A tattoo is a lifelong commitment; and for many of us, our yoga practice is the same!
Choosing a meaningful tattoo to adorn your body can be a beautiful way to pay homage to your yoga journey and serve as a daily reminder to power you through your practice!
When considering a yoga-inspired tattoo, the seven chakras are a great place to start.
As a yoga practitioner, you may have been introduced to the chakra system in your studio classes.
In a nutshell, chakras are wheels of energy located along the length of the spine. Each is associated with a particular physical location, mental-emotional quality, element, color, sound, image, and mantra.
The Sanskrit word ‘chakra’ means ‘wheel’, describing their spinning, vortex-like nature.
These energy centers are believed to play a critical role in the flow and balance of energy, or “prana“, within the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual bodies.
As you learn more about the chakra system, you may find yourself magnetically drawn to one chakra specifically.For many people, the Heart Chakra or ‘Anahata‘ holds significant meaning, making it a great starting point for your next yoga-inspired tattoo.
What Is the Heart Chakra?
It represents unconditional love and is associated with the color green and the element of air.
The Sanskrit word ‘Anahata’ means “unstruck” or “unhurt’, suggesting a love that is pure and unaffected by the experiences of the external material world.
Anahata chakra represents unbound compassion, empathy, and kindness for all.
What a wonderful sentiment for a meaningful tattoo!
Read on for ten heart chakra tattoo ideas to honor this aspect of your practice:
- Anahata Lotus Tattoo
- Heart Chakra Mandala Tattoo
- Green Jewel Tattoo
- Hamsa (Hand of Fatima) Tattoo
- Heart Chakra Quote Tattoo
- Heart Drawing Tattoo
- Sanskrit Tattoo
- Mantra Tattoo
- Center of Chest Tattoo
- Infinity Symbol Tattoo
#1: Anahata Lotus Tattoo
Each of the seven major chakras is represented by a lotus flower.
The Anahata lotus is often depicted in green with 12 petals enclosed around the Sanskrit symbol for Anahata.
Due to the intricate and symmetrical nature of the heart chakra lotus, a smooth and flat body part is best for tattooing, for example, the shoulder blade, mid back, or the center of the chest.
#2: Heart Chakra Mandala Tattoo
Taking the concept of the lotus further, a skilled tattoo artist will be able to work with you to create a more intricate mandala design.
A mandala is a complex geometric and symmetrical design that features circular patterns radiating from a central point.
A mandala tattoo is very much open to interpretation, incorporating intricate patterns and shapes.
It can be customized to fit the shape of the body making it a great option for more awkward placements such as elbows and knees.
Depending on the artist, your mandala tattoo may incorporate elements of sacred geometry and patterns derived from spiritual traditions including Hinduism, Buddhism, Native American, Islamic, and even Celtic cultures.
It is a good idea to carefully plan these elements out with your artist and consider any spiritual and cultural significance, ensuring that they align with your beliefs to avoid cultural appropriation.
#3: Green Jewel Tattoo
A beautiful green emerald jewel tattoo is a subtle nod to Anahata chakra that can be placed almost anywhere on the body.
Choose a smaller design to be incorporated into other tattoos or plan out a stand-alone piece that could be added to later.
#4: Hamsa (Hand Of Fatima) Tattoo
A tattoo idea with much cultural significance is the Hamsa also known as the ‘Hand of Fatima’ or ‘Hand Of Miriam’.
A Hamsa symbol is depicted as a palm with an eye in the centre for protection.
The hamsa is unique in that it is an interfaith symbol and moves beyond religious boundaries. Although it is prevalent in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, it is freely enjoyed by those who are not tied to any particular faith.
Although not a traditional yogis symbol, a Hamsa tattoo can represent union and therefore unconditional love with each of the five fingers representing different aspects of humanity.
A Hamsa tattoo can be designed to incorporate religious symbolism or be more decorative and is an excellent tattoo choice for long flat body parts including the upper arm, forearm, calf, and thigh.
#5: Heart Chakra Quote Tattoo
Anahata chakra lends itself well to many beautiful quotes.
