purchasing a pair of shorts and a new bra -because in all honesty I do not practice brahmacharya in regards to lululemon’s clothing, I looked more closely at the pictures and tossed the bag in the recycle bin. Disgusting and disappointing! :(

Comment by Colleen — September 22, 2013 @ 12:52 pm

I really like this bag! I have to starting an elimination diet tomorrow for allergy reason and will carry this bag around to reminder to bring the practice of Brahmacharya off the mat and into my diet.

Comment by Rachael Cameron — September 22, 2013 @ 6:00 pm

Bramacharya is actually the practice of self restraint in reference to sexual energy and this story talks about not living in excess which is actually the Yama aparigraha… Regardless the story and the shopper are misleading to the actual meaning of the Yama and instead are transformed in to what you want it to say. Do the research so you can get it right and be well informed. Disappointing.

Comment by Erin — September 23, 2013 @ 11:57 pm

I love the concept of bracmacharya, however a person chooses to describe it. It helped me to quit an unhealthy obsession with spin classes ( I won’t mention how many classes I took each week)!) and to respect my body as the temple of my heart and my soul. I now practice bracmacharya in my exercise life, and my body thanks me everyday, as I wake up without pain and injuries! Thanks, Lulu!
P.S. I LOVE THE BAGS. Not everything has to be a good example for children. If so, the internet would be banned!

Comment by Valerie — September 24, 2013 @ 5:45 am

These people act like they’ve never picked up a Cheeto in their life, jeesh. Good for you. Some of us, while still rich in the exercise aspect of our life, still have vices. Moderation is truly key.

Comment by Nikki — September 24, 2013 @ 5:57 am

Have been pleased with lululemon clothing…comfort even though pricey. When I received my latest purchase in this Brah… bag, I wondered what it meant. Looking more closely, it still didn’t make sense! I’d have preferred an autumn scene..or healthier message/saying..keep it simple! Our family have reused most lulu bags. Will have to say that this Brah…bag will not be seen again!

Comment by Lucy — September 24, 2013 @ 6:12 am

I was disturbed by the bag as well. I had just taught a community yoga class in one of the Lululemon locations – which was a really great experience – when I got a tank top bagged in a brahmacharya tote. I didn’t notice what made up each letter of the very significant word until after I had left the store. As yoga practitioners, teachers, and individuals in general, we are all constantly face-to-face with choices on moderation and excess. Sometimes these choices can take us to places that are extremely difficult, deep, and personal. I cannot tell you how many yoga practitioners and teachers I know who have struggled with disordered eating, drug use, and sexual choices (or lack of choices) that have brought them to places of turmoil, guilt, and hurt. Displaying items that can so easily send off the message of “think twice before you take that cookie (or pretzel?!), don’t do drugs, don’t have sex,” Lululemon is sending off a message that is judgmental, patronizing, and unwelcoming – not to mention triggering to individuals dealing with their own personal journeys with such issues.

I understand that this bag is part of a shopper series to introduce people to the yamas. The yamas are profound messages to share, and I hope that as you introduce customers and the public to their teachings, you can also keep in mind the important yama of ahimsa – nonviolence. That person who just bought the striped tank might be smoking cigarettes and practicing yoga after hearing about their best friend’s death. That guy who bought his very first yoga mat might have just gotten clean after years of drug addiction. That woman who you deem as “overweight” might have just lost 50 pounds and happened to eat her first donut in 3 weeks this morning. Do not harm them. Do not slap them in the face with a bag that advertises moderation of certain items. Brahmacharya is an inward practice. Let it be that way.

Comment by Anonymous — September 24, 2013 @ 6:30 am

Ya, I’d like to know how using a condom is something we should do less of. I’m assuming it represents excessive sexual encounters, but not everyone will get that message, especially young girls. The thought that young women might construe the message into thinking condoms should be USED LESS is terrifying. Bad play, lululemon.

Comment by Sass84 — September 24, 2013 @ 11:20 am

I had issues with this bag as well and found this post on the company’s feedback page. I would encourage anyone else that was offended by the company’s message to vote/like/comment/share.

