Yoga Tattoos, a New Form of Tribal Tattoo

By | January 2, 2014

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Yoga can be about a great toned body. It is also a state of mindful acceptance of self and others. Tattoos have come to be a byproduct of yoga, labeling and symbolizing the practice. Guidelines for caring for the tattoo are equally important.

Temporary Henna Tattoos

Mehendi is a temporary henna design and part of ancient culture. Today the art is still practiced. The design is stained onto the skin and gradually washes off. Perhaps this art form lends credence to the tattooing today which seems to be as much a part of modern yoga as a sticky mat.

There are several tattoos typically found suitable for yoga expression. When getting a permanent symbol of who or what one is, the meaning of the lettering and the spelling of the word is important. (David Beckham’s misspelled Sanskrit tattoo of his wife’s name is an example of good intentions done badly.)

Sanskrit and Chinese Symbols Tattoos are Yoga Tattoos

Sanskrit, the ancient language of India and the language of yoga poses, is often tattooed onto the practitioner. Ohm, the primordial earth sound, and the lotus blossum are extremely popular . The flower is a symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism. The creator of Hinduism was said to be born from the lotus flower. For Buddhists, the lotus represents the purity of Buddha. He is often pictured sitting in a lotus blossom.

Similar to the beauty of Sanskrit, the westerner finds the Chinese letters to be graceful drawings. Yin-yang designs can be found on ankles, the small of the back, or the back of the neck. The Chinese symbol for Yoga is sometimes tattooed onto a yogi. Symbols for happiness, loyalty, and kindness are also tattooed onto yoga practitioners and teachers alike. Replication of the Chakra designs makes interesting yoga tattoos.

Tribal tattoos were once a unique part of indigenous peoples of New Zealand, Ireland and Scotland (Celtic tattoos), Africa, or Borneo. Today they are found as tattoo sleeves or on the backs of tattoo wearers. These are not as popular for yoga as the formerly described. Perhaps the ever-present tattoos on yoga practitioners can be a new form of tribal identity.

Yoga Tattoo Body Locations

Yoga tattoos don’t need to be coy. They are meant to be seen in class. The tattoo in the small of the back isn’t the kind to necessarily disappear below the pant line. Breast tattoos aren’t typical yoga sites although men may have chest tattoos that are more visible in hot yoga classes.

Other ideal sites are the back of the neck, the ankle or bicep (more popular with male yogis) as well as the shoulder. The typical yogi may have one or two discrete tattoos although many find it addictive and add to current ones.

Returning to Yoga Practice with the New Tattoo and After Care

  • Allow the new tattoo to heal before re-entering class.
  • Stay out of the sun, seawater, and Jacuzzis for 1 to 2 weeks.
  • Keep the area moist with what was recommended when it was created. Some suggest antibacterial creams or vitamin E or Vaseline.
  • Keep the tattoo covered for 1-2 weeks.
  • Fresh tattoos are sometimes removed or corrected with salt. It follows that profuse sweating on the tattoo may adversely affect the new pigment.
  • It may still be bleeding and needs to be cleaned daily. Rolling on the floor or squeezing the arms in different postures will delay its healing or cause an infection.
  • A wound has been created. Don’t roll on it, twist or stretch the skin as in different poses.
  • As it heals, it itches and a scab may form. Don’t scratch it.

Yoga is about a state of mind and body connective-ness, a meditation. Perhaps the tattoo signifies mindfulness to its wearer that the practice will last as long or longer than the new tattoo.

Read first about Tattoo Removal from the Body or Face before getting a new tattoo. Then check out Exercise, Yoga, and Belly Rings about more body decorations and yoga. Copy your yoga tattoo onto you yoga mat for extra personalization.

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