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Retreats

From Struggle to Living the Dream

Yoga Retreats

Celebrated Ten Years of Yoga Retreats in 2014

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.

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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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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!

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Give the Gift of Peace and Joy

Give a Gift of a Retreat – The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Maybe you know someone in your life (maybe it’s you!) who would benefit from a weekend away. It has been quite a year!

Give the gift that will keep on giving, long after you or your someone special returns home. A retreat is an excellent way to press pause on life and take a breath. It’s an opportunity to slow down and find stillness in the mind, relaxation in the body and possibility in the heart.

Our community of women support and encourage each other – at the retreat and in the days that follow – through social media or in-person connection. Some guests make instant connections with each other and return to a retreat together.

Retreat guests are able to –

  • Consider the direction that life is taking. 
  • Find a fresh perspective.
  • Discover gratitude for the little things.
  • Truly relax and unwind – no chores to do, no meals to prepare, no errands to run.
  • Savor delicious home cooked meals without chopping, cooking or cleaning a thing.
  • Enjoy quiet time in contemplation – walking, journaling or simply sitting in nature.
  • Engage in conversation with inspirational women, sharing stories and laughter.
  • Reconnect to self.

Choose the retreat you think is perfect, or let your recipient choose her perfect retreat. Gift Certificates are available for either option.

Choose the ideal retreat here.

Email for your Personalized Gift Certificate.

Congratulations to our 12 Year Anniversary Winners!

Dearest Friends,

Thank you to each of you who participated in our 12th Anniversary Celebration & Giveaway. We are so grateful for our Retreat in the Pines community! We loved seeing your comments and we appreciate you sharing your stories,  inspiration, memories, and love with us.  We are grateful for each one of you. Thank you for supporting and loving each other on our journey of  yoga, wellness and healing.

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Savor Deliciousness & Avoid Food Waste: Freezing Tips for Fruits & Veggies

Now’s the perfect time to savor the flavors of summer before it’s too late. The end of summer is always bittersweet for me – the promise of cooler weather, yet the end of the season for my favorite fruits and veggies.  There’s nothing better than a juicy peach from Ham Orchards or a handful of plump East Texas Blueberries to make my heart sing.

Guests Enjoying our Farm to Table Buffet

If you have yet to savor our freshly prepared, Farm to Table dishes, you’re in for a treat. Our guests rave about our healthy and delicious meals, prepared with lots of love – from locally sourced produce and meat to homemade rosemary and garlic breads. Best of all, you don’t have to lift a finger. No chopping, no cooking, no cleaning up – just relaxing, chatting and enjoying the flavors. Hungry for homemade meals alongside yoga, laughter and wine? Book here.

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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.

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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.

Breakthroughs

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?