Comment by alh013 — September 24, 2013 @ 1:36 pm

I’m 55 years old and I have to say that the Boomers were the original overdoers. We were the ones that started the citizen’s marathon, made investors in gyms rich people and worshiped Jane Fonda’s workouts like the Zumba and spinning fanatics of today. My Mother’s credo was to use moderation in everything yet I was working out all the time. I was a competitive swimmer, on varsity crew, went to the gym all the time and ran, ran, and ran some more. I must have looked crazy to her. I smile, thinking back further to my Grandparents generation and how they would have reacted to say, the idea of an ironman triathlon. They would have probably thought it to be deranged! Their idea of a workout was living life itself. For them, it was a hard day at work, a good meal and then going on a nice walk or a swim afterwards. Anyways, I learned the fine art of moderation or “brahmachayra” but not until my mid forties when a diagnosis of breast cancer helped me realize that I needed to slow down and “smell the roses.” My only question is this: what made so many of us, past and present, feel the need to be compulsive about something as simple and beautiful as exercise?

Comment by Nancy — September 24, 2013 @ 2:39 pm

I too am disappointed. I recall buying my first Lulu jacket at their first store about 9 or 10 years ago and thinking, “wow, a store devoted to a healthy mind, body, and spirit AND terrific workout wear. I hit the jackpot!” Sadly, I think the “please keep buying out extremely expensive wears” that is now Lulu is, although perhaps inevitable given the fostering of consumerism, sad and detracts from what could have been both a profitable and “higher purpose” brand. The bag that everyone above has already commented upon really does speak for itself – it is hypocritical and indicative of Lulu’s transition from fantastic to “just another big company looking to make enormous profits while letting the message and the quality go.” Sigh…

Comment by Janyce Lynn — September 24, 2013 @ 3:55 pm

Like many others who have commented on the new shopping bag, I did not realize what was going on at first. Upon closer inspection I found the images portrayed extremely offensive and unnecessary. I use my lululemon bags to take my lunch in, as an extra travel bag etc. I will not be using this bag. I am normally not easily offended, but am very disappointed in this design choice. Moderation of needles and smoking? How is this a good representation of the message lululemon is trying to send? As a long time buyer this really makes me reconsider purchasing from Lululemon ever again.

Comment by Anonymous — September 24, 2013 @ 5:04 pm

these comments are hilarious. some one at lululemon should go to school instead of taking fitness classes with all the “lemons” they work with.

Comment by Haley Arnold — September 24, 2013 @ 7:17 pm

When I received this bag in the mail yesterday…I did a double take. My first thought was “what the hell?” …my second thought “what the hell?”
My third thought…”Im not carrying that!” I know this this is taking to a personal level, but as a recovering alcoholic, the “Cirrhosis Club” and “Blackout” on the bottles bothered me. I don’t use Sweet n Low, but “Feel N Low”…ouch. One word-AHIMSA.

Comment by Heather — September 25, 2013 @ 7:58 am

It’s great to reuse the Lululemon shoppers. But seriously, people, can’t you reuse them when you return to Lululemon to purchase clothing, in addition to carrying lunches, etc.? Or, if you are only buying ONE small item (tank or bra), politely decline to take it in the first place, regardless of whether you find it objectionable? Many of you probably use Lululemon bags or other reusable canvas totes out grocery shopping or running errands. Why should shopping at Lululemon be any different? Just because you view them as a supply stream of never-ending reusable bags?

Regardless of whether you were highly offended by the artwork or didn’t give it a second thought, I think we can all do a better job of reusing the bags that we do have, or simply not taking one if you don’t need it. Let’s embrace aparigraha: limit our possessions or ‘greed,’ if you will, and not require a new bag with each purchase. I’m sure LLL has heard the message loud and clear that many people disapproved of this particular bag design, so by the time the bag(s) you do use wear out, there will likely be a different design available. Or you could invest in a durable messenger bag or one of those nylon packable shoppers, and never have to worry about it again.

