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Gratitude for Our Gratitude Retreat

Gratitude stoneIt never ceases to thrill me the amazing and wonderful women who visit Retreat in the Pines. Our Three Night Gratitude Retreat was no exception. The group bonded immediately, and we were sharing laughter and tears right away. To experience this magic for yourself, join us at an upcoming retreat.

No two retreats are the same, but there is often a shared feeling or theme that connects everyone who is present for the retreat. In this particular group, our common theme seemed to be transition. Women moving on from ending long term relationships. Women beginning new career directions. Women becoming strong and confident.

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Find Your Perfect Yoga Retreat

So many amazing yoga retreats…so little time!

  • Stay near or travel far
  • Practice beach side or mountain top
  • Go with friends or adventure on your own
  • Choose all yoga all the time or yoga as part of a bigger experience.

At Retreat in the Pines we specialize in retreats that build community: relax and renew in yoga; calm your mind in meditation; feed your body and soul with delicious made-from-scratch meals and laugh, share and find support with an amazing group of encouraging women. Book your dream retreat with Retreat in the Pines here.

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Finding a Yoga Retreat with Relevance

When looking for a yoga retreat, it seems like there are endless options to choose from. Writing and Reflection in the Woods, Burlesque and Bliss on the Beach, Mindfulness and Meditation Retreat in the Pines (my personal favorite), Men’s Nude Yoga in Hawaii (..really!), and anything you could imagine in between.

The Perfect Retreat…for You

Yoga Retreat

At Retreat in the Pines it’s about Community

The thought of a perfect retreat, you know where you come home transformed physically, mentally and emotionally with clearer skin and shinier hair on top of being free from all negative thoughts in your mind, aches in your body and fears in your heart…might seem over reaching (and it is)…but there is a retreat that’s relevant for where you are in your yoga practice, in your life and in your energy. It’s just a matter of ruling out the choices that aren’t right…until you’re left with the opportunity to go on a retreat that will take you to exactly the place you need to be.

Considerations when Choosing

A few things to consider as you think through finding the retreat that is right for you:

Budget – Yes I know, reality check, but don’t look at the $5000 international option when your budget only allows for the $500 retreat. Nothing is more stressful than amassing credit card debt to go on a yoga retreat; you’ll come home feeling like you need another retreat just to deal with the financial stress! Remember, take into account ALL costs and do your research-while some retreats are all inclusive, others aren’t. Keep in mind things like: transportation to and from the location (air fare, gas, shuttle, rental car, etc.), meals and/or accommodations (if not included) and additional materials you may need (this may include a cute new yoga outfit).

Length of Retreat – Do you need a couple of days to find clarity or are things so wound up that a week or longer is needed to actually unwind? If you’re just dipping your toe in the waters of retreats, a weekend is a good place to start.

Yoga Retreat Sunrise

Sunrise in the Pines

Location – Do you love the beach or the mountains? While practicing yoga in the sand or the snow may not be ideal, a yoga studio steps overlooking the beach or the mountains may be a perfect fit. Consider ease of travel, as it will make some locations more attractive over others. Accommodations – Maybe you need your own space with a private room and bath, or maybe you’re interested in sharing space with sleepover style bunk accommodations. Or maybe you’re craving alone time, while enjoying community with others; look for properties that will give you both. Do what’s best for you, but don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and try something new. It really is true that the good stuff happens out of your comfort zone. Food – If the thought of forgoing coffee and wine, with a strictly vegan menu and a strict “no sugar” policy is enough to make you shudder in despair, be sure to thoroughly investigate the menu options. If you have dietary restrictions make sure that the retreat center will accommodate you before reserving your spot.

Yoga for Strength and Healing

Strength & Healing Yoga Retreat

Yoga – What kind of yoga do you like or are you interested in exploring? Maybe you’re looking to try adventurous nude vinyasa, or maybe you’re not quite there yet and looking for something a little tamer like fully clothed restorative. Know that there is yoga for every body type and every level out there. The fun is finding what speaks to you.

Other Activities – There are so many choices of activities, from Exotic Dance, Hiking, Horseback Riding, Surfing and beyond. Do you want to deepen your practice? Explore new poses or new possibilities in a more yoga-centric retreat? Or maybe you’d enjoy yoga as part of a smorgasbord of activities.

Helpful Hints

Thank goodness for Google! You can search for your ideal yoga retreat while doing a pose at your desk. Use keywords like “yoga retreats,” “women’s retreats,” or “wellness retreats,”  and include the location you’d like to visit or a key word like “affordable,” “all-inclusive,” or “vegan.” Or, for one stop shopping peruse the retreats listed on RetreatPlace, the easy to use platform for finding retreats around the world. Another good option is to ask around at your studio. The students and instructors may have a personal recommendation, and first hand review, to share with you.

Yoga Retreat May 2011

Margaret on Meditation Deck

Discover the Perfect Retreat for You

Finding the retreat with relevance for you right now is relatively simple, once you determine what it is you’re seeking. Sometimes it’s helpful to set a retreat intention for yourself as you search. The choices are wide and exciting, and maybe even a little overwhelming. Just know that there is a retreat out there that will change your life in more ways than you can ever imagine.

This post originally appeared on Retreat Place website.

Breaking Down the Walls We Build

Hosting yoga retreats is, by far, one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had. The dynamics differ from weekend to weekend, but there is almost always an energy of change and transformation in the air. By letting go of negative thoughts, bad habits and other forms of resistance, guests are able to open up their hearts, minds, and yoga practice to new possibilities.


