Author Archive

Wassweiler Dinner House & Pub

The Trifecta of Dining Experiences

ABOVE: The Wassweiler Inn & Bathhouse represent the only original hot springs structures in Helena. LEFT: A feast for the eyes: The cowboy cut ribeye perches on scalloped potatoes and is topped with a microgreen salad.

Text by Heather Bode • Photography by Jacqui Smith

You’ve probably never heard of Ferdinand Wassweiler, a German immigrant who followed the rush of gold miners to the Helena area. While he was shrewd enough to claim land west of town that bubbled with natural hot springs, Wassweiler, plagued with money troubles and the lure of “get rich quick” schemes, departed into history as nothing more than a finagling shyster.


Wassweiler knew the hot springs would be profitable in a mining camp where gold dust was local currency. His original hot springs stood not far from the current Broadwater Hot Springs & Fitness. After selling part of his land to Colonel Broadwater, Wassweiler built a second facility in 1883. His second creation combined an Inn with a separate bathhouse where travelers as well as locals could enjoy a hot soak.

Today, Marci Andersen has restored this original 1883 Inn & Bathhouse into a fine dining experience steeped in good old-fashioned Montana history. The Inn, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, originally had 7 exterior doors for guests to come and go at their convenience. There’s also the Coffin Door located on the east side, so named because in the late 1800’s, it was considered bad luck to transport the deceased through your main entry. Several of these doors are still in use. The interior boasts original doors and exposed brick in the posterior dining room.


Andersen’s background is in catering and kitchen management. She says, “I like to focus on equal amounts of food, service, and atmosphere. If one of those is off, customers aren’t satisfied when they come for a fine dining experience. When you walk into a place, the temperature, the smell, and the music all need to be right when people walk in the door. That’s what we hope to do!”

We dare you NOT to be hypnotized by the Man Candy! A grilled peach filled with mascarpone and topped with walnuts and fresh mint tames the craving for something sweet.

An Honestly Fine Meal

The cornerstone of the Wassweiler Dinner House’s menu is the steaks because Andersen says, “Montanans love a really good steak. You’ve got to stick with what people want.” With the use of an infrared broiler, itself a rarity in Montana, steaks are seared at up to 1100 degrees. The beauty of this is the chef masters the temperature control resulting in the perfect steak. Try the cowboy cut ribeye. It’s enough to fill up even the hungriest of Montanans.

Andersen also intends to create a fine dining experience without being pretentious. “I don’t want people to have to Google what’s on the menu,” she says.  An appetizer of maple bourbon bacon, appropriately nicknamed Man Candy, is a perfect example. There’s nothing pretentious about slabs of sizzling bacon materializing on your table.

The use of fresh ingredients locally sourced will provide for a seasonal menu. Andersen intends to build her own greenhouse for herbs soon. Does she have any favorite ingredients? “Everything from scratch! I’m a ‘from scratch’ kind of person,” she says.

With history, hospitality, and an honest-to-goodness menu, we offer a hearty welcome to Helena’s newest fine dining establishment! Watch for details about the grand opening and reservations on Facebook.

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Broadwater Hot Springs & Fitness

Helena’s Hottest Upgrade

Text by Heather Bode • Photography by Jacqui Smith

ABOVE: The tabletops were constructed out of racquetball flooring salvaged during the remodel. BELOW: The Grill & Taproom has a suspended floor allowing for beer from the beer cooler, with room for 44 kegs, to come up directly through the ductal iron beer system.

As a high schooler hand-digging a pool at the former Broadwater Athletic Club in the early 80s, you can bet Chris Johnson never imagined he’d one day own the land. And the pool. Together with his brother Scott and business partner John Rosa, Johnson purchased the Broadwater in February, 2015.

TOP: A comfy conversation area sits adjacent to the taproom. Direct access to the pools is also available. ABOVE: The pools border Highway 12, but traffic noise is muffled by the sound of happy soakers. A variety of pool temperatures, including a cool plunge, offers options for everyone.

Chris Johnson says, “When we were young, the Broadwater was THE place to be.” A thoughtful remodeling process aims at reclaiming that status.

