Sometimes we get caught up in our busy lives and don’t take time to experience contentment. 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. You too can find contentment when you join us for a retreat.
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.
The kitchen in the Main House was stocked with coffee, an assortment of teas and everything we needed to serve ourselves. A large refrigerator meant we could keep our waters, wine and other beverages cold.
The Dining Hall featured long wooden tables, put together in a U-shape that fostered lots of conversation and sharing. All meals were served buffet-style on a counter near the Staff Kitchen door.
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.
“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
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!
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.”
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.
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 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.
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.
“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
Yoga pants… Check!
Tank tops… Check!
Comfy PJs… Check!
Flip Flops… Check!
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.
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.