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Meet Our Staff

Meet the women who give their all so you can enjoy an incredible and unforgettable retreat experience. 

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Theresa Polley - Founder of Retreat in the Pines

Theresa Polley Retreat in the Pines

Theresa – Founded Retreat in the Pines in 2004

Theresa believes ALL women should be able to live life on their own terms. In 2004, she created Retreat in the Pines to give women the opportunity and space to find their authentic self. Her lifelong passion for empowering women led her to struggle as a single mom, working several jobs, to keep the dream of Retreat in the Pines alive.

Theresa brings her soothing voice and calm presence to every yoga practice, where women of all ages, sizes and abilities feel welcome. She is guides students to a place of peace and healing. 

Theresa remains close with her three adult children and loves to spend her time away from the retreat enjoying all things yoga, cycling and traveling. Theresa’s shares her thoughts on the importance of self-care, All Natural Self-care after 40.

Experience a truly life changing weekend when you sign up for a retreat with Theresa. Choose from Detox & Yoga, Mindfulness & Meditation, Four Day Love Yourself and more.

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Heather Perdue - Head Chef & Kitchen Manager

Chef - Yoga Retreat

Heather prepares delicious meals, creates recipes and supervises our cooking staff. Heather fell in love with cooking at an early age; while watching Yan Can Cook, Justin Wilson and Julia Child on PBS. She pours her heart and soul into every meal she creates. Heather believes that food is what connects us; providing us with love and comfort. Guests enjoy Heather’s easy going personality, as well as her skills in the kitchen.

Heather finds happiness in the simple things. I met Heather in 2008 when she attended her first retreat, we had an instant connection. I’m thrilled to have her and her talents as part of Retreat in the Pines. Enjoy Heather’s home cooking and fun personality at an upcoming retreat.

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Kaycee Turner - Property Manager

Kaycee - Property Manager - Retreat in the Pines

Kaycee is the hands-on manager for the daily operations of the Retreat Center. Kaycee insures the houses are sparkling clean and ready for guests’ arrival. She also assists with building and repair projects. 

Kaycee is married to Michael and between the two of them, they have seven children, lots of chickens, cows, dogs and an exotic cat. 

Kaycee is committed to making the retreat center feel like home for all of our guests. She continues to provide us with her delicious rustic bread and homemade granola. Learn more about Kaycee and her delicious baked goods.

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Tonya Cauduro - Social Media

Tonya Yoga Retreat Social Media

Tonya has been active in social media since 2007.  Freelance writing, social media management and consulting keep her busy.  As a single mom, Tonya chose to venture out as a solopreneur in 2014 so she could be close to home for her two daughters.

When she attended her first retreat in 2008, Tonya fell in love with the healing energy and, after several more retreats, the wonderful new friendship with Theresa. The retreats have helped Tonya transition through difficulties in her life. 

Help Tonya spread the word on social media when you follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or Google Plus. We’d love to have you share your stories and photos with us!

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Michelle Brazell - Retreat Host & Yoga Instructor

Michelle Yoga Retreat Instructor

Practicing since 2008, Michelle fell in love with yoga when she realized how much it helped her stress level. At first she struggled to relax, now she can’t imagine her life without yoga. Michelle, teaching since 2011, is happy to share the healing of yoga with guests.

Michelle is an accountant by profession and enjoys time outdoors, walking and fishing and she loves cats. Through Ayurveda, she discovered the importance of living a balanced life. Michelle lives in Tulsa and enjoys her drive to the retreat center.

Retreat in the Pines holds a special place in Michelle’s heart, ever since her first visit in 2010. Michelle also assists Theresa at the Love Yourself Four Day Retreat. She is thrilled to share the amazing experience with guests at her next retreat – October 20-22, 2017

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Lisa Coyle - Retreat Host & Yoga Instructor

Lisa Coyle Yoga Retreat HostLisa’s passion for teaching yoga blossomed from learning self-compassion and acceptance from her practice, on and off the mat.  She guides students of all levels to experience their own authentic practice. She includes Ayurveda, yoga philosophy, and alignment cues in every class. Lisa has been a student of yoga for over 34 years and a teacher for over 15 years. As a Holistic Health Coach. she helps clients find a balanced way to feed themselves – physically and emotionally. Lisa is certified as an Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist. 

