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News from the Retreat

Author Archives: Theresa Polley

Find a New Perspective with a Gratitude Practice

Gratitude Yoga Retreat

Discover the Power of Gratitude

Now that it’s November, you’ve probably seen different variations of a “gratitude challenge” or “30 days of gratitude” floating around on social media. Taking a moment each day to state – privately or publicly – what you’re grateful for has proven scientific benefits to the mind, body and spirit.

At Retreat in the Pines gratitude is part of everything we do – from each yoga practice to our outdoor Gratitude Meditation to our Gratitude Brunch (where guests take turns sharing what they’re grateful for) and of course our community of strong women. Discover gratitude as part of our  retreat community.

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Celebrating Community

Women at a Yoga Retreat

ALL Women are Welcome

At Retreat in the Pines we are a diverse community of women who come from different backgrounds and places. On the surface it may seem like we have nothing in common. But we have absolutely everything in common. We are connected by our common bond of what it’s like to be a woman in 2018.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the day to day minutia of life – the chores, the to-do lists, the schedules – and ignore not only our self-care but the human connection that is essential to our physical and mental health. Science tells us we need connection not only to thrive, but to survive. Here’s the article. If we don’t take care of ourselves who will? As women, we MUST take charge of our self care. Only then are we able to serve our family, our friends, our country.

At Retreat in the Pines, you’ll meet women who prove you don’t have to do it all, to have it all.

 

 

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Contentment in the Pines

Guests at Yoga Retreat

Sara, PJ and Megan

Sometimes we get caught up in our busy lives and don’t take time to experience contentment. You too can find contentment when you join us for a retreat.

Recently PJ and her daughters, Sara and Megan, journeyed to Retreat in the Pines for our Mindfulness and Meditation Retreat. This is PJ’s story.

Our drive from the Dallas/Fort Worth area was about two hours. As we drove further and further, the landscape became greener and greener, with tall pines, sycamores and live oaks reaching to the sky. We treated ourselves by stopping at the Dairy Palace in Canton and I had the BEST peach ice cream I’ve ever eaten!

Theresa has created the perfect retreat center, with everything that today’s woman needs to relax, recharge and re-energize her life. The modern cedar Main House has a full kitchen, community room, three bedrooms and 2 full baths. My daughters and I shared a bedroom with 3 twin beds, which was perfect for us. A large closet, night stands, lots of electrical plugs and nice bedding were available. Theresa even provided ear plugs! The bathroom offered nice towels, body wash and other niceties for our visit. Two bathrooms meant there was rarely a time when you couldn’t get into one! If it happened, there was a bathroom in the Dining Hall, one in the Yoga Studio and another one in the Guest Quarters.

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Choosing Contentment

Yoga Retreat

Discover Contentment in the Pines

If you’ve ever found yourself at a crossroads in life, wondering if there’s more out there to explore, you’re not alone. Some may argue that if you practice santosha – the yogic philosophy of cultivating a sense of contentment – then there’s nothing else in life that you need. But if you feel the grass could be greener, you can proactively create a life you love. After all, contentment is a choice.

At Retreat in the Pines, we offer weekend retreats so you can step away from the stresses of  your life – perhaps even outside your comfort zone – to discover santosha while immersed in our safe and sacred retreat space. View our upcoming retreats here.

Discovering contentment doesn’t need to be a dramatic shift in your life. Making small adjustments in your day-to-day routine will allow you to find change and the greater satisfaction you’re seeking.

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Chicken Salad

I have to admit, I absolutely adore chicken salad. Especially in the warmer months, when eating anything hot just seems like too much. Eating hot food (in temperature or in energetically) actually increases your feeling of heat. Something to avoid when the thermostat gets up to 100!

This recipe is a healthy take on a more traditional chicken salad.

If you love chicken salad as much as I do, you may be excited to know that Chicken Salad Chick is a restaurant that serves all sorts of chicken salad. I plan to check it out soon!

Yoga Retreat Menu

Chicken Salad on a Bed of Greens

  • Ingredients
    • 2 cups chicken, chopped
    • 1 cup jicama, chopped
    • 2 cups grapes, cut in half
    • 1 cup roasted pecans, chopped
    • ½ cup Mayo
    • 1 cup Greek Yogurt
    • 1 cup dried cranberries
    • 1 tsp pepper
    • 1 tsp salt
  • Instructions
    • Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly.
    • Let refrigerate before serving.

Serve on a bed of greens or in a wrap for a delicious lunch!

