Day 1,107: YJ + TY KU = WTFF

There are two things in life I love: yoga, and being judgmental. So when Laura and Holly alerted me to Yoga Journal’s big new heavily promoted advertorial partnership with TY KU Sake, aka “The Official Drink of Apres Yoga,” I simply could not wait to learn more. Let’s take a look, shall we?

First, here’s the image on the TY KU Sake landing page:


Friends, let’s get straight to the heart of things:

What the fuck is going on here? Why are these two women hanging out on a fake stoop that is clearly indoors? Are they on Sesame Street? If so, where’s Gordon? Where’s Maria?

Why is the one on the left smiling blankly into space, and why is her leg Photoshopped? I know what pose this is supposed to be. I’ve done it. I did a lame facsimile of it today as blog research. And I still can’t work out how her knee is facing forward unless it has been removed from her body.

And can we talk about the smug-looking chick on the right? Specifically: what the hell is she wearing? Is it by chance an acid-washed, elastic-cuffed denim jumpsuit? It is, isn’t it? And those are high-top moccasins on her feet, aren’t they? It’s okay, you can tell me.

Everything about the denim-jumpsuit girl and her smirk is freaking me out. I feel sure she is a malevolent spirit that rose from the ashes of those ads about Yoplait being shoe-shopping good.

Finally–and you’ll have to take my word for this because I cropped the photo badly–there is a loaf of French bread in the tote bag behind the disembodied pink leg. Just in case you needed one more signifier that these are the classiest, most urbane yoga ladies of 1994: they have stick bread with them, okay? They are practically named Audrey and Tautou.

Whew. So now that I’ve got all that off my chest, let’s talk about the six reasons YJ and TY KU say that sake is the perfect post-yoga beverage…oh shoot. There was one other subtle thing about the photo that bugged me and now it’s slipped my mind what it…oh wait, I remember now. It was the RANDOM BASSET HOUND on the top step. He doesn’t even seem like he’s with the yoga women–maybe he’s the landlord? And is this really the best shot of him they could get? “Oh man, Mr. Furley licked his own nose again.” “Fuck it, we’re losing the fake daylight. It’s a wrap.”

Anyway. Here are the six reasons YJ and and TY KU think you should drink this 20% ABV stuff after practice:

  1. It may help reduce stress and allow you to ‘live in the moment.’ And god knows you’ll need that, after a yoga class aimed at building tension and encouraging you to obsess over past mistakes and make wild projections about the future.
  2. It’s heart-healthy.  “We know a small amount of alcohol can be beneficial when drank (sic) in moderation.” Oh Jesus, it’s resveratrol again, right? The compound that will make us all live forever when consumed in quantities of wine way, way smaller than anyone who gets self-righteous about resveratrol actually drinks. Okay, yes, you’d better make sure you get your life-saving resveratrol, yogis. And if you can get it in a mind-altering substance (instead of grape juice) right after a sweaty and possibly dehydrating workout, all the better.
  3. Trade wine for sake and you may sleep better because sake contains less sugar and fewer byproducts of fermentation vs. wine. So, basically, it sucks for your body less than wine. Might as well aim high, right? Enjoy that marginally better sleep.
  4. Sake is sans sulfites and tannins. “We suck less than wine! Om shanti!” part 2. Though really, all I can think of is how I used to blame red-wine hangovers on the tannins vs. the, you know, FIVE GLASSES FULL OF ALCOHOL I drank the night before.
  5. Sake may make your skin healthier. “If sipping sake makes you less stressed, it may also have an impact on your skin. A happier person tends to have a healthier glow.” Well, gosh, who could argue with the straight-up hard science they just laid down right there? And again, after that yoga class you are going to need something to lift you up, sister-friend.
  6. Sake is culturally portion-controlled because the serving size is 3 ounces, vs. 5 ounces for wine. Maybe I’m not qualified to comment on this one, given that my understanding of the alcohol ‘serving size’ concept was, let’s say, philosophical at best. But I have visited Japan a few times, and at least from my limited Western point of view, “cultural portion control” did not seem to be a super big thing when it came to booze.

