A personal ongoing quest of mine has been to commit to something that helps me stay fit. I've joined two gyms in the past two years and hardly attended them, meanwhile paying hefty monthly fees. All this adds up to my first visit to lululemon athletica at Garden State Plaza last night: a special yoga event in Long Branch tomorrow morning got me to buy a yoga mat for $5 at five below, and a "need" for a yoga mat strap brought me to lululemon, which opened last October in a section of what was once the skateboarding shop Vans. Not only is it a sportswear haven for both men and women (though obviously catering more towards the latter), but also an inspiring and pleasant shopping experience, with a few welcoming surprises.
One of their non-evasive friendly employees only began to explain to me the organization of its bra tanks (from right to left, least supportive to the most supportive) when I was browsing through them. And then, its wall of yoga pants (too many for me to remember), adding that they offer free tailoring -- a rarity, to my knowledge, and a definite perk since I often come across sweatpants that are way too long, and theirs were no exception -- that takes five days. Then, as I was being rung up by another employee, I confessed to her that I had tried yoga about four times ever and was going on Saturday for my first outdoors session. She then mentioned their free Yoga in the Park class this Sunday in Englewood, offered in conjunction with Bamboo Moves, this month's featured studio of the store's complimentary Saturday Salutations series (every Saturday at 9 a.m.). I asked about other yoga studios she could recommend, and since I had paid by then, she handed me my purchase (in a little reuseable shopping tote) and led me over to their studio directory, where brochures of local studios sit in little pockets on a poster display rack. I grabbed a few and noticed the recycling area below the rack, then thanked her for her help and said, "Maybe I'll see you again!" To which she amicably responded, "You'll be back -- I know you will!"
Now I'm not only going to Long Branch for yoga on the beach, but also heading over to Yoga in the Park early Sunday, with a friend I convinced recruited. I've penciled in Saturday Salutations for the 25th. I've gotten another friend to sign up for Beginner Yoga with me at Shree Yoga, one of the recommended studios, starting August. So I'm hoping that this time, I've actually found my athletic calling.