From Connection to Friendship

Yoga Retreat Guests

Carole and Cheryl in the Dining Hall

At a recent retreat, I had the pleasure of meeting two lovely women from Houston. Carole and Cheryl took a chance and a step outside of their comfort zones, and got to know each other while carpooling to the retreat. They were destined to be friends.

Cheryl, a teacher and a divorced mother of 3 daughters, knew she had to take care of herself if she was going to continue to give so much on a daily basis. She came to the retreat on a journey to renew and rediscover herself.

Carole, having been through her own set of challenges, was coming to the retreat with her cousins for a get away to reset and connect with family.

Since Cheryl didn’t want to make the drive from the Houston area by herself, she reached out to me fo find someone to carpool with her. Carole immediately responded, finding it a coincidence that Cheryl had the same first and last name as her sister.

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Let Go and Find Your Freedom

Yoga Retreat

Allow Yourself the Freedom to Let Go

We hear the word freedom quite a bit at this time of year. We celebrate our country’s independence on July Fourth, but what about celebrating freedom in our personal lives?

You’ll often hear yoga instructors expressing this idea in class: clear your mind, let go. And in letting go, we can find freedom. This might seem like a very broad concept, so it’s helpful to hone in on what exactly you’re looking to let go of: self-doubt, negative self-talk, attachment to the past, attachment to any ideas of what the future “should” look like, and so on.

For me personally, the journey of letting go is something I must be intentional about. It’s easy to get off track. Here are ideas on how to do just that:

Let go of self-doubt. As women, we play many different roles in our lives: friend, employee, boss, mother, sister, wife; the list goes on. With all the hats we wear, it can be easy to doubt how we are “performing” in any given role. We might wonder if we’re good enough, or if we’re doing enough. The reality is that we are doing the best we can—and that is always enough.

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Wild Rice Salad with Fresh Herbs

This cool and healthy salad is the perfect way to keep your cool this summer. Enjoy it as a side dish, or add protein such as chicken or salmon, for an easy and delicious main dish.

In the heat of Summer, the best way to stay cool is to eat cooling foods, avoiding hot food (in flavor and temperature). Cooling foods such as melons, cucumbers, cherries and zucchini will definitely help you keep your cool as the temperature creeps up. Here’s a list on what fruits and vegetables to enjoy and what to avoid.

Wild rice is packed with protein (more than quinoa), low in fat and gluten free. The slightly nutty flavor and texture is a great base for any salad or just sprinkled on greens.

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5 Steps to a Digital Detox

Digital Detox

Connect with People Around You

When I began my own digital detox, over a year ago, there was an immediate sense of relief. I started by turning off the notifications on my phone. With that first step, I realized, I’m in charge again! Not my phone! I recently deleted social media apps that were distracting me. At first there was a sense of what do I do now? Then I realized I had much more time in my day to engage with those around me. My dining table has always been a screen-free zone and I have memories of great meals and conversations with loved ones and friends over the years.

Many women come to Retreat in the Pines seeking a way to “unplug” from their daily lives. Often just getting away to a place where the focus is relaxation and the only thing you really have to do is breathe, is enough to get grounded, settle into a clear headspace and calm emotional state.  If you’re in need of a get-away, book a retreat with us.

Relaxation is easy to achieve while away at a retreat. But what about unplugging while in the midst of daily life? Modern society is hyperconnected, and the tools that were designed to make our lives easier can, in some ways, make our lives more complicated. The apps on our phones often distract us from being fully present in the moment. While it’s almost impossible to completely unplug, there is a new trend in managing the overwhelming and nearly constant stream of information at our fingertips: a digital detox.

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Fresh Rosemary & Blueberry Scones

Fresh Blueberries

Fresh Blueberries from East Texas

It’s almost time to pick Blueberries in East Texas! Those fresh blueberries combined with a little bit of Rosemary from our garden creates a little bit of heaven for our Sunday Brunch. I tried year after year to grow one of those Rosemary Christmas trees with no luck. Now we have huge rosemary bushes and we have more rosemary than we know what to do with!

We stuff our chickens (sourced from a local farm) with fresh rosemary before roasting. We add rosemary to our famous Breakfast Potatoes and stir a little in to our Chicken and Veggie Soup. Rosemary adds a unique flavor, plus it’s anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and can reduce stress.

Our guests usually can’t get enough of these scones. I’m certainly not a baker, but this recipe is simple and the result is delicious!

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