If you are thinking of commemorating your practice with a tattoo, one of the most versatile options is a depiction of a chakra (or chakras). To help you make the right decision, we have put together a few unique chakra tattoo ideas.
I have quite a few tattoos myself, but I am yet to commit to a yoga-inspired piece of body art. Hopefully, this list may also help me decide on my next tattoo!
In this article, we will explore the following:
- Significance of Tattoos in Indian Culture
- Summary and Purpose of Chakras
- 8 Unique Chakra Tattoo Ideas
Significance of Tattoos In Indian Culture
There is plenty of evidence that points to the long-standing history of tattooing practices in India.
For instance, several ancient Indian texts and scriptures (including the Vedas) mention tattoos as part of the religious practices. Similarly, archeological discovery of ancient human remains with tattoo marks from the Indus Valley Civilization signifies that tattooing in India was practiced as far back as 3300-1300 BCE.
To this day, several indigenous tribes in India, such as the Apatanis of Arunachal Pradesh and the Tharu people of Uttarakhand, have a long-standing tradition of tattooing. These tattoos carry cultural and social significance within their respective communities.
As such, tattoos have deep significance in Indian culture, although these tattoos are not specifically tied to the practice of yoga itself. However, yoga has its roots in ancient Indian philosophy, where body art, including tattoos, has been a part of the cultural fabric for millennia.
Modern yogis may choose to get a yoga tattoo (or, specifically, a chakra tattoo) as a way to express their dedication to yoga, or a reminder of their commitment to their personal journey of self-discovery.
Summary and Purpose of Chakras
Anyone who has practiced yoga even for a short while has undoubtedly heard of chakras. The mystical energy centers within the subtle body, the stepping stones between heaven and earth…
The seven chakras are believed to be situated along the spine, starting at the base (or root) and culminating at the crown of the head. The purpose of yoga practice is to help align the chakras in order to promote balance and the free flow of life-force energy throughout the body.Each chakra is associated with specific physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects, and they play a vital role in our overall well-being. Furthermore, each chakra is historically expressed with its own symbols.
8 Unique Chakra Tattoo Ideas
Chakra tattoos vary from subtle and discreet to intricate pieces you get to show off. All in all, your choice depends on your style, preference, and budget.
1. Root Chakra Tattoo Ideas
The root chakra (Muladhara) represents foundation, grounding, and our connection to the physical world. It governs survival instincts, stability, and feelings of safety and security.
- Location: Base of the spine
- Color: Red
- Element: Earth
If you feel a strong connection to Earth, you may opt for the root chakra tattoo. Based on its characteristics, there are several notable ways to express your affinity for Muladhara.
Regardless of the location of your tattoo, you may choose to show off a traditional four-petal lotus design, a Sanskrit symbol of the root chakra, or a combination of both.
The other option is to select a tattoo associated with the grounding element of this chakra. For instance, you may like a tattoo of a tree with strong roots or a mountain with a solid foundation.
If you want to pay homage to the Kundalini philosophy, you could get a tattoo of a coiled serpent to represent the energy at the base of the spine, waiting to be awakened and rise through the chakras.
As for the placement of your tattoo, consider having it at the base of your spine to reflect the location of the Muladhara energy center. Additionally, you may enhance your root chakra tattoo by featuring color red.
2. Sacral Chakra Tattoo Ideas
The sacral chakra (Swadhisthana) is associated with creativity, passion, emotions, and sexuality. It influences our ability to experience pleasure, develop healthy relationships, and express ourselves.
- Location: Below the navel
- Color: Orange
- Element: Water
The traditional design of the sacral chakra features an orange mandala of a six-petal lotus flower, with intersecting circles that create the image of the crescent moon within.
Your variation of the sacral chakra tattoo may include one or more of the aforementioned symbols. For instance, a small minimalist chakra tattoo may simply feature a crescent moon shape or an outline of a lotus flower shaded with the color orange.
Since Swadhisthana is associated with the water element, you may also express your connection to the sacral chakra with a tattoo of a sea wave or a water symbol.
3. Solar Plexus Chakra Tattoo Ideas
The solar plexus chakra (Manipura) is linked to personal power, self-esteem, and confidence. It influences our sense of identity, willpower, and ability to take action.
- Location: Upper abdomen
- Color: Yellow
- Element: Fire
Based on the characteristics of this chakra, you have several directions in which you can take your sacral chakra tattoo.
