If you feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, start at Retreat in the Pines. Find your community, make lasting friendships, rediscover you, and—most importantly—no matter what’s going on in your life, discover you’re not alone. As women we have many shared experiences in common. We have struggled with mental health issues, toxic relationships, job loss, grief, and more. We know you. We are you.
All of our retreat leaders are certified yoga teachers with at least three years of teaching experience and a handful have 20 years of experience. All of our private chefs have a repertoire of delicious and healthy dishes plus a passion for cooking.
Since starting Retreat in the Pines in 2004, I’ve found joy in doing what I love. Yes there have been challenging years along the way, but the connection with and gratitude from women who visit keep me going. I’ve heard, “Thank you for creating this place–I needed this” countless times over the years. While I had no idea the path I was setting out on was to help women find and connect with themselves and others, it is what continues to inspire me to this day. is passionate about giving women a safe space to share their stories and connect with each other. A pink slip from a job I loved was the catalyst that led to my journey of entrepreneurship.
When I started the journey of Retreat in the Pines, I was focused on the healing power of yoga. While I still believe yoga is a powerful practice of transformation, I believe the true healing happens when women who have never met before sit next to each other and discover they are not alone in their struggles. We come from different backgrounds and places, and seemingly have nothing in common - yet we have everything in common - we are navigating this world as women.
Every time I host a retreat, I’m reminded how crucial it is to have a safe space dedicated to women. Experiencing the community and connection that each retreat offers,I go home feeling lifted up and inspired. As an introvert who is usually depleted and exhausted by groups of people I don’t know, I say with confidence that community and connection are what makes our retreats a truly magical experience.
I’m so excited to have my daughter, Nina, working by my side again! 2022 has been a kick in the pants so far and I wouldn’t have made it through without her help and especially her love and support. As Nina transitions into more of a leadership role, I plan to take on additional projects I’ve been dreaming about for years. First, I’d like to write a book to share my story and the stories from the amazing women I’ve met over the years. And second, I want to grow Retreat in the Pines to other states besides Texas. More to come on both, stay tuned!.
I realize life is too short to not be fully present in every moment.I don’t do as much yoga as I used to, but I find my mental health break on my Peloton bike – I laugh and cry on the bike, and when my ride is over I feel ready to take on the world. For the sake of my sanity and my health, I make it a priority to ride and do strength training five days a week. I've also joined a local YMCA which has always felt like my home away from home. I'd been a member of the Coppell YMCA for 27 years until the pandemic.
Nina and I love spending time together away from work, but it's so fun to mix the both. One of our favorite activities is hiking followed by a delicious meal - preferably something breakfast related. We love to travel and are looking forward to a birthday trip in 2023.
I’m grateful to have my daughter Eden back in my life after she spent years facing struggles of her own. I’m so excited to have a brand new granddaughter, Rylee born the end of June.
My son Landry is still in Colorado and I visit him as often as I can. We love to talk about movies and TV shows that we’re watching. Sometimes we even watch them while on the phone together!
Family is the most important to me, but I (finally!) realize the importance of downtime and self care. As often as I can, I start my day with coffee, a guided meditation and journaling. This simple act allows me to gain perspective and be intentional about my day. If the weather is nice, I’m on my front porch. In addition to staying active, time in nature, reading and streaming “comfort” shows gives me the reset I need to keep moving forward.
To read my story of creating and growing Retreat in the Pines, read My Journey.
Claudine C. Boucher started cooking when she was a young girl, taught by her mother in New Hampshire. Memories of smelling her grandmother’s fresh baked bread every weekend, enjoying her mother’s French Canadian Meat Pies, spreading Cretons on homemade bread for breakfast, and savoring crepes with melting butter and brown sugar sparked her love affair with food and all the cooking and eating experiences that would follow.
Chef Claudine started her career in the private service industry learning about serving, planning, management, and social functions that centered around the family. It was while working for families in their homes that she had her first opportunities to dive into all aspects of food preparation. Her desire to attend culinary school had been a dream of hers for many years, and she graduated with her Associates of Culinary Arts from La Cordon Bleu Dallas in 2015.
Chef Claudine started her business, Fancy's Personal Chef Services, while in culinary school in 2014 where she enjoys in-home meal preparation, catering, cooking intimate private functions and traveling for clients. Her passion is to make people happy through delicious food and food experiences. She enjoys cooking and baking all diverse world cuisines. Her artistic background also affords her the creativity to explore various menu challenges and gives her an eye for artistic impression. The plate is her canvas. She also has experience with specific dietary requirements from Paleo to Vegan and anything in-between.
Chef Claudine has enjoyed serving many families in the DFW area as well as across the United States. Her love of cooking all started at home, and will continue to take her anywhere in the world.
Cecilia, teaching yoga since 2010, first discovered yoga as a powerful tool to keep her body healthy. After finding the mental and spiritual benefit of practicing yoga, she was inspired to begin teaching others in order to share the profound mind and body healing yoga offers.
Cecilia, who’s first love was the library, has been working in libraries for 30 years and is currently a public library director. She loves books and sharing book recommendations with others.
She feels at home out of doors and loves to travel with her high school sweetheart (now husband of 23 years). She has three dogs who are the lights of her life.
Cecilia is honored to be part of the Retreat in the Pines community and is looking forward to teaching yoga and encouraging connections in our sacred space.
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. In addition to yoga, she discovered the importance of living a balanced life through Ayurveda.
Michelle, an accountant by profession, enjoys spending time outdoors – walking, fishing, catching the sunset, and working in her flower garden. She also loves cats, and playing with her dog, Buddy. She lives in Tulsa, OK 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.
Chef Angelic Gabo comes from a family of self-starters. Her culinary career began at eight years old as a dishwasher in her family’s small restaurant, where love and respect for food was paramount in teachings from her parents. It was only a short four years later at the age of twelve which she began cooking and preparing meals. By age fifteen, this predominately Filipino cuisine was being sold to customers.
Throughout this time, the kitchen became Chef Angelic's happy place. She moved to the US six years ago to work as a special education teacher, only to quickly thereafter take a leap of faith and pursue her passion of preparing her highly sought after meals in both private dining settings and in meal-prep fashion. Seeing her customers happy and sharing enjoyment and appreciation for food is what keeps her going.
Chef Angelic’s specialties are crafting Asian fusion dishes and plating. Angelic enjoys going out to eat and trying new restaurants - from fine dining to hole-in-the-wall - especially when traveling.
Chef Angelic believes in whole food that’s equally as fun to make as it is to be eaten and enjoyed. She is extremely excited and grateful to be working with the amazing women at Retreat in the Pines.
Find her at chefangelic.com
After Dayna’s first child was born, she searched for a way to stay healthy and balanced - mind, body and soul. She started with Hot Power Yoga and never looked back. When approached by her teacher about teacher training, Dayna hesitated, concerned her struggles with insecurities and anxiety would stand in her way. Instead, her teacher training journey allowed her to find healing, clarity and self discovery.
Dayna went on to open a yoga studio in Midlothian Texas. Owning her own studio allowed Dayna to serve and make a difference in her community - something she is passionate about. She still cherishes the memories she made - on and off the mat. Since selling her yoga studio, Dayna has enjoyed teaching kids yoga, beer yoga, goat yoga, chair yoga and private parties. She loves the experience of bonding over yoga! Dayna is also a licensed realtor, which pays the bills and allows her to pursue her passion of teaching yoga.
Dayna is a proud single mom of 2 beautiful children. Motherhood keeps her grounded and gives her purpose. She is grateful to watch her children grow and they inspire her to be better on a daily basis.
Join Dayna for a retreat where she’ll meet you exactly where you are. She looks forward to meeting you and supporting and encouraging you along the way - whether it’s yoga or life.
Michelle is a certified group fitness instructor - teaching for over 35 years. She received her 500 hour Yoga Certification in 2013, the year she retired from American Airlines. Since 1999 she’s worked part time teaching yoga, Pilates, chair yoga, and Silver sneakers at the YMCA. As a Healthy Lifestyle coach for the Arlington-Mansfield YMCA, she facilitates Diabetes prevention classes and Lunch & Learn nutrition workshops.
In 2014 Michelle discovered Retreat in the Pines in the Yoga Journal magazine. Along with her two sisters she attended her first retreat in 2015. The following year she discovered her destiny is to lead weekend retreats with like-minded women from all backgrounds and who desire nurturing in nature in a nonjudgmental space. Her passion is mindfulness, breath work and to bring healing to all levels of yoga students.
Michelle also volunteers at Sherrod elementary school as an assistant coach to 3rd- 5th grade girls through Girls on the Run. An organization dedicated to helping girls activate their potential by teaching self-esteem, healthy habits and making an impact on their community. They run a celebratory 5k at the end of the program.
Michelle loves practicing yoga, traveling to any spa destination, cooking, cruising, hiking, cycling, reading and spending time with family. She lives with her husband Darryl in Arlington where they are empty nesters. She has 3 grown children and 5 grandchildren.
Join Michelle for a weekend of relaxation and connection.
Debbie found yoga in 2006, a time of uncertainty and turmoil in her personal life. Her yoga practice allowed her to find grounding. From that point forward, she was able to handle the struggles and depression she’d been experiencing.
Realizing how much joy yoga brought to her life, she decided the best way to share that joy with others was to teach. Two days after her husband retired, she left for Costa Rica and a month of teacher training. She began teaching and her classes have since grown into a tribe of like-minded individuals.
Debbie attended her first retreat at Retreat in the Pines in January 2018 and is excited to host retreats and connect with others.
Chef Mackenzie knows life is full of twists and unexpected turns. She never imagined being a chef let alone loving a life in East Texas. She came to Texas to pursue a masters in counseling and found a home instead.
Born and raised in South Central Pennsylvania, Mackenzie went to school to be a therapist. She worked with kids in crisis. Practicing yoga since 16, allowed her to use yoga to help her clients. She considered training to be a yoga teacher, but then was accepted into UT Tyler.
Cooking became a part of Mackenzie's life through necessity. Working an opposite schedule from her Army spouse, she experimented with large meal prepping and slow cooking. In need of a challenge, she continued to explore world cuisine to augment her skills and repertoire. Her favorite cookbooks highlight Mediterranean, French and Asian cooking. Julia Child's cookbooks were a gift for Christmas and a "Julie and Julia" year of cooking followed, where she learned new cooking skills, as well as an appreciation for doing things the hard way. Leaving academic pursuits to be a stay at home mom, allowed cooking to take center stage.
Without the rigors of academia, Mackenzie focused on growing her skill set. She challenged herself to create a homestead to fuel her kitchen. Many ingredients she uses come from her garden, chickens, goats, rabbits and most recently bees. From harvesting vegetables and meat to processing fresh goat milk into cheese and yogurt, life is hectic but unbelievably rewarding.
Mackenzie is grateful for the opportunity to bring home cooking to Retreat in the Pines guests - such an exciting honor and new chapter to her twisty and tasty life.
Keitha connected with Retreat in the Pines after meeting Nina at a yoga studio in Fort Worth. As that same studio was closing, Nina asked Keitha what was next in regards to her teaching yoga and as they say, the rest is history.
Yoga was sprinkled throughout Keitha’s high school and college years, but it wasn’t until she sustained an injury during marathon training in her early 20’s that this practice became more of a regular part of her life. After an instructor ended a candlelight flow class with a meditation and 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 training programs and in 2015, she completed her teaching certification. Since then, she has taught yoga and mindfulness to individuals, groups, community classes, retreats, bridesmaids, moms to-be, older folks, kids, and occasionally her two rescue dogs.
In her free time, Keitha draws energy from spending time in nature, eating delicious foods, and adventuring around the world with her husband, friends, and family. Her favorite self-care practices include a morning tea ritual, fancy baths, and napping.
I began my yoga journey in 2004. I practiced on and off while my kids were young but health issues were an obstacle. My first yoga class was "Intro to Beginner Yoga" where we focused on sitting and breathing which was exactly what I needed. I loved the peace and stillness that I found through this quiet practice. Since then, I turn to my yoga practice to connect with tranquility and carry it with me off the mat.
In 2010 I sought support for my health and wellness through nutrition as I faced increasing effects of having Hepatitis C for over 20 years. After finding a treatment and renewed hope for the future, I returned to my yoga practice. I enjoyed the connections with the other students and started teacher training with Om Yoga Journey in 2017. I am now a 500RYT and an Ayurveda Lifestyle Counselor.
In November 2020 I was presented with the opportunity to become owner of Sacred Soul Yoga. I enjoy offering healing space for students and I am continuing with my Ayurveda studies, working towards certification as an Ayurveda Wellness Counselor.
My passion is making yoga accessible for everyone. I recognize the importance of modifications in yoga to make a pose fit a student’s body. I personally believe we move through layers during healing and it's not a linear process. When we are ready to begin, the opportunities for healing will appear. We must choose to show up for ourselves.
As a guest at Retreat in the Pines, I felt deeply connected to the women I met as I discovered healing for myself. It is an honor to join the team and hold space for future guests. I look forward to meeting you all!
Jennifer started practicing yoga to add to her active lifestyle, however, it didn’t take long for the love affair with yoga to take hold. She found that it forced her to look within and to accept her entire self. In addition, this is a lifelong practice as we continue to grow and evolve. Yoga became a constant refuge to relief stress, build strength, and as a moment for self-care.
Outside of yoga, she is happily married, celebrating her 10thanniversary during covid with her favorite person. Jennifer is the proud mom of two, which she enjoys being silly with. When she has a moment, she is obsessing on what to eat, cook, and (attempt to) grow next. In addition to yoga, Jennifer works in corporate finance and enjoys excel spreadsheets.
Jennifer is grateful to be part of the Retreat in the Pines Team and looks forward to meeting you at the next retreat!
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 2010, 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 to enjoy the ultimate in relaxation in a massage with Jan.