Massive changes are evident, with more in the works. Johnson says, “We wanted the remodel to revolve around the pools. Anybody can put in a fitness facility. 

Very few places on earth are blessed with hot water just coming out of the ground. For us, it was important to put the framework together so we could move what makes this facility special to the forefront.”

Note the new name: Broadwater Hot Springs & Fitness. Hot water, which artesians out of the ground at roughly 150 degrees Fahrenheit east of the building, mixes

 with cold water springs from below the racquetball courts providing a sulfur-free soak minutes from downtown Helena.

A newly-remodeled sauna and steam room 

encourages family togetherness. Three racquetball 

courts transformed into a grill and taproom (opening soon) offer 

direct access to the pools via glass garage doors. The first (of three) pool remodel features a freeform saltwater pool dotted with boulders from Johnson’s parents’ property in Montana City.

“We’re trying to be organic with the rocks, landscaping, even the color of the water…you’ll notice a blue-green vs. a

straight blue,” says Chris.

The whole flow of the Broadwater’s changing. Come and soak it all in.

For more information: visit or call 406-443-5777.

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People & Parties

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Nicole Lohse, Erin Evenhus
Chris Cummings And Nicole Lohse
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Shannon Hoiland And Cara And Phil Piccono
Kyle Baker
Dr. Bridget Brennan And Reverend Brennan
Brittnea Collins
Sandra Haverlandt, Tony Longin, Brett Haverlandt
Mike Nelson, Vickie Donisthorp, Rebecca Nelson
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Rikki Serfoss, Raelynn Buloch & Roxie Lewis
R To L  Dr. Jason Heiken, Bridget Brown Ekstrom, Jamie Price, Darin Arganbrite, Brad Stephenson, Vicki Worral, Marlo Briese
Marlo Briese, Lori Benjamen, Vicki Worral
Lori Benjammen, Bruce Walker & Mike Onstad
Julie Burwell Hardy, Tad Gillan, Tonya Jenkins
Jason Heiken, Robert Wood, Mike Jovanovich & Dirk Cappis
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Fort Benton High School Class Of 1987
Bridget (Brown) Ekstrom, Jason Heiken, Hayley Lenington Leray, Beverly (Jolley) Endicott
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A Glamping We Will Go

When the Great Outdoors and High Maintenance Meet!

Recipes by Chandee Bomgardner • Photography by Sara Young • Staging by Jennifer Moore

Alas, summer is here and camping is definitely one of those outdoor adventures that rise to the top of the seasonal priority list. But, for those who seek a bit more luxury from the outdoors, but still want to rough it, glamping might be just the ticket. • “Glamping”, otherwise known as luxury style camping, is a glamorous way to enjoy comfort and luxurious services in a natural environment. It’s the kind of accommodations that allow you to connect with nature while not sacrificing an inch of comfort. And to top it off, we have the perfect menu to make your private outdoor retreat an unforgettable one!  

Bug Repellent Mason Jar Luminaries


• 1 Lemon

• 1 Lime

• 2 Rosemary Sprigs

• Floating Candles

• Water

• Mason Jar

• 10 Drops Lemon Essential Oil

• 10 Drops Lavender Essential Oil

• 10 Drops Cedarwood Essential Oil

• 10 Drops of Thieves Essential Oil


1. Slice lemon and limes. Fill jar about 3/4 of the way.

2. Start adding 10 drops of each of your essential oils and then stir to mix.

3. Place 2 slices of each, lemon and lime.

4. Add 2 Rosemary Sprigs.

5. Fill water to the rim.

6. Place floating candle and light when placed outside.

7. Change water and fruit about twice a week to keep fresh and potent.


Prosciutto Wrapped Grilled Peaches with blood orange Balsamic Glaze


• 20 large basil leaves plus more for garnish

• olive oil

• balsamic glaze, store-bought or homemade

• 2 large peaches

• 3-4 ounces prosciutto


1. Set a grill to low heat and preheat for 10 minutes or so, brush the grill grates with a paper towel dabbed in oil.

2. Wash and dry peaches. Cut each peach in half and then each half into 4 quarters. Place one large basil leaf on each side of the peaches. Wrap each peach slice and basil leaves with a slice of prosciutto.

