Woods Apothecary Academy of Healing Arts now open
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. Woods Apothecary- a number one source of natural remedies in South Lake Tahoe- just opened a new workshop space and storefront on 2264 Tahoe Boulevard Suite #12. Not only does the apothecary sell tinctures, teas, and herbal medicines, but owner Gina Woods also has the space to be able to provide dance, movement, herbal workshops, and more on a regular basis.
“[Moving the apothecary here] allowed me to open up the space for a lot of potential classes in performance arts,” she says.
Resident Andy Voelkel teaches music lessons to kids next door, complementing the type of atmosphere and energy that Woods wants to create in their corner of the Tahoe Keys Center.
“We can have belly dancing classes, a potential cabaret, there will be a full array of healing arts to raise awareness and connection,” Woods says.
Woods has been studying holistic healthcare and nutritional therapies since she was 18 years old and has had an apothecary since 2006 (which was formerly based in Meyers) as well as a farm in Malpais, Costa Rica.
“Over in Costa Rica the food forest becomes self-sustaining as it works with the natural rhythms of the earth,” she says.
“Woods Apothecary evolved naturally as I evolve,” Woods says, who is also a single mom, massage therapist, and certified doula.
Woods teaches workshops with names like The People’s Medicine, Herbal Mixology, and Cultivating The Inner Terroir. Her summertime outdoor “Materia medica” and foraging classes- where she shows off bioregional herbs and how to use them- often filled up.
The new suite in the Tahoe Keys Center allows Woods to do more of that. The open yoga/movement studio also doubles as a botanical lab/kitchen, where sweet smelling masala chai spices were wafting out of a pot. Two small plots of dirt outside of the apothecary will hopefully be home to a place where people can grow their own herbs.
“We will rehabilitate the soil over winter, install a permaculture medicine garden here for the community,” she says.
She also wants to employ teenagers in the hopes that this can also be a social gathering spot for SLT’s youth. She also wants to host kids’ classes, the indoor equivalent to the Tiny Seeds Forest School, which focuses on art, ecology, music, and movement.
“They can learn how to make things with herbs. Those kids are primarily educated in the outdoors so I would love for them to bring what they know here and create,” says Woods.
In how she got the new apothecary space, Woods noticed it when she was working at the Zen Massage Studio a few doors down. After COVID, it became available to lease and she grasped the opportunity.
“During COVID people felt isolated and all those thoughts of having a community hub were pushed to the backburner. Afterwards I started seeing more places like this popping up as people were yearning for that social interaction, a way to express themselves through the arts,” she says.
“‘Just go for it’ was the impetus for this place. People are hungry for that earth-based knowledge, and I feel that with the state of the world right now, we need to dig into something real.”
Woods held a soft opening in mid-October where she had a fire-cider making station and breathwork practice. Starting in November, the Apothecary Academy will have a consistent class schedule (Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturday-Sunday). The classes are the focus of the apothecary, so that’s when Woods will be there to sell herbs and tinctures. Right now, in the transition of the seasons, it’s an ideal time for elixirs, tinctures, and herbal remedies to help boost the immune system. Woods also provides private wellness consultations, available by appointment.
“My dreams of having a community hub have finally become a reality and this serves our purpose perfectly,” she says.
For more information about Woods Apothecary Academy of Healing Arts class schedule and products, visit http://www.woodsapothecary.org.
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