05 April, 2012

Painted Poses

Yoga is a mailable practice; it changes with country, times, and the individual practitioner. For some, the body is a temple that should not marked. For others, the skin represents a blank, movable canvas for tattoos displaying thoughts, texts and deities that inspire and inform their practice. 

Modern values trending toward greater acceptance of tattoos, it's quite common to see heavily covered practitioners in studios all over the world. Works of art, stretched across shoulders, chests, arms and legs, may be tucked away during the workday. But when clothing comes off, as it often does in yoga studios, they are on display for all to see.

Iggy Pop!? Close, but no.
 DAVID LIFE, 61 "Tattoos mark a moment in time you want to give credit to," said Mr. Life, a Lower East Side resident since 1979 and a co-founder of the international Jivamukti Yoga School.

Tattoos, in fact, are not wholly apart from yogic tradition. Application of temporary tattoos called Henna is an ancient Vedic custom still practiced today.

Henna tattoos, also known as Mehndi, uses a paste made from the powdered leaves of the Henna plant,  Its active dye, Lawsone, binds with the keratin in skin, fingernails, and hair. Traditional henna is drawn in delicate patterns on the hands and feet, but modern henna is applied in all sorts of designs anywhere on the body.


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