My passion in life has always been to make a difference in the world, specifically with women. I’d dreamed for years of creating a life of empowerment for myself and all women. When my dream became a reality in 2004, I was thrilled. But I had no idea what I was getting into!
When I opened the doors, there were very few retreat centers in the state of Texas. As the yoga industry boomed, so did the retreat business. While I have seen many retreat businesses come and go, I’m proud to say Retreat in the Pines (formerly Yoga in the Pines) is still growing strong. And while Yoga and Meditation are certainly an important part of our retreats, the sharing of stories, laughter and tears while gathered around our community table is the real essence of our retreats.
I was inspired to begin hosting yoga retreats when I was invited to teach at a fitness retreat in 2004. While I was disappointed at the “un-retreat” like weekend – non-existent free time, very little sleep, and highly restrictive meals – I was also inspired. I wanted to create a more “retreat like” experience, inviting women to indulge in some of my (and hopefully their!) favorite things – wine, coffee, chocolate and delicious meals cooked from scratch – all as a complement to yoga. More importantly, I imagined a getaway that would be accessible to women of all sizes, ages, levels of yoga experience and budgets. Focused on that idea, my first retreat was priced ridiculously low at $199! In order to continue to reach more women and cover the costs of doing business, I’ve gradually had to raise the retreat prices. Prices now range from $399 to $499 for two night retreats and $649 (Love Yourself Retreat – a four day life changing retreat). The Retreat Assistance Program allows ALL women to attend a retreat.
“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.
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.
I know a thing or too about taking care of myself. I take time for yoga, 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. ”
Since 2004, I’ve watched Retreat in the Pines grow – from small retreats (there were two guests at our very first retreat) and we practiced yoga in the main house in front of the fireplace. Now we have many different retreat options led by myself and other talented instructors and we practice yoga in a our beautiful yoga studio. Our retreats are about yoga, wine and laughter, and most importantly, we celebrate our community of amazing women. From 2004 to 2013, I did everything myself – from the cooking to the cleaning to the yoga classes. I’m so happy introduce you to our staff – the amazing women (and one very special guy) who make Retreat in the Pines the paradise that it is.
All of our retreats are perfect for ALL women needing a getaway. No yoga experience needed. Our Mindfulness & Meditation Retreats are gaining in popularity, guests enjoy gentle yoga and guided meditation, plus tips on using mindfulness to find peace and joy. This is the perfect retreat if you find yourself struggling with anxiety and racing thoughts. Our Yoga Nurture Retreat continues to be our most popular retreat, plenty of free time to head into town to visit antique shops, art studios or a local winery.
Let this be the year you celebrate you and what makes you unique. Let this be the year you embrace your body for all of the amazing things it allows you to do. And the year you stop chasing after the “perfect” body.
I posted this quote to Facebook in 2010. I’d spent most of my life punishing my body for not being perfect. Yoga allowed me to (finally) celebrate my body. Celebrate, not only the way I look, but more importantly, celebrate what my body can do and the way I feel about my body.
This is my story of how I overcame shame about my body. Maybe you can relate. If you’re struggling with acceptance for any aspect of yourself, join us for our Love Yourself Retreat. Begin the journey of love, acceptance and compassion for your body and every aspect of yourself.
I started hating my body when I was eight. My dad and brother called me fat and constantly made fun of me. I look back at photos from that time, and while I had baby fat, an 8 year old should NEVER be called fat. Over the next couple of years, I grew taller and slimmed down. But I STILL felt fat. I started hunching over as I grew taller – so nobody would notice me. My dad admonished me, “Stop slouching. Stand up straight. What’s wrong with you?”
Ha. I felt like so much was wrong with me. Not just with my body, but me. It’s interesting how the two are related.
In 2004, I dreamed of a yoga retreat where women could relax and laugh, while meeting new friends and sharing stories with each other. While yoga and meditation are important, so is free time to enjoy a massage, nap in a hammock, read, visit with friends or go into town for lunch, a wine tasting or shopping. It’s complete bliss!
I got the idea for a Yoga Retreat after teaching classes at a Fitness Retreat, which was less like a retreat and more like torture! There was no sugar, no dairy, no coffee, no carbs, no wine, no chocolate and definitely no fun. I reasoned if people wanted to attend a retreat where they ate tofu, sat on a meditation cushion all day and didn’t talk to each other, they’d have to go somewhere else. That wasn’t the retreat experience I wanted to give my guests. My idea was for guests to “treat” themselves at a retreat, enjoying coffee, wine, chocolate and delicious meals along with yoga and meditation.
It’s important to me that our retreats are accessible to all women, physically, financially and socially.
Our wonderful staff of Yoga Instructors teach to all levels and our classes are beginner friendly. Our Retreat Assistance Program assists those guests who need it. Our shared accommodations promote life long friendships.
It was a chilly February morning in 2004. My family and I made the trip from Dallas to the town of Mineola to look at the property now known as Retreat in the Pines. Driving down the long and winding driveway through the trees, we had no idea what to expect. Suddenly we were in a clearing, and directly in front of us was a log house, smoke gently curling out of the chimney, the lights on beckoning us inside.
It looked like home.
We stepped out of the car into the stillness of the trees, inhaling the fresh air gently scented with pine, only the sound of the wind in the pine trees breaking the silence. No planes flying overhead, no traffic in the distance, just glorious blissful peace. We fell in love. Eric, my husband at the time, declared it was his dream home.
We had been to the area several times before to stay at Lake Fork and had really enjoyed all the charms that Mineola had to offer. The property was being sold by Lori, a fellow yoga instructor and her husband. She liked the idea of another yoga instructor buying the property. Neither one of us had any idea how “yogafied” their 30 acres of peace, serenity and pine trees would become. Lori and Bill had searched all over Texas for a place to build a weekend home. The area where the main house now sits had been cleared to drill for oil. Luckily there was no oil!