April 30, 2015 Vol. 14 No. 23
SunWater Spa will debut with blessings, yoga and dancing
Written by Jeanne Davant   


Tackle the Trash

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Top, Approximately 80 volunteers of all ages showed up at Memorial Park on Saturday morning, ready for the Tackle the Trash event. City storm water manager Ryan Keene, addressing the crowd, was pleased with the turnout for Manitou Springs’ first such project. “We only had about 18 folks (signed up) just last week. And then we had our final meeting and all of a sudden, ‘boom!’” Two large dump trucks were needed to handle all the bags filled with garbage from Manitou parks, trails and other public property. “If people were not able to get signed up for this and want to help, we’re having one in late September,” Keene said. That event, Creek Week, also will be sponsored by Colorado Springs Utilities.

Second from top, twenty members of Team Rubicon came out to help during Saturday’s Tackle the Trash event. Participants included families, individuals and church groups.

Bottom, Cylinda and David Walker, with their daughter Jensen, 13, participated in Saturday’s Tackle the Trash project. “It’s our responsibility to take care of where we live,” Cylinda Walker said.

Photos by Rhonda Van Pelt


Salt water is flowing into the therapy pool at SunWater Spa. The warm, bamboo floors are awaiting the touch of barefooted yoga students.

Although the water from the Seven-Minute Spring has not yet filled the soaking pools that overlook Pikes Peak, the owners of the spa at 514 El Paso Blvd. are inviting the Manitou Springs community to preview its resources this weekend and celebrate the awakening of spring.

Beginning Friday evening and continuing throughout the weekend, guests will be treated to free yoga classes, music and samples of the snacks that Adam’s Mountain Café will offer at the spa.

“We’re doing this as a gift to the community,” co-owner Kat Tudor said. “We believe strongly we’re here to be a healing force in the community.”

Visitors will get to tour the spa’s three floors and participate in prayer and blessing ceremonies.

“We will be having a gathering of some of our influences for the spa and the people whose teachings we’ve tried to incorporate,” Tudor said. They include Ute tribeswoman Kerry Cesspooch, the great-great-granddaughter of the Ute Chief Colorow, and Miguel Angel, a teacher of the Mayan shamanic tradition.

Cesspooch will recite an opening prayer and blessing of the spa Friday evening, and members of the Northern Ute tribe will conduct a smudge ceremony and lead awakening and friendship dances.

On Saturday, Tudor and co-owner Don Goede will plant a prayer tree and build a stone cairn to honor the late Loya Arrum, a Ute elder and medicine woman, and Cesspooch’s mother, who blessed the spring waters at the outset of the project.

“These were the beings that lived here,” Tudor said. “We have tried very hard to honor them, ask their permission and bring them in right at the beginning.”

Tudor and Goede received a couple of unexpected blessings during construction of the spa.

While excavating the property, they discovered a new spring that, when spoken to, responds with a bubbling gush of mineral water. Arrum blessed the spring and named it the Talking Spirit Spring. It’s now the centerpiece of the property’s north side, alongside a waterfall and tile mural depicting the spa’s influences.

The owners also discovered a juniper tree on the hill behind the spa that could be a thousand years old. The venerable tree stands at the end of a walkway, and its roots underlie a hut where visitors can sit and meditate.

Classes officially begin May 5 at the spa, and the heated, saltwater pool on the ground floor will open for water therapies including aqua yoga, watsu and water tai chi. A mud room and treatment rooms for Vichy showers, wraps and other therapies are adjacent to the pool.

On the second floor, yoga and tai chi classes, receptions and concerts will be held in a large open studio. Massages, facials and healing therapies will be performed in private treatment rooms.

The third floor, which features an indoor-outdoor fireplace and a glass tepee protruding from the south-facing wall, is envisioned as a ceremonial space, where retreats, workshops and yoga teacher training will take place.

Tudor hopes to raise awareness of the needs of Nepal after Saturday’s devastating earthquake. She will teach a special yoga class at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, 30 W. Dale St., at 5:30 p.m. today, and will donate the proceeds from the spa’s yoga classes during May to relief efforts.

Tudor and Goede had hoped the agreement that will allow them to turn on the water to the spa’s soaking tubs would be finalized in time for the weekend’s activities.

The agreement is still awaiting a final signature, however. Ann Nichols, the city’s water rights expert, said the board of one entity that must sign the agreement is still reviewing it. Nichols expects it to be finalized by July.

Goede said the spa will be 100 percent operational by then and that city water will fill the soaking tubs until they can be filled with mineral water.

“We might have a special mineral water opening,” he said.


Spring Awakening Schedule
SunWater Spa, 514 El Paso Blvd.

May 1, 6-8 p.m.

  • Opening Welcome by Kat Tudor and Don Goede
  • Smudge Ceremony with Drumming and Singing with Northern Ute Delegation
  • Opening Prayer and Blessing by Kerry Cesspooch
  • Awakening of Spirits Jingle Dance around all of the healing waters
  • Round Dance (Friendship Dance) for all in attendance

May 2, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

10 a.m.-noon:

  • Gathering at “Talking Spirit Spring” drumming/singing ceremony
  • Prayer and Blessing by Kerry Cesspooch
  • Building of Stone Cairn for Loya Arrum with Ute Delegation, SunWater directors and staff
  • All guests take black stones, infusing their prayers and intentions for SunWater in the stones, placing them in the pool at waterfall.
  • Chief Colorow Dedication in Tipi Room
  • Closing remarks by Ute Delegation and SunWater Spa staff

Noon-1 p.m.:
Manitou Community Yoga with Anna Hanselman

1-2 p.m.:
Lunch Lounge featuring music by Bob Tudor
Sample Adam’s Mountain Café menu

2-3 p.m.:
Mayan Sacred Prayers to the Water with Miguel Angel and Kat Tudor

3:30-5 p.m.:
Yok-Ha Mayan Cosmos Yoga with Kat Tudor and Miguel Angel

5-6 p.m.:
Mayan Cosmos Vision Meditation with Miguel Angel and Kat Tudor

May 3, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

10-11 a.m.:
Manitou Community Yoga with Chris Dwyer

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Mayan Mantras from the Sacred Mayan Calendar with Miguel Angel

12:30-1:30 p.m.
Lunch Lounge featuring music by Bob Tudor
Sample Adam’s Mountain Café menu

1:30-2:30 p.m.
Blessing of Wazizi Tree and Tezmacal (Ku-Che, God’s Tree) with Kat Tudor, Miguel Angel and Adriana Jones

3-4 p.m.
Brazilian Dance Class
Join native Brazilians Luciana and Alvaro Reys for an extraordinary dance and movement class. Let them take you to the joy and sassiness of Rio de Janeiro and learn how to move the Brazilian way.

4:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Astonishing Brazilian Dance Performance by Luciana da Silva and Alvaro Reys

5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Heart of the Earth, Heart of the Sky Closing Ceremony with Miguel Angel and Kat Tudor