Just Say No…So You Can Say Yes to You

just say no

Wouldn’t it be nice if somebody took care of you? Say no to the non essentials in your life and you’ll have more time to take care of YOU.

2014 almost gone…how did that happen?! Before the madness gets even more maddening, take a moment to press pause and take care of yourself. I know, with a late Thanksgiving it feels like Christmas is going to be here any second and you’re thinking “I don’t have time for that!” Just as I’ve shared with my retreat guests – if you don’t take time to take care of yourself, you won’t be able to take care of others or do all of the things you need to do on a daily basis.

Learn to Say No

In this day and age we’re expected to do more…holiday parties, volunteer work, homemade gifts, more, more, more! There’s the implication if you do more, you’re a better person – better than you were last year, better than your neighbor, the best version of yourself (never attainable). And the funny part of being the best version of yourself, every year the bar gets a little higher. You can stop the madness by saying no.

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Savory Sweet Potato Soup

savory sweet potato soup

You know that feeling of a fresh cup of your favorite coffee, nothing to do, and listening to Christmas Jazz in your pajamas feels like? Okay so maybe this isn’t one of your happy places (yet), but I think I’d describe this feeling as a “perfectly cozy”. And I’m pretty sure that this soup is exactly that. And mom totally agrees – as she put it, it’s a “hug from the inside out”.

Just a disclaimer for all those non-curry-lovers out there: this recipe calls for curry! But wait! Will you please try it? It’s only a little bit of the spice (it’s not an actual curry dish) and it’s really good for your health - add as much or as little as you’re comfortable with.

Let me know what you think!


P.S. I found the original recipe on Dishing Up The Dirt and added my own twist. Enjoy!

Savory Sweet Potato Soup Read more »

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Turkey Noodle Soup

Easy recipes for turkey leftovers

Warm up on a cold day – Turkey Noodle Soup with a mug of hot tea and warm crusty bread.

We recently created a delicious homemade and healthy Chicken Noodle Soup for our Gratitude Retreat. It’s just as amazing with turkey. With Thanksgiving next week, this is an easy and delicious way to use any extra turkey.
  • Leftover turkey chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 medium onions chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup celery diced
  • 2 cups carrots cut into coins
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary or 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoon lemon pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Italian Seasoning Blend
  • 5 cups low sodium chicken stock or use pan juices from turkey with water added
  • 1 cup water
  • juice from 1/2 of a fresh lemon
  • 16 oz package of egg noodles
Directions Sauté garlic, onions and celery in coconut oil for five minutes. Add sautéed veggies along with herbs, carrots, turkey pieces, chicken stock and water to crockpot. Let cook on low in crockpot for three hours. Add noodles and cook an additional ten minutes, turning the heat to high, or until noodles are soft. To use chicken instead of turkey, I recommend roasting the chicken (stuffing it first with several cloves of garlic, rosemary and a lemon cut into quarters). Use pan juices and add water to equal liquid. This is delicious served with grilled cheese, crusty bread with olive oil or crackers and cheese. The perfect warm up for a chilly day! Our gratitude retreat was such a success we’ve added a three night Gratitude Retreat in 2015. If you need a jump start for your gratitude journey, we’d love to have you! Get more details. We are so grateful for each of you. What are you grateful for?
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How to Relax the Tightness in Your Neck

Does your neck feel tense and tight? Maybe these stretches will help. I was recently asked to submit information for an article about stretches that yoga instructors use for themselves and teach to their students. I frequently get neck discomfort and tension from working on my laptop. These neck stretches work beautifully.

Yoga Retreat at Retreat in the Pines

Neck & Shoulder Stretching at a Yoga Retreat

I plan to incorporate these stretches into upcoming yoga retreats. These feel especially good if you’ve been driving for awhile, with your neck and shoulders hunched and tight. It’s a perfect complement to our Friday evening hip opener class. Learn these soothing neck stretch when you join us for a retreat.

Read the whole article here.

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Lemon Chicken

Yoga Retreat

Theresa & Nina Learning to Cook Lemon Chicken

Nina and I went to a Central Market cooking class to celebrate our birthdays this past winter. When they asked us about our favorite parts of the class, her response was “learning new cooking techniques.” And as much as I wanted to say that…I had to be honest. My favorite part was the eating. So many delicious dishes…and out of all of them the Lemon Chicken was my favorite. Of course I tweaked the recipe and made it my own, and according to our guests, it’s delicious. Here’s my version.

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 medium onions sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic, 3 whole and 2 minced
  • 1 cup prunes cut in halves or quarters
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tsp. turmeric
  • 2 tsp. ginger
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. curry powder
  • 3 lemons
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock from pan juices plus water or white wine to make up the difference
  • 1 cup uncooked Quinoa, Brown Rice or other grain

Stuff chicken with 1 lemon cut in quarters and squeezed and two cloves of garlic. Roast chicken in covered dish to reserve juices. Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and onions and cook until onions are caramelized. Add spices, prunes and juice from two lemons, cook another five minutes. When chicken is roasted, add strained pan juices to sauce. Shred chicken and add to sauce. Prepare quinoa or brown rice according to package directions. Serve chicken and sauce over cooked quinoa or brown rice.

This is the perfect warm-you-up dish for cooler weather, but I cook it all year round. If you like you can always add more spices to give it even more of a kick.

If you’ve always wanted to take a cooking class, I highly recommend Central Market’s classes. Low key and fun and did I mention they serve wine?

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Finding Gratitude

Finding Gratitude - Retreat at Home Tips - Retreat in the Pines Women's Wellness and Yoga Retreats - Texas

Gratitude. In a society that’s constantly ogling over the newest iPhone, racing to the newest hipster hot spot, and hashtagging the latest Twitter trend, gratitude seems to be an afterthought… if that.

I believe, that while most people are well intentioned, the concept of gratitude gets lost in the busy reality of life. What if we took small steps towards thankfulness? I think we’d all discover that a life lived in gratitude is so much richer.

In a society that’s continually encouraged to have MORE – how does one embody an “attitude of gratitude”? For me, it was a combination of awareness, perspective, and making changes.

Photo: Shannon Kringen (Flickr CC)

Blinded by the Bubble

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10% Off Any Retreat – Celebrate Retreat in the Pines 10 Year Anniversary!

Celebrating 10 Years Banner  

Celebrate 10 Years of Retreats at Retreat in the Pines with our one-day-only sale!

Register TODAY for a 10% discount off ANY upcoming retreat.

Please Note:
  • No other special offer applies.
  • 10% will be deducted off of your final payment.
  • 10% off is applicable only to the price of the retreat.

Click Here to View Upcoming Retreats & Register!

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Celebrate Ten Years of Retreats with Us!

Yoga Retreats

Celebrating Ten Years of Yoga Retreats!

Our Story

When we opened our doors in 2004, we were one of the only retreat centers in the state of Texas, but as the yoga industry boomed, so did the retreat business. While I have seen many retreat businesses come and go, I’m proud to say Retreat in the Pines (formerly Yoga in the Pines) is still growing strong. Just Google “yoga retreat Texas” and see for yourself! I started the business in 2004 and my daughter Nina joined me in 2013. Read more on the beginnings of Retreat in the Pines.

I was inspired to begin hosting yoga retreats when I was invited to teach at a fitness retreat in 2004. While I was disappointed at the “un-retreat” like weekend – non-existent free time, very little sleep, and highly restrictive meals – I was also inspired. I wanted to create a more “retreat like” experience, inviting women to indulge in some of my (and hopefully their!) favorite things – wine, coffee, chocolate, and delicious meals cooked from scratch – all as a complement to yoga. Even more importantly, I imagined a getaway that could be accessible to women of all sizes, ages, levels of yoga experience, and budgets. Focused on that idea, my first retreat was priced ridiculously low at $199! In order to continue to reach more women and cover the costs of doing business, I’ve gradually had to raise the retreat prices. Prices now range from $369 to $499, a very budget friendly price in the retreat world.

Yoga Retreat

First Yoga Retreat in the New Studio was Co-Ed, November 2007

At first, I hosted co-ed retreats, but I quickly realized that having men changed the dynamic, especially after experiencing a disastrous co-ed retreat in 2008. I wanted women to feel comfortable and relaxed and not worry about makeup or wearing pajamas to breakfast. Many women tell me that the retreat feels like a slumber party – and they love that. And I love that! We may occasionally offer co-ed retreats, but we will disclose that on the retreat listing, this is the perfect opportunity for you to bring that special man in your life! The rest of the retreats will remain women only. I believe women only is where the good stuff happens, we are relaxed enough to get out of our comfort zones and find a change of perspective. That perspective change can be life changing.

Empowering Women Through Yoga, February 2010

Empowering Women Through Yoga, February 2010

My passion in life has always been to make a difference in the world, specifically with women. I am grateful to be a part of so many retreat guests journey to empowerment. When I see one of you make a breakthrough: decide to leave an unhealthy relationship, find a job with a less toxic environment, or introduce healthy habits into your life, I know that through our retreats we are giving our guests the opportunity to not only change their perspective, but change their lives.

My oldest daughter, Nina Herndon, assists with various aspects of managing and expanding the business. She is passionate about healthy cooking and she caters many of the retreats. You may have enjoyed some of her recipe blogs about her quirky (and undeniably delicious) recipe creations. Nina has been sharing business advice and insight to me throughout her college years and time spent in Austin. She was at a point of transition in her own life, when she stepped into the unknown and trusted the call to pursue something she believed in…being a part of the journey to transformation for our retreat guests.

Yoga Retreat

Our Detox & Yoga Retreat Sold Out, January 2014

In my first year of business, there were only a few retreats on the calendar and my first retreat had only two guests! Now, most of our retreats are filled to capacity, with 30 retreats already scheduled for 2015. The retreat center attracts women from Texas, as well as around the country, most fly into DFW or Love Field. Jill recently drove all the way from Minnesota! We’ve had women from NYC, Seattle, Chicago, New Orleans, Denver and all places in between. The more adventurous guests take Amtrak (and enjoy wine on the way!) to downtown Mineola.

Michelle, who traveled from LA in March 2014 for a Detox and Yoga Retreat told us, “I had a beautiful experience at the Retreat in the Pines. Theresa and Nina were wonderful and the women I met were incredible. Thank you guys so much. I am forever grateful.”

Nina and I are thrilled to be working together to provide women a safe place of refuge, inspiration, and renewed perspective. We look forward to the next ten years of growing Retreat in the Pines and meeting you!

Celebrate 10 Years of Retreats with Us

Celebrate with us…when you enter to win giveaways and take advantage of our special day of retreat pricing during October. This is our way to show gratitude to each of you. YOU have made the last ten years possible – ten years of growing, learning and meeting so many amazing women. Thank you for your love and support along this incredible journey.

How to Join the Celebration

Enter to win prizes that include a weekend retreat, relaxation baskets filled with goodies, gift certificates, yoga tank tops, and more.

Stay tuned for one-day-only 10% off a retreat special. We will announce the day via our Retreat in the Pines Newsletter, Facebook Page, and Twitter Feed.

Keep reading for details, and learn more about our story.

Enter to Win One of Ten Great Giveaways

Beginning October 1st, submit your entry to win; we will choose the winners at random and announce them the first week of November.

To enter the contest:

Send an e-mail to with any one of the following:
  • Your favorite inspirational quote
  • One of the reasons you love Retreat in the Pines
  • A photo of your visit to Retreat in the Pines

Please Note:

  • ANYONE can enter! But remember retreats are for women only.
  • You can enter the contest as many times as you like, but submissions are limited to one per day.
  • Submissions will only be accepted October 1 – 31, via email:
  • We will randomly pick ten lucky winners that will be announced the first week of November in our blog, newsletter, and social media. (Be sure to subscribe to the newsletter, like our Facebook page, follow us on twitter, and share with your friends!)
  • By entering you are giving us permission to share your quote or photo on our Facebook page or website.

The Special Savings

During October we will have a one-day-only special, inviting you to register for the retreat of your choice at 10% off the Retreat price… a savings of up to $50! You can register for as many retreats as you’d like. Invite your friends to join you.

All details for these one-day-only specials will be announced through our newsletter (click here to subscribe), Facebook (click here to like our page) and Twitter (click here to follow @RetreatPines).

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Pumpkin Pecan Muffins (No Sugar Added)

Pecan Pumpkin Muffins - Retreat in the Pines - Recipe

Happy Fall Y’all! I am SO excited for cooler temperatures, the changing colors of leaves on the trees (which, lets be honest, may not actually happen for another month), and all things PUMPKIN!

For several years I used to make lists of all the things I wanted to do to celebrate the season. For someone like me, this wasn’t effective. Every year I’d write all these fun things, and never actually get around to them. “Make Pumpkin Stuff” was always on the list but didn’t actually happen until last year – I went through 11 cans of pumpkin (and had no list whatsoever) and made everything from the conventional pumpkin pie to the off the handle pumpkin oatmeal (which I really wouldn’t recommend).

Some Food for Thought Read more »

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How to Find the Perfect Yoga Retreat

So many amazing yoga retreats…so little time!

You can stay in the states or travel across an ocean, you can practice beach side or mountain top, you can get a group of friends together or go on your own, you can choose from a retreat that is strictly yoga or find one where yoga is part of the bigger experience. It depends on you…where are you in your yoga practice…your life…your budget….your calendar. What location/schedule/theme speaks to you? Most importantly, which retreat will get you exactly where you need to be?

The Perfect Retreat…for You

Retreat in the Pines

Find Yourself in the Here & Now

The thought of a perfect retreat, you know where you come home transformed physically, mentally and emotionally with clearer skin and shinier hair on top of being free from all negative thoughts in your mind, aches in your body and fears in your heart…might seem over reaching (and it is)…but there is a retreat that’s relevant for where you are in your yoga practice, in your life and in your body. Once you rule out the choices that aren’t right for you, you’ll find the retreat that is perfect for you.

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