Think back to a time when you experienced yourself at your most balanced… a time when you were sleeping soundly each night, eating nourishing foods, getting plenty of exercise, and your relationships (including the one with yourself) were effortless. Looking back, it might seem as though there was an invisible force field surrounding you – one that actively kept you from getting ill and held you in a space of high vibration and energy. The synergy of all these components is what creates a state of total wellbeing.
Ayurveda looks at health just this way. It is an ancient healing science based on the belief that optimum health is the result of a balanced mind, body, and spirit. Ayurveda could also be called “Whole-Being Healing”, ultimately providing the building blocks to create and maintain a kind of force field of vitality and wellness. It takes care to treat individuals as complete beings instead of a simple list of symptoms. This integrative approach is what has made Ayurveda so unique and powerful for over 5,000 years.
A fragmented view of health can leave us lacking in one or more key areas, which in turn can have a snowball effect that compromises the entire mind-body-spirit system. Negative environmental or emotional impacts can affect the physical body, for example relationship issues manifesting as digestive problems. Symptoms of this impact could develop into mental distress, such as digestive problems leading to anxiety around eating, and over time more issues stemming from increased anxiety might arise. When looked at individually, each symptom/problem may seem unrelated. And if we treat only one concern, it could be months, years or never till we find total balance again. This is why a single medication doesn’t always solve the problem for which it was initially intended. Western medicine looks to treat the symptoms, often without addressing the underlying imbalances.
On the other hand, Ayurveda seeks to treat the whole person, or “being.” It considers the full picture, including the dosha (mind/body type), lifestyle, relationships, individual history, environment and more. Its goal is to bring us back to balance (aka “Sama”) because it is here that real health resides.
True to form, Ayurveda’s whole-being healing wisdom does not just apply to humans – it applies to the “whole” of creation. The seasons have doshas, the different times of day have doshas, and animals definitely have doshas.
Therefore, our dogs have doshas too. I discovered this over many years of applying the principles to the rescue dogs who came into our home for foster care. I found the receptivity and speed of a dog’s body and mind to healing to be pretty remarkable.
Sama Dog (or “Balanced Dog”) exists to create wellbeing for canines and their humans by using Ayurvedic treatments, or whole-being healing techniques, that consider all aspects of a dog and its environment. Each of our four-legged friends is unique with their own personalities, behavioral issues, history, limitations and sensitivities. Knowing your dog’s dosha is the first step towards whole-being healing – if you haven’t yet, take my free Dog Dosha Quiz to learn your dog’s unique mind/body type now.
When you know your dog’s dosha, you can then learn specific modalities, tools and timeless theories of Ayurveda to bring them back into harmony with themselves and nature. Everything is positively affected by this wisdom, including genetic tendencies towards physical ailments (such as back and hip problems or short life spans). It even addresses the seriousness of a propensity towards cancer or diseases of the kidneys and heart. There are natural Ayurvedic treatments that aid in environmental issues like allergies, digestive disorders and even toxins from things like weed killer and household products. Interestingly, because it is a true mind/body healing system, Ayurveda is also helpful with behavioral problems like aggression, anxiety, fear or hypersensitivity.
We want the best for our pups, and there’s nothing better than gifting them with a long, healthy life. And despite our best intentions, there is a lot we don’t know because we’re not taught regarding what is truly healthy for our dear canine companions. Therefore, we’re unknowingly making choices that are harming them rather than helping them. More understanding can turn the lights on to what is actually “wrong” with your dog.
To help fulfill the Sama Dog mission of expanding and improving the wellbeing of dogs and their humans around the world, I’ve created my six-week online class series, Total Wellbeing for Dogs: The Six Pillars of a Truly Balanced Caninie. Beginning on May 10th, Total Wellbeing for Dogs will explore and integrate six keys for optimal wellbeing for your dog (and you might be surprised how much applies to yourself as well)!
Sama occurs when the whole being experiences harmony and balance. Our Sama Dog Six Pillars of Wellbeing are the foundational principles of this course and the core teachings that each one of Sama Dog’s classes, workshops and consultations is built upon.
THE SIX PILLARS OF DOG WELLBEING ARE:
1. DOSHAS: Understanding your dog’s innate, natural tendencies in body and mind (referred to as mind/body type or “dosha”)
2. FOOD: Nutrition and balancing foods (specifically for your dog)
3. BEHAVIOR: Individualized training techniques and daily routines that cater to your dog’s mind/body type
4. MIND/BODY: Healing through the senses – inviting balance by working with sound, sight, taste, touch and smell
5. EMOTIONAL: Deepening your connection and communication
6. SPIRITUAL: Dogs as spiritual beings and teachers
Throughout this class series, you’ll take a deep dive into these various aspects of wellbeing. You’ll be guided through many beneficial exercises to experience with your dog during the class itself.
Students will also benefit from expert guest speakers, a Facebook group to share experiences and receive answers to your questions, as well as a customized lifestyle prescription. Most exciting is that your dog can take the class with you! We have never met a pup that is not willing to heal – they merely need the tools and a little guidance.
Total Wellbeing for Dogs: The 6 Pillars of a Truly Balanced Canine is the only online series in the world of its kind. It allows you to explore your dog from a holistic perspective and learn to understand his/her unique needs, while discovering brand-new approaches to make your dog the healthiest and happiest they can possibly be. I invite you and your dog (or dogs) to join us!
Founder of Sama Dog
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NOTE: Above photo by Jamie Fields @ Shutter Pup Photography