Comment by Sarah — September 25, 2013 @ 12:11 pm

I take this blog and bag to mean. Brahmacharya = Moderation. The images show Froot Loops, cheetos, cookies, condoms, IV needles, cigarettes and alcohol. ARE YOU KIDDING? So Lulu is suggesting we use moderation in our use of IV drugs, smoking cigarettes, drinking AND condoms. Froot Loops in moderation and Heroin in moderation? Ridiculous message Lulu.
I agree with comments above. Lower quality products, higher prices, poor management decisions. Very poor marketing tool. I’ve had “just enough” of a hypocritical company pushing consumerism and yet preaching moderation.
I’m trashing this bag.
What’s wrong with condom use? Should we use them in moderation?

Comment by Amanda — September 26, 2013 @ 7:10 am

Those who are offended by this bag are taking it way to seriously. The new shoppers are merely a statement by lululemon that there are some things we should consume or practice in moderation (and some that we should avoid altogether) in order to live a long and healthy life. It’s a conversation starter, and clearly it worked. If you are offended and don’t ever want to return to lululemon, fine. You will miss out on the most authentic and educational shopping experience there is.

Comment by Emily — September 26, 2013 @ 11:01 am

I have no problem with lulu advocating for a message, but if the message of this was to think about moderation, what are IV drug needles doing on it?

Think that part was not the message you should be putting out. I’d prefer you stick to positive inspirational messages. This one missed he mark, IMO

Comment by Katie — September 26, 2013 @ 7:44 pm

Wow…its a sad, sad day for strong, independent women everywhere when we can’t laugh at a bag we deem “silly” and politely say “no” if it offends us. Personally, I’m at a stage in my life, where I think the bag is adorable and I find absolutely nothing wrong with it. Twenty years ago, I might have felt differently and I’m not passing judgment on anyone but I am saying “no big deal”. Unless you examine the bag very closely most people probably wouldn’t notice half the stuff on it. My life is way to busy to feel harmed by anything this bag may or may not suggest. When they day is over, its a free bag, that’s all, nothing more, nothing less. Thank you LuLuLemon for giving me a little something for free.

Comment by socanative — September 27, 2013 @ 7:29 am

Woah, people, relax!
It’s just a bag! If you are a true Admirier of lululemon u would know that they are all about healthy lifestyle and a positive outlook on life. I highly doubt this bag was intended to promote heroine addictions or unsafe sex. It is trying to convey the message that live life in moderation and choose healthier options. The objects in the word are there to symbolize the concept of moderation/abstinence of unhealthy practises. If u find it offensive, don’t use it. Don’t get those wunder unders in a wad over something so silly!

Comment by Amanda — September 27, 2013 @ 10:33 am

Well, I got the bag yesterday and didn’t pay much attention to the design although I thought it was kind of cool…until today when I read the blog above about and the meaning of Brahmacharya. I had to get a magnifying glass out to actually see each item that made up each letter – super surprised to see syringes, condoms, cigarettes, alcohol, etc. Why on earth would some of these items be consider “in moderation”? Like others commented above, tossing this bag seeing as I have two teen girls in the house and while the sugary treats, alcohol an snack foods should be “in moderation”, the other toxic ones should be eliminated all together. A warm Fall inspired bag would have probably been a better fit for most…just sayin’.

Comment by Kathryn — September 27, 2013 @ 1:13 pm

Perhaps the syringe is representing those with diabetes or other health issues that use them to deliver life saving medications, the condums to remind us of right practice, the cigarettes, joints and beer bottles make us question the teaching, which is good. Who hates a cookie in moderation? I like the bag.

Comment by annonymus — September 27, 2013 @ 6:56 pm

Come on lulu- couldn’t you think of a way to get your message across in a more socially appropriate way? I’m all for practicing and teachng moderation but am trying to figure out how to explain the pertinence of your chosen imagery to my kids and anyone else who may happen upon this bag- moderation in syringes and condoms? And moderation as preached by a company whose profit margin is based on the sale of overpriced leggings? If your goal was to spark a conversation then congratulations, you’ve hit your mark- too bad the conversation is about the poorly chosen imagery instead of the yama.