To honor the fire element, you may get a tattoo featuring a small flame, a candle, or a burning match. Alternatively, you could opt for a minimalist tattoo on an inverted triangle, symbolizing fire.
Manipura is typically depicted as a golden ten-petal lotus flower. If you want to go a more traditional route, you may get a tattoo that is a variation of the above.
For a more subtle connection, you may get a tattoo that represents the sun, such as an image of the rising sun or a sunflower. After all, this is a solar plexus chakra.
The heart chakra (Anahata) governs love, compassion, and emotional balance. It influences our capacity to give and receive love, and connects our physical and spiritual selves.
- Location: Sternum
- Color: Green (or occasionally, pink)
- Element: Air
The traditional symbolism of the heart chakra features a twelve-petal lotus mandala. The majority of the symbol is usually depicted in green or pink, whereas the petals are sometimes depicted in red.
The twelve petals represent love, unity, harmony, peace, empathy, understanding, purity, clarity, compassion, forgiveness, kindness and bliss. As such, your tattoo may reflect something connected to one or several of the above qualities.
The heart itself is a symbol that easily translates into tattoo form. Alternatively, you may opt for a tattoo of a heart that is closer to an anatomically correct form.
The location of the heart chakra also lends itself to a tattoo rather well. A minimalist tattoo on your sternum is a great way to show your connection to Anahata.
Finally, the heart chakra is associated with the element of air. Consider getting a tattoo featuring a gust of wind, floating clouds, or a minimalist air symbol design.
The throat chakra (Vishuddha) is associated with communication, self-expression, and truth. It influences our ability to speak our authentic voice and listen actively.
- Location: Throat
- Color: Blue
- Element: Sound
Traditionally, the throat chakra is depicted as a blue sixteen-petal lotus mandala. The sixteen petals represent the sixteen vowels of Sanskrit, which is directly linked to the sound (Akasha) aspect of this chakra, as well as its location.
There are many ways to depict sound in tattoo form, both subtle and obvious. For instance, you may like a tattoo of a musical note, a sound wave, or a chant that has a special meaning to you.
Alternatively, consider a tattoo of a blue hummingbird to symbolize communication, grace, and lightness, in line with the throat chakra’s attributes.
6. Third Eye Chakra Tattoo Ideas
The third eye chakra (Ajna) represents intuition, insight, and inner wisdom. It is associated with spiritual awareness, clarity, and heightened perception.
- Location: Between the eyebrows
- Color: Indigo
- Element: Light
Once again, the obvious path to commemorate a third eye chakra is a tattoo of a two-petal lotus flower featuring a circle and an inverted triangle within. Since this chakra is associated with the indigo color, your tattoo may include this hue to enhance this connection.
If you feel really connected to your intuition, you may also prefer a traditional depiction of the third eye, framed within an image of the sun. For a more minimalist option, you may simply add a few directional lines to represent the rays of light emanating from your third eye.
7. Crown Chakra Tattoo Ideas
The crown chakra (Sahasrara) represents spiritual connection, consciousness, and higher knowledge. It is associated with divine wisdom, transcendence, and oneness with the universe.
- Location: Crown of the head
- Color: Violet (or white)
- Element: Thought
Seeing how the crown chakra is the embodiment of the divine within us, it is traditionally depicted as an intricate thousand-petal lotus mandala design. The flower typically features white and violet colors, with the latter translating easier into tattoo form.
The other well-known symbol that represents the crown chakra is the sacred Om symbol that encompasses the unity of all creation and divine knowledge. A tattoo of the Om symbol is a good option for those who wish to be discreet.
This chakra symbolizes consciousness, knowledge, and thought. Some great tattoo ideas to honor this include an image of a brain or neurons, a tattoo of a book or scroll, a tree of knowledge, or even something as simple as a thought bubble.
8. All Chakras Aligned
When it comes to chakra tattoos, a popular choice is to depict all seven chakras, aligned in perfect symmetry.
The most common placements for such body art are usually on the inner side of the forearm or as a chakra spine tattoo in order to accommodate a beautiful alignment of all seven symbols.
If this sounds like a tattoo you may be interested in, consider the following designs:
- Traditional lotus mandalas representing each chakra
- Sanskrit symbols representing each chakra
- A lotus flower followed by a row of colorful dots representing each chakra
- Phases of the moon aligned to represent the chakra they are associated with