Should You Meditate With Your Pet?
We can’t say for sure what pets are thinking or feeling, but most pet owners would probably agree that they can tell when animals are trying to communicate. Animals often “say” things to us with their eyes, behavior, and energy. It’s easy to tell when a pet is tired or happy — these natural cues help to build a relationship between owner and pet companion.
But what about meditation? Can a regular meditation practice with our pets hold benefits for us and for them? Meditation teacher Almeiri Santos believes so.
Does Your Pet Need Meditation?
During her many years working with animals, Santos (who volunteers at a large-animal refuge and has pets of her own) has seen the way animals positively respond to meditation. “Pets feel the shift in the flow of energy, in the flow of breathing, and they regulate with you,” she says.
Animals understand routine, and so pets may begin to recognize when meditation music comes on and will typically find a seat. Animals come close to us as we make an energetic offering — think about a time when you crouched down to pet a dog or a cat. We often come into meditation postures with a gentle touch and a lightness in our energy that invites our pets closer. Working at the refuge, Santos noticed that “shy animals began to relax and trust us over time,” and she could feel a shift in their energy.
And just like us, animals may experience the same benefits from meditation, especially relaxation, which can be really helpful for high-energy pets. By nature, dogs are pack animals and will follow a pack leaders’ cues. As an owner, if you are calm and peaceful, animals will follow your lead. If you lay on the floor in Savasana (Corpse Pose), your pet will likely join. Animals “shift into the flow of energy, into the flow of breathing, and they regulate with you,” says Santos.
Meditating With Pets Helps Us, Too
Getting centered with your pet can also help support your meditation practice. Focusing on your beloved pet helps foster inner peace. The very act of being kind to your pets allows you to soften and be more kind to yourself. This energetic exchange will help you feel more grounded.
Meditation with a pet can became a routine that helps boost mood and becomes something of a bonding experience to look forward to. Studies show that even a simple interaction with animals, such as petting, can help relieve stress, depression, and anxiety. As of 2019, almost 200,000 have registered for emotional-support animals, according to the National Service Animal Registry.
Learning how to meditate with your pet can be a special experience for you and them. As sentient beings, we all feed off each others’ energy. So, cultivate and commit to a meditation practice as an energetic offering for your pet — the energy of calmness and centeredness will be beneficial for you both.
Begin building a practice with your pet and follow this guided, animal-friendly meditation, by meditation teacher Almeiri Santos.
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