Comment by Kristen — September 27, 2013 @ 8:02 pm

Exsqueeze me, but am I looking at the same bag as you guys? On the side of the bag it says: ” Brahmacharya:…teaches us to recognize that moment of “just enough” so we don’t move past it into uncomfortable excess. Maybe it’s by pushing away the plate of french fries or using our pent-up energy for a run. By focusing inward, we keep our bodies healthy and energetic. (And hey, there are some things we’re better off avoiding altogether.)”

I interpret the mention of “avoiding things altogether” to pertain to the needles and candy/junk food. I think the inclusion of the condom is an interesting one paired with the beer bottle. I think about those who excessively party and drink with condoms at the ready in their pockets and purses. Granted, I am all for safe sex, but if these people practiced moderation and didn’t actually show up at these bars for their “fun”, they wouldn’t have to use the condoms in the first place for meaningless sex! Maybe treating the body like a temple will lead to less sex, sure, but the inward soul-searching will lead to an outward confidence that will attract a similar, suitable energy for those who are searching at those bars/nightclubs.

And for this comment, I can’t even: “Ya, I’d like to know how using a condom is something we should do less of. I’m assuming it represents excessive sexual encounters, but not everyone will get that message, especially young girls. The thought that young women might construe the message into thinking condoms should be USED LESS is terrifying. Bad play, lululemon.” Are you for serious? You really don’t give young girls enough credit. If they are taking sex advice from a bag, there is a bigger underlying problem and it isn’t Lululemon!

Comment by Julia — September 28, 2013 @ 12:21 pm

I also found the bag incredibly offensive. In a world where access to affordable, easy birth control is denied as a means to continue controlling and subjugating women (who, in case you missed it lulu, are your target market) I find it both shocking and sad to see condoms labeled “nosex.” I… I was going to write something mroe articulate, but just.. what is WRONG with you? (As a moderate drinker, I’m not particularly bothered by seeing alcohol bottles labeled “blackout” or whatever, because that’s a legit side effect of overuse… but… condoms = more sex and safer sex, not no sex.)

Comment by Maus — September 28, 2013 @ 5:21 pm

Help… Help… I’m being offended! Whaaaa!!

Comment by James — September 28, 2013 @ 5:58 pm

Lulu, I love you guys so much BUT don’t you think preaching moderation is a little bit hypocritical? You guys sell yoga clothes in every color and fabric imaginable. I will always be a die hard Lulu girl but I had to giggle a bit when I saw the new bags. I certainly do not practice moderation when it comes to my Lulu clothes and I know that you guys would not want to me start because it would lose you guys money! Come on, put a little more thought into it!

Comment by lisa — September 29, 2013 @ 4:53 pm

You guys are way too critical. Its talking about the things the needles, alcohol, and condom use represent— the desire for excess pleasure whether from food, or some other external source (in this case they are stating drugs and mood amplifiers). And I doubt you’re kids are happening upon this bag and even if they are — awesome, now you have a gateway to talk to them about the things the bag represents. Now, my only criticism would be that the subject matter is a little heavy for a workout apparel store, but its certainly not a reason to quit buying their product. Just don’t use the FREE bag. And why is it that this bag’s imagery has suddenly awoken you to the fact that its expensive. Its always been expensive. Jeez, just buy the product for its pretty colors, and apply whatever meaning you deem fit.

Comment by Ellen — September 30, 2013 @ 5:29 am

Many people have stated that this bag is “free”.

“Free” of what?

Monetary charge to the customer is what they mean, I guess.

But not free of evoking bad response/reaction (which affects our entire existence), and not free of hitting the environment.

So what happens with these unsightly (to put it mildly) bags (got 2 by now) since I don’t want to use them? I wouldn’t take them back to a store because there’s none in a 50-mile radius of my home. I wouldn’t use them. I wouldn’t give them to anybody. I feel guilty to throw them away, yet sending them back to Lulu would mean polluting the air. Plus an unwanted charge to my bank account.

In any case, I would suggest that Lulu creates a “no ‘FREE’ bag with my order, please” button on their website, as well as to have the educators ask if the client would want to skip getting the “FREE” bag.

Especially if the bag looks like this Brahmacharya-one.