3. Brush the prosciutto wrapped peaches lightly with olive oil. Grill the peaches until the prosciutto is cooked, turning so all sides are evenly cooked, about 10-15 minutes.

4. Transfer to a serving platter. Drizzle with store-bought or homemade balsamic glaze.

5. Serve at room temperature.


Not Your Grandma’s summertime Sweet Tea


• 6 cups iced tea

• 3 oz Firefly vodka

• Raspberries, lemons and fresh mint, for garnishing

• Ice


1. Mix sweet tea and Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka together in a large pitcher. Pour over ice

2. Serve in pretty glasses and garnish with rasberries, lemon slice and mint.


Grilled Salmon on a Pineapple Bark Plank with Pineapple Salsa


• 1 pineapple

• 2 6 oz. salmon filet

• 1 red or orange pepper, cut into large chunks

• ½ jalapeno pepper

• ½ red onion, cut into in to quarters

• ½ cup fresh cilantro

• honey soy glaze (see recipe)

• fresh ginger

• salt and pepper to taste


1. Cut the bark off of a pineapple into the appropriate size for your salmon. Save the inside of your pineapple to make the pineapple salsa.

2. Season your fish with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with fresh grated ginger.  Sandwich your fish between two pieces of pineapple bark.   

3. Tie it all together with kitchen twine.   

4. Grill on each side for at least 12 minutes. Because your fish is on the pineapple, it will take much longer than your usual fish cook time. 

5. While fish is cooking make the pineapple salsa. Cut remaining pineapple into ¼ inch slices, place the pineapple, pepper chunks, two red onion quarters, and the jalapeno half in a bowl and toss gently with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. Grill everything so there is a slight char on both sides. Cut everything into ¼ inch pieces. Mix everything together and set aside.

6. Place cooked fish on serving plates, drizzle with honey soy glaze and top with pineapple salsa.


Bacon & Brussels Sprout Skewers with Honey, Soy and Sriracha Sauce


• 1 pound bacon

• 2 pounds brussel sprouts

• 1 Tablespoons Olive oil

• 1 teaspoon fresh garlic

• 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

• Small wooden skewers


• 1/3 cup honey

• 1/3 cup soy sauce

• 1-2 Tablespoons Sriracha sauce

• Toasted sesame seeds for garnish


1. In a frying pan on medium heat, cook the bacon until it’s partially cooked but still soft and pliable. (If you overcook the bacon, it will be difficult to weave it onto the skewer.) Remove the bacon from the pan, and set it aside. Remove the bacon grease from the pan, leaving just enough to coat it.

2. Cut the brussel sprouts in half lengthwise or leave whole if small. Add the sprouts, butter, garlic, and sea salt to the frying pan. Sauté on medium heat until the sprouts are tender and browned. Remove the brussel sprouts from the pan, and set aside.

3. Add the honey, soy sauce, and sriracha sauce to the pan and cook until the consistency of a thick syrup.

4. Preheat the oven to 375ºF, or a barbecue grill on medium heat.

5. Assemble the skewers by threading 1 end of the bacon onto the end of a skewer. Add a brussel sprout slice, and weave the bacon around the sprout and back through the skewer, creating a wave pattern between the sprouts. Move the bacon and the sprout down the skewer, and repeat this process 2-3 more times for each skewer.

6. Bake the skewers in a baking pan or barbecue for 5-10 minutes, or until the bacon is fully cooked.

7. Drizzle with sauce and garnish with sesame seeds.


Mediterranean Kamut Bulgur Salad with Fresh Mint (below)

• 2 cups dried bulgur (prepare according to directions )

• ½ of each, orange, red and green diced peppers

• 1 English cucumber, cut into 1/8 to ¼ inch pieces

• ½ cup feta cheese crumbles

• Homemade or bottled Mediterranean dressing

• ½ to ¾ cup fresh chopped mint

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, refrigerate at least 15 minutes.