Lisa and her husband are empty nesters. After years of being a hands on mom to her three boys, she’s looking forward to her new adventures.

Enjoy Lisa’s authentic teaching and unique yoga voice at the her next retreat, Revitalize: Ayurveda & Yoga Retreat.

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Michelle Erby - Retreat Host & Yoga Instructor 

Michelle Erby Yoga InstructorMichelle, an avid student of fitness and nutrition, has been teaching fitness for over 30 years. Michelle teaches all levels and a wide range of styles at the Arlington YMCA and Diana’s School of Yoga. She teaches at retreats worldwide. Michelle is passionate about helping students of all ages to better their lives through wellness.

Michelle and her husband have three children and three grandchildren. Michelle loves yoga retreats, cruises, cooking, reading, hot yoga and spending time with her family.

Michelle, along with her two sisters, enjoyed the bonding at our Detox & Yoga retreat. Michelle is grateful to be a part of our community and she believes our community makes Retreat in the Pines unique among retreat destinations. Join Michelle for a weekend of relaxation and connection, September 22-24, 2017

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Kenny Kolter - Musician and Sound Healer


Kenny Kolter Sound HealerKenny is passionate about creating a live soundscape through his musical instruments to allow quieting of the mind and releasing of the body. He has facilitated over 1,200 Sound Therapy workshops throughout the country since 2008. He uses gongs, drums, rattles, Tibetan bowls, chimes and various other instruments to provide an energetic and sonic backdrop for deep relaxation and meditation. Kenny’s unique work is to provide participants a chance to escape the wanderings of the mind to meditate, pray, rest, or go within.

Kenny, originally from the Chicago area, currently lives in Dallas with his lovely wife. They travel as often as possible to visit their adult children and grandson.

Kenny uses a gong for meditative healing work, a particularly soothing backdrop to a yoga practice and Savasana. As a recording artist Kenny has released four gong meditation CDs. Enjoy Kenny’s unique healing soundscape and energy, along with Theresa’s calming yoga practice, at one of two Sound Healing and Yoga Retreats in 2018, March 16-18 or October 19-21.

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Tara Kristof- Retreat Host & Yoga Instructor

Tara - Yoga Retreat InstructorA Dallas native, Tara is a long time student of yoga, practicing since 1999 and teaching since 2005. Tara was introduced to Yoga as a life-path and loves sharing her passion with others. She leads workshops, teacher trainings and retreats. Tara’s teaches alignment based Vinyasa with specialties in Restorative and Prenatal Yoga. She guides her students to find intelligence in their bodies, as well as inner awareness and connection to their true self. She is especially skilled at guiding students to a restful and healing Savasana.

Tara takes her practice off the mat and into her life. She is a happy wife, proud mother of a daughter and seeks to live an authentic and mindful life.

Tara hosted her first retreat at Retreat in the Pines in 2013 and is thrilled to be a part of our healing community. Connect with Tara at her upcoming retreat, October 27-29, 2017.

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Jamie Lynne - Retreat Host & Yoga Instructor

Jamie Yoga Retreat InstructorJamie has been practicing yoga since 2004 and teaching since 2013. She continues to grow and learn through practice, self-study and formal training. 

Jamie gently encourages students to find introspection and self-growth. She believes a well-rounded yoga practice includes an active physical practice combined with a restorative practice, along with a meditation practice, to bring healing to the mind, body and spirit. Her dream is to bring yoga into the lives of as many people as possible.

Jamie fell in love with Retreat in the Pines in 2010, when she attended her first retreat (bringing her mom as a gift for her birthday) and has been a frequent guest over the years. Guests particularly enjoy Jamie’s Yoga Nidra. Enjoy a restorative weekend of bliss with Jamie. Details coming soon.

