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News from the Retreat

Recipe for a Mini Retreat

Yoga Retreat Quote - Smile, Breathe, Go Slowly

A Beautiful Intention for Every Day

Can you remember the last time you did something for yourself? Then, think about the last time you did something for somebody else. Your partner, your child, your parent, your friend, your pet.

If you drew a complete blank trying to think of something you did for yourself (taking a three minute break from work e-mail to read this doesn’t count!), yet came up with an immediate list of ten things you did for others, it may be time to schedule time to take care of you.

Of course, if you’d like a little bit of community with your down time, join us for a retreat. Retreat in the Pines is the perfect place to press pause and nurture yourself with good food, yoga, wine and a healthy dose of laughter, enjoying nature and the support of other women. If budget is an issue, check out our retreat assistance program.

If all you have is an evening or an afternoon to spare, this is for you. All of these options can be done in the comfort of your own home, you can also take a mini-retreat outdoors.

Research has shown the more time working mothers spend taking care of themselves equaled improved physical and emotional health  for their children. Read more here.

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Celebrate Your Uniqueness

Let 2017 be the year you celebrate you and what makes you unique. Let this be the year you embrace your body for all of the amazing things it allows you to do. And the year you stop chasing after the “perfect” body.

Yoga allows me to accept and love my body exactly as it is.

I posted this quote to Facebook in 2010. I’d spent most of my life punishing my body for not being perfect. Yoga allowed me to (finally) celebrate my body. Celebrate, not only the way I look, but more importantly, celebrate what my body can do and the way I feel about my body.

This is my story of how I overcame shame about my body.  Maybe you can relate. If you’re struggling with acceptance for any aspect of yourself, join us for our Love Yourself Retreat. Begin the journey of love, acceptance and compassion for your body and every aspect of yourself.

I started hating my body when I was eight. My dad and brother called me fat and constantly made fun of me. I look back at photos from that time, and while I had baby fat, an 8 year old should NEVER be called fat. Over the next couple of years, I grew taller and slimmed down. But I STILL felt fat. I started hunching over as I grew taller – so nobody would notice me. My dad admonished me, “Stop slouching. Stand up straight. What’s wrong with you?”

Ha. I felt like so much was wrong with me. Not just with my body, but me. It’s interesting how the two are related.

In fifth grade, my best friend “unfriended me”.  This was way before social media, so of course that happened in person, right before class. The reason? My boobs weren’t big enough! Who even has boobs in fifth grade you might wonder. My former best friend and her new best friend, that’s who. I heard a lot about my non boobs for the next several years.

It was especially challenging through middle school and high school. I didn’t want anyone to notice that I was fat (I wasn’t) or that I didn’t have any boobs (I did). But I thought I was fat and boobless, so that made it true. I hunched over even more. I wanted to disappear. I felt too ugly and too fat to be out in public. I was 15 years old.

As a teenager, I found the more I obsessed about what not to eat, the more I ate EVERYTHING.  That continued through college. Except instead of just eating, I was eating AND drinking. In my early 20s, my “exercise” was to take the stairs instead of the elevator and park my car far away. I experimented with running…once or twice…and then realized it was pure torture and gave that up.  Looking back at the photos during those times, I was more curvy than fat. But I still felt fat, so that made it true.

Isn’t it interesting how our perceptions shape our reality?

If you were ever teased or made fun of or called names about your body, you know exactly what I’m talking about. And you know how difficult it is to shake the voice in your head, even as an adult. At that point, your actual body size and capabilities don’t matter, because you’ve been conditioned to think of yourself in a certain way.

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Amazing Applesauce

Applesauce

Kaycee’s Amazing Applesauce

One of my favorite creations from Kaycee, homemade applesauce, it’s delicious, yet simple. A great way to start your morning, by itself, or  on top of our Ayurvedic Crockpot Oatmeal. Or for a snack, with a little more decadence, with a dollop of vanilla ice cream. Or still creamy, yet not as decadent, a dollop of Greek Yogurt. And of course I add extra cinnamon on top of mine for extra deliciousness.

Ingredients:
  • 5 lb of apples (peeled and cut into chunks)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 whole cloves
Place all ingredients in a pot and boil down until soft. Remove spices and mix. Enjoy warm or let cool.
 

Give the Gift of Peace and Joy

Holiday Gifts

Give a Gift of a Retreat – The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Maybe you know someone in your life (maybe it’s you!) who would benefit from a weekend away. It has been quite a year!

Give the gift that will keep on giving, long after you or your someone special returns home. A retreat is an excellent way to press pause on life and take a breath. It’s an opportunity to slow down and find stillness in the mind, relaxation in the body and possibility in the heart.

Our community of women support and encourage each other – at the retreat and in the days that follow – through social media or in-person connection. Some guests make instant connections with each other and return to a retreat together.

Retreat guests are able to –

  • Consider the direction that life is taking. 
  • Find a fresh perspective.
  • Discover gratitude for the little things.
  • Truly relax and unwind – no chores to do, no meals to prepare, no errands to run.
  • Savor delicious home cooked meals without chopping, cooking or cleaning a thing.
  • Enjoy quiet time in contemplation – walking, journaling or simply sitting in nature.
  • Engage in conversation with inspirational women, sharing stories and laughter.
  • Reconnect to self.

Choose the retreat you think is perfect, or let your recipient choose her perfect retreat. Gift Certificates are available for either option.

Choose the ideal retreat here.

Email for your Personalized Gift Certificate.

Finding Hope to Move Forward

 

New Friends at the Retreat

A Group of New Friends & Old at a Recent Retreat

“There are all different kinds of women at a retreat and you’d think we have nothing in common. But we really have everything in common,” Dionna, a frequent retreat guest, sharing with her sister what makes our women’s yoga and wellness retreats so special.

I have found that’s so true. Even though our guests travel from across the country, have different backgrounds and experiences, we are ALL women. And because of that, we have so much in common.

Our mission is to support and empower EVERY woman.  Yoga and meditation are a crucial part of our retreats, but women gathered together, sharing laughter and stories and supporting each other in community is where the real magic happens. Just ask our guests. Our yoga classes suit all levels, perfect for women of all ages and body types, with absolutely no yoga experience required. Yoga is breath-based movement. I tell guests at the beginning of every retreat, “If you can breathe, you can do yoga.”

Take that much needed break and join us for a retreat, discover exactly what you need here. We offer a Retreat Assistance Program and strive to keep our retreats affordable, so we can really serve as many women as possible.

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Fiesta Sweet Potato Soup

Yoga Retreat Meal

Enjoy it with a piece of your favorite rustic bread

Sweet potatoes are abundant in East Texas in the Fall.  Join us for a retreat the fourth weekend  in October and you can check out the Golden Sweet Potato Festival. So much fun…even Oprah made a visit a few years ago.

We absolutely love sweet potatoes, not only for their great taste, but also for the nutritional value. They are high in fiber, yet low in sugar, plus a great source of Vitamin A (366% of the necessary daily requirement).

We serve mashed sweet potatoes and mini sweet potato pies (as a birthday treat) in the Winter. We add sweet potatoes to our Chicken & Vegetable Curry and we have a to-die-for sweet potato hash on Sunday mornings during our Fall and Winter retreats. But this recipe is my absolute favorite. A little bit of spice makes it interesting. This is especially good for you, based on Ayurveda principles, to warm you up in cooler weather and keep your digestive system happy and functioning properly. Plus, you can make a double batch and freeze what you don’t use. Enjoy!

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Discover the Power of Mindfulness

Yoga Retreat Guests in Meditation

Guests in Meditation

Do you ever find yourself driving with no recollection of how you arrived at your destination? Or going through the motions of listening – while not paying attention at all? Or watching TV, while checking Facebook on your phone? I’m definitely guilty.

Practice mindfulness and find peace, joy and so much more when you join us for one of our Mindfulness and Meditation retreats. Learn more.

I admit, I have struggled with being mindful. I keep thinking to myself (instead of being mindful) “I’m busy! I don’t have time to be mindful.”

But I’ve realized just the opposite, I don’t have time to be mindless – to let the moments of my life pass me by. I don’t want to miss a single thing – interesting conversations with friends, a beautiful sunset, the relaxation of moving my body in yoga, the deliciousness of my first cup of coffee, laughter, tears, hugs.

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Congratulations to our 12 Year Anniversary Winners!

Dearest Friends,

Yoga Retreat Guests

The Amazing Women of our Retreat in the Pines Community

Thank you to each of you who participated in our 12th Anniversary Celebration & Giveaway. We are so grateful for our Retreat in the Pines community! We loved seeing your comments and we appreciate you sharing your stories,  inspiration, memories, and love with us.  We are grateful for each one of you. Thank you for supporting and loving each other on our journey of  yoga, wellness and healing.

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Choose Gratitude

Thank You

Maybe you’re thinking, “How can I choose gratitude?” Then again, how can you not? Gratitude, like many things, really is a choice. Some choices are challenging, while others come naturally – if you let them.

A yoga retreat puts everything in perspective, and allows you to choose gratitude. We finish every retreat with a gratitude meditation and a gratitude brunch. Book your retreat here.

Benefits of Gratitude

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more.”  Melody Beatty.

Gratitude improves physical and psychological health.  Gratitude allows more restful sleep. Gratitude is good for self-esteem and improves relationship. Studies have shown that gratitude leads to happiness. Gratitude really is a game changer. Read More

Watermelon Mojitos

Watermelon Mojitos

Two of My Favorite Things – My Adorable Zoe &  Watermelon Mojitos 

Oh the excitement when I first posted this photo a few weeks ago on my personal Facebook page. First of all, any photo with Zoe in it, always gets extra attention. If you’ve attended a retreat, you may already know Zoe. And to know Zoe is to love Zoe. If you haven’t met her yet, it’s not too late. Book here.

But then there’s the Watermelon Mojitos! Until this summer, I had never enjoyed the refreshing pleasure of a Mojito, watermelon or otherwise. At first taste I was sold. It was like a taste of  tropical paradise…with a kick.

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