20 Sanskrit Words and Phrases That Make the Perfect Yoga Tattoos

Whether you consider yourself a yogi or not, if you’ve been to a yoga class you’ve probably heard some words or phrases in Sanskrit. When it comes to yoga tattoos, using a Sanskrit word or phrase is a fantastic option for your ink – and it doesn’t require the ability to do a headstand, or meditate for 2 hours straight.

There are plenty of popular Sanskrit words and phrases that appear in our yoga and meditation practices that we may not be as familiar with as we think we are. So before you get inked with some awesome yoga tattoos, let’s clarify some popular Sanskrit phrases.

Let’s Clarify 20 Sanskrit Words and Phrases That Would Make Some Awesome Yoga Tattoos

Not only will these phrases look great as yoga tattoos, the meanings behind these little words and phrases are inspiring and badass!

1. नमस्ते (Namaste)

Nama means bow, as means I, and te means you. So, the word namaste translates literally to “I bow to you!” The word namaste acknowledges that there is a Divine spark within all of us, at our heart chakra. When it comes to yoga tattoos, namaste on your body can look good alone, or even paired with a lotus flower!

2. सत्य (Satya)

Satya is the Sanskrit word for “truthfulness.” The practice of truthfulness is an aspect of moral discipline, yama, or the first of the eight limbs of yoga.

3. आनन्द (Bliss)

Bliss is the condition of utter joy. Bliss is happiness, pleasure, and ecstasy. Whether you find your bliss in your yoga practice, in your job, or in your studies, the perfect bliss is something that can be found on earth, and shouldn’t be something limited to after death.

4. भक्ति (Bhakti)

Bhakti stands for love and devotion. Coming from the root word bhaj, which means “to adore or worship God,” bhakti is love for the divine.

5. चित्त (Citta)

Citta refers to the mind, or our intentions. It suggests that the mind is valuable for its emotive state, rather than simply being known for intellect. At times, our emotions control us more than our intellect, and citta represents our state of mind or intentions throughout our journey of live.

6. ध्यान (Meditation)

For some, meditation develops a sense of self-discovery. For others, it’s a form of relaxation and reflection. We’re all drawn to it for our own reasons.

7. विद्या (Knowledge)

Knowledge, or vidya in Sanskrit, is much more than intellectual knowledge – it’s knowledge that can not be contradicted, the knowledge of the self. Knowing your true self and your spiritual nature is something that doesn’t happen overnight, and learning to accept, love, and be open to learning about yourself everyday is a gift.

8. OM

OM is the sound of the universe. It refers to the soul within, or Atman, the ultimate reality, or Brahman. Traditionally, the sound is made up of the trio A, U, and M. This trio can signify heavens, earth, and underworld, the three Hindu gods Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, or even creation, truth, and oneness.

9. अहिंसा (Ahimsa)

Ahimsa translates to “non-harming” in English. Respect for all living things and avoidance of violence towards others, but also the conscious consideration and love for one’s self. Compassion and consideration go a long way, not only for others, but also for yourself.

10. शाश्वतं जीवनम् , अमरं प्रेम (Eternal Life, Undying Passion)

Living every day with the intent to live an eternal life, full of undying passion seems to me like a life worth living. Whether you are passionate about yoga, meditation, or anything else, having an undying passion for eternity is true dedication.


11. सदैव देवत्वं दर्शयामि (I Always Manifest Divinity)

With divine manifesting, your Divine Self expresses itself through every circumstance in your life. Every choice, every decision, every reaction, every thought, feeling, and desire is based on the inspiration of our most Divine Self.
What you have in your life is created from the state of consciousness that you live in every day, and as you move into a higher and higher state of consciousness, what you have in life will reflect this state.

12. एकं जीवनम्, एकः अवसर (One Life, One Chance)

This phrase is sweet and simple. We all have one life, and one chance to do it right, however we may define “right.” Remind yourself that this is your life, and your one chance, and you will become more conscious and aware of your thoughts, feelings, and actions.

13. स्वात्मानं जानीहि (Know Thyself)

Whether you consider yourself to be philosophic or not, the importance of knowing yourself goes beyond knowing what you like and don’t like. “Knowing yourself” is a life-long journey, and you must be receptive to everything that is to come – physically, mentally, and philosophically.

14. हस श्वसिहि मंदं गच्छ च (Smile, Breathe and Go Slowly)

This phrase will remind you to smile, breathe, and go slowly. Our daily interactions tend to distract us, and at times, discourage and aggravate us. Reminding yourself to smile and breathe may seem simple, but it is a reminder that will go a very long way. It will also remind you to become present in the moment, remain observant, and move slowly every single day.

15. स्वात्मानं बोध (Awaken to Your True Nature)

Spiritual growth is the process of allowing your authentic self to shine through, to clarify your purpose on earth and create a true sense of awareness of your nature. Awakening to your true nature may be a journey you’ve already completed, or one that you are still working to fulfill. Regardless, this is a beautiful phrase to remind you every day that you are a work in progress.

16. सहैश्वरेण ममैकात्मता (I Am One with God)

This is a very universal Sanskrit phrase. Whether you are Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, etc., this gentle reminder that you are one with god will help center you and ground you in your everyday life, and help you achieve your spiritual awakening.

17. सारल्यं शक्तिं पक्षौ यच्छति (Sincerity Gives Wings to Strength)

If we have the ability to be sincere in everything we do in our daily lives, we have the ability to be strong and courageous as well. Sincerity gives us the strength to persevere.

18. सत्यानंदः अंतरतः विद्यते (True Happiness Lies Within)

We are all human. And more often than not, as much as we try to find happiness within, we end up putting our happiness in the hands of others. This is a gentle reminder that our true happiness lies within ourselves, and is not in the hands of anyone else.

19. सकारणजीवनं जीव (Live a Life of Purpose)

We live to discover our purpose, or, in some cases, we live to manifest our purpose. Whatever our purpose may be, living a life with intention, whether it be broad or specific, is a life worth living.

20. न कंचित् शाश्वतम् (Nothing is Permanent)

This saying represents the troubles that come along with our attachment to people, places, things, and the idea of permanence. The moment we begin “keeping” something for ourselves, we become wrapped up in our ego. Our ego can be a sticky trap, so this is a great reminder to learn to live, let go, and be grateful for the magnitude of everything and everyone around us.

Ready for Some Ink? These Yoga Tattoos are a Great Option!

Whether one of these words or phrases stood out to you or not, I hope you found some sort of inspiration to either get on the mat, or make an appointment for some fresh ink!

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RikkiLynn Shields

RikkiLynn is an alchemist of intuition and a self-made storyteller creating art and chasing dreams. This coffee-loving yogi and full-time college student from New Jersey found her true love for yoga after fracturing her foot. Yoga taught her to live her life less out of habit, and more out of intent - now she hopes to inspire others to do the same.


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