For years I avoided yoga. I was a fitness junkie. I’d observe a yoga class at the Y - and think “I could do that at home. Basically they’re laying on the floor.” Ha.
I took my first Yoga class in the spring of 2003. My mom had just died and I was immediately laid off from my job as Corporate Sales Director of the YMCA. At that point, all I wanted to do was lay on the floor and cry.
I skipped over Beginner Yoga and went directly to Power Yoga. I found peace. And got my butt kicked. That was the beginning of a (huge) shift and an eventual life change. Not only did I find myself on my Yoga mat, I embraced myself for being exactly who I was - not an easy task.
In 2004, after teaching at a fitness retreat, I had an idea for a Yoga Retreat. My idea was exactly the opposite of what I'd experienced. The fitness retreat guaranteed no dairy, caffeine, carbs or fun. No thank you.
Wine and coffee (with cream!) and healthy yet delicious meals? Yes please. Dark chocolate and birthday treats? Of course! Retreat in the Pines was born.
Over the years of leading retreats, I've met so many amazing women and learned so much. Our retreats have evolved. It's less about yoga and more about community and connection. When women sit at our community dining table, not only do they laugh together, they have the realization that they are not alone in what they are going through. Powerful.
I believe ALL women should be able to live life on their own terms. I struggled for years as a single mom, working several jobs to keep Retreat in the Pines open, for that very reason. I am passionate about women supporting women, we deserve love and respect not only from the world at large, but more importantly, from each other.
I am so over the back stabbing I endured from other women in Corporate America, the PTO at my children's school and with so-called friends. It's 2020 and it's time to erase that from our culture. I believe we need to set the example and live our lives the way we deserved to be treated. My blog, Celebrating Women: Claiming Our Power, is one of my favorites.
I believe all women should have the opportunity to experience the life changing power of a retreat. That is why we offer our Retreat Assistance Program and keep our prices intentionally affordable. Retreats should NOT be an elitist thing.
If you think having young children is hard, wait until they grow up! In spite of the challenges my three adult children have given me over the years, I'm not giving up yet! I'm now raising Mason, he's two and a half and brings me more joy than I thought possible. I couldn't do any of it without taking care of me and without my tribe.
I'm writing my story and interviewing retreat guests to showcase the stories of hope, courage and perseverance from the pines. I'd love to hear your story.
To read more about my story of creating and growing Retreat in the Pines, read My Journey.
Kaycee takes great pride in keeping Retreat in the Pines clean and comfortable for each guest who walks through our doors. She handles decor, gardening, property repair and she is adamant that every room is spotless. As our original chef, she created many amazing recipes for us. She makes our Rustic Breads and Granola from scratch.
Kaycee is married to Michael and between the two of them, they have seven children plus two grand babies, lots of chickens, cows, dogs and an exotic cat.
Kaycee’s talents really shine in the kitchen. Her rustic breads (such as Rosemary Bread and Jalapeno Cheddar Bread - flavors vary with are seasonal menu) are available for dinner. Find her at First Monday Trade Days in Canton every month, where you can purchase her delicious baked goods.
Jan has been treating our guests to the ultimate in relaxation since 2011. Guests love Jan’s soothing touch and calm energy. After a massage with Jan, most guests agree “That was the best massage ever!”
Jan, a Registered Massage Therapist since 2005, loves the connection with guests, and enjoys visiting with guests at dinner after a day of massages.
Jan loves the ocean and moved to Galveston in 2013. She is truly dedicated to our community; she drives up for Galveston to spend Saturdays with us at the retreat.
Book a retreat here to enjoy the ultimate massage on our screened in back porch.
Belen has been a licensed massage therapist since 2007. She has advanced training in trigger point therapy, myofascial release, deep tissue, as well as prenatal and post-natal care. She believes the best way to treat chronic pain, stress and injury, is through a combination of different modalities to personalize each massage to each individual’s needs.
Born in Mendoza, Argentina; her family moved to the United States in 2000, where Belen finished high school in Texas. She already knew she wanted to make a difference in the world. Belen’s daughter was born in June 2006 and has taught Belen “how real love feels.” Belen loves to travel and enjoys music, nature, animals and camping.
She attended a retreat with us in March of 2019 and was immediately drawn to our community and mission. Belen is grateful and honored to be a part of Retreat in the Pines and to provide women with the much needed healing touch of massage.
When Chris stepped on her yoga mat in 2006, she fell in love with the mind and body connection and discovered much needed inspiration and peace. She was inspired by a retreat with Theresa and became certified to teach, hoping to share the magic of yoga with others. She is honored to help others grow in their yoga practice and she believes movement with breath is key.
Santosha (Contentment), is an important part of her life and practice. She teaches Yoga with a Sip!, which combines movement and breath with wine and chocolate. In addition to yoga, Chris enjoys dancing, running and music. Chris has two children and one amazing grandson.
Chris fell in love with the peaceful healing of Retreat in the Pines when she attended her first retreat in 2010. It was at that moment she discovered yoga as a key to self acceptance.
Chrissy’s yoga story began in 2000, working at a a very stressful job, she was seeking much needed relief. Over the years, she enjoyed other exercise formats, but she always seemed to come back to yoga. As a gardener and backpacker, she needed the stretching, strengthening and balancing practice in order to do the activities she really loved.
Yoga keeps her grounded and strong, but most importantly focused and present. She has discovered the more time she spends on her mat, the easier it is to connect with other people, to share a smile, to take whatever life hands her and make the best of each situation. She loves being a student, and is delighted to now be an instructor.
Chrissy has always been a teacher of some sort. She worked in health care for 18 years and did corporate trainings as well as worked in clinics educating patients about treatment options. As a United States Peace Corps Volunteer, she taught English in the Solomon Islands. As a Dallas County Master Gardener, she was on the Speaker’s Bureau for ten years sharing information about sustainable gardening practices. Teaching yoga was the obvious next step for her as an educator.
2013 was Crissy's Year of Yoga! She completed her 200 hour Teacher Training and began teaching. She received her 300 hour credential in May 2015. Since then, Chrissy has taught over 2000 classes and is an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher through Yoga Alliance.
Chrissy loves each moment of every class. All shapes, sizes and ability are welcome. Yoga is for EVERY BODY. It is truly her honor to share the benefits of this timeless practice. Please join her on your journey to a healthier, stronger and more content you.
You can find Chrissy at the following locations:
The Mat Yoga Studio - Dallas
The Mat Yoga Studio - Plano
Heights Recreation Center - Richardson
Richardson Senior Center - Richardson
Times & days are here: www.YogawithChrissy.com
For more information about Chrissy, check out her general website www.ChrissyCortezMathis.com
Mindfulness for Everyday Living - FitYoga in Richardson
Saturday, April 11th 10:30-12
Learn science-based Mindfulness techniques to improve brain health, increase resiliency and reduce stress.
As Debbie has aged, she has discovered the power of yoga to be the saving grace for those entering their golden years - keeping older adults mobile, strong and flexible to meet the demands of the best years of their life. Debbie teaches gentle, hatha, yin and Kundalini.
I believe meditation is the cornerstone of yoga.
Debbie, teaching since 2007, came to yoga out of a need for balance in her life and fitness habits. She is an RYT-500, certified through Blue Anjou’s Breathe into Awareness teacher training, Yoga Bridge Yoga for Cancer training and Studio Samadhi Kundalini/Tantra teacher training. She is also a Foundations Yoga Therapist through Breathing Deeply Yoga Therapy School.
She also has a MovNat 50+ certification for those days when she just wants to get outside and climb some rocks or hang on trees!
Debbie and her husband are empty nesters and though she misses her boys, she is enjoying new found freedom to travel…and a lower grocery bill!
Debbie led her first retreat in 2012 and is thrilled to be part of the Retreat in the Pines family of instructors.
Jennifer started practicing yoga to add variety to her gym workouts and running. Soon, yoga took hold and she found herself returning back to the mat more and more frequently. With yoga, she found strength, stress relief and new depths within herself. The practice allowed her to slow down, honor her body, and find peace within, especially during her pregnancies.
Outside of yoga, Jennifer works in corporate finance and actually enjoys excel spreadsheets. She is a foodie and can be found eating her way through Dallas with her husband. She is the proud mom of two, her daughter, her newest boss, and recently she welcomed a baby boy who keeps her on her toes.
She loves introducing newcomers to yoga and helping experienced yogis deepen their practice.
In addition to hosting retreats for us, Keitha shares Retreat in the Pines inspiration, connection and story through social media.
Keitha practicing many different styles of yoga off and on for about ten years, turned whole-heartedly to yoga in a desperate attempt to quickly heal her body after injuring herself training for a marathon. After an instructor ended a Candlelight Flow class with a meditation and a reading of “The Summer Day” by Mary Oliver, Keitha knew yoga was intended for more than just her body. With an intense curiosity as to what yoga could offer beyond the physical, Keitha began looking into teacher training programs and in 2015 she completed her teacher training.
Yoga allowed a much needed shift in my life and an awareness that has truly been life changing.
She works to bring thoughtful and intentional sequencing and a focus on energy and breath to all of her classes. Join Keitha for an energetic shift at her one of her retreats.
Keitha draws energy from spending time in nature, loving on her two rescue dogs and adventuring around the world with her husband.
Laura Beth was a high school teacher and a licensed counselor before she discovered her true passion was teaching yoga. She now teaches yoga full time. Practicing for five years and teaching for three, she noticed her life changed when she became more intentional and consistent in her practice. Students love Laura Beth’s informative but playful teaching style. She skillfully guides students through their practices in a safe and non-threatening manner.
Laura Beth is a dedicated single mom to a four year old daughter, who is already a blossoming yogini.
She also works as a translator and interpreter. Her favorite things are reading, wine, travel, moving her body and live music. Join Laura Beth for a lighthearted weekend.
After discovering self-compassion and acceptance from her Yoga practice, on and off the mat, Lisa turned her passion for yoga into teaching. Lisa, teaching in the Dallas area since 2001, received her initial yoga certification from YogaFit and has been studying for 9 years with Yogarupa Rod Stryker, founder of Para Yoga in Colorado She recently became a Para Yoga Nidra Certified Teacher.
She guides students of all levels to experience their own authentic practice. She includes Ayurveda, yoga philosophy and alignment cues in every class. As a Holistic Health Coach, she helps clients find a balanced way to feed themselves – physically and emotionally. Lisa, certified as an Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist since 2013, and a Yoga 4 Cancer Teacher since 2017.
The healing power of Yoga is a powerful tool to transform your body and your life. I've seen tremendous transformation in myself since beginning my Yoga journey 35 years ago.
Lisa and her husband are empty nesters. After years of being a hands on mom to her three boys, she’s looking forward to new adventures. She loves to rehab homes and is currently living in her current project.
She is dedicated to guiding students of all ages and abilities through their practice where they can find health and happiness. She teaches with love and respect for the practice, the lineage of her teacher and for each individual in her class. Explore Ayurveda and Yoga as a path for wellness at Lisa’s next retreat.
Journey into feeling your best and knowing your healthiest self.
In each session over this three month series you will enjoy Yoga practice, lecture and Q&A
Lisa began her yoga journey in 1993 and started teaching in 1998. Lisa credits her teachers for their inspiration in developing her yoga style. A yoga practice focused on biomechanics, safety, and graceful flow. Lisa enjoyed her first retreat (as a student) in the Pines in 2010 and returned to lead retreats with her students.
Lisa, working in health and wellness since 1989, holds a M.S. in Exercise Physiology and has developed programs for seniors and special populations. She teaches yoga/wellness group classes at the Mansfield/Arlington YMCA as well as being a LiveStrong instructor and a Diabetes Prevention lifestyle coach. At Premier Yoga and Fitness, she is a co-instructor for their 200 hr yoga teacher training, leads chair yoga workshops and pilates classes. Lisa also enjoys sharing her knowledge through workshops as a continuing education provider for Yoga Alliance.
To connect with your breath is to discover inner strength, truth, and peace throughout your day.
Lisa and her husband have a son attending Austin College and a daughter at the Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts. They reside in Mansfield, TX along with their kitties Ozzy and Sophie.
Connect with Lisa!
Practicing since 2008, Michelle fell in love with yoga as a way to manage stress. At first she struggled to relax in poses, now she can’t imagine her life without yoga. Michelle, teaching since 2011, loves sharing the healing power of yoga with guests.
Michelle, an accountant by profession, enjoys time outdoors – walking and fishing, and she loves cats. Through Ayurveda, she discovered the importance of living a balanced life. Michelle lives in Tulsa and enjoys her drive to the retreat center.
Retreat in the Pines holds a special place in Michelle’s heart, ever since her first visit in 2010. She looks forward to meeting our amazing guests at her next retreat.
Michelle, teaching fitness for over 30 years, teaches all levels and a wide range of styles at the Arlington YMCA and Diana’s School of Yoga. She also leads yoga retreats worldwide. Michelle is passionate about helping students of all ages to better their lives through wellness.
Michelle and her husband have three children and three grandchildren. Michelle loves yoga retreats, cruises, cooking, reading, hot yoga and spending time with her family.
Michelle, along with her two sisters, enjoyed the connection at our Detox & Yoga retreat and she is so grateful to share yoga with our guests. Michelle believes our community makes Retreat in the Pines unique among retreat destinations. Join Michelle for a weekend of relaxation and connection.
Since 2003, Sheryl has embrace yoga as her exercise routine. To find something that strengthens and tones her body, harmonizes her inside and outside world and brings flexibility and youth - THAT is “my real secret”. She found yoga after years of sports and aerobics using her yoga practice is a tool to maintain her health and allows her to release stress and increases her energy, while keeping her body detoxed.
She's believes as moms we take care of everyone else. And is grateful for her yoga practice to keep her sane.
Yoga gives back to me in both my personal practice and teaching inspiring yogis for 11 years. My yoga practice has evolved with the honesty of age and I love it even more. I like to 'keep it real' in my classes. Laugh. Cry. Cuss. It’s a practice not a perfect!
She has amazing identical twin boys who are now in college. She manages the music career of one twin and is building her own company 717 Creative Services which includes design, marketing and decorating.
She loves to hang out with friends, enjoying a cocktail and laughter as well as watching mindless TV and chilling with her Golden Doodle “Buddy”.
Summer, a ballet dancer for many years, turned to yoga for fitness because it felt like a natural fit after dancing most of her life. Little did she know, yoga was so much more than fitness. After practicing for five years, Summer decided to deepen her practice by taking teacher training from Karmany Yoga in Dallas. She was surprised to learn how much she loved teaching yoga, and immediately began to teach after earning her RYT.
My classes are light and fun, and I encourage my students to not take themselves too seriously.
Summer is certified in Vinyasa, Yin, and SUP Yoga. Summer is also an ardent student of Ayurveda and spent six months of a recent career break as an assistant to an Ayurvedic Health Practitioner.
Summer is married and loves being a puppy mom to her two Siberian Huskies. As a life-long student, Summer enjoys learning new things and has dabbled in many hobbies over the years including aerial silks, rock climbing, obstacle course racing, and kickboxing. Her latest learning-endeavor is ice skating. She supports Texas Husky Rescue and Genesis Women's Shelter.
Join Summer for a magical weekend of healing at one of her retreats!
A Dallas native, Tara is a long time student of yoga, practicing since 1999 and teaching since 2005. Tara was introduced to Yoga as a life-path and loves sharing her passion with others. She leads workshops, teacher trainings and retreats. Tara teaches alignment based Vinyasa with specialties in Restorative and Prenatal Yoga. She guides her students to find intelligence in their bodies, as well as inner awareness and connection to their true self. She is especially skilled at guiding students to a restful and healing Savasana.
Tara takes her practice off the mat and into her life. She is a happy wife, proud mother of a daughter and seeks to live an authentic and mindful life.
Tara hosted her first retreat at Retreat in the Pines in 2013 and is thrilled to be a part of our healing community. Connect with Tara at her upcoming retreat.
Tiffenny began her life-long love affair with yoga in the late 90s as a way to calm her overactive mind. In 2009, she suffered a lumbar spine injury, faced with the possibility of spinal surgery she set out on a path to find methods of healing herself naturally. Through a combination of Chiropractic care, Acupuncture, Yoga and Energy Healing, Tiffenny was able to regain her life back - drug and surgery free. From that life changing experience, she committed herself to sharing the practices of alternative healing arts with others and began teaching yoga and energy healing in 2012.
When she is not actively engaged with clients or developing her own yoga skills, Tiffenny spends time with her husband, their two dogs and her two daughters.
Her passionate and free-spirited teaching style is influenced by her studies in Hatha and Yin Yoga and Ayuverda. Spend a weekend basking in good energy when you join Tiffenny for her next retreat.