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Archive for the ‘Yoga Tattoos’ Category

If you aren’t familiar with Bollywood films, you might not immediately recognize Esha Deol.  But if you’ve seen such films as Koi Mere Dil Se Poochhe, which was the unofficial Hindi remake of Sleeping with the Enemy, you know this face.  And gracing the shoulders of this Bollywood beauty are two yoga-inspired tattoos.  Check them out:

As you can see, Esha has an “om” tattooed inside of a sun on one shoulder and the Gayatri mantra tattooed on the other shoulder.  The Gayatri mantra is a highly revered mantra found in many sacred Hindu texts, including the Bhagavad Gita.  Swami Vivekenanda has translated the Gayatri mantra as meaning: “We meditate on the glory of that Being who has produced this universe; may He enlighten our minds.”

Esha, who’s name is rooted in sanskrit and apparently derived from the Upanishads and means “the divine beloved”, is the daughter of two Bollywood actors. In fact, Esha’s mother is a devout yoga practitioner, and Esha, a self-proclaimed “yoga freak” was profiled in a Yogadork blog post in 2009.

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This week’s edition of Yoga Tattuesday comes from sunny San Diego, California, and appears on the foot of yogini Lindsey Anne Johnson.  Here’s a picture of Lindsey’s tattoo:

Lindsey’s tattoo, which appears on her left foot, is the word “prana” written in sanskrit.  As many of you yogis and yoginis know, the word “prana” is sanskrit for “vital life”, but it is an unbelievably dense and complex concept.  Essentially, the notion of “prana” stands for the idea that that there is a vital, life-sustaining force or energy contained within all beings.  It is a central concept in yogic and ayurvedic traditions (and is similar to the Chinese notion of Qi) where prana is believed to be contained in the breath, the blood, and other bodily secretions.  Oh yes!  In fact, in yoga, the breath is seen as a gateway to the world of prana and so the practice of pranayama (or simply, yogic breathing exercises) is a practice in which the control of prana is achieved by controlling one’s breath.

Lindsey says that she got her tattoo after her mom passed away.  And while the tattoo was born out of grief, it has encouraged Lindsey to keep going.  In fact, as Lindsey says, getting the tattoo was a simple reminder of one thing:  to breathe.

Lindsey has been practicing yoga since her first class 13 years ago.  She is currently a freelance writer and social media consultant.  You can check out her websitelindseyannejohnson.com.  While this tattoo is her first tattoo, she says she’s contemplating another one.  We’d love to see it when you get it, Lindsey!

Until then, thanks for sharing your story and your tattoo with us!

If you, or someone you love, has a yoga-inspired tattoo and would like to share it here, please complete the contact form on my Yoga Tattuesday Submissions page.  I look forward to seeing your yoga-inspired tattoos!

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This week’s edition of Yoga Tattuesday comes all the way from Ireland!  That’s right, inked-up yogi and fellow Elephant Journal columnist, Tobye Hillier, was kind enough to share his yoga-inspired tattoo with us this week.  Here it is:

About his tattoo, Tobye says:

The tattoo was a long time coming! I always wanted a tattoo, but knew that it would have to mean something to me and would have to be something I’d be happy to have on me for all my life.  It’s called the “endless love knot” taken from the Buddhist endless knot “shrivatsa” which symbolises Samsara, the endless cycle of re-birth and death. In the tattoo, part of the knot is left out to create the shape of four hearts knotted together and for me it kinda symbolizes my love of yoga and the realisation that love binds us all together. Although Buddhist in origin, it has a celtic feel which sits well with me living in Ireland.  Have to give a heads up to Pat Fish at lucky fish art as I think the design was originally hers, although I have no clue how I came across it!

About his yoga practice, Tobye says:

I started practising in early 2006. Coming from an interest in Buddhism and wanting to exercise my brain as well as my body, as well as wanting a hobby, I decided to try yoga. I loved it so much that 6 months later I started teacher training in Karuna yoga, which is a style very much like Anusara.

Although he has been living in Ireland (a small seaside town call Greystones 20 miles south of Dublin, to be exact) for 16 years, Tobye is originally from England.  He is currently a full-time student studying print journalism, however, he teaches Karuna yoga and runs a yoga studio in Kilcoole, county Wicklow.  Of teaching yoga, Tobye  “likes to bend yoga to suit people and not the other way around.”  As I mentioned above, Tobye is a columnist for Elephant Journal.  You can read his EJ posts here, and visit his personal website here.