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Julie Maldonado - Retreat Host & Yoga Instructor

Julie Maldonado Retreat Host Yoga InstructorJulie has been practicing yoga since 2000 and is grateful for the opportunity to share her passion. She believes yoga reduces stress while creating a strong body and calm mind. Julie owns Cypress Yoga where she encourages her students to challenge themselves to improve their strength and flexibility while honoring their bodies. She combines Vinyasa, Hatha, Inyengar and guided meditations to make each class unique.

Julie lives in Cypress, Texas with her three active boys and husband.

Julie attended her first retreat at Retreat in the Pines in 2010 and fell in love with the energy and the space. She was inspired to lead her own retreats and she is grateful to have the opportunity to return to the home of her inspiration to lead a retreat. Bask in the spring beauty of the East Texas piney woods with Julie, April 27-29, 2018.

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Chris Mayhan - Retreat Host & Yoga Instructor

Chris Mayhan Yoga Retreat HostChris stepped on her yoga mat in 2006 and fell in love with the mind and body connection, as well as the inspiration and peace she discovered. In hopes of sharing the magic of yoga with others, she became certified to teach. She is honored to help others grow in their yoga practice and she believes movement with breath is key.

Santosha (Contentment), is an important part of her life and practice. She teaches Yoga with a Sip!, which combines movement and breath with wine and chocolate. In addition to yoga, Chris enjoys dancing, running and music. Chris has two children and one amazing grandson.

As a guest in 2010, Chris fell in love with the peaceful healing of the property. She discovered yoga as a key to self acceptance. Her next retreat with openings is January 5-7, 2018. Chris welcomes beginners and all levels. 

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Lisa Rose-Michalski -Retreat Host & Yoga Instructor

Lisa Yoga Retreat InstructorLisa began her yoga journey in 1993 when members requested yoga at a Fort Worth Athletic Club. She began teaching in 1998. Lisa credits her teachers for their inspiration in developing her yoga style, which students describe as a “powerful and graceful flow.” Lisa enjoyed her first retreat with Theresa in 2010 and returned to lead retreats with her students.

Lisa, working in health and wellness since 1989,  holds a M.S. in Exercise Physiology and has developed programs for special populations. Lisa teaches at the Mansfield/Arlington YMCA and conducts workshops at Premier Yoga and Fitness. Lisa and her husband live in Mansfield with their two active and talented children.

Lisa encourages her students to connect with their breath to discover inner strength, truth, and peace. Join Lisa in Fall 2018. Details coming soon.

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Krystle Sangillo - Retreat Host & Yoga Instructor 

Krystle Yoga Retreat Insturctor

Krystle’s yoga practice began as a physical practice when she was struggling through a challenging season in her life. While the postures challenged her, there was something deeper about yoga – she discovered she felt stronger and more balanced – physically, emotionally, and mentally.

When she isn’t practicing or teaching yoga, she works from home as a copywriter and editor. She and her husband are devoted to creating the best possible life for their five-year-old daughter, who was diagnosed with autism at age three. 

Yoga is a daily reminder to Krystle of the acceptance of self and appreciation of the present moment. Krystle received her certification in 2015 from CorePower Yoga, and teaches at several studios in the DFW area. Discover the magic of Krystle’s teaching  at the October Yoga Nurture Retreat

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Debra Simon - Retreat Host & Yoga Instructor 

Debra Simon, Yoga Retreat Instructor

Debra, teaching since 2007, came to yoga out of a need for balance in her life and fitness habits. She is certified through Blue Anjou’s Breathe into Awareness teacher training and Yoga Bridge Yoga for Cancer training. She is passionate about learning, and recently began an Ayurveda training.

Debra and her husband are recent empty nesters of two college boys and though she misses them, she is enjoying new found freedom to travel…and a lower grocery bill!

Debra teaches gentle, hatha, yin, Kundalini and believes meditation is the cornerstone of yoga. Debra led her first retreat in 2012 and is thrilled to be part of the Retreat in the Pines family of instructors. Join Debra February 9-11, 2018 for a beautiful retreat experience. 

