Last week I got a new yoga tattoo on my right inside forearm.
I have wanted a tattoo in a location that is not so easily hidden for quite some time. Recent events in my life led me to the conclusion that now is a good time for some new ink.
My Yoga Tattoo
I kind of feel like I’m entering a new phase in life, so I wanted a tattoo to mark the transition. Additionally, I’ve been wanting a yoga themed tattoo for awhile. Third, after leaving behind the corporate world and going full time as a fitness professional, I wanted a big, visible tattoo as a way of saying “I do it my way.” Maybe that’s silly, but the decision to support myself on my own terms without trading hours for dollars from someone else is a real and profound adjustment, financially and mentally.
I designed the tattoo myself using pictures and symbols I found on the internet and Photoshop.
Here’s a picture of my original design.
The symbols are of the 7 major chakras. The chakras can be described as non-physical wheels of spinning light located all over the energy field of the human body. The human energy field, or aura, is a reflection of the combined frequencies of the chakras. There are 7 major chakras located starting at the base of the spine and going up the spine to the top of the head. They cover all aspects of the physical body.
Now, I’m not particularly into metaphysics, but I do feel that my consistent yoga practice has had a real impact on my general state of mind and my world view. While I do not connect the symbols of the chakras to any particular belief system (within myself), I do relate to aspects of what they represent.
I chose the 5th chakra – Visuddha, the Throat Chakra, to be the centerpiece because that is the one that I seemed to connect with the most.
This chakra is situated in the throat and is associated with communication, personal expression, creativity, choice, strength of will, judgement, criticism, faith, knowledge, and the ability to make decisions. Its function is communication and creativity. That seems to fit right in with being a personal trainer and a fitness blogger.
The other chakras in the tattoo are the 1st, beginning at 12 o’clock and going clockwise are the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th, and then 7th.
The outside ring is an ensō, also known as a Zen circle. In Zen Buddhist painting, ensō symbolizes a moment when the mind is free to simply let the body/spirit create. It shows the expressive movement of the spirit at that time. Zen Buddhists “believe that the character of the artist is fully exposed in how she or he draws an ensō. Only a person who is mentally and spiritually complete can draw a true ensō. Some artists will practice drawing an ensō daily, as a kind of Spiritual Practice.”
The 7 Major Chakras
- The 1st Chakra, Muladhara, the Root or Base Chakra, is located at the base of the spine. This chakra is associated with grounding, survival, physical safety both personal and that of the family or group, the ability to stand up and provide for oneself, and social and familial law and order.
- The 2nd Chakra, Svadhisthana, the Sacral Chakra, is located in the lower abdomen. This chakra is associated with blame, guilt, money, sex, power, creativity, ethics and honour in relationships. Its function is desire, pleasure, sexuality, and procreation.
- The 3rd Chakra, Manipora, the Solar Plexus or Naval Chakra, is located around the navel and solar plexus area. This chakra is the trust centre, where those gut feelings come from. It is associated with self-confidence, self-esteem, self-respect, fear, intimidation, responsibility for making decisions, and care of oneself and others.
- The 4th Chakra, Anahata, the Heart Chakra, is situated in the middle of the body near the heart. It is associated with, love, hatred, resentment, bitterness, grief, anger, self-centredness, an inability to accept love, intolerance, forgiveness, compassion, hope, and trust.
- The 5th Chakra, Visuddha, the Throat Chakra, is situated in the throat and is associated with communication, personal expression, creativity, choice, strength of will, judgement, criticism, faith, knowledge, and the ability to make decisions.
- The 6th Chakra, Ajna, the Brow or 3rd Eye Chakra, is situated in between the eyes and is associated with intellectual abilities, intuition, self evaluation, truth, feelings of inadequacy, emotional intelligence, ability to learn from experience, and openness to ideas.
- The 7th Chakra, Sahasrara, the Crown Chakra, is situated at the top of the head and is associated with values, ethics, courage, spirituality, devotion, inspiration, the ability to trust life, to see the larger pattern, and selflessness.
New Rose Tattoo In Portland, Oregon
There are a lot of talented tattoo artists in Portland, but my first choice was Mikal Gilmore, 1/2 owner of New Rose Tattoo.
Mikal did my shoulder sleeve several years ago. I first went to her with a collection of images and a concept that she was able to bring to life as a colorful and unique work of art that I call “The Cosmic Caterpillar.”
I had 100% confidence that Mikal was the artist who could bring my new yoga tattoo to life.
I shot her an email asking her if she remembered me, and I sent her my new tattoo design. She did remember me, and she scheduled me right into her busy schedule.
New Rose Tattoo is a very clean and professional shop, and I enjoyed chatting with Mikal as she did her thing. She had several suggestions and thoughts about translating my design in a way that would work well as a tattoo, and she created a new piece of art that I’m looking forward to showing off for years to come.
I’m sure that it’s only a matter of time before I get the urge and a concept for my next tattoo. I’m sure that I’ll return again to New Rose Tattoo and Mikal. If you’re looking for a tattoo artist in Portland, then you should look her up. You won’t be disappointed!
I love seeing tattoos and hearing stories about how people got them, and their meanings. Feel free to link to images and share your thoughts in the comments section below!