“Shhh, we’re gonna meditate now.” I grab my kitten and force him to breathe with me. This is much easier said than done, considering Everest was a wild ‘dumpster kitty’ a little over a month ago and he’s still learning that he doesn’t need to fight me in order to win my respect.
But pet meditations are in now, and I’m always on top of every trend, so we meditate together, breathing in and out, in and out, in and — oh! And he’s attacking my face again. So much for trends.
What is Pet Meditation?
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Just like regular meditation, pet meditation can be whatever you want it to be, just so long as you’re bringing mindfulness into the equation.
Some people meditate with their pets by holding them in their laps as they meditate. This is what I do with my kitty. It brings him down and lets him breathe and be calm at least once during the day. He sees me doing something and wants to join, so I let him.
Other people meditate with their pets by placing their hands on the pet’s chest (or wherever they can feel a heartbeat) and syncing their heart to the pet’s rhythm. While our pups and kittens might get excited, their heartbeats are much more stable than ours and can often help us regulate our own racing emotions.
The easiest way to mediate with your pet is to:
1. Find a quiet space where you and your pet can get comfortable.
2. Call your pet over to you.
3. Try to bring them close to you — either on your lap or by your side.
4. Begin to meditate while remaining aware of your pet’s presence.
However you do it, pet meditations are worth any headache your pet may give you when they’re trying to calm down.
Why are things like puppy yoga, dog therapy, and cat cafes so popular? Pets are known for being aware of our emotions and attuned to our wellbeing. Many people believe that pets are natural mediators and therapists in their own way. Adding your pet to any situation makes it a little better (cue me not wanting to leave my house if I don’t have my cat with me).
We all believe our pets are the best things in the world. At least, I hope we do. So why not bring these wonderful beings into our most spiritual moments? While meditating by yourself has myriad benefits, adding your furry friend to the mix only increases those benefits. The most common benefit is that this meditation practice produces a stronger connection between you and your pet. Playing together and being active strengthens all kinds of bonds, but being calm and quiet together helps create deeper relational roots. You might also feel as though you know your pet better after meditating with them.
Meditating with your furry friend is also known to elevate your mood. Who can be grumpy when your favorite animal is on your lap? Pets are known for their effervescent attitude and the way they brighten up a room. Pet meditation is also said to improve sleep, lessen stress and anxiety, and remove depressive symptoms.
And the final benefit is that it simply mixes up your routine. We should all be meditating every day, or at least practicing some form of mindfulness, but we often get bogged down in the monotony of it. Adding your pets to the equation mixes it all up a bit.
Do Pets Benefit?
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There hasn’t been too much research conducted about pets benefitting from this co-meditation. However, if your pet is often anxious and running around, give mediation a try. Some pets have been known to be visibly calmer after a few rounds of focused breathing with their owners. Every pet is different and some might not like to be forced to be calm (I’m looking at you, Everest) while others might crave that quiet alone time with their owners.
@shesafullonmonet_ Gave you ever meditated with your pet before? Give it a try this week! #petmeditation #pets #animalmeditation #shesafullonmonet ♬ original sound – shesafullonmonet_
I know some of our furry friends might be a little wild, but try to meditate with them and see if it calms them down at all! Remember that it’s supposed to be fun. If you don’t have a pet at home, look into yoga studios that offer puppy yoga and meditation as well!
Have you ever meditated with your pet? Are you going to start now? Let us know in the comments!
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