Anyway, Yoga Journal says drink up, yogis!  I mean, sure, excessive alcohol use causes 10% of deaths among working-age US adults. And sure, moderate use can slide into excessive use because alcohol is, you know, a goddamn addictive substance that changes how your brain works. But that’s about other people, not you. You’re so healthy. You’re so mindful. Those awful things aren’t going to happen to you.

I was healthy. I was mindful. Those awful things weren’t going to happen to me either.

So kanpai and namaste! After all, TY KU Sake is ‘happy hour for the chakras.’ And if you’re saying “Wait, I thought yoga was happy hour for the chakras,” well, I guess you’re not quite as big a sucker as they’d like you to be. Work on that, huh?

20 thoughts on “Day 1,107: YJ + TY KU = WTFF

  1. That was priceless, my dear. WTF indeed. Any excuse to make a profit on alcohol, any reason at all. And you are so right, Oscar’s trash can was probably cropped out of the picture!

  2. Does yoga of any kind need an official drink? That’s just weird and creepy and seems in completely contradiction to what yoga stands for. I could be wrong, of course, as I don’t practice yoga, but I’m pretty damn sure that it doesn’t need an alcoholic sponsor.

    I went to the website and can’t tell if the advertising copy is supposed to be tongue-in-cheek or tries to be sincere in linking an alcoholic beverage with yoga. Then I went to 10 Things You Need for an Apres-Yoga Party…the pictures are horrific, which again makes me wonder if the creative directors want us desperately to know that their in on the joke…but that doesn’t matter if the joke isn’t funny.

    Ugh. This whole thing makes me want to take a shower.

  3. Oh, wait…apres means after. So this is the official drink of…what people do when they’re finished with a yoga session? What the hell?

  4. Thich Nhat Han on drinking alcohol
    u/enoch-emery231d, 9h
    “When we practice not drinking alcohol, we protect ourselves, and we also protect our family and our society. A woman in London told me, “I have been drinking two glasses of wine every week for the last twenty years, and it has done me no harm at all. Why should I give it up?” I said, “It’s true that two glasses of wine do not harm you. But are you sure they do not harm your children? You may not have the seed of alcoholism in you, but who knows whether the seed of alcoholism is in your children. If you give up wine, you’ll be doing it not only for yourself but also for your children and for your society.” -Thich Nhat Hanh

  5. Awesome! Thank you, but also weird and creepy as Robert said. And the Basset hound, YES! I was longing for your comment, and it arrived, 10.000 x better than anticipated – the landlord… yes, you are brilliant

  6. Yeah when I saw that ad, I wanted to go into Warrior Pose for sure. Alcohol is now so pervasive people cannot do any activity without the “reward” of booze during or after. I once was in this bike club, back when I still drank, and it was like the group would rush rush rush the ride so they could hit the bar ASAP afterward. I moved on to other groups esp once I quit the poison for good.

  7. Oh my god, you have no idea how badly I needed the laugh I’ve received from this post. A friend sent it to me and once I realized it was written by a kindred sober spirit, it made me all the happier. Portion control?! Seriously? How big is the bottle? There’s your “portion” sweet cheeks.
    But for 75,126 hours I’ve been sober with only a twinge of desire for really good scotch once in a blue moon.
    Which incidentally, I believe to be the perfect after yoga drink. Or before yoga. Or before or after anything, really. Not that I practice that belief, but if someone is going to contort themselves in front of a dog on carpeted outdoor steps and encourage me to do the same, they better damn well be serving something better than some bullshit hippie sake.
    Anyway, thank you for the laugh & thank you for reminding me to check my sobriety calculator.

  8. Anything for money, I guess. Next up, Skye Vodka, the official drink of the paralympics….I am in recovery and oddly enough came across your blog while googling around about a ham string injury I sustained in my rehab’s “gentle yoga” class. Unsurprisingly, we were not offered alcohol as a post-session refreshment.

  9. Funny. And I clicked on your link to the sake company. The ad said, “The clean alternative to wine” – playing into the idiotic “clean eating” orthorexia nonsense. Another little WTF.

  10. Well, when I was about to think “Those freaky Americans” with eyebrows raised while I was reading this post, I was just invited to “Class & Glass” by my very favourite yoga studio – an “open bottle” event to teach me what “the definition of the word savor means” (sic!). Hooray, Germany is catching up!

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