Comment by Anna — September 30, 2013 @ 11:42 am

The message on the bag asks the question “where in your life could you practice moderation?” The images only have the personal meaning we each apply. I am a recovering addict/alcoholic and am not offended by the black out bottle or the needle but reminded of where I came from and what I have over come. “Some things we’re better off avoiding altogether.” Some of the images have no meaning for me at all but will for some one else. Do I need to practice moderation in sex? Does not apply for me. Personally I find this bag/message/images to be thought provoking and am pondering where I could use moderation. . .
For those of you who are afraid of your daughters seeing the bag, you greatly underestimate what our children are exposed to every day. This bag could be a great way to open conversation about all kinds of things that are hard to talk about.

Comment by Kerry — September 30, 2013 @ 11:15 pm

Hi Anna,
So glad you gave us opportunity to speak to this. Our shoppers are 100% recyclable, so please feel free to include them when you are recycling plastics.

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — October 1, 2013 @ 11:50 am

This bag is really awful. Sorry, lulu but this was my last purchase from you. I have been huge a lulu fan and shopped here for years. I don’t wear any other brand of workout gear. I made a recent lulu purchase and received this bag and am turned completely off the brand.

Comment by Kim — October 1, 2013 @ 6:06 pm

I am usually not one to complain or write reviews, but I felt a strong need to express my opinion on the release of this bag. I am extremely disappointed in Lululemon, and I do not plan on carrying this bag. It is going in the recycle bin. I understand the concept of moderation, but I do not appreciate being made to feel judged by the company I am supporting and promoting. I am an avid lulu fan, and have been for years, but I will not continue to buy from your company if you are going to make women feel badly about their life choices. I always loved and appreciated the fact that your company promoted women’s well being, but making me feel judged and patronized over having a drink, or having sex with my boyfriend is not okay. “Everything in moderation” is a fine idea, but I do not need my yoga clothing company to give me a lecture on abstinence. You should be promoting women’s rights, not trying to take them away. Leave the yamas, and how best to promote them, to a trained yoga teacher.

Comment by Stacey — October 2, 2013 @ 7:21 am

I have 3 girls and a wonderful wife who are, or were, devoted lulu buyers. We just opened a 600.00 order that we will be returning. Very poor taste although the intention may have been good. I suggest you pull your bags and hope to win back some of your lost customers. Please don’t disappoint your long term customers. Do the right thing.

Comment by Chris — October 2, 2013 @ 7:13 pm

Is this a joke? Very sad that a VP to the company listed her example of this practice was to cut down on selfies. Seeing her partner 5 days in a row wasn’t a show of moderation but a hardcore 30 day challenge is? Clueless. I’m returning my last purchase and giving away my lululemon items. I am now embarrassed to be seen at my local yoga studio wearing them.

Comment by Jenna Olmsted — October 6, 2013 @ 2:03 pm

Wow. Even though LLL stretched the definition, it raises awareness. Some people always jump to the negative perspective (which of course is just my perspective). In regard to the use of moderation, the pictures represent this perfectly. All the items represented are related to an addiction, most being food. The needles could be medicinal not just ‘drug’. If most complainers were even following a true yogic path they wouldn’t be on here, finding it necessary to purchase a $200 ‘yoga’ outfit when that money could be donated to help others. Lighten up. There are much more important issues in this country to direct energy towards than a free plastic bag. Let go of your righteousness and ego.

