Monday, February 6, 2012

My Sorta Running Tattoo

Last July, I got my 4th tattoo. Obviously I've wanted to blog about before now, but for some reason I kept pushing it off.

I had wanted to get another tattoo for a while, but wasn't exactly sure what I wanted. Then, it hit me. As I was sitting in yoga class one morning, the teacher started talking about the concept of Sadhana. Although I was weary of getting something in a different language tattooed on my body I loved the concept too much to let it go. In fact, one of the tattoo artists in the shop walked by and saw my tattoo in progress, and when I told her what it meant, she said "Oh! I know about that. You're brave...once you get that term in your mind, you can never get it out."


After about 90 minutes.


According to Yoga Word Wise: (emphasis mine)

Sādhana is the practice by which the desired end may be achieved. By sādhana the sādhaka, one who practices, achieves the state of fearlessness. Sādhana bestows the supreme and imperishable knowledge.


Sādhana means to consciously take part in one’s own spiritual growth and maturity by exerting self-effort. Sādhana requires that we engage in some form of self-study, that we use some form of yogic or meditative technology, and that we have a goal that elevates our energy and consciousness.

The yoga texts state that first condition for sādhana is faith (in the knowledge of self-transformation.) The second is the will and determination to achieve the goal, mental power and determination....The fourth condition is perseverance; keep going and do not stop until the goal is attained, however long it takes.


To be successful, first you have to determine your true needs. Then you need to evaluate your inner strengths, abilities and vulnerabilities and your life circumstances, at this time in your life. Once you know this, create a goal and make a resolve to follow through to attain your goal. Then apply sincere effort and unbroken practice.

I am probably the least spiritual/religious person you'll meet, so the fact that this term struck me is kind of funny. At the time I was training for my second marathon, and it seemed like running encompassed all of these things. The marathon was my goal, and I knew in order to succeed I needed to let my fears go, and submit myself fully to my training. I needed dedication and I needed to believe that my training would carry me 26.2 miles. I know I definitely have interpreted the term a little differently in some ways, but that's fine for me. Any time I get frustrated it nice to think about the big picture of why I train as hard as I do. Even when I'm not training for a race I like to think that the things I do on a day to day basis helps me grow into a better person.

Running has become my way of creating perfection within myself. I'm sure for many of you running is just running, and that's fine, but I know some of you may realize that running is your Sadhana as well.

Finished up! Ouch.


  1. I have to say, I love the colors there. And I admire your guts. I'm desperate for a new tattoo, but I'm also chicken shit. Maybe I'll follow your lead... but only if you'll go with me when I get it done!!

  2. Yes!! I would love to go with you.

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