Thanks for sharing your tattoo with us, Tobye!

If you, or someone you love, has a yoga-inspired tattoo and would like to share it with the whole wide world, please complete the contact form on my Yoga Tattuesday Submissions page.  I look forward to seeing your yoga-inspired tattoos!

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Over at my personal blog, Yogi, Interrupted, I write a regular series called Yoga Tattuesday.  It is a collection of the yoga-inspired tattoos, and personal stories of inked-up yogis all over the world.  I was inspired to start cataloging yoga-inspired tattoos because every time I would attend yoga class I would see beautiful artwork on people in class.  It amazed me that so many people had been so inspired by yoga that they were compelled to have a symbol, chant, prayer, image, etc., permanently sketched onto their bodies. Each week on my blog, I feature a new yogi and his/her yoga-inspired tattoo. This series has become something I look forward to doing every week.

Read the rest at Elephant Journal

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This week’s edition of Yoga Tattuesday comes from “Svasti”, an Australian yogini, yoga teacher, and blogger. Several years ago, Svasti was in Thailand on a yoga retreat, and after the retreat headed to the outskirts of Bangkok to receive a traditional Thai tattoo. Here’s a photo of Svasti’s tattoo:

Traditional Thai tattoos are also called Sak Yants, and many believe that these tattoos have incredibly protective powers. You can read more about the art of the Sak Yant in a November 2007 story for National Public Radio (NPR) by Scott Carney.

Here’s what Svasti said about her decision to get her tattoo, and her experience:

My tattoo was done by well-known Thai tattooist Ajarn Tong (“Ajarn” meaning master). These tattoos are not just for looks: they come with a mantra that must be repeated three times a day. The Ajarn himself comes from a long line of tattoo masters, and photos of previous masters as well as various gods and goddesses adorn his altar. The giving AND the recieving of this kind of tattoo is a spiritual practice, and those who choose to be tattooed are mostly sadhakas – spiritual seekers.

In fact, Ajarn Tong does his tattooing work in some kind of spiritual trance. Before he begins, much puja (ceremony) happens, and those coming to be tattooed are asked to pray and make offerings. Then, Ajarn takes snuff and settles into his trance. If you’ve never experienced a trance state or seen someone in a trance, this can be quite confronting. He appeared to be in two worlds, as though he was channeling.

That said, I was also of two worlds that day, having just come out of a four week retreat. I was very sensitive to the extrodinary amount of energy generated in the room and found the entire experience of being tattooed in that small, humid and dusty altar room to be incredibly uplifting.

Having this tattoo in the middle of my back means I don’t often see it, but I do feel it. Once the tattoo was finished, Ajarn Tong then does a form of energy work that empowers the tattoo, and let me tell you that over two years later it still has a zing to it!

You can read her more about her incredible experience getting the tattoo in a post she wrote for her blog.  It is an amazing story.

Thank you, Svasti, for sharing your experience with us!

If you, or someone you love, has a yoga-inspired tattoo and would like to share it with the whole wide world, please follow the instructions below:

How to participate:

1) Please email me photo of your tattoo: My email address is: yogabird03@gmail.com.

2) Along with the photo, please also include your name, where you’re from, what you do, etc. Be sure to include your blog, your website, etc. (if you have one), so that I can link to it in the post.

3) Please also include any information about how you started practicing yoga.

4) And most importantly, tell me why you chose your yoga-inspired tattoo!

I look forward to hearing from you and to seeing your ink!

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This week’s edition of Yoga Tattuesday is a first, of sorts.  This post marks the first time an individual was nominated to appear on Yoga Tattuesday by a reader of the blog.  A few days ago, I received an e-mail from reader, Beverly Britton, who nominated her friend, BeAnne Creeger, for this week’s Yoga Tattuesday post.  Here’s a photo collage of BeAnne’s tattoo:

About her yoga-inspired tattoo, and her yoga practice, BeAnne says:

I grew up thinking yoga was for old people, but then I was forced to go to a class with my best friend who had to go with her mom, as punishment for something I can’t even remember now. It’s hilarious to think she used yoga, as punishment, but looking back, it changed my life. My journey began that day sitting next to my best friend with my index finger and thumb pressed together while chanting om in a room that held me like a mother’s womb.
The “journey” is about the human soul opening to the light of the divine and as I got farther in to my practice and began the study of Eastern philosophy, I realized yoga was more than just a physical practice. It was opening me up to something far greater than I ever imagined. It was creating a stillness that was allowing me to be fully aware and conscious for the first time in my life. I always wanted a tattoo, but didn’t know what I wanted permanently sketched in to my body until I learned the deeper meaning behind the lotus flower, which begins its life in the mud at the bottom of a pond. The lotus sprout slowly grows up towards the light until it breaks the water’s surface blossoming in to a radiant flower unstained by the mud and rich in color.

Just like the lotus flower, we need light in order to step out of the dark shadowy self. It is the truth of our radiant being that allows us to be authentic and to find the truth we must sit in the shadow. Spiritual growth is about rising above the challenges and awakening to the intangible essence of life. The lotus tattoo is a symbol of all that is beautiful in life. It represents my journey from ignorance to enlightenment and it reminds me to be free from attachment and to have compassion for the world and the unbounded suffering.

BeAnne is a yoga teacher who hails from Atlanta, Georgia.  She graduated from the Advanced 500 credit hour teacher training program in June 2008 at the Peachtree Yoga Center in Atlanta.  You can learn more about BeAnne on her website.  She also writes a really great blog.

Thank you, BeAnne, for sharing your yoga-inspired tattoo! And thanks to Beverly Britton for the nomination. By the way, the photos of BeAnne above were also taken by Beverly, an incredibly talented artist who specializes in yoga-inspired artwork. Check her out at Align Between.

If you, or someone you love, has a yoga-inspired tattoo that they would like to share on this here little yoga blog, let me know.

How to participate:

1) Please email me photo of your tattoo: My email address is:yogabird03@gmail.com.

2) Along with the photo, please also include your name, where you’re from, what you do, etc. Be sure to include your blog, your website, etc., so that I can link to it in the post.3) Please also include any information about how you started practicing yoga.

4) And most importantly, tell me why you chose your yoga-inspired tattoo!


I look forward to hearing from you and to seeing your ink!

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This week’s Yoga Tattuesday comes to you straight from Hollywood! Ever wonder which celebrities are secretly sporting tattoos inspired by their yoga or meditation practice?  Well, look no further, friendlies.  One such inked-up yogi celebrity is Drew Barrymore.  Drew told Elle magazine in August 2010, that this time last year, she was really struggling:

 

For three years straight, I’ve been burning the candle at both ends, and as of last December, I just didn’t have anything left…  I’ve been so aggressive about living life to the fullest and being plugged into everything, but now I’ve ripped the plug out of the wall and put it on the floor for a while.

So how did she plug back in?  Taking a cue from her father’s script (John Barrymore, also an actor, apparently travelled to India in the 60’s where he learned yoga and meditation. He later secluded himself in a California desert shack for five years where he did nothing but practice yoga, meditate and subsist off of wild plant life. Hand to Hanuman, I did not make that up), Drew planned a little solo trip to New Delhi, India, where she learned mantra and meditation. Sporting her “Breathe” tattoo, Drew told David Letterman:

I was trying to remember the importance of everything and to keep breathing… I want to remember everything I study, to keep up with my meditations and prayers… I was studying spirituality and religions and I explored different temples and walked barefoot through the streets. I went to Delhi. It’s a very spiritual, thoughtful place. People are so kind. It was a life-changing experience. I was looking for a shift of consciousness and I was very blessed.

 

While it is somewhat unclear as to whether or not the “Breathe” tattoo is permanent, her fascination for all things India stuck.  Drew is reportedly in discussions to portray the Hindu river goddess Ganga in a Bollywood film entitled “The Lifestyle.”

If you, or someone you love, has a yoga-inspired tattoo and would like to share it with the whole wide world, please follow the instructions below:

How to participate:

1) Please email me photo of your tattoo: My email address is: yogabird03@gmail.com.

2) Along with the photo, please also include your name, where you’re from, what you do, etc. Be sure to include your blog, your website, etc. (if you have one), so that I can link to it in the post.

3) Please also include any information about how you started practicing yoga.

4) And most importantly, tell me why you chose your yoga-inspired tattoo!

I look forward to hearing from you and to seeing your ink!

 

 

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