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Guest Reviews

Enlightenment in the Woods

By guest blogger Christina Gorczynski.

In May, I attended a yoga retreat at the beautiful Retreat in the Pines, a gorgeous property in East Texas. I had just completed my second triathlon season with Team in Training and was busy with work, volunteer obligations, Leadership Houston and everything else I generally have going on in my life. Needing a break, I thought “A long road trip provides excellent, satisfying quiet time and yoga is a powerful was to decompress and recenter.” So a yoga retreat in the woods it was!

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Today Matters

This post is written by Kay, who recently found relief from a chronic headache at a Yoga Nurture Retreat. She’s since been back several times.

“Inside that lit stillness
we drank in the swelling breath that would
unfold on its own for months.”
from “Quiet of the Mind” by Naomi Shihab Nye

An acquaintance of mine recently returned from a two-week overseas trip that most of us would consider a dream vacation. When I asked her about it, she said, “Well, it was really nice, but I’m just so tired. We all got pretty cranky because we just had so much to do, and we had so many friends to buy things for, and it just was so stressful.”

Finding Peace

Preparing for Meditation at Yoga Retreat


But isn’t that the way many of us—and by “us” I mean Americans—live our lives?  We tend to plan events so that we can “check in” on Facebook, take pictures, and say we were there. Sometimes we’re so focused on taking the picture that we forget to actually experience the thing we’re photographing. Once our event is thoroughly photographed and Facebooked, we move on to plan the next one.

The lines quoted above come from a beautiful poem about enjoying a moment and letting it carry you through months of everyday life and stress. It’s easier said than done.

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Coming Back for More

Most of the guests at the October retreat had been to Retreat in the Pines before, two were even back for a third time. It was an amazing weekend.  There were guests Yoga from San Antonio, the Dallas area and Houston.

I am honored and humbled by the comments and appreciation. I am living my passion, which is to give women a place to escape their busy lives and take time for themselves…to nurture themselves…through the healing power of yoga and nature, the kindness and compassion of other women, the comfort of good food, wine and laughter.

The first comment below is from a first time attendee, the second comment is from a woman who was here in July and came back.

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Loved It!

There is a common theme among guests who come to a Yoga Nurture Retreat weekend and take the time to write a comment in the guest book. Most say they loved it and can’t wait to come back. Here are some comments from the very happy guests.

Playing games after dinner

“Thank you so much for a great, relaxing weekend. Our ladies gym group got even closer and learned some great yoga moves. That’s all because ‘what happens in the pines, stays in the pines’.” Donna, Mansfield, Texas

 “Thank you so much for this amazing weekend! I had no idea of the wonderful yoga, food and memories you had in store for us. Thank you for opening your home and heart for us!” Leeann, Rockwall, Texas

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Packing for a Yoga Retreat

Yoga pants… Check!

Tank tops… Check!

Comfy PJs… Check!

Flip Flops… Check!

Pema Chodron book to read while lying on a hammock in the woods… Check!


Tonya Enjoying Her Happy Place in the Pines

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The Gift


Beki, Theresa and Deb on Sunday

This post is written by Beki who attended a Yoga Nurture Retreat in May 2011.

I just turned 50 years old this past May.  As a gift to myself for my 50th birthday, I went on a weekend long yoga retreat to Retreat in the Pines in late May.  One of my dear friends, who also happens to be my best yoga buddy, went on the weekend retreat with me.  I think this weekend yoga retreat is probably the best gift I have ever given to myself.

I could go on and on about the food (delicious), the setting (beautiful), the weather that weekend (perfectly gorgeous), my time in the hammock in the woods looking up at the blue sky through the pine trees (sublime), and the yoga classes (just right).  But what has stayed with me is not what I took away from the experience, but rather what I left behind.

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The drive to the yoga retreat this weekend was less than stellar. A massive (read: insane) thunderstorm accompanied me the entire drive east. Rain falling sideways. Almost non-existent visibility. Lightning striking the ground next to me. White knuckles on my steering wheel. Flooded streets. Wind gusts pushing my vehicle from one lane to the next. I laughed, in spite of my fear.

I recalled preparation for Savasana – the final relaxation pose in yoga. Commonly, we go into the final pose by taking each muscle into tension, then relaxation, bit by bit, from the bottom of our feet to the top of our heads.

“Maybe that’s what I’m doing right now,” I said out loud to myself. “I’m completely tensing my body, lungs and heart rate because I’m going to let go of all of this tension when I get there.”

When I arrived, I was greeted with a glass of wine, a plate of freshly prepared, scrumptious dinner, and smiling faces from strangers… who would soon become friends.

Yoga, on the top floor of the beautiful log cabin, felt strong and wonderful.

The food was homemade and mmmm….yummy…

We shared stories and laughter. We bonded over life’s disappointments and transitions. We held each other up over glasses of wine, fruit and chocolate treats. We sat in awe at each other’s history and what brought us to this common place and time.

Oh and the trees…. I LOVE trees. Trees are a natural sedative to me. And to nap in a hammock in the middle of Saturday afternoon with this view meant I had no obligations except to myself.

Sit still.




I will be going back.