It could be argued that dogs live in a natural state of meditation. Whether they’re chasing a squirrel or loafing on the couch, their mind never strays from the present. For humans, achieving this state of zen is far more challenging. After all, our responsibilities differ from our canine counterparts. But whether your a first-timer or seasoned practitioner, meditating with your pooch can be beneficial for your paths to enlightenment. Here are some tips to help you incorporate your furry friend into your meditation practice.
First and foremost, focus on your breath. In a interview with Pet Central, Suzi Teitelman, founder of Dogo (Dog Yoga) says you should “focus on each inhale and exhale and try to align your breath to be in sync with your dog’s.” While easier said than done, a good opportunity to practice this is when you’re relaxing on the couch together. Incorporating music into your practice is also helpful for calming nervous dogs and their humans. If your pup is struggling to settle down, check out the scores of canine meditation playlists on YouTube. The most important thing is that you and your pup just take your time throughout this process. If you only get a few minutes in that’s fine. Take each day as it comes.
If you’re looking for a more physical activity, get your pup on the mat and try some doga. You can also go straight to the Savasana, also known as “corpse pose” in yoga. In Savasana, you lie on your back with your heels spread, your arms at the side and your palms facing up. The goal is to clear your mind and release tension. While normally done at the end of a yoga session, Savasana can be done after a long walk or playtime with your fur baby. Sit down or lay on your back while your pup lies on top of you. Teitelman says this will provide, “warmth and the physical attachment that will unite you both.”
If your dog doesn’t want to sit still at the moment, walking meditation can be easily practiced while you take your dog out for a stroll. This practice is perfect for multi-taskers and allows you to simultaneously meet the needs of you and your pooch. Walking meditation is also incredibly simple. The goal, like the name says, is to make it your intention to be mindful while you walk.
Regarding canine meditation (actually all meditation), it’s important to remind yourself to strive for patience, not perfection. There’s a reason they call meditation a practice. Patience will deepen the bond between you and your dog as well as give you a more intimate understanding of their needs. Meditation overall is a healthy habit to start integrating into your pup’s routine, giving both of you a peace of mind.