Wagasana, greeting the day
with gratefulness and curiosity!
Have you had a doga moment today?
Welcome to Daily Doga Breathing Mini-Meditations (medis) for living and learning with dogs. Benefits are derived from breathing, such as staying alive. I invite you to join me on a journey. While travelling through life, with its many peaks and valleys, enjoy creating your own living and learning moments with your dogs and other pets.
For your dog’s sake, please take a moment to read this, to prepare yourself and your dog, especially if this is new ...
I offer guidance from walking the talk, observing my dogs and my client’s dogs. As a team, we turn mistakes into teaching opportunities. Take a journey to Dog Talk Media for suggestions on books and visuals for training and safely integrating stretching, poses, and massage for your dog. Let your intuition be your guide. Be mindful that if any approach does not feel well for your dog, like with yourself in a yoga pose, give them time. It should be voluntary, feel good, not scary.
Breathing meditations (see Calm in Chaos) can help remind you of how wonderful you and your dogs are. Picture yourself as a baby, and your dog as a puppy. You are as perfect now as you were then. Create your own unique mantras and postures with your dogs.
Not all dogs are going to be calm or relaxed any more than all people know how to “always” be calm . You cannot change your dog's behavior or energy level until you change your own. Together, you can create new habits / patterns. Together, you can aspire to balance your relationship, while you teach your dog what they know how to do already: Sit, down, stand, come, take-it, leave-it, wait, easy and let’s simply be silly together. This is integrating teaching with LIFE REWARDS; What dogs need anyway to stay alive and thrive.
Working with our dogs (any species) challenges us to do things differently, just like at work, in relationships with family and friends, and with different cultures. Observe their body language. Listen to their vocalizations.
Channelling energy into safe, appropriate outlets like walking and guided playing, and redirecting behaviors like barking, jumping and lunging, can be integrated into the daily flow of living with dogs.
We are all good and bad, fragile and tough, wise and foolish. Our dogs are too!
Observe your dogs breathing. Dogs respond and/or react in the moment. When they are tired, they sleep. They take long-deep breaths. They dream and twitch of who knows what. When they wake, they delightfully stretch, doing down-dog and up-dog. When we rage, dogs do the same, taking long deep breaths or freezing, averting their eyes, looking or walking away. Some go on defense (like us) into fight mode (backing away, warning, growling).
When we STOP and BREATHE, we can increase our teaching moments ... Dogs do this naturally. Watch and listen to your dog breathe ... Notice how they awaken or get ready to sleep or play.
Meditations - Breathing is a powerful life force. Where are we without it? DEAD. Conscious breathing is empowering, grounding us in the present moment with clarity. Our body's chemical reaction to fear, panic, anger and emotion calms. It will not disappear. We have work to do by practicing conscious breathing for even 12 seconds will make a difference for you and your dog’s well-being.
One of many kinds of breathing to bring you back to center and conscious awareness: It helps to sit or lie down, put your hands over your heart and diaphragm reminding you to breath deeply nose-to-navel.
Inhale through nose 1, 2, 3, 4, Hold 1, 2, 3, Exhale 1, 2, 3, 4 Hold 4 seconds. Do it again …
Meditation is a practice of concentrated focus upon a sound, object, visualization, breathing, movement, or a created visualization. The intention is to increase awareness of the present moment, reduce stress, promote relaxation, re-energize the brain and body, and enhance personal and spiritual growth. Meditation is a way of teaching us how to let thoughts flow, without becoming daunted or distracted. Even if we are - that's okay. Meditation can be 5-minutes or more. It’s your choice and time.
We can meditate anywhere: bathroom, sitting in traffic, bed, with our dogs on the floor, in the woods, hanging from monkey bars or a chandelier. Pretend there is no place to go for that 5 or 10-minutes. You cannot control the red light, the trip to the Vet’s, work or grocery store. Take the opportunity to breathe, pleasantly changing patterns of stress.
Meditating with your dog creates a peaceful sense of well-being. Dogs prefer calm owners / pack leaders, not boring / stressed out maniacs. Pack Leaders, whether in the wild (wolves) or in a family home, do not need to expend a lot of energy for results. They conserve it. Unknowingly, many believe that the loudest bully dogs and people are dominant pack leaders or Alpha. In reality, they are the blustery middle-ranking wannabes, who instead of conserving energy and avoiding conflict, flaunt it! Now your pooped out - whose is charge now baby?
Relax your body, so your dog can relax too by lifting and lowering your shoulders to a slow count of 10.
This takes less then 21 seconds! Dogs shake to release stress and water! Shake with them.
Explore this slowly with yourself and dogs. You have to breathe anyway or you will faint. Panic breathing is shallow and in the chest. We’ve all been there. Remember nose-to-navel - breathe into the diaphragm.
Rhythmic Breathing, that can relax you and your dog, begins with taking in a full breath to the count of 4-8, expanding your abdomen. Holding for 4-8, then exhaling for 4-8 will release toxins and stress. Don’t work hard or worry. Let thoughts flow. Asking “I wonder what my next thought will be” is enough to stop the FLOW OF THOUGHTS.
Before touching your dog, calm your energy and visualize a protective shield around yourself. No need to get complicated about colors or size. Dogs enjoy simple ... So simply preparing yourself first is helpful. Let go of judgment. The only challenge / competition is with yourself.
If you are calm, rest your hand on your dog. You can balance energy in hyper-active or scared puppies with calm touch and patience. When you and your dog are focused ... Begin.
Try this for a few seconds, then a minute, increasing when you and your dog are ready. Be creative in capturing the moments, however short in increment.
Taking in a deep breath, enjoy the journey.