Celebrate Your Uniqueness
My story of how I overcame body shame through yoga, gratitude and stopping the negative self talk.
I dreamed of a yoga retreat where guests could treat themselves. My dream turned into a reality when I hosted my first yoga retreat in October 2004.
I was inspired to begin hosting yoga retreats after 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 guests 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 with free time to allow a richer retreat experience. More importantly, I imagined a getaway that would be accessible to all, regardless of yoga experience or budgets. Focused on that idea, my first retreat was priced ridiculously low!
After a disastrous attempt at co-ed retreats, I chose to keep our Retreats “Women Only” because I want women to feel comfortable and relaxed and not worry about makeup or wearing pajamas to breakfast. I want women to share their challenges, their successes and their sorrows. Having men drastically changes the dynamic, and many guests over the years have shared they like the women only aspect. Many women tell me that the retreat feels like a slumber party – and they love that.
I believe keeping the retreats women only is where the good stuff happens, we are relaxed enough to get out of our comfort zones and find a change of perspective. The perspective change can be life changing.
Our talented 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.
Since that humble beginning to today, many women have journeyed to Retreat in the Pines for our special magic. Women have traveled from as far away as Chicago, NYC, San Francisco and Boston to experience a weekend of yoga and healing. I’m thrilled so many women choose to come back yearly, often bringing friends or family with them.
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.