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News from the Retreat

Author Archives: Theresa Polley

Give More Than You Take

Nina and I on our Favorite Deck

Last year Nina treated me to the Give More Than You Take art exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art as a Christmas gift. While I loved the exhibit (it was one of the most unique and interesting installations I’ve ever seen), what really struck me was the concept: “give more than you take.” While it might seem contradictory to one of my favorite topics, self-care, I believe they’re quite complementary.

Jim Hodges, the artist, transforms everyday items, often overlooked, into breathtaking pieces of art. I came across a quote that describes the installation perfectly: “Delicate art that conveys a sense that everything is precariousness, everything is fleeting, so embrace this lovely moment.” ~ WBUR The ARTery

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Discover Your Detox

Focus on the new quote

Sometimes (ok a lot of times) there’s something I need to do, but I just don’t feel like it. Like detoxing (getting rid of anything that doesn’t add joy to my life)… it’s something I don’t feel like doing, but I recognize how GOOD I will feel once I begin. It seems easier to let the junk pile higher, the unhealthy habits continue, the toxic relationships suck the life out of us. But it only seems easier.

If you need help getting your detox started, check out one of our Detox & Yoga Retreats – all levels are welcome and we offer several per year.

Detoxing is an important aspect of wellness and finding peace. Don’t worry, I’m not referring to one of those detox fad diets where you only drink a disgusting “detox” formula for two weeks… those are dangerously unhealthy. For a delicious and healthy”Detox” drink, try our Ginger Detox Tea. I believe that a healthy detox is an ongoing practice of ridding ourselves of the things that are toxic to our lives. When talking about detoxing, most people immediately relate it to food – but toxins go far beyond food. Anything with an inherent property that “tends to destroy life or impair health” could be considered toxic. This means that negative self talk, harmful relationships, unhealthy habits, faulty coping mechanisms, stress, unnecessary clutter – emotional, physical and mental – are all forms of toxins… and the list goes on. With 2015 upon us, it’s the perfect time to make a positive change in our lives.

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Ginger Detox Tea

ginger teaHot Ginger Tea with Healing Spices to Strengthen Your Immune System

  • 10 Cardamom Pods (green) – Good for digestions and to detoxify the body through its diuretic properties
  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks – Controls blood sugar levels and is an anti-oxidant – protecting the body against damage from free radicals
  • 2 inch of Ginger Root (washed and thinly sliced) – Promotes circulation and lowers high blood pressure
  • 2 Whole Cloves – Warming and soothing for the digestive system (what you need in the winter months) and anti-flatulence properties
  • 2 Whole Peppercorns – Stimulates digestion and has anti-bacterial properties, keeping the digestive system healthy
  • 6 cups water

Add all spices to boiling water and let boil for ten minutes. Let stand for 20 minutes. Strain out spices.

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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 can take care of YOU. You’ll have time.

You might be 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. It’s not a “want to” – it’s a need to.

A yoga retreat is a perfect first step on your journey of taking care of you.

Learn to Say No

In this day and age we’re expected to do more… 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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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

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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.

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.

To enjoy this at a retreat(no cooking required!), book here. We serve it during the winter months.

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Find Your Perfect Yoga Retreat

So many amazing yoga retreats…so little time!

  • Stay near or travel far
  • Practice beach side or mountain top
  • Go with friends or adventure on your own
  • Choose all yoga all the time or yoga as part of a bigger experience.

At Retreat in the Pines we specialize in retreats that build community: relax and renew in yoga; calm your mind in meditation; feed your body and soul with delicious made-from-scratch meals and laugh, share and find support with an amazing group of encouraging women. Book your dream retreat with Retreat in the Pines here.

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A Simple Way to Find Peace

Yoga Retreat Peace Tattoo

Peace

I’ve had one of those years… a year of transition and change, which I know is for the best, but the process can be painful and challenging and decidedly lacking in peace. People that were close to me acted in ways that were unexpected and hurtful. I have struggled with heartbreak and personal challenges. But once I allowed myself to get over the hurt , I began to let go, move on, and find PEACE.

When we hold on to hurt – going over and over the circumstances in our heads, maybe even feeling responsible – our lives are anything but peaceful. If we allow that churning in our head and hurting in our heart to continue, it often turns into resentment that we can’t (or won’t) stop thinking about… it’s exhausting. Ultimately we choose to forfeit peace – or embrace it.

Peace begins with forgiveness. By embracing compassion we are able to find harmony. We can let go of what was said and done, move on, and remind ourselves that the things happening “to us” aren’t even about us at all – rather, the unkind actions or damaging words from another are likely from an internal conflict that they are experiencing (this is the principle of psychological projection). It’s not you! What a relief!

As I reflect on the upcoming International Peace Day (September 21), I realized that to find peace in our world we must first seek it within ourselves. Seemingly simple and obvious, but it must be a conscious decision.

Here are some tips that have allowed me to resolve resentment and find forgiveness.

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Engage Your 5 Senses and Find Adventure Close to Home

“One way to get the most out of life is to look at it as an adventure.” William Feather

aromatherapy at yoga retreat

Lavender Essential Oil keeps you grounded and present.

Discover the adventures that are right before you…an adventure can be as simple as your mindset and as close as your backyard. The more time you spend yearning for that “perfect adventure” that takes you away from your life as you know it, the more opportunities you miss to experience what’s right in front of you. Invite yourself to experience adventure – a new place, a new activity, a new thought – just by changing your perspective.

The dog days of summer are here and even if you do have the money and time for a tropical getaway, why not take the opportunity to enjoy every day adventures? It’s easy to have fun and keep more of your paycheck in your pocket with a few tips to change your perspective and help you have an adventure close to home.

Get creative, open yourself up to new possibilities, engage your five senses, and ask yourself, “What will I discover today?”

Sight

Close to Home – Take a road trip; visit a local art gallery; or visit a science, history or art museum.

At Home – Wake up early and watch the sunrise from your porch or a local coffee shop. Stay up late and stargaze. Look at photos of beautiful places in the world. Take a new route to a routine place.

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