The other day, I tried to determine if someone we know from Jörgen Christiansson’s studio had made it to Eddie Stern’s.
I texted someone I know who practices at Ashtanga Yoga New York and described our West Coast Ashtangi. Key to my description: lots of tattoos.
Turns out, that wasn’t much help. There was at least one other person from California who matched the description.
“Lots of tattoos” is about as helpful in identifying an Ashtangi as saying you’re looking for a frat guy “wearing a baseball cap.” Or putting out a singles ad trying to find the “blond woman in Santa Monica wearing black yoga pants.”
What’s the deal?
No doubt that at the first Confluence in March, there were more tattoos than people. Full sleeves, full backs, etc. (Lots of them stunning, by the way.)
I should note, among those with full back art is Bobbie, and she’s got plans to add a little more to it. Me? Just one little piece, which is going on 20 years old. But I keep toying with ideas.
I’m tempted to think that there is some relationship between the pain and hardship of practice and all the tattoos. Maybe it is simpler: just a high pain tolerance that builds up through Ashtanga or that practitioners have to have to get through Kapotasana? Or perhaps it is a result of the more intimate relationship that Ashtanga gives you with your body?
But if it’s just about the relationship with the body, then why does Ashtanga seem to be the heavily tattooed yoga? What is it about Ashtanga versus Kundalini or Anusara or Iyengar?
What’s the link?
And, yes, I realize Adam Levine is the exception that proves my rule.
Posted by Steve