Saturday, July 16, 2011

If I Got a Tattoo...

Located at the beach, the gym where I've taught for over 15 years has phenomenal diversity.  And we all rub off on one another.  It's cool to witness not only how the generations influence one another, but also how folks from all walks of life make connections.

Last week, when I popped into a mat Pilates class taught by a good friend & teaching colleague, I was beside a long time fellow "gym rat"- a woman who's taken good care over the decades and continues to move with amazing grace combined with internal strength. As I unfurled my mat beside her, I noticed peeking out from beneath the hem of her paints - a vine - tattooed - and wrapping around her ankle.  I asked her how far the vine traveled up her leg because I envisioned how awesome it would be if it followed one of the Spirals of Anusara Yoga.

Living and working in the beaches area has allowed me to see some amazing body art - especially at the gas station where folks are often filling their tank in not much more than their underwear or a bikini that covers even less!

So, after teaching this morning, I'm wondering if I ever get a tattoo - where and what would it be?  This morning, one of the ideas we worked on is that the arms both draw into center and expand out. And in Anusara Yoga, we specifically draw into the heart space - the essence of who we are.  This energy body idea also connects fully with anatomy and how we are structurally designed. You will totally get this if you study the arm lines via Tom Myers' Anatomy Trains.

From my studies, I know that the work of my hands is a reflection of my heart.  As we joke in class, the more you connect with this idea of "the hands being the 'doers' of the heart" - the less apt you are to hit someone - the less likely you are to give them the finger.  Because, really, truly - that is not your heart's work - that is not who you are.

So, here's where my tattoo would be placed.  A pink heart - for the color of transformation.  A green one for the color of the heart space in the energy body.  And a blue heart - so my words also reflect the essence of my heart more fully.

Also from my studies, I know that the palm of our hands has incredible sensory perception.  We feel a lot through our hands.  We easily discern weight, texture, and temperature.  I've heard that if you placed a quarter on your hand, there are more sensory nerve endings in that space than there are in your entire back.  Our hands are meant to feel.

So, really, could I tolerate the sensation as the tattoo was designed on the palm of my hand?  Am I really willing to feel that much?  If I tattooed this place, would the sensory overload then lessen my ability to feel in my hand and eventually my heart? On the advice of respected tattoo artists, I think I'll pass.

May we lovingly hold our hearts in the palm of our hands.  May the work we do in this world reflect our heart-felt desire. As we breathe, may our hearts feel the ever-present connection to the Great Heart.