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Why We Love Our Bodies

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Our Tampa studio, lead by our trainer Alison, has been participating all month long in the community-wide "Why I Love My Body" movement in collaboration with Lululemon. We've been so inspired by Tampa fitness community and OUR CLIENTS that have really been sharing the love and getting into it. The energy is contagious and so inspiring! We want you to think about why YOU love your body and be grateful for it...because you are amazing!

Our trainers have shared why they love their bodies to give you a little inspiration. Below is an open letter to EVERY body from the trainers involved in the movement. Take some time today to be grateful and think about why YOU love your body.

Hey, YOU. Yes, YOU. 

No judgement. No expectation. Get ready to be imperfectly perfect, vulnerable, brave, bold & weird. This is a movement to empower EVERY body. Love the body you’re in. Be exactly who you are as you go after your goals. 

Love yourself. Love your body. 

Love, 
Your trainers


"I love my body for what it can do. It's not about how I look, but how I feel, and how I make others feel. My favorite thing about my body is my hands - They have the power to uplift, encourage and assist others." - Alexandra

"I love that this movement focuses on what's good, not what we don't like and can't change. Loving ourselves for not only the good, but embracing our flaws as those are what make us unique as individuals. Not judging others, but empowering and encouraging one another and accepting ourselves and each other for who we are and how we choose to live. Our bodies are amazing tools that are the vessels of our journey through life. By taking the time to nurture it with positive choices like exercising and eating well, we're giving our bodies the respect it deserves for carrying us through each blessed day." - Allie

"My body has been a loyal companion through every moment of my 30 years of life. It never fails me, even at the times when I haven't been so nice to it.  My trusty legs always support me as I dance through each day...even when I dance by myself.  My arms allow me to hug my family and friends who I live each day for as to me, life is about the relationships we make with one another. My skin that allows me to feel the sun's warmth and the feeling of swimming in Mother Ocean.  Lastly, to be 100% honest... I love my ass!" - Lindsey

"I love my body because of how it can grow and change, whether it be growing to make room for a baby or changing with hard work! I like my arms the best, since they remind my of me of being a ballet/jazz dancer in my younger years and they still have the ability to move like they did 15 years ago." - Nadine

"It has enabled me to help others keep themselves healthy both mentally and physically. I have been in the fitness industry for 17 years and know that through these years I have helped so many people overcome obstacles in their lives and most importantly made them feel better about themselves. And of course this body of mine has created my little man Remi. It blows me away that 2 people can create another person!" - Jeannie

"Why I love my body.....because it is amazing! I mean it works, my heart is beating, I am breathing, and it gives me the capability to do anything I want in life! It gets me places, let's me move, dance, and laugh. It also made two beautiful babies! My body produced two more lives....I mean Wow!!! So, it's quite amazing really!  I should be thankful for and love my body everyday. More love less criticizing!!!" - Keri


"I love my body because it's gotten me through things I never thought I was capable of, like half marathons and tough workout classes. Focusing on what my body can do instead of what it looks like has given me such a healthy, newfound appreciation for it." - Taylor

"My body has carried me through illnesses and surgeries and allows me to do what I love. It is strong and capable of so much. Its “flaws” and quirks are what make me, me! I'm human and struggle with loving my body from time to time, we all do, but I always take it back to a place of gratitude. I'm grateful for every little thing my body allows me to do." - Alison

"I love my strong legs that have carried me through this beautiful journey called life." - Melissa


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Transformation Tuesday with Taylor

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We are thrilled to introduce you to our newest face at the Tampa front desk AND instructor-in-training, Taylor! Mantra has helped Taylor become "much more comfortable and confident" in her body. She loves the way she's feeling, not just physically, but mentally as well. That's what it's all about people!

Check out Taylor's transformation story and be sure to look for her on the schedule soon!

How did you find Mantra, and what were your goals when you first started working out here? 


