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Temple Beautification: The Yoga of Tattoos


Across thousands of years and around the globe, the ancient art of tattooing has long been used to tell stories, symbolize spiritual devotion and honor rites of passage. Tattoos turn the body into an expressive canvas, painting a picture of the story unfolding within as well as symbolizing significant moments or life lessons. In this way tattoos can serve as an external reminder of one’s inner journey, a permanent souvenir from the path you have walked.

The experience of being tattooed varies widely from person to person, but regardless of the way one describes it, the temporary sensations slowly give way to a beautiful memento of one’s strength and resiliency. If one can remain detached from the uncomfortable sensations and stay steady within their breath, getting a tattoo can actually become a powerfully meditative and transformational experience. Much like the practice of Yoga, where one is challenged to maintain steady focus and often endure discomfort in order to receive the lasting rewards and lessons of the work. Ram Dass explained this challenge well when he said: “the art of life is to stay wide open and vulnerable, yet at the same time to sit with the mystery and the awe and with the unbearable pain –to just be with it all.”

For many, the journey of Yoga begins with the physical practice of poses or asana. Asana introduces us to the concept of maintaining an even breath and a detached awareness despite being pushed to our limits, both mental and physical. By encouraging us to stay observant and present, Yoga becomes an honest and real exploration of our own personal habits, reactions and truest selves. The challenge is just to be present with what we observe, not judging it but instead being willing to learn from it. This way the work lingers and lasts as an enduring reminder of who we are and what we are capable of, much like a tattoo.
To read the rest check it out on Elephant Journal…. http://www.elephantjournal.com/2015/03/temple-beautification-the-yoga-of-tattoos/

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