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News from the Retreat

Author Archives: Theresa Polley

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


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?”


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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3 Areas to Find Freedom

Women at a Yoga Retreat

Women at a Yoga Retreat

As I celebrated Independence Day this weekend, I was reminded that in recent years women in the United States have come so far, yet unfortunately in many areas of the world, women are still struggling.

Realizing how I take what I have for granted, I made an intention to be more mindful of the simple freedoms I experience every day.

I am so grateful that I’ve found the freedom to be me, because it allows me to be myself unapologetically, speak my mind (even when others may not agree), and choose the activities and relationships that keep me moving forward.

Are you free to enjoy the life that you deserve? Take a moment to reflect on a few questions that may help you find the freedom you are seeking.

Freedom from expectations

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Cool Basil Avocado Feta Dip

This delicious dip is the perfect appetizer on a hot summer day. I love it as a late afternoon pick me up with gluten free crackers. Or enjoy it as a nice addition to a light dinner of healthy salads or a side dish with something from the grill.


Delicious & Cool Basil Avocado Feta Dip

Delicious & Cool Basil Avocado Feta Dip

  • 1 lb tomatoes chopped
  • 3 medium avocados cubed
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 8 oz. package of crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Toss together first four ingredients. Combine olive oil and vinegar and pour over ingredients. Gently stir. Serve immediately with sweet potato chips, tortilla chips or crackers.

    Avocados are delicious and so good for you! Here are some of the healthy benefits you’ll enjoy when you enjoy an avocado.


5 Easy Ways to Be Mindful this Summer

Hammock in Spring

Spend a Lazy Day in the Hammock

The lazy days of summer are the perfect time to practice mindfulness. There’s no school projects to stress over, the hustle and bustle of the holidays is still in the distant future, and the days are longer…everything about summer seems to encourage mindfulness.  Start your Meditation Practice at one of our Mindfulness & Meditation Retreats. No experience needed.

This is the time to enjoy the warmer temperatures and spend time in nature. The long days allow for more time to enjoy morning walks, evening bike rides, afternoons swimming at the pool, and sunsets on the patio. With an abundance of fresh fruits and veggies from the Farmer’s Market (our local favorite is the Coppell Farmers Market) – which really do taste so much better than the produce from the grocery store – summer is the perfect time to mindfully tune into all the sensations that surround you. Summer vacation plans allow you to really slow down and spend time with the people you love, enjoying the activities that you enjoy.

Mindfulness is as simple as breathing. But we tend to get caught up in the past or the future – usually without noticing – and the present disappears before we even realize it. Are you are despairing over your own (or someone else’s) words or actions? Are you spending your time fretting the “what ifs”, or losing yourself in the busyness of planning this day or that event? In doing that, the past or future is consuming your thoughts while the present passes you by, unnoticed.

How to Stop Being Mindless and Be Present

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Chilled Summer Quinoa Salad – Sweet or Savory

With warmer weather coming, main dish salad meals are my favorite. This recipe is so easy, plus it’s delicious and oh so healthy. I love this quinoa salad because its so versatile. You can make it as your main dish, wrap it in a tortilla for a wrap on the go, or have it as a side dish with something off of the grill.

Vegan Quinoa Salad Recipe

Healthy, Delicious and Easy to Make Quinoa Salad

Chilled Summer Quinoa Salad – Sweet or Savory

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups water (or chicken stock)
  • 1/2 cup white wine (I prefer a sweeter wine)
  • pinch of salt

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