Comment by KC — October 6, 2013 @ 6:04 pm

I can’t believe people are saying they will return their purchases & never shop at lululemon again over the graphics on one bag. Seems more than a little “excessive” to me. I have no idea why people leapt to the conclusions they did. I saw “if you eat all this junk food, the natural result is you will gain weight. This will not only negatively affect your sex drive & enjoyment of sex because it will affect your health & ability to experience pleasure, it will cause you to have issues with your self confidence & self esteem, both of which can lead to no sex.” “Smoking, drinking to the point you black out or are facing a condition as severe as cirrhosis of the liver, and eating donuts, excessive carbs & cheetos can cause both physical health problems (ie diabetes), hypertension etc. as well as mood/mental health issues like depression & anxiety, which will result in your needing to scarf down medications for your heart, arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, anxiety, depression, sleep disorder, liver failure, COPD from smoking all those cigarettes etc.or AIDS from the alcohol blackout when you had unprotected sex.” I know that makes it sound judgemental but I don’t see it that way, I think those are natural consequences & possible worst case scenarios that no one ever thinks will happen to them–if they did, they would try to make that life-altering choice. If people don’t become “aware” they don’t even have the option of making another choice for themselves, and denial is a powerful thing. It made me try to figure out what the words spelled, if anything at all, so I looked it up online. If lulu’s aim was awareness, it was effective.

Comment by Care — October 7, 2013 @ 7:32 pm

It is OK. Good ideas.

Comment by Shanti, Shanti, Shanti. — October 7, 2013 @ 8:25 pm

I have to echo the well worded comment by “runnerlyn” above. I honestly had stopped shopping at Lulu (in short due to a feeling of brand saturation, and frankly, strange pieces with more ruffles than 1980′s prom dresses), but did buy a basic l/s shirt and was putting the bag away when I noticed what it said, which is essentially an advertisement for celibacy?! Now, to each their own, but that is a VERY odd and loaded thing to proclaim on a clothing bag, no? It seems that LLL was out of touch on the meaning of the term. I won’t repeat what others have already said about the images beyond saying: I agree. Historically there have been some great things about the Lululemon company, but I fear that LLL has lost it’s way [and style - tone down the ruffles! bring back chic high quality pieces!]. It’s time for a big moment of self reflection, Lulu.

Comment by sb — October 9, 2013 @ 6:30 pm

They should have put a lulu top in with all the other temptations, wonder if they are promoting moderation with excessive unnecessary yoga wear??
I think this bag is shameful. The practice is sacred and about connecting with the divine.

Comment by Lyn — October 19, 2013 @ 10:12 am

What a crock! These bags are garbage, what on earth are you guys thinking anymore!??! This company needs to “moderate” itself!

Comment by Lynne — October 19, 2013 @ 9:47 pm

This is a truly disgusting display of cultural imperialism — taking concepts that are a sacred tradition in an Eastern culture, completely distorting their meaning, and using them to sell overpriced workout gear, all the while preaching the virtues of “moderation.”

I will never shop at Lululemon again.

Comment by Carolyn — October 21, 2013 @ 12:30 pm

As a Lululemon ambassador alumni, I find this campaign offensive and inappropriate. Lululemon is not founded on yogic principles nor does it represent them. The use of sanskrit terms that represent ideals that real, practicing hindus and yogis hold dear to them serves only to trivialize those principles and demean those who live by them. The article above is both completely uninformed and patronizingly juvenile. This calls for an immediate and public apology.

Comment by Devin Johnstone — October 24, 2013 @ 7:25 am

Thank you Carolyn and Devin.

Comment by C. Jane Taylor — October 24, 2013 @ 11:43 am

I logged on to respectfully let someone at Lululemon know that the use of the term is not the standard for defining moderation, there is mention of “yama”….but the reference to brahmacharya is incorrect:

The definition presented and pictures depicted on the bag makes me uncomfortable, as a customer I really wanted to let you folks know that this marketing plan was…….just a little wide. “brahmacharya” is a wonderful thing, tears rolled down my eyes when my son completed his sacred thread ceremony and had taken on a Guru and was now a brahmachari. There are pictures of condoms, cigarettes and alcohol on the bag– not things I associate with my son, my spiritual beliefs…etc.

The Lululemon team responsible for the promotion would be served well if they incorporated this quote from Swami Yukteswar Ji – “Do not confuse understanding with a larger vocabulary”. All the best on the next round guys.


Comment by Sy — October 24, 2013 @ 2:12 pm

The problem with the bag & Sandy’s blog post is the neither demonstrates an understand of what Brahmacharya really means. It’s pretty embarrassing that a billion dollar company launched a campaign and no one bothered to check the meaning of the words being used.

Comment by Kristen — October 30, 2013 @ 3:18 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment