Meditating With Your Dog
You’re no doubt aware of the benefits of meditation. It improves your memory, mental and physical health, it improves your immune system and it generates a sense of calm and focus like nothing else. If you’re new to meditation or you’ve tried it and it just hasn’t clicked yet, you might want to try meditating with your dog.
Meditating With Your Dog Is Easier?
Interestingly enough, meditating with your dog is actually easier than meditating on your own. Consider this, if you have a dog and sit down to spend a few minutes meditating, what are they likely to do? My dog likes to jump on my lap, it is extremely distracting. However, with a little shift in mindset by actually including your dog in the meditation process, all of a sudden you’re both meditating together – success!
Dogs are natural mediators. In fact, you could argue that your dog likely spends several hours a day in a state of meditation. They’re awake but they’re limp noodles lying on the couch or the floor in a state of total relaxation.
Your dog can actually help you ‘let go’ during meditation. One of the most difficult aspects of learning to meditate is eliminating those wandering thoughts that interrupt your focus. Your hand on your dog and your dog lying next to you or in your lap can serve to ground you. You can focus on you and your dog’s breathing and the weight of your dog on your lap and the feel of their warm fur under your hand. This connection with your dog actually helps eliminate distractions.
What Are The Benefits Of Meditating With Your Dog?
The benefits to meditating with your dog extend far beyond simply making it easier to meditate. Meditating with your dog increases your bond with your dog and builds trust. Dogs are intelligent beings and they intuitively know and understand the value of meditating with you, of that quiet one on one time.
Meditation can help calm your dog. If you have an hyper dog and wish to calm your dog down, as many dog owners do, then a few quiet minutes is extremely valuable as is the ability to calm your dog. Meditation, regular meditation can accomplish this.
Meditation also helps your dog feel connected to you, which is great for training. Dogs who are able to trust their owners completely and feel less stress and anxiety train better.
Of course there are an abundance of health benefits for you too! A longer life, more confidence, less stress, better memory and a stronger immune system just to name a few benefits.
How Do I Start Meditating With My Dog?
The first step to meditating with your dog is to create a ritual. Choose a time of day and a location to meditate every day. You may want to consider your dog’s behavior during the day. For example, if they’re really active in the morning and more relaxed in the afternoon then meditating in the afternoon will be easier.
You’ll also want to start small. Trying to meditate for thirty minutes your first time meditating with your dog will be difficult at best. Release your expectations around meditation. If you can meditate with your dog for three minutes then great, if you can meditate for ten or twenty or thirty then that’s great too. Every meditation session is an experience, some will be “successful” and others will be a learning experience. It’s all good.
Choose a command or signal to end your meditation session. This command will be spoken quietly so you don’t startle your dog. A gentle pet and the phrase, “thank you” or “Namaste,” or even “good boy” work well to end a session.
Where To Learn More About Meditating With Your Dog?
Meditating with your dog is a process however there are wonderful resources to help you build on and improve your practice. The book, “How to Meditate with Your Dog. An Introduction to Meditation for Dog Lovers,” by James Jacobson and Kristine Chandler Madera is a fantastic resource for beginners and experienced alike. The book has been highlighted on CNN and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and is a great resource for dog lovers who want to improve their health and the health of their dog.
If you're interested in checking into this farther you can read a book by James Jacobson & Kristine Chandler Madera called How To Meditate With Your Dog.