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Dorsey Standish- Retreat Host & Yoga Instructor 

Dorsey Standish

Dorsey discovered yoga and mindfulness in college, which allowed her to stay mentally and physically fit. Her mindfulness practice has helped her succeed at a Fortune 500 tech company, overcome mental illness and connect more deeply with those around her. Her mission is to share her passion for science-based yoga and mindfulness with a broader audience. 

When she’s not teaching mindfulness and yoga, Dorsey coaches clients and designs websites through her business, Create Presence. Dorsey loves cooking vegetarian meals and spending time with her kitten Zed. 

Known for her gentle vinyasa flows, meditative deep stretch classes and heart-centered mindfulness offerings; she hopes to share self-compassionate yoga with you at a Yoga Nurture Retreat, April 6-8, 2018.  

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Stefanie Tovar - Retreat Host & Yoga Instructor 

Stefanie - Bhakti Yoga Retreats

Stefanie, began her yoga journey in 2004 as a full time performing artist seeking health and balance.  She soon discovered solace, stability and peace through yoga…no matter where her suitcase took her. As her practice deepened, Stefanie followed her heart, which led her to teacher training and self-inquiry. Inspired by Sean Johnson, a guiding voice of Bhakti yoga, Stefanie is growing in the art of Bhakti Yoga, “Yoga of the Heart.” Drawing on her experiences and the restorative power of music, she inspires healing and ultimately transformation through her voice.

Mom to Luna, Stefanie believes a yoga practice is especially important for creating balance as a mom.  Find Stefanie’s other offerings here.

Teaching since 2007, Stefanie is on a journey as a different kind of performing artist, a yogi artist weaving breath with movement, music and love. Join Stefanie and Theresa for the November Embrace Contentment: Bhakti Yoga Retreat.  Stefanie will blend Bhakti yoga with vinyasa flow and lead Kirtan. 

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Jennifer Wu-Ho - Retreat Host & Yoga Instructor 

Jennifer Wu-Ho

Jennifer started practicing yoga to add variety to her gym workouts and running.  Soon, yoga took hold and she found herself returning back to the mat more and more frequently.  With yoga, she found strength, stress relief and new depths within herself.  The practice allowed her to slow down, honor her body, and find peace within, especially during her pregnancy.  

Outside of yoga, Jennifer works in corporate finance and enjoys on excel spreadsheets.  She is a foodie and can be found eating her way through Dallas with her husband.  She is the proud mom of a baby girl, her newest boss!

She loves introducing newcomers to yoga and helping experienced yogis deepen their practice. Join Jennifer for the May 4-6 Yoga Nurture Retreat.


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Laurne Yates - Retreat Host & Yoga Instructor 

Lauren Yates

Lauren – Yoga Retreat Instructor

Lauren found yoga in college and discovered a calmer mind and relief from headaches. Struggling with stress and several health conditions led her to yoga for healing. Lauren is certified through Wild Lotus Yoga in New Orleans. She believes yoga is for all ages and abilities. She lives by her mantra, “It’s not about being good at something.  It’s about being good to yourself.” Lauren hopes to help her students to alleviate physical pain, find peace and realize happiness.

Lauren enjoys spending time with her husband, their three dogs and one cat. She also is an avid reader, attempts to garden and loves trying new recipes.

Enjoy a Yoga Nurture weekend with Lauren, March 9-11 2018. Lauren infuses meditation, music, mantras, storytelling, and poetry in her all level classes.  

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Jan Hauk - Massage Therapist

Massage Therapist - Yoga Retreat

Jan has been providing guests of Retreat in the Pines with the ultimate in relaxation since 2011. Guests love Jan’s soothing touch and calm energy. After a massage with Jan, most guests agree “That was the best massage ever!”

Jan, a Registered Massage Therapist since 2005, loves the connection with guests, and enjoys visiting with guests at dinner after a day of massages. Jan loves the ocean and moved to Galveston in 2013. She is truly dedicated to our community; she makes the drive up for the retreats, most weekends.

Book a retreat here to enjoy the ultimate massage on our screened in back porch.