January 11, 2011

Yoga Tattuesday at Elephant Journal

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.

Since I started Yoga Tattuesday in October 2010, I have met some incredible people.

There was the yogini who was tattooed with a lotus to remind her to remain grounded and committed to yoga while her husband was fighting a war in Iraq.  There was the Canadian yogi blogger with a viney “om”, the American yogi blogger extraordinaire with an amazing Kali yantra, and an Aussie blogger with a sacred Thai tattoo.  Then there were the two yoginis — grandmother and granddaughter —  who got matching yoga-inspired tattoos to commemorate their shared love of yoga. And the yoga teachers with mantras as a reminders to make good choices and sacred symbols inspiring them to be everything they are capable of becoming.

So, I thought I would share it with the readers of Elephant.  Here’s the very first edition of Yoga Tattuesday…

Our first submission is courtesy of Angela McWilliams, a delightful yogini from Asheville, North Carolina, who is so full of light and positivity! Here’s her beautiful tattoo:

It is the blessing “Lokha Samistha Sukhino Bhavantu” in sanskrit. I have heard this blessing translated in a few different ways, but most frequently as: “May all beings be happy and free.” It is a blessing which essentially reminds us to act, think and speak in ways which contribute to the happiness and freedom of others.

Angela says that, for her it serves that very purpose. She says, “It’s on my forearm, where I can always see it before I, for example, eat a hamburger. <sigh> I feel so bad about eating meat.  And I love it when people who can read Sanskrit recognize what it says and asks about why I felt led to have that particular tattoo.”

Angela owns a company called Inner Space Yoga in Asheville, North Carolina, which specializes in making yoga props, especially bolsters, eye bags, and zafus. She loves fabric, and she considers herself one lucky yogini to be able to combine her love of fabrics with her love of yoga. Check her out. Her goods come highly recommended…and how could you pass them up?  They’re made by arms with inscribed with a beautiful blessing!

So, Elephants, got some yoga inspired ink? If you or someone you love has a yoga-inspired tattoo and would like to participate in Yoga Tattuesday, please follow the submission instructions here.  I look forward to hearing from you, and seeing your ink!

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