Mediterranean Dressing


• 2 teaspoons salt (I use seasoned salt)

• 1 tablespoon onion powder

• 1 tablespoon fresh minced garlic (or to taste)

• 1 1⁄2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

• 1⁄3 cup parmesan cheese (or to taste)

• 1⁄2-1 teaspoon ground black pepper

• 1 1⁄2 cups olive oil

• 1⁄2 cup red wine vinegar

• 1 teaspoon sugar or more to taste

• 1 1⁄2 tablespoons oregano

• 1 1⁄2 tablespoons basil


1. Pour all ingredients in a large glass jar, and whisk or mix with a spoon until well combined or you can also blend in a processor or a blender.

2. Adjust all seasonings to suit taste, including the sugar and salt.

3. Let sit in fridge for a minimum of 2 hours.

4. Shake very well before using.


Raspberry S’mores

• Graham Crackers

• Toasted marshmallows

• Fresh raspberries

• Chocolate hazelnut spread

• Raspberry sauce (see recipe)

Raspberry Sauce


• 1 cup fresh raspberries

• 1 cup powdered sugar

• 1 teaspoon cornstarch

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bacon or  Maple Glazed Donut  S’more


• Bacon

• Marshmallows

• Chocolate bars

• Chocolate Chip Cookies

• Maple Donut


1. In a small sauce pan, combine the raspberries, sugar and corn starch over medium heat.

2. Smash the berries with a potato masher and mix until the sugar is dissolved.

3. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes.

4. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a jar. Seal with a lid and store in the refrigerator for up to one week.

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Cosmetic Tattooing

Facial Art: For Health & Heart

Text by Mary Ellen Hendrickson • Photography by Sara Young

We might think of our face as our “self” or at least a large part of our identity.  Whether it’s a “selfie”, a mug shot, a celebrity pose, an image caught on video or a look into a mirror, what we see often determines how we think of our “self.”

Or not.   What if a visual impairment prevented us from seeing our face clearly, if at all?  What if a physical impairment, accident or injury affected our mobility, not to mention the ability to hold things, such as the delicate items involved in applying makeup.

While surgeries and other procedures are options, and at times, necessities, for facial enhancement, the art of facial cosmetic tattooing is gaining in popularity around the world, and 

with it, an increased recognition of the health considerations involved, from the procedures used by the technicians, to the commitment to post-tattooing self-care on the part of the client.

Tippy Burtch, owner of a bar in Cut Bank, Montana, shared her concerns, typical of those prompting men and women choosing to opt for cosmetic tattooing.

“I was 59, my eyebrows had just disappeared and my eyeliner would seem to melt off.  I had no lip color.”

Burtch sought the skills of Shelley Turk, a cosmetic tattoo technician and owner of “Beyond Beauty” in Great Falls. “It used to take like 45 minutes to get makeup on,” she says, noting, “It takes me 10 to 15 minutes now.  I think it has improved my looks, and my friends and husband are quite impressed.”

Burtch echoes comments made by a number of individuals who describe themselves as, “tattoo addicts.”

“It is relaxing and a great experience,” she says.  “Shelley has great music on, she is very personable, friendly and very honest about what would look good.”

Great Falls resident, Dale Perchert, 57, figures he has, “about twenty tattoos,” and says he’s, “been accused of being an addict.” 

“It’s artwork.  It’s self-expression,” says Perchert of his body art.   “A good artist tries to prepare you, tell you to try not to move.  It sort of lulls you into calm.  Spending time with the artist, for hours, is like therapy.”

In addition to ambience, other similarities connect cosmetic tattooing with traditional body art work, including difficulties with corrections and removals.

“All tattooing requires health precautions to promote good healing,” says Jake Carr, tattoo artist at “The Last Best Place Tattoo Shop,” in Great Falls.   “Sterility is the main thing,” he says, noting that all city tattoo artists and shops must adhere to the licensing requirements and inspections posed by the state and local health departments.

Carr counts himself among other local tattoo artists who view cosmetic tattooing with something akin to reverence.

“With the whole cosmetic thing, looking at a person, you wouldn’t know if it was done or not.”  He cites his grandmother, a Florida resident, who has given him a bit of grief about his work as a tattoo artist.  “She still thinks this work is for convicts or murderers,” he quips, adding that she’s had no reluctance in getting eyebrow and eyeliner tattoos done.