It’s So Much More Than Yoga

A recent retreat was a weekend for breaking through barriers and reconnecting to our true selves. While the yoga and meditation were a powerful part of the weekend, the connections and friendships were what really allowed us to find new possibilities and reflect on our lives with a renewed perspective.

Listening to their stories and observing their yoga practice, I could see unbelievable inner and outer strength. Over the weekend several of the women experienced physical breakthroughs in their practice, but I’m almost positive that every guest experienced a renewed sense of mental and emotional clarity. During the individual pose alignment sessions, each guest chose a pose or two to practice. I rejoiced as I saw the women transition from thoughts of “There’s no way I can do that,” to, “I’m really doing this!” With encouragement from one another, several guests were able to float up into seemingly effortless arm balances, embracing their outer and inner strength.

Strong Women Finding Breakthroughs in a Life Changing Weekend

IMAG0321The women, as always, were unique and beautiful in their own wonderful ways. My retreat assistant was a great help, her big smile and generous heart were the perfect compliment to the weekend, and her help allowed time for me to establish a deeper connection with the individual guests.

I loved watching the fun family dynamic between a mom and her two daughters. As they interacted with each other, their love was evident and so sweet to witness.

I found great encouragement from a guest who journeyed from Chicago for the weekend. Facing a crossroads in her life, she expressed wanting to pursue the life she envisions, but pressure from friends and family to pursue a traditional lifestyle left her feeling trapped. Her final comment at the closing breakfast was, “I know that no matter what I do everything will be OK. I want to pursue a life that’s meaningful to me, not conform to other’s expectations.” I know that she will be much more than OK.

IMAG0366I was inspired by one guest who shared her struggle with health issues. Facing the roller coaster of working on getting back on track, she was concerned she wouldn’t be able to keep up during the yoga practice. Not only did she keep up, she went deeper into her practice – attempting and holding crow pose.

It was a great honor and joy to have several yoga instructors in attendance. One, a beautiful strong yoga instructor who has lived in Costa Rica and pursued her passions, still finds herself struggling with a marriage that ended. Aware that the man she is happily dating is a much better fit for her, she finds herself second guessing the relationship due to their age difference.

I was humbled by a guest who came from Louisiana. During the retreat she received news that her job will be eliminated in 2014. She told the group that the weekend of healing, along with the inspiring stories from the group, allowed her to see the upcoming transition as a positive change in her life.

I was so grateful to experience the presence of another guest. You won’t find a more gracious or kind soul; even though she struggles with a recent heartbreak and a challenging job, she puts others first. Looking up information to help a woman she met on her morning commute, she discovered Retreat in the Pines. It’s true, what you send out does come back to you – she is living proof.


Of all the guests, there was one that seemed to have the biggest breakthrough. Admitting she felt stuck in her life, she had left a high paying medical career to care for her children and found herself wanting something more. Her friends were in disbelief that she would go out to the woods and share a room with a stranger for a weekend of yoga. She actually found herself doubting her decision on the drive.

Luckily, she made it to the retreat and inspired all of us. By the end of the weekend she had made the decision to pursue getting certified as a yoga instructor.

You are stronger than you know.Let Your Inner Strength Shine Through

I believe that we are all stronger than we know. I believe these women will go out and do amazing things in their lives. I believe (and know) that choosing to do something that doesn’t meet the expectations of those in your life has great challenges, but even greater rewards. I have witnessed many women make the journey from “I can’t” to “I can,” and break the walls they’ve built.

Isn’t it about time you started breaking down the walls in your life?


Over the last seven years, I’ve had the joy to witness several meaningful connections between guests of Retreat in the Pines. This past weekend was especially inspirational!

Yoga Retreat

Tree Pose in the Beautiful Piney Woods of East Texas

This group of incredible women shared a love of books, yoga and dogs. Their ages ranged from 20 something to 60 something, and all ages in between. Their careers were varied as well: an American Airlines employee for over 35 years; an assistant district attorney for Harris county; a defense attorney , a mother and daughter who are school nurses and more.

“I enjoyed SO much meeting you all…it’s as though we were all ‘hand-picked’ to come together. Theresa…the food and hospitality were incredible (as usual)!” Mary Beth who comes annually with her sister and sister-in-law, in an e-mail to the rest of the group.

For more than half of the women, this was their third journey to Retreat in the Pines. The first time visitors were just as enamored with the peace, serenity and pine trees. They are already eagerly planning their next trip to the pines…in the Fall!

Healthy Yoga Retreat Breakfast

Enjoying Breakfast and Friendship at a Yoga Retreat

So often connections made at Retreat in the Pines, turn into life long friendships. Mary and Susan met at a retreat in the summer and returned together for a retreat in the fall. Elishia met Inga and Jenny in the fall, they all just returned from a birthday celebration in Key West. Heather and Kathy met in November…Kathy is recovering from foot surgery and Heather is bringing her dinner.

These are just a few of the many stories of shared connections and inspirations. Plan your Yoga Nurture Retreat today…you’ll enjoy the peace and healing of nature; you’ll meet amazing women; you’ll love the healthy and delicous food, the wine and the yoga. You won’t want to leave, but you will and you’ll come back to your life refreshed, renewed and ready for reality.

Packing for a Yoga Retreat

The following post was written by Tonya Caudoro.

Yoga pants… Check!

Tank tops… Check!

Comfy PJs… Check!

Flip Flops… Check!

Pema Chodron book to read while lying on a hammock in the woods… Check!


Tonya Enjoying Her Happy Place in the Pines

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