Who Said You Can’t Celebrate World Sake Day With Yoga?

Who Said You Can’t Celebrate World Sake Day With Yoga?

Discover the harmonious blend of mindfulness and Japanese tradition as you celebrate World Sake Day with a rejuvenating twist on your yoga routine - By Beth Rush

Reading time: 4 minutes

Sake and yoga are an interesting pair. This coming World Sake Day, give your mindfulness practice a Japanese twist.

Who says you can only celebrate one occasion in a monotonous way? American culture embraces diversity and recognizes events outside of countries. One that everyone is looking forward to is World Sake Day, which happens every October 1st. Sake is synonymous with Japan, as many of the traditions tie to this alcoholic drink. Find out how to participate in this special day as a yoga fan.

The Origins of World Sake Day

The celebration to recognize sake started in 1978 to honor the rice farmers and brewery workers who toil day and night to produce the best-tasting and highest-quality sake throughout Japan. The Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association — a nonprofit organization of sake and shochu producers — designated October 1, which was previously the start of the brewery year. During this day, locals get together to enjoy a bottle — or two — of this widely revered drink while paying respects to brewers. 

Decades later, sake enthusiasts around the globe have begun to partake in the special celebration. People raising their glasses and uttering kampai — the Japanese translation for cheers — can be heard everywhere.

The Connection Between Sake and Yoga

Sharing a sake bottle with others is how people enjoy themselves during World Sake Day. However, many integrate it into other ancient practices — like yoga. If there's one commonality between the two, it is that both have thrived through times, which is a testament to their embedded influence on Indian and Japanese cultures. 

It may come as a surprise, but another shared feature of sake and yoga is they promote relaxation.  

Both Can Relieve Stress

Yoga is a mindfulness activity in which people with high-stress levels engage to ground them in the present. Like yoga, drinking sake in moderation lowers physiological pressure response, encouraging you to live in the moment. Japanese employees see drinking sake wine beyond indulgence — it’s a way to cool off on Friday nights from a busy week and bond with their colleagues. 

Both Are Good for the Heart

Drinking sake in moderate amounts may lower the risk of heart disease due to its antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits. It also contains traces of minerals, including copper, phosphorus, selenium, zinc, calcium and potassium, making it healthy.

Generally speaking, any form of exercise benefits the heart — yoga included. It's an active movement that improves cholesterol levels at a healthy limit by combining aerobics and resistance training to adjust lipid profiles and minimize the risk for heart conditions.

Both Help Improve Your Sleep

Sake contains less sugar and fewer congeners — the byproduct of the fermentation process of alcoholic beverages that cause hangovers. You'll have better sleep quality if you drink sake. 

Yoga's sleep-boosting merits stem from the muscle and mental exertion of doing the poses and stretches in a session. Relaxing and falling asleep is easier since you turn in physically and psychologically tired.

The Fresh Combination of Sake and Alcohol

Many enthusiasts have explored the unique marriage of yoga and alcohol. Beer yoga is a rising concept among communities, which injects a spin of fun into a traditional mindfulness practice. In a session, you roll out your mat, perform the stretches and enjoy a crisp sip of beer while holding a low lunge or warrior pose. The bottle adds fun and encourages playfulness in the practice, which is only possible if everyone loosens up. 

Ways to Celebrate World Sake Day With Yoga

Sake and yoga make a better pair than yoga and beer. Comparing the two, sake is healthier. It doesn't cause bloating, so you can sustain poses without any digestive discomfort. It even contains lactic acid bacteria called lactobacillus, which helps with stomach problems, such as diarrhea. What's more? World Sake Day provides a valid reason for the best coupling. Here are ways you can celebrate this special event as a yoga fanatic.

1. Learn the History of Sake During a Yoga Class.

Switch up an open discussion during practice by discovering the long history of sake and how it's become a permanent fixture in Japanese culture. At least you’ll know a thing or two about Japan when you visit.

2. Host a Sake Tasting After a Session

Just as yoga has several forms, sake has many types based on aroma and flavors. What better way to have a great time during World Sake Day than to indulge your buds in these unique tastes? Plus, it's the best way to bond with your friends. 

3. Share Sake Cocktail Recipes

A new mix can liven up a stressful day. Why not share your best sake recipes with your fellow yoga fans so they can try them out? Giving this Japanese drink a fresh flavor twist is a treat to the palate. 

4. Clink a Glass After a Yoga Challenge

Do you have a monthly yoga challenge in your studio? Celebrate your hard work by unscrewing the sake cap and pouring that immaculate mix into a glass. Clinking and shouting kampai is the best way to conclude a powered yoga challenge. 

Celebrate World Sake Day With Yoga

This unique fusion of yoga and sake may be new to you, but that makes it even more compelling to try. Although both share some qualities, each person’s experience is unique. Now, you have four ideas for having fun this upcoming World Sake Day. Head to your studio and give your session a Japanese twist by adding sake. 

Beth Rush

Beth is the mental health editor at Body+Mind. She has 5+ years of experience writing about behavioral health, specifically mindfulness-based cognitive therapy.