Mind and body knowledge from both Eastern and Western origins swirl together for a weekend full of workshops, lectures, and learning geared specifically toward women at the Women’s Wellness Weekend at Granlibakken. Featuring local health and exercise professionals and motivational speakers, the schedule is full of events like “Are You Fooled By Your Foods, or Fueled?” and “Introduction to Integrative Medicine,” and is topped off with the Interactive Health Fair to conclude the weekend.

This is the third year that Granlibakken is hosting the Women’s Wellness Weekend — it used to be organized by  Tahoe Forest Hospital — and Shawna Lee West, the resort’s health and wellness promotions manager, feels like this year they’ve really perfected the event.

Her favorite aspect of the program, aside from the health fair, is “the connections and relationships built between women, women and health professionals, and health [businesses], she said. Plus, the weekend creates a great network within the abundant local wellness community. “We think we live in such a small town, but the opportunities to get health and wellness advice are here, and there’s so many of them,” West said.

Donna Hartley, Tahoe City resident for the past 33 years, will be giving her motivational speech, “Fire Up Your Heart,” on Sunday the 10th. Hartley, who also spoke at last year’s event, truly represents feminine strength and will share personal stories of overcoming devastating events — like surviving a plane crash, being diagnosed with melanoma, and undergoing open heart surgery. She emphasizes that mindset, preventative care, and exercise are essential to wellness.

This year Hartley will motivate her fellow women to fire up their hearts with “little steps to spice up your life,” she said. “What [women] think and what they say to themselves is more powerful than they know,” Hartley explained. “If they keep putting negative thoughts in there, that’s all they’ll get.” Throughout her open heart surgery in 2006, she asked her friends and family to repeat the mantra, “Perfect health, perfect surgery, perfect recovery.” And that is exactly what she experienced.

In addition to the diverse workshops and presentations offered at the weekend, women can also participate in optional exercise classes like yoga, Ki Gong, and Zumba, peruse local artisan booths on Saturday, and experience new wellness techniques through demonstrations at the Interactive Health Fair on Sunday, all while sharing space with fellow women in pursuit of wellness.

Naturopathic doctors Stephenie Riley and Christina Campbell, who run the Tahoe Center of Natural Medicine in Tahoe City, will share their expertise of common nutrient deficiencies on Sunday. “To me, wellness is the pursuit of optimal health on all levels: mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical,” Riley shared. “Our greatest focus is on the physical, and often we accept wellness as absence of disease. I believe we should expand our health goals to the pursuit of the healthiest we can be.”

Campbell has been involved with the Wellness Weekend for the past eight years, and appreciates that it is women-specific, citing that it “promotes camaraderie and fellowship.” Plus, she feels that the resort is excelling at organizing the event. “Granlibakkan … has done an outstanding job of revitalizing and marketing it,” she said. “I think the program the past two years is as best as it’s ever been.”

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Ashley Owen
Ashley Owen moved to Truckee in 2012 with nothing but a dream of life in the mountains, a car full of clothes, and a best friend. One season turned into three or four (and more, and more) and she's still here, honored to be writing about music, art, and food for Moonshine...and singing in a rock 'n' roll band. While the move to Tahoe was serendipitous, Owen is eternally grateful to call this place home and doesn't plan on packing her life into a car any time soon.