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Meet Our Staff

Meet the women (and one special man!) who give their all so you can enjoy an incredible and unforgettable retreat experience. Join us for a life changing weekend. Register here.

Theresa Polley, E-RYT 200
Founder of Retreat in the Pines
Retreat Host & Yoga Instructor

Theresa Polley Yoga Retreat Founder

Theresa – Founder, Retreat Host & Instructor

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 begin or continue their journey to their authentic self. Her lifelong passion for empowering women led her to struggle for years as a single mom, working several jobs, to keep her 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 an intuitive teacher, gently guiding students to a place of peace and healing.

Theresa believes in celebrating women – our differences and our similarities. Even though we may come from different places, in the end we have so much in common with each other.  She is grateful to the Retreat in the Pines community of diverse women who love and support each other, not only at the retreats, but afterwards through social media and friendships. 

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. The story on Theresa’s journey to living her dream and her thoughts on All Natural Self-care after 40.

For students searching for the perfect retreat setting, check out How to Open Your Heart at a Yoga Retreat and Choosing a Yoga Retreat.

Experience the magic and healing for yourself, what many guests call “a truly life changing experience” when you sign up for a retreat with Theresa. Choose from Detox & Yoga, Mindfulness & Meditation, Four Day Love Yourself and our most popular retreat, Yoga Nurture.

Heather Perdue
Head Chef & Kitchen Manager

Chef - Yoga Retreat

Heather – Head Chef & Retreat Manager

Heather prepares delicious farm-to-table 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. Her Southern family’s love of food inspired her to follow her dream. She pours her heart and soul into every meal she creates. Heather believes that food is what connects us; providing us with not only nourishment, but love and comfort. Guests love Heather for her easy going personality, as well as her skills in the kitchen.

Heather finds happiness in the simple things. Her dogs and cooking for the amazing women at a retreat. I met Heather in 2008 when she attended her first retreat, we had an instant connection. Since then she has journeyed to Retreat in the Pines as a guest, then helping behind the scenes and now as our Head Chef and Kitchen Manager. I’m thrilled to have her and her talents as part of Retreat in the Pines.

You’ll definitely want to enjoy Heather’s home cooking and fun personality at an upcoming retreat.


Kaycee Turner
Property Manager

Kaycee - Retreat Manager - Retreat in the Pines

Kaycee – Property Manager

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 Terry, her dad, 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 here delicious rustic bread and homemade granola. Learn more about Kaycee and her delicious baked goods.


Terry Davis
Property & Building Manager 

Terry Davis

Terry – Property & Building Manager

It takes a special man to work with all women, and Terry Davis is just that. Terry is in charge of maintenance, grounds upkeep, repairs, building projects and so much more. He is currently building our new Kitchen and Dining Hall.

Even though he is retired (formerly he was a General Contractor in San Marcos), Retreat in the Pines keeps him busy. He is married, with 5 grown children (Kaycee is his daughter), 15 grandchildren and 1 great grand baby. He worked for several years in Papua New Guinea building houses for the missionaries. He enjoys fishing and he is active in his church and still does missionary work.

Terry goes above and beyond the call of duty, taking time out from his weekend to help with maintenance issues during a retreat. We couldn’t do it without him.


Tonya Cauduro
Social Media Manager 

Tonya Yoga Retreat Social Media

Tonya – Social Media Manager

Tonya has been active in social media since 2007 and chose to make it a career in 2010. With a background in technology and a love of writing, she hoped to find a way to challenge both her left and right brained needs. Freelance writing, social media management and consulting have helped her do just that.  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 at what was then “Yoga in the Pines,” 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 many difficulties in her life and she is happy to share stories of her experiences to anyone who asks. If she’s not sitting in front of a computer, Tonya can be found outside spending time in nature with her family and her dog.

Tonya’s creativity and expertise in all things digital media is beneficial as we spread the word about Retreat in the Pines.  You can help when you follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or Google Plus. We’d love to have you share your stories and photos with us!


Our Guest Instructors

Michelle Brazell
Retreat Host & Yoga Instructor 

Michelle - Yoga Retreat Instructor

Michelle B. – Yoga Retreat Instructor

Practicing since 2008, Michelle fell in love with yoga when she realized how much it helped with 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 experience of yoga with her students.

Michelle is an accountant by profession and enjoys time outdoors, walking and fishing and she loves cats.  Through her study of 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 – July 8-10, 2018.


Lisa Coyle
Retreat Host & Yoga Instructor 

Lisa C - Yoga Retreat Instructor

Lisa C. – Yoga Retreat Instructor

Lisa’s passion for teaching yoga has blossomed from learning self-compassion and acceptance from her practice, on and off the mat.  She desires to guide students of all levels to experience their own authentic practice. She includes the principles of Ayurveda, yoga philosophy, and safe, alignment-based poses in every class.

