The transformational power of walking your dog mindfully

Walking your dog is so great in so many ways: It’s excellent exercise, you spend quality time with your pooch doing what they love best, you get to breathe in fresh air, and dog-walking has even been shown to reduce stress and build your sense of community. But here’s an easy way to amp up your daily ritual and make it even more powerful: walk your dog mindfully.

When we think of mindfulness, we think of stillness, meditation, awareness and savoring this very moment with a full heart. Now incorporate these mindful intentions next time you walk your dog—and get ready to watch the many benefits unfold!

1. Slow down. If you walk the same loop around your neighborhood every day and you’re on autopilot, take a different path and consciously slow down. Instead of seeing the walk as a doggie bathroom break, awaken your senses and reconnect with nature around you. Feel the earth beneath your feet. Notice the new things around you. Breathe. Pay attention to how the flowers and trees smell, or maybe the crisp autumn air from a distant log burning in a fireplace somewhere. Listen to bird calls or the sound of the wind. Feel the sun on your skin. Follow your dog’s lead as he walks with balance and harmony on the earth. Getting out of your head and into the natural world in this way is very healing for both mind and body. (For more on the powerful healing properties of spending time in nature, check out my article on the Japanese art of “forest bathing.”)

2. Connect with the now. On this mindful walk with your dog, do not worry about what happened yesterday or in the past, or stress over what’s to come. Yes, this is difficult to do—but focus on setting your intention to focus only on this moment before you. This exercise in mindfulness allows you to free your mind and find a quiet place where true healing, inspiration and problem-solving can begin to grow.

It may help you to remember the five Reiki precepts.

For today only …
Do not anger.
Do not worry.
Be grateful.
Practice diligently in your work.
Be compassionate to yourself and others.

3. Make mindful dog-walking your new habit. In our chaotic, busy lives, the reality is that, for most of us, mindful dog-walking will be difficult to do each and every time. But if you aim for 30 minutes three times a week, you’ll be incorporating more mindfulness into your life than ever before. And pretty soon something amazing will begin to happen: You’ll find it easier than ever to access that space of inner peace that our animals just naturally reside in—especially when times get tough.

Have you ever walked your dog mindfully?

Share the Love!
RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Twitter
YouTube
Pinterest
Instagram

Kathleen Prasad

Kathleen Prasad is an entrepreneur, author, educator, spiritual seeker and animal advocate living in beautiful Marin County, California, with her husband, daughter, dog and two horses. She loves being with animals, listening to hip-hop, eating out at vegan restaurants, riding dressage, hiking in the redwoods and traveling the world to meet animal people.
You can learn more about Kathleen here.

Latest posts by Kathleen Prasad (see all)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments (4)

  • Avatar

    Connie McDermott

    |

    Love this so much Kathleen. I love quiet walks with my pup!!! ????????

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Kathleen Prasad

      |

      Hi Connie, Isn’t it the BEST to be able to walk with our dogs – it is truly a gift of life 🙂

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Kris Azzarello

    |

    Love the blog! And you are so right; on the weekends we walk in the country but during the week we walk our neighborhood. Now, having said that, we are a small city and there are rabbits and other lovely wildlife about. This morning Frosty and I got to witness a bunny playing with a crow! The bunny would sit still and the crow would hop over to it and then the bunny would hop to it. They played like that for a while; the crow doing a little hop/fly and the bunny doing a little hop! What a gift to start the day!

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Kathleen Prasad

      |

      Hi Kris, What a beautiful thing to witness 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

      Reply

Leave a comment