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Posts Tagged ‘Bodyart’

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 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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