vancouver 2010 olympics: do yoga, hook up!

Olympian yoga in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery (image: Lululemon blog)

So y’all might have noticed that I’ve been avoiding any mention of the Olympics. First of all, I just can’t keep up with all the athletes who do yoga as part of their training routines (and YogaDork is doing a great job of covering that angle). Second, I don’t really care about major sporting events (with the exception of the FIFA World Cup, which I love) or big displays of nationalism and corporate sponsorship. And third, as a BC girl who has watched the province transform in the years leading up to the event, I have some ethical problems with the Olympics (look to The Tyee and The Dominion for excellent alternative coverage).

Nevertheless, I think it’s great that Lululemon has jumped on the Olympics cheer bandwagon and has been offering free yoga classes all over Vancouver since the beginning of the games (working their way around copyright/trademark restrictions by using “cool global sporting event” instead). Apparently, over 11,000 people have taken advantage of these classes. As a Lululemon store manager notes, “Yoga is a big part of the city’s culture. Yoga has made Vancouver mellow.” (Interesting ~ I thought it was the strong BC sweetleaf.)

She also reveals some little known facts about the yoga culture in Vancouver, which has an estimated 20,000 regular practitioners, most of them female. Apparently: “There are yoga mats that indicate if the person is single and available. But in Vancouver, people also signal if they’re available by using a certain kind of shopping cart at Whole Foods. It’s that kind of city.”

Wha, seriously? Are there any Vancouver-ites who can attest to the accuracy of this claim? And does anybody out there know the yoga mat code for single and available?

[via USA Today]

  1. Interesting post. I hope someone can answer these interesting questions about Vancouver yoga!

  2. hi “it’s all yoga baby” thanks for the post.

    however as a Vancouverite and a yoga teacher, living here and observing the hoopla of the olympics from near and far, i would have to tell you that yoga during the olympics is not alive and well and throngs are not converging on any yoga studios around town, except perhaps the yyoga studio downtown at robson / burrard – though this also remains to be seen.

    in fact while lululemon may have given out various large numbers of “free passes,” the yoga classes they are running for free are only at YYOGA (Vancouver’s answer to the Yoga Works and Pure Yoga of the world). From what i’ve heard from fellow practitioners who have attended a “free” class there, classes are not full and there are no line ups.

    If you are looking for line ups however, there is no dearth of these, you will find them at all the other various free things that are filling the city’s downtown core these days… though the weather for the past two days has dampened spirits a little bit, the Olympic tourists in Vancouver are here to party, not to Yoga; to eat raclette at the swiss house, line up for seven hours to ride a 50 second zip line, line up for a few more hours to hear a good band and generally make merry or stand in yet another line to go to one of the live sites, where you can, for the joy of it, walk into our lovely olympic sponsor Coke’s tent and “ouvrez le bonheur” while you learn about this history of coke…

    oh joyfulness, oh partying oh olympic frat party… thank you for touching down in our town and i hope that i am yet to see the benefits of all of this to the city and province in years to come… i remain optimistic.

    also… i’ve never heard about the yoga singles mat code, but will research that…and yes whole foods apparently is a good place to pick up not just your groceries… 🙂

  3. haha i stopped thinking she might be a credible source at ‘yoga has made vancouver mellow’ – sounds like she moved to vancouver from toronto 5 years ago. i mean, i can personally only attest to 35 years of its history, but town has been on the slow train to chillaxville for a pretty long time…

    but then, i didn’t even know there were Whole Foods there now – oh, the internet tells me they teamed up with Capers o_O So that and the need to signify singleness with mat and cart symbolism rather than striking up a conversaton, yknow, like in the ‘pre-mellow’ days, seems like all the more reason to not move back, eek.

  4. The majority of the gift of yoga users visit the locations that aren’t downtown. Burnaby, as I know personally, has been overfilled everyday; the rooms that hold 20 and 60 people are being filled to capacity nearly every class for the past week. I’m sure the Richmond studio and probably the Northshore studio are close. The downtown crowd have always had access to yoga; there are tons of yoga studios JUST in downtown Vancouver, so not as many people take the free yoga thing too seriously, also it’s a party city right now~ everyone is wearing red and white, jumping up and down robson and granville street cheering.

    Overall though, I think since Vancouver is such a chill city to begin with, then it attracts yoga, and since most people like that sort of pace and lifestyle, it just adopted into the city. Hard to tell which one brings out the other, but it sure is a yoga town. Regarding the amount of people that practices yoga in Vancouver, we can just look back to the yogathon in the summer, it was some ridiculous amount of people attending the event to do yoga under a 34 Celsius sun. Lululemon probably helped by promoting yoga and having something like 10 locations or something across the city.

    p.s. I don’t know how many other cities have HMV selling yoga mats, but they do that here in vancouver…