How Yoga and Breastfeeding Prepared Me for My First Tattoo


I’ve wanted a tattoo forever, and as you know, from this post, foxes hold a special place in our family. I think of them as a spirit animal of sorts, (which maybe means I should change the title from Coyote Mother, to Fox Mother? Haha). So what better inspiration for my first tattoo, than a fox?

I trolled around on pinterest for aproximately 100 years to find the right inspiration (there are a lot of ugly ass foxes out there on people’s bodies), and settle on this beautiful illustration to serve as the basis for my tattoo!

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A rib tattoo for my first tattoo? Heck yeah baby! I headed on up to Two Birds Tattoo, a lovely all-female shop in Seattle. My lovely tattoo artist, Tarah, was initially hesitant to tattoo me on my ribs, since it was my first tattoo, but my confidence in my ability to manage the pain convinced her. As I laid there on my side, with my arm over my head for two hours, I told her that my experience breastfeeding my son prepared me for those moments. Because truthfully, the pain of my arm being wrenched into a strange position was more painful than the actual tattooing. I really enjoyed the process of the outlining, and only found myself flinching in the shading on more tender areas (which, surprisingly, were around my stretch marks and not so much on my actual ribs). I’ve spent so much time lying in uncomfortable positions over the past two years that a few hours on a tattoo table was nothing!

I took little sips of air, breathing through my nose. Tarah said that she has noticed a trend with people who practice yoga, that they tolerate the pain better, especially in the ribs area. I told her that if her other clients ever needed to know why, it’s because nose breathing actually calms the nervous system and helps override the fight/flight panic of adrenaline. I told her that I was basically tricking my body into thinking I was ‘okay’ even though my brain was probably like ‘ouch, pain, run away, you’re being attacked!’ She thought that was such great advice, and would pass it on to clients who needed something to focus on.

I think I’m hooked. I had such a great experience, and love the tattoo so much, that I am already planning on another…

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