The increasing popularity of cosmetic tattooing seems to be taking the “taboo” out of getting a tattoo.

“It’s more popular today,” says Tina Brataan, owner of “Mystic Rhythms’ Tattoo Shop” for the past 18 years.  “Years ago, it was because you were a bit of a rebel.  Now we tattoo lawyers, nurses and even sleeved-out a Greek Orthodox minister years ago.”

“Every artist has their specialty,” says Brataan, “and they have to make you feel that they’re as excited about your choice of design as you are.  Most consider their best “payment” is knowing their work and service makes you happy.”

“You do need to possess artistry for facial tattooing,” says Turk, adding, “If you cannot draw an eyebrow you shouldn’t try to tattoo one.”

“When skin is your canvas,” she says, “this work is a huge responsibility!  It’s very important to make wise choices.  It’s not about bargain shopping.” Turk emphasizes, “Cosmetic facial tattooing, when done correctly, does not hurt. Unlike traditional body tattoos, topical numbing products are used for facial tattoos.”

With facial tattooing there is less room for error.  “It’s your FACE!” exclaims Lisa McNabb, cosmetic tattooist from Bozeman.  “Brows are ‘sisters not twins’,” she says.  “The face is NOT symmetrical.”

McNabb hosts trainers from, “all over the world,” via live classes and webinars.  “Europe is so far ahead of us,” she notes.  “They do such beautiful work!

Turk says she’s attended a number of McNabb’s trainings.  With costs ranging, “from $2,000 to $5,000 per workshop, with trainers from Hong Kong and the UK,” technicians must be willing to invest in their work.

She notes that while current state and local regulations address health related concerns, and artists, shops and technicians do give concise health-related handout instructions to clients, regulators do not address skill levels.

The Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals (SPCP. Org., founded in 1990) website provides helpful 

information with services such as scar and beauty mark camouflage, areola repigmentation, eyebrow, eyeliner, lip color, and hair imitation.  “Some procedures,” state the SPCP website, use advanced, “para-medical techniques,” and require experienced technicians with advanced training.”

Lindsey Murolo, Tattoo Removal and Facial Specialist with the Laser Clinic/ Associated Dermatology in Helena, provides laser services for facial or cosmetic tattoo removal.  Murolo says, “these can be difficult to treat because sometimes ink can oxidize and turn green.”

“Patients need to be patient with the process because it takes at least 8 to 15 treatments, if not more,” she says, adding that costs vary because, “every tattoo varies,” and are based on the square inch. 

Murolo is very thorough during the initial “gratis consultation” and ongoing appointments with regard to care, precautions and procedural explanations.

Aimee Lennox, Certified Microblade Artist with Studio Montage in Great Falls shares perspectives from her service providing microblade cosmetic tattooing: “The most important things about microblading are that it is a SEMI-permanent service. It is not the commitment of a true tattoo or cosmetic tattoo that can last a lifetime. Microblading will fade from your skin in 1-3 years. Because it is only in the outermost layers of your skin it does not bleed or blur like a tattoo.”

“It is ideal,” she says, “for anyone who wants to fill in sparse or no brows, add a more defined shape, thicken, lengthen, or darken the look of their brows.”

Lennox explains that, “Microblading is a 2 step process. It cannot be done in only one appointment. 

Your initial appointment will include your full new brows and the second appointment is the touch-up, filling in of any hair strokes that were lost in the healing process.”

“Eyebrows can dramatically change the look of your face which can change a person’s life.

The lack of specific skill requirements by state and local licensing agencies, make it possible for those associated with the beauty world to be tempted to take an introductory course in facial cosmetic tattooing and begin practicing on clients.

Mystic Rhythms’ Tina Brataan observes, “Tattoos often go on a pain-filled canvas:  The skin.”  And while many body art tattoos are done in the memory of loved ones,  “take care with your self first.  Go to licensed facilities and technicians.  Avail yourself of information to educate the customer.”

Most importantly she says, “Stay healthy.  Body, art, health and heart, inside and out.”