A friend of mine introduced me to Mantra when I moved back to Tampa last year because she knew I would love the workout. We took a class together for my birthday. My goal was to lose weight and tone up after eating a lot of yummy food in New York the past few years! After the first class I was completely hooked and knew I wanted to become a part of the Mantra community. 

How has Mantra affected/changed you?

After my first few classes I loved the way I felt, not just physically but mentally. Even before I started seeing results I became so much more comfortable and confident in my body because I knew I was getting such a good workout and toning muscles I had never even worked before. I had honestly never felt that way after a workout class until I started at Mantra. Becoming better at Lagree fitness made me appreciate my body for what it could achieve, and not just what it looks like. I've gained so much strength and muscle tone from Lagree that I couldn't build on my own in the gym or in other kinds of classes.

Taking classes at Mantra also taught me a lot about commitment; when I started Mantra I promised myself I would attend three classes a week, and in a year i've kept to that pretty well. I build my weekly workout schedule around what classes I'm taking at Mantra, so its a top priority for me. Days where I want to stay home and eat cookies or when i'm really busy I remember how much better mentally I feel after class, and how important to me it is to fit it in. I can eat those cookies after class.  

What has joining Mantra been like for you, and what kind of support have you received both from your fellow Megaformer friends and the Mantra trainers and owners? 

Joining Mantra has been amazing - the new friends I've made and the support system that comes along with that isn't something I've found anywhere else in Tampa. The Mantra trainers and owners have been so helpful and supportive during my journey to becoming an instructor, from giving me great advice to taking my mock classes. They're a huge part of why I've kept coming back to Mantra. Even my classmates on the Megaformer are always so nice and encouraging. I remember during one of my first classes the woman on the Megaformer next to me showed me the proper form for French Twist. That had never happened to me in a workout class before and it made me feel so welcomed.

What are your goals now? 

My goals now are to continue getting better on the Megaformer as both a student and a teacher. I'm incredibly excited to start teaching my mock classes and develop as an instructor - it's been a goal of mine pretty much since my first class. Since I've begun working at the front desk I've gotten to know so many people that are part of the Mantra community a lot better, and I'm looking forward to continuing those relationships as an instructor! 

What's your best advice for others who are just starting to work out at Mantra?

For anyone just starting out at Mantra my advice is to stick with it, no matter how difficult your first few classes may feel! The confidence you'll find in yourself and the friends you'll make in class are worth every last pulse and hold. 


We would love to hear your story! Shoot us an email at info@mantrafitness.com or let us know in the studio if you'd like to share.




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Give Yourself Some TLC

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At first the title of this post was going to be "Treat Yourself to Some TLC," but the word "treat" just didn't seem right. Giving yourself TLC shouldn't be a treat, it should be a necessity. So many of us are juggling a million things and are just plain burnt out. We're spending all of our time reacting, instead of being proactive.


What can we do about that? We're all going to dive into some self-care. We're going to make it a priority because each and every one of us deserves it. Why? In a nutshell, self-care leads to self-love and we should all love ourselves. Self-care helps us slow everything down while giving our bodies and minds the attention they need. When you give yourself TLC, you're tapping into the energy inside of you and becoming more in-tune with yourself. Self-care helps you to become more efficient and more energetic! If you're feeling a bit selfish, please don't. Self-care will help you to be a more loving friend, spouse, parent, etc.

We've covered the "what" and the "why," so now onto the "how." How do we practice self-care and fit it into our busy lives? We've got a few ideas for you and most of them won't add but a minute or two to your day.

Rituals
Take something you already do every day and turn it into a ritual. A few examples:

Your Morning Coffee (or Tea) - Be intentional with every step of the process. Smell the coffee grounds as your measure them out (or take a sniff of that Keurig pod before you pop it in). Enjoy the sounds and scents as the coffee is brewing. Pour that glorious cup of happy juice into a mug that makes you happy. Now sip and enjoy. 

Skin Care - Many of us rush through the process of washing our faces in the morning or evening. Turn this daily practice into some self-care time. Don't just spread that face wash on your face and rinse, take 1 minute to give yourself a facial massage. Rub your temples, relax your jaw, stroke your neck. Rinse with warm water then a splash of cold water to close the pores. Follow up with serums and/or moisturizers.