Lisa has been a student of yoga for over 34 years and a teacher for almost 15 years and is passionate about helping others. As a Holistic Health Coach. she helps individuals and families to find a balanced way to feed themselves, physically and emotionally. Lisa is also certified as an Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist and is currently studying under Rod Stryker to receive her Para Yoga certification.

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, yoga and other wise.

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


Michelle Erby, E-RYT 500
Retreat Host & Yoga Instructor 

Michelle E. – Yoga Retreat Instructor

Michelle, an avid student of fitness and nutrition, has been teaching fitness classes for over 30 years. Originally from Washington, DC, Michelle is passionate about helping students of all ages to better their lives through fitness and yoga.

Michelle, teaching at the Arlington YMCA and Diana’s School of Yoga, teaches all levels of yoga students and a wide range of styles from Power to Chair Yoga. She teaches at retreats worldwide. Michelle’s yoga journey has taken her to India to study yoga.

Michelle, along with her two sisters, enjoyed the camaraderie and bonding at our Detox & Yoga retreat. Realizing the community of supportive and encouraging women makes Retreat in the Pines unique among retreat destinations, she’s looking forward to leading retreats with us.

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.

Escape the heat, when you join Michelle for a weekend of relaxing at the July 14-16 Yoga Nurture Retreat.


Kenny Kolter
Musician & Sound Healer 

Kenny – Musician & Sound Healer

Kenny 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 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.

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 precious grandchildren.

Enjoy Kenny’s unique healing soundscape and energy at Theresa and Kenny’s next retreat. Details coming soon.


Tara Kristof, E-RYT 500, RPYT
Retreat Host & Yoga Instructor 

Tara - Yoga Retreat Instructor

Tara – Yoga Retreat Instructor

A 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 truly loves sharing her passion with others. She leads workshops, teacher trainings and retreats. Tara’s teaching style is alignment based Vinyasa with specialties in Restorative and Prenatal Yoga. She seeks to guide 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 everyday 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 the healing community of Retreat in the Pines. Connect with Tara at her upcoming retreat, October 27-29, 2017.


Jamie Lynne
Retreat Host & Yoga Instructor 

Jamie – Yoga Retreat Instructor

Jamie has been practicing yoga since 2004 and has been teaching since 2013. She continues to grow and learn through practice, self-study and formal training. Jamie builds a unique practice every class.

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.


Julie Maldonado, CYT-200
Retreat Host & Yoga Instructor

Julie M. - Yoga Retreat Instructor

Julie – Yoga Retreat Instructor

Julie has been practicing yoga since 2000 and is grateful for the opportunity to share her passion for yoga. She believes yoga reduces stress while creating a strong body and calm mind.

Julie is the owner of 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.


Chris Mayhan, E-RYT 200
Retreat Host & Yoga Instructor

Chris M. - Yoga Retreat Instructor

Chris – Yoga Retreat Instructor

Chris 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 with Yoga from the Heart in 2013. She is honored to help others grow in their yoga practice and she believes the yoga concept of movement with breath is key.

Her favorite yoga concept, Santosha (Contentment), is an important part of her life and practice. She teaches Yoga with a Sip!, which combine the practice of 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 is the key to self acceptance. She hopes to share yoga as the key to your self acceptance at her next retreat,  Yoga Nurture Retreat, September 8-10, 2017. Chris welcomes beginners and all levels to her retreats.


Star O’Neill, E-RYT 200
Retreat Host & Yoga Instructor

Star - Yoga & Belly Dance Instructor

Star – Yoga Retreat Instructor

Star was drawn to yoga for strength, flexibility and balance. When she found deeper meaning and connection in her practice, she was hooked. Star felt called to give back in gratitude what she received from her practice. She began teaching in 2012.

Since 2008 Star has taught modern fusion belly dance. She believes asana and belly dance are complementary practices, and she is delighted to watch her students grow as they discover body awareness and self-empowerment in both.

Star is also a belly dancer and artist who loves kitties. When not teaching classes and workshops or performing as a Belly Dancer, she works as an artist (tattoo and other) and costume creator.

Join Star for a retreat. Details comng soon.


Lisa Rose-Michalski, E-RYT 500
Retreat Host & Yoga Instructor

Lisa M. – Yoga Retreat Instructor

Lisa began her yoga journey in 1993 when members requested yoga on the class schedule at the Fort Worth Worthington Athletic Club. She turned her passion into studying yoga and 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 from UNT and has developed programs for special populations including HIV/AIDS, Diabetes, active older adult, cancer survivors, and childhood obesity. 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 nurturing breath to discover inner strength, truth, and peace. Join Lisa at her next retreat in Fall 2018. Details coming soon.


Krystle Sangillo, RYT 200
Retreat Host & Yoga Instructor

Krystle Yoga Retreat Insturctor

Krystle – Yoga Retreat Instructor

Krystle’s yoga practice began as a physical practice when she was struggling through a challenging season in her life. A dear friend advised her exercise would have positive effects, so she tentatively stepped into her first vinyasa flow class in 2011. While the postures challenged her, there was something deeper about yoga that kept her coming back to her mat. Over time, she discovered she felt stronger and more balanced – physically, emotionally, and mentally.

Yoga is a daily reminder to Krystle of the freedom that comes with acceptance of self and appreciation of the beauty of the present moment, which she seeks to share with each of her students. Krystle received her certification in 2015 from CorePower Yoga, and teaches at several studios in the DFW area. 

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 four-year-old daughter, who was diagnosed with autism at age three. 

Discover the magic of Krystle’s teaching  at the October Yoga Nurture Retreat.


Debra Simon, E-RYT 500
Retreat Host & Yoga Instructor

Debra Simon, Yoga Retreat Instructor

Debra – Yoga Retreat Instructor

Debra, teaching since 2007, came to yoga out of a need for balance in her life and fitness habits. Intrigued by the depth of the practice, 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 have adventures…and a lower grocery bill!

Debra teaches gentle, hatha, yin, Kundalini and  believes meditation is the cornerstone of yoga and incorporates mindfulness meditation in every class she teaches. Debra led her first retreat in 2012 and is thrilled to be part of the Retreat in the Pines family of instructors. Join Debra for a retreat in August 2017 and experience her positive and encouraging teaching style for yourself.


Dorsey Standish, E-RYT 200
Retreat Host & Yoga Instructor

Dorsey Standish

Dorsey – Yoga Retreat Instructor

Dorsey discovered yoga and mindfulness in college. The benefits of the practices allowed her to stay mentally and physically fit while obtaining a mechanical engineering degree. Her mindfulness practice has helped her succeed at a Fortune 500 tech company, overcome mental illness and ultimately connect more deeply with those around her. An avid learner, Dorsey routinely grows her practice and her teaching by participating in yoga trainings, 10-day silent meditation retreats and conferences. 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. Her favorite vacation spot is Bethany Beach, Delaware, where she spent time as a kid every summer. 

Dorsey, known for her gentle vinyasa flows, meditative deep stretch classes and heart-centered mindfulness offerings. Dorsey hopes to share self-compassionate yoga with you at her next retreat — Yoga Nurture Retreat, April 6-8, 2018. Dorsey loves teaching beginners and welcomes all levels of practitioners to her retreats.


Stefanie Tovar, E-RYT 200
Retreat Host & Yoga Instructor

Stefanie - Bhakti Yoga Retreats

Stefanie – Yoga Retreat Instructor

Stefanie, began her yoga journey in 2004. She was a full time performing artist seeking health and balance.  She soon realized she was able to find 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.

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. You can also find Stefanie leading a August Yoga Nurture Retreat. Find out more about Stefanie’s other classes and offerings here.


Jennifer Wu-Ho
Retreat Host & Yoga Instructor

Jennifer Wu-Ho

Jennifer – Yoga Retreat Instructor

Jennifer started taking yoga as a form of exercise 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.  Yoga helped her build strength, relieve stress, and explore new depths within herself.  The practice also helped her work towards slowing down, honoring her body, and finding more peace within, especially during her pregnancy.  

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

Jennifer’s life was transformed by her Yoga practice. In hopes to lead others to their own transformation, she loves sharing Yoga with others and especially introducing newcomers to yoga and helping yogis deepen their practice. Discover how yoga can change your life when you join Jennifer for the May 4-6 Yoga Nurture Retreat.


Lauren Yates, E-RYT 200
Retreat Host & Yoga Instructor

Lauren Yates

Lauren – Yoga Retreat Instructor

When Lauren found yoga in college, she was happy to discover the benefits of yoga included calming her mind and relieving her headaches.  Before becoming a yoga instructor, Lauren was a teacher in the Houston Independent School District.  After struggling with stress and several health conditions, she sought out yoga to heal her mind and body.

Lauren is a certified yoga teacher 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 each of her students to alleviate physical pain, find peace of mind and realize health and happiness.

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

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

Jan Hauk
Massage Therapist

Jan – Massage Therapist

Jan has been providing guests of Retreat in the Pines with the ultimate in relaxation since 2011. Guests love Jan’s soothing touch and calming energy. After a massage with Jan, most guests comment “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, as she makes the long drive up for the retreats, almost every weekend.

To enjoy the ultimate massage on our screened in back porch (weather permitting), book a retreat here.