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Strengthening Mind & Body through Yoga

Text by Michelle Chenoweth • Photography by Jim Wells

There is no good or bad when it comes to yoga, only a willingness to be honest, present, and accountable to you.   Starting a practice can be very intimidating. Whether you attend group classes, play on the mat at home, or work one on one, the practice of yoga is a very personal journey. It is an opportunity to explore more than just the flexibility of your body, but how you respond to the ebb and flow of the world you exist in. The word yoga means to yoke or connect. Connect to your life, your emotions, your mind, body and spirit. We all want to feel connected to something, to feel that our lives are important.  Yoga is more than a workout, it is your time to slow down, to breathe mindfully, and greet yourself wherever you are in that moment, to connect to the most authentic you.  Yoga exercises functional range of motion in the joints and spine and focuses on mindful movement and positioning of the body to increase strength,  flexibility, balance, coordination, agility, cardiovascular, pulmonary, and bone health. Through mindful movement of the body and breath, yoga is also very effective at managing stress and anxiety. The benefits of yoga are truly endless. This short sequence allows you to start at whatever level of intensity you seek and feel your ability and practice progress over time.  As you come to the mat, explore your intention. Move as slowly or quickly through the poses, and repeat as many times  as you desire. Breathe. Feel. Let go.

Cow/Cat: Begin the practice on all fours. Shoulders over wrists and hips over knees. Begin to breathe in through the nostrils into the belly, ribs and chest. As you inhale feel the pelvis tip forward deepening the curve in the back and expanding the front body. As you exhale engage the abdominals and draw the belly up and in rounding the back body like a cat. Tuck the tailbone under and chin to chest. Repeat until you feel well acquainted with the body and rhythm of the breath.

Downward facing dog: This inversion brings hips to the sky, creating a long neutral spine from sacrum to crown, and an energetic stretch into the belly of the hamstrings. Feel the space around the collarbones open up as you press your shoulder blades strongly onto the back ribs. Draw the chest toward the thighs, and the sits bones back and wide. Root down through the heels and lengthen the back of the neck, gazing toward the knees. Breathe. Hold and explore as long as you like or flow into the next posture. You can modify this pose by coming off the mat and bringing hands to the wall.

Plank: Create total body strength in Plank. Stack Shoulders over the wrists and squeeze hands into the mat and toward the pinky finger. Feel your shoulder blades strong on the back, and bellybutton hugged in. Muscularly engage the whole body as you hold and breathe. You can modify this pose by coming onto the knees or forearms. Stay as long as you like or flow to the next posture.

Cobra or Upward facing dog: Starting belly and chest to the mat with arms in push up position, squeeze feet, knees, and inner thighs together and engage glutes to secure the lower back. Press through the hands to lift the chest off the mat. Breathe into the length of the front body. In full Upward facing dog, the shoulders will be over the wrists, Push through the hands and root through the toes to lift the body off the mat. Feel the chest open and space open up between the shoulders and the ears as you pull the shoulders onto the back and squeeze the shoulder blades together. Modify by coming onto the forearms, following previous alignment ques. Lower back down to the mat or flow back into Downward facing Dog.

Lunge: Begin with forward leg pressing strongly down through the 4 corners of the foot and knee stacked directly over the ankle. Lengthen  back through the opposing leg and root through the ball of the foot. Muscularly engage the leg muscles to create a hugging in to the hip sockets.  Create a long neutral spine by hugging the belly away from the thigh and using blocks to bring the ground closer to you if needed. Modify degrees of difficulty by bringing back knee to the mat, or standing up in the pose. Breathe, hold, and switch sides when ready.

Hip opener with twist: Begin on back with arms in a T position. Bring palm of right hand to Right knee, Inhale as right knee opens away from the body. As you exhale right knee comes back to center and hands switch places, roll onto the left hip as right leg comes across the body. Head rotates opposite the knee.  Squeeze into the twist repeat pattern, switch sides when ready. Feel the breath guide the movement of the body and maintain the shoulders on the mat.

        Take a few minutes to breathe, relax, integrate, and be still before you get back up.  Namaste


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