Quotes are very versatile tattoos as they can be styled with different fonts and made to fit most body parts. Just be sure to pick a tattooist who specializes in scripture and double-check your spelling!
My personal favorites:
“The only lasting beauty is the beauty of the heart.” – Rumi
“Where there is love, there is life.” – Mahatma Gandhi
“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
“Love is the bridge between you and everything.” – Rumi
“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries” – Dalai Lama
“The longest journey you will make in your life is from your head to your heart” – Gary Zukav
For more beautiful quote ideas, explore the work of 13th-century mystic Rumi who was known for his famous love poems.
You can find a link to some famous Rumi quotes here.
#6: Heart Drawing Tattoo
A heart tattoo can take on many forms, from an anatomical heart to a simple childlike pencil drawing.
This is a tattoo idea where you can really show your personal style with the help of a gifted tattoo artist.
Some heart drawing tattoo ideas:
- A simple heart pencil drawing
- A life-like anatomical heart
- A heart incorporating a name or a word
- A heart with an image of the world inside
- A heart with a lock and key
#7: Sanskrit Tattoo
A Sanskrit tattoo may feel authentic but there are a few considerations.
There are generally two options:
- The English spelling of a Sanskrit word. I.e. – ‘Anahata’
- The actual Sanskrit lettering ‘अनाहत’
If choosing Sanskit lettering, you will ideally find an Indian artist who understands the complexities of Sanskrit. Also, be sure to double-check the tattoo design before committing.
Sidenote: I lived in India for several years and constantly saw people being called out on their questionable Sanskrit tattoos and jewelry!
#8: Mantra Tattoo
If you have a little more space, a traditional mantra may be perfect for you.
Again, it is important to utilize the experience of an artist familiar with Sanskrit if you choose the Sankrit wording.
Here are some ideas for a mantra tattoo:
- Om: The universal mantra “Om” is said to represent the sound of the universe and the oneness inherent in all things. Pronounced “A-U-M”, Chanting “Om” balances the heart chakra, especially the first sound “Ahhh” which resonates deeply in the chest.
- Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu: This Sanskrit mantra means “May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and deeds of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness.” Often chanted at the end of a yoga class, this mantra may have special meaning for yoga practitioners.
- Om Mani Padme Hum: A beloved Buddhist mantra meaning “the jewel is within the lotus”. The Buddhist path is the practice of compassion for all beings.
- Yam: The seed mantra for the heart chakra is “Yam”. Chanting “Yam” in meditation is said to activate and balance anahata chakra.
When choosing a traditional mantra please take time to consider placement so as not to cause offence.
For example, the word or symbol of Om should never be placed on or near the feet.
#9: Centre Of Chest Tattoo
Ok, so this one is more about placement than design …
Sternum tattoos have been growing in popularity in recent years.
From delicate symbols with intricate linework to extended vertical geometric designs, the long flat shape of the sternum can make a great canvas that lends itself to many heart chakra tatto ideas.
For those who like to keep their tattoos covered some of the time, a tattoo in the center of the chest could be a perfect choice.
If a sternum tattoo sounds appealing but you’re unsure of the design, ask to see your artist’s portfolio for inspiration. Pinterest is another great resource for tattoo ideas.
#10: Infinity Symbol Tattoo
The infinity symbol consists of a sideway, elongated figure 8 and is a mathematical and spiritual symbol for something that is endless.
The infinity sign is often used in the context of romantic relationships to symbolize everlasting love.
Spiritually, the infinity symbol represents the idea of eternal consciousness that knows no beginning and no end, making it a thoughtful choice for a heart chakra tattoo.
Important Cultural Considerations
When considering a tattoo with spiritual meaning, it is important to carefully consider which aspects of your practice resonate with you on a heart level.
If you choose a Sanskrit word or spiritual emblem you are encouraged to explore its cultural meaning and move forward with a deep sense of respect for its true meaning.
For more yoga tattoo ideas check out the article 8 Unique Yoga Tattoo Ideas To Honor Your Yoga Journey.