Bathing - Hopefully bathing is something we're all doing already. Take it from a daily habit you rush through and turn it into some TLC time. Add dry brushing to your routine before you shower. Dry brushing is said to boost circulation, exfoliate, stimulate the lymph nodes, improve digestion, and improve the appearance of cellulite. Add essential oils to your shower or bath. Choose an oil that is energizing/refreshing in the morning and one that is soothing/calming at night. Last but definitely not least, dip into a bubble bath. Turn on some music, light some candles, maybe pour yourself a glass of wine. Really indulge yourself. You've earned it!

Journal
Journaling can be whatever you want it to be. Take a few minutes to dump your brain onto paper. Write what you're grateful for, vent, ask questions...whatever you want. Sometimes it just feels good to empty your brain onto paper.

Meditation
Take a few minutes to sit still with yourself. Turn your phone on Do Not Disturb. Chant, focus on your breath...whatever you need to do to just let go.

Cooking
Food is a great healer, and we all need to eat. Be mindful while you are preparing your next meal. Think about all of the nutrients in the ingredients you're preparing. Inhale the aromas of the food as it cooks. Take in all of the colors of the foods. And don't forget to savor each bite as you eat.

How Our Trainers Practice Self-Care:
"My most important self-care ritual is getting my 8 hours of sleep every single night. I make bedtime a ritual by using essential oils in a diffuser to help me sleep. I use a combination of Vetiver, Cedarwood, and no surprise here…Patchouli in a diffuser every single night. I was introduced to the use of essential oils for sleep by a dear friend and haven’t looked back since. Sleep is one of the most important things you can do to repair your mind and body and.. it is FREE!" - Lindsey

"I recently started writing in a journal/planner every morning. I write three things that I am grateful for and then I map out my day. At the end of the day I circle back and write 3 more things that I am grateful for. There's just something about putting pen to paper that soothes me and helps the gratitude sink in." - Alison


These are just a few ideas to help you give yourself some TLC without adding much time to your busy schedules. We'd love to hear from you! How do you practice self-care? Share in the comments below or on our socials!




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Trainer Spotlight with Mona

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This month's Trainer Spotlight is on superstar Sarasota trainer Mona! Mona had been active in the fitness industry for over 10 years before finding Mantra and she was instantly intrigued by the method. She loves Mantra clients and the energy they bring to class every time they get on the Megaformer!

Favorite Lagree Exercise:
I love Teaser. Nothing gets my obliques better


Lagree Exercise You Have a Love/Hate Relationship With: Ugh, the Bungee! I get cranky just thinking about it (though it totally works). The only way I will do it if someone makes me!

How did you find Mantra? I saw an ad that Mantra owner Kathy posted. I was so intrigued by the workout. I had never heard of the Lagree method, but I was already active in the fitness industry (10 years) and I was curious about something new.

Favorite part of teaching: The people, the energy of the people, and the music! It's such an amazing experience when these 3 things come together in the right way.  As instructors, we have an opportunity to impact someone's life, even if it's just for that 1 hour.  Clients come to us for many different reasons but possibly that one hour class made their day a little brighter...being a part of that IS the best part!


Favorite “Cheat” Food: That's easy...pizza...delicious, thin crust cheesy pizza

Favorite “Healthy” Food: I love avocados!

Favorite Color: I love a good deep purple

Hometown: I was born in Berlin, Germany, but have been in the Sarasota for over 23 years...this is home.

Share something about yourself that we may not know: I self-published four children's audio stories geared towards children struggling with ADHD and sleep disturbance.

Favorite Song: I'm a big music junkie...this is too hard to answer

Favorite way to unwind: A pedicure or a nice meal and big glass of wine

Favorite Vacation Spot: Blue Ridge Mountains in Georgia



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Cauliflower Smoothies...Wait, What?

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What's the latest super food that foodies are blending in their smoothies? Believe it or not, cauliflower! It's a super-cheap way to make your smoothies even healthier and it may already be in your freezer.

Meet Frozen Cauliflower

Adding frozen cauliflower to your smoothies will make them extra thick and creamy, without changing the taste. Besides the amazing texture, cauliflower increases the health benefits of your smoothie. It's chock full of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and folate. Because it's a cruciferous vegetable, it contains sulfuric compounds called glucosinolates, which have been found by studies to be protective against multiple types of cancer. 


Wanna give it a try?

You can use store-bought frozen cauliflower (we like riced cauliflower because we always have it on hand) or you can steam fresh cauliflower and freeze it. Add 1/2 cup frozen cauliflower to your favorite smoothie recipe or get creative. We've been loving this combo: 1/2 cup frozen cauliflower with a handful of frozen blueberries, 2 big handfuls of spinach, 1/4 tsp of maca powder, frozen banana (or avocado if you're not a banana fan), almond milk, spoonful of coconut oil and a scoop of protein powder. The possibilities are endless!



Do you have a favorite smoothie recipe or ingredient you'd like to share? Let us know in the comments or on our socials!



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Transformation Tuesday with ET

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Are you ready to be blown away? ET has been coming to Mantra since August 2014 and his transformation is incredible. The physical changes are amazing and his story is so inspiring.

Read up and be inspired to challenge yourself and beat your own goals!


How did you find Mantra and what were your goals when you started?


My wife and I found Mantra through our superstar realtor. My first goal was pretty basic – do not fall off the machine!

What did you think when you first started classes?

OMG! This is amazing! I’m feeling muscles I never knew I had! I was immediately hooked by the challenge to get better.

For over a year I had to make adjustments in what I could do, but I kept getting better each time. I love the challenge!

How has your body changed since that first class?

Since my first class I have lost 75 pounds! The “before” picture above is actually after I had already lost 20 pounds so the physical change is even more dramatic than pictured. I’ve had to replace my wardrobe 4-5 times since that first class in 2014! My waist went from 43 inches to 30 inches. The only thing that still fits me are my shoes!

Besides the great physical transformation, my strength and flexibility have done a complete 180° change.

Mantra has been LIFE CHANGING for me: It has been a total body health package with the Megaformer workouts, nutrition classes and other programs the studio has provided.

I recently went for a massage and had never met the massage therapist before. Within 30 seconds she stopped and said, "your muscles are different! They're so limber, not tight. Most guys generally have tight, restrictive muscles. Yours are great and healthy!" I explained what I do at Mantra and that has to be the difference. Best part, she thought my muscles felt like they were in their early 40s!


Has it been tough to juggle multiple workouts into your already busy schedule?

I love it so much that I do 2 classes in 1 day if my schedule permits. Mantra is my #1 priority when I’m in town.

What is your best advice for others who are just starting out at Mantra?

Go at your own pace; listen to your body. Do not beat yourself up when you have trouble with a sequence/routine/exercise. I was guilty of this too many times. Be confident at your own pace and with modifications. It's not a competition! You're doing this for yourself!

Ask questions! Every instructor is very caring and will help you adjust. Ask the trainers how to adjust/modify until you can grow into the exercise. 


What has joining Mantra been like for you and what kind of support have you received both from your fellow Megaformer friends and the Mantra trainers/owners?

I’ve received over-the-top support! Every trainer is very supportive and encouraging. There were some amazing clients at my very first class who were so supportive and encouraged me to continue on and have continued to be just as supportive to this day. Rachel is always adding additional programs, like the Transformation/Nutrition Challenge, that help us all get better together. Stacy has been training me since the start and is always encouraging me to get better. The owners’ goal is clearly to help each person get better!



What to share your Transformation story? We'd love to hear it! Send an email to info@mantrafitness.com or let us know at the studio. 

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Saying No So You Can Say Yes

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Guess what guys? You are enough. You are worthy. So we're going to talk about something that makes many of us feel uncomfortable or guilty - saying no. Sometimes we set ourselves up for failure by spreading ourselves too thin, trying to accomplish everything. 

You’re not Superwoman. You can and should say NO… Without guilt, without reasons, without attachment. Give yourself permission to let go of the unrealistic expectations you set for yourself.

By learning to say no, you can begin to fully say YES. Here's a few tips on how to say no without the guilt so that you can say YES to taking care of yourself.

Figure out what you're really saying "yes" to.
Many times when we are saying "no", we are actually saying "yes" to something that is good for us. Perhaps you've turned down a promotion or job offer because it required too much extra time. You were actually saying "yes" to so many things: more with your family; more time for your hobby; better work-life balance. Focus on what you're saying "yes" to, you'll feel so much less guilt about saying "no."

Resist the urge to apologize.
Admit, every time you go to say "no" to someone, you qualify it with an apology. “I’m sorry but …” You think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes your "no" sound weak. It's okay to be firm and unapologetic about guarding your time. 

Stop being nice. 
As we said before, politeness is important, but you're only hurting yourself by saying yes all the time. When you continually say yes, people are going to continue taking advantage of your "niceness" and continue to take your time (or money). Stay firm in turning down requests that are not important to you. You're allowed to guard your time and money!

Give it some thought.
You don't have to give an answer right away. Next time you're asked to do something you're unsure of, feel free to say that you'll give it some thought and you'll get back to them. This gives you time to think it over, check your calendar, or check in with your spouse/family. After you've considered the request, you can then simply respond that you've given it some thought and you won't be able to help out at this time. Polite and concise. Simple.

Practice saying no.
It's like they say, practice makes perfect. Practice saying "no" as often as you can. It's a great way become more comfortable with saying the word. Sometimes repeating it is the only way to get through to some stubborn/persisten people. They'll get the message eventually. 

Don't get us wrong, we're big fans of saying yes. We just want you to say yes to the things that are important to you. Create room in your life. Some breathing space. Time for what’s most important - the things that you love, the people you love.

Then start saying YES to those things. 




Trainer Spotlight with Casey

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We don't know about you, but April always has us thinking about all things fresh and new. So what better time to spotlight one of Tampa's new instructors?! This month we're shining the light on Casey. Mental health counselor by day, she believes that taking care of your physical health is a key component to maintaining a sound mind, and working towards your overall wellness.

Let's get to know Casey! 


How did you find Mantra?
I found Mantra out of pure luck while I was browsing the internet for Pilates classes in Tampa. Boy did I hit the goldmine with Mantra! The workouts are constantly challenging and the instructors are fun-loving and knowledgeable. I was hooked after my first class and knew that Mantra was a studio that I wanted to stay involved with. 

Favorite part of teaching: My favorite part of teaching at Mantra is sharing my passion for Lagree fitness with a bunch of driven people who have a similar interest as myself. I am so fortunate that I was given the opportunity to do something that I love every week!

Favorite Lagree Exercise: Single Leg Squat! The movement has the ability to hit deep into your hamstring, quad, and up into that glute. I watch myself execute the move in the mirror to make sure I am getting low enough and maintaining good form. 

Lagree Exercise You Have a Love/Hate Relationship With: Oof, Runner’s Lunge! Why does it always burn?! 


Favorite “Cheat” Food: M
y sister’s fresh-baked cookies or indulging in a decadent dessert with friends. 

Favorite “Healthy” Food: 
Being the pescatarian that I am, I love me some fish! Salmon, shrimp, stone crab, did I hear SUSHI?! Sweet potatoes are definitely a close second favorite though!

Favorite Color: 
YELLOW like the sun!

Favorite Sports Team: Auburn football (War Eagle!) hands down.

Favorite Song: California Dreaming—Arman Cekin

Favorite way to unwind: My go-to is to hit up a class at Mantra of course, but if I cannot squeeze that in, my second choice is to walk my two dogs on Bayshore and decompress. I have also been taking weekly guitar lessons to get in touch with my creative side and to learn how to express myself more artistically.


Hometown: 
I grew up in Rumson, NJ which is a gorgeous town in Central Jersey on the shore.

Share something about yourself that we may not know: 
My inner thighs were super-hero strong even before Standing Inner Thighs… and I can thank my equestrian upbringing for that! I grew up riding competitively on the hunter/jumper circuit from ages 12-18. 

Beauty tip for the Mega-crew: 
As of lately I have been searching high and low for an all-natural deodorant that does not leave me offending friends and clients on and off of the Megaformer! I recently found what might be the answer! Tea tree oil! I dab that beautifully scented essential oil on every morning and it leaves me smelling fresh even after a mega sesh!



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Morning Habits to Promote Weight Loss

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Mornings are great, aren't they? The whole day is ahead of you and full of possibilities. If you're trying to lose weight, or maybe just get a healthy start, here are a few things you should do in the morning to help you reach your goals.


Get Some Sun
Soaking up some morning rays can help you drop pounds. According to research, the people who spent more time in morning light had lower BMIs than those who were in the dark, no matter their age, activity level, or what they ate. Just 20-30 minutes of morning sunlight between 8 a.m. and noon is all it takes to reap the benefits.

Take a Shot
Drinking a glass of water is great way to detox the body and get your digestive juices flowing. Why not try kicking it up a notch and adding apple cider vinegar (ACV)? Studies have shown that ACV may help keep you from feeling hungry by slowing stomach emptying; it also lowers the glycemic index of high-carb foods like pasta, meaning it can help you feel fuller longer by slowing the release of glucose into your bloodstream. One tablespoon in a glass of water is a good place to start.


Be Mindful
Set aside at least 10 minutes at the beginning of your day to practice mindfulness. Sit quietly and focus on your breath. Meditating every morning can help you feel gratitude for the food you're about to eat, help you feel more satiated, and prevent overeating. Mindfulness can also help prevent stress-based eating.


Move
Working out first thing in the morning helps boost your metabolism and it has been shown to burn more calories than those who work out at other times. Bonus, it will improve your mood and set you up to keep making healthy decisions throughout your day.

Load Up on Protein
A healthy breakfast is always a good way to start the day. Load up that breakfast with more protein and you'll reap the weight-loss benefits. According to a recent study, those who had 30 to 39 grams of protein at breakfast felt less hungry and ate 175 less calories at lunch. 




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Trainer Spotlight with Stacy

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In this month's Trainer Spotlight we get to showcase Sarasota trainer Stacy! This Midwestern girl is a fitness enthusiast with extensive knowledge of the body (she has a degree in Kinesiology from Kansas State). Rest assured that she'll use every bit of that knowledge to whip you into shape on the Megaformer!

Let's get to know Stacy!

Favorite Lagree Exercise (and why):
Core: French Twists as it brings in the waist line
Lower Body: Escalator Lunge because it works the Booty AND the hamstrings. 
Arms: Tailbone Angel is so so great for your posture. People spend all day on their phones, laptops. tablets and this exercise opens the chest while strengthen the back undoing all of that. It's great for your posture!


How did you find Mantra? I found Mantra through lululemon athletica.  We all came to class and were blown away by how hard it was. I was hooked.  Kathy approached me about teaching there and I jumped at the chance to go to California and get certified.  

Favorite part of teaching: The connection with the clients.  I have met some amazing people at Mantra that have made a incredible impact on my life. 

Favorite “Cheat” Food: Cheese Pizza 

Hometown:
Emporia, Kansas

Favorite Sports Teams: I love cheering on and watching my home town teams Kansas City Royals, Kansas City Chiefs and Kansas State Wildcats.

Share something about yourself that we may not know: I won a National Scholastic Gold Key for a Glassblowing piece.

You can catch Stacy teaching at on Wednesdays and Sundays. You don't want to miss her classes!

Wednesdays: 6:00am, 5:30pm & 6:30pm
Sundays: 9:00am, 10:00am & 11:00am (Beginner)

 

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