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News from the Retreat

Author Archives: Theresa Polley

What Our Guests are Saying About Us

I’m grateful to all of the Retreat in the Pines guests who’ve visited us since 2004. Here’s a sampling of our reviews from the last few years.

Yoga Retreat Guests

Kristen – Positive Vibes

“Theresa has worked along with nature to create such a beautiful place. The trees, the sounds, the smells…everything combines to create a perfect space. I highly recommend this to anyone who has never done any yoga (like me)! It was the best introduction!! There is no judgement here. I am different than when I arrived.” ~ Kristen, July 2017

 

“Never had any idea this place was so close to home. It’s been open over 10 years. I would highly recommend it to ladies who want to recharge and have a wonderful girls weekend. Absolutely wonderful! And the food is great!!! The yoga and the fellowship were fantastic! Can’t wait to go back.” ~ Stephanie, July 2017

“Well worth the 3+ hour drive to the beautiful property. Michelle was awesome and so welcoming and caring. Heather’s food (and that cinnamon coffee!!) was absolutely perfect. The yoga sessions were great, I loved the yoga nidra session (it was my first). This was my very first retreat, and all other retreats will have to live up to this. I will be making a return trip to the pines.” ~ Christi, July 2017

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Moroccan Chicken

Moroccan Chicken

Serve Over Quinoa Rice or Serve on the Side

Guests love our latest menu addition, Moroccan Chicken, served over Quinoa with dried cranberries and East Texas pecans mixed in. You can also serve on top of rice or pasta. Or add potatoes and veggies and make a stew. It’s a perfect hearty meal as the weather starts to cool down. And the leftovers can be frozen for another day.

Heather created our Morroccan Chicken Recipe for dinner on Saturday evening. We use leftover roast chicken and roasted veggies from Friday. The following recipe is from scratch.

Moroccan Chicken
  • 2 cups shredded chicken
  • 4 onions- slice 2 onions and roughly chop the other 2
  • 2-28 ounce cans crushed tomatoes, preferably fire roasted
  • 2 inch fresh ginger(about 1 tablespoon)chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon coriander
  • 4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 medium carrots (about 6 inches long) peeled and diced
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ¼ cup red wine

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Congratulations to Our Winners

Dearest Friends,

Thank you to each of you who participated in our 13th Anniversary Celebration & Giveaway. I have met so many amazing women over the years, each one of you inspires me! If I haven’t met you yet, I look forward to it. We have built this community on love and encouragement. I am grateful to each one of you for your support. I love seeing your comments and I so appreciate you sharing your stories,  inspirations, memories and love with us and with each other. 

I am humbled to be a part of your journey of  yoga, wellness and healing. It brings me an incredible amount of joy. Thank you.

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How to Find Your Tribe

Guests at Yoga Retreat

We Welcome ALL Women

I sometimes get asked if we have private rooms at our Retreats. We don’t. And for good reason. I believe sharing accommodations is a great way to meet new and interesting women, get out of your comfort zone and connect with each other on a deeper level.

A retreat is a great way to find your tribe. If you haven’t found your tribe yet, join us for a retreat. I guarantee you’ll walk away with new friends and a strong sense of connection to the world around you.

Our retreats are full of like minded women who come together for friendship, wine, yoga, laughter and to find relief from the craziness of life. You don’t have to like wine or do yoga to fit in! We welcome all women. All we ask of our guests is the willingness to sit down and chat. Once you start talking, you’ll discover how many shared experiences you have with each other.

We come from different places and it may seem like we have nothing in common, but we really have everything in common.”

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How to Do Less and Accomplish More

“I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan. And never let you forget you’re a man!”

I blame this 1980 perfume commercial for my belief I could do it all. I had no idea doing it all was a myth! I spent years trying so hard to do everything myself without asking for help.

When’s the last time you asked for help? If you have trouble asking for help, you need a retreat – STAT. Once you realize you deserve to take time for you, your life will change.

Mason Alexander Polley Born July 20, 2017

With recent custody of my two month old grandson, I’m asking for help from my friends, family and oddly enough, my ex-husband. I’ve realized I can’t do this all by myself. Taking care of an infant is a full time job, and I already have a full time job. And while it’s more exhausting than I remember, there is so much joy.

When I was young and believed the myth of doing it all, I would run myself into the ground to accomplish everything. Asking for help was cheating. As I TRIED to do it all, there was little time left for myself. I was too exhausted to notice or care. I was miserable. 

Fast forward to 2017, I know a thing or too about taking care of myself. I take time for yoga and the gym, spend time with friends and perform my nightly self-care ritual that makes me feel good. It’s the best thing I can do for myself. And for Mason.

In order to make self-care a priority, I’ve had to delegate, prioritize and most importantly, make peace with leaving things undone. ”

What doesn’t get done at this new place in my life is mostly household chores – my home is a bit of a shambles, I’m not cooking for myself and the laundry is piling up. But Mason is well cared for, I’m running my business and I’m honoring myself.

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Keep Your Cool When Everything Around You is Heating Up

Summer Sun

The Heat of the Summer Sun is Inescapable

Feeling irritated, anxious or critical? Feeling uncomfortable and hot, even inside?

Your Pitta may be out of balance. Summer is Pitta season and the bright, hot, sunny days of summer aggravate Pitta. To manage Pitta you must keep yourself cool – not just your body, but even more importantly, your mind and emotions. Balance rest and activity, and set aside time to play and relax.

Pitta is one of three Doshas in the Ayurvedic System. Ayurveda is a sister science to Yoga based on our mind body connection and the healing of the body by using the mind.

If you’re interested in learning more about Ayurveda, check out our Detox & Yoga Retreats.

Awareness of your body is the first step to practicing Ayurveda. Once you’re aware, you can find healing for the mental, physical and emotional symptoms that ail you.”

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Dare to Live Your Dream

Yoga Retreat

My Mantra

The possibilities seemed endless when I was young. All the hopes, dreams and possibilities of youth can quickly be crushed by the reality of making it as an adult. In the complex world of adulting, just getting through a challenging day can feel like a major accomplishment.

If you’ve been daydreaming about a break from adulting, a weekend away may be just what you need. Find space to breathe and freedom from anxiety and stress when you retreat with us. Explore our retreat options here.

My passion in life has always been to make a difference in the world, specifically with women. I’d dreamed for years of giving women a space to find empowerment. Along the way, I became empowered. When my dream became a reality in 2004, I was thrilled, yet I had no idea what I was getting myself into. While there have been bumps along the way, I am so grateful for my strength and persistence to keep going. If I can live my dream, so can you!

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Red, White & Blueberry Bundt Cake

Blueberry Pecan Breakfast Cake

Celebrate Freedom with this Delicious Cake

The latest addition to our summer retreat menu is this amazing cake. Not only is it delicious, it’s patriotic! The red from the raspberiess, the blue from the blueberries plus the dusting of white powdered sugar, make this the perfect addition to your July 4th festivities. And while Heather, our head chef, created this for Brunch, it’s also perfect as a dessert for your BBQ.

We get our blueberries from Ham Orchards and our organic raspberries from Costco. You could also use peaches for a different twist, also available at Ham’s.

Ham Orchards is located just outside of Terrell on Highway 80 and draws crowds with their fresh produce, to-die-for peach ice cream and peach smoked BBQ, including chicken, brisket and pork. It’s a nice drive from Dallas, but just a warning, they close mid-August.

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Why You Need a Yoga Retreat

Wine in the Pines

Enjoy a glass of wine in the Pines!

Sometimes all of my responsibilities just feel like too much. I feel like I could use an indefinite vacation. The thought of all that I HAVE to do just feels so overwhelming. Maybe you can relate.

Instead of fantasizing about walking away – do something about your burn out. Hire a therapist, let off some steam with your girlfriends, discover the joy of moving your body in a yoga or a Zumba class. Even a few hours away in a “mini vacation” can do wonders.

Better yet, make time to attend a Yoga Retreat. You get the benefits of all of the above; plus, a change of scenery, a welcoming community, home cooked meals and wine – what’s not to love? A yoga retreat will definitely change your perspective and maybe even your life. And all of that for less than $400 for a weekend. Find out more here.

If you’re like me, finding balance seems impossible. I feel like I spend too much time doing what I need to do and only fantasize about what I want to do. I realized recently that what I want to do – take a break – is exactly what I need to do!

Theresa in Tree Pose

Finding Balance in Tree Pose

I’ve found balance in life, is so much like a balance pose in Yoga. When my thoughts are racing and I feel my life isspinning out of control, I topple over. I’ve found falling is a little easier in Yoga. Falling out of balance in life can be traumatic. Not just for me, but for my family, my friends and most of all – me.

I fell out of balance last year about this time, I ended up physically sick, injured and emotionally overwhelmed. I nursed myself back to health by cancelling all social obligations (even the ones I love!) and spending quality time with myself reading and journaling. The only time I left the house was to take long walks with Zoe and go to Yoga.

This is what I discovered during my “Self-Care Staycation”

Prioritize Yourself – It sounds trite, but it’s so true. If we are not getting our needs we can’t begin to tackle our to-do list. The need for self-care should come immediately after the needs for basic survival and personal safety are met. Our relationship with self is crucial.

Let go of the Non-Essentials – In your life, in your home, in your relationships. I love the minimalist lifestyle. I’m not there yet, but I’m definitely on my way. Getting rid of so much stuff that’s holding me back feels amazing.

Learn to Say No – However you say it, remember a “no” to obligations that don’t serve you, is a yes to you and what matters to you – family, friends, self-care and living an authentic life. Obligations taking you away from you and your journey to your authentic self just aren’t worth it.

Let Go of Perfection, Control, People Pleasing and Any Other Habit that is Sabotaging Your Way Forward – I spent years of my life trying to control – every stinking thing. I’m here to tell you I was stressed and exhausted when I was living that life. When you can let go of whatever obsession is sabotaging you, you’ll find peace, joy and forward motion.

Forgive, Forget and Move On – When you hold onto a particular memory or event that causes feelings of trauma and pain and suffering, your mind is constantly trying to figure out what went wrong and how you can fix it. These memories can be everything from the small (somebody cut in front of you in the self check-out line at the grocery store) to the huge (a painful divorce or the estrangement of a loved one). A skilled counselor is always a go to when experiencing the unrest caused by a devastating loss. Recently, I’ve added Expressive Writing to my self care rouitine. It’s transformational. We explore that concept in detail at the Love Yourself Retreat.

Here are even more tips if you’re suffering from burn out.

Life is too short to waste another minute being out of balance and completely miserable. Take a Self-Care Staycation or join us for an all-inclusive Yoga Retreat. Start with one small step on your journey to you. You really can’t start too soon.

Easy Guacamole

Guacomole

Easy to Make & So Delish!

Summer time, when cool and easy to prepare foods are a necessity! Guacamole is one of my favorites – appetizer, side dish or main dish. I’m only half kidding! I’ve been known to put a serious dent in a bowl of guacamole.

If you follow Ayurveda at all, you’ll know if you eat hot foods, you’ll feel warmer, while eating cool or room temperature foods can keep you cooler in the heat of summer.

A couple of tips: I like to buy my avacodos before they’re ripe and then let ripen in a paper bag. I always wash my produce before slicing into it, even organic, you never know what might be on the outside and if you cut into it, you risk spreading bacteria or something worse. If you put the lime in the microwave for about ten seconds (no more or  you could have a disaster!), you can easily squeeze all of the juice out of it.

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