For years, the yoga inspired athletic-wear store Lululemon has been giving people opportunities to share the yoga experience without paying the hefty price of a weekly class.
The store has given free classes in Rittenhouse Square and also hosted classes in the store itself. In September, Lululemon moved its efforts to a brand new yoga studio on Fourth and Monroe streets called DIG Yoga. DIG offers many different types of classes in its new studio, but decided to work with Lululemon this season so that the community would get an opportunity to try out the studio with different instructors each week for free.
“Cost can be a deterrent but this offers awesome instructors,” said DIG employee Shivon Pearl.
DIG hires those who thoroughly enjoy the practice of yoga. Pearl said that yoga teaches her to not take herself so seriously and it reminds her that everything is temporary in flux.
Adrienne Ribblett and Nadia Ouazzi, both sophomore communications majors, said that they have also been positively influenced by the weekly yoga session thanks to Lululemon and DIG.
When yoga was conducted in the Lululemon store, all the merchandise would be pushed to the sides of the room to make space. As more people began to show up, it became necessary to move yoga sessions somewhere else.
DIG offers a space that is “calming and clean,” Ribblett said.
Ouazzi added that the layout and white color scheme in DIG makes participants realize they’re going into the studio not only for a physical workout, but a mental one as well.
“Yoga has taught me to relax and to live a healthy life in order to get good results,” Ribblett said.
Ouazzi stated that yoga has taught her to live in the moment.
Yoga teaches people of all ages different lessons — mentally and physically — and that is why Lululemon finds it crucial to give community members the chance to try it for free.
“I played football in school previously,” Lululemon employee Kyle Walker said. “So yoga has been something I’ve been doing just over a year, it’s something different.”
He emphasized that it’s great for everybody to have the opportunity to get out and meet others and that Philly has a strong yoga community.
DIG co-owner and instructor Mariel Freeman said free member involvement creates a stronger yoga community because, “we tell our friends, they tell their friends, and then more and more people have the opportunity to check it out.”
“Fluency in yoga is all about finding and creating greater and more meaningful connections,” Freeman added.
Freeman said she fully supports the idea behind Lululemon’s complementary classes because yoga is normally considered “a luxury and a privilege.”
Many people, especially college students, can’t afford weekly classes, which sometimes come to $20 a session.
“Freeman is an awesome person,” Walker said. “This opportunity should be taken up by anyone slightly interested in yoga.”
Temple’s yoga classes at the IBC Student Recreation Center and last year’s yoga-meditation club began Ouazzi and Ribblett’s practice of yoga. However, the students said they wanted to experience community classes off campus in an environment filled with other yoga-lovers of all ages.
“I wanted the opportunity to work with others and find out what style of yoga I personally liked,” Ribblett said. “Lululemon gives me that opportunity.”
For those who fall in love with the DIG studio, the company offers different types of yoga sessions.
Currently, the free yoga sessions hosted by Lululemon at DIG Yoga take place on Fridays at 6 p.m.
Freeman said yoga newcomers should “leave your obligations outside the [yoga studio] and bring an open mind and willing heart to your yoga mat.”
Chelsea Finn can be reached at email@example.com.