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rockford illinois entertainment guide
Date: 02/20/2004
Spotlight Fitness - Meditation for the Winter Blues
by Tamara Scott-Bogard
acefitness@yahoo.com
www.spotlightfitness.com
At some time or another, be it the extreme cold or cabin fever, the dead of winter tends to get us down. Meditation may be an answer to keeping you motivated, inspired and feeling focused. Here are a few simple suggestions to get started. As a compliment to this article, please see the previous article on meditation at www.spotlightfitness.com.

Find a quiet place. Sitting in a cross legged, seated position, close your eyes lightly. You may gently hang your open hands off of your knees.

As you are seated, try to be in the best posture you can attain. Think of sitting up very straight, lifting the crown of your head up to the ceiling and all of the tiny muscles in and around your spine, engaged, lifting you up higher. Practicing this posture in an endurance type of way during your meditation will strengthen your muscles.

If you find that it is difficult clearing your mind of thoughts, you can use a mantra. A mantra is simply a word or phrase that you repeat silently to keep your mind from straying. Your mantra should be something inspirational.

Be sure to breathe in a slow, calm manner, taking in a good amount of air. Slowly exhale. The breath should come from your abdominal area. On an inhale your stomach rises and on an exhale your stomach falls. This may feel unusual at first but will soon seem normal. Roll your shoulders back and down and allow the stress to just fall off of your shoulders.

Using music is very helpful. Classical, new age or instrumental music is best, although, I would not exclude any music that you enjoy. Just keep in mind that you want to calm yourself in this process.

Finally, use interruptions as a learning tool. Inevitably, each time you meditate, you will have some type of interruption. Use those unplanned interruptions as a learning tool for how to cope with being calm in the midst of chaos. Acknowledge the interruption, allow yourself to go right back to your deep concentration, and try not to attach any feeling to it.

When the winter blues are getting you down, when things feel like they are dragging, use a little meditation. Meditation has an incredible way of clearing your mind, rejuvenation